"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, January 29, 2010

RESEARCH - SHOW Judges with HPA Violations

To give credit where credit is due, Ruthie (aka horsendoglvr), a regular commenter on my blogs and other blogs I read, took it upon herself to go through the SHOW judges list and compare it to the HPA Violations list.* This was to find out how many current SHOW judges have been cited for HPA violations in the past. Unfortunately, she found that of approximately 300 current, licensed SHOW judges, 68 have been suspended, 14 are currently suspended, and 11 are under lifetime suspension. The violations data is only from the past 3 years, but this is an alarming number.

A big thank you goes out to Ruthie--I really appreciate your doing this comparison and having the excellent idea of bringing this data to light.

Now in my own time, since SHOW now has their suspension list posted, I compared Ruthie's judge list to SHOW's suspension list. I found that some of the conflict cases have been resolved and some lifetime suspensions were brought down to a current suspension. I did find out that if there is an appeal or a conflict case with a violation, then the HIO will use a "placeholder" of a lifetime suspension until the fine or length of suspension is determined.

However, after comparing the two lists, I found that the numbers went up! Of the SHOW judges, 73 have been suspended, with 18 under current suspension and 12 under lifetime suspension.

Okay, so why is this? Well, it's because none of the sore HIOs have any penalties in place for violators. They may receive a fine and/or jail time from the Feds, but that's it. HPA violators can still serve on the Board of an HIO or an organization such as TWHBEA or WHOA, they can still be judges, they can still own TWHs, they can still go to shows. They just can't show them or perform as an exhibitor during their suspension per federal regulations. And the worst part is that the USDA has no way of punishing HIOs either--they never put in any caveats when HIOs didn't do their job when the HPA was passed.

This is where we come in. We MUST start pressuring the USDA to change the HPA, or at least change the current Operating Plan. Start punishing the HIOs themselves; start holding them responsible for continuing to support sore horse trainers and judges by allowing them the privileges that only those who follow the law deserve.

So, here is the data. I do know that many others of the people listed on this judge list have also had violations in the past, but because I don't have what they were charged for readily available, I won't point them out. If I do find out the information about them, I'll change the data here. I only listed those judges that have had suspensions and what their suspensions were. Click on the photo below this list to see Ruthie's entire table. For some of the suspensions, they list the horse itself that was sored. The registration number indicates how old the horse was. With the first three numbers, 200 is the year 2000, 201 is 2001, 202 is 2002, etc.

My favorite part of this is how some offenders were caught at SHOW shows, yet they are still listed as SHOW judges. How can SHOW be cleaning up their act if they are allowing people to judge who were found at their own shows to have been soring horses? The short answer: THEY'RE NOT.


Listed by:
Name, Location, Violation Type, Suspension Period, HIO showing under, Horse (if included), Horse Registration ID (if included)

