CALSONIC ARENA, TN – Louise and Thelma and friends took it all in.
The pictures say it all. The following results when the USDA enforces the Horse Protection Act to eliminate soring – not just regulate it. The Big Lick trainers don’t bring the horses to be shown. These are the Saturday night pictures of the empty warm up areas next to where Horses are inspected. The reason they are empty is the lack of Big Lick Horses presented for inspection on Saturday night at the Trainers Show.
The National Trainers Show is the crown jewel of the Walking Horse Trainer BOYZ. It is their main fund raising mechanism. The way it works is the Big Lick Addicts pay homage to the Trainer BOYZ and fill their coffers for another year. If you don’t pay homage, you don’t get tied well during the Show Season. The Trainer BOYZ do the judging and they remember who steps up and helps them … and those that don’t.
For the Trainers Show to be a catastrophic failure will have consequences that many don’t realize. It shows the weakness of the Big Lick being able to fight the PAST ACT. The end may be near.
The PSHA bunch is wearing thin on ponying up
And to top it all off, the Big Lick ring leader David L. Howard headed off to the ritzy Canyon Ranch health spa in Tuscon, Arizona, and left the Trainer BOYZ to fin for themselves. That will not play well with the BOYZ.
A total of 31 Big Lick Horses entering the Show Ring on Saturday night signals the end of the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse.
The public is not going to support it.
Prior to the exhibition of the horses, a preacher offered up a prayer for “life and the people present”.
He never mentioned the word “Horses”.
He did say something about “the animals”.
He did offer “thanks for a country as great as ours where we can enjoy something like this.”
Random matters of note, the Announcer man was more subdued.
Some of his comments:
- “In three weeks, we will gather in Panama City, Florida for another Walking Horse Extravaganza”.
- He continually made pitches fo people to donate money to PSHA.
- Several times, he urgently paged veterinarian Dr. Randy Baker to report immediately to World Champion Arena.
- In concluding remarks, he said, “Be well, do good work and be safe”.
The crowd was approximately 400 – 500 at the start.
It was about 200 at the end, maybe less.
The 2013 Celebration World Grand Champion was exhibited.
He was bad bad image.
The above Horse would have been exhibited at the University of Tennessee Homecoming football game, but the University has dropped the sore Big Lick Horse in favor of the beautiful natural flat shod Sound Tennessee Walking Horse pictured below.
Thelma and Louise are old enough to remember the television program: “Car 54, Where Are You?” It featured two erstwhile cops, and it was the program’s trademark that they were hard to locate.
Tonight, “Class 54” was not called by the Announcer, and simply disappeared. This prompted the flashbacks and comparison to the television program, “Class 54, Where Are You?”
The announcer never announced that there were no entries and/or no one was coming. He simply passed right by the class as if it didn’t exist.
It was that kind of night.
Interestingly, the three Judges invariably would select the sorest going horse as the winner in every class, except for the lead line class where parents walked along the side of the Horse with the child mounted in the saddle.
Several fixtures of the Big Lick training world did not show Horses at all on Saturday night. They included Bill Cantrell, WHTA BOYZ 1st VP, and Jimmy McConnell. Noticeably absent were some of the money customers highlighted by Mike and Lee McGartland, PSHA Board member and Plaintiff in the suit vs USDA to stop the mandated “minimum penalties” from being enforced. The McGartlands are appealing the Judge’s ruling to the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
If the USDA will continue to enforce the Horse Protection Act, it will be a key factor moving forward in eliminating soring.
It is important that the USDA approach ALL three days of the Panama City Trainer BOYZ Vacation Show in three weeks as it did the Walking Horse Trainers Show.
Let’s encourage them to do so.