"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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

THOUGHTS - "For a Bit of Ribbon"


So I know what's going on.  The industry is busy acting like our current presidential candidates and merrily trotting along with a smear campaign against the HSUS.  They're putting out videos that are so thick with lies you could cut it with a knife.  As someone said on our Facebook group, We're going to get cancer from all the smoke they're blowing in our faces.  I'm not going to post any of this because it's just the same crap over and over again: all our horses are sound, the HSUS has an agenda, the government is trying to shut us down, blah blah blah.  It's listening to a broken record.

At least Roy Exum has it right: A Dismal Horse Celebration is probably the best title I've heard for this year's Black Week yet.  In light of Hurricane Isaac, Roy says, "My goodness, a “wash out” would be a Godsend for the beleaguered annual event."

But I was reading a book tonight while in the bath, and some things written in it got to me.  I thought I could share them with all of you.

The book is called Lad: A Dog, by Albert Payson Terhune.  Terhune was the owner of Sunnybank, a collie kennel in New Jersey.  He wrote a plethora of children's books about his collies, namely Lad, who stars in many adventures in many of Terhune's books.

Each chapter of this book tells a sort story of an event in Lad's life.  The fifth chapter is called "For a Bit of Ribbon."  From the description on Wikipedia, "The Master and Mistress enter Lad in the Westminster Dog Show in New York, much to Lad's abject misery as he dislikes the preparatory bathing and brushing. Dismayed to learn that Lad will have to stay chained to a small bench for all four days of the event, his owners begin to regret bringing him."

Now this book was written in 1919, when dog shows and horse shows were HUGE.  Madison Square Garden in New York was quite the place for holding dog and horse shows.  In this chapter, that's where the dog show takes place, and it's a Westminster show.

First is this description of what happens to prepare dogs for shows.  And folks, I bet we can find out that a lot of this still goes on.

Dog show abuse was prevalent back then, and, as I've learned from experienced dog show people, it's still there today.  It's all about altering the dog to create what's popular or in fashion, or what the judge wants to see.  (If you want to learn more, watch this hour long video: Pedigree Dogs Exposed.  It's hard to watch, but it's the truth of what's going on in the dog breeding industry.  And you can bet these same problems are within the ASPCA as well.)

But doesn't this all sound familiar?  The "work" done before the show, much to the animal's dismay, whether it hurts him or not, all in the name of winning a bit of ribbon.

But then something changes in this story.  A judge named McGilead has been hired to judge the collies, and he places Lad first in the Novice class, over much more refined and "visually appealing" dogs.  He recognizes the good qualities of the original collie breeding, creating a solid working dog that was full of life and loyalty.  Even though Lad was miserable and did not put on a good "show" in the ring, the judge recognized the dog for the quality he truly was.

Lad is then entered into the Finalist class, where he is up against all of the dogs from all the collie classes that day.  Here's what happens.

The judge did it.  He did what we need to see more judges doing, especially in our current TWH industry: PUNISH THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO CHEAT.  Wouldn't it be a miracle if someday, one influential judge within the TWH industry would say enough's enough, and would tie a horse based on the quality of gait rather than which one's doing the most, or worse, which one paid to win the blue?  Is it wrong to wish for this?

Then there's what Lad's Master and Mistress do that's even more amazing.  

"The Association can have a pretty silver cup...to console it for losing Lad.  As for exhibiting him again--well, I wouldn't lose these two ribbons for a hundred dollars, but I wouldn't put my worst enemy's dog to the torture of winning them over again--for a thousand."

Maybe it's time for the owners to see the same thing within the TWH industry.  Maybe it's time to stop putting their horses through the agony of soring and stacks, stop allowing fat middle-aged men to ride horses at 18 months to 2 years, time to stop torturing the animals for the sake of a blue ribbon.  Is it really worth the nightmare all of you are going through right now at the Celebration?  Is it really, truly worth it anymore?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ARTICLE and VIDEO - Barney Davis Tells the Truth

I'll let this video speak for itself.  If you think this isn't the truth, you truly have your head in the sand.

***EDITED - I've changed the below link to the latest and longer version of the video.***

God bless the horses being abused going on at Black Week right now, as we speak.