Code: S = Suspension; C = Current Suspension; L = Lifetime Suspension

Black text: USDA information; Red text: SHOW information

Howard Adkinson (L, C)
Spring Hill TN, Scar Rule, 6/29/09 6/29/99, SHOW
Spring Hill TN, Bilateral Sore - Preshow, 9/12/09 9/12/10, $500, SHOW (this was a lifetime suspension on USDA list)
Mike Anasis (S)
Union KY, Bilateral Sore, 9/4/08 5/1/09, NHSC, A Red Ball Jet, 20005344
Union KY, Other 2 lb shoe rule, 5/2/09 5/15/09, NHSC shoe weight: 3lb 1.9oz, A Red Ball Jet, 20005344
Larry Joe Appleton Jr. (S)
Trinity AL, Scar Rule, 9/18/08 10/1/08, NHSC, Red Hott Willie
Becky Barnes (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/6/08 11/4/08, NHSC
Steve Beam (S)
Arab AL, Scar Rule, 5/11/09 5/24/09, SHOW, Jazz's High Time, 20605970
Arab AL, Scar Rule, 5/25/09 6/7/09, SHOW, Zhivago, 20701152
Rollie Beard (S)
Lewisburg TN, Scar Rule, 10/9/07 10/22/07, NHSC
Lewisburg TN, Scar Rule, 1/28/08 2/10/08, NHSC 2007 TWHNC, exhausted all appeals
Bill Beech (S)
Belfast TN, Bilateral Sore, 6/25/07 2/24/08, NHSC
Spencer S. Benedict (S)
Glasglow, KY, Scar Rule, 10/2/07 10/15/07, NHSC
Scott Benham L (L, C)
Ontario CA, Other - Illegal Shoeing, 9/6/09 9/6/99, SHOW
Ontario CA, Bilateral Sore, 10/10/09 10/9/10, $100, $500, SHOW
Robby Black (S)
Bell Buckle TN, Not Specified, 10/28/07 4/27/08, USDA
Bell Buckle TN, Bilateral Sore, 10/31/08 6/29/09, NHSC, BMF, 19914757
Knox Blackburn (S)
Franklin TN, Scar Rule, 11/15/07 11/28/07, NHSC
Unknown, Scar Rule, 10/6/08 10/20/08, NHSC, Private Charter, 970535
Carl J. Bledsoe (S)
Ballground GA, Unilateral Sore, 12/3/07 1/1/08, NHSC Ballground GA, Bilateral Sore - Preshow, 11/9/09 11/8/10, $500, SHOW
Brett Boyd (S, L)
Petersburg TN, Unilateral Sore, 6/5/08 7/4/08, NHSC
Petersburg TN, Scar Rule, 11/19/08 12/2/08, NHSC, conflict case, A Bolt of Rain
Petersburg TN, Bad Image Horse, 9/6/09 9/19/09, SHOW
Petersburg TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/10/09 10/10/99 $50 SHOW
Charlie Brown (S, L)
Tuscaloosa AL, Unilateral Sore, 10/9/07 11/8/07, NHSC
Tuscaloosa AL, Foreign Substances, 8/4/09 8/4/99, SHOW
Stephen M. Brown (S)
Arab AL, Unilateral Sire, 4/6/08 5/5/08, NHSC
Walter Bruner (S)
Shelbyville KY, Unilateral Sore, 2/26/09 3/27/09, NHSC
Shelbyville KY, Scar Rule, 3/28/09 4/10/09, NHSC, He's All Power, 987629
John Allan Callaway (S)
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 6/22/08 7/5/08, NHSC
Bill Carmichael (L)
Mt Sterling KY, Indebtedness to SHOW, 11/19/09 1/1/99, $200, Indiana Tennessee Walking & Racking Horse, SHOW
Gerald Campbell (S)
Cullman AL, Scar Rule, 6/22/08 7/5/08, NHSC
Robbie B. Casteel (C)
Crossville TN, Bilateral Sore, Illegal Shoeing, 8/20/09 8/20/10 SHOW, What A Future (confirmed on SHOW's list)
Steve Clark (S)
Arab AL, Unilateral Sore, 10/9/07 11/8/07, NHSC
Jerry W. Collier (S)
Rogersville AL, Unilateral Sore, 7/21/08 8/19/08, NHSC
Rogersville AL, Scar Rule, 9/12/09 9/12/09, SHOW
Curtis Ray Collins (S)
Pilgrims Knob VA, Scar Rule, 7-30-07 8-12-07, NHSC
Mike Conley (S)
