"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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NEWS - Press Release From the Industry Meeting

Here's the press release from the meeting.  I received this from multiple sources.


Tennessee Walking Horse Meeting
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
On Wednesday, November 30th the Board of Directors of these four groups met to discuss issues related to the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse in the show ring and to discuss unification within the performance horse division.

As a result of the meeting it was decided that a “Unity Committee” would be formed with 3 representatives from each group. Each group will have one week to discuss with their respective boards and appoint individuals to the committee. The Unity Committee will have no official decision making power and will gather information and then report back to the groups.

Goals & Objectives Established By The Four Groups:

1- To support one rulebook and judges list.
2- This group plans to implement a program to be inclusive of all aspects of the flat shod & padded performance Tennessee Walking Horse.
3- To market all facets of the breed.
4- Develop an organizational structure for the committee.
5- To create and implement a unified public relations effort.
6- To promote education in all aspects of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

In addition, the group also took a unified position of being against any reduction of pads and action devices and being opposed to the proposed USDA mandatory penalties.

Mr. Jackie Brown, who graciously offered his time to facilitate the meeting stated “the industry should be most grateful for all of their leaders who attended and offered their thoughts and ideas as related to ‘what is best for the horse, what is best for the industry.’”

44 people from the groups invited were in attendance at the meeting.


Now to break it down.

I definitely agree with number 1.  That issue is something that should have been addressed a long time ago.  One rulebook means that everyone will have the same level playing field as long as they agree to the mandated penalties.  Multiple HIOs are only necessary when there is a REAL goal to keep sore horses out of the ring.

As far as the rest, I doubt very seriously this will be a program that includes "all aspects of the flat shod and padded performance horse" when they are being selective as to which groups the committee members will be from.  If they were going to be all inclusive, then they would have invited ALL of the HIOs, not just a select few.  And the best way to deal with public relations will be to get rid of the stacked horse.  The public doesn't like it, and therefore if you were smart and wanted to relate to the public better, you'd stop the soring and get rid of the stacked horse.

And OR COURSE they don't want a reduction of pads or action vices and oppose the USDA mandated penalties!  We all already know that.  But what's really telling here is that WHOA signed the mandated penalties.  So does this mean they are going back on their agreement with the USDA?

They say they are working on "what is best for the horse."  NO, YOU'RE NOT.  You're working on what's best for your pocketbooks.  If they were working on what's best for the horse, then they would agree to the mandated penalties and agreed to a reduction in pads and getting rid of chains.  So that's just another one of their "man behind the curtain" ploys.

As always, more talk, more meetings, and more stalling.  USDA: PLEASE STOP THIS.  Please end soring and keep these people from continuing to break the law!

Monday, November 28, 2011

NEWS - THIS Garbage is What Outrages Us and What Will Tear the Industry Down

This picture was posted on the front page of the Walking Horse Chat tonight.  Click on the photo to view it in a larger format.

In case you don't know, the squid character is from an adults-only cartoon called Squidbillies.  No, not that kind of adults-only cartoon.  It's one shown on [adult swim] on Comedy Central late at night when the kiddies are supposed to be asleep.  Think of it in the vein of Beavis and Butthead, Family Guy, and King of the Hill.  The cartoon itself makes fun of rednecks and their attitudes, and the show is quite annoying but sometimes very truthful.

UPDATE 11/29/11: I'm now being told that people are saying that I have performed copyright infringement by posting this.  But isn't it copyright infringement to use a copyrighted character from a nationally recognized television show in this manner?

I wish I could say I am completely and totally flabbergasted, but I'm not.  Fact is, threats have been made to people against theirs, their children's, and their horses' lives when they stand up against soring, and that includes death threats.  So implying this creature wants to "get" those who are against pads and chains doesn't seem all that surprising to me. But overall, we should be outraged for them treating us who want to see the law obeyed and horses saved like this.  And really, THIS type of garbage is what is going to end this industry, and it's going to be a beautiful thing.  And how embarrassing for them--this makes ALL OF YOU look like idiots.  It is no wonder the TWH industry is the laughing stock of the horse industry.  You don't see other breeds posting garbage like this.  Shame on all of you for continuing to make our breed look like a farce.  It's childish behavior like this that makes us work harder to end soring and stop you monsters from continuing to break the law and abuse animals for pleasure.  You are ruining yourselves, and I'm happy to see you do it.

DON'T FORGET to write to the people in the below post to let them know we want to see a true end to soring!

NEWS - Industry Meeting on Nov 30th and WE NEED YOUR EMAILS!

