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Co-op and the walking horse industry

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  • Co-op and the walking horse industry

    I was surprised when someone called my attention to the cover photo on "The Cooperator", the magazine published by the TN Farmer's Cooperative. Here's a link -

    http://ourcoop.com/include/images/co...cooperator.pdf

    Note the pads and chains.

    I sent an email to the editor of the magazine, stating my objection to support of this type of treatment. Following is her reply. If you disagree with their position, please join me in expressing your feelings. Her contact information is at the end of the letter.

    Dear Katy:

    I appreciate you expressing your dissatisfaction with the August Cooperator feature on Tennessee walking horses. I realize that this industry evokes strong emotions and opinions on both sides. Tennessee Farmers Co-op is supportive of the walking horse industry, just as we are supportive of other equine breeds and disciplines in our state. The trainers and horse owners in the August story are some of the most well-respected participants in the walking horse industry, and Co-op would never feature anyone who wasn't known for taking the utmost care of their animals. While you may not agree with the training methods illustrated by Brad Davis in the cover photo - and I realize that many people do not agree with them - they are common and accepted practices for those who show walking horses. In talking with our equine specialist, Kim Smith, she assures me that horses like the one shown on our cover are the most inspected and scrutinized animals there are, and trainers like Brad take meticulous care to make sure their horses are not harmed in any way.

    Kim also directed me to S.H.O.W. http://www.showhio.com/, the industry's program to ensure that only sound, healthy horses are being exhibited at the Celebration and other events. This website may provide you with more information about the industry's efforts to protect walking horses from any abuse. You can be assured that the folks in our Cooperator article are upholding these standards.

    Again, I truly respect your opinion on this matter, and you're not alone in your concern for the welfare of walking horses. I'm sure my explanation won't change your mind about that, but I did want to respond with some of our reasoning behind featuring this industry in our magazine. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with us.

    Allison Morgan
    --
    Communications Dept. Manager and Editor
    Tennessee Farmers Cooperative Communications Department
    180 Old Nashville Highway, P.O. Box 3003
    LaVergne, TN 37086
    Phone: 615-793-8418
    Fax: 615-287-8859
    E-Mail: amorgan@ourcoop.com
    Web site: http://www.ourcoop.com

    [cid:3395984433_45132800]
    http://www.facebook.com/TennesseeFarmersCooperative

    [cid:3395984433_45145181]
    http://www.twitter.com/TNFarmers

  • #2
    ummm if it weren't for the walking horses (padded and flatshod) the Co-ops would have gone out of business a long time ago...

    you do know that UT ran a padded horse up the sidelines of the football games right?

    They all all intertwined closer than a brillo pad.


    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

    Comment


    • #3
      I met a very nice gentleman from Bedford County. He's not a horse person, but he's involved in the Chamber of Commerce, etc and works hard to support his county. Horses came up in the convo, and TWHs in particular and he innocently asked if I'd attended the Celebration. I said yes, but it's not my cup of tea to see horses worked that way, there's so much pain and suffering behind the scenes and it's just grossly unfair to the horse, etc..I didn't rattle on but I made my point. He quietly thought a moment then said 'Well, I don't know anything really about horses but I know how much it does for our county's economy'.

      There it is.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
        ummm if it weren't for the walking horses (padded and flatshod) the Co-ops would have gone out of business a long time ago...

        you do know that UT ran a padded horse up the sidelines of the football games right?

        They all all intertwined closer than a brillo pad.


        Tamara
        I do - and UT has heard my opinion on that and will continue to do so, every year until I drop dead or they stop, whichever comes first.

        I bought all of my feed at Co-op. Not looking forward to shopping around or switching, but I'll do it anyway.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by katarine View Post
          I met a very nice gentleman from Bedford County. He's not a horse person, but he's involved in the Chamber of Commerce, etc and works hard to support his county. Horses came up in the convo, and TWHs in particular and he innocently asked if I'd attended the Celebration. I said yes, but it's not my cup of tea to see horses worked that way, there's so much pain and suffering behind the scenes and it's just grossly unfair to the horse, etc..I didn't rattle on but I made my point. He quietly thought a moment then said 'Well, I don't know anything really about horses but I know how much it does for our county's economy'.