Clintwood VA, Scar Rule, 5/5/08 5/18/08, NHSC
Wayne Conley (S)
Rutledge TN, Unilateral Sore 3rd Unilateral Sore, 9/28/06 9/27/07, NHSC
Joe Cotten (S)
Franklin TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/6/08 11/4/08, NHSC
Don R. Crum (S)
Lovelady TX, Unilateral Sore, 11/8/07 12/7/07, NHSC
Lovelady TX, Scar Rule, 5/18/09 5/31/09, SHOW, I'm Jeb Stewart, 20300343
Lovelady TX, Scar Rule, 6/1/09 6/14/09, SHOW, Born A Jazz Queen, 11/25/08, NHSC
Brad Davis (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/12/08 11/10/08, NHSC
Jason Day (S)
Bell Buckle TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/4/07 10/3/07, NHSC
Bell Buckle TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/5/08 10/4/08, NHSC
Wayne Dean (S)
Lewisburg TN, Scar Rule, 9/4/07 9/17/07, NHSC
Larry W. Derryberry (S)
Pulaski TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/2/08 10/1/08, NHSC
Steve Dunn (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/1/08 10/1/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 11/12/08 1/10/09, NHSC
Larry E. Edwards (S)
Dawson GA, Scar Rule, 8/2/07 8/1/5/07, NHSC
John T. Fikes (S)
Hamilton AL, Other - Illegal Shoeing, 8/3/08 8/16/08, NHSC
Hamilton AL, Unilateral Sore, 8/31/08 9/29/08, NHSC
Hamilton AL, Scar Rule, 3/14/09 3/27/09, NHSC, The Casino Royale, 20314926
Allen Dean Foreman (C)
Thomason GA, Bilateral Sore - Preshow, 7/4/09 7/4/10, $500, SHOW
Larry George (S)
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 8/4/08 8/17/08, NHSC, Bum In The Sun
Unknown, Scar Rule, 9/2/08 9/15/08, NHSC, My 9, 20501130
Ray Gilmer (L)
Toone TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/10/09 10/10/99, $50, SHOW
Charlie R. Green (L)
Shelbyville TN, Open Lesion One Foot, 10/1/09 10/12/99, $50, SHOW
Wink Groover (S)
Bell Buckle TN, Unilateral Sore, 1/7/09 2/5/09, NHSC, conflict case
Bell Buckle TN, Scar Rule, 5/25/09 6/7/09, SHOW, My Private Label
Brent Hardin (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/28/08 10/27/08, NHSC
Jeff Hatcher (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 1/7/09 2/5/09, NHSC
Mike Hilley (C)
Shelbyville TN, Bilateral Sore, 10/10/09 10/9/10, $500, SHOW (was a lifetime suspension on USDA list)
Sonny Holt
Shelbyville TN, Bilateral Sore, 9/4/07 5/3/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Other - Illegal Shoeing, 9/2/08 9/15/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/8/08 10/7/08, NHSC
Mike Janeway (S)
Robbins TN, Scar Rule, 9/26/07 10/9/07, HPC, Elmer's Encore, 20501656
Justin Jenne (S)
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 6/3/08 6/16/08, NHSC
Robert Kellett Jr. (S)
Fountain Inn SC, Other - Scurffing, 6/15/09 6/28/09, SHOW
Larry Latham (S)
Joppa AL, Unilateral Sore, 8/29/08 9/27/08, NHSC
Layne Leverette (S)
Petersburg TN, Scar Rule, 10/19/08 11/1/08, HOA, My Reckless Endangerment
Paul Livingston (S)
Church Hill TN, Scar Rule, 6/7/09 6/21/09, SHOW, conflict case
Rae Martin (S)
Leesville SC, Scar Rule, 6/8/08 6/21/08, NHSC
Leesville SC, Scar Rule, 6/22/08 7/5/08, NHSC
