WALKING HORSE REPORT EDITOR JEFFREY HOWARD JUMPS THE SHARK WITH SORE “PSHA MISREPRESENTATIONS” IN THE KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL – FORMER UT VET DEAN MICHAEL BLACKWELL, DVM SPELLBINDS SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE ON “WHAT THE PAIN OF SORING REALLY FEELS LIKE”

THETA, TN – One of the most compelling presentations in a day of Blue Ribbon presenters at the Sound Horse Conference was that of Michael Blackwell,  DVM,  former Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

MICHAEL BLACKWELL, DVM FORMER DEAN OF VETERINARY MEDICAL COLLEGE,  UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

MICHAEL BLACKWELL, DVM FORMER DEAN OF VETERINARY MEDICAL COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

Dr. Blackwell movingly brought to life the science behind what causes pain.  His explanation was clear and understandable.  Any human being listening and watching what he presented had to leave with a greater understanding of what it is to feel pain of a sored Tennessee Walking Horse –  except perhaps Jeffrey Howard,  Editor of The Walking Horse Report.

JEFFREY HOWARD - ATTENDING SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE

JEFFREY HOWARD – ATTENDING SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE

“WHAT THE PAIN OF SORING REALLY FEELS LIKE?”

Dr. Blackwell,  through the visual aids and his real-time description explained the inflammatory pain response process and brought to life the pain a Tennessee Walking Horse experiences from being sored.  He described pressure shoeing and fixing which is common place in the sore Big Lick training process.

And the use of the chain in that process.

Here is an Article that Dr. Blackwell later wrote which appeared in The Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/apr/20/michael-j-blackwell-support-bill-to-stop-soring/

“To anyone who has ever seen the Tennessee walking horse perform the
artificial “big lick” gait, I ask you: Have you ever bitten down into
something firm with an abscessed tooth?

If so, you and the horse have experienced somewhat the same thing.

To understand the comparison, one must understand that the inside of a
horse’s foot has many similarities to the root system of the human tooth.

Many people have had the horrible experience of an abscessed tooth. The
pain is often described with nightmarish terms that still fail to
communicate the anguish. When the sufferer inadvertently bites down on
something firm, there is an immediate involuntary opening of the jaw to
relieve the acute shock of pain. This pain is due to inflammation in the
tight spaces surrounding the root of the tooth. Adding any pressure, such
as chewing, can be pure torture. Even when we are not chewing on that
abscessed tooth, there is still pain, often throbbing with every beat of
the heart.

The same thing goes for a horse’s foot. Whenever there is inflammation in a
horse’s foot and pressure is added, such as standing or stepping, the pain
becomes excruciating. Thus it is with horses who have been subjected to the
barbaric practice of “soring.” The aim of soring a horse is to
intentionally create inflammation in and around his foot in order to force
the involuntary quick and high-lifting step “” the big lick.

The big lick gait is a grossly exaggerated version of the Tennessee walking
horse’s natural prance, and it is achieved only by inflicting immense pain
on the animal.

To cause the inflammation, or “sore” a horse, a trainer employs a number of
sadistic processes. These generally fall into two categories: caustic
agents that burn and irritate the skin above the horse’s hoof, and methods
of shoeing to apply pressure around and under the horse’s hoof.

Once the foot and pastern are inflamed, additional devices, such as chains,
are used to maintain some degree of irritation and pain.

The Horse Protection Act of 1970 was intended to end the torture these
gentle horses are subjected to for the sake of prizes at horse shows.
However, the practice continues, due in part to a failed system of
self-policing by the industry. In instances where violations have been
found “” the majority in Tennessee and Kentucky “” the penalties are so
insignificant that they are seen as merely the cost of doing business for
many of the trainers.

Increased public awareness of this abusive and corrupt industry has led to
introduction of new legislation, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, the Prevent All Soring
Tactics (PAST) Act. This vital legislation will strengthen the Horse
Protection Act by eliminating the failed system of industry self-policing,
prohibiting the use of stacked or heavy horse shoes and chains on the legs
of horses in the Tennessee walking, racking and spotted saddle horse
breeds, and increasing penalties to finally provide an effective deterrent.

These changes are needed to truly protect these horses from the continual
abuse they endure throughout their show careers.

The PAST Act was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee recently by a
voice vote and we now urge the full Senate to pass the bill.

However, as support for the PAST Act continues to grow, there are a few
legislators trying to stand in the way. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.,
and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have sided with the “big lick”
trainers against these reforms. Instead of supporting meaningful
legislation, they have introduced competing bills that would actually
weaken protections for horses under the Horse Protection Act.