Companion article:

and more...

Most of the same stuff as in the original HSUS video just with the sound in place.

While tail nicking is not illegal in the TWH world, when done at home there is a major risk to the health of the horse, and it is frowned upon by the AVMA and AAEP.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

NEWS - How Black Week Is (Or Isn't) Shaping Up


Well, as I suspected, we're seeing LOTS of violations, which means LOTS of classes that have low entries.  The average as of the end of Saturday, 8/25/12, is 10.8 horses per class.  It's pretty easy to find all this information--the Walking Horse Chat and the Walking Horse Report are reporting daily the results and information that clearly shows the horse is getting some major help this year.

Here are reports from a board member from the Celebration, David Howard, as posted on the Walking Horse Chat.  My comments are in green.


Posted on:  8/24/2012 10:29:53 AM
SHOW inspected 192 entries last night and wrote ten tickets but three of those were on one horse.

Bilateral - 2
 Unilateral - 1
 Scar rule - 2 (1 preshow - 1 post show)
 Foreign substance - 2
 Illegal shoeing - 1
 Bad image - 2
USDA inspected 77 horses, 56 preshow and 21 post show.
Preshow violations - 15
 Post show violations - 3
 Total violations - 18 (some originally written by SHOW)
VMO Baker checked 35 horses and wrote 9 tickets
 VMO Dessault checked 41 horses and wrote 10 tickets
 VMO Southerland checked 1 horse and wrote no violations.
Bear in mind some of these tickets were originally cited by SHOW.
These numbers are compiled right after the show and may not be exact. They will be adjusted after being reviewed by SHOW.  That's a given! But look at it this way: is SHOW suspending those horses and those trainers, owners and exhibitors from participating in the remainder of the show?  If they are so transparent, and agree with the trainers initiative as to suspending for foreign substance, shouldn't the same hold true for bilaterals, unilaterals, scars, etc.?   Why aren't those names and the horses names being released to the media?

My favorite part of that statement, though, is that the implication that the USDA's results are wrong.  They've already posted information that the first day of swabbing was "clean" (which, of course, was only flat shod classes and model classes--no need for chemical soring there).  Basically, what they're doing is swabbing the horses themselves, and sending them to a community college for vet techs--who, for the record, are not officially trained on how to use a GC/MS machine in their veterinarian training--in plastic baggies with no chain of custody and no experience in how to do swabs.

Let's see:

A professional laboratory who has decades of work with GC/MS, approved by the government, and using OSHA-approved methods to collect samples without contamination.


A bunch of HPA violators that are members of a group formed this year of people who have never had experience taking samples and sending them without using OSHA-approved methods to a community college to have people who are not trained in GC/MS practices.

Which one would you listen to?

Posted on:  8/25/2012 9:19:50 AM
SHOW inspected 175 horses Friday evening and wrote 9 violations:
Bilateral - 2
 Unilateral - 1
 Scar rule - 4
 Foreign substance - 1 
Low chain - 1
USDA inspected 80 horses and wrote 20 violations, 9 generated by SHOW and included 1 pulled out of a barn prior to the show.
Foreign substance - 1
 Unilateral - 5
 Rotation - 1
 Scar rule - 12
 Bilateral - 2
 Low chain - 1
USDA numbers are unofficial.  This is most likely because they hadn't been compiled and given to him yet by the time he made this post, not that they're trying to "hide" anything.

 Posted on:  8/25/2012 9:23:43 AM
Barney Davis, who is on a lifetime suspension from SHOW, was in Champions Arena observing inspection and talking on a phone apparently to a lady with USDA who was with Dr. Rachel Cezar. Officials are checking to see the terms of Davis' suspension and whether or not he is allowed on the grounds.
The Celebration will look guilty as sin if they try to ban Barney Davis from the grounds now. Quite frankly, people who are suspended can absolutely partcipate as a spectator on the show grounds.  BUT REMEMBER: part of Davis' deal was to work with the USDA to help identify violators.  Gosh, those DARN loopholes designed to let the trainers and violators still go to shows!