Micky McCormick (S)
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 7/7/08 7/20/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 10/6/08 10/20/08, NHSC, Moonlighter
Unknown, Scar Rule, 9/18/08 11/16/08, NHSC, Jose's Midnight Tango, 20501529
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 12/17/08 1/15/09, NHSC
Mike McCormick (S)
Shelbyville, TN, Scar Rule, 6/15/09 6/28/09, Pinkie Promise
Richard Myers (S)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/9/07 11/8/07, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 12/20/07 2/19/08, NHSC
Alanzo "Al" Napier (L)
Martinsville IN, Indebtedness to SHOW, 11/19/09 11/19/99, Indiana Tennessee Walking and Racking Horse, $525, SHOW
Joel Nipper (S)
Cleveland TN, Unilateral Sore, 8/12/07 9/10/07, NHSC
Jimmy Norris (S)
San Martin CA, Scar Rule, 8/1/08 8/14/08, NHSC
San Martin CA, Unilateral Sore, 10/2/08 11/1/08 NHSC
San Martin CA, Unilateral Sore, 11/17/08 12/16/08, NHSC
San Martin CA, Unilateral Sore, 7/27/09 (end date was incorrect as he is not on lifetime suspension) SHOW
Randall Phillips (C)
Cookeville TN, Bilateral Sore Scar Rule - Preshow, 7/27/09 7/27/10, $500, SHOW, Little N Bad (confirmed on SHOW's list)
John Puckett (L)
Wartrace TN, Unilateral Sore, 8/11/09 8/11/99, SHOW
Danny Rylee (S)
Gillsville GA, Unilateral Sore, 9/2/08 10/2/08, NHSC
Ginger Simpson (S)
Belvidere TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/2/08 10/2/08, NHSC
David Smith (S, L)
Alvaton KY, Unilateral Sore, 7/20/08 8/18/08 NHSC
Alvaton KY, Scar Rule, 5/4/09 5/17/09, SHOW, Jacob Parole Cash, 20603316
Alvaton KY, Other – NHSC Rule Violation, 7/10/09 7/24/09, SHOW
Alvaton KY, Unilateral Sore, 10/10/09 10/10/99, $50, SHOW
Tim L. Smith (S)
Hickson TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/9/07 11/8/07, NHSC
Hickson TN, Unilateral Sore, 1/28/08 2/26/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 10/6/08 10/20/08, NHSC, Jose’s Pepper
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 1/21/09 2/3/09, NHSC
Lenior City TN, Unilateral Sore, 7/13/09 7/26/09, SHOW conflict case
Ronnie Spears (S)
Tullahoma TN, Unilateral Sore, 9/28/08 10/27/08, NHSC
Nobel Stout Jr. (S)
Cookeville TN, Illegal Shoeing, 8/4/08 8/17/08, NHSC
Hugh Morgan Taylor (C)
Childersburg AL, Bilateral Sore - Postshow, 10/5/09 10/4/10, $500 SHOW (confirmed on SHOW's list)
Brock Tillman (L)
Shelbyville TN, Unilateral Sore, 8/15/09 8/15/99, SHOW
Grandy W. Tuck (S)
Eden NC, Other – not specified, 10/1/06 9/30/07, USDA
Dan Waddel (S)
Union City TN, Unilateral Sore, 5/27/08 6/25/08, NHSC
Dale Watts (S)
Summit MS, Unilateral Sore, 4/13/08 5/12/08, NHSC
Larry Wheelon
Maryville TN, Bilateral Sore - Preshow, 10/26/09 10/26/10, $500, SHOW
Gwain J. Wilson (S)
Shelbyville TN, Bilateral Sore, 9/2/07 5/1/08, USDA
Shelbyville TN, Scar Rule, 5/2/08 5/15/08, NHSC
Shelbyville TN, Bilateral Sore, 2/10/09 10/7/09, NHSC conflict case, She’s John F. K’s Pusher
Shea D. Woods (S)
Hickory Valley TN, Unilateral Sore, 4/7/09 5/6/09, SHOW