Their sham proposals will leave in place the harmful “tools of the trade”
of horse soring and continue to allow a corrupt industry to oversee
inspections to determine when abuse is occurring, giving an even stronger
role to those who have a track record of involvement with soring.

There is no humane reason for this. We know abuse is occurring, horses are
suffering, and few abusers are held accountable.

Blackburn’s and Alexander’s bills have been widely condemned by horse
industry, veterinary and animal welfare groups, all of which have endorsed
the PAST Act.

Many of us are lucky enough to have never felt the pain of a terrible
toothache, but we all must speak up in defense of the horses who are
experiencing the same kind of pain because of the sadism of “big lick”
trainers. Please contact your federal legislators and tell them to support
the PAST Act and do all they can to get it enacted quickly.”

Dr. Michael J. Blackwell is the senior director of veterinary policy for
The Humane Society of the United States. He is a former dean of the College
of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

———————————————————-

Then Jeffrey Howard,  Chairman of the PSHA (Performance Show Horse Commission),  who recklessly made blatant misrepresentations to The Tennessean Editorial Board in his December 3, 2013 appearance,   told outrageous lies which appeared in the  Sunday edition of the Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper.

JEFFREYHOWARDTENNESSEAN01

The Performance Show Horse Association which includes Board members who are accused of violating the Horse Protection Act.

 
PSHA Board Member
HPA Violations (www.hpadata.us)
Letters of Warning
(7060s)
 
 
 
Jim Cortner
1
1
Terry Dotson and daughter, Leslie
2
4
Bruce MacDonald and wife, Robin
6
1
James Griffith and wife, Delores
3
 
Mike Inman and wife, Karen
3
3
Mike McGartland and wife, Lee
2
 
Joe Buddy Stasney
3
 
Duke Thorson, wife    Rhonda and daughter, Allison
 
3
Jamie Hankins
3
 
Mickey McCormick
14
5
 
 
 
Total
37
17
 

Jeffrey Howard, a UT graduate chose to ignore that for seven years Dr. Michael Blackwell was Dean of the UT Veterinary Medical College.  Instead,  Howard seeks to stir up the shrinking sore Big Lick base by throwing in the Humane Society label and ignoring the  important fact that the American Horse Council, United States Equestrian Federation, American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners all endorse the PAST ACT.   #PASSTHEPASTACT

Unlike his sister Christy Howard Parsons, Editor of The Saddle Horse Report,  Jeffrey Howard does not believe Tennessee Walking Horse soring is a major problem. By the way,  The American Saddle Horse Association has endorsed the PAST ACT, and Christy Howard Parsons has publicly said that “Soring is a major problem”.

CHRISTYHOWARDPARSONS01

Jeffrey Howard bases his soring  is not a problem premise on a bogus 98% compliance rate he keeps repeating,  yet the same Jeffrey Howard presents a  $15,856.00  check to repeat soring HPA violator  WHTA BOYZ Riders Cup  winner Charlie Green who had  22  Horse Protection Act violations for everything from one-foot and two-foot soring to scarring on a horse’s legs, a possible indication of previous soring.

JEFFREY HOWARD AND CHARLIE GREEN

JEFFREY HOWARD AND CHARLIE GREEN

 Adding to the irony of Jeffrey Howard’s article is that he was “present” when Dr. Blackwell made his presentation at the Sound Horse Conference in Brentwood, Tennessee.   He might have been texting or Iphone surfing when Dr. Blackwell was speaking or explaining visuals, or perhaps daydreaming about playing golf, but whatever he was doing, Jeffrey Howard didn’t get or see what was included in Dr. Blackwell’s presentation or just chose to ignore it. (See Below)

JEFFREY HOWARD - ATTENDING SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE

JEFFREY HOWARD – ATTENDING SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE

SHCBLACKWELLSORING

 

KNOXVILLE NEW-SENTINEL – JEFFREY HOWARD   “PSHA” ARTICLE

Jeffery Howard: Tennessee Walking Horse legislation on slippery slope

Jeffrey Howard is chairman of the Communications Committee for the Performance Show Horse Association.

Posted April 27, 2014 at 3 a.m.

“As is the case with most commentary from the Humane Society of the United States, a recent opinion piece in the News Sentinel was long on hyperbole and short on facts. Comparing the practice of soring to an abscessed tooth may be a proper analogy. But to suggest that the practice is the industry standard does a terrible disservice to readers and the men and women who derive their livelihoods from the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

Those of us who work and support the industry fully recognized that the practice was once commonplace. But by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own standards, the industry is between 96 and 99 percent compliant with inspections to detect soring. What other industry can boast a compliance rate that high? And again, those are USDA numbers, not an artificial report generated by the industry.

