"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, October 23, 2013

NEWS and ARTICLES - TWHBEA Continues to Stick Their Heads in the Sand, But the Sound Horse is Still Winning!

As we move forward in the Sound Horse March, we need to keep pushing TWHBEA to GO SOUND.

Currently, they have denied posting the results of the PAST Act poll that Pat Stout put together.  They won't put it on their website, nor the Facebook page.  Here's the exchange between Clant Seay, Pat's lawyer, and TWHBEA, via the Billy Go Boy website.

Before the exchange, I suggest to EVERYONE that you go onto TWHBEA's Facebook page and post the results yourself!  TWHBEA needs to understand that those of us who are members are tired of their denial and childishness.  Whether they like it or not, their reign over this breed has got to end.  Remember: 26% voted on the poll, while 35% voted on the BOD election.  The membership IS speaking out!  Our fight is through our voices, and our voices are for the horse!


October 17, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Executive Committee,

Yesterday morning I reached out to TWHBEA Executive Director Tracy Boyd and requested permission for my client Pat Stout to be allowed to publish Greg Cook’s letter certifying the results of the HR 1518/S.1406 Poll in which 26% of the TWHBEA membership expressed themselves regarding their view on the pending legislation along with her Statement regarding same.

I asked for a reply from Rob Cornelius who has temporarily taken over for former President Loyd Black by 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

When I did not receive one, I placed my requests in writing:
Oct. 16, 2013 – 2:15 pm

This will follow up our telephone conversation of this morning when I relayed my client Pat Stout’s requests that she be allowed to publish Greg Cook, CPA certified tabulation of the HR 1518/S, 1406 Poll results on the TWHBEA website and TWHBEA Facebook page, along with her Statement concerning same. You advised that you would consult with Sr. VP Rob Cornelius and I asked that you please let me know by 2:00 p.m cdst one way or the other regarding my client’s request. I please need an answer with regard to my client Pat Stout’s request.

Clant M. Seay,
Attorney for Pat Stout
When I appeared with my client Pat Stout before you on September 27, 2013, and she took the heat from you and that assembled “lynch mob”, she explained the Poll, and I explained the Poll, and she was asked by Mr.Black and Mr. Cornelius and practically each one of you what would happen to the results of the Poll, and she told each of you that TWHBEA would be provided the Results when she obtained them. She obtained the Results yesterday, and has she has fulfilled her pledge. You allowed her to post on the Facebook Page about the Polling Initiative following the September 27, 2013 EC meeting. I do not understand your hesitation now in acceding to her reasonable requests.

May I please remind you that there are many people paying attention to what you do – in the United States and around the world. Donna Benefield reminded you at the TWHBEA meeting of that scrutiny, and I want to again share with you Ms Benefield’s words:


I also want to share with you the letter Ms Benefield wrote to you:

Donna Benefield – TWHBEA MemberSeptember 24, 2013
TWHBEA – Attn: Executive Committee
P.O. Box 286
Lewisburg, TN 37091-0286
Re: Whitefield Amendment HR 1518/S.1406

Dear Elected Members of the Executive Committee:

First, I would like to commend our Vice-President of Horse Shows, Pat Stout for stepping up to poll the TWHBEA Membership in regard to the P.A.S.T. Act. Finally someone is allowing the general membership of TWHBEA to have a voice, and be counted, regarding the future of this breed.

Mrs. Stout’s willingness to utilize her own resources, and find a donor to help fund this poll, are true examples of putting the horse first, above herself. Secondly, I want to thank and commend Past President and Executive Director Tracy Boyd for leading the charge in unwavering form to support the P.A.S.T. Act in May. Tracy, you have proven to me you are a true leader, and please know you will be remembered for taking the largest step towards truly sound Tennessee Walking Horses that TWHBEA has ever made in its seventy-eight year history. I have waited over thirty years to see these events unfold.

Executive Committee members Denise Bader-Keyser, Linda Montgomery, Caroline Hoffman, Rick Weis, & Joyce Moyer should be honored, and recognized for their leadership, courage, and love of this horse, in having made tremendous sacrifices to stand up, stand strong, and vote to support the P.A.S.T. Act at the May meeting. In addition, I thank Mrs. Moyer for her exemplary display of strength and backbone in making the motion to support the P.A.S.T. Act. You are all heroes to thousands upon thousands of TWHBEA Members, sound horse advocates, veterinarians, and many others involved in the mainstream equine world. Having been in personal contact with many of the top professional equine organizations in the United States, I assure you, they recognize your bravery as well. You, as elected representatives, have set an example other directors should follow.

I would also like to commend and recognize Dr. Kasey Kesselring for stepping down from his position as International Director from Florida because of his pending federal H.P.A. violation case. This is an example of an honorable gentleman who recognizes the conflict of interest, and potential dishonor that could have soiled the name of our great association had he remained. Unfortunately, Vice-President of Training, Wayne Dean, and Member-At-Large of Bylaws, David Mullis, have refused to step down during their own pending U.S.D.A./H.P.A. federal cases. This is a classic example of why our breed has no credibility and has become an equine pariah around the globe. The disgrace these two individuals have brought upon TWHBEA, has tarnished the association and the breed’s name even further. As a longtime member of this association, and in the best interest of TWHBEA, and its future, I ask the Executive Committee, demand their immediate resignations.

