LEWISBURG, TN – The TWHBEA Enforcement Committee today released a Report Of The TWHBEA Enforcement And By-Laws Committee entitled, “The Pat Stout Matter”. It was dated January 9, 2014 and apparently authored by By-Laws/Enforcement Committee VP Tom Kakassy. Kakassy reached a low-level notoriety when he once proclaimed to a group – “I Am A Proud HPA Violator”.
The background for the Sore Big Licker angst is that TWHBEA Horse Shows VP Pat Stout informed TWHBEA Executive Director Tracy Boyd in early September 2013 of her intentions to poll the TWHBEA members on the HR 1518 question. Boyd concurred that it needed to be a “YES” or “NO” vote. Stout requested and Boyd provided Stout with the TWHBEA membership list. Stout polled the 6,950 eligible to vote TWHBEA members and asked them to express their opinion “YES” or “NO” regarding the HR 1518/S 1406 legislation pending before Congress.
Stout did not tell anyone how to vote – rather she asked them to vote their convictions. The Polling initiative was done at no cost to TWHBEA.
The TWHBEA members responded and voted landslide 63% “YES” in favor of passage of HR 1518/S 1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. Approximately 26% of the TWHBEA members participated in The Poll which is about the participation of the members in Directors elections.
Since The Poll results, through the hard work of many sound horse persons, the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, now has 259 Congressmen and 43 U. S. Senators co-sponsoring it.
The 2012 – 2013 Executive Committee investigated the Pat Stout Polling Initiative, and after considerable deliberation and discussion in September, October and November, the TWHBEA Executive Committee met on December 5, 2013, and dismissed all matters against Pat Stout with regard to the Poll.
Then a sore Big Lick group took over at TWHBEA on December 7, 2013. The new Enforcement Committee has now issued this Report, and referred the matter to the Executive Committee led by King Steve Smith and Chief Justice Walt Chism for action.
In doing so, the Enforcement Committee has bypassed all of the Association’s Discipline Rules and corporate By-Laws which provide persons accused of any wrongdoing procedural safeguards and orderly process.
It will be interesting to see if the King Steve Smith and Chief Justice Walt Chism Executive Committee will pursue a vigilante outlaw course regarding this matter or follow the Association’s Rules of Discipline and corporate By-Laws which provide process and presumption of innocence to persons accused of wrong doing. The Rules provide that a written Complaint must be filed and a fee paid. It must first be reviewed by the TWHBEA Executive Committee, which decides if a matter will be referred to the Enforcement Committee. None of these Corporate Rules or By-Laws have been followed in the Pat Stout matter.
It is interesting to note that at the September 26, 2013 Executive Committee meeting, the “Lynch Mob” was quarterbacked by Tom Kakassy at the apparent behest David L. Howard with Performance VP Christy Lantis as the point person. Kakassy distributed a Complaint at the meeting, but did he not file it or pay the necessary $250.00 filing fee. If a Complaint was filed, it would have ensured an orderly process by which any person accused of wrongdoing would be entitled to process and procedural safeguards.
Shortly after the September 26, 2013, and again at the October 27, 2013 Executive Committee meetings, Stout’s attorney provided a detailed written objection and protest of the Executive Committee’s improper referral of the matter to the Enforcement Committee as fatally flawed. He detailed the conflicts of interest and biases between the members of the various committees. The objections were delivered to the corporate secretary and made part of the corporate records.
Lantis removal as California Director by TWHBEA members is now the subject of a federal lawsuit brought against TWHBEA last week in United States District Court in Sacramento, California. The TWHBEA Report mentions Fran Cole as possibly violating TWHBEA Code of Conduct. It is possible that apparently Tom Kakassy led TWHBEA vendetta may now become part of the California litigation which seeks damages from TWHBEA for various alleged misdeeds and wrongdoing in violating its By-Laws and Corporate Rules.. The TWHBEA Report also mentions Pat Stout’s attorney Clant M. Seay, and Greg Cook, CPA, along with ED Tracy Boyd.
On the date of Pat Stout’s September 23, 2013 Press Statement (below), the HR 1518/S 1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act co-sponsors were:
- U. S. Representatives – 151,
- U. S. Senators – 3.
On January 22, 2014, the co-sponsors:
- U. S. Representatives – 259
- U.S. Senators – 43
Stay tuned on this one.
Here is Pat Stout’s September 23, 2013 Press Statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 23, 2013
Cookeville, TN – Pat Stout, Vice President, Horse Shows Division of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry known as TWHBEA, announced that on September 20, 2013, she mailed a Post Card Ballot to all eligible voting TWHBEA members regarding a “POLL ON HR 1518/S.1406″.