But, the Celebration made themselves look stupid in the end: they banned Davis from the show grounds because of his past violations.  So my question is why didn't Inman ban himself?  He has two violations, after all!
Posted on:  8/25/2012 9:26:22 AM
USDA was so busy checking pre-show, they did not inspect 2nd and 3rd place horses. USDA checked 80 of 175 horses pre-show or 46%.
Posted on:  8/25/2012 9:49:26 AM
From day one the USDA has objected to the media access area in the inspection station. This area was selected by Purple Strategies, the TWSHO Public Relations firm. The Celebration has refused to move the site since they are trying to give the media an up close look at inspections by SHOW and the USDA.
Most reporters are escorted into the area and only stay for a short period of time. There are a lot of misconceptions about inspections and Purple Strategies wanted to expose reporters to an actual inspection.  Of course they did.  THEY ARE PAID TO MAKE THE INDUSTRY LOOK GOOD.  DUH!  And there ARE a lot of misconceptions about inspections, and all of them have been created by industry leaders to con the public and media and to keep owners, exhibitors and some trainers confused.  It's all a ploy to support their mean old government claim.  Just like DH saying the USDA issues tickets - the USDA do not issue tickets, they take information for potential prosecution.
And now USDA is putting a horse in timeout in every class and the horse in time out is always placed strategically in front of the camera that is filming the USDA inspections.   OH I LOVE THIS.  That is SO smart!  There is no reason why there should be media filming this stuff.  They don't need to be.  SHOW is filming it, the USDA are filming it, and the owner of the horse is allowed to film it.  It's just a marketing ploy by PS, and the USDA isn't falling for it.
SHOW has not objected to the camera or media access area and SHOW President Dr. Steve Mullins is made available to the press to answer their questions every day. SHOW is also releasing to the media the inspection statistics and the Trainers' Association and TWSHO are releasing the swabbing results.  SHOW isn't objecting to the cameras because the dumb ass press are lapping up the PS spin and are probably hand picked by the industry.
The industry has nothing to hide.
The industry has nothing to hide?  They are hiding it in plain view.  If they TRULY have nothing to hide, they would release the names of the owners, trainers, exhibitors and horses that SHOW and the USDA have found in violation to the press.  They have stated over and over again they want the cheating trainers out--then publicly expose those trainers!  Make them out to be the bad guys they truly are!   They can't use the due process or appeals excuse if they are releasing the swab results, so now they have no excuse. Otherwise, it will be just like last year, where the overwhelming majority of exhibitors, trainers and owners, after having been found in violation early on in the Celebration, so SHOW and the Celebration allowed them to continue to show.   SHOW and TWSHO are not releasing the names because of the new mandated penalities, which say that any horse found sored and its trainer, owner, etc. are to be disqualified from the rest of the show. 
What's even more interesting is that these statistics Howard is putting out are on mostly flat shod and halter classes.  This proves beyond a shadow of doubt the majority of violations occur during the padded classes.  I would love to see what classes those foreign substance results were in!


The Sale of Champions also went on today, and here are the results from the Walking Horse Report: "This is the “Unofficial” report of the sales results from The Sale of Champions. THIS IS RING ACTIVITY ONLY."