Although I know little about our newly appointed President, Buster Black, I have been informed that he has a major concern with TWHBEA having a voice in the single most important issue that the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association has ever faced. It appears Mr. Black intends to remain a typical politician, and I have heard his “first rule of politics” is “never say what you are doing, and never do what you are saying.” I hope this does not prove to be true with the issue of H.R. 1518/S. 1406. If this is the case, he will be disallowing the membership their right to serve our horse, our association, and truly have a voice.

Mr. Black, please allow the membership to have their say.

I speak with personal knowledge that this breed has had numerous opportunities over many years to reform. For decades this breed has wanted to regulate soring rather than eradicate it. Unfortunately, it has become a reality that reform is not in the make-up of many people fighting this issue of abuse.

When many other organizations including your own lobbying firm, the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association (the largest veterinary medical organization in the world), the American Association of Equine Practitioners (the very organization the sore side has liberally utilized the name of in the past), the United States Equestrian Federation (previously the American Horse Show Association), and most of the other equine breed organizations in the United States recognize the plague upon this breed, and endorse the Whitfield Amendment, it is time TWHBEA lead the charge in its own fate.


Donna Benefield

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Executive Committee,

I will wait no longer than 11:00 a.m. cdst today to hear your decision if you are or are not going to allow Pat Stout to publish Mr. Cook’s certified tabulated results of the poll in which 26% of the members of TWHBEA, 1,795 members, said “YES” or “NO” on the HR 1518/S. 1406 legislation, and her Statement regarding same.

If I do not hear from you affirmatively on this matter by the time I have stated, then on her behalf, I will release the Poll Results to the media and interested parties. I hope you will show leadership regarding this important matter and allow the HR 1518/S.1406 Poll Results to be posted on the TWHBEA website and Facebook page along with Pat Stout’s Statement.

Clant M. Seay, Attorney for Pat Stout

From: Tracy Boyd <tboyd319@yahoo.com>
To: cmseaylaw <cmseaylaw@aol.com>
Cc: Rob Cornelius <rtcbwc@yahoo.com>
Subject: Poll
Date: Thu, Oct 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Dear Clant,

The TWHBEA Executive Committee is not in favor of publishing the poll results on the Association’s website or its Facebook page.



Unfortunately, I think Tracy was put up to saying this--I can imagine he would've wanted the poll results to be posted.

Now the word definitely is getting out there.  Check out this article by the The Times Free Press:  Walking horse poll pans use of pads

And Roy Exum, friend to the horse and HSUS award winner, also talked about it:  Roy Exum: Landslide Horse Poll Pleases Stout

And in even more good news, we are up to 204 cosponsors of the PAST Act!  Only 217 cosponsors are needed to get it to the floor, and only 240 votes are needed to pass it!  This is AMAZING...we are looking at real progress!  I found out that the folks in DC absolutely are not saying they represent TWHBEA, so of course that is a clear rumor that can be squashed.

And even more good news: a very large show known as the Belfast had minimal attendance--very few horses and the stands were next to empty.  Normally this show attracts a lot of people to come watch.  AND a Sale of Champions that is supposed to go on this weekend has also be canceled!  The general public is speaking loud and clear with their lack of attendance and pocketbooks!

I am continually amazed at the power of the people.  We're doing it in TWHBEA, we're doing it at the shows, Coming together like this for a cause to end this nightmare is truly something to behold.  We must keep up the good work.  We are making huge strides, and we can do this!  Keep the pressure on, and let's end this nightmare!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NEWS and ARTICLES - The Votes for TWHBEA BOD Are In - CONGRATULATIONS to Our Sound Candidates!

After our amazing landslide with the PAST Act poll, TWHBEA votes for the Board of Directors have also been counted.  Here are the results from the Cook & County letter to TWHBEA, available to read here. The new representative is in bold. The folks who are sound are in green text.  The number in parentheses is the number of seats available.

We mailed 5,226 ballots and postage-paid return envelopes.  The U.S. Postal Service returned (34) thirty-four of our mailings as “undeliverable as addressed” and of these we were able to re-mail (13) thirteen. We received 1,861 of our numbered reply envelopes by return mail representing (35.61%). Sixty-nine (69) of the returned ballots abstained from voting. The abstentions include persons not voting at all and persons voting for fewer than the total available (i.e., ballot read vote for 3 and person voted for only 1 = 2 abstained). Fifty-two (52) were disqualified and not counted due to candidate ineligibility or noncompliance with ballot instructions.

Alabama – Mailed 451 Received 137 = 30.44%
Alberta – Mailed 78 Received 7 = 8.97%
Arizona – Mailed 49 Received 22 = 44.90%
Colorado – Mailed 55 Received 21 = 38.18%
Georgia – Mailed 237 Received 73 = 30.93%
Germany – Mailed 85 Received 36 = 42.35%
Indiana – Mailed 125 Received 8 = 6.4%
Israel – Mailed 21 Received 0 = 0%
Kansas – Mailed 29 Received 5 = 17.24%
Kentucky - Mailed 701 Received 202 = 28.86%
Minnesota – Mailed 45 Received 20 = 44.44%

