"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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ARTICLE and NEWS - From one horse to another: make sure KY fund isn't subsidizing cruelty

THANK YOU to the Lexington Herald for again printing some excellent information about the continued practice of soring. To give a brief overview, the revenue from the sales tax accrued from stud fees of TB horses goes to an incentive fund. Every year, horse groups in KY get a small (relatively) part of this fund--approximately $1.37 million per year.

Well, guess what group has been getting money from this fund? You guessed it: our sore horse pals at KWHA. To the tune of $300K+ per year. This article covers all of the recent wrong-doings that good ol' Earl Rogers and Gary Oliver have been doing. The funds going to KWHA expire this year, so let's hope it goes to NWHA, who have their headquarters at the Kentucky Horse Park and have no-tolerace policy for enforcement of the HPA.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

RESEARCH - Chemicals found in the USDA sniffer tests

After reading the sniffer tests results, I realized that quite frankly, I have no idea what the chemicals are that they found. So I thought it would be a really good idea to do some research and learn what makes these chemicals the choice for putting them on the horse's pasterns. We know that chemicals are used to cause pain, so how do these do it? What possible products are being used? This is what I've found out. I linked the chemical name to the information I found on Wikipedia about it.

It is important to make a quick note that no chemicals are allowed to be used on the show grounds at any time. There are only three substances allowed to be used on the horse's legs per the HPA: mineral oil, glycerine and petrolatum (similar to Vaseline). The are to be used as lubricants for the chains worn around the horses' pasterns. They also must be provided by the show venue and not brought onto the grounds.

Overall, please note that this is speculation only. These are just the facts on what these chemicals are paired with potential reasons why they are used.

Oxybenzone - A derivative of benzophenone, it is used in sunscreen and other cosmetics because it absorbs UV-A ultraviolet rays. It's use in sunscreens is criticized because it can attack DNA when illuminated and break the genetic strands. It's possible that it's used for soring because sunscreen can sting when put on raw spots on the skin.

Camphor - A naturally-occuring solid from the camphor laurel, a large evergreen tree in Asia. It's used in medicines such as Vicks VapoRub and is an effective cough suppressive. It's also used as a local anesthetic. Sore horse "trainers" are known to use anesthetics to numb the horse's legs during inspection. When timed correctly, it will wear off by the time the horse goes in the show ring so he will be sore for his performance.

Benzocaine - A local anesthetic used as a topical pain reliever. See the explanation of camphor for the reason why sore horse "trainers" will use it.

Oxtyl methoxycinnamate - An organic compound that is used in some sunscreens and lip balm to absorb UV-B rays from the sun to protect the skin. It is also used to reduce the appearance of scars. Scars on a horse's pasterns can be indicative to the horse having been sored. The DQPs are trained to recognize scars that are caused by soring. So, reducing the appearance of scars will help the horse pass inspection even though it's been sored.

Isopropyl myristate - Used in cosmetics and topical medicinal preparations when good absorbtion into the skin is required. It can be used by sore horse "trainers" to help other agents into the skin quickly so as not to be detected during inspection.

Methyl salicylate - An organic combination of an organic acid and alcohol produced by plants as a deterrent against plant eaters. In very, very small doses, it can provide flavoring to various products, such as chewing gum, and as an odor-masking agent. It is commonly used in deep heating liniments such as BenGay. However, it is highly toxic in large doses, and if used in excess can cause burning and irritation to the skin. An interesting note from Wikipedia: "A 17 year-old cross-country runner at Notre Dame Academy died April 3, 2007, after her body absorbed high levels of methyl salicylate through excessive use of topical muscle-pain relief products."

o-aminoazotoluene - This is an organic compound known as an azo compound Azo compounds can be very rich in colors such as orange, red and pink and are usually used as dyes. This azo compound has high carcinogenic properties. It can cause extreme irritation of the skin and is highly flammable.

