TALE OF TWO DIFFERENT NEWSPAPERS: ‘THE TENNESSEAN’ AND ‘THE SHELBYVILLE TIMES-GAZETTE’ – ONLY 58 MILES APART BUT LIVING IN SEPARATE UNIVERSES WHERE INSTITUTIONALIZED HORSE SORING IS CONCERNED. ONE IS AGAINST SORING; THE OTHER ONE DOESN’T CARE AS LONG AS THERE ARE ‘FANCY HIGH STEPPING HORSES’

SHELBYVILLE, TN –  On August 29, 2013,  the Shelbyville Times – Gazette  Features Editor Sadie Fowler wrote a “Never-Never Land” article about supporting the Celebration.  She recommended “kids zones, pony rides, entertainment, meets and greets” in an area next to where Federal Crimes were being committed by people abusing Horses.  All in the names of “Sport,  Pageantry and Entertainment” according to PSHA Spokesperson Jeffrey Howard.

SADIE FOWLER. SHELBYVILLE TIMES-GAZETTE

SADIE FOWLER. SHELBYVILLE TIMES-GAZETTE

Jeffrey Howard, Editor - PSHA Spokesperson & Walking Horse Report

Jeffrey Howard, Editor – PSHA Spokesperson & Walking Horse Report

On November 3, 2013,  Billy Go Boy belatedly wrote Sadie Fowler back and asked her, “Do you really, I mean really really believe that the answers are  “kids zone, pony rides, entertainment, meets and greets”?

Sadie, here’s a thought ““ why not just have a horse show where there is  NO  soring?

Not reform Sadie ““ just NO SORING.

To do so Sadie, the “Big Lick” will have to be left behind.

There’s 50 years of history and proof that you can’t  have the “Big Lick” without soring.

Sadie, please pass along to your Editors who told you to write the “puff piece” editorial  that the whole United States of America and the rest of the world is looking right at Shelbyville on this one?  And  the  “disconnect”  you wrote about it regarding the locals and the “Big Lick” Celebration has about said it all.

Sadie, a parting thought ““ how about suggest to your Editors that they do something uplifting and endorse HR 1518/S.1406, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, and free Shelbyville Bedford County, Tennessee from the “Big Lick”  albatross  tied around its neck.

Once and for all?

So here we are now – on the verge of Spring – after a long cold winter, and where do we find Sadie Fowler and the STG outlook in Shelbyville? (Note: Over the winter a new on line publication – Shelbyville NOW – has emerged and is publishing facts which have previously been kept from that community by the entrenched powers committed to the culture of institutionalized soring)

This past Sunday,  March 9, 2014,    Ms. Fowler wrote an article in which she interviewed Celebration CEO Mike Inman and Celebration Board member/State Representative Pat Marsh, who had just returned from a trip to Washington to lobby against the PAST ACT and for Representative Blackburn’s alternative legislation.

http://www.t-g.com/story/2058874.html

The Shelbyville Times-Gazette article was entitled:

Blackburn bill would protect Celebration

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Also,  on Sunday,  The Tennessean newspaper wrote an Editorial on the PAST ACT and the Blackburn alternative bill.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20140309/OPINION01/303090047/Whitfield-s-walking-horse-legislation-would-end-soring-Blackburn-s-would-enable-it

The Tennessean wrote Editorial was entitled:

Rep. Ed Whitfield’s walking horse legislation would end soring;                                    Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s would enable it

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Shelbyville is about 58 miles South of Nashville.

It might as well be 2,058 miles.

So how can there be such disparate views of the same situation?

Seriously,  what’s the answer?

First the Shelbyville-Times Gazette article:

Pat Marsh was quoted:

  • “I think (the Blackburn bill) is a wonderful alternative to the (PAST ACT) Whitfield bill.
  • The (PAST ACT) Whitfield bill will do away with the industry as we know it.
  • The statistics show it would take away 85 percent of horses at the Celebration.
  • It would leave only the flat shod divisions, and shows with only flat shod classes are poorly attended.
  • People come to the show to see the fancy, high-stepping horses, and we need to keep the industry going strong.”
PAT MARSH, CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER/STATE REPRESENTATIVE

PAT MARSH, CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER/STATE REPRESENTATIVE

One has to wonder if Mr. Marsh cares at all how “the fancy, high-stepping horses” are created?

Apparently, Mr. Marsh is blissfully unaware or chooses to ignore that 93% of the HPA violations are on the “fancy, high-stepping horses”.  Or perhaps Mr. Marshrefused to look up from his primary focus which is to “keep the industry going strong”.

This is kind of hard to believe since Mr. Marsh has to be aware that the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration  that he is charged with overseeing has lost approximately $1.5 million under his and David L. Howard’s management over the past five years.  And the Celebration is also owed about $600,000.00 for monies advanced to the Celebration’s S.H.O.W. HIO.

In the STG interview,  Celebration CEO Mike Inman did his usual “Baghdad Bob” shtick:  Inman said,  “Now that the people (in Washington) are starting to really understand the Whitfield and HSUS bill and the difference between the two, we’re starting to see movement from those supporting Whitfield toward the Blackburn bill, and that’s what we saw during our most recent trip to Washington.”   He said, the PAST ACT  “calls for the elimination of all pads and chains, equipment used to achieve the high-stepping gait of the performance horses that draw excitement to the show.”

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The Tennessean Editorial:

“We used to think that soring “” inflicting painful injuries to the legs and hooves of Tennessee Walking Horses to force them to adopt a high gait known as the “Big Lick” “” was solely for the purpose of winning ribbons and prize money at horse shows.

After the latest maneuver by the “Big Lick” faction of the show-horse industry, we can see there is a special brand of inhumanity that thrives among us in Tennessee.

By pitting its own alternative legislation, courtesy of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, against the popular “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) bill, this group demonstrates how determined it is to continue secretly torturing animals. Stronger than a desire for mere show-ring glory, this appears to be about deriving pleasure from causing pain. That it is defenseless animals, and not people, only increases their ability to get away with it.

Blackburn’s bill is, in fact, a Trojan horse “” institutionalized abuse disguised as animal protection.

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GUEST COMMENTARY:

One long time Middle Tennessee Big Lick Observer summed it up the Shelbyville situation this way:

“All of this hoopla concerns a discipline that no one wants to watch or pay to see;

  • a way of shoeing a horse that appalls real horse people;
  • a very limited number of horses actually being shown this way;
  • a very small cadre of committed owners with large checkbooks that are willing to pay to play;
  • a diminishing   group of trainers that has been making a living so long doing what they do that they can’t imagine getting real jobs; and
  • a town that wonders what the hell happened to their horse show once the city fathers got out of involvement and let David L. Howard and company take it over.”

While CEO Mike Inman and Board Member Pat Marsh were in Washington trying to get elected officials to change their minds,  approximately ten more Representatives and Senators signed on to co-sponsor the PAST ACT.

And somebody named Carrie started tweeting about it.

And so it goes.
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