TUNICA, MS – The Delta Equine Sale Event will take place at Tunica, Mississippi on Saturday, February 22. It will feature Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses. Formerly known as the Kentucky After Christmas Sale, the “new” event is is owned by the same company Horse Sales, L.P., proprietors WHTA VP BOYZ VP David Landrum and Jerrold Don Pedigo.
The 2013 Kentucky After Christmas Sale was held under a cloud of criticism and controversy. The Kentucky Horse Park would not allow Sale Owner David Landrum to use the Celebration’s S.H.O.W. HIO to inspect the horses in Lexington. It required Landrum to use IWHA International Walking Horse Association HIO, instead.
No padded horses appeared at the 2013 or 2014 sale event in Lexington. Landrum lost the revenue from the sale of Big Lick horses. For 2014, Sale owner David Landrum decided to have a new sale event featuring the pads and chains in Mississippi where the climate is more Big Lick friendly.
For decades the Kentucky After Christmas Sale was a Big Lick Tradition. It was held at the Tattersalls Sale Arena at the “Red Mile” Kentucky Harness Track in Lexington, Kentucky. This venue gave the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse a degree of respectability. At its peak, the sale was a four day event and hundreds of Big Lick horses changed hands. A special “Spot Light” sale was featured on Saturday night and required a $500.00 entry fee. World Championship caliber Big Lick Tennessee Walking Show Horses often sold for big money under the hammer at public auction.
THE GOOD OLE DAYS IN LEXINGTON, KY AT TATTERSALLS
THE HISTORY OF HOW THE BIG LICK SALE PORTION LEFT LEXINGTON, KY
After the 2012 Kentucky After Christmas Sale, the Tattersalls Sale Arena was demolished. The Big Lick sale event was forced to find another home. Sale co-owner David Landrum talked to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky and the 2013 Kentucky After Christmas Sale 2013 sale was slated to be held there.
Then Sound Horse interests learned of it, and mounted a determined protest. They identified the Kentucky After Christmas sale as basically a sore Big Lick event. The 2013 sale catalogue had approximately 351 entries. Research showed that 199 owners of the horses entered for sale (as listed in the Walking Horse Report website Show Results database or the TWHBEA ipeds database) were associated with an alleged or confirmed HPA violation. Approximately 56.7% of the total horses being sold are owned by individuals cited and/or penalized for HPA violations. 54 of the 112 identified owners, or approximately 48.2%, have been cited at least once for an HPA violation. Additionally, 33 of the 112 individual owners identified (or 29.5%) have been cited more than once for HPA violations.
Violations by Type
The approximately 134 individual cited violations by owners of horses entered for sale were categorized as Unilateral or Bilateral Sore, Scar Rule violations, Foreign Substance violations, Action Device, or Illegal Chain violations were found.
Percent of Violations
The Kentucky Horse Park told sale proprietor David Landrum:
- Do not bring those sore padded Big Lick Tennessee Walking horses and their soring stigma anywhere near our facility.
- Do not use the Celebration owned S.H.O.W. HIO to inspect the horses at our facility.
Landrum was told if you do not meet these two conditions, the sale won’t be held at Kentucky Horse Park.
The Horse Park required Sale Proprietor David Landrum to hire IWHA HIO (International Walking Horse Association) to inspect the 2012 Kentucky After Christmas Sale.
No padded horses came to be inspected or were sold. About 200 flat shod horses were sold, rather than the 350 catalogued. Rather than lose the sale of another 150 horses in 2014, the Big Lick had to find a new venue so it chose Mississippi where things are more Big Lick friendly.
So this Saturday, February 22, 2014, David Landrum’s Big Lick Sale inspected by the Celebration’s “being decertified” S.H.O.W. HIO will be back in business at Tunica, Mississippi with a brand new name.
DELTA EQUINE SELECT SALE
The “Spot Light” feature will be back.
And the “friendly” S.H.O.W. HIO will be doing the inspecting. David Landrum and S.H.O.W. HIO have a history as set out below.
THE DAVID LANDRUM – S.H.O.W. HIO – JOE COTTEN CONTROVERSY
David Landrum has a record of federal Horse Protection Act violations.
“A database of HPA violations lists five suspensions for Landrum from 1997 to 2010 “” for soring, for putting a foreign substance on a horse’s leg, for violating show rules and for verbal abuse.