Saturday 8/25/2012 Celebration Sale

1. $375 sold
2. $1100 No Sale
3. SUB Spotted Gelding, 12 yr old Double Registered $600 sold
4. $250 sold
5. $800 no sale
6. $600 sold
7. $1100 sold
8. $250, no sale, wants $600
9. SUB, 7yr old spotted unregistered $500
10.$500 no sale , wants $1000
11. SUB $400, no sale, wants $700
12 $575 sold
13. $1200 no sale, wants $2200
14. $1225 sold
16. $325
17 $1125 no sale, wants $1800
18 $1400 no sale, wants $3500
19.$1175 sold
20 $3500, sold with signed contract, waiting on consigner call
21. $2650 sold
22. $650 sold
23. $2500, no sale wants $7500
24. $525 sold
25. $275 sold
27. $1900 sold
28. $700 sold
30. $200 sold
31. $1050 sold
32. $525 ..(not sure if this one sold)
34. $7600 no sold, wants $10,000 ( this was a working deal at the end of the day…do not have official word that she sold but understand one was in the works…awesome mare.)
35. $1050 sold
37. $4300 sold
38 TWHBEA Reg 21001058 Blk Pleasure Mare $550 no sale
39. $1300 sold
40. $975 sold
41. $200 sold
44 SUB Spotted mare 10 yr old $475 no sale wants $650
46. $1750 sold
49. $1650 sold
50. SUB double registered spotted mare $950 sold
51. $1700 sold
52. $6000, no sale, needs $12,500..( awesome amateur/ youth performance horse…won Wilson County Fair and Carthage)
53. $900 sold
57. $1350, no sale wants $4500 ( deal also working on this one at the end of the day, another super show horse with show record)
58. $525 sold
59. $325 sold
60. Jazzman pleasure horse, The Jazz Bandit, $2000 , (signed contract waiting on consigner call.)
62. $2000 sold
63. $575 sold
66. $1425 sold
70. $250 sold
72. 4450 sold
75. $325 no sale
76. $250
77. $2600 needs $4000 (great park performance horse)
79. $325 sold
81. $1250 no sale needs $2500
82. $150 sold
83. $1400 sold
84. $250 sold
85. $450 sold
87. $550 sold
88. $1050 no sale
90. $1150 sold
93. $250 sold
94. $300
96. $750 sold
99. Safe in foal to The Coach $1350 no sale
101. $350 sold"

So technically, the most expensive horse that sold was $3500.  There's a HUGE gap between the mare that has possibly been sold for $10K.  But mark my words: if she DID sell for $10K, the industry is going to be all over it, but fail to mention that the next highest sale was $3500!  And check out number 99: safe in foal to the 2010 WGC, AND NO ONE WANTS HER.  Now that should make all of us laugh!

So, as usual, the farce continues.  SHOW and their evil minions are trying to keep the sore horses in the ring; the USDA is trying to get them out.  Will this freak show ever end?

Monday, August 20, 2012

NEWS and ARTICLES - Black Week and the State of the Industry


Sadly, we're looking down the barrel of this year's Black Week.  It starts on Wednesday and continues through Saturday night of Labor Day weekend.  I call it Black Week because I see this more as a funeral procession and death march for the horses rather than a "celebration."  Perhaps Sorebration is more appropriate...?

I've posted the HSUS video again to remind all of us what these horses go through in order to be shown this week.  

Now the HSUS has done something remarkable this week: they have posted a billboard across the street from the Celebration on how to report soring.  So if anyone is at Black Week and witnesses soring or what they suspect might be soring, all they have to do is grab their cell phone and contact 855-NO-SORING or email equineprotection@humanesociety.org.  The HSUS will protect the identity of all callers.

The industry continues to make fools of itself, which does help our cause.

August 19, 2012: Walking Horse Trainers Association blacklist local diner.  Ah, extortion at it's best.  It's like we're dealing with the Redneck Mafia.

"The answer is a partnership with the USDA," Jeffrey Howard said.  So why not accept the mandated penalties?  I don't understand what you want for a partnership.  OH WAIT..."partnership" actually means "leave us the hell alone so we can continue to sore our horses."  Silly me!  And what cracks me up is that he says that swabbing and the measures TWHSO are taking (which is NOT an HIO and therefore their suspensions have ZERO clout) are more reliable than just inspections.  But wait--the USDA has been performing these exact same measures for the past few years.  How come YOUR measures are more reliable than theirs?  How come your swabs are more reliable than the USDA's?  I will say that at least they are finding chemicals on the horses...at least we're able to prove that is still happening.  I'm surprised they're not faking that as well, though.  Then the cries of unconstitutional and wanting due process...DUDE, if you really had due process, you'd find that most of the violations are REAL, and that most of these people would be out of business.  And I could swear that in the Constitution, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness does not include the right to abuse animals for the sake of fun and profit.

August 18, 2012: Roy Exum: Is Scott DesJarlais Crazy?  Roy talks about DesJarlais from Jasper, TN, who is currently up for reelection on November 6 for Congressional District.  This guy is going to be part of a fundraiser to help fuel the TWH industry.  After all the bad publicity the TWH industry is getting and the above video, you would think that DesJarlais would have the sense to stand up against soring and want to help clean up the mess...but no.  What cracks me up the most, though, is that it seems DeJarlais can be bought for a mere $2000.