*Ruthie stated the following when she sent me her data:

"Caveat: I have compared SHOW's list of Judges with the Suspensions from 8-1-07 to 10-16-09. Keep in mind that I could only compare names to names, so I might have some wrong, i.e., judge John Doe might not be the same John Doe that was suspended. (I apologize for any errors.)"


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NEWS - SHOW Posts HPA Violations

So it looks like SHOW is trying to be more transparent and has posted their HPA violations on their website. Here's the link: SHOW Violations. To find it from the home page, go to the Downloads/News page and click on the Suspension List link on the left side of the page.

Now I have been working on posting a friend's list that compares the current SHOW judges to the HPA violations they have (68 suspended, 14 currently suspended, 11 under lifetime suspension). It's taking me some time because it's a large list, and I'm narrowing it down to just the suspensions. But I've already found some discrepancies between the SHOW list and the USDA's list.

For example, Howard Adkinson is a judge for SHOW. On the USDA list, the following is revealed:

Spring Hill, TN; SHOW affiliated show; Scar Rule; suspension from 6-29-09 through 6-29-99 (that's 2099, so in essence this is a lifetime suspension.)
Spring Hill, TN; SHOW affiliated show; Bilateral Sore; suspension from 9-12-09 through 9-12-99 (again, 2099)

The SHOW list has different information:

Spring Hill, TN; SHOW affiliated show; Bilateral Sore - Preshow; $500 fine; suspended from 9-12-09 through 9-11-10 (that's 2010)

Now, it is possible that Mr. Adkinson fought the 9-12 suspension and won a shorter suspension time--I can deduce this because the SHOW list is dated later than the USDA list. BUT HE IS STILL ALLOWED TO KEEP HIS JUDGING STATUS. The SHOW penalty structure states that he cannot judge shows during his suspension, but he certainly can still be a judge. Now why is that? SHOW? Any answers? Of course not.

Referring back to the suspensions, where is the suspension until 2099 on SHOW's list? This makes no sense.

So, I'll be working on posting those discrepancies as well. I hope to have everything up this week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Concerning the Values of the SHOW HIO


Now that that's out of the way...

This is the text of an email I sent today to all listed emails on the SHOW HIO website at www.showhio.com. Feel free to use some of the same ideas in your own letters. We have to let SHOW know we are not happy and that we won't support this continued focus on abuse.

Dear SHOW Officials and Board Members:

As a Tennessee Walking Horse advocate, I have worked diligently with various groups to help end the serious issue that plagues our breed known as soring, a form of animal abuse. I understand that you are aware of this issue as you point out the fact that the industry “comes under attack for alleged abuse of its animals” on your Our Campaign page of your website. I think we can all agree that soring is not a thing of the past as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proven time and time again that this abuse continues with statistical, video, and photographic evidence.

I noted on the Our Campaign page on your website, you state the following.

The SHOW campaign is “a tangible way of demonstrating our industry’s commitment to doing what is right and bringing about reform where needed.”

SHOW is “saying we pledge to take personal responsibility to refrain from any act that might be construed as animal abuse and state publicly that we encourage our friends to do likewise.”

“By embracing the values of SHOW, you can enhance the integrity of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, protect our horses and assure the future of real competition.”

A friend of mine took it upon herself to compare the list of judges licensed with SHOW to the HPA Violations list for the period of August 1, 2007 through October 16, 2009 as published on the USDA website. Of the over 300 judges, 68 of these judges were suspended during that time period, 14 are currently suspended, and 11 of them are under lifetime suspension. This represents 93 HPA violators—felons, really, for violating the HPA is a federal offense—that are still allowed to perform as judges. That’s almost one third of your judge roster.

In addition, I understand that Rollie Beard has been given the position of Director of Judges. Yet, recent information released by the USDA informs us that Mr. Beard has received five tickets within the past six years for violating the HPA, with the last violation occurring just recently in 2008.

I can also note that per the USDA data, over 400 violations were found at the 2009 Celebration, which as I understand was affiliated with your HIO. This is a record-breaking number of violations, and it was during SHOW’s first time of being the affiliated HIO at the Celebration.

In addition, I learned today that you have changed your shoeing regulations. You are now allowing bands in all divisions, including the Trail Pleasure division, and you are allowing extra weight and tungsten shoes on horses. It has been proven that bands can be used to cause pain by their being tightened too hard, and they can be used to hide pressure shoeing practices between the shoe and the hoof. This information has been documented in the article titled “Soring: Disgraceful Practice Continues” in the American Farriers Journal in 2009. The ridiculously heavy shoes can cause lifelong damage to the horse’s joints and muscle structure in its legs, back and neck.