Mississippi – Mailed 268 Received 122 = 46.0%
Missouri – Mailed 224 Received 94 = 42.0%
Ohio – Mailed 276 Received 137 = 49.64%
Region 1 – Mailed 44 Received 13 = 29.55%
Region 2 – Mailed 51 Received 5 = 10.0%
Region 4 – Mailed 44 Received 14 = 31.82%
Region 5 – Mailed 36 Received 1 = 2.78%
Tennessee – Mailed 1,490 Received 640 = 42.95%
Texas – Mailed 328 Received 110 = 33.64%
Utah – Mailed 31 Received 11 = 35.48%
Virginia – Mailed 236 Received 64 = 27.23%
Washington – Mailed 127 Received 42 = 33.07%
West Virginia – Mailed 132 Received 55 = 41.98%

Wisconsin – Mailed 63 Received 22 = 34.92%

Alabama (1)
Ford Gates - 124
Roger Hand - 2
Steve Beam - 1
Tom Warren - 1

Alberta (2)
3 Year Term - Bill Adams - 4
1 Year Term - Marg Kovaluk -2
Nicole Hirsekorn - 1

Arizona (1)
Dr. Pamela Reband - 19
Curt Rosemann - 3

Colorado (1)
Rick Evans - 10
Nicole Tolle - 8
Polly Jean Blanchard - 3

Georgia (2)
Loyd Hall Black, Jr - 45 (retired as the President just recently)
Susan Paul - 44
JoEllen Finerfrock - 22
Donald Godbee - 13
Kathy Zeis - 3

Germany (1)
Denise Bader-Keyser - 31 (originally indicated sound; however, she pushed to have Pat Stout eliminated from TWHBEA)
Gerrit Band - 3

Indiana (1)
Clinton Edward Brown - 1
Michael D. Chestnut - 1
Patricia Lee - 1
(3 Way Tie)

Kansas (1)
Julie Keller - 2
Elsie Darrah - 1

Kentucky (3)
Spencer Benedict - 123
Gene Smokey Carswell - 114
Carrie Benedict - 98
Linda Starnes - 65
Kim Bennett - 53
Lloyd Cassidy - 49
Melanie Lawrence - 38
Paul Rosevear - 13

Minnesota (1)
Cynthia Endres - 11

Mississippi (1)
Ashley Wadsworth - 105
Karla Nichols Massey - 16
Rick Carter - 1

Missouri (1)
Debbie Hennemann - 46
Caroline Hoffman - 43
Jim Huffman - 1
Ann Hardin - 1

Ohio (1)
Joyce Moyer - 73
Jack Kwok - 64

Tennessee (1)
Stephen B Smith - 292
David W Williams - 260
Larry Lowman - 149
Dee Dee Miller - 127
Rollie Beard - 114
David Pruett - 113
John Allred - 75
Carol Peaches Searles - 52
Nathanael Jackson - 20

Texas (1)
Everett Butch Allen - 50
Dorothy Dodie Speece - 31

Utah (1)
Becca Pennington - 6
Gordon D. Hirschi - 5

Virginia (1)
Pamela McKinney - 42
Margaret Hershberger - 11

Washington (1)
Linda Arnold - 29
Kimberly J. Widner - 12

West Virginia (1)
Charles W. (Bill) Wright - 37
Dr. Angela Cook-Huffman - 11
Jeff Tanner - 6
Harrolyn Groves - 1

Wisconsin (1)
Mick Salm - 20

Israel (1)

Region 1 - Netherlands (1)
Suyin Oldenburg - 6
Sandra Van Den Hof - 4

Region 2 - NE, NM, ND, SD, NV (1)

Region 4 (1)
Julie Dillon - 8 
Loren Stevens - 6

Region 5 - AK, BC, HI (1)

Note that the 26% of the membership voted on the PAST Act, and 35% of the membership voted on the BOD.  So there wasn't really that big of a difference as far as the active voting membership is concerned.

I really want to point out how the power of the people truly works.  The Arizona folks pulled out all the stops to get our sound horse candidate as the representative.  The representative sent letters, and members contacted other members and got them to vote.  The sound horse won in a landslide: 19-3.  So it really is possible to make a serious change.  I think every TWHBEA member who wants the PAST Act to be passed is going to work just as hard to make sure TWHBEA makes the change too.

Roy Exum commented on Pat Stout's poll (click below).
Roy Exum: Landslide Horse Poll Pleases Stout

And The Chattanoogan also reported on the poll as breaking news (click below).
63% In Poll Back Bill To Curb Soring Of Tennessee Walking Horses

We're also up to 184 Congresspersons who are sponsoring the PAST Act, with 217 needed for it to hit the floor.  So don't forget to contact your local Congresspersons, and be sure to contact the Representatives that I listed in this post, either via fax or by a call.  Remember, Rob Cornelius is wrong: he DOES NOT represent the entire TWHBEA membership!

In other good news, a very large show in Belfast went on last weekend, and the attendance was nearly non-existance, even without the USDA able to be there due to the government shutdown.  Very few horses in the ring, and the stands were near empty, probably only with those who continue to sore their horses and their families present.  This used to be a very large show with a large audience.  It is clear that the Big Lick world is dying, so we must keep up the pressure!

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of the folks who voted for the sound horse candidates and who voted YES in Pat's poll.  We are making a difference here, everyone!  We truly are!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - TWHBEA Members Overwhelmingly Say YES to PAST Act; We Need Phone Calls!


TWHBEA members overwhelmingly voted YES to supporting the PAST Act!