In Summer 2011, Landrum also was involved in a dispute that erupted online involving a horse allegedly abused while at his stables to be trained. It remains unclear exactly what happened to the horse and when.
A mare named Jose’s Wine and Roses was brought to a new trainer, Joe Cotten, a Louisville native and a former Landrum employee.
Cotten said that when the horse arrived, he was shocked at the condition of the horse’s feet and he posted photos of it on Facebook. He also demanded to know how she had passed previous inspections by officials from the USDA-accredited horse-industry group called S.H.O.W. HIO, an acronym that stands for “Sound horses, Honest judging, Objective inspections, Winning fairly.”
In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Cotten said L.M. Murphy, husband of owner Deborah Murphy, told him the mare had been in Landrum’s barn.
Cotten said the horse also was examined by a veterinarian who took separate photos of the horse’s front feet. Copies of those photos “” obtained by the Herald-Leader, labeled “Jose’s Wine and Roses” and dated June 18, 2012 “” appear to show scars and injuries.”
PICTURE JOE COTTEN PUBLISHED ON FACEBOOK ““ JUNE 18, 2012
“Deborah Murphy said Friday that she thinks the injuries happened while the mare was with Cotten.
“She was fine. “¦ I was there every week, and she was fine,” Murphy said. “When this fiasco on Facebook came out, my husband picked her up. “¦ She was fine when she went there; after a week, she wasn’t. I know it had to happen at Joe Cotten’s. “¦ Why Joe Cotten put this on the Internet is beyond any of us.”
Murphy said there are no photos with the report she got from the vet who examined the mare at Cotten’s barn. She declined to release the report to the Herald-Leader. Murphy later said that the veterinarian has told her no photos were taken.
“It’s none of your business. None of this is,” Murphy said. “I want to close the book on this. I don’t want to go through this again.”
The veterinarians, Dr. John Bennett (Walking Horse Business paid “Invited Witness” at PAST ACT Nov. 13, 2013 Congressional Hearing) and Dr. Belinda Mendenhall, did not return calls from the Herald-Leader.
JOHN BENNETT, DVM
HORSE VET JOHN BENNETT
Landrum told the Herald-Leader that Jose’s Wine and Roses had not been sored. He said she had been shown in 2011 at the National Futurity in Shelbyville, Tenn., and was inspected at the time by the USDA.
“I don’t know what horse those photos were of,” Landrum said. “The horse left my place in great shape.”
Cotten insisted the Facebook and vet photos are of the horse Murphy brought him that day from Landrum’s stable and that the injuries did not occur in the days she was under Cotten’s care.”
“Cotten, who also has multiple HPA violations according to an online database, said no industry investigators had ever contacted him about the incident but he wrote online in June that he had been warned that walking horse insiders would “drop the hammer” on him.
Within days, Cotten was handed a 7 ½ -year suspension and fined $5,000 by SHOW inspectors. “It’s a classic whistle-blower case is what it is,” Cotten said.”
JOE COTTEN’S PUNISHMENT FROM S.H.O.W. HIO
SHOW is accredited by the USDA to license designated qualified persons to inspect walking horses at shows and sales for signs of soring, including scars, tender legs or foreign substances.
Landrum said SHOW officials investigated Jose’s Wine and Roses and found no problem.
That is not entirely accurate.
SHOW interim leader Mike Inman (Now Celebration CEO) told the Herald-Leader that the group stepped in and took the horse to a vet for at least two weeks of care.
CELEBRATION CEO MIKE INMAN
“It needed medication attention to get its feet back in proper condition,” Inman said. “I was not here at the time, but I know the horse was taken, at SHOW’s expense, and given treatment. This was done as a goodwill gesture for the good of the horse.”
SHOW did not establish how or when the horse got in that condition.
Inman said the group doesn’t have the authority to examine records related to the horse’s circumstances outside the show ring.
“Joe Cotten claims one thing, David Landrum another, and the owner claims another. We can’t decide what’s right or wrong,” Inman said.”
So now it’s 2014, and the Delta Equine Select Sale will be held in Mississippi which is one of only four red states out of 50 where the a majority of TWHBEA members voted “NO” to passage of the PAST Act.