SHELBYVILLE, TN –  The Big Lick paradigm is under siege,  but down in Fortress Shelbyville,    internationally known as the horse soring capitol of the world in what has become known as the “horse abuse” state,  they are all hunkering down getting ready to shoot the shoot.

Show season is 42 days away.

And the “Four walls of Rayford” are closing in on the Lickers.


Celebration CEO Mike Inman has already done a  “Mother of All Baghdad Bob” You Tube video saying eliminating the pads and chain soring paraphernalia will eradicate a whole breed of horse.

And destroy Tennessee agriculture.

And cost the Tennessee economy billions of dollars with lost employment, foreclosed real estate,  yada yada yada.

Folks, he is being paid to lie.

None of that will happen.   In fact,   over time, the opposite will happen.

People should listen to  Bill Harlin of Harlinsdale Farm,  who has gravitas that Mike Inman never will.

Mr. Harlin says the breed  is dying and will die if you don’t eliminate the pads and chains and soring.

According to “Baghdad Mike”,   Shelbyville, Tennessee,  home to Calsonic, and distribution center for Wal-Mart and Amazon,  will be an economic wasteland if you do away with the sore Big Lick.

At one time, the locals in Shelbyville were really into attending the Celebration.   They aren’t any more.    The town just tolerates it now and keeps right on about its business.




Apparently,  Mike Inman is unaware that WHOA:

  • put on about 70 flat shod shows in 2013,
  • inspected about 16,000 horses, and
  • had three HPA violations.

The country is lined up against the sore Big Lick crowd like never before.


But the Big Lickers are about to come out swinging.

And they could care less that 13,300 Trail Riders hiked out on a deal with TWHBEA because of the goldarned old sore horse.

All they callously care about is their addiction to seeing horses perform unnaturally in pain and to make money off of the addicted. By selling ads and profiting off the unknowing and blinded who seek blue ribbons.     And you can throw in a large portion of ego aggrandizement and control into the mix that makes the “Big Lick Soup”.

It has come to light this week that  Licker High Rollers are paying Lobbyist Jeff Speaks (sitting next to Trainer Boyz President Mickey McCormick)  $12,000.00 a month.  They are paying Phil Osborne (sitting next to Jeffrey Howard)  $5,000.00 a month to keep the Big Lick Party going on.  And it looks like Billy Go Boy may have gotten Chris Mather of Purple Strategies sent back to Chicago.



Folks, I am here to tell you that $17,000.00 a month will buy a lot of gojo and saran wrap.

The Grand Plan To Save Soring is about to launch.

First,  the Celebration has to retire  SHOW HIO which is into them for about $600,000.00+.

It looks the USDA is going to help them do that.  The Trainer Boyz bad want those tickets and penalties to sho nuff disappear if SHOW HIO is no more.   Looks like that was part of the grand plan all along.   David L. Howard’s  SHOW HIO said they were adopting the Mandatory Minimum Penalties for the 2013 Celebration, but Nephew Eugene says it appears that the Licker Boyz just plumb forgot to send the Celebration SHOW HIO reports to Washington, DC.

So much for what Jeffrey Howard says is a great working partnership with the USDA.

On the other hand – maybe it is – for the Lickers, anyway.

Second,  they got to go corral the Trainer Boyz and have them join hands singing and march into the Duck River like they did last February – forsaking all other HIOS except the one controlled by Herr David L. Howard who likes to keep his Cash Cow Cha Ching fat and happily milking.   They’ll doctor it up this new HIO and claim independence,  but that’s a bunch of hooey.    The PSHA sore Big Lick crowd will be right behind it,    and they will put some more lipstick on the pig, and keep right on trucking.    The acronyms may change,  but the people remain the same.




And they got to slow down the HR 1518/S1406 Prevent All Soring Tactics Act.

Representative Marsha Blackburn’s $70,000.00   lap/tap dance hasn’t been very impressive so far, and Uncle Mitch McConnell is in the race of his life in Kentucky. The Mitchster knows that the  $100,000.00 he took from the Lickers last March could get him beat in 2014 if he gets out front on the PAST Act.

The Licker Plan all along was have the sore Big Lick bunch running the Celebration and hook up with a sore Big Lick group at TWHBA , and then go up to Capitol Hill with a united voice,  but 63% of the TWHBEA members put a kink in that hose.

And then there is the troublesome Map which tells the whole story.


The Lickers have put their money on Jeff Speaks a former aide to Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), and who lobbies for big coal interests, and has helped sore Ex PSHA Chair Terry Dotson along the way.

The Lickers are also banking on the Steve Smith connection to be able to get U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to front for soring horses.

Senator Alexander and Senator Corker need to listen to Bill Harlin on this one, and do what is in the best interest of the State of Tennessee.

Celebration Chair David L. Howard and Celebration CEO Mike Inman are lying in their doom and gloom scenario that eliminating the pads and chains would do away with the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

The Tennessee Walking Horse breed is not the sore Big Lick show horse.    And you can’t have the Big Lick without sore says Dr. John Haffner, native Tennessean, and VP of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

W. W. “Bill” Harlin has actually seen it all from the beginning.  It is fortunate that in 2014 that Mr. Harlin is here to correct David L.  Howard and Mike Inman who are simply taking care of their own pocket book – not looking after the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

Mr. Harlin nailed it when he said,  “Eliminating soring and restoring the horses’ flat-shod gait would allow the natural features and abilities of the Walking Horses “” their endurance, good temperament and comfortable ride “” to shine through.

“The whole industry would be broader, but it would not have the peaks,” Harlin said, referring to the big money generated by the annual Walking Horse Celebration.

U. S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) and the rest of the Tennessee Congressional delegation would do well to listen to what Bill Harlin has to say.

Joy Kimbrough | The Daily Times

Joy Kimbrough | The Daily Times