From the above letter:

October 16, 2013


Re:  Membership Poll on 1518 Vote - YES = 1,132 (63%) and NO = 663 (37%)

The purpose of this letter is to report the results of the membership poll: the total votes that counted were 1,795.

1)  RETURNS: We received 1,766 postcards and 41 emails for a total potential votes of 1,807.
2)  ABSTAIN: We received six (6) postcards where the voter abstained.  They returned the postcard without checking neither yes nor no.
3)  DISQUALIFIED: We received two (2) postcards that were disqualified due to the fact that the voters checked both yes and no.
4)  EMAIL COMMENT ONLY: Two (2) emails did not vote but made comments only.
5) RETURN TO SENDER: We received 1 postcard as a return to sender.
6) WITHDRAWN: One (1) voter called prior to tabulation and asked that the postcard be returned. We verified the identity and honored the request by returning the postcard to the voter at their address of record.

From Billy Go Boy's website, he said:  (And I recommend reading the entire post as linked.)

By comparison, the voter turnout in Tennessee Congressional elections was approximately 37%.  The turnout for the Knoxville Mayor’s election was fewer than 17%  of the registered voters went to the polls in the September 27, 2011 primary with five mayoral candidates.

Of course, TWHBEA sore horse supporters are running around denying everything, but the fact is that people want the stacks and chains gone.   Of course, we've already known this, but TWHBEA will continue to deny it.  They're already talking about how this was not an official TWHBEA vote, blah, blah, blah.  The then-president Lloyd Black told people they could throw away the card if they wanted to.

We can only hope that the same has happened with the Board of Directors votes and that sound horse advocates have prevailed!

In the meantime...

There are several members of TWHBEA who are currently in DC knocking on doors to get sponsorship for the PAST Act.  Rob Cornelius posted this letter on the TWHBEA Facebook page.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this on behalf of the 8,300-member Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA). Established in 1935 and headquartered in Lewisburg, TN., TWHBEA is the official breed registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse. It has been brought to our attention that certain individuals may be working the halls of Congress seeking cosponsors or other endorsements for H. R. 1518 and S.1406. Regardless of what you may have been told, TWHBEA has not authorized any individuals or organizations to speak on its behalf in Washington regarding this legislation. We recognize that you are currently facing more urgent and far-reaching issues than H. R. 1518 and S.1406. Should future discussions concerning these bills be necessary, we will be willing participants.

Let me re-emphasize that no individual or organization on Capitol Hill has the authorization to represent TWHBEA in an official capacity, and we respectfully request that you give no consideration to individuals or organizations directly or indirectly claiming to represent our organization.

Rob Cornelius
Senior Vice President/Admin/Fiscal/Audit


Now I'm not going to lie: he is correct that TWHBEA has not given authorization to anyone to represent them as far as I know, although I would venture to guess that I'm sure folks who have gone to DC to deny soring happens have said they're reps from TWHBEA.  I agree that authorization is necessary.

There is also a letter circulating that implies that Cook & Company representing both TWHBEA and Pat Stout is a conflict of interest.  The letter is from Cook & Company from 2007.  However, the Lickers are ignoring this part of the letter:

The purpose of this letter is to provide information concerning the TWHBEA election and voting process when an outside independent auditor is engaged.

It has NOTHING to do with them doing a separate, private poll for someone else, which is what Pat Stout's poll was.

So what can we do?  Well, this list is being circulated to call and tell Congresspersons that the people who are claiming to represent TWHBEA don't. So let's fight back!  Pick up your phone, have a seat, and start calling to tell them that there are members in TWHBEA who DO want the PAST Act to pass, and we need their support.  The proof is in the voting--tell them 63% of the membership who voted voted YES to support the PAST Act.  If you word it this way, then it absolves TWHBEA of any representation.

Here's the list, get to calling!  (Or send a fax,whichever you prefer!)

Chariman Rep. Lee Terry (R-2nd)
2331 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-4155; 226-5452 Omaha: (402) 397-9944

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-9th)
210 Longworth House
Office Building (202) 225-1947; (fax)225-4060 Pleasanton: (925) 737-0727

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-33rd)
2204 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-3976; (fax)225-4099 Los Angeles: (323) 651-1040

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-12th)
2313 Rayburn House
Office Building 202-225-5755 , (fax)202-225-4085
Tarpon Springs: 727-940-5860

Rep. John Barrow (D-12th)
2202 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-2823; (fax) 225-3377 Augusta: (706) 722-4494

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)
2268 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-4372;(fax) 226-0333 Chicago: (773) 224-6500

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th)
2367 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-2111; 226-6890 Chicago: (773) 506-7100

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th)
1221 Longworth House
Office Building (202) 225-3635; 225-3521 Joliet: (815) 726-4998

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-4th)
107 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-6216; 225-3489 Wichita: (316) 262-8992

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-2nd)
308 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-3501; 226-2019 Bowling Green: (270) 842-9896

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd)
2444 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-4016; 225-9219 Towson: (410) 832-8890

Rep. John Dingell (D-12th)
2328 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-4071; 226-0371 Dearborn: (313) 278-2936

Rep. Fred Upton (R-6th)
2183 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-3761; 225-4986 Kalamazoo: (616) 385-0039

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-3rd)
307 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-5031; 225-5797 Pearl: (601) 932-2410

