SHELBYVILLE, TN – Nephew Eugene was down at Pope’s Cafe and he heard the most interesting conversation.    The Lickers were all back at one table and they were whispering.

They were talking mighty proud saying they had solved  “THE PROBLEM”.


According to Eugene,  they said ONE part of THE PROBLEM was they weren’t going to be able to have much Celebration in 2014 because all the Trainer BOYZ had mandated “Minimum Penalties” which will keep them from showing.

The SECOND part of the problem is the USDA from March 1, 2014 to May 28, 2014 was enforcing the Horse Protection Act to “Eliminate Soring” – not just “Regulate It”. And David L. Howard’s share of the cash flow pie was drastically shrinking with horses not making it into the show ring so ads could be sold.



The THIRD part of the problem is the PAST ACT is getting terribly close to passing.  Presently there are 289  Representatives (over  66%),  109  of them are Republicans; and 56  U. S. Senators with it being obvious that the votes are there to pass the measure in the United States Senate if the Bill gets to the Senate floor for a vote.

While Eugene was raptly listening,   he remembered last week up at Hilltop Market that he saw the Horse Show Bill for the 51st O. K. Hege Memorial Horse Show set for Dunlap, Tennessee on June 28, 2014.

It had something on it that struck Nephew Eugene as being strange.  in the upper left hand corner, there were the words:    ‘AFFILIATED P.S.H.A.”,  and then No. 5 on the Rules and Regulations, it said  “Affiliated with P.S.H.A.”





Nephew Eugene,  remembering his arithmetic up at Miss Mable’s Schoolhouse,  added 13 and 12 and got 25.


So this is how Nephew Eugene is seeing all of this.

He thinks maybe, just maybe, the cat got let out of the bag with those words “AFFILIATED  WITH P.S.H.A.”

So here’s THE SORE BIG LICK PLAN  that Nephew Eugene overheard.

  • The Celebration will boldly announce that the Celebration’s S.H.O.W. HIO  horse inspection program is done, kaput, over, through,  finis.   The Celebration will no longer be in the “SELF REGULATION” mode with the “strongest penalties in the business” or have to manufacture bogus horse 98.5% compliance numbers like it did at the 2013 Celebration.
  • By doing this,  the Licker boys know the USDA can’t be at all the horse shows, so not having an HIO like the Celebration’s S.H.O.W HIO to do the “SELF REGULATION” shtick puts a world of pressure on the USDA to check on horses being sored.
  • The Licker Boys think it “MIGHT” just put enough pressure on the USDA for it to say “Calf Rope” and give the Lickers that Independent HIO they want, and the heck with the PAST ACT which would be a lot of additional work and responsibility for the USDA.

Now,  please understand that “THE FIX” may have already gone in on this:

  • The Celebration could shortly announce that the USDA has ALREADY APPROVED a new “INDEPENDENT HIO” in the name of P.S.H.A.   This was what Frank “Daddy Warbucks” Eichler requested the Secretary of Agriculture to do in his April 18, 2014 letter.  Eichler suggested an “INDEPENDENT HIO”.   Ironically, the name of the HIO that the sore Big Lick was trying to “sneakily” get approved before www. billygoboy.com blew the whistle on that scheme in January 2014, was:    Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO.
  • The head of it was supposed to be former Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows.   Meadows became PSHA Chairman in October 2013 replacing former PSHA Chairman Chairman Terry Dotson who had to resign after getting two horses turned down sore at the 2013 Celebration. Then the Lickers realized that PSHA was tainted due to it being filled with HPA violator citation history individuals so it would be best for it not to apply to the USDA for an HIO.   So out went Doyle Meadows as PSHA Chairman and in went Jim Cortner of Winchester, Tennessee.  This was so Doyle Meadows could head up the “INDEPENDENT HIO” effort, and be considered “independent”. And hope that the USDA didn’t notice that it was just the  same gang of HPA violation citation history folks just wearing different color hats.
  • The sore Big Lick HIO Application exposed by www.billygoboy.com in January 2014 was apparently prepared by Mike McGartland’s wife.  Mike McGartland et ux Contender Farms LLP along with the Celebration’s S.H.O.W. HIO sued the USDA over the mandatory “MINIMUM PENALTIES” in July 2012.  Some say a “Slam Dunk” was promised by “connected” Big Lickers,  then the Big Lick got “Slam Dunked” in Texas Federal Court in July 2013.  And the McGartland’s Contender Farms, LLP has appealed the Texas Federal Judge’s Summary Judgement ruling in the case to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Part of the Texas lawsuit equation was the persuasive Friend of the Court brief filed by Russell Gaspar of Cohen Mohr in Washington, DC on behalf of FOSH, IWHA and NWHA. And counsellor Gaspar recently filed another one in the appellate case.
  • A third part of the “Big Licker Plan For Redemption” is to introduce a “NEW” horse shoe which will allow access to the bottom of the horse’s foot so it can be inspected. The “action device” chain will be eliminated,  and in its place will the a leather dog collar filled with lead which will slap the horses’s front feet and produce the “Big Lick”.