There are two bills pending in Congress on regulating the industry. The major difference between the Blackburn/Alexander bill and the Whitfield/Ayotte bill is that the former eliminates the practice, while the latter eliminates the horse. Under provisions of Whitfield/Ayotte, also known as the PAST Act, 85 percent of these equine athletes would be eliminated from competition because of the weighted shoe provision. That’s 85 percent of a competitive field that generates more than $3.2 billion in economic impact and employs more than 20,000 men and women directly and indirectly.

Blackburn/Alexander introduces the concept of objective testing to determine whether the Horse Protection Act has been violated. Right now, testing is subjective, and in some cases even USDA inspectors have differing opinions as to whether a violation has occurred.

If anything, our breed is pampered, not abused. That’s why we have a special class for older horses “” some showing in their 20s. How many other equine competitors can say that? Even the legendary John Henry was retired from thoroughbred racing at age 10.

The focus on making the horse a companion animal is on Tennessee Walkers right now. We’re squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Kentuckian, and his wife, Constance, who lobbies for the Humane Society. If they’re successful in passage of the PAST Act, what’s next? Every breed in every form of competition that uses a weighted shoe would be eliminated. Any use of action devices would extend beyond the Walking Horse to other breeds.

And one only needs look to our neighbors to the north “” Kentucky “” to see where else the Humane Society might focus its attention. The Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event brought horses  and riders from around the world to compete in dressage, eventing, cross-country and driving competitions “” all of which have been criticized, but not yet ostracized, by animal rights groups.

And then we have “the most exciting two minutes in sports” in the upcoming Kentucky Derby. Will the focus this year be on the morning line, the racing form and tip sheets, or will the new focus be on the PETA expose that purported widespread use of drugs, masking agents and stimulation devices in thoroughbred racing?

Many other breed registers have endorsed the PAST Act under the false pretense that it affects only the three specific breeds outlined in the language of the law. What they fail to realize is that if the PAST Act is successful in shutting down the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, someone else is going to be next.

Standardbred?

Saddlebred?

Thoroughbred?

Quarter Horse?

Arabian endurance runners?

Or how about the carriage horses in New York, Charleston and New Orleans, where tours are a way of life for horse and driver?

The Humane Society will not be content until the horse is eliminated from work and competition. They have said as much in previous statements.

Don’t be misled by graphic analogies used only to incense the public. Stay with the facts. The industry’s self-policing is working. Blackburn/Alexander takes it a step further to bringing science and objectivity into the discussion.

If you want to be incensed about something, consider that the Humane Society of the United States is a money-making, lobbying machine that took in more than $133 million, according to the last tax filing on record. How much of that went to support local animal shelters? Less than 2 percent.

It’s obvious the Humane Society cares more about fundraising, politics and policy than it does about protection of horses or any other farm animal. ”

————————————————————-

THE JEFFREY HOWARD LIES

  • Pain of an abcessed tooth is not the “industry” standard.

TRUTH – This is the “racket” standard.   And then there is pressure shoeing which goes on under the pad (Stacks or Packages)  where it cannot be detected.

"BUCKET STANCE" PHOTO - EXHIBIT #3 INTRODUCED AT WHEELON PRELIMINARY HEARING ON AUG. 13, 2013

“BUCKET STANCE” PHOTO – EXHIBIT #3 INTRODUCED AT WHEELON PRELIMINARY HEARING ON AUG. 13, 2013  SHCBLACKWELLSORING

  • JEFFREY HOWARD – Soring not common place – 98% compliance.

TRUTH – A compliant horse is a sore horse which can get through inspection.

CELEBRATION CEO MIKE INMAN EXPLAINS THE INSPECTION THAT NEVER WAS

CELEBRATION CEO MIKE INMAN EXPLAINS THE INSPECTION THAT NEVER WAS

CHARLIEGREENTHETENNESSEAN

  • JEFFREY – #PASSTHEPASTACT – eliminates the horse.

TRUTH – Removing the pads & chains – Eliminates Big Lick –    8/10th of 1% of  TWH  

  • JEFFREY – #OUTOFTOUCHALEXANDER bill – eliminates the practice of soring.

TRUTH – “Self regulation will never work” – W.W. “Bill” Harlin – Owner of Harlinsdale Farm

  • JEFFREY – $3.2 Billion economic impact.

