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Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Issue *Update post 1*

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  • The only facility that I deal with that also provides routine care to the Big Lick crowd is the University of TN Large Animal Clinic. They have also been the recipients of large donations from some Big Lick barns over the years (wall plaques and photos memorialize them). Personally, I wish they wouldn't, but I don't rule the world.

    Hmmm. Wonder what brought the big turn around all of a sudden????? I just hope the Tenn. Vets are sincere.

    Comment


    • Well we may see more of the lesser known trainers having courage to come forward to say what they know now that they can see the Big Name Trainers like McConnell are losing their grip on the TWH show world.

      I know the gentleman that I have known for years basicly committed professional suicide when he came forward and told what he knew about how soring was done back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

      The trainers who don't approve of soring and the artificial BL, but were forced by the code of silence that pervades the professional walking horse trainers' organization, to keep silent should all get together and issue a joint statement foreswearing soring AND the Big Lick stuff. They would be in good company with all the vet's aqssociations stepping forward.

      There is strength in numbers.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        hmmmm The Tennessean is no longer letting me browse for articles. Your link took me to a popup window to pay. Could you copy and paste the article here ? I had tried looking for it earlier and was frozen out.
        from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by GaitedGloryRider View Post
          A trainer actually came out of the woodwork, shared photos and information?

          Maybe all this public scrutiny has people that were formerly afraid to speak out feeling a little empowered. Hope this trend catches on.
          Would be nice for him to get the $10K he mentioned.

          Thank God for Roy Exum. I really believe his involvement and the involvement of others on this board "with connections" (you know who you are) is what really has kept this pressure on.

          I thank you deeply for keeping the rest of us TWH enthusiasts informed.

          And keep telling us how to see this effort through to fruition!
          from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

          Comment


          • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
            hmmmm The Tennessean is no longer letting me browse for articles. Your link took me to a popup window to pay. Could you copy and paste the article here ? I had tried looking for it earlier and was frozen out.
            A pop up says you only get 30 days free viewing - then you got to pay.

            Here is the article:
            TN veterinarians' group weighs in against soring

            The Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association called Wednesday for further investigation into the use of painful action devices and performance packages in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses.

            The association “strongly condemns the abuse of animals, and this condemnation certainly includes soring and other abusive practices,” Dennis Geiser, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine assistant dean and TVMA president, said in a statement.

            Joining two national vet groups that made a similar request last week, Geiser said owners and trainers continue to circumvent the federal Horse Protection Act and called for better methods of detecting soring.

            The walking horse industry has been under scrutiny since the release of an undercover video in May that showed award-winning trainer Jackie McConnell beating and soring a horse in his Collierville barn.

            - Tony Gonzalez, The Tennessean
            from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

            Comment


            • all that is needed NOW is for the Hor Governor of Tennessee to make it a felony to sore the TWH or any Horse. To flat out out LAW the Stacks and packages used. end it here and NOW.
              in all gaited BREEDS.

              anyone bringing a horse to the CELEBRATION that has been staked or packaged in the last 90 days,will be fined and jailed along with the owner.

              Comment


              • So I understand that the government showed up at the Athens show last night. Hardly anyone bothered to get their horses inspected. Thirty some odd classes, 5-6 had entrants. Horses were swabbed, thermography camera (I think), walked through cones and palpated, etc. Thorough and a hassle? Yes. Got nothing to hide? Leave early so you have time to get through it...and go show your horse.

                If the TWH folks are( mostly )showing sound horses, then why aren't they getting them inspected at the shows, demonstrating to the government that they are telling the truth, and showing their horses?

                We know Endure fly spray will get you a letter of warning. So use something else. Go. Show your horse. Do what you love to do. If you don't, you won't have a horse show to go to. You can't just stick your head in the sand and wait for the gubmint to go away. They can outlast you, folks.

                Comment


                • I think the TWH shows will start to collapse under the weight of the investigations and possible repercussions.

                  The scam has been that the top winning plantation horses are all sound and healthy and no soring has occured.

                  Now is the time for the Plantation owners to step up to the plate and put money into the pot for shows. It costs a lot of money to put a show on, and that money has, in the past, come from the BL crowd.

                  That money is now going to dry up and the other discipline foks are going to need sponsors and cold hard cash.

                  I have spoken with two show secretaries from the west and they will no longer offer any TWH classes. It is a hot potatoe and other breeds are saying we do not want ANY association with TW exhibitors...we don't care if they are BL or Plantation.

                  As I had mentioned before, other breeds do use rollers and chains and bell boots and pads without soring and since this on going inventigation could result in banning those "action devices" for training..other breeds are going to remove themselves from any involvement with the TWH breed.

                  Other breeds will not passively stand by and let YOUR soring issues impact their training and showing. Therefore they will eliminate your breed.

                  Sadly, the plantation owners have a history of NOT putting their money where their mouths are..and that was also pointed out by the Walking Way many many years ago...they were saying..Hey...if you want a NON BIG LICK publication..you must support it. And, we all know how successful that was.