August 13, 2012:  HSUS, Don't Waste Your Breath.  The Fugly Horse of the Day Blog is really picking up on the TWH industry and their continued need to shoot themselves in the foot.  Check out this post

August 9, 2012:  Factual reporting doesn't mean lack of "support".  Gotta agree with the newspaper on this one.  No newspaper is going to destroy the TWH industry.  They're doing a fine job of destroying themselves.  And ironically, I know that the quote about the newspaper supporting them came from a Facebook group that continues to encourage bashing and allowing people to treat anyone who does not agree with the BL badly.

Overall, I hope that everyone keeps the horses in their prayers and thoughts this week.  May their suffering be minimized, and may we see lots of tickets given out and classes canceled.  May the horse win a true battle this year: to no longer have to be subjected to man's cruelty for the sake of amusement.

Friday, August 10, 2012

NEWS and ARTICLES - SHOW Has Been Decertified and More

Well, more and more happenings are going on, and they are positive for the horse!

Starting with...


SHOW posted this message to the Walking Horse Report.


USDA Takes Next Step to Decertify SHOW Horse Industry Organization
Tuesday, August 07, 2012

(Shelbyville, TN) – Yesterday SHOW Horse Industry Organization (HIO) received a notice of decertification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

They did so because SHOW HIO is not enforcing the new rule promulgated by the USDA last month.  SHOW HIO is challenging the rule because it does not enforce the rule consistently across the industry, in other words, soring trainers who get in trouble with one HIO, can just go to another to show. This is the wrong message for the industry but more importantly, the wrong thing for the horse.

SHOW HIO has the strictest inspection process in the business, our penalties are the strongest in the business, and we have a track record comparable to none in terms of punishing abusers. This rule is punishing the very people most aggressive about reforming the industry. And once SHOW HIO is gone, unregulated shows will rule the day and soring trainers will be able to stay in business.

This action by USDA was not unexpected and SHOW HIO was prepared for this. We will take appropriate action to keep stakeholders informed.

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will not be affected and SHOW inspectors will be inspecting horses at the event.

Now, since the Celebration is going to be using a decertified HIO at their show, they are at SERIOUS risk of being held responsible for any sored horses found at their show.  To wit, the SSHBEA and the KWHA have agreed to the mandated penalties.  That left SHOW, HOA (aka HAWHA) and PRIDE as not having accepted the penalties.  I don't know if HOA or PRIDE have been decertified...I'll post it when I find out.

I thought this very clear article by The Tennessean really sums up a lot of what's going on in this industry.  Honest horse groups would cooperate.  I wholeheartedly agree with their view.

Concerning the McConnell Case...

Judge Orders Defendant To Write Newspaper Article About Horse Soring; Mays Released After Serving 4 Months.  Steve Neff continues to work hard to help us win these cases.  He's doing his best to get the max sentences possible.

Defendant in horse soring case gets probation.  Now we can see his face and know not to hire him to work for our barns.

NWHA continues to steal the spotlight--they will now be partnering with Best of America by Horseback!  Jason Crawhorn, the NWHA president, included the below article in their July 2012 issue.  This is really important because Best of America used to partner with TWHBEA.  They have since taken away their partnership due to the issues with soring.

The National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) is excited to partner with Tom Seay and Best of America by Horseback to promote the natural Walking Horse.  Since its inception in 1998, NWHA has worked diligently to increase public awareness of the NATURAL abilities of the flat shod Walking Horse in such areas as trail riding programs, rail horse competitions, Dressage, Reining and timed events.

Headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, the National Walking Horse Association is the foremost sound walking horse organization in the United States today. For over 14 years, NWHA has been promoting the general welfare of and serving as an advocate for the Walking Horse against abusive and inhumane treatment. As a USDA-certified HIO, NWHA has adopted and enforced the highest level of penalties for Horse Protection Act violators, adopted “no tolerance” for soring practices, and has a mandatory requirement that all DQP’s and Board of Directors members have no violations of the HPA. Soon after it’s founding, NWHA prohibited pads, chains, and other action devices from all of the Association’s competitions.

