"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, 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...

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