Nephew Eugene is not a guileful fellow and having to think about all of the chicanery, mendacity and puridee hatefulness on the part of the old white male out of touch greedy ego control driven misdirected individuals who make up the Big Lick cabal just tires him out.




  • July 2012 – USDA finalizes Mandatory “Minimum Penalties” after listening sessions during 2011, and the measure getting “lost” in the USDA bowels,  the Secretary signed the MMP, and the Lickers had a problem.   It meant if they “self regulated” and assigned penalties (with teeth in them), then it wouldn’t take long for the Trainer BOYZ to be out of business.
  • July 2012 – David L. Howard’s Celebration S.H.O.W. HIO along with Mike McGartland sued the USDA to stop the MPP.
  • July 2013 – U. S. District Judge Terry Means in Summary Judgment upheld the MPP.
  • August 2013 (before the Celebration) – Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and John T. Bobo went to Washington and met with APHIS Deputy Administrator Chester Gipson and signed papers accepting the MPP, and publicly announced that they would apply at 2013 Celebration and the penalties would be assessed and enforced.
  • Celebratlon 2013 – S.H.O.W. HIO was extremely lax doing inspections.   The Friday night before Stake Night,  the Celebration S.H.O.W. inspectors found 0 violations of 138 horses inspected.   The USDA VMOS inspected approximately 75 horses that night and found 11 violations.
  • January 9, 2013 – USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea files Complaint to decertify the Celebration’s S.H.O.W. HIO.   www.billygoboy.com breaks the news of the Celebration inspection program being decertified for allegedly violating the Horse Protection Act.  Celebration Chairman David L. Howard’s Walking Horse Report does not publish the news for 7 days. The news has to this day never been published in The Tennessean newspaper.
  • February 28, 2014 – May 27, 2014 – The USDA uniformly enforces the Horse Protection Act to eliminate soring.
  • April 2 – 14, 2014 – PSHA (Big Lick Celebration Folks) hired Minnesota attorney Phillip Kunkel and writes USDA Secretary Vilsack;   the USDA Office of General Counsel (Lawyers)
  • April 18 , 2014 –  Celebration and PSHA “Advisor” Frank Eichler writes a “NON POLITICAL” letter Secretary of Agriculture and copies sore Big Lick POLITICIANS Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) , Mitch McConnell (R-KY) , and Representatives Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Frank Lucas (R-OK)  


April 18, 2014

The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Kevin Shea, APHIS Administrator
Dr. Andrea Morgan, APHIS
Dr. Gipson, APHIS
Dr. Cezar, APHIS
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack, Mr. Shea, Dr. Gipson and Dr. Cezar;

I am writing on behalf of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (“Celebration”), Performance Show Horse Association (“PSHA”), Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors Association, the Walking Horse Trainer’s Association and the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.


I have been an adviser to the Celebration and PSHA as well as a current owner and breeder in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.