          There it is.
          I understand that, but why would it do less for the economy if they had flat shod and barefoot horses competing? I would think that more people would show up - all of the current folks, plus all of the walking horse/gaited people that refuse to have anything to do with it now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Does this particular trainer have any violations?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by katyb View Post
              I understand that, but why would it do less for the economy if they had flat shod and barefoot horses competing? I would think that more people would show up - all of the current folks, plus all of the walking horse/gaited people that refuse to have anything to do with it now.
              no...you can fire shotgun into the stands at a flatshod show and not kill a single person...(hell dressage might even have more specators )

              even at the county level no one livens up or bothers to attend, unless it's got Speed racking or a padded "championship"

              it's just the way things are...

              while it is always entertaining to hear outsiders talk about stopping this and that...until they actually live here they will never understand how entrenched this world is in the day to day aspects of living in TN.

              Esp Middle TN.

              Tamara
              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                no...you can fire shotgun into the stands at a flatshod show and not kill a single person...(hell dressage might even have more specators )

                even at the county level no one livens up or bothers to attend, unless it's got Speed racking or a padded "championship"

                it's just the way things are...

                while it is always entertaining to hear outsiders talk about stopping this and that...until they actually live here they will never understand how entrenched this world is in the day to day aspects of living in TN.

                Esp Middle TN.

                Tamara
                The flat shod classes around here do well. I know someone local who started a show with a padded class, and had no entrants. I do think the tide is turning in east TN, but it's a slow process.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by katyb View Post
                  The flat shod classes around here do well. I know someone local who started a show with a padded class, and had no entrants. I do think the tide is turning in east TN, but it's a slow process.
                  We are not Middle Tennessee. We will never ever have 20,000 spectators for a flat shod show like they pull in for the Celebration.
                  Ask me how I know? I managed the last big one here in 2000 and 2001 at Harriman.

                  Part of the Entrenchment is not the trainers so much, as the owners who are very often very wealthy very respected business men and shop keepers and farmers who keep horses with the trainers.

                  And who sit on the alumini boards for MTSU,Freed-Hardeman,Lipscomb and UT and the Tennessee Farmers Co-op County boards.(with few exceptions non customers NEVER get on the cover of the Cooperator paper)

                  And who are the major fundraisers when these places needs drives or endowments as were their daddies before them

                  Tamara
                  Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                  I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A check with the HPA suspension datatabase reveals . . .

                    Originally posted by Rbow View Post
                    Does this particular trainer have any violations?
                    There are three suspensions listed for a "Brad Davis" from Shelbyville, TN in the database of HPA suspensions maintained by FOSH. Let me first say there is NO way I can KNOW that these are the same person as the trainer featured in the co-op magazine.

                    Anyway the Brad Davis listed in the suspension database was sited for unilateral soring on one occasion, use of a foreign subsance on another and on another he was listed for both scar rule violation AND use of illegal action devices on that one occasion- two violations.

                    There are more than two dozen entries on the suspension list for people with the surname of Davis. In some of the instances, only the surname Davis is listed, so there is no way to tell which Davis.

                    Hope this helped answer your question.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by katarine View Post
                      I met a very nice gentleman from Bedford County. He's not a horse person, but he's involved in the Chamber of Commerce, etc and works hard to support his county. Horses came up in the convo, and TWHs in particular and he innocently asked if I'd attended the Celebration. I said yes, but it's not my cup of tea to see horses worked that way, there's so much pain and suffering behind the scenes and it's just grossly unfair to the horse, etc..I didn't rattle on but I made my point. He quietly thought a moment then said 'Well, I don't know anything really about horses but I know how much it does for our county's economy'.

                      There it is.
                      Yes, it's all about money.

                      If you subscribe to the magazine, terminate your subscription and try to get any subscribers you know to do the same. Money talks, not only to COC officials but to magazine publishers.
                      Sometimes I wish we could go back to the old days of demonstrations, of ripping such publications off the stands and destroying them publicly. I'm not suggesting you do that, though ...

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        It's a free magazine, but because it is put out by the Tennessee Farmer's Cooperative, I won't be spending anymore money at my local Co-op, and I have at least a dozen friends (so far) who won't either. I doubt we'll make a dent in their income, but it's what we can do.

                        I'm not sure how I missed the connection between Co-op and the walking horse industry until now. I knew our Farm Bureau was tightly connected (and don't use them for insurance any longer).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bayou_bengal View Post
                          There are three suspensions listed for a "Brad Davis" from Shelbyville, TN in the database of HPA suspensions maintained by FOSH. Let me first say there is NO way I can KNOW that these are the same person as the trainer featured in the co-op magazine.

                          Anyway the Brad Davis listed in the suspension database was sited for unilateral soring on one occasion, use of a foreign subsance on another and on another he was listed for both scar rule violation AND use of illegal action devices on that one occasion- two violations.