TRUTH  

TRUTH – There’s only 85 dues paying members of WHTA.   Big Lick is only 8/10th of 1% of living TWH.
  • JEFFREY – 20,0000 men and women unemployed

TRUTH –  

  • JEFFREY – Our breed is pampered – not abused.

TRUTH –  Dr. John Haffner, native Tennessean,  VP of Tennessee American Equine Practitioners Association,  “The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed. The big lick is a learned response to pain and if horses have not been sored, they do not learn it. It takes skill to be able to teach a horse the big lick and then determine the proper amount of soring and the proper timing to have a horse ready on a Friday or Saturday night. The horses must have the memory of the pain, but they must also be able to pass inspection.”

  • JEFFREY -Other breed registers endorsed the PAST ACT don’t know what they are doing.

TRUTH – The American Saddlebred Horse Association knows what it is doing.  Jeffrey, why don’t you please write your sister Christy,  Editor of The Saddle Horse Report, a letter and please tell the ASHA  that it doesn’t know what they are doing by endorsing the PAST ACT, and please ask her to run it.

Nephew Eugene thinks Jeffrey Howard would do better to be sleeping at 3:00 a.m. than  putting such garbage under his name on a main stream newspaper even if he is trying to save a $3 Million dollar a year family business interest.

Radar definitely thinks he’s a “Companion Animal”.

BGBHEADSHOT01

 

————————————————————-

A FITTING END FOR A REMARKABLE TENURE

Michael J. Blackwell, D.V.M., M.P.H. Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret.) Dean of The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine explains how the planned expansion of the Vet School will benefit the small animal clinics Tuesday March 6, 2007.

October 15, 2007

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/oct/15/a-fitting-end-for-aremarkable-tenure/

Michael J. Blackwell, dean of the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, plans a grand exit.

Blackwell will retire in March after seven years leading the college through expansion of its programs, personnel and a budget that has come to rely more and more on user fees from the veterinary hospital and tuition from the college and less on state appropriations, he said.

If the college’s $9 million small-animal clinic expansion is finished as planned, he’ll wrap up his tenure with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in January, which is when his leave begins.

“We are expecting to move into that facility before I’m officially gone,” said Blackwell.

The 27,000-square-foot addition marks the first phase of expansion for the college and veterinary hospital. There will be more room for oncology and physical therapy treatment, as well as avian, exotics and zoological animal clinical services.

UT is preparing for a national search for a new dean, with the hope of having one appointed in fall 2008.

“He’s been a great leader,” said Joe DiPietro, vice president for UT’s Institute of Agriculture. “He will be hard to replace.”

An interim dean for the college has not yet been named, according to DiPietro.

Blackwell is starting a venture capital firm, the Blackwell Group, which will provide capital, connections and strategic guidance to startup companies and entrepreneurs with “early-stage” health-care products or services.

In the meantime, he’s finishing some “critical” projects, in fundraising, for instance.

“Some of the ones that are most important would be the work we’re doing with certain donors, that I feel responsible for bringing to some level of completion before leaving,” he said.

He’s also part of a delegation headed to China this week to establish an office for Tennessee companies that want to do business in that nation. Given China’s impact on human and animal health, Gov. Phil Bredesen also is interested in public health and veterinary medicine there, according to Blackwell.

“Why veterinary medicine? The governor is aware of the fact that most of the diseases that we’re concerned about today “” the real scary, emerging diseases “” 75 percent of those are zoonotic,” he said.

Zoonotic diseases occur in animals and, under natural conditions, can be transmitted to humans.

In his previous career with the U.S. Public Health Service, Blackwell talked a lot about bioterrorism preparedness and the importance of safety for the nation’s food supply.

He’s carried that awareness over as dean, starting the Center for Agriculture and Food Security Preparedness at the college and a Master of Public Health program for veterinary students. Veterinary Social Work, a partnership between the colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Social Work, also got started under Blackwell’s watch. He is the second black dean in UT’s history.

Blackwell, 56, isn’t planning to leave the area. He said he’s staying in Knoxville because of his experiences at UT, the warmth of East Tennesseans and the connections he’s made.

He said he’s proud of the way the college’s faculty and staff have pulled together to expand its curriculum and services and helped make it less dependent on state dollars. State dollars comprised 68 percent of the college’s budget when Blackwell became dean. Now the state funds 44 percent, he said.

“As for appropriated dollars, when adjusted for inflation, we’re right at where we were in 2000,” he said.

Darren Dunlap may be reached at 865-342-6334.