Isopropyl palmitate - An emulsifier and texturizer derived from palm oil that is used to moisturize skin and hair. It is described as giving a "silky appearance." This may be used to hide dry skin, scars, broken hairs, and any other skin or hair conditions that could indicate soring.

menthol - An organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils. Menthol can be used as a local anesthetic and counterirritant. This would have the same affect as camphor--see above.

elemental sulfur - Sulfur can be found on the Periodic Table of Elements and is essential to natural life. It's bright yellow in color in its pure form. It's used in fertilizer, gunpowder, matches, insecticides and fungicides. Elemental sulfur is used as a precursor to making other substances, such as sulfuric acid. There could be a variety of reasons why elemental sulfur is being used. It could be used to "thwart" the sniffer from sensing other chemicals. Sulfur is also used in dyestuffs and detergents, so there could be something the sore horse "trainers" are using to sore the horses that has elemental sulfur in it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NEWS - Earl's at it again: Accounting requested for walking horse funds

I can't find the associated article link online, so I have posted the article here. If anyone finds the link, please let me know so I can include it.

One thing I'd like to point out here: note that Earl is the President of KWHA, while Gary Oliver, our admitted sore-horse "trainer," is the VP of KWHA. I don't think there's a coincidence that this information is now coming to light.


Accounting requested for walking horse funds
By Janet Patton jpatton1@herald-leader.com

Earl Rogers letter on Gary Oliver to Horse Racing Commission
Signed statement from Earl Rogers in response to USDA questions
The July 1, 2008 letter from20USDA to Earl Rogers

Kentucky regulators have asked a walking horse group to show that members who received money from a state fund have not violated a federal law ensuring that horses aren't mistreated.

Jamie Eads, director of the breeders' incentive funds for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, asked officials with the Kentucky Walking Horse Association to provide letters "stating that to the best of their knowledge they have not been distributing money to individuals who had USDA violations."

Blair Knight, director of the Kentucky Walking Horse Breeders Incentive Fund, submitted a letter stating: "As of our knowledge there has never been any participants in the Kentucky Walking Horse Breeders Incentive Fund receive any funding that was on any USDA suspension." Knight has not returned calls for comment.

Earl Rogers Jr., president of the KWHA, stated that his group "is merely an organization that administers a high-point program for its members, and holds the annual state championship horse show (The Kentucky Walking Horse Celebration). The KWHA has no input into the decision of the Breeders' Fund."

However, more than a dozen recipients or their family members appear to have had violations since the fund began, according to data compiled by the Friends of Sound Horses, an anti-soring advocacy group.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture referred both the state and the Herald-Leader to FOSH to check for suspensions.

Rogers told the Herald-Leader that he does not consider "technical violations," such as those for scars on a horse's feet, failure to have a horse inspected or only one sore leg, to count. Those violations usually result in a two-week suspension.

"The only ones that would count in my opinion would be bilateral (sore in both legs), eight-month suspensions, " Rogers said. "It matters, but not to the breeders' incentive fund." Asked if he thought the state would make a similar distinction, Rogers said: "That's up to the state."

Rogers would not comment further and hung up.

Tennessee Walking Horses have been the subject of increased scrutiny recently from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Horse Protection Act. The federal law is designed to protect walking horses from the abusive practices of "soring," which involves deliberately injuring horses' feet through mechanical or chemical means to force an exaggerated gait known as "The Big Lick."

The Kentucky Walking Horse Association, along with other non-racing breeds, is up for renewal of its incentive fund qualification.

More than $700,000 in state tax money has been distributed to KWHA members in the last two years.

Eads said she is checking records provided by the KWHA for violations by incentive fund recipients.

She said she will take her findings to the fund committee, which will present any potential action to20the full racing commission for consideration. The fund committee meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday to discuss a separate recipient breed, the mountain horses.

Rogers, the KWHA president, received a warning in July from the USDA after an investigation into his actions at the 2006 Owingsville Lions Club Walking Horse Show.

Eads said she was unaware of the USDA investigation, and that Rogers was not on the list provided by the KWHA.