                          There are more than two dozen entries on the suspension list for people with the surname of Davis. In some of the instances, only the surname Davis is listed, so there is no way to tell which Davis.

                          Hope this helped answer your question.
                          Well I'd never want to condemn an innocent man, but I wonder if the Co-op knows whether or not they may be endorsing training methods that have violated the law. Hopefully they checked.

                          Common name, but would also be a bit of a coincidence that there are two of them training walking hroses at that level.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                            We are not Middle Tennessee. We will never ever have 20,000 spectators for a flat shod show like they pull in for the Celebration.
                            Ask me how I know? I managed the last big one here in 2000 and 2001 at Harriman.

                            Part of the Entrenchment is not the trainers so much, as the owners who are very often very wealthy very respected business men and shop keepers and farmers who keep horses with the trainers.

                            And who sit on the alumini boards for MTSU,Freed-Hardeman,Lipscomb and UT and the Tennessee Farmers Co-op County boards.(with few exceptions non customers NEVER get on the cover of the Cooperator paper)

                            And who are the major fundraisers when these places needs drives or endowments as were their daddies before them

                            Tamara
                            THIS. It's all about the money. Follow the dollars and it will lead straight to stacks and chains. The "Good Ol' Boys" Keep Big Lick going with money and power. It's an ego thing really, NO ONE is going to them they can't stack and horse and train it how they they want to, and no one is going to stop them from winning. They have the power and control because they own large businesses, are elected officials and employ large groups of people. Sadly nothing will ever really stop them from doing what they do. They have the money, thus the power.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              TWH

                              The flat shod classes have large # of entries nowadays and also PWHAT (PWHAT.com). AS the show manager for them, i can tell you the # of entries we have a t the shows. PWHAT's motto: "If it's not sound, turn around!"

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by nashfad View Post
                                The flat shod classes have large # of entries nowadays and also PWHAT (PWHAT.com). AS the show manager for them, i can tell you the # of entries we have a t the shows. PWHAT's motto: "If it's not sound, turn around!"

                                I'm glad to hear you all are doing well; that's encouraging.

                                If anyone has the link to the Brad Davis violations, forward them to me, please. joskt0204@gmail.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The Co-Op is a business. Like any business they must satisfy their customers. Big Lick trainers are among their larger customers. Money talks and B.S. walks.

                                  I'm no fan of the Big Lick horse, but it will be around for a very long time because it draws crowds and makes money. When that no longer happens it will just "go away."

                                  As far as "voting with your dollars" is concerned I think that's a Good Thing. But if you need bulk fertilizer or large tractor tire repaired then be prepared to "dance with the Devil." Usually the Co-Op is the only game in town for real agricultural purchases.

                                  G.
                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Reminds me of the runaround I got from my church about a year ago (actually got flat out hostility) when I objected to their sponsoring of a big lick horse that has a similar name as the church's. The horse's trainer has HPA violations. All boiled down to money too, the horse's owner had promised they'd get money out of the sale of the horse.

                                    I left that church very quickly.
                                    http://www.mistysheaven.com
                                    http://colorfulchincoteague.mistysheaven.com/

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                      The Co-Op is a business. Like any business they must satisfy their customers. Big Lick trainers are among their larger customers. Money talks and B.S. walks.

                                      I'm no fan of the Big Lick horse, but it will be around for a very long time because it draws crowds and makes money. When that no longer happens it will just "go away."

                                      As far as "voting with your dollars" is concerned I think that's a Good Thing. But if you need bulk fertilizer or large tractor tire repaired then be prepared to "dance with the Devil." Usually the Co-Op is the only game in town for real agricultural purchases.

                                      G.
                                      It is worth it to me to pay more to someone else. I'm thrilled to discover that Agri-feed carries the feed I use. We can get our tractor tires taken care of at our commercial tire store, and we use a local lime guy already who doesn't purchase from Co-op. I don't mind being inconvenienced if it means that I can live up to my principles, and the greatest thing is finding out that I am absolutely surrounded by people who feel the same way. We may not make a real difference to Co-op, but I do know that they have already received dozens of calls, emails, and letters just in the last three days. If it is enough to keep them annoyed, it's worth it.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by MistyStormy View Post
                                        Reminds me of the runaround I got from my church about a year ago (actually got flat out hostility) when I objected to their sponsoring of a big lick horse that has a similar name as the church's. The horse's trainer has HPA violations. All boiled down to money too, the horse's owner had promised they'd get money out of the sale of the horse.

                                        I left that church very quickly.

                                        Good! I hope you found a church that is a much better match for you.

                                        Comment

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