I have fantastic news! I found out that the Western States Celebration, which was held in Mohave Valley, AZ the weekend of Oct 16-18, was shut down with the presence of the USDA!
The Western States Celebration has been going on for about three years now. It is advertised on the Tennessee Walking Horse Association of California's website as being in Laughlin, NV, but insiders have found out that it is actually in Mohave Valley, AZ, about a half hour south of Laughlin. They hold it at the Mojave Crossings Event Center. Mohave Valley is Native American Reservation land. The thought is that they are trying to hide this show from the Feds. There is no address or contact info listed on the website--only the class list.
The USDA showed up on Sunday, Oct 18. I was told that the main Big Lick trainer there tried to chase the USDA off, saying they have no jurisdiction because it is Native American Reservation land. The USDA had already looked into this, and yes, the Federal Government does have jurisdiction on Reservation land. While State laws are exempt, Federal laws aren't. But they went to the County Sheriff anyway, who of course confirmed this. So they came back to the show with the sheriff and everyone packed up and left.
Now, I do know this was a very, very sparsely attended show. Lots of classes were canceled, and there was usually only one horse per class, at the most three horses in a class. While this communicates to me that this type of showing is dying, the bad guys are still trying to keep it up, so it's important that if you hear about a BL show in your area to contact the USDA and let them know about it. Sometimes they already know, sometimes they don't, but better safe than sorry!
I sent the USDA an email thanking them for showing up at this show. I hope this sends a message to those trainers that they will find them no matter what, and it's time to stop this nonsense.
"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."
~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
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