Loyd “Buster” Black’s Timeline – President of TWHBEA
- July 18, 2013 – Becomes interim TWHBEA President.
- July 19, 2013 – TWHBEA defers to Pleasure Horse VP to accept $1,000.00 versatility horse show contribution from Humane Society of the United States.
- July 25, 2013 – Dehaven, Benefield, Bippen & Lane meet U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
- July 29, 2013 – U. S. District Court Judge Terry Means “Slam Dunks” the Celebration/Show HIO “Big Lick” in its suit against the USDA out in Texas.
- July 31, 2013 – American Horse Council endorses HR 1518 – PAST Act.
- August 1, 2013 – United States Equine Federation endorses HR 1518 – PAST Act.
- August 1, 2013 – H.R. 1518 – PAST Act – Gains 140 Co-Sponsors.
- August 10, 2013 – Herr Howard denies TWHBEA use of Show Records.
- August 14, 2013 – Herr Howard declares War on TWHBEA and kicks TWHBEA off the Celebration grounds taking back the building TWHBEA has occupied since 1970.
- August 19, 2013 – Herr Howard surrenders to the United States and signs the Mandatory “Minimum Penalties”.
- August 21, 2013 – “Buster” Black gets 4th Place in Trail Pleasure Class.
- August 26, 2013 – Outspoken TWHBEA member Nathanael Jackson sues the Celebration for damages.
- August 29, 2013 – “Buster” Black gets 8th Place in Owner Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship.
LEWISBURG, TN – Loyd “Buster” Black is an attorney from Georgia who is pushing 70. He really likes to show pleasure horses. Back home in Brooks, Black serves as a part-time magistrate judge in small claims court.
Black was not elected President of TWHBEA, rather the Executive Committee picked him to serve out President Tracy Boyd’s term when Boyd was hired to replace retiring CEO Ron Thomas. The TWHBEA Directors elected Tracy Boyd President last December, Boyd grew up in a “Big Lick” family, worked in various segments of the Walking Horse business, and managed Frank Eichler’s operation for a while.
Tracy Boyd took the TWHBEA Presidency seriously. When confronted with the pending doom of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed and financial perils facing the organization, Boyd looked into the depths of his conscience and made some gut wrenching decisions. Tracy Boyd became a “profile in courage” and made decisions based solely what was in the best interest of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. Boyd publicly said it was essential for the Tennessee Walking Horse breed to be free from the bonds of the soring stigma associated with the pads and chains.
In May 2013, Boyd’s Executive Committee voted 7 – 4 to endorse HR 1518, Whitfield Amendment, to remove the pads and chains. Buster Black was back in Georgia at the time and did not participate in the Executive Committee vote. After the vote, a “Big Lick” group of Directors tried to reverse the Executive Committee, but they did not have the power to do so under the corporate By-Laws.
On May 27, 2013, Boyd issued a public statement explaining his actions as President of TWHBEA.
Tracy Boyd worked for the son of Randall Baskin in the roofing construction business. Baskin summarily fired Boyd from his job in the roofing business. In response, TWHBEA CEO Ron Thomas, former Celebration CEO when the horse show was successful, took early retirement. A majority of the Executive Committee then voted to hire Tracy Boyd as CEO to succeed Ron Thomas. Boyd, who has three young children, took the job. Then on July 18, 2013, the Executive Committee turned to Loyd “Buster” Black to be a “caretaker” President until the December 2013 annual meeting.
Knowledgeable observers say Black loves showing his horses, and it’s real important to him. Having been buffeted by many things in the first 50 days of his being President, it is uncertain as to what Black’s role or position will be on the cutting edge issues of the day.
Here are Buster’s thoughts from the Fall of 2012.
Things have changed a lot since Black made that statement to the Voice Magazine in November 2012. Events had not occurred fsuch as the U. S. District Court Judge Terry Means lowering the boom on the “Big Lick” in a stunning Summary Judgment upholding the USDA in implementing the federal regulations known as the Mandatory “Minimum Penalties. Also, “Herr’ David L. Howard and his “Big Lick” cronies had not decided to kick TWHBEA off the Celebration grounds on two weeks notice.
And then “Herr” Howard’s ‘Der Spiegl’ denying horse show results to TWHBEA to use in its IPEDS program which are essential to the calculation of High Points Awards regarding Sires and their get.
The most controversial thing to come before Black was on July 19, 2013, the Executive Committee voted 7 – 5 with one abstention to allow Rick Wies, Pleasure Horse Vice President, to determine if the World Versatility Show would accept the $1,000.00 from the Humane Society of the United States. The vote was backed by an endorsement of a TWHBEA Past Presidents meeting at which Marty Irby, Tracy Boyd voted to recommend to TWHBEA to accept the donation with Walt Chism and Jim Welch voting against, and Jerrold Don Pedigo abstaining. Steve Smith was at the meeting, but he left early.