This is a big alert to everyone!  This list was posted on the Walking Horse Chat today and we need to act!  It included an announcement that on Nov 30th (this Wednesday) the industry organizations will be getting together with the following members involved.  Note that this list does not represent the entire industry--only those who want to keep things as they are.  The person who posted this said that s/he wants to keep their rules and equipment as they are today, and we all know this needs to stop.  Be sure to email or call these people and let them know we are tired of the charades and the farce and want to see soring end now.  Of course, they want to keep things status quo, and we cannot let this continue.  And let's note: Keith Dane, who is a board member with TWHBEA, was not included on this list.  What does that tell us?  I think it's clear what they are doing!


TWHBEA Executive Committee

Marty Irby - mirby@twhbea.com

Margo Urad - murad@twhbe.com
Rob Cornelius - rcornelius@twhbea.com
Kathy Zeis - kzeis@twhbea.com
Tom Kakassy - tkakassy@twhbea.com
Tracy Boyd - tboyd@twhbea.com
Mike Hicks - mhicks@twhbea.com
Linda Montgomery - lmontgomery@twhbea.com
Stephen Brown - sbrown@twhbea.com
Rick Weis - rweis@twhbea.com
Joyce Moyer - jmoyer@twhbea.com
Wayne Dean - wdean@twhbea.com
Lloyd Black - lblack@twhbea.com
Linda Starnes - lstarnes@twbea.com
David Pruett - dpruett@twhbea.com


Kim Bennett (PRESIDENT)
270-781-8237 / 270-792-1471

Dr. Jana Anderson (2011)
Cell: 931-205-9574/Bus. 615-893-6169

Jean Baum (2011)

Tam Brogdon (2013)

Steve Brown(2011)

Chip Carrier (2011)
270-586-6649 / 270-586-8227

Martha Child (2012)
615-297-1196 / 615-834-4300

Betty Denton (2012)

Sally Fleck (2013)

Darden Gladney (2013)
318-927-9316 / 318-377-2135

Richard Greer (2011)
828-757-9559 / 828-757-6767 Cell

Don Hancock (2012)
270-365-3966 / 270-365-2071

Phyllis Langley (2013)
208-255-2849 / 208-290-4746

Bob Lawrence (2011)
229-227-5705 / 229-224-1813

Judy Martin (2013)
931-205-0079 / 931-684-5800

Frank E. Neal
615-202-7782 / 615-383-8874

Kathy Owen (2011)
615-848-0729 / 615-201-7432

Andy Rippy(2012)
615-273-2181 / 615-394-6776

Dee Dee Sale (2013)

Iris Schumann (2012)
931-685-1106 / 931-685-5278

Beth Sims (2012)

Gail Wailing (2013)
931-389-9073 / 931-580-4245

David Williams (2012)
Cell 931-639-1081

Harolene Willis (2012)

Lynn Womack (2011)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

THOUGHTS - The Attitude of the Industry

As always, I'm constantly bombarded with negative and downright nasty emails and threats.  The more truth I expose, the more threats I receive.  I believe that it is so important to share some of this information because it's key to understanding why soring and the Big Lick still exist, and why they still go hand in hand.  People who abuse animals are quick to abuse other people, whether it's verbal, physical, emotional, or spiritual.  Anyone who has studied any criminology or watched a few shows on True Crime TV knows this.  And the verbal abuse I receive is quite indicative of why we need to stop these monsters.

Here is an email verbatim from Anthony N. that I received in 2007.  It was in response to a petition I put together to eliminate the Big Lick from the local shows in my area.  A combination of efforts resulted in all of our local shows that have Tennessee Walking Horses in them to use either the IJA or NWHA rulebooks, so the sore horse has been eliminated in our area.

"Wanting to say that I own "Big Lick" horses and invite you to visit them anytime to see that are are cared for more than any animal you have.  They are know way abused and you need to kiss my ass"

Well!  I will certainly head on out to his barn then--what a warm and wonderful invite!  And I guess he must have spies looking at my property, where my horses are barefoot, have free access to hay and water, 24/7 turnout, manure is cleaned everyday, plenty of shelter, get all natural supplements for each horse's individual needs, and, quite frankly, are fat; and they look in my tack room where I have bitless bridles, saddles that are measured to fit my horses, and nary a "package", chain, tie down, full and half blinders, or a 10" shank in sight, since he knows his horses are better cared for than mine.  I guess if this is worse care than his, then I must be a terrible person indeed.