As I am sure you are aware the Industry and specifically these Organizations are in full support of the Blackburn/Alexander HR 4098/S2193 legislation and opposed to the HSUS/Whitfield/Ayotte HR 1518/S1406 bills.


While there are numerous reasons which I and these Organizations would be happy to discuss  the purpose of this letter is not political.

The Industry and specifically these Organizations are committed to moving forward with the intent and specifics of the Blackburn/Alexander amendment  even before any final resolution  of the different legislative proposals.

What that means is that  these Organizations would like to implement the Independent HIO with an Independent Board,  non-conflicted inspectors, committed to establishing objective inspections protocols with associated significant penalties, utilizing a Veterinarian Advisory Board and continuing to follow the current HPA and Regulations,  and ultimately eliminating soring within the TWH Industry.

In order to do that it needs to have an Independent HIO.

On or about December 18, 2013 Dr. Meadows applied for such an HIO. The intent and commitment is to obtain that HIO and establish it with an  Independent Board  identical to that outlined in the Blackburn/Alexander amendments.

All of the necessary documents including the following have been developed and will be available for the Independent Board to review, modify and execute upon being seated;

1.  HIO By-laws
2.  HIO Rulebook
3.  HIO Penalty Matrix
4.  Inspector non-conflicted affidavit
5.  DQP/lnspector Training Manual
6.  Affiliation Agreement

Judging  will also be managed by this  Independent HIO  along the lines suggested previously by Dr. Gipson since this is the “last step in the inspection process” and therefore the following materials have also been developed for the Independent Boards review;

1.  Judges Rulebook
2.  Judges Training Manual
3.  Judges Code of Ethics
4.  Judges Penalty Matrix

In addition  efforts have been ongoing to identify Independent Board members, Independent Veterinarian Advisory Board members,  as well as initial work on establishing objective inspection protocols and associated penalties.

As a final point the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is committed to exiting the HIO business.

These Organizations are also committed to encouraging all TWH shows and events to affiliate with the Independent HIO, and believe with the proper support by the USDA, the Independent Board, the Veterinarian Advisory Board, and others it can be successful in this initiative and to ultimately eliminate all soring within the Industry.

However in order to accomplish the above the first step is the issuance of the  Independent HIO.

We would appreciate your attention and consideration to issuing that HIO  as soon as practical.
If there is anything you need to complete that process please let me know and I will personally ensure that it is provided.


Frank Eichler

CC:  The Honorable Lamar Alexander, United States Senate
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader, United States Senate The Honorable Marsha Blackburn, Member of Congress
The Honorable Harold Rogers, Member of Congress The Honorable Frank Lucas, Member of Congress