                  Don't hold your breath to see who gets the Ten Thousand Dollars from HSUS. They have a history of offering and not paying out.
                  The Elephant in the room

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    Hard to say. Getting rid of the bad eggs may strengthen the breed and bring folks back into showing. Oregon is a good test case.
                    from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                    Comment


                    • http://www.walkinghorseworld.com/PDF...e%20Copy_0.png

                      http://www.walkinghorseworld.com/PDF...e%20Copy_1.png

                      Comment


                      • Another habitual violator. They really need to do a 3 strikes or something.

                        Comment


                        • It's one thing to impose a penalty; it's quite another to enforce it.

                          I work for our local DA and we routinely see fines and court costs imposed for various offenses. Persons are put on supervised probation until fines and costs are paid (they also pay a monthly fee for the probation officer). Chatting with our Clerk of Courts she told me that our county is owed millions of dollars in unpaid fines and costs. Most of this money will never be collected. But under the prior clerk of courts there was never any systematic attempt to collect these monies. The new Clerk is making an effort, even though it will likely result in little money.

                          Under our DUI laws a first offense requires 48 hours in jail. It must be served within one year of the conviction. Before we built a new and bigger jail house a significant number of DUI sentences were never served because the old jail was always full (and overcrowded). You, literally, had to make an appointment to serve your time. Lots of convicted persons just got lost in the shuffle and never served an hour.

                          So I'll wait and see if these stronger penalties are actually enforced, or just handed down with a "wink and a nod."

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                            It's one thing to impose a penalty; it's quite another to enforce it.

                            I work for our local DA and we routinely see fines and court costs imposed for various offenses. Persons are put on supervised probation until fines and costs are paid (they also pay a monthly fee for the probation officer). Chatting with our Clerk of Courts she told me that our county is owed millions of dollars in unpaid fines and costs. Most of this money will never be collected. But under the prior clerk of courts there was never any systematic attempt to collect these monies. The new Clerk is making an effort, even though it will likely result in little money.

                            Under our DUI laws a first offense requires 48 hours in jail. It must be served within one year of the conviction. Before we built a new and bigger jail house a significant number of DUI sentences were never served because the old jail was always full (and overcrowded). You, literally, had to make an appointment to serve your time. Lots of convicted persons just got lost in the shuffle and never served an hour.

                            So I'll wait and see if these stronger penalties are actually enforced, or just handed down with a "wink and a nod."

                            G.
                            Thank you for your stories.
                            It is so interesting to learn how other worlds function, or not.
                            Food for thought, indeed.

                            I think that we are in a changing world, where anyone can watch and prove what anyone else does and at the same time, those with extremists agendas can use that against what most of us do innocently and in good faith, twisting that information to look sinister.

                            I was thinking it is great to be able to present terrible abuses and hang the abusers best we can with the laws we have, as here.

                            Not so good when that is used to make all horse owners look guilty by association, just by being horse owners.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                              Story and graphic pics of a sored up 3 year old taken recently.

                              http://forthetnwalkinghorse.blogspot...os-pop-up.html
                              Same trainer and horse.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                                Hard to say. Getting rid of the bad eggs may strengthen the breed and bring folks back into showing. Oregon is a good test case.
                                Oregon is a good test case. As for people coming back to showing, that may well happen. I've never shown b/c I wanted nothing to do with the TWH world as we know it. My TWH was a BL in a former life, I promised him when I bought him he'd never be shown again. I would've probably bought a TWH that had never been shown to show if things in the show world had been different for the horses. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  If those truly are pics of the mare Jose Wine and Roses and they were taken by Joe Cotten as soon as he got her two weeks ago, then he is not the only bad guy. Those heels sure dont look "just clipped" (by Joe) and they couldnt have gotten in that condition in 2 weeks anyway. Not surprised the mare hasnt shown in in 2012. She may have passed inspection last year but she is unshown this year. I would also wonder about the vet that the Murphys took the mare to. Is he saying the condition of those heels just happened ? This Joe guy is a bad character, but i wonder if SHOW's actions are more to shut him up, or more to protect Landrum and the Murphys. Or to show the public they are working to go after the bad guys ? I think Joe's mouth got him in trouble more than his actions. I bet he has a whole lot more to say. Very messy.
                                  from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                                    If those truly are pics of the mare Jose Wine and Roses and they were taken by Joe Cotten as soon as he got her two weeks ago, then he is not the only bad guy. Those heels sure dont look "just clipped" (by Joe) and they couldnt have gotten in that condition in 2 weeks anyway. Not surprised the mare hasnt shown in in 2012. She may have passed inspection last year but she is unshown this year. I would also wonder about the vet that the Murphys took the mare to. Is he saying the condition of those heels just happened ? This Joe guy is a bad character, but i wonder if SHOW's actions are more to shut him up, or more to protect Landrum and the Murphys. Or to show the public they are working to go after the bad guys ? I think Joe's mouth got him in trouble more than his actions. I bet he has a whole lot more to say. Very messy.
                                    The whole thing just looks like a big cluster.