Look, the bottom line is this: when I am spoken to this way, and when I hear of others who are ridiculed or called names or bullied for standing up for the horse, it does not make me sympathetic to those who are "just trying to make a living" or to their wanting us to leave them alone and let them do what they want (the horse's welfare be dammed).  Industry, listen up: NO ONE is going to soften to this kind of talk.  If you want me to stop exposing the truth, then make a choice to stop treating people the way you do. The attitude of the industry is what is going to to tear all of them down more than anything.  Whining, complaining, carrying on, and generally pretending that these horses are all sound has become not only tiresome but laughable.  As the old saying goes: you catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar.

On one of the posts on the Facebook group, one of our members and I had a great conversation about the two opposing groups (stacks vs. no-stacks) coming to a common ground.  My thoughts were this: at this point, whether or not the BL horses are sored is no longer the question.  The problem is that the image of the BL and the high-stepping, crouching horses is horrific to outsiders.  I understand that the industry doesn't care about this; we're constantly told "if you don't like it, don't look at it!"  But they don't realize that they are going to continue to lose money, memberships, and customers unless they get rid of it.  They hurt ALL of us, sound or sore, when they continue to showcase this horrible, crippled look.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if it hurts the horse, and that's from people who don't even know what soring is.  Then when they find out what soring is, they assume all of us sore our horses, whether flat shod, barefoot or BL.  There is no longer a chance for a middle ground when the industry still has thousands of violations every year with stacked horses. Research showed that in 2008, 2009 and 2010, 90% of all violations were on stacked horses.  This means the BL needs to go away because soring is prevalent in the BL world. And quite frankly, every single person I have known who has BL horses says their horses aren't sored, so no one gets the chance to believe anyone anymore.  I have watched BL trainers who I have physically watched sore horses turn around and tell their clients they don't sore their horses.  I know that I saw that the majority of the horses in the WGC class this year either had past soring violations themselves or were ridden/trained by people with soring violations.  The lies and misguided information has gone more than far enough.  It's obvious to me that this industry is not cleaning up it's act and therefore the BL needs to go away--they have abused the privilege to show a horse in this way.  And if anything, the industry should do it for their own welfare.  I don't think they realize how much respect they would get if they truly stopped soring and showing horses that look like they're in pain.  I know I'd be happy to renew my memberships with many of the associations if they'd admit there's a problem and truly do something about it.

Overall, it's impossible for me to have respect for people who break the law on a regular basis and abuse animals for the sole sake of entertainment and money.  Now, I have HUGE respect for people who walk away and say I won't do this anymore...that takes guts and eating a lot of humble pie.  Honestly, I can forgive anyone who can admit they're wrong and who won't do it again.  But unfortunately, there aren't enough of those people in the industry who call the shots right now.  And we need to see the USDA step in and stop those people once and for all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEWS - Yet ANOTHER Committee to "Discuss" the Future of the Breed

I received this from the Walking Horse Report.


Industry Boards To Address Issues
Monday, November 21, 2011
Editor's Note:  The following is a press release issued by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association.

Lewisburg, TN - Following a series of meetings held throughout the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, including at the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA), Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA), The Celebration and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA), a decision was made that the boards of directors from the WHTA, WHOA, Celebration and the executive committee of TWHBEA will meet with the goal of appointing a smaller committee to study the issues surrounding, and make recommendations concerning, the welfare and future of the Tennessee Walking Horse in the show ring.

This decision came about in response to presentations made at each industry meeting by Dr. Chester Gipson, Deputy Administrator for Animal Care at the USDA. While the USDA will assist the committee appointed to study the issues and make recommendations, this will be a Tennessee Walking Horse industry endeavor. The meeting of the WHTA, WHOA, Celebration and TWHBEA boards, which will result in the appointment of the committee, is scheduled for November 30, 2011, at WHTA headquarters in Shelbyville, Tennessee.


OH BOY!  Yet ANOTHER committee to discuss keeping things as is!  I certainly don't see any other HIOs being invited, and the HIOs that are included are those who have huge stakes in the stacked horse divisions.  They are calling themselves the Walking Horse Association and have a website located here.  Superhorse.org?  Really?  Geez.  And some association--they certainly aren't including all of the stakeholders within the industry that will be affected by any changes.  Plus, will this "association" really try to end soring?  OF COURSE NOT!  They're going to figure out how to keep things status quo.  Seriously, USDA, you don't buy this crap, do you?

