WASHINGTON, DC – Mr. Administrator Shea, I don’t know what did you know or when did you know it, but there are some disturbing things coming to light right now that have apparently occurred on your watch.
I am going to connect some dots and when I finish, I am going to ask you to please provide the American people with an explanation and some answers going forward.
APHIS ADMINISTRATOR KEVIN SHEA AND CELEBRATION HONCHOS DAVID L. HOWARD, JOHN T. BOBO, DOYLE MEADOWS, TWSHO, PSHA, INDEPENDENT INSPECTION SERVICES, LLC HIO ALL CUDDLED UP TOGETHER
First of all, they sore horses in Tennessee.
Been doing it for a long time to get the sore Big Lick.
Native Tennesseans are now speaking out about the “regulated soring” that you have been overseeing.
The legendary Mr. W.W. “Bill” Harlin, 90 years old, of the famed Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, Tennessee, home of two-time world grand champion horse Midnight Sun, weighed in last week saying “Tennessee is getting a reputation as being a horse abuse state. Pads and chains are killing the industry.”
Dr. John Haffner, MTSU Horse Science Faculty and VP of the Tennessee American Association of Equine Practitioners says “The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed. The Big Lick is a learned response to pain and if horses have not been sored, they do not learn it.”
Mr. Shea, perhaps your only interaction in your job is with people like Celebration Chair David L. Howard who has become wealthy off of the sore Big Lick horse, and his attorney John T. Bobo who also represents the Celebration.
Mr. Shea, what was once “entertainment” in Shelbyville in late August culminating the Saturday before Labor Day has now been rejected by the public in Tennessee.
It is now viewed as a barbaric anachronism that needs to vanish forever.
The reason it has been rejected by the public is it is centered around the inhumane treatment of Tennessee Walking Horses, primarily at the barns, then in the show ring.
It’s the SORING.
The public wants no more of it.
Here are the numbers:
So sir, I am going to pull up a chair and tell you what I know.
And once I get through doing that, I am going to ask you what you are going to do about the problem. I have the right to ask you that because you work for the American people – not a bunch of folks in Middle Tennessee who have grown rich off of a spectacle centered around horses that have to be checked to be sure they are “compliant”.
A “compliant” horse is a sore horse which will pass inspection.
People fear that something is not right with your current approach, and they want you to please take care of the Horses … and not worry about Mr. Howard’s concern about his pocketbook.
The American people want the soring stopped.
Not regulated, Mr. Administrator.
They are looking to Mr. Vilsack and you to do this.
The United States and the International Community strongly supports passage of the PAST Act.
People are upset because:
S.H.O.W. HIO (Show, Inc., a subsidiary of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration) appears to be playing games with you.
Or God forbid, you have been taken in by them.
Neither is acceptable to the American people.
- After going through the rule making process, Mandatory Minimum Penalties to put “teeth” in the Horse Protection Act were approved in May 2011.
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 2 WEEK SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 60 DAYS SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH & SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
TWO FOOTER (BILATERAL SORE)
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 2 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 4 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH OFFENSE ““ 4 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
ONE FOOTER (UNILATERAL SORE)
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 60 DAYS ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 120 DAYS ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR ““ NO SHOW
For any violation of the HPA which requires a suspension, the following persons will be suspended: Owner, Manager, Trainer, Rider, Custodian, Seller. If the offense is bilateral sore ““ you can add the Transporter to the list.
- The Big Lick crowd led by David L. Howard screamed “Bloody Murder” and opposed them. They told you that they would sue the USDA if you implemented them.
- It appears that you, or someone who works for you, “sat” on the mandatory Minimum Penalties for a year – May 2011 – June 2012 – while horses were being sored. Were you concerned at this time of how the implementation of the mandatory Minimum Penalties might affect the “gate receipts” at the Celebration or the other major horse shows?
- On May 16, 2012, the American people saw the ABC Nightline video of Jackie McConnell, Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Hall of Fame Trainer, hitting the horse teaching him to stand still while he was being checked for being sore at inspection.
- On June 7, 2012, the USDA implemented the mandatory Minimum Penalties. Apparently, it took a national scandal with over 500,000 people viewing the McConnell horse abuse for the USDA to act for somebody at USDA to turn loose the mandatory Minimum Penalties.
- In late June 2012, the Big Lick crowd – S.H.O.W., Inc d/b/a SHOW HIO sued the USDA over the rule. David L. Howard’s Celebration SHOW HIO, and sore Big Lick guy Mike McGartland, (HPA Citation history), as Frank Eichler (HPA family Citiation history) had promised the Trainer Boyz, they would sue the USDA to stop the mandatory Minimum Penalties. The Big Lick tried, but failed to get a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the mandatory Minimum Penalties.
- On July 25, 2013, you went to Secretary Vilsack’s office and met for an hour with W.Ron Dehaven, DVM, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association; Sounds Horse Advocates Teresa Bippen, Donna Benefield and Gary Lane, Gaited Horse Clinician. The meeting was about enforcing the Horse Protection Act. Secretary Vilsack asked you to deal with it.
- On July 26, 2013, you met with the Sound Horse advocates at your office. They asked you to vigorously enforce the Horse Protection Act, and you made “disturbing” statements in you which you seemed more concerned about David L. Howard’s focus and concerns about the “gate receipts” for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration than you were on enforcing the Horse Protection Act.
- On July 29, 2013, you learned that the USDA won the suit and mandatory Minimum Penalties were the law. The question was then if the Big Lick would comply with the law and implement the mandatory Minimum Penalties at the 2013 Celebration?
