Middle Tennessee – Two “Big Licker” Boyz, Steve Smith and David Williams each want to be President of the Breeder’s Association. Smith says he can put it back the way it “used to be”. Williams mainly seems to running to be sure Smith doesn’t get to be the head man in charge again. Adding to the equation is the less than amicable dynamic between Smith’s main backer David L. Howard and David Williams’s brother, Tommy.
In last week’s Directors election, Smith got 293 votes and Williams got 292.
In this race, it looks like as the late Emory Bellard, one time TAMU football coach said, “It’s a hoss and a hoss”.
And it could be that the Sound horse folks just might elect the next TWHBEA President by voting for Williams or Smith, if they can hold their nose and make themselves do that.
Politics makes some awfully strange bedfellows.
YOUNG STEVE SMITH
OLD STEVE SMITH
DAVID WILLIAMS, THE HORSE CLIPPER
DAVID WILLIAMS, THE COLT SELLER
Both Williams and Smith are sons of Middle Tennessee, and are lifelong “Big Lickers”.
Smith was TWHBEA President (1995-1997) during the “flush” times, but arguably made strategic mistakes which have led to the chaos of today. While President, Smith got sucked in by the Trainer Boyz and lost an opportunity to get things on a higher plane. Smith has the backing of a couple of Old Guard Past Presidents, Walter D. Chism and Charles Gleghorn, both of whom are resentful that they were cast aside and that proper advantage wasn’t taken of their accumulated knowledge and experience. Chism and Smith have an especially close personal friendship.
WALTER D. CHISM
Steve Smith is obviously David L. Howard’s
man in the race. Smith’s father, Reese, pretty much saved David L. Howard’s business from going down the tubes in the late 1980s when Smith backed off the USDA from taking away the pads and chains.
Twenty five years later, a younger Smith is back to see if he can perform the same hat trick.
But this time things have changed drastically and TWHBEA is hemorrhaging money. And the public has left the building literally and figuratively regarding the “Big Lick” show horse.
Williams is the employee of Auslander Frank Eichler
who has made a low ball offer on behalf of some solid Big LIckers to buy TWHBEA and turn it into a Big Lick (Padded Performance Horse) Registry.
As George Wallace used to say, you can take the two of them, put them in a sack, shake them up, and pull them out, and you can’t tell a dime’s worth of difference between the two of them as far as “Big Licker” philosophy is concerned.
Smith is an authoritative, “my way or the highway”, kind of guy. His father Reese L. Smith, much beloved and one heckuva person, saved the “Big Lick” bacon in 1988 when the lights were turned out at the Trainer’s Show in Decatur, Alabama. Steve Smith also has a son (Jr.) who is a Princeton graduate who runs Purple Strategies Nashville operation –
In recent years, Steve Smith has emerged as quite the behind the scenes Tennessee Republican political operative. He is close personal friends with former Congressman John Tanner (R-TN) and and former U. S. Senator William Frist (R-TN). Smith is presently serving as U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) campaign chairman, and is raising $3 million dollars for Alexander’s re-election campaign.
Williams is the son of a Maury County, Tennessee medical doctor who got hooked on horses young, and has made it a career choice. His brother Tommy Williams, who read pedigrees at sales for years, is the proprietor of the Walking Horse Chat website, in business since 1999.
Herr David L. Howard
tried to put Tommy Williams out of business when Williams first started Walking Horse Chat in 1999. Howard also had Williams banned from the Celebration grounds for competing with Walking Horse Report in covering the Celebration. In recent years, Herr Howard has had Celebration security guards escort Tommy Williams from the Celebration grounds when Williams has attempted to attend Celebration events.
So it will bear watching to see which one of the Big Licker Boyz gets the position – and what they will do with it to keep TWHBEA solvent. It is speculated that TWHBEA will soon sell the building on Ellington Parkway in Lewisburg or become insolvent.
It will also be interesting to see if either of the candidates reaches out to the Sound directors for support or just relies on the “Big Lick” crowd to get into office. Steve Smith has already tried to put a foot in both camps:
If the race between Smith and Williams was a football game, Smith would be a solid two touchdown favorite.
Smith has previously held the reins of power and will be more measured and less likely to go off on a rampage as the fiery Williams might.
But you just never know how these things will turn out. Georgia was a 12 point pick against Vanderbilt on Saturday, and Vandy won 31 – 27 to beat UGA for the first time in 22 years.
There’s a lot of ordinary “Big Licker” folks who would like to see David Williams upset Steve Smith.
Regardless of which one wins, 63% of the rank and file TWHBEA members have expressed themselves that they want the pads and chains removed, and no matter who is TWHBEA President that 63% is stamped upon their forehead and precedes them.
No one has to wonder any more how the TWHBEA members feel on this issue.
They have spoken.