This website has a section where you can comment, and so far most of the comments are very negative.  I actually am in agreement with a lot of them because truly, the association is only out to take care of themselves and their pocketbooks, not the industry.  Feel free to make your own comments and let them know what you think at this page.

Of course, there are huge rumors going around and wild speculations along with personal interpretations of what all of this means.  The most reassuring rumor I've heard--but note, it IS still a rumor--is that Gipson told the industry to take away the chains and make the pads smaller or they will do it themselves, and he's still threatening decertification.  But I'll believe it when I see it.

In the meantime, I request that everyone get your fingers going for sending emails and phone calls to the USDA and get them to STOP DISCUSSING AND START DOING.  I am going to work on asking for the presentation that Gipson made at the meetings, and your emails to them will also help.  Don't be fooled by what the stakeholders are really doing here, folks--we need to see soring end and we need the USDA to step up and do their job!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLES - HPA Enforcement Receives Additional Funding and is Approved by Obama

BREAKING NEWS!  The USDA has been granted more money to enforce the HPA!  The final bill was signed by President Obama this week, so the approval has come down from the top!  The final decision was to split the difference between the Senate and the House bills.  This is a big deal considering that major cuts were made across the board with the USDA.  But in those cuts it seems that enforcing the HPA won out among a lot of people who want to keep things status quo!

Click here to see the entire Act, H.R. 2112.   Page H.R. 2112 states as follows:

For necessary expenses of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, including up to $30,000 for representation allowances and for expenses pursuant to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4085), $816,534,000...of which $696,000 shall be for activities under the authority of the Horse Protection
Act of 1970, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1831).

We need to thank all of the people who worked so hard to get this passed and won the bipartisan support of 125 reps and 34 senators, especially since one of them is from Kentucky and two are from Tennessee!  The list of people to thank that worked so hard are as follows:

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.
Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

Also, don't forget to send your letters to the USDA to congratulate them AND to ask them to put this money to good use!  We need to see more of these cases brought to court, so also send your request to the OIG to get them to do more work like they did in the Davis et. al. case.

Below is an except from this article from the Humane Society Legislative Fund.  This is wonderful news that is going to help save the Tennessee Walking Horse!  THE SOUND HORSE WINS!


There was, however, great news for horses also contained in the committee’s bill: Congress is poised to increase funding for enforcement of the decades-old Horse Protection Act, which has been stuck at the woefully inadequate ceiling of $500,000 since 1976. The minibus provides $696,000 for the Horse Protection Act—almost a 40% jump, and a very important signal that USDA needs additional resources to step up its enforcement of this federal law against widespread cruelty to show horses. (The conferees split the difference, since the Senate bill had $891,000 and the House bill had $500,000). The Horse Protection Act combats the criminal act of “soring” horses, the intentional use of caustic chemicals and sharp objects on horses’ hooves and legs to make it painful for them to step down and give them an artificial, high-stepping gait in show competitions—in other words, deliberate, illegal infliction of severe pain in order to cheat and win prizes.

In fact, in a very tough budget climate, with so many lawmakers focused on deficit reduction this year, we fought hard to keep funding levels strong for a range of animal welfare programs. The HSUS and HSLF worked with Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to mobilize a sign-on letter, and won the bipartisan support of 125 representatives and 34 senators requesting modest funding levels that are critically needed to implement and enforce the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the federal animal fighting law, and programs to help prepare for the needs of animals in disasters and to address the shortage of veterinarians in rural and inner-city areas and public health practice. We also worked with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., to push specifically for the increased funding to crack down on horse soring.

Many programs were competing for dollars, and USDA and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service took sizable cuts overall ($350 million and $47 million, respectively), as did many individual accounts. But, even within this broader political landscape, we were able to maintain consistent or increased funding levels for most animal welfare programs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NEWS - Meetings between USDA and HIOs

I received this text from the Walking Horse Report.

"[Dr.] Gipson will meet with the Kentucky HIO on Wednesday November 16, 2011 in Lexington and then make his way to Middle Tennessee to meet with the TWHBEA Executive Committee on Saturday November 19, 2011. The Walking Horse Report will be at this meeting and have a report on the contents of that executive committee meeting.

The Report has also learned that Gipson will meet with the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) on Sunday November 20, 2011 and is awaiting confirmation of this meeting from WHOA. The exact intent of the meetings with Gipson is unknown however rumors are rampant as to the contents of those meetings. Topics such as mandatory penalties, decertification and the future of the pad and action device have all been rumored to have been discussed."

As always, plenty of rumors are floating around, and I'm sure most of the people who are spreading them have it on absolute authority that their information is correct.