FOSH PRESIDENT TERESA BIPPEN FEB. 12, 2014,  LETTER                                             TO APHIS ADMIN. KEVIN SHEA
Dear Mr. Shea,
I am writing because of recent news in a PSHA press release that Independent Inspection Services  will possibly be approved by the USDA to operate a certified DQP program and I have heard that Doyle Meadows will be involved.    FOSH strongly objects to Mr. Meadows having any role in an HIO due to his previous failure in operating SHOW.    Mr. Meadows may not have an HPA violation; however, he is one of the least capable individuals who should oversee management of an HIO.    The purpose of the HIO is to enforce the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and as you will see below, SHOW was an utter failure in this regard.
Mr. Meadows’ Operation and Management of a HIO (SHOW)
·                  Under Dr. Meadows’ tenure, SHOW refused to sign onto the mandatory penalties.    With SHOW’s weak and even nonexistent penalties (back to the trailer), hundreds of individuals repeatedly violated the HPA and exhibited sored horses week after week.
·                  Under Dr. Meadows’ leadership, SHOW issued public statements during the 2012 Celebration stating that  outside veterinarians were brought in to refute inspections of USDA VMOs.    These actions severely undermined the USDA’s efforts to enforce the HPA and were highly humiliating to the USDA and other HIOs that have followed USDA requirements for inspections.    The end result damaged USDA enforcement as HPA violators were  emboldened  to continue soring which is still occurring.
·                  Also during the 2012 Celebration, Dr. Meadows publicly announced a swabbing initiative wherein he announced that every horse would be swabbed.    This statement deliberately misled the USDA, exhibitors and the public into believing that every swab would be tested.    In reality, only two swabs per class were tested, and the results did not match the USDA results as SHOW only found two positive foreign substance cases while the USDA found over 170!    Such blatant misrepresentation of the facts and the failure to accurately report the swabbing results speaks volumes about Dr. Meadows’ inability to operate an HIO that meets legal requirements.
·                  With Dr. Meadows at the helm of SHOW,  SHOW failed to input HPA violations into the USDA database.    This created a huge burden upon the USDA with backlogged SHOW suspensions while all compliant HIOs timely input their violations into the database so that suspensions could be served, and the public informed.    All other HIOs were unaware of SHOW violations and suspensions as they were unavailable to other HIOs in a timely manner.    For the HPA to be effective, there MUST be transparency regarding violations and suspensions issued by an HIO.
·                  SHOW inspections were weak to nonexistent.    This becomes apparent when the violation rate is 500% – 1000% greater when the USDA is in attendance at SHOW inspections.    Dr. Meadows was directly responsible for ensuring that inspections were undertaken according to USDA and HPA requirements so why did his HIO have the  worst inspection record in the industry?    Did he not understand inspection protocol or the purpose of inspections?    Why did he not make any effort to improve his HIO’s inspections when they were not undertaken according to USDA requirements?    He allowed this disparity to exist during his entire tenure.
·                  Who will be licensed as Independent Inspection Services  DQPs?    Will it be the  same  individuals with the worst inspection records in the industry who were managed by Doyle Meadows previously?
 Lee McGartland
It was also reported that Lee McGartland would be involved in the new HIO.    FOSH strongly objects to Ms. McGartland’s involvement in any HIO due to her HPA violation record and that of her immediate family.    Not only that, Ms. McGartland received a USDA issued 7060, Letter of Warning, which the USDA has assured us is a strong penalty and enforcement tool.    The USDA should honor its own enforcement system and not allow any individual with a 7060 to be involved in an HIO.    An individual with a 7060 has a serious conflict of interest, and the USDA OIG report focused heavily on the industry’s conflicts of interest and how they have led to failure of the HIO system.
Before closing, I will add that FOSH appreciates the USDA’s due diligence before approving any HIO for operating a DQP inspection program.    FOSH also believes it is  not the responsibility of the USDA to prop up the performance horse industry by assuring them that they can have their “own” HIO.    There are two HIOs available to inspect performance horses””International Walking Horse Association and DQP Services.    Adding another HIO which has such major conflicts of interest will not save the industry and will only prolong the soring tragedy of the Tennessee Walking Horse which is now national news in the equine industry.
I have also attached a link to a published interview with Bill Harlin, an icon in the Walking Horse industry wherein he discusses the demise of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.    He does not condemn inspections, the HPA or the USDA–he condemns soring.
As long as enforcement is weak, soring will continue and the Walking Horse demise will continue.
Teresa Bippen
President, FOSH


  • May 28, 2014 – USDA changes direction at COLUMBIA SPRING JUBILEE HORSE SHOW. Instead of Enforcing the Horse Protection Act to “ELIMINATE SORING” – USDA regresses and goes back to inspecting horses to “REGULATE SORING”.
  • June 10, 2014 – Allegedly the Celebration had an announcement to make, but it didn’t happen.
  • Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) got beat by one of Representative Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) friends.
  • WALK ON WASHINGTON is arriving in front of the U.S. Capitol about 50 yards from the USDA headquarters in one week – June 18, 2014.

Please stay tuned or you will miss something.

Note:  A long time sore Big Lick observer said,  “They are known for buying some time, and then using that time,  not to do what they promised to do, but instead,  figure out what they are actually going to do”.

That may be exactly what has happened in this instance, too.