I have a very important question for all members and representatives of SHOW. Are these the values Walking Horse owners and exhibitors are expected to embrace? That an HIO will allow a reported felon, even a repeat felon, to continue to represent the TWH industry by being a judge or the Director of Judges? That we will continue to see HPA violations at shows affiliated with your HIO? That you will change your shoeing regulations to actively include practices that are proven to help perpetuate soring and have been specifically banned by sound horse HIOs? What value exactly are you trying to convey here? It can’t be “doing what is right” or “bringing about reform.” Usually a logical course of action would be to remove violators from judging and directorial positions in your HIO, and it would also to be to either keep your shoeing regulations the same or change them to be more restrictive. Apparently, values you support are not the same kinds of values that I think most law-abiding citizens take seriously, such as honor, integrity, compassion, and most importantly, ethical behavior. I would think that you are doing exactly the opposite and are encouraging those who repeatedly sore their horses to keep doing it, which in turn is an “act that might be construed as animal abuse.”

Overall, I believe and I’m sure others will agree that you are doing nothing to “enhance the integrity of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry” by continuing this course of action. Allowing repeat violators to be judges and official with your HIO does not “protect the horse.” It serves to protect your own industry by allowing it to continue as is. Please know that until you start to consider true reform and start helping to end soring rather than encouraging it, you will never be seen as “doing what is right.” If you “pledge to take responsibility,” then stop pledging and start taking responsibility in making progressive changes and instigating the end of this horrific practice, especially before others do it for you.


Andrea Ohnstad
Silver Phoenix Ranch

NEWS - SHOW's New Shoeing Rules (And They Are Terrible)

Now SHOW has changed their shoeing rules, and it seems they have decided to go backwards in their so-called progression to help end soring. They are now allowing bands on all levels of horses (including trail division) AND they have no weight limits and are allowing tungsten shoes. Bands are a great way to help hide soring practices between the horse's hoof and the shoe, and tungsten shoes are not allowed in the sound horse venues.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email SHOW and let them know your displeasure. Their website to find their emails is www.showhio.com.

Below is the info on their new shoeing rules that I received.


New show rules.... bands are optional in all divisions. Metal hoof bands such as used to anchor or strengthen pads and shoes are permitted so long as they are placed at least on half inch below the bottom of the coronet band

clips optional in all divisions when drawn from original steel, or poured...

shoe not to extend beyond bulb of horse's heel when a perpendicular line is drawn from the bulb to the ground..

shoe not to extend more than 1/4 " beyond the hoof at the toe

turn back will be measured from the front to the rear of the caulk

Country Pleasure
max 3/8 x 3/4" stamped steel or aluminum keg shoe
borium allowed on toe,max 1 1/2 in length and small spot on heels
poured heels allowed

Trail Pleasure
max 3/8 x 3/4 cold or hot rolled steel or aluminum shoe
max 1 1/2 turn back borium allowed on the caulks but the thickness of the shoe, caulk and borium must not exceed 7/8"

Lite shod (dropped 2 lb limit)
max 1/2 x 1" cold or hot roll steel or aluminum shoe
max 1 1/2" turnback
borium allowed on the caulks, but the thickness of shoe, caulk and borium must not exceed 1 1/8"

Plantation Pleasure
max 1/2 x 3/4" shoe open to any steel (this means tungsten)
max 1 1/2" turnback
borium allowed on the caulks of the shoe but the thickness of the shoe, caulk and borium must not exceed 1 1/8"

Park Pleasure
Max 1/2 x 1 1/2" shoe open to any steel (this means tungsten)
max 1 5/8" turnback
borium allowed on caulks but thickness on shoe caulk and borium must not exceed 1 1/8"

Acrylic can be used to repair and mend a hoof where shoe has been thrown and hoof damaged. Acrylic or any other material cannot be used for the purpose of extending the length of the natural hoof in any manner on both feet which includes the toes or heels. Acrylic can be used to fill in around the nail holes or cracks on the sides of the hoof.

No additional weight shall be allowed on or in the hoof, other than shoe, nails and band

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