Rogers received $4,690 from the fund for 2007, according to racing commission records.

Also a concern, Eads said, is KWHA Vice President Gary Oliver, who was implicated in the death of a walking horse in his care in 2004. The USDA is looking into whether Oliver can be charged under the Horse Protection Act but has not taken any action. Oliver admitted in trial testimony last year to using banned substances on the horse's feet.

Eads said the KWHA has indicated that the board does not have the votes to force Oliver out but has asked him to resign. "If he chooses not to, that will be something that has to be addressed," Eads said.

The state breeders' incentive fund is administered by the racing commission. The money comes from the sales tax on stud fees on all breeds. Nine non-race breeds split $1.3 million in 2007, compared with $15 million for Thoroughbreds. The funds are designed to encourage horse breeders to come and stay in the state by giving incentives for horses bred by Ken tucky stallions from mares living in Kentucky.

All walking horse incentives are funneled through the Kentucky Walking Horse Association, which was selected as an affiliate when the state fund was formed in 2005.

In 2006, the walking horse fund got $320,103; in 2007, it got $387,506.

Competitors often refuse to show their horses if USDA vets are doing the inspections rather than paid industry investigators.

At least twice this year — at KWHA-sanctioned shows in Owingsville and in Prestonsburg — horses have been withdrawn when federal inspectors arrived.

Rogers, who runs the Owingsville show, has said that competitors leave because they do not want to risk violations from the USDA, which they consider to be unfair and inconsistent in its Horse Protection Act enforcement.

USDA inspections and those done by paid show inspections should be the same. But competitors are much more wary of the USDA vets, with good reason.

According to the Friends of Sound Horses, the anti-soring group, USDA vets found 90 times the violations that KWHA inspectors found at their sanctioned shows in 2007.

Although Rogers said the KWHA has no control over how the fund money is distributed, the system was designed by the KWHA, which also set up the breeders' fund affiliate.

Horses can earn points toward incentives only in KWHA-sanctioned horse shows in Kentucky. And only KWHA members can earn ince ntive money.

NEWS - More fuel for the fire: USDA Inspectors Harassed at KWHA Show

Looks like our pal Earl Rogers of the KWHA, who bemoaned the USDA showing up at the Owingsville show in July, is under investigation. Click here for the article. Be sure to take a look at the associated PDFs as well.

THOUGHTS - I added another catagory

I've added another catagory: Research. This will be information I have researched myself and compiled to include on this blog. I also arranged the catagories in the sidebar so you can browse by type of post.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NEWS and RESEARCH - USDA Foreign Substances Results for 2008

Here is another list compilation. This is the results of using "sniffer" technology to detect foreign chemicals on a horse's legs. Click here for the original PDFs from the USDA website. The "sniffer" is a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) device. Usually used in detecting chemicals in soil, it analyzes the molecules present in the sample and can determine exactly what base chemcials are included in the sample. Click here for more info.

Since there are six separate files concerning the findings, I compiled all the information in this link for ease of reading. I added the percentages of compliance versus non-compliance to give readers a good idea of what the actual numbers are (remember to be wary of the "98% compliant" claim).

Overall, of the 131 horses tested for foreign substances under the HPA, only approximately 66% of the horses were found in compliance. A far cry from the usually stated 98%!

NEWS and RESEARCH - Shows Attended by USDA in 2008 with Inspection Results

click here for the original pdf.

I had a hard time comparing the two different tables, though. So, I have compiled the data in a new format so we can see all the data for each show in one continuous table. Click here for the table. I apologize for having to scroll--I'm going to work on finding another format for this table...

In the meantime, we can see a very fascinating correlation going on here. If we take the total number of entries in the shows that the USDA attended and compare that to the total number of violations, we get 95% compliance.

304 violations/6,025 entries = 95% compliance

However, if we take the total number of horses actually inspected and compare that number to the total number of violations, we get 83% compliance.

304 violations/1,781 inspected = 83% compliance

It's interesting how the numbers can be manipulated, isn't it?