Rep. Lee Terry (R-2nd)
2331 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-4155; 226-5452 Omaha: (402) 397-9944

Rep. Billy Long (R-7th)
1541 Longworth House
Office Building (202) 225-6536; 225-5604 Springfield: (417) 889-1800

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th)
426 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-5361; 225-9460 Westfield: (908) 518-7733

Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-1st)
2305 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-3101; 225-3354 Weldon: (252) 538-4123

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-6th)
317 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-5705; 225-5907 Marietta: (740) 376-0868

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-7th)
217 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-2811; 225-3004 Memphis: (901) 382-5811

Rep. Joe Barton (R-6th)
2109 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-2002; 225-3052 Arlington: (817) 543-1000

Rep. Pete Olson (R-22nd)
312 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-5951; 225-5241 Sugar Land: (281) 494-2690

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-4th)
2434 Rayburn House
Office Building (202) 225-3011; 225-5638 South Salt Lake: (801) 486-1236

Rep. Peter Welch (D-AL)
1404 Longworth House
Office Building (202) 225-4115; 225-6790 Burlington: (888) 605-7270

Del. Donna Christensen (D-AL)
1510 Longworth House
Office Building (202) 225-1790; 225-5517 St. Thomas: (340) 774-4408

Rep. David McKinley (R-1st)
313 Cannon House
Office Building (202) 225-4172; 225-7564 Wheeling: (304) 232-3801

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NEWS - PSHA Has to Clarify Congressmen's Clarification to Suit Their Needs; Black Resigns; Meadows Returns

Well, as expected, the Industry responded to Congressmen Cohen and Whitfield's clarification letter to TWHBEA concerning the PAST Act.  Clearly, the clarification wasn't good enough, so the Industry had to--and I quote them--"clarify Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Cohen’s “clarifications”."  They wanted clarification on the "weighted shoes" part of the PAST Act, they got clarification, but of course it wasn't good enough.

So now, I am going to take a page from their book and clarify what PAST is really saying.  Quite frankly, they clearly admit that their horses must be sored in order for their Industry to continue.  Let's take a look, shall we?  My comments are in green text.

PSHA Responds To Congressman Whitfield and Cohen
Friday, October 11, 2013 

On September 27, 2013 Congressmen Ed Whitfield (Ky) and Steve Cohen (Tn) wrote a letter to the executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) clarifying their previously introduced legislation. The clarification centered around the ban of weighted shoes in their legislation. You can view that letter here.

The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) sent the following letter to the executive committee of TWHBEA in response to the letter from Congressmen Whitfield and Cohen.

October 7, 2013

Mr. Loyd H. Black, Jr.
P.O. Box 286
250 N. Ellington Pkwy.
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Dear Mr. Black:

Our organization has had the opportunity to review the letter TWHBEA recently received from Congressman Ed Whitfield and Congressman Steve Cohen regarding their legislation (H.R. 1518) and their desire to “clarify” the intent and the impacts of that legislation to the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.

First and foremost, every member of this industry needs to understand one simple fact – this legislation was authored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its intent is very straightforward in wanting to eliminate the performance show horse industry and eliminate the thousands of jobs dependent upon this industry, eliminate the millions of dollars that this industry provides to charities across the country and eliminate the economic value that thousands of members of this industry have invested in their horses and farms. 

First, the HSUS did not write the legislation.  They may have helped with it, but they did not outright write it.

Second, where are the numbers behind this?  What thousands of jobs?  There aren't that many BL trainers out there making money off of this.  Once again, just spouting stuff without any facts behind it.

This legislation was originally filed in September of last year and was re-introduced this year soon after the seating of the new Congress. It is surprising that this legislation authored by the HSUS is just now being “clarified”. Also, as an important member of the walking horse industry, please understand that the letter from Congressman Ed Whitfield and Congressman Steve Cohen has no relevance to the legislative process or on any actions that would occur if this legislation happens to pass the House, pass the Senate and is signed in to law by the President.

It's being "clarified" because the industry has continued to scream about wanting clarification.  And what does that last sentence even mean?

Of particular importance is the “clarification” by Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Cohen that “(T)he determination of the types and weight of shoes that are allowed will be determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) only after a formal rule making process.” This is one of the most dangerous and significant portions of H.R. 1518. Under rule making, the Department of Agriculture is under NO obligation to take in to account any documentation, evidence, suggestions or positions submitted by the industry or any member of the industry, or by these Members of Congress. The current Administration routinely publishes proposed rules, has a comment period and issues a final rule that is based completely upon the desires of a small minority interest that is influential with a Department or the Administration. In fact, Mr. Whitfield has spent several years fighting the current Administration’s rulemaking actions related to the energy sector of the economy and it is slightly disingenuous for him to ask the walking horse industry to have “faith” in the Department of Agriculture’s rulemaking.

What?  Where are the facts behind Mr. Whitfield's actions, if these are really true?  And again, what is this supposed to mean?  I would think you would want there to be a formal rulemaking process.

Secondly, Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Cohen failed to “clarify” the fact that this bill, if it becomes law, will result in a significant loss of value of thousands of horses with no compensation of any kind to the owners of those horses. While these Congressmen and their HSUS partners have no problem with that result, it should and must be of the utmost concern to every person associated with this industry. Through this legislative elimination of an entire breed, the resulting economic loss will be catastrophic to every community associated with our industry.

