THETA, TN – It is beginning to look like that Tennessee’s senior United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) may lend himself to the sore Big Lick effort to stop the PAST ACT from becoming law.
One tip off was two weeks ago when Senator Alexander didn’t have time to see Priscilla Presley when she visited Washington to lobby for the PAST ACT.
Another sign is the Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch’s letter to the seven Tennessee Republican Congressmen co-sponsoring Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) HR 4098 thanking them for their support. The Farm Bureau letter was apparently written by Phil Osborne PR guy for PSHA and Jeff Speaks, Lobbyist.
TENNESSEE FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT LETTER
“The Tennessee Walking Horse Industry is not only important economically to Tennessee but the breed is iconic to our state. Over forty percent of Tennessee Walking Horses reside in either Tennessee or Kentucky. The Equine Industry as a whole provides a valuable market for many agricultural commodities and owners patronize many farm service businesses. We are proud of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and support shows and competition within all breeds and types of horses. Competition showcases the performance and capabilities of a horse. It also encourages steady improvement of genetics and lineage to ensure quality within the breed.
H.R. 4098 addresses the inspection inconsistencies and provides certainty to the inspection protocol. Certainty will allow the vast majority of horse owners, trainers and breeders and those who play by the rules to confidently participate in the horse shows. Congressman Blackburn’s bill sets up a fair and scientific process to provide that certainty. H.R. 4098 implements an objective, science based testing process and provides a bright line indicator of the misuse of both chemicals and equipment. This technology and process insures the basic rights of those who follow the law will be protected. For those who do not, the inspection process will provide undisputable evidence.
We can accept subjective opinions on the beauty of the horse but when it comes to inspections objectivity is a must. We support H.R. 4098 and thank you for your support as well.
On November 10, 2013, the following Ad ran in The Tennessean by “Concerned Citizens Against Horse Soring”:
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee held a Hearing on the PAST ACT on November 13, 2013.
The Tennessean newspaper on November 20, 2013, weighed in on the issue with Senator Alexander:
The following are the only known public remarks by Senator Lamar Alexander on the record regarding the PAST ACT.
U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander faced The Tennessean Editorial Board on December 8, 2013, and was questioned for about 21/2 minutes on the Tennessee Walking Horse issue. See Minutes 8:40 – 11:19.
The following are notes by www.billygoboy.com regarding what Senator Alexander told The Tennessean Editorial Board:
By Billy Go Boy – Notes On Senator Alexander Responses To Questions
“Minutes 8:40 ““ 11:19
“I visited with Congressman Whitfield and his wife – they were sincere …
Elvis, Jack Daniels, Dolly, Tennessee Waltz
Important Tennessee Tradition
Celebration one of Tennessee’s signature events
It’s right up there with Elvis
1979 recruit Nissan surprised to learn the emperor had tn walking horses
Important Tennessee tradition
It’s a big part of Tennessee
2nd Soring is wrong it’s illegal people are being indicted. It ought to be cleaned up and stopped.
Examining the bill that Congressman Whitfield has I know he’s sincere about it.
I am told by veterinarians and people who show horses that it would decimate the tradition of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
It has unnecessary provisions in it.
I have been to the Celebration a number of times.
I am not an expert on veterinary medicine ““ but I know of the inspections that they have there. Almost all of them are 96 to 98 % successful
It comes down to the industry itself to do a better job of self regulation. Having veterinarians do the inspections
It comes down to the industry itself doing a better job of self regulating finding a way to more resources into hiring independent vets whenever possible to do the examinations.”
I ‘ll work with the industry and members of congress to find more resources to for independent vet examination of horses at shows probably where the issue can be solved.
That is probably where the issue can best be solved”.
The Tennessean then published a story written by Tennessean Reporter Duane Gang which hit high points but left out important details of what Senator Alexander said:
December 8, 2013
“On the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry
“The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is one of the state’s most important traditions, Alexander said. “It is a big part of Tennessee. Soring is wrong. It’s illegal. People are being indicted today because of it and it ought to be cleaned up and stopped.”
Alexander said he is reviewing legislation sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., that would increase inspections by U.S. Department of Agriculture officials and outlaw the use of weighted shoes, special pads and “action devices” such as chains that rub against a horse’s lower legs.
The senator said he has discussed the issue with veterinarians and others in Tennessee and feels some of the bill’s provisions are unnecessary. Better self-regulation is needed, he said.”
If Senator Alexander lends himself to opposing the PAST ACT, it will most likely be because his Campaign Finance Chairman Steve Smith has misinformed him about the current situation.
STEVE SMITH – SENATOR ALEXANDER’S CAMPAIGN FINANCE CHAIRMAN
STEVE SMITH’S HPA CITATION HISTORY
It’s ironic that Senator Alexander said in his December 8, 2013, The Tennessean interview that two of Tennessee’s treasures were Elvis Presley and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Then wouldn’t find the time to listen to Priscilla Presley on this issue, rather than his Campaign Finance Chairman Steve Smith who represents the sore Big Lick interests.
Hopefully, the “informed sources” are wrong about what Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is about to do to hinder the aspirations of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed to reach a sound future, but it’s beginning to look like this will be the case.
Maybe if the public weighs in with Senator Alexander next week, he will reconsider what it appears he is about to do.