"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

Friday, October 21, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLES - Blackburn Found Guilty of Soring Horses

Remember Tennessee's resident animal abusers, Barney Davis, Christen Altman, Jeffrey Bradford, and Paul Blackburn?  If you don't, click here for one of my many posts about them.

Well, Blackburn actually plead guilty guilty guilty!  Rate My Horse PRO posted the article and where you can read the court documents--click here to read them.  I've copied and pasted the article below.  I am so glad the court found him guilty.  His sentence is in January, so hopefully he'll get the max!  (Even though the maximum really isn't enough, it would still be nice to see justice served.)

Really, I don't see how these abusers can't be found guilty--the evidence was extremely clear.  However, I have to ask: why is it that with 173 HPA violations at this years Celebration (according to the USDA DQP Report), why are we not hearing about those abusers going to court?  We need to see them there, and we need to see the law upheld.  A ticket is not enough, so be sure to let your voices be heard!  Write to the USDA and demand that they start taking these tickets to court!  And let's give a big send off to Blackburn to jail.  Maybe we should tell his jail mates what he did to get in there...I hear animal abusers are looked VERY poorly on by other inmates!


Blackburn Guilty of Horse Soring Violations

by RMHP Staff

A Tennessee man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate the federal Horse Protection Act.

Paul Blackburn was part of co-defendant Barney Davis's horse training and boarding operation at Monopoly Farm. According to Blackburn's plea agreement, he was hired to look like the farm's trainer since Davis is serving a lifetime suspension for soring horses. It goes on to say he sored horses, transported them in that condition, and falsified documents.

In April, a federal grand jury returned a 34-count superseding indictment against Blackburn, spotted saddle horse trainer Barney Davis, Christen Altman, and Jeffery Bradford. Hearings for Davis, Altman and Bradford are scheduled in U.S. District Court, Chattanooga in early November.

Soring horses is an illegal practice where items like bolts are driven into horses' hoofs, foreign objects are attached to horses' legs, or chemicals like mustard oil are used to produce pain and sensitivity to alter the gait. The altered gait, which is considered abuse by most horse enthusiasts, is seen as desirable for some that compete in gaited breed horse shows.

Blackburn is scheduled to be sentenced in January. He faces up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Apology on Posting Comments

Hello everyone.  I wanted to apologize that recently, your comments weren't being posted in a timely manner.  I discovered that I had misspelled my email address where the comments information goes to.  So I have fixed that and now I will be notified directly when comments need to be approved.  As a reminder, I only have it set up so I have to moderate comments to keep spam from coming through.  Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Monday, October 3, 2011

ARTICLES - Shame in the Horse Show Ring Picks Up on TWH Issues

Shame in the Horse Show Ring is one blog I really like to read.  She tells it like it is when it comes to show venues continuing to allow abuse of all types in the show ring.

Click here for her latest post about the TWH.

Yes, the harsh language can get hard to read.  But I think it's important for people to realize the message that's here.  She's angry, and she's tired of the horses being abused for the sake of a ribbon, no matter what breed or discipline.

I know we'll hear all the same excuses: pads don't hurt the horse, these horses passed inspection, blah blah blah.  Folks, we're dealing with an image here that makes the horses look tortured.  Whether or not they're sored doesn't matter anymore.  The horse world and a lot of the general public know the TWH industry's dirty secret, and so therefore when horses are being showcased as crippled, crawling spiders, people are going to think they're being abused.

She also make a great point--people WITHIN the industry need to start standing up.  The problem is that plenty of people are willing to just brush off the cheaters and abusers and turn a blind eye to what's going on.  Start standing up for your breed and your horses.  If you want the bad image of the TWH to go away, then you need to do something about it.  Make an effort to end soring for real.  The industry will listen if the masses start demanding a change.

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