The horses won't lose any value if you retrain them to do something else.  They only lose value in your eyes, not in anyone else's.  In addition, why should owners be compensated for an amendment to a law being put into place to keep them from breaking that law?

Again, the entire breed will not be eliminated.  This Industry continues to act like the TWH will become extinct if the Big Lick goes away.  I guess that means the thousands (and yes, I can say thousands because it's a fact) of barefoot and flat shod horses will just go poof and promptly disappear when this becomes part of the law.

As far as I can tell, the trail riding community won't be economically impacted.  Those of us who own TWHs don't get any monetary compensation for riding our trail horses--I imagine that things will continue as usual for us.

Third, the letter you received was very inaccurate in its “clarifications” on a number of topics. For example, the letter stated that “it has been documented that heavy shoes and hoof bands are regularly used an integral part of a practice generally known as ‘pressure shoeing’ to cause horses to be sore, which creates an artificial high-stepping gait that is often rewarded in the show ring.” This is false. What “documentation” do they have which shows that heavy shoes and bands are “regularly” used for the practice of “pressure shoeing”? Industry data, including information from the Department of Agriculture, shows only ONE (1) instance of “pressure shoeing” in the last four years and that person was prosecuted for this action by one of the very Horse Industry Organizations that these Congressmen wish to eliminate. 

You want documentation, huh?  How about Barney Davis' confession?  That's a pretty good source for how pressure shoeing is done.  And how about the pictures USDA has of objects that have been found between pads and shoes?

HSUS routinely makes these types of allegations and, as they are the authors of this bill, this type of misinformation contained in the letter you received is not surprising. For example, Mr. Keith Dane, an official of HSUS, identified 2 horses in 2009 he knew were “pressure shod”. To ensure compliance with the Horse Protection Act, officials from the Celebration and the Department of Agriculture went to the barns where these horses were at, inspected them and determined that the horses were not pressure shod. But the misrepresentations and misinformation produced by HSUS and used by these Members of Congress continues.

Let's see the documentation behind this particular claim concerning Keith Dane, since you're so big on documentation.  Or is this just a rumor someone has spread?

As a point of “clarification” for this Industry we have reviewed the different type and class of every horse that has been shown in 2013 to date , in an HIO affiliated event, and determined that 91% would be deemed “weighted” and eliminated by this legislation (see “Weighted v. Non-Weighted” document accompanying this letter). Attached you will find the list of those types of show horses. Of course that does not include all the stallions, mares, yearlings and other horses that are part of the “weighted” Industry.

Wish I had this list so I could go over it, but unfortunately I can't find it right now.  When I do I'll post it.

Finally, the letter states that these Members of Congress “will work hard to ensure that the intent of this legislation is carried out in a way that is not harmful to the people who value Walking horses and do not sore them.” Unfortunately, if this statement is accurate, the walking horse industry we know and depend on and the one that our communities and the charities we support depend on will disappear. The value of our horses and farms will disappear. That is the intent of the Humane Society of the United States, these Members of Congress and this legislation and everyone involved with this issue needs to understand and appreciate that fact.

Let's take a look at this in detail.

Mr. Whitfield correctly states that the legislation when passed will not harm the people who DO NOT SORE their horses.  PSHA says that if it passes, the industry will disappear.  Therefore, that must mean that you need to sore your horses to keep the industry alive.

Let me point that out again: PSHA IS ADMITTING THAT THEY NEED TO SORE THEIR HORSES TO KEEP THEIR INDUSTRY ALIVE.  They have pretty much admitted that soring is necessary to keep their money flowing.

The fact that you use soring to make money is your own problem, not the government's.  This entire industry has chosen to abuse animals and break the law to make money.  This is no one's fault but your own.  Continuing to blame the USDA, HSUS, and sound horse advocates has gotten tired and quite frankly laughable.  Step up and take responsibility for your own actions.

Let's also point out that charities that solely rely on horse show money are rare indeed.  Horse shows are no longer widely attended, and that's across the United States.  Charities find other ways to raise money, and they are not relying on horse shows to do it.  If they are relying on the sored horse to make them money, then they need to get out now and find other means to raise money, fast.

Every member of the Performance Show Horse Association and this industry is working diligently to bring about significant and real reforms to the show horse component of this industry. We are working to create protocols that will result in objective, science-based testing that will identify those individuals who do not wish to abide by the rules. We are working with a number of Members of Congress on a legislative solution that will put these reforms in to the Horse Protection Act and protect horses from mistreatment and, at the same time, ensure that our industry and the thousands of families dependent on our industry are protected as well.

You've been saying you've been doing this for 40 years.  Enough of this already.  You haven't done your job, and therefore it will be done for you.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this letter and our desire to clarify Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Cohen’s “clarifications”. We look forward to working with you over the coming months and please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.

So now you had to clarify the clarifications, because the clarifications don't suit your need to keep the sore horse in the ring.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Doyle Meadows
Performance Show Horse Association


As usual, the Industry sticks its foot father and father into its mouth.  You just can't make this stuff up, folks.  I mean, I wish I could--to live in such a world of denial must be pure bliss.