- On August 16, 2013, your people – Dr. Chester Gipson, Dr. Rachel Cezar and Dr. Andrea Morgan met with S.H.O.W. HIO officials to discuss the 2013 Celebration. In the past the SHOW. The Celebration making nice with the USDA has been going on a long time. They smile to your face and sore horses to your back.
- On August 19, 2013 – Celebration officials David L. Howard and John T. Bobo came to Washington, DC and met with Dr. Chester Gipson. On behalf of S.H.O.W. HIO and the Celebration, Howard and Bobo signed papers accepting the Minimum Penalties. They agreed in writing and then announced that the Minimum Penalties would apply to and be enforced at the 2013 Celebration.
- The Celebration was from August 22 – August 31, 2013.
- S.H.O.W. HIO was obviously lax in its inspections. The USDA vets found 230% more HPA violations than the SHOW HIO DQPs and the USDA was only spot checking horses.
- S.H.O.W., HIO – does not upload mandatory Minimum Penalties in USDA database for Celebration 2013. Or the 139 HPA violations since June 2012 to Sept. 2013.
- October 2013, SHOW HIO announces it will go inactive at end of November 2013.
- November 13, 2013 – Sound Horse Advocates Testify Before Congress
- December 2013 – Suspicions regarding your intentions were aroused when Sound Horse advocates learned that Deputy APHIS Administrator Andrea Morgan who works for you let the cat out of the bag on a possible deal with the sore Big Lick. It is reported that this person intimated that PSHA would be certified and take the place of SHOW HIO. Word got out among the Flatters, and the official’s area of responsibility was reportedly changed.
- On January 7, 2014, you sign the Complaint to decertify the David L. Howard’s Celebration owned SHOW, Inc. a/k/a S.H.O.W., HIO, and it is filed on January 9, 2014.
- You don’t let the public know Complaint has been filed.
- The Walking Horse Report Publisher David L. Howard, also Celebration Chair, does not let the public know Complaint has been filed.
- On January 29, 2014, The Walking Horse Report publishes release from PSHA:
“PSHA is aware of the application of the Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO with the USDA. PSHA has no ownership of the HIO and will remain independent of its management but will work to support the HIO if it is certified and follows the outline of independent management, independent, qualified inspectors and tough enforcement of the HPA.”
Mr. Shea, what in Hades is Independent Inspections Services, LLC HIO? There’s a Delaware corporation by that name which originated in Luxembourg which is registered to to do business in Texas. Now if that is what the Lickers mean by “independent management” it will lend an entirely new meaning to the term.
- On January 30, 2014, www.billygoboy.com reported: 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 31, 2014, www.billygoboy.com , breaks the news that Celebration’s Complaint against S.H.O.W. HIO has been filed. “Shelbyville NOW” obtains Complaint from www.billygoboy.com and circulates it in Shelbyville.
So Mr. Shea, it’s been 155 days since the end of the Celebration and 38 days until the start of the Trainer Boyz Show.
THE SORE BIG LICK CONTINGENCY PLAN:
- Do not enforce the mandatory Minimum Penalties.
- Do not provide any of the HPA violations under the mandatory Minimum Penalties”¨ to the USDA.
- Let USDA decertify S.H.O.W. HIO.
- All the mandatory Minimum Penalties accumulated by the Trainer Boyz from June 2012 through September 2013 vanish into thin air.
- The Trainer Boyz get to start fresh – no existing penalties – under a new HIO.
So Mr. Shea, here are some of the questions that the American people need answered:
- Are you colluding with or conspiring with Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and cooperating with the Big Lick “CONTINGENCY PLAN” to allow the sore Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse crowd to escape the consequences of the mandatory Minimum Penalties upheld by the U. S. District Court Judge Terry Means?
- WAS Dr. Andrea Morgan acting at your direction when she referenced allowing PSHA to take the place of S.H.O.W. HIO?
- Why did you wait for over a month to make public the USDA Complaint to decertify S.H.O.W. HIO filed on January 9, 2013, and only then, pressure was exerted upon you to do so?
- Why don’t you make public the HIO application filed by Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO, the alleged Chairman of which is Doyle Meadows, former Celebration CEO?
- What is Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO?
- Why would you consider certifying a HIO with which Doyle Meadow is connected in any way? While Doyle Meadows served as Celebration Chairman David L. Howard’s CEO from 2009 until October 31, 2012, he presiding over Show, Inc., a/k/a S.H.O.W., HIO owned by the Celebration. Doyle Meadows was CEO over a subsidiary of the Celebration which on 139 occasions S.H.O.W., HIO failed to assess and enforce the minimum penalties in violation of the Horse Protection Act.
- Why would you EVER consider ANY HIO application with Doyle Meadows name associated with it, much less to be Chairman of the group?
- Why would you EVER consider ANY HIO application that has anything to do with PSHA, Performance Show Horse Association? It’s former Chairman Terry Dotson had two horses turned down at the 2013 Celebration and abruptly resigned during the Celebration. Then Doyle Meadows became PSHA Chairman on October 7, 2012.
Mr. Shea, frankly your credibility is on the line here.
Surely, you wouldn’t lend the integrity of the United States Department of Agriculture to what appears to be a sore Big Lick charade apparently being puppeteered by David L. Howard and John T. Bobo to get another non-compliant HIO in place?
- SUSPEND S.H.O.W., HIO – and do NOT allow them to inspect another Horse until it uploads to the USDA database the 139 HPA violations subject to the 139 minimum penalties.
- DO NOT consider any HIO application which has any member in any shape form or fashion who they or their family members have any HPA violations.
- DO NOT consider any HIO applications which have any person related in any way to:
D. INDEPENDENT INSPECTION SERVICES, LLC HIO