I have to say that I'm tired of these meetings going on and the stakeholders and members not being given the details of the meeting.  What's written are just little blurbs like "we are confident we can work with the USDA in the future," trying to placate the public.  There is no reason why things like this need to be kept private--the entire industry, sound or sore, needs to know what's going on.  So if you are a member of TWHBEA and especially are for real change that ends soring, then it might be a good idea to request a transcript of the meeting.  Take the time to write to or call the Executive Committee before the end of this week and ask for a transcript.  No matter what is said, the membership deserves to know what's going on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLE - Barney Davis Pleads Guilty and Faces a Hefty Sentence

After Paul Blackburn pleaded guilty to having sored horses, Barney Davis seems to be making the same choice. However, his crimes were more egregious and he faces a hefty sentence: up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Rate My Horse PRO posted their on the article at this link.  I've also copied and pasted the article below.

To echo US Attorney Steve Neff a bit, this type of prosecution should keep trainers and owners from cheating (aka, soring) in the show ring.  The problem is the Big Lick community is brushing this off.  They truly believe that the Spotted Saddle Horse is a completely different breed, and this situation doesn't apply to them because the horse was not on stacks.

Reality check: The horse was pressure shod, which is one of the ways Big Lick horses are being sored today.  It absolutely DOES apply, because soring is soring, no matter what breed suffers from it.  And for those who think this has nothing to do with them, they are merely holding their fingers in their ears and saying la la la la la.  This is just another excuse for them to ignore the fact that soring is still rampant and that anyone who receives and HPA violation should be sent to court.

The sentencing is in February.  If I find out who to contact in order to request the maximum, then I will pass it on.  Also, be sure to let the USDA know that we want to see a lot more of these violators going to court so the threat becomes real.  Only then will soring stop once and for all.


Tennessee Horse Trainer Pleads Guilty to Soring

by RMHP Staff

A spotted saddle horse trainer and two co-defendants have pleaded guilty to violations of the Horse Protection Act.

Barney Davis pleaded guilty today to two felonies including conspiracy to obstruct justice and two misdemeanors, according to Assistant US Attorney Steven Neff. Davis faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He remains behind bars.

Christen Altman and Jeffery Bradford, who worked with Davis, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of conspiring to violate the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA). Bradford faces up to a year in prison and both may have to pay a $3,000 fine.

"We hope this prosecution and others like it will deter trainers and owners who are thinking about cheating and committing fraud in order to reap monetary profits and achieve notoriety," says Neff. 

In April, a federal grand jury returned a 34-count superseding indictment against Davis, Altman, Bradford, and Paul Blackburn charging them with violations of the federal Horse Protection Act and related financial crimes.

Court documents state Davis, who ran a horse training and boarding facility called Monopoly Farm, Altman, Bradford, and Blackburn, who pleaded guilty last month, conspired to violate the HPA by soring horses, falsifying entry forms, and documents.

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. A sored horse tries to escape the pain in his front end so it will snatch its legs up quickly, and gives tremendous lift in the front, known as "big lick." The altered gait is considered abuse by most horse enthusiasts. According to gaited horse experts, those that utilize soring can get the desired effect with training rather than abuse. 

The three will be sentenced in February. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - A Call To Action: Help Solidify the Additional Funding for the HPA

I found out this information today.  As we already know, the Senate did approve the additional funding for HPA enforcement for 2012.  However, the minibus bill is now being decided by a Joint Conference Committee.  Unfortunately, Hal Rogers, the elected official who is all for keeping the HPA as is, is the chairman of the committee.  They could see such a small amount of $499,000 in HPA enforcement as a bargaining tool in negotiations, and I imagine Rogers will probably want to get rid of it.  So, this means it is now or never for the funding.  EVERYONE needs to write their legislators AND the committee members requesting no cut in the funding approved by the Senate.

Here are the names, phone numbers, and emails of those who sit on the Joint Conference Committee.  Please write to or call ALL of them and let them know we need to see the HPA more appropriately enforced.  If the email link requires you to put in a zip code from that rep's state, then state zip codes can be googled online.  As it's best to write your own letters rather than use a pre-written piece, here are some pointers to use.  Point out that as elected officials, we require them to make sure laws are upheld, no matter how trivial they may seem.  The government has had nearly 40 years to uphold the law, but continued violations of the HPA are being recorded on a regular and alarming basis.  This is an easy law to uphold if the government will step up and do it.  Additional funding will help put those in violation in court and set and example to others to stop breaking the law.

