RIVERDALE, MD – Nephew Eugene was up at Hilltop Market the other day when he heard there were suspicious goings up in Washington, DC. Something about the USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea being in bed with the sore Big Lick crowd led by Celebration Chair/ Walking Horse Publisher David L. Howard who is backed by Shelbyville attorney John T. Bobo.
Hilltop proprietor Morton let Nephew Eugene fill up his 1986 Chevrolet pick up, and Eugene headed out to Washington, D.C. to find out what was going on. Eugene thought everything having to do with government was close to the Capitol, but when he got there he learned that the USDA was located out at Riverdale, Maryland. Eugene got some friendly directions and drove on out there. He met some people there who told him who told him some interesting things. One fellow even liked coon hunting and he and Eugene hit it off and yesterday, that man gave Eugene something pretty interesting:
On July 29, 2013, U. S. District Judge Terry Means upheld the USDA implementation of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in a suit brought by Celebration subsidiary SHOW HIO and Mike McGartland, co-owner of Contender Farms in a Summary Judgement. Mike McGartland’s wife, Lee McGartland, is a Director of PSHA and is co-owner of Contender Farms. McGartland has appealed Judge Means decision.
On August 19, 2013, Celebration officials David L. Howard and John T. Bobo went to Washington, DC and met with the USDA and on behalf of the Celebration signed the Mandatory Minimum Penalties. The Celebration announced the Mandatory Minimum Penalties would be enforced at the Celebration.
At the 2013 Celebration, SHOW HIO was obviously lax in enforcing the HPA as shown by the few HPA violations it found compared to those found by the USDA Vets. The lax enforcement enabled SHOW HIO to manufacture a highly questionable 98.4% compliance rate.
Then according to the January 9, 2014 Complaint, SHOW HIO didn’t provide the USDA with the DQP tickets showing the penalties for the 2013 Celebration.
The USDA finally filed a Complaint to decertify SHOW HIO on January 9, 2014.
Since then, USDA Aphis Administrator Kevin Shea has kept it a big secret.
The best theory is that Kevin Shea for some unknown reason has been accommodating David L. Howard’s sore Big Lick crowd by giving them time to come up with another HIO that can be used for the 2014 show season.
The name of the new outfit is Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO. Its Chairman is going to be former PSHA Chair and former Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows. Meadows worked for the University of Tennessee Extension Service before succeeding Ron Thomas as Celebration CEO. It appears that persons associated with PSHA including Lee McGartland, PSHA Board member whose husband Mike McGartland along with SHOW HIO sued the USDA in Texas federal court over implementation of the Mandatory Minimum Penalties in June 2012, may be involved in some way with Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO.
On January 17, 2014, Billy Go Boy said the big news may be out of sight, and if not already decided, it is about to be decided.
The USDA appears to be playing footsie with the sore Big Lickers and not carrying out the Congressional mandate to enforce Horse Protection Act.
USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea has some serious questions to answer and explaining to do.
Analysis to follow.