Some of our most notable achievements are that NWHA was the Walking Horse Breed Representative for 2010 World Equestrian Games, NWHA is the Walking Horse Breed Affiliate Organization for USEF, NWHA is a certified HIO approved by the Kentucky Racing Commission to inspect horses that receive Kentucky Breeders Incentive funds; and, NWHA's National Championship show is the largest flat shod Walking Horse show in the nation and the second largest Walking Horse show overall.

NWHA highlights our trail horses and their dedicated riders through our Trail Rider Incentive Program (T.R.I.P) and our Competitive Horse Incentive Program (C.H.I.P). The T.R.I.P. is open to all NWHA members riding any gaited horse or any gaited horse owned by a NWHA member. Awards for T.R.I.P are based on time spent in the saddle. Trail hours are counted in 15-minute increments with a minimum of 30 minutes per ride. Any NWHA-affiliated ride or ACTHA Competitive Trail Challenge counts for double hours. The annual high hour rider is presented with the Iron Buns Award, a customized silver belt buckle designed for the T.R.I.P. program.  Also, the high hour horse and high hour youth rider receive an annual award. These awards are presented at our NWHA Annual Membership Meeting. The C.H.I.P is designated for NWHA members that compete in any kind of competitive trail event such as competitive trail rides or endurance rides. Riders accrue mileage at sanctioned Competitive Trail and Endurance rides. Awards for C.H.I.P. are based on miles and awarded at designated hourly levels. These year-end awards are also presented at our Annual Membership Meeting. Visit www.nwha.com for more information on these and other programs that we offer.

Jason Crawhorn ~ NWHA President


The HSUS is still working hard to help the horse.  Here, they call for five reforms to the industry to truly clean up their act.  Of course, I'm sure the industry won't listen, nor does it care, but at least the HSUS is keeping soring in the spotlight to help us end

Here's a nice little bit.  The Celebration has banned Marty Irby, the TWHBEA president from the Celebration grounds for one year because Irby bought two website domain names and tried to sell them to the Celebration at a profit.  It's pretty much all explained in the letter below that the Celebration wrote to him.
In response, TWHBEA is now threatening to sue the Celebration!


TWHBEA Threatens to Sue Celebration

Thursday, August 09, 2012

According to an email to Celebration attorney Stephen Zralec, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association will be suing the Celebration in relation to the recent domain name issue. The National Arbitration Board had ruled against TWHBEA earlier this month and forced TWHBEA to return two domain names to the Celebration, the rightful owner.

TWHBEA attorney Walter Bussart notified Zralec in an email dated Monday, August 6 as follows: "Stephen, I received your letter. You and your client have (1) breached the contract, and (2) committed civil fraud. You will be served soon."


I find this HILARIOUS.  They are just tearing themselves apart, and we can just sit back and watch the action unfold!

And more from Roy Exum, our friend to the horse!

July 28, 2012 - Roy Exum: Horse Abuse? Just Dial 911

July 30, 2012 - Roy Exum: New Horse CEO Is Who?

August 6, 2012 - Roy Exum: Horse Show Is Stumbling

Finally, I want to talk about the current PR campaign that the industry is on to clean up their image.  They hired a company called Purple Strategies to run this for them.  Gosh, it seems to be a lot of money is being spent to clean up the image when they could easily do it themselves for free: STOP SORING HORSES AND SUPPORTING HPA VIOLATORS.  You'll get good publicity, people will like you again, AND people will start coming to your shows again!  AMAZING!

Anyway, here's an excerpt from an article from The Tennesseean online, published August 5, 2012.

Stephen B. Smith Jr., who is a managing director for Purple Strategies, the [Washington] DC public relations firm, comes from a long generation of horse riders and breeders in Tennessee.   His father, of the same name, was once president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association. His grandfather, Reese, was a noted horse breeder and holds a dozen World Championships. He said his connections to the industry will not result in favorable treatment.

Good God, really?  Do you think we're THAT dumb to believe that?  This entire industry is made up of GOBs, and they know that if they don't hire companies that already have a foot in the industry then they will never get anyone to help them. Anyone outside of the industry is going to see the truth behind this garbage and not want to take it on.