Stout said she is asking the members to vote “YES” or “NO” on the following poll question:
“I am FOR passage of HR 1518/S. 1406 ““ “Prevent All Soring Tactics” Act to remove the pads and chains in order to end the public perception of soring and abuse presently associated with the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed, to eliminate HIOs and to increase penalties for soring”.
In announcing the Poll, Stout said, “I feel like the TWHBEA membership never gets a chance to directly voice their opinion on issues. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this question, and I believe it is important to let each member have their say on this paramount matter facing the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.”
Stout said she was going to “vote YES” on the Poll question, and she urged all members to vote their convictions on this matter.
Stout said, “I felt strongly about this issue, and I personally paid for the deposit required by the Cook and Company CPA firm in Arab, Alabama to count the votes. She said that the cost of mailing the cards was paid for by an anonymous individual. Stout said, “Cook and Company CPA firm will tabulate the “Poll on HR 1518/S. 1406″ ballots the same day that the TWHBEA Directors ballots are counted.” The ballots must be received by the certified public accounting firm of Cook and Company of Arab, Alabama on or before Tuesday, October 15, 2013.”
TWHBEA BACKGROUND ON HR 1518/S. 1406
The background leading up to Stout’s decision to poll the membership is that on May 23, 2013, the Executive Committee of TWHBEA voted 7 ““ 4 to endorse HR 1518, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on April 11, 2013, by Congressmen Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Steve Cohen (D-TN). Immediately following the Executive Committee meeting on May 25, 2013, a group of Directors unsuccessfully attempted to overrule the Executive Committee.
Following the meeting, on May 27, 2013, TWHBEA President Tracy Boyd issued a public statement explaining his vote to endorse HR 1518. Boyd cited the financial losses of the breed registry and said, “the image conveyed by our (padded) performance horse is no longer accepted in 2013″.
President Boyd said the reason that TWHBEA had suffered such drastic losses in revenue was “It is our reputation. It is soring. It is our image.” Boyd said that “the Tennessee Walking Horse breed had no friends (in the equine world) outside the Tennessee Walking Horse business.” He said “the World Equestrian Games refused our sponsorship and returned it to us”. Boyd concluded his statement by saying ” “¦ when you have lost the public, you have lost it all “¦ and we have clearly lost the public”.
Following the meeting, Tracy Boyd was fired by his employer, Baskin-Irby Construction over his decision to endorse HR 1518, and his public statement explaining his vote. Baskin ““ Irby was partly owned by Roger Baskin, son of Randall Baskin. Randall Baskin has an HPA violation history along with his horse “Mr. Heisman” and his Trainer Brandye Mills. Upon being fired, Tracy Boyd was hired by the TWHBEA Executive Committee on June 24, 2013 to become TWHBEA Executive Director taking the place of Ron Thomas who took early retirement.
The TWHBEA breed registry located in Lewisburg, Tennessee and founded in 1935, has fallen on hard times in recent years. The public has rejected the soring of the Tennessee Walking Horses being exhibited in the show ring, and this has caused the revenue stream to dry up. Breeders have stopped breeding their mares due to the uncertainty in the Tennessee Walking Horse business. TWHBEA’s cash flow depends directly on registration of colts born each year and transfers of ownership of horses.
The organization’s membership has declined from approximately 20,000 members at its peak 16 years ago to approximately 8,000 today. Foals registered each year have dropped from approximately 14,000 to 2,500, an all time low. Many horse shows have been cancelled due lack of public support as a result of the stigma caused by the soring of the horses which has become systemic over a number of years.
The breed organization has 6,945 members eligible to vote as of September 13, 2013. 6,673 are located in the United States, 126 in Canada and 146 scattered throughout the world including Israel and Australia.
In December 2012, a Mason-Dixon Poll of voters showed that 75% of Tennessee voters and 69% of Kentucky voters supported federal legislation to strengthen the Horse Protection Act, and 62% to 26% in Tennessee, and 45% to 36% in Kentucky, favored making horse soring a felony offense.
Presently, 151 Congressmen now co-sponsor HR 1518, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. The Bill was referred to House Energy and Commerce Committee, sub committee Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade chaired by Lee Terry (R-NE). A companion bill, S. 1406, was introduced in the U. S. Senate on July 31, 2013. Congressional Hearings are expected to be held soon on the matter. It will take 218 Congressmen to bring the Bill to the House Floor for a vote.”