So far in his time as TWHBEA President, Black has been mostly focused on showing his pleasure horse. Buster Black loves him some showing. Black showed BDF Rock Landford three times at the 2013 Celebration:
- Pleasure Horse class on August 21, 2013 and placed Fourth of Nine entries.
- Owner Amateur Novice English Trail Pleasure Novice Rider on August 26, 2013 and placed Tenth of Ten.
- Owner Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship on August 29, 2013 and placed Eighth of Ten.
Something interesting to note is that Loyd Black is TWHBEA’s representative to the American Horse Council.
Loyd Hall Black, Jr., Appointed to American Horse Council Animal Welfare Committee
“Lewisburg, TN – Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association Member At Large By Laws Vice President Loyd Hall ‘Buster’ Black, Jr., was recently appointed to the American Horse Council Animal Welfare Committee. Active with the American Horse Council for several years, Black, who is an attorney specializing in equine law and equine regulation, was selected for this appointment based on his knowledge, experience and commitment to the sound horse and to the goals of the American Horse Council. He has recently completed a two year term as chairman of the Coalition of State Horse Councils of the American Horse Council.
Founded in 1969, the American Horse Council (AHC) is the national organization representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, DC. It is member supported by approximately 160 organizations and 1,200 individuals representing every facet of the horse world. The AHC has seven committees, of which Animal Welfare is one, that are looked to for expertise and advice on issues faced by the horse industry. The mission of the AHC is to ensure that the industry works together in Washington to accomplish the ultimate goal of “Keeping Opportunities Open” for all segments of the horse industry.
Black was appointed to the position in August 2012 for a Two Year term. At the time the American Horse Council was the TWHBEA lobbyist on Capitol Hill in Washington. All that changed when Jay Hickey, President of The American Horse Council announced:
Legislation to Eliminate Soring Introduced in Senate
Submitted by admin on Wed, 07/31/2013 – 17:15
(Washington, D.C.) There are now bills in both the House and Senate to amend the Horse Protection Act to eliminate soring. On July 31, just before breaking for the August recess, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013. The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA), which was enacted in 1970 to prohibit the showing, exhibiting, transporting or sale at auction of a horse that has been sored.
The Senate bill is the same as the legislation already introduced in the House, which now has 137 cosponsors.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces the HPA. USDA deems soring to involve the use of action devices, chemicals, pads, or wedges to cause pain in a horse’s forelegs and produce an accentuated show gait for competition. According to the USDA, soring has been primarily used with Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses and continues despite the existence of a federal ban for over forty years.
The bill focuses on those breeds by amending the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an action device, or a weighted shoe, pad, hoof band or other device if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic. These new prohibitions would not apply to other breeds and would not prohibit the use of therapeutic pads, or bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices.
“The horse show industry has been living with the HPA for over 40 years. However, the base for USDA enforcement of the Act is the showing, exhibition, auction or transport of a sore horse,” said Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council (AHC), which supports the bill. “For this reason USDA has focused its efforts on those segments of the show community that involve breeds and activities that are most frequently involved in soring. If a breed or discipline is not soring its horses to exaggerate their gaits, then as a practical matter the Act has likely not adversely affected them and the bill to amend the Act, if passed, will not affect them any more than current law.”
The legislation would also increase fines and penalties for violations for soring, including the potential for a lifetime ban for repeat offenders.
The bill would create a new licensing process for horse show inspectors, eliminating the current program that uses industry-affiliated designated qualified persons (DQPs). This program has received criticism because DQPs are often not independent of the industry they are inspecting. Under the bill, USDA would be required to train and license the new independent inspectors for shows and other HPA-regulated activities that wish to hire an inspector. Licensed or accredited veterinarians would be given preference for these positions. The decision to hire an inspector, however, would still be up to the show, sale or auction. It would not be made mandatory. Shows or sales that employ DQPs now would begin using USDA-selected inspectors. Shows or sales that choose not to use DQPs now would not be required to use them should the bill pass.
“The AHC supports this legislation, as does the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Morgan Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the Appaloosa Horse club, the Arabian Horse Association, the Maryland Horse Council, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and other horse groups,” said Hickey. “The bill focuses on the problems it is intended to solve and does not adversely affect other segments of the show industry that are not soring horses and have no history of soring horses.”
It has been a tumultuous 50 days for TWHBEA President Buster Black with no let up in sight. Black has a lot of interests to balance:
- His love and enjoyment of showing.
- The position taken by the American Horse Council endorsing HR 1518 – Whitfield Amendment – and his being on AHC Animal Welfare Committee.
- The financial plight of TWHBEA.
- Doing what’s best for the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.
Billy Go Boy plans to watch Loyd “Buster” Black closely in the days ahead to see how Mr. Black handles the responsibilities entrusted to him as President of TWHBEA. The Tennessee Walking Horse now stands alone among the equine breeds, and the things that happen going forward will be done on “Buster” Black’s watch.
These are, indeed, times for a leader with vision.
Verily verily I say unto you – “Buster” Black will be weighed in the balance.