"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, June 21, 2013

ARTICLES - Roy Exum's Latest Opinion Piece Pokes Holes in PSHA's Claims

This is brilliant.  I also added some thoughts in green text to what Roy said.  Click here for the original article by Roy.  Thanks again, Roy, for being on the up and up in helping expose this industry for what it truly is!

It's also VERY important to read this study done by RT International concerning the economic analysis of the TWH and Racking Horse industry.  I have copied and pasted a quote that relates to PSHA's claims after Roy's article.  (thanks to Sandy C. for the information!)


Roy Exum: The ‘Lickers’ Are Desperate
Friday, June 21, 2013 - by Roy Exum

Roy Exum The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA), desperately trying to cling to the now-seedy image that has resulted in a half-century of abuse to Tennessee Walking Horses, accused U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) of “misleading and inaccurate testimony” on Thursday when, in fact, the Shelbyville-based organization is today considered a haven of false propaganda.

PSHA is the latest acronym of a club that those responsible for the Walking Horse Celebration has just launched to hide the tarnished reputations of other groups that revere the “Big Lick,” an unnatural gait that many believe can only be achieved by torturing and soring the magnificent animals. Whitfield had sponsored an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have instead helped cripple those who apply caustic chemicals and agents to the horse’s forelegs so they’ll pick their painful legs up higher.

The Farm Bill was defeated for the second straight year in Congress yesterday, 234-to-195, and while it is unknown what Congress will do next, there is no doubt the horse welfare advocates will swat away any attempts by the PSHA to sell itself as a legitimate entity after years on consistent and rampant horse abuse in what is laughingly now called the “performance” animal.

In a poorly-advised press release, [click here to read it] PSHA charged that “Whitfield failed to tell his former members of Congress that:

CLAIM: “The amendment eliminates a total division of the equine breed, impacting more than 10,000 horses that would be deemed no longer fit for their intended purpose.”

FACT: Horse shows wouldn’t skip a beat. “Dirty Lickers” might lose their jobs but if a massive effort to remove the cheaters from the game is successful, it only stands to reason that more people would show because the playing field is level. Believe this, the cheaters are well-known.  Plus, there are only 8,500 horses registered in the TWHBEA database, and it's estimated that only 10% of them are BL horses.  As far as I can tell, 10% of 8500 isn't 10,000.

CLAIM: “Take from hard-working taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and income without cause or any scientific evidence”

FACT: In just the last year, five men have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from horse abuse and two trainers – convicted Jackie McConnell and just-caught Larry Wheelon – still face state charges. If Wheelon is found guilty on all 19 horses that were “scientifically” found to be abused, he could technically die in jail. We have more “cause” than the war in Iraq!

CLAIM: “Eliminate … self-regulation … which is far superior to federal government.”

FACT: Over half of the top horse show judges in the group SHOW have past violations of the Horse Protection Act and a recent check of the Trainer’s Association showed its members were rife with violations. (Wheelon headed its ethic committee) Trainers president Mickey McCormick has over a dozen suspensions – all by the US Dept. of Agriculture. “Self-regulation” in Shelbyville would outlaw mirrors.  It's also quite common for amounts violations to go up when USDA VMOs arrive, indicating that people are not being ticketed when they should be.  And wouldn't adding more VMOs actually create jobs, something that this country desperately needs?

CLAIM: “Eliminate … self regulation (in order to make the federal agency bigger).”

FACT: If mankind is ever going to do away with the “Dirty Lickers,” honest USDA veterinarians and inspectors are the only answer. How many USDA inspectors to you see at a dog show or county fair? The sleazy side of the Walking Horse industry has smeared the reputation of 95 percent of owners who are clean, sound and honest. Horse abuse for cheap ribbons must stop. America has clearly had enough.  This also sounds like they're stomping their feet and saying the government are big meanie poo-poo heads and are out to take all our money!

CLAIM: “Creates a Federal bureaucracy at a huge cost to taxpayers ….”

FACT: You want to see a bureaucracy? Go to Shelbyville, TN and just follow the money. The Breeder’s Association just fired its president, allegedly so his boss could win a ribbon. The same Breeder’s Association is floundering in a stinking sea of public perception and there is, in fact, “so much smoke that anyone can tell the Dirty Lick is ablaze in troubles.” The National Celebration has turned into a fiasco with heavy financial losses.  I'd also like to see their basis for this assumption.  Do you have estimates of these supposed costs?  Sounds like the kind of crap that Humane Watch spews--exorbitant amounts with no basis in fact.

Yet the press release from PSHA claims the Whitfield Amendment, if it stays on the next effort to get the Farm Bill through Congress, will ruin the walking horse industry. If ever there was a press release written by Pinocchio, Thursday’s missive from the so-called PSHA was surely it.



"In 2012, the USDA commissioned a study to determine what economic impact changing certain regulations/penalties, might cause for the walking horse industry. The study was done by an independent firm, outside of the government.

"The study shows:

"1) There were fewer than 650 total horse shows in the states most involved with walking and racking horses in 2012. This represents an 18% decline in recent years of affiliated horse shows. Horse show attendance is also down, with many classes having less than five entries per class. Revenues from horse shows are estimated to have decreased by 40% overall.

"2). Although supporters of the Big Lick horse stress the economic importance of the breeds to local economies, in the areas of highest concentration of these horses, the study rated the impact from neutral to very high, with the high end related to the charities that benefit from horse shows which are more affected by the losses of the show industry than the community at large.

"3). Where are the horses coming from? According to the study, in the Ohio Valley, (IN, KY, OH, and TN) there are an estimated 120,000 walking and racking horses. Only 6% or about 7,200 horses are actively being shown. In the Southeast Region (AL, FL, GA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TX, VA) there are an estimated 65,000 walking and racking horses and only 6% or about 3,000 horses actively participate in shows. In the West Region ( CA, CO, MT, NV, OR, WA) there are an estimated 15,500 walking and racking horses and 2% or about 310 horses actively participate in shows. In short, where these shows are most common, fewer than 15% of the horses in these areas are involved in show ring activity."


Mary Morrison said...

" If Wheelon is found guilty on all 19 horses that were “scientifically” found to be abused, he could technically die in jail. We have more “cause” than the war in Iraq!"

Seriously?? Wheelon was found innocent.

"Even the Clydesdales know that Shelbyville is the epicenter of the worst horse abuse in the world; at last year’s show 190 horses were chosen at random by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors and 145 of them tested positive for caustic substances that had been used to “sore” the forelegs of the animals"

Here is the email I sent to Roy Exum concerning his story.

"How about you do a bit more research before writing stories? Try getting both sides of the story without passing judgement, perhaps? My horse was actually one of the horses tested at the TWHNC. Do you have any idea what they sent me a "warning letter" concerning? Fly spray. It was an ingredient found in fly spray. Try taking that to court and see what type of charges you receive. Thus, I was one of those 145 out of 190 horses that tested positive for a foreign substance, and it was all because of fly spray.

P.S. I still use and will continue to use fly spray regardless of the "warning letter" I received. I would really like to see the case they would present in court against fly spray usage. It would be quite interesting to say the very least."

Of course, Exum never responded.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Mary Morrison,

As far as I understand, the USDA only tickets for those substances that are found in excess of normal use. It seems strange that you would have an exorbitant amount of fly spray on your horse's pasterns. I don't see flies congregating around horses pasterns all the time.

Second, NO, Wheelon was not found innocent. The case was DISMISSED. This does not prove innocence or guilt. I think it would behoove you to learn how the court system in America works.

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