SHELBYVILLE, TN -The verdict of  “The Poll”  of the TWHBEA members done by Pat Stout  was confirmed today by “Shelbyville Now”.  The online publication   announced its results of a  nationwide opinion Poll.   Its landslide results 62% YES 38% NO  are virtually identical to the  landslide   63% YES 37% NO results in favor of passage of the PAST ACT reflected by “The Poll” of the TWHBEA members.

In both polls, the voters of the United States of America voted  overwhelmingly  “YES”  in favor of passage of the PAST ACT to remove the pads and chains from Tennessee Walking Horses and to end the sore Big Lick forever.




YES –  62%
NO –    38%

“The Poll” of TWHBEA Members:

YES – 63%
NO –  37%

The background is that “Shelbyville Now” decided to do a Poll on the PAST ACT.   This publication has been a breath of “fresh air” for the center of the horse soring problem in the United States.  The owner reported that voters participated from all 50 states and 8 foreign countries.  As usual, people from either side voted more than one time, but the proprietor had the ability to separate out the ISP addresses and provided a one vote per person tabulation.

There were 5,678 actual votes … and over 10,000 votes counting the “skewed” results.  This shows exactly how strong feelings are on both sides of the issue.  One person voted over 300 times. The proprietor decided to categorize the votes by geographical proximity to Shelbyville, Tennessee. For purposes of the poll, he did calculations using Shelbyville as the center of the universe, and then did concentric circles around it.

Interesting, the proprietor, realizing the bias of his home area,  put the “NO” votes ahead of the “YES” votes in the following results.


Within 25 miles of ShelbyvilleӬ NO- 531 68% ҬYES- 250 32%

Within 50 miles of Shelbyville ҬNO- 1149 66%Ӭ YES- 593 34%

Within 100 miles of ShelbyvilleӬ NO- 1465 59%Ӭ YES- 1018 41%

Within 250 miles of Shelbyville ҬNO- 1852 51% ҬYES- 1779 49%

Over 250 miles of ShelbyvilleӬ NO- 306 15%Ӭ YES- 1741 85%

Overall (all voters)     “¨NO- 2158    38%“¨    YES- 3520     62%

The following conclusions can be drawn from the “Shelbyville Now” Poll:

  • The Tennessee Walking Horse breed has zero growth potential as long as the sore Big Lick continues.
  • The United States is lined up solidly against the sore Big Lick and it is about to be abolished by an act of Congress.

The “Shelbyville Now” conclusion:

What does the results tell us?  

Shelbyville, Tennessee loves this industry and wants to keep their Performance Tennessee Walking Horse.   As you move away from the mid-state area, there is an overwhelming opposition to the current performance Tennessee Walking Horse.


The whole world has been saturated with multi-million dollar campaigns that portray the showing of Performance Tennessee Walking Horse as animal abuse, along with three highly publicized arrests and charges brought against three trainers from Tennessee.  The general public views the Walking Horse industry participants as villans.  

The performance Walking Horse industry has been unable to put out a satisfactory rebutal to the claims that are being propagated in the U.S. media. The industry does not have the resources to reach the masses and no one seems to be going to bat for them on the national stage.

Where does this leave the industry?

It’s 11:59 and the clock is about to strike midnight.   Someone needs to act fast and quite frankly it’s not happening.”

Sadly,  the proprietor of “Shelbyville Now” has it wrong about the “WHY”?

The “WHY” is as follows:

  • The horse is sored (abused) at the barn in order to learn the Big Lick.
  • The horse is shown as “compliant” which means it is a sore horse which has been able to pass inspection.
  • Coverage by ABC Nightline of what goes on in all Big Lick barns is not a “campaign”. It’s just news coverage.
  • The Larry Joe Wheelon case, if there is a trial,  will graphically show the results of the soring.  Again, this isn’t a campaign. It’s law enforcement and resulting news coverage.
  • The reason no one is nationally defending the sore Big Lick horse, except for Representative Marsha Blackburn who is now being labeled the “Queen of Abuse”,  is that no one including U. S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker want to be associated with defending it.  It is in a word – “indefensible”.

Billy Go Boy Commentary

  • Shelbyville will “love” this horse, too,  just like the University of Tennessee does, and it will be fine economically:
2012 - UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE Homecoming - Kimbrell Hines Up On "A Daring Affair" - Taking The Place Of 'Big Lick' World Grand Champion Walk Time Charlie

2012 – UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE Homecoming – Kimbrell Hines Up On “A Daring Affair” – Taking The Place Of ‘Big Lick’ World Grand Champion Walk Time Charlie

  • The “current Performance Tennessee Walking Horse” is a sore Big Lick Horse.  Performance Horse is a euphemism. You can’t have the Big Lick without the horse being sored.


  • There is no industry.   There is a “racket”.   The Trainer Boyz sore the horses and David L. Howard and John T. Bobo and their gang makes money off of the sore Big Lick horse. It’s been going on for a long time, and due to profit, ego, control or whatever they are,  up until now,  not willing to change.
  • The USDA is in bed with the sore Big Lick racket. The USDA is Chester Gipson, DVM and his boss is APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea.  The role of the USDA should be to eliminate soring – not regulate it. Gipson writes it:  “Please understand that the Department remains firmly resolved to carry out its duties under the Horse Protection Act to  eliminate the cruel and inhumane practice of soring.” If APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea was serious – he would suspend S.H.O.W. HIO right now – today – and require David L. Howard to hire a compliant truly independent  HIO to inspect horses at the Celebration.
  • Steve Smith and Walt Chism are the wrong people at the wrong time to lead TWHBEA.   The Executive Committee is rife with HPA violators.   Their members have  spoken 63% landslide for removing the pads and chains   Smith and Chism are apparently committed to the sore horse.   It’s a sad situation.   Bill Harlin has told them.  Perhaps, they will awake one day and change will be their idea. That will be a good day for the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.
  • If sore Big Lick supporters on the TWHBEA Executive Committee led by Steve Smith and Walt Chism ever had any doubt that Pat Stout was doing the Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry a huge favor by polling the membership so the leadership could make an “informed” decision regarding what was in the best interest of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed,  they should not have any now.  They owe her a thank you for allowing the members to have a voice.
  • W. W. “Bill” Harlin has told them,
  • the TWHBEA members have told them,
  • the “Shelbyville Now” nationwide poll has told them,

The United States Congress is about to tell them.