CULPEPER, VA – The Virginia TWHBEA Director Pam “Finger Lady” McKinney made a scene trying to disrupt the “WALK ON WASHINGTON” Rally on June 18, 2014.
“I am a concerned horse owner,” said McKinney. “This is me representing the horses I love.” from Star Exponent Article published July 8, 2014.
Ms. Pam McKinney was invited by www.billygoboy.com to explain her reasons in this forum for being opposed to the PAST ACT, and attempting to disrupt the “WALK ON WASHINGTON” rally by using profanity and obscene gestures