So this new PR campaign includes selling a sign for $40 to local businesses to hang in their store windows.  Here's the sign:

And of course it has a BL horse on it...nothing like only sponsoring 10% of the entire TWH community.
First, the obvious.  Um, so you're making people pay for a sign to say they support the industry?  You know, most people who want to ask for support for something--such as a show venue, a 10K run, a local football team--will GIVE the company the sign to post in their window.  They don't make them pay for it.  If they want good publicity, they should give the signs away.  To me, that's like me taking a sign for a horse for sale to a local tack store and telling them to pay me so I can post my ad.  Yeah, so they're paying the industry to advertise for them.  Did anyone who has bought the sign think this through?  And quite frankly, where the heck is the money going to?  Did anyone bother to ask?

Second, the sign of course says they support the TWH INDUSTRY, NOT the horse.  So that's pretty telling.

So there of course have been reactions to this.  I read on both a Facebook group and on a forum where a poster was saying that they need to punish those who don't buy a sign.  They need to stop going to their business and tell them they won't do it until they buy a sign, and then once the business starts having trouble they will buy a sign and then people can come back.

So basically, you're going to be a bully and force someone to do something that they don't want to do.  Huh.  Isn't that what you're complaining that the government is doing to you?  So you're just going to turn around and do it to someone else?  Is that fair or "constitutional"?  Quite frankly, forcing people to pay for something and threatening them when they don't is called EXTORTION and it's illegal.  It also reminds me of Nazi Germany in a way. I know, that's a big stretch, but forcing people to do something against their will (wear a yellow star, have a certain sign in your window) is archaic and pompous.  And it's just downright mean.

Here's an article that shows just how mean and ridiculous this industry has gotten.  Publicity battle erupts over walking horses in Shelbyville.  Sadly, it seems this is how people react when faced with being caught with their skeletons being dragged out of the closet.

More to come as we get closer and closer to Black Week...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

NEWS and GUEST BLOGGER - NWHA at the Tennessee State Fair

On September 8, for the first time in quite a long time, the Tennessee State Fair is going to have a horse show with their state-named horse in the spotlight...AND NOT A BIG LICK HORSE WILL BE IN SIGHT!  (Click here for the Fair's Equestrian Events page.)

That's because the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) will be having a one-day show at the fair to showcase the sound Tennessee Walking Horse to the public.  This is incredibly exciting, for in the state where the BL continues to try to push it's way into every venue and force the public to like it, we'll see a major event welcome and encourage the sound horse by accepting NWHA's show.  Click here for the article from examiner.com concerning the Fair.  (Please note: the article should say that all horses are welcome, not just NWHA horses.)

From what I understand, there has been an attempt to add a BL show to the Fair after hearing that NWHA will be there.  However, the Fair's management has specifically said that there must be an HIO present, which has thwarted the attempts to overthrow NWHA's show due to cost.

To go along with the September 8 show, here's one of our guest blogger's articles about the NWHA Ohio Classic Horse Show that occurred June 22 and June 23 of this year.  This show was a rousing success with about 100 horses present and 430 class entries.  It is the largest Walking Horse show in Ohio, and it's a sound horse show to boot!

I hope reading this article will encourage folks to check out the Fair next month.  This is a time where the sound TWH is going to start becoming the norm at horse shows, and even just coming and watching a few classes helps us win the battle against soring!


The NWHA Ohio Classic Horse Show

The NWHA Ohio Classic Horse Show Double point Region 2 Championship Show took place on June 22nd to June 23rd at Roberts Arena in Wilmington Ohio. The Ohio classic is the largest Walking Horse Show in Ohio. Multiple exhibitors arrived from surrounding states like Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas.  It is another fine example of a successful sound horse show under NWHA’s inspection program .  NWHA has proven over the last fourteen years sore horses will not be tolerated.

The show was managed by Laura Amann, Connie Holbrook, and Maria Redman. One hundred horses were present with approximately 430 entries.  The show was judged by the honorable Lonnie Kuehn.  For complete show results visit this link.

Friday we welcomed the USDA to assist with the inspection process.  Several VMOs had not had the opportunity to observe an NWHA show and were surprised to see such a great atmosphere.  They were very complimentary about NWHA’s inspection process and wished us to continue in our mission to protect the horse.  Big thanks to Jim and Jarod Wray, NWHA DQPs, for their hard work and professionalism when inspecting these horses.