                                    And apparently Cotten knew something was coming his way from SHOW, with "dropping the hammer" comment that was quoted in the blog post.

                                    The initial impression I got from reading the blog was that they were going after him for dropping the dime on the other trainer.

                                    Now it looks like it may be a case of knowing he was going down, and making sure he didn't go alone.

                                    Comment


                                    • Roy Exum: A Walking Horse ‘No Show’
                                      Saturday, June 23, 2012 - by Roy Exum

                                      Roy Exum For weeks an eagerly-awaited showdown has loomed in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry after a lifetime member of the group’s Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association issued a challenge to fellow board member Keith Dane, who also heads the equine protection division for the Humane Society of the United States.

                                      But, with little if any warning, a closed hearing to oust Dane from the group, which was scheduled for Friday in Lewisburg, was abruptly cancelled and a letter allegedly written by Kathy Zeis – who was identified as the person who lodged the formal complaint, leaves little doubt the longtime Walking Horse advocate was “thrown under the bus” by the SHOW group’s executive committee.


                                      Dane, of course, fell under heavy scrutiny in May when he released an undercover video obtained by the Humane Society to the ABC news show, “Nightline.” The shocking video shows graphic footage of Collierville trainer Jackie McConnell beating a horse with an electric cattle prod and showed another horse “crying like a baby” due to the pain that was inflicted on other animals in McConnell’s barns.

                                      But Zeis alleges her complaint against Dane was filed before the video ever appeared. “I lodged a complaint against Keith Dane on March 12, 2012. That complaint was returned to me and a protocol was sent to me to follow in order to file a complaint. As I understand several other people also filed a complaint but did not follow up with the complex protocol.

                                      “My complaint was resubmitted and received by TWHBEA mid-April. The substance of my complaint was that in his public comments (Dane) has said as a representative of HSUS that all walking horses entering the ring are sored and doing an unnatural gait. He has also said that performance horses in particular are doing an unnatural gait that is achieved by soring. He believes that the USDA isn’t doing their job in keeping such horses out of the show ring.”

                                      Obviously this isn’t the truth because many show animals are “clean” – as Dane has told news reporters numerous times – and he and Zeis share the belief that sound horses are still magnificent competitors. “If he had continued to advocate and work for sound horses I would have had absolutely no problem,” she wrote in her widely distributed letter.“

                                      But (Dane) has come out as a director of TWHBEA and an officiate of HSUS,” Zeis wrote, “to say that all horses that enter the show ring are exhibiting an unnatural gait produced by soring and, with all the other opinions that he has put out, in my opinion he has done incalculable harm to the Tennessee Walking Show Horse and to the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association.”

                                      After Zeis’ complaint, things soon began to get muddy. With the McConnell tape going viral and thousands of violations of the federal Horse Protection Act quickly coming to light, Zeis wrote, “I am saddened that the TWHBEA Executive Committee doesn’t have the same devotion to the breed that many of its owners do and promote and defend all disciplines of the breed that are trained soundly regardless of the division or discipline. Just as I have defended the pleasure horse when that wasn’t popular at TWHBEA I now defend the performance horse when he is trained correctly.”

                                      Three veterinarians’ group have harpooned the walking horse industry this week, Jackie McConell is getting ready for state charges and federal actions will begin next month in Tennessee. Public perception is at an all-time low and veteran trainers are rightfully worried that signs of violations and abuse still persist.

                                      So why did she withdraw her complaint just two weeks ago? She felt betrayed. “I am withdrawing my complaint due to the fact that even though all the protocols in the past have deemed that a complaint be kept confidential, this one was put out to the national press and public by TWHBEA’s President Marty Irby.”

                                      Zeis said that since she was bound on confidentiality, “I have received threatening and abusive e-mails from the public without any knowledge of what my complaint was about or what I was trying to accomplish.”

                                      There is some belief Zeis was being used as a pawn – since public sentiment was solidly behind Dane and an ever-growing disdain for abusing Walking Horses has reached both the state and federal governments, so Zeis did what any of us would have done – dropped the complaint squarely on the toes of Marty Irby and his now beleaguered Executive Committee.

                                      “I believe in this breed. I believe in the owners. I believe in the trainers who want to use correct training methods,” she wrote. “I believe that there needs to be an objective qualitative way to judge that a horse has been abused - not a subjective test that can cause a person who is not guilty to be punished because his horse is acting like a horse. I also believe in timely intervention when abuse is detected."

                                      royexum@aol.com

                                      5
                                      Last edited by walknsound; Jun. 23, 2012, 02:47 PM. Reason: Broken link

                                      Comment


                                      • http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/veteri...ry?id=16597199

                                        Follow up by ABC news.
                                        Last edited by walknsound; Jun. 23, 2012, 02:56 PM. Reason: Add info.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by GaitedGloryRider View Post
                                          Same trainer and horse.

                                          Turning on themselves. Very good!
                                          from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                                          Comment

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