Oh, and by the way, current TWHBEA president Buster Black resigned...let's hope this isn't a push to get Steve Smith in there.  Click here for Billy Go Boy's post about it.  And PSHA has added Dr. Doyle Meadows, who retired from his position as the CEO with the Celebration in 2011, to take over Terry Dotson's position.  Click here for the information about his retirement.  We can remember that Dotson stomped his feet, pouted and ran away after Honors was turned down for sore violations at the 2013 Celebration.  Dontcha hate it when your bought and paid for WGC gets bamboozled by the people trying to uphold the law and protect horses?

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Hello again my sound horse friends and warriors!  It's Thursday, October 10, and we have only three days to get our votes back to the accounting firm.  Remember that Monday is a holiday (Columbus Day), so be sure to get yours in the mail today or tomorrow!

Also, I am asking that everyone please take the time to also vote on the poll initiated by Pat Stout through the accounting firm.  It's come to my attention that Ms. Stout has the most updated list as of August 1.  She has asked TWHBEA for the most updated membership list, and they aren't giving it to her.

So if you became a member after August 1, you probably didn't get a postcard.  Here's what you can do!


Here's the image of the ballot.  Right click on this page and choose Print.  Then choose the pages you want to print.  Print them, cut out the ballot image, and write your name and membership number in the box above the YES and NO boxes.  Indicate which state you're from as well.  Then put in a stamped envelope and mail to:

Cook & Company Accountants
PO Box 40
124 South Main Street
Arab, AL 35016-9987

Please note: this is not an "official" vote count.  We're asking folks to do this so that at least our voices will be heard.  Hopefully, the accounting firm will note those of us who have voted that weren't members before August 1 and will include it in an addendum to their official poll results.

Below is the letter I wrote that accompanied my ballot to give you an idea of what to write.  PLEASE WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER!  DO NOT copy and paste mine--that will not look good!



To Whom It May Concern:

I became a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) on September 13, 2013.  Since then, I have learned of the poll that Ms. Pat Stout put together and sent to all TWHBEA members concerning the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, or HR 1518/S 1406.

It appears to me that TWHBEA is blocking Ms. Stout from receiving the most updated membership list since she has stated that her list was up to date as of August 1, 2013.  She said she has asked TWHBEA to give her an updated list and they will not.

Therefore, I want to let this firm know that I am voting YES on Ms. Stout's poll.  I included a copy of the ballot for your reference with my name and membership number so you may verify with TWHBEA that I am a member.  I hope that in doing this, at least a list could be made of those of us who do support the PAST Act who became members after August 1, and this could be included as an addendum to the results of the official poll.

Thank you very much for your time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

NEWS and ARTICLES - Roy Exum Tells It Like It Is Concerning Pat Stout and the TWH Industry

Honestly, I don't think I can tell it any better than Roy did.  So thanks, Roy, for doing the work for me!  Click here for the article online.


Roy Exum: ‘Lickers’ Get Caught Again
Sunday, October 06, 2013 - by Roy Exum

The seedy side of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry – and, brother, don’t think there isn’t one – just got caught again. But this time it wasn’t for soring and abusing animals, as the “Big Lick” crowd has done for half a century. No, a concerted effort to discredit and “discipline” a woman who dared to question the scurrilous segment has been exposed and serves as a classic example of what is ruining the once-noble breed.

Pat Stout, the Vice President for Horse Shows for the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association, believes the governing body that is based in Shelbyville does not represent the beliefs or the wishes of the nearly 7,000 members of the TWHBEA. Several weeks ago she mailed a post card to each eligible voting member, polling the members’ stance on a bill currently in Congress and the Senate called the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, (HR 1518/S.1406.)

The mailer card, which was asked to be returned to an accounting firm in Alabama by Oct. 15 to assure an accurate result, asked for each individual’s vote on the pending bill – a simple “yes” or “no” – which flew in the face of the Executive Committee and President Loyd "Buster" Black.

While denying Ms. Stout access to the TWHBEA website to explain her polling initiative, Black sent out a mass email to all TWHBEA members saying "you can certainly throw it away if you want." The reaction by some members of the Executive Committee was predictable, with vice president Rob Cornelius leading the charge “to turn the matter of Pat Stout’s conduct and actions over to the Enforcement Committee.”

TWHBEA Rules require there be a written complaint with filing fee before the Enforcement Committee can take up a case. Black, who is a Magistrate Judge in Fayette County, Georgia, seemed to ignore the concept of “due process” when he went along with the group. Black is also the TWHBEA representative on the American Horse Council, which adamantly supports the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act.

The battle over the bill, which will undoubtedly strengthen the federal Horse Protection Act, has actually been brewing since May when Tracy Boyd, at the time the president of the TWHBEA, publicly endorsed the bill, saying “the image conveyed by our performance horse is no longer accepted” and “when you have lost the public, you have lost it all … and we have clearly lost the public.”

The stubborn board didn’t go along with him, determined to fight the bill instead, and Boyd’s brave stand got him immediately fired from his job – his employer (Roger Baskin, son of federal violator Randall Baskin) closely associated with the “Big Lickers.” But many members of the TWHBEA are believed to feel the same way that Boyd does and Ms. Stout, with the help of an "anonymous individual" who sponsored the project, wants to use the poll of the membership to prove it.

