A SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE “BIG LICK” STATE OF MIND – BILLY GO BOY AND SADIE FOWLER CHAT ABOUT INSTITUTIONALIZED HORSE SORING, ADDICTION AND DENIAL

At this point in time, the public has discerned that there is something seriously  bad wrong about the “Big Lick”,  and it has stopped attending the Celebration.

CELEBRATION ATTENDANCE 2004 - 2013

CELEBRATION ATTENDANCE 2004 – 2013

It is especially interesting to read August 29, 2013,  the Editorial by Sadie Fowler, Lifestyles Editor of the Shelbyville Times Gazette, at a time when a bunch of hard core “Big Lickers” led by these four guys:

STEVE SMITH UP ON MISS WALKING MIRACLE, MULTI WORLD GRAND CHAMPION MARE

STEVE SMITH UP ON MISS WALKING MIRACLE, MULTI WORLD GRAND CHAMPION MARE

"I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU - WE'LL NEVER GET THERE" - CHATTANOOGA FEDERAL COURTHOUSE STEPS - JACKIE MCCONNELL GUILTY PLEA - MAY 22, 2012

“I’LL BE HONEST WITH YOU – WE’LL NEVER GET THERE” – CHATTANOOGA FEDERAL COURTHOUSE STEPS – JACKIE MCCONNELL GUILTY PLEA – MAY 22, 2012

Jeffrey Howard, Editor - Walking Horse Report

Jeffrey Howard, Editor – Walking Horse Report

ROB CORNELIUS, TWHBEA SR. VP,  DEDICATED BIG LICKER

ROB CORNELIUS, TWHBEA SR. VP, DEDICATED BIG LICKER

wants to hold the entire Tennessee Walking Horse breed hostage because they don’t care what the public has concluded and for assorted reasons including greed, ego,  stubborness and being told to do it,  they are now going to try and not allow progress to take place.

In this light, it is interesting to read what Sadie Fowler wrote last August

SAIDIE FOWLER, SHELBYVILLE TIMES GAZETTER LIFE STYLE EDTOR

SADIE FOWLER, SHELBYVILLE TIMES GAZETTER LIFE STYLE EDTOR

imploring the locals support the stained Celebration.

http://www.t-g.com/story/1998232.htm

Sadie Fowler’s Editorial Talking Points

 

 

Help them walk on: Support the Celebration

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Sadie Fowler
I don’t know if it’s because I have a child who’s getting old enough to enjoy the horse show in small bits and pieces, or if it’s because the weight of the world seems to be lying on the walking horse industry’s shoulders — or maybe both — but I’m feeling especially drawn to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration this year.

In the weeks leading up to the show, as much work as there is to be done, I enjoy seeing regular faces from out of state come to town, preparing to show their horses. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of these folks over the years, and the excitement they feel as the show draws near each year is contagious.

Equally, visits to the horse show grounds leading up to the show (and during it) — the sight of friendly faces in the Celebration office, the scent of the donuts as a hot and fresh batch is delivered to the newsroom, the sound of morning announcer Mark Farrar enthusiastically calling winners’ names while I’m walking around the barn area — are all welcome parts of the year in my book.

Years of controversy surrounding allegations of abuse, the good trainers vs. the bad apples, and the outright battle between the industry and humane organizations alleging abuse have taken their toll on this industry.

Anyone who thinks The Celebration is not facing seriously troubled times is simply not tuning in to reality. And anyone who feels these troubles won’t affect you, your family or your business might want to think again.

As a once “horse crazy” little girl who moved to this area because of horses, I have come to know many people connected with the industry over the years. These are good people, and for this reason, I choose to believe — I trust — that industry reform has taken place. And there are many qualified people from within that continue to fight for reform every day.

Let me share with you words recently shared to me by a friend, and horse show exhibitor, who traveled from many miles away to attend this year’s show. In speaking about the state of the industry, this prominent owner/exhibitor said, “If I thought for one minute that my horses were being abused I would pull them out of that barn so fast it would make your head spin.”

The next day, I saw young exhibitor Allison Thorson make three victory passes on horses she trains herself. She wins all the time. I can assure you she is not abusing her horses.

Yesterday, I heard of a young boy who has heart issues living out his dream as he showed in the Big Oval. In Wednesday’s Times-Gazette, we shared memories of an 87-year-old man who got to ride the legendary Strolling Jim two weeks before he won the first World Grand Championship in 1939.

These are the stories that matter right now, and everyone in town should be talking about them.

But they’re not. Why? Because there is a disconnect between our community and the horse industry that is doing nothing but damage to all parties involved.

Is The Celebration perfect? No. Could they perhaps be doing more to engage the local community with components to the show such as a kids zone, pony rides, entertainment, meets and greets? Yes. Are they trying to get to that point? I do believe so.

Resources are an issue for The Celebration right now, and although the event might not be perfect, the show is still a very enjoyable family night out. Trust me, I took my 3-year-old Tuesday night and she had a blast watching the horses “run” around the ring, the “princesses” pass out ribbons, and the endless (and inexpensive) supply of junk food like fried Oreos, donuts, and ice cream she got to indulge in.

Bottom line: Everyone needs each other right now. The horse show, for the economic factors alone, is vitally important to our community — the community where our children attend schools, enjoy sports, bands, civic clubs (all things directly affected by the show). But beyond that, it’s just cool. What other small town can you think of that has sustained an event such as the Celebration for 75 years?

Have you forgotten? Do you disagree?

If so, I ask you to give it one more try. Take the family out this weekend and help our show walk on.”

——————-

Sadie,  I respectfully disagree, and have a few things to say.

Do you really, I mean really really believe that the answer is ”  kids zone, pony rides, entertainment, meets and greets”?

Sadie, here’s a thought – why not just have a horse show where there is NO soring?

Not reform Sadie – just NO SORING.

To do so Sadie, the “Big Lick” will have to be left behind.  There’s 50 years of history and proof that you can’t  have the “Big Lick” without soring.

Sadie, please pass along to your Editors who told you to write the “puff piece” editorial  that the whole United States of America and the rest of the world is looking right at Shelbyville on this one?  And  the “disconnect” you wrote about it regarding the locals and the “Big Lick” Celebration has about said it all.

Sadie, a parting thought – how about suggest to your Editors that they do something uplifting and endorse HR 1518/S.1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, and free Shelbyville Bedford County, Tennessee from the “Big Lick” albatross tied around its neck.

Once and for all?

BGBHEADSHOT01

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “A SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE “BIG LICK” STATE OF MIND – BILLY GO BOY AND SADIE FOWLER CHAT ABOUT INSTITUTIONALIZED HORSE SORING, ADDICTION AND DENIAL

  1. If Allison Thorson’s horses aren’t abused, why did the USDA issue a Letter of Warning for Santana’s Renaissance Man?

  2. Any true horseman, who has taken the time to understand the physical workings of a horse would not be able to say that pads and chains aren’t detrimental to the long term soundness of a horse. Chemicals baked into the package or not.
    There may not be immediate signs, but there will be effects on the horse’s soundness in the long term. Can’t argue biology/science ….. unless you’re a licker. Sooooo – even if Alison doesn’t bake chemicals into her horses legs, she is still part of the problem.

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