Plus, since many of those who want to continue the system as is read this blog, be assured that they will also be writing to these people.  So feel free to spread the word and let's make sure that the law gets upheld and the TWH is saved!

Appropriations Full Committee Chairman Hal Rogers - 202-225-4601, email link
Rep. C.W. Bill Young, Chairman Emeritus - 202-225-5961, email link
Rep. Jerry Lewis, Chairman Emeritus - 202-225-5861, email link
Rep. Frank R. Wolf, CJS Subcommittee Chairman - 202-225-5136, email link
Rep. Jack Kingston, Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman - 202-225-5831, email link
Rep. Tom Latham, THUD Subcommittee Chairman - 202-225-5476, email link
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt - 202-225-4876, email link
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson - 202-225-4404, email link
Rep. John Culberson - 202-225-2571, email link
Rep. John R. Carter - 202-225-3864, email link
Rep. Jo Bonner - 202-225-4931, email link
Rep. Steven C. LaTourette - 202-225-5731, email link

Appropriations Ranking Member Norm Dicks - 202-225-5916, email link
Rep. Rosa DeLauro - 202-225-3661, email link
Rep. John Olver - 202-225-5335, email link
Rep. Ed Pastor - 202-225-4065, email link
Rep. David Price - 202-225-1784, email link
Rep. Sam Farr - 202-225-2861, email link
Rep. Chaka Fattah - 202-225-4001, email link
Rep. Adam Schiff - 202-225-4176, email link

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLES - New TWHBEA Board Member, Good Article from 2009, and USDA & Celebration Meeting

I've received three big stories in the past few days.  Here's a post combining all three.

NEWS - Keith Dane Now a TWHBEA Board Member

This is FANTASTIC news!  Keith Dane, the Director of Equine Protection from the HSUS, has been elected as the Board Director for the State of Maryland!  Click here for the election results on TWHBEA's website.  In the TWHBEA letter to its members, it seems that only 21% of the membership voted.  Well, it seems that the part of the membership that voted for Dane was the right part!  I believe that this is going to help save the horse tremendously.  And THANK YOU to all of you who voted for Dane!  I believe that you are are going to help finally start making a REAL difference for the horse!

ARTICLE - "Spotlight on abusive horse training" from Examiner.com

This article, posted at this link, was published on October 2, 2009.  While it was written some time ago, there is an interesting point made concerning a video of the 2009 WGC winner, Watch It Now.

Video - Tortured Tennessee Walking Horse Watch It Now wins obscene amounts of prize money for his cruel trainer and greedy owners.

According to the HSUS "The 2009 World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse is trained by past Horse Protection Act violator Jimmy McConnell, and owned by William B. Johnson, who only recently settled a previous HPA case involving trainer Billy Gray."

Let's also point out that McConnell was one of the complainers when his horse was found sore at this year's Celebration, and the Johnson's are currently on suspension for one year for the abuse they've caused horses at Waterfall Farms.  Be sure to boycott your local Waffle House and Ritz-Carlton hotel--since the owner is now a known animal abuser, we need to be sure the public knows about it as well and put our money where our mouths are!

So, the word is out there.  Let's be sure to keep it going!

NEWS and ARTICLE - USDA and SHOW/Celebration Meeting

From the Walking Horse Report:

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Celebration® Board of Directors met Thursday, October 20,2011 with Dr. Chester Gipson, Deputy Administrator for USDA APHIS at the Celebration grounds in Shelbyville.  The meeting was a result of a commitment  from Dr. Gipson to meet with not only the industry HIOs but also Executive Committees and Board of Directors who represent stakeholders in the Walking Horse Industry.

Dr. Gipson said “The driving force behind these scheduled meetings is to discuss both challenges and opportunites that lie ahead for the industry.  The USDA and subsequently the Walking Horse Industry cannot be successful without the entire support of both organizations working for common goals.”  Dr. Doyle Meadows, CEO of The Celebration® said “We appreciate Dr. Gipson and his position with USDA and look forward to working with him as we begin our move toward the 2012 show season.”

This worries me somewhat.  From what I understand, no one was told about this until now, and I HATE these behind the scenes meetings.  What I would normally do is encourage everyone to write to Dr. Gipson and tell him to not change his stance on ending soring and to PLEASE enforce the law.  However, we didn't get that opportunity.  Hopefully we will hear soon what the results of the meeting were.  Let's pray Gipson is not falling into the hands of their greed or being threatened by them and is going to force them to TRULY end soring!

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