David Howard, the undisputed leader of the “Big Lickers,” decreed Ms. Stout should be kicked off the TWHBEA’s Executive Committee, its Board and its membership rolls. Now a “lynch mob” that Ms. Stout’s attorney believes to include Executive Committee members Mike Hicks, Christy Lantis, David Mullis, Denise Bader Keyser, along with Enforcement Committee member Tom Kakassy seems intent on carrying out Howard’s wishes.

Kakassy, an attorney from North Carolina who serves on the Enforcement, Performance, and By-laws Committees for the TWHBEA, was accused of “quarterbacking” the effort by Ms. Stout’s attorney, Clant Seay of Mississippi, and Seay has since asked that Kakassy resign from the Enforcement Committee along with Christy Lantis, and Mike Hicks following their actions.

Further, Seay is adamant Ms. Stout did nothing wrong. “She didn’t tell anyone how to vote, she didn’t spend one dime of the association’s money, but she enabled the entire membership to be polled in an honest way. Why are so many people afraid of allowing the membership to vote? Why are so many people trying to stop members from voting? It seems to me people should be thanking Pat Stout,” said Seay, a longtime horseman himself.

The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, necessitated by the fact the Walking Horse industry can neither police itself nor even wants to, would remove pads, or stacks, from the front legs of show horses as well as “performance devices” which are often used to cover scars and hide sadistic efforts to achieve the unnatural high gait called the “Big Lick.”

At this year’s Celebration in Shelbyville the number of participants and the nightly attendance was down dramatically, which was expected. The general public is aghast by the clear evidence that horse abuse is being protected and hidden by the Big Lickers who fight the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Humane Society of the United States and any other attempts to regulate those who wantonly violate the federal Horse Protection Act and who laugh at the harmless USDA “tickets” when they are caught.

Ms. Stout’s postcard idea is the latest in a growing number of attempts to wrestle the Walking Horse industry away from Shelbyville, located in an area that has been hurt badly by the illicit side of the industry. Horse farms are for sale, trainers are out of work, and the number of show horses is dwindling as a result of those who stop at nothing to make money with cheap blue ribbons.

What’s worse, the good owners and trainers are suffering because of the bad name that Walking Horses received when an infamous undercover tape of Jackie McConnell beating a horse and abusing others proved to the world that sadistic and criminal acts are still common among so-called “Hall of Fame” trainers.

It is estimated that 90 percent of those who own Tennessee Walkers do not harm their animals but more and more are now avoiding horse shows, where known violators of the Horse Protection Act are actual judges. It is feared such law breakers engage in favoritism and worse.

This spring  Larry Joe Wheelon, a trainer in Maryville, was found with 19 horses that had allegedly been horribly abused but Wheelon, a known “Big Lick” trainer with a long and colorful past of federal violations, was freed on a heart-wrenching technicality. A judge just ordered that the horses that had been confiscated be returned to his questionable care, a ruling that further turns the public’s stomach and heightens the resolve to clean up the industry.

Ms. Stout plans to be present when the tabulated and certified results of her card campaign are announced by Greg Cook, a CPA in Arab, Ala. She has invited the TWHBEA’s Cornelius to be present when the results are announced.  It is believed the TWHBEA board, as well as the “Big Lick” itself, will not be happy with the results.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - PLEASE HELP!!! Judge Demanding Abused Wheelon Horses Be Returned to Owners

I believe there truly are callous people in this world who don't care about the lives of other living creatures.  Those people are those who continue to support the sored horse, who have their horses sored, who fight dogs and roosters, who participate in canned hunts, who enjoy bear baiting and pigeon hunts, and people like Judge Robert L. Headrick.

From Billy Go Boy's website:

A hearing was on the docket Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to decide what misbehaving, if any,  that Jack Heffington may have done with in his dealings with Assistant District Attorney General Ellen Berez, and to discuss the orderly return of the horses to the owners. The horses were seized in an April 25, 2013 when agents took custody of them because of their condition.

To the shock of those present, Judge Headrick announced there would be NO hearing of any kind, and the horses would be returned by Friday or the Assistant D.A. Berez and SPCA official would go to jail for contempt of court.

Then District Attorney General Mike Flynn ordered his employee Ellen Berez to sign the Order.

Informed sources say that the HSUS presently has spent over $90,000.00 to take care of the 19 horses. Other sources say the horses in custody don’t match up with the papers and it’s going to be a huge job trying to get it all straight.


PLEASE start flooding DA Mike Flynn's office to get this case to the Grand Jury.  The next big meeting is supposedly in November, so email an call him every day if you need to.

Contact information:
DA Mike Flynn
942 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.
Maryville, TN 37804
(865) 273-5600
Fax: (865) 273-5617

As always, be polite, but be firm.  Let him know that this blatant abuse of animals and ignoring the federal law has not gone unnoticed by the general public.  Wheelon should not go unpunished.  Let him know that Wheelon will probably go on his merry way and will continue to abuse animals in his barn, and that the owners quite possibly were not looking out for the well being of their horses to begin with if they were sending them to a trainer with known HPA violations.  Ask him how the HSUS is going to be reimbursed for all the time and money they've spent on rehabilitating these animals.

Feel free to also send him this photo, and ask him why this is being ignored.

"She's a Sweeper" in the "bucket stance," typical of a sored horse who is in pain.
This is unacceptable, and these monsters need to be held accountable for their actions, and not just Wheelon--the judge and the DA are included as well.

THANK YOU for your help!

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