MARYVILLE, TN – It’s a lovely community located about 20 miles from Neyland Stadium at The University of Tennessee along the Cumberland River, and sits at the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountain National Parkway. People go to church there, raise their families, and have the best of a small town and metro living all rolled into one.
Maryville is also home to both Larry Joe Wheelon and U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander
Presently before Senator Alexander in Congress is a Bill, S. 1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, amending the Horse Protection Act which will stop what Larry Joe Wheelon and his three accomplices are accused of doing.
The bill has both national and international interest and scrutiny.
It is a bill to stop aggravated animal cruelty.
The Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse exists on institutionalized cruelty to horses. You cannot have the Big Lick without hurting a horse. The followers of the Big Lick are in denial, addicted to or seduced by the culture and socialization that goes on around it. They are now desperately trying to foist off to the world that the “Big Lick” Walking Horse exhibition such as the annual Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee is a “Sport”. An activity cannot be termed a “Sport” when its foundation is the institutionalized soring of horses in order to achieve the Big Lick
So all of this would be simple enough for Senator Lamar Alexander to take a principled stand and become a Co-Sponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act,
except for one minor detail;
Senator Alexander’s Campaign Finance Chair is the newly elected TWHBEA President Stephen B. Smith who is raising $3 million dollars for Alexander’s 2014 re-election effort.
TWHBEA President Steve Smith has a history of Horse Protection Act citation, and he has rented a barn to a Horse Trainer, David Landrum for over 25 years who has an extensive history of Horse Soring. Landrum served a two year federal suspension for horse soring.
Steve Smith is also attempting to ignore the mandate from the nationwide Poll of 6,945 TWHBEA members where a 63% landslide of the participating TWHBEA members favored passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, to remove the pads and chains, to eliminate the corrupt HIO system and make horse soring a federal felony.
This past Saturday in Lewisburg, Tennessee, Steve Smith chaired a Directors meeting and personally ran rough shod over parliamentary procedure in attempting to silence the voices of those speaking for the Sound Horse. Senator Alexander would never have conducted a meeting like that.
The eyes of Tennessee, and the rest of the United States and the world are upon U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander to see what he is going to do on this aggravated cruelty to animals issue which is rampant in his home state.
Alexander has only to look no further than his own hometown to see Larry Joe Wheelon, Ethics Chairman of the Walking Horse Trainers Association facing justice. Wheelon is afford the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Will U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander simply tell Steve Smith that, while he appreciates his friendship and the $3 million, he is going to support S. 1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act and finally allow the Tennessee Walking Horse breed be free of the soring which has plagued it for over 50 years?
Senator Alexander’s mentor, Tennessee Senator Howard Baker was integral in the Horse Protection Act being passed in 1970.
Until I hear otherwise, I am going to trust U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander to do the same and bring honor to his hometown of Maryville, Tennessee which the tawdry Larry Joe Wheelon allegedly hurting horses to do the Big Lick has so badly besmirched.