Friday offered a variety of western classes with some of the best flat shod horses I have seen.  Top honors in the LS open 2gt Western Championship went to Command’s 409 with Melissa Davidson.  TP open 2gt Western Championship was Simply Shocking with Jason Crawhorn.  SSH open shod 2gt Western was Isles Sassy Pusher with Morgan Applewhite.  TP Open 3gt Championship was The Midnight Ride with Mikal Spooner.  PP Open 3gt Western Championship was Magicians Encore with Tom Christofaro.  Model Championship was Ted’s Bat Girl with Maria Redman.  TP 4yrs and under Jr Horse 2gt OT championship was The Midnight Ride with Mikal Spooner.  LS 4 yr. and Under 2gt OT Championship was Cocoa’s Derby Rose with Jason Crawhorn.  PP 4yrs and under 2gt OT Championship was Magicians Encore with Tom Chrisofaro. Friday night after the last class was a Pot Luck Exhibitor party where many exhibitors enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs.

Saturday had a variety of English classes with some of the finest English flatshod horses in the country.  Top trainers like Scot and Lynn Macgregor, Jim Potter, Jason Crawhorn, Mikal Spooner, Tom Christofaro, and Linda Richwine battled it out for top honors in many classes.  We cannot forget the amateurs like Melissa Davidson, Emma Krock, Maria Redman, Mag Raft, Charles Fulton, David Lamb, Vickie Ritter, Mag Raft, Racheal Baker and Pam Vann, to name a few.  It is amazing to see the improvements of these horses yearly with natural training methods.

The English Champions include TP 2 gait English Championship was Sleipner with Allison Thorson.  LS Open 2gt English Championship was A Wise Coin with Jim Potter.  Racking CP English Championship was I’m an Extra Ovation with Hannah.  PP Open 2gt English championship was Cash’s Prime Time with Scot Macgregor.  TP Amt 2gt English Championship was Simply Shocking with Melissa Davidson.  CP Amt 2gt OT Championship was I Got Sizzle Too with Pam Vann.  LS Amt 2gt English was Allen Gottaround with David Lamb.  TP Open 2gt English Championship was Extra Cash Bonus with Morgan Applewhit.  TWH 1” shoe 2gt Open English Championship was Banners Bell with Scot Macgregor.  PP Amt 2gt English championship was Extra Classic with Mag Ranft.  CP Amt 3gait OT English Championship was Pride’s Striding Generator.  LS Youth 2gt OT Championship was Dust Bunny with Allison Thorson.  SSH Open Shod 2gt Championship was Bd Jr.’s Fast Forward with Martivitulli.  TP Open 3gt English Championship was Looking Black with Charles Fulton.  LS Open 3gt English Championship was Allen All Around with Mikal Spooner.  PP Open 3gt English Championship was Extra Classic with Jim Potter.

Congratulations to all winners and I look forward to seeing everyone at the NWHA Championship show in October. Please continue to support sound horse industry organizations like NWHA, FOSH and IWHA in the fight to protect the Tennessee Walking Horse and other gaited horses.  Now is the time to help.  Become a member of a sound horse association, donate, or sponsor a class.  Here is a list of folks to contact in the fight for the sound horse movement.  Get your letters and your emails out.

~ Suzi Clark

Suzi Clark rode her first TWH at five years old.  The palomino mare was owned by her cousin, and this mare started a long love affair for the breed.  Suzi continued to ride through her teenage years until she purchased her first TWH at age eighteen.  Nine months after her purchase, she attended her first TWH show with friends Debra and Mark Matson.  During those years, Suzi witnessed many atrocities inflicted upon the defenseless TWH.  Nerve cords, open application of soring agents, stewarding, and using whips to force horses out of their stalls to the inspection area, as they were in so much pain they could hardly walk.  Suzi was outspoken against the abuse during a time when it was forbidden and suffered physical threats and banishment.  In 1997, she was informed of a new HIO called the National Walking Horse Association and is proud to say she is one of the fifty founding members of NWHA.  Suzi is still active and competing in the growing association and is currently apprenticing for her judge's license.

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