ARTICLE and NEWS - Chattanooga Times information on violations and death of abused horse

Article from the Chattanooga Times concerning this year's Celebration violations and a woman who lost her horse due to too many years of abuse, even after she tried to rescue him. Click here for the article.

My condolences to Ms. Stolz. You are a wonderful, brave person to do as much as you could for Soldier after his abuse. I hope you find solace in the fact that he is no longer in pain or suffering. Thank you for giving him a good life after his abuse and for helping him as best you could.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

THOUGHTS - An admission of guilt?

This is a comment that was made on one of Bonnie Erbe's blog posts. I'm posting the text word for word in the italic text. Anyone want to collect the $10K offered by the HSUS to report this lady's trainer?

EDITED 9-15-08: I found out that this is a spoof on this person's name. I also found out that there is a name on the HPA violations list called "Denise Rowland," and that there are seven Rowlands, several of them Denises, that have tickets. Things just get weirder and weirder all the time with these people....

My Name is Renise Dowland and I am a TWH Supporter. Have I ridden a sore horse before, well, I really don't know for sure. I let the trainer take care of fixin up my horse. I tell him not to do anything to my horse but make it win.

Note: "Fixin'" or "fixin up" are common industry slang for soring. And this is a good example of the lack of concern for the horse's well being. You only care about winning, so the horse's well being be dammed.

So I am attacked for my beliefs that the 99+ compliance rate is not real. It is my belief, that if a horse makes it through inspection, then it is compliant, no matter what was done to it prior to that moment. That is why the scar rule is soooo wrong.

Yep, because the scars are proof that the horses are being sored, and of course you don't want to lose your chance to win, so why chance it? Scars should just be passed over and not paid attention to. The horse's suffering and the Federal law don't matter at all....

I can't help what was done to it in the past and I sure cannot help what my trainer does to it. I am not there.

WHAT????? You CAN help what your trainer does by NOT SENDING YOUR HORSES TO HIM. Your pretending that you aren't responsible is EXACTLY what is continuing to ruin this breed and make all TWHs look bad. If someone is doing something illegal while under your employment, YOU are liable. It's why the horse show management is liable if horses at their show are found sore. Even Dr. Meadows realizes this.

I pay all the bills and it is up to my trainer to make sure my horse does not get a sore ticket. And if it needs to be fixed a little on one foot to get its gait to be level, then it is really not a violation, just a warning. According to the law, I nor my trainer can be prosecuted.

Thank you for admitting what your trainer is doing: SORING YOUR HORSE. It doesn't matter if you can't be prosecuted--you are still breaking the law.

Please attack another breed, we pay the inspectors for an opinion just like we pay the judges for an opinion.

Sorry, I don't think I'll be doing that since you just freely admitted that your horse is being sored. YOU are the problem, and YOU are why the breed continues to be scrutinized. You, your trainer, and all those in the industry who think just like you are part of the problem, not the solution. Go sound and you won't have to worry about it anymore--it's that simple.

NEWS - The results are in! Soring Violations Were Up at the 2008 Celebration

I can't find the link to this article, so I'm attaching what I got in an email here.

Soring Inspections Stepped Up at Walking Horse Celebration
By: Pat Raia - New Soring Inspections Beef Up Celebration Plan.

Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows, PhD, credited stricter inspections overall for the rise in the number of violations. "These horses were photographed, poked, prodded, thermographed, and radiographed," Meadows said.

Humane Society of the United States Director of Equine Protection Keith Dane said USDA inspectors' performance at the high-profile event demonstrated the agency's willingness enforce federal anti-soring rules.

Despite the violation increases, Meadows said rules adopted by Celebration management to encourage compliance at this event indicate that competition managers are also serious about discouraging soring. "Those things show we're committed to going forward," he said. "I'm not happy with the violations; I want (the show) to be 100% compliant."

According to Celebration statistics, a total of 2,188 different horses represented 4,689 class entries during the event. Of those entries, the USDA reported that 2,744 were actually presented in the show ring.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

NEWS - USDA inspectors dampen walking horse show

Again, exhibitors flee the USDA. Click here for the article. This is another show sanctioned by the KWHA.

Let's take a look at some of the quotes and text, shall we?

More than a hundred would-be competitors chose not to show Friday night in the United Performance Racking Horse Breeders & Trainers Association World Celebration at the Prestonsburg Equine Center. A racking horse is a type of Tennessee Walking Horse, the breed protected by the federal Horse Protection Act.

Let's point out one word here: "CHOSE." These people CHOSE not to show their horses. No one ran them off. I think we all understand that if someone runs from the law when they show up, then they're most likely guilty (*ahem* Saddam Hussein). Wouldn't you agree? Okay, so you can use The Fugitive as an example of when they run because they're NOT guilty. Um, it's a movie, not real life: doesn't count.

Show spokesman Raymond Hager said they had expected 150 to 200 entries on Friday; 126 horses were shown on Thursday night.

"We'll be lucky to have 30," on Friday, Hager said. In class after class, perhaps one horse showed up to compete for coveted ribbons and trophies. Friday night's crowd was clearly unhappy with the turn of events. The show is scheduled to continue Saturday.

So I think this goes to show that maybe if you stop soring horses and obey the law, you will have your 150 to 200 entries and your crowds won't be so unhappy. Am I right?

USDA representatives, who were escorted by Kentucky State Police troopers, said federal restrictions did not permit them to comment.

Good for them. Better not to say anything at all and get the job done.

Hager said competitors declined to show because USDA inspections are inconsistent and unfair and nobody wants to risk getting a ticket. "They (competitors) are always afraid. Nobody knows how they're going to check from one show to another," Hager said.

The same crap we always hear. The thing is that USDA inspectors aren't the ones who are inconsistent--they're using methods they are allowed to use on each individual horse. One horse may not get the same kind of scrutiny that another one gets, only because if there is suspicion, there are more legal ways to determine if the horse is sore. The exhibitors just aren't used to the full methods being used to look at the horses. Plus, OF COURSE they don't like when the USDA shows up, because they get caught!

Hager said walking horse competitors are being "persecuted" by the federal government and anti-soring groups. "They're being cruel and harsh on us," Hager said.

No, they're not. They're following the law. Your DQPs won't follow the law worth shit, so suddenly when someone starts enforcing the law, you say you're being persecuted. Sometimes getting a ticket is cruel and harsh, but everyone has gotten away with not getting tickets for so long that they can't accept it when their horses aren't found in compliance.

He said the pull-out by competitors would hurt the charities that the association supports, including several children's charities.

This is another cover-up. We would NEVER hurt our horses, and we'll prove it by providing money to charities. Providing to a charity is another way to get more entries in the ring and bodies in the crowd, that's all. People are more likely to come to a show if a charity is involved.

"Why is the government killing a multimillion-dollar industry when they let all the rich people, the racehorses, the saddlebreds (compete) ... they just check their blood," he said, referring to the drug tests the other breeds often undergo. His sport supports charities, he said, while "all the rest of them take care of rich folks."

Okay, let me ask you this: did you have stakes classes and pay-backs at your show? Then that means you're doling out money for people to show. Plus, horse showing ALWAYS pays back the industry. It costs money to show, and you have to pay your judges and announcers, sometimes you hire a show manager, it can depend on whether or not you can get volunteers. So someone is always making money out of the deal. Did the Celebration sponsor a charity? NO. Let's also point out that the president of the Celebration is paid close to $300,000 per year for his job. If that's not rich, I don't know what is.

There are plenty of horse events in other breed associations that give to charities. I'm sure we can go to the AQHA or APHA websites and see charity events in their list of affiliated shows. TWHs aren't the only ones.

Plus, the HPA is specifically targeted towards the kind of abuse that we ONLY see in the TWH industry. Racehorses don't wear pads, stacks, or heavy shoes--why should they be inspected? This is just another a lame excuse for them to continue life as is.

And actually, the TWHs probably need their blood checked as well. I'm sure they're given all kinds of stuff to hype them up and get them to move more.

Hager also objected to recent media coverage of the industry. "We're tired of what you guys are doing," he said.

Oh, no, are we continuing to expose you and messing up your breaking the law and abusing horses? Awwww, you poor thing!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NEWS - Letter to the Editor of Kentucky Herald

The following is a letter to the editor from Don Vizi, ED of NWHA, to the Kentucky Herald about their article "Banned but not banished.",

SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor
re: your story “Banned But Not Banished.”

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the nearly 900 members of the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA), I want to applaud you for your story “Banned But Not Banished” (08/31/08).

While the soring of walking horses has come under increased scrutiny by federal regulators, it is stories like the one you described that show the industry has a long way to go toward 100% compliance of the 1970 Federal Horse Protection Act. The fact is we are almost 40 years since the passage of the HPA, and the soring of walking horses continues.

NWHA, a decade-old organization committed to preserving and fostering the natural abilities and welfare of the Walking Horse, has been vocal and active in the fight against soring. With a zero tolerance policy as our bedrock, we have invited both The Humane Society and the USDA to attend our upcoming 2008 National Championship Horse Show (Murfreesboro, TN Sept. 30-Oct. 4).

On behalf of our membership and all admirers of the versatile and majestic Walking Horse, I hope that the Lexington Herald Leader and other media continue to shine a spotlight on soring – calling attention to violators of the HPA, so that someday a zero tolerance policy becomes the norm.


Donald A. Vizi
Executive Director
National Walking Horse Association

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ARTICLE - New editorial concerning soring and Sen. McConnell

A new editorial is out in the Kentucky Herald. Click here for the article.

Some important highlights:

McConnell points out that many lawmakers, including former Sen. Wendell Ford, defended the industry. And you could argue that the government should leave people alone to enjoy traditional rural past times. (Cockfighters might try that one.)

Another great example of one of the excuses that the sore horse industry gives. "Leave us alone! It's tradition!" Sorry, kiddos, when you're breaking federal laws, we just won't!

Soring is not traditional, however. It's a 1950s invention that distorts the gliding gait of a horse famed for strength, stamina and the ability to carry riders swiftly across long distances and between rows of crops without damaging a plant.

ABSOLUTELY. I really think this is a great description of what soring is. It's amazing how the desire for the Big Lick has distorted the image of the breed and it's true, natural flat walk. I believe there is nothing more beautiful than a horse in a true running walk, gliding around the ring. Why is it that the sore horse industry still finds beauty in such a horrible distortion of what's natural? Why can't the judges stop rewarding this look? Well, we have answers to all of that, which I can discuss further in future posts.

Friday, September 5, 2008

ARTICLE - For those of you who want positive info for the sore horse....

Celebration sees positive numbers for 2008

I do have some comments, though. OF COURSE! :) What kind of blog would this be without comments? Mostly they're just thoughts from horse show experience--things that run through my head when I read an article like this. So I've quoted some lines and put in the comments below.

The horses are the drawing card for Tennessee’s oldest continually running event and when the entry deadline passed on August 5th, 4,222 entries had been made prior to the show.

“We were extremely pleased to see an increase in pre-entries,” said Celebration CEO and Show Chairman Dr. Doyle Meadows. “Seeing an increase was important because it reversed a five-year period of declining entry numbers.”

The total number of entries increases after the show’s preliminary classes are completed and championship entries are made. 2,188 different horses made a total of 4,689 entries, including championship entries. That represents a decrease of 55 over the total in 2007, less than one-third of an entry per class. The 2,188 different horses entered are 36 more than last year. Out of the total number of entries, 2,907 were actually presented in the showring, which is slightly less than showed in 2007, but still one of the highest percentages (62%) in recent years.

These are good numbers--they aren't hiding the number of horses behind the number of entries. I appreciate that information.

“To me, that is one of the most telling statistics about our entries,” continued Meadows. “It’s very gratifying to see the number of horses that come through that entry gate…even though the total number of entries may be down a bit."

This MIGHT be because of disqualifications. Let's hope so! But sometimes horses are scratched from being entered because they're not feeling good, the rider gets hurt, things like that. So I can give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. From the numbers side, the difference is 719 horses. That's 25% of horses from the total entries that didn't show.

The Celebration® added several new measures to the event in 2007 designed to ensure the health and safety of the horses on the Grounds, the integrity of the show, and the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act. Those measures were strengthened further in 2008.

And I am glad they did it. Checking horses that were on the show grounds in general (pulling them from barns, etc.) is very important and a task that was always overlooked before.

The success of the 2008 Celebration has not gone unnoticed by officials in state government.

“I feel the industry has made tremendous strides (since 2006),” said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, during an appearance at the TWHBEA National Futurity. “There is a much better feeling. I really feel good about it. It’s such an important industry to our state, a signature industry. It may not be as big as Dolly Parton or Elvis, but it’s big.”

Huh? What does that mean? That's a weird comment.

Bredesen, while not an owner, has been a proud rider on numerous occasions.

“In most parades I go to, I ride a Tennessee Walking Horse. I take great pride in this breed.”

My first thought here is of course you ride a TWH--it's because your backers are sore horse trainers and that's where you get your campaign money from.

While no attendance records were broken in 2008, the numbers were still very encouraging to Celebration officials. A total of 139,695 fans streamed through the historic gates of the Celebration Grounds. The paid-attendance was also large with 215,096 tickets being sold for the 10 nights of competition.

My thought here is that at pretty much any large horse show, trainers and owners will buy box seats, which is usually a group of seats in one section together that are roped off and only available to those that the buyer designates can sit there. They get X number of seats for X amount of dollars. I've bought boxes at shows before. So that could be part of why the amount of paid seats is so much higher than the amount of people who actually came.

Also, I'm sure these numbers are from the total 11 days, not just one or two days. But it is important to know that that's 139,695 people that are continuing to support the sore horse, whether they know it or not.

“Our board, our staff, and I can’t thank the fans enough who came in large numbers this year. It tells us that the product we’re presenting is what the public wants to see…beautiful and talented horses, great riders, and a terrific overall atmosphere.” Said by Celebration CEO and Show Chairman Dr. Doyle Meadows.

Well, nothing's beautiful about the BL, and the riders look like cockroaches sitting on top of those poor animals.... Whatever. But if I remember correctly, Meadows is the one who headed the changes in the inspection process this year, so hopefully he is serious about making changes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ARTICLE - The Senate Guru Blog Labor Day Post

The Senate Guru organizes each post by putting the state's name and following it with information. I have copied the information concerning the Big Lick horse here. For the full blog post, click here.

Kentucky: OK, this is pretty grotesque. New documents obtained by the Kentucky print media evidence that Mitch McConnell has backed the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry in pressuring the USDA to lay off of oversight of the Horse Protection Act so that horse trainers can deliberately inflict cruel physical treatment upon the horses so that they simply step higher. In other words, Mitch McConnell is trying to get the U.S. Government to tacitly permit industry-wide cruelty to animals. Oh, and, I'm sure coincidentally, "the industry gave McConnell tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and hired his Senate chief of staff, Niels Holch, as its Washington lobbyist and attorney." Mitch McConnell is a sick degenerate who will prostitute his political influence for a few bucks. He does not deserve another six-year term as a U.S. Senator. A six-year term he does deserve is one spent behind bars rather than C-SPAN cameras.

ARTICLE - The Rural Blog post concerning sore horses

More publicity--click here for the article. Man, this is gettin' good! Gotta hand it to you, sore horse trainers--you guys have really stuck your foot in it this time! Let's just hope it proves to be a vat of acid with chains wrapped on your ankles so you can experience the pain in your pocketbooks....

ARTICLE - Barefoot and Progressive post regarding McConnell

Click here for the blog post. The quote at the top of the blog is brilliant!

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