THE CELEBRATION GROUNDS – The well-heeled sore Big Lick addicts pulled up in their Cadillac Escalades, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus ready to show their Big Lick Horses at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration’s “Champions Arena” at the “Celebration’s Kickoff Classic”.
No one is quite sure why the Celebration Chairman David L. Howard chose the name “Kickoff Classic” because the National Trainers Show which traditionally “Kicks Off” the Big Lick show season occurred a month ago. It was an abysmal failure when the USDA showed up and enforced the Horse Protection Act for three consecutive days.
Celebration Chairman Howard was off vacationing the week of the Trainer’s Show disaster at the luxurious Canyon Ranch Spa Resort in Arizona. Perhaps, he figured he would take a second bite of the apple trying to “Kick Off” the Big Lick show season upon which his Walking Horse Report ad revenue depends.
But I digress.
The Trainer BOYZ drove numerous 18 Wheeler Big Rigs on to the historic Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration grounds with 8 to 10 horses aboard each one. The Trainer BOYZ intended to have an old timey sore Big Lick horse show. Many of the horses had been taken off the Trailers, put into barn stalls and were being prepared to show.
The Trainer BOYZ had apparently been told by the Man Behind The Green Curtain –
“The coast is clear – If you’ve got ’em, bring ’em, and show ’em.”
The only problem was the stalwart USDA, realizing the importance of its mission and sacred mandate to protect “The Horses”, showed up on the appointed day at the appointed hour at the Celebration, and stopped the Lickers from showing sore horses.
The USDA enforced the Horse Protection Act to eliminate the criminal act of soring.
The sore Big Lick Trainer BOYZ folded up like an accordion.
Many left en masse to go to the Waffle House.
The ones who stayed took only a “few” horses up to be inspected.
Instead of having 8 -12 horses in a class, most classes had one or two. A few classes had three entries.
Rarely did any class have four entries unless they were flat shod.
The “Kick Off Classic” Horse Show staggered along laboriously for 6 endless hours.
There were only TWO horses in the Three Year Old Stallion class which was a Rider’s Cup Class.
Normally, there would 10 or more.
There were just THREE horses in the Two Year Old Stallion class which was also a Rider’s Cup Class.
There was ONE horse in the Championship Stake Class.
The credit goes to the dedicated USDA VMOs who are supervised by Dr. Rachel Cezar, USDA National Horse Protection Coordinator.
Dr. Cezar was featured at the Sound Horse Conference held in Brentwood, Tennessee on March 29, 2014, along with the acclaimed Dr. Tracy Turner who consults with the USDA.
Here is Dr. Tracy Turner, Thermography Expert and member of Committee authoring the American Association of Equine Practitioners “White Paper”.
The annual national Sound Horse Conference was attended by over 100 persons including some noted persons who have knowledge of the sore Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse. Seated at this table (Left to Right Circularly) are Dee Dee Miller, former Secretary of TWHBEA and current President of WHOA; Tommy Hall, Executive Director of WHOA; David Pruett, former President of TWHBEA , lifetime WHOA member and SHC Sponsor; Kim Bennett, WHTA member; David B. Williams, Rising Star Ranch Manager and VP Breeders – TWHBEA; and The Walking Horse Report Editor Jeffrey Howard.
Some people think it was a “sign of progress” for people with knowledge of the Big Lick to attend this enlightening day long seminar.
A noted sore Big Lick Supporter Sheryl Crawford was at the Sound Horse Conference.
Ms Crawford made a rambling Statement and said she was supporting the Representative Marsha Blackburn Bill because “It mimics the American Equine Practitioners White Paper”.
Dr. Tracy Turner immediately rebutted Ms Crawford saying that he was fortunate to be part of the AAEP ad hoc Committee that wrote the “AAEP White Paper”, and commented, “Ms Crawford, with all due respect, any resemblance between the Blackburn Bill and the AAEP “White Paper” is purely coincidental. There is none of the intent in there … that Blackburn Bill …it is not a reflection of the AAEP White Paper, except for a few key words”.
There will be more features of what happened at the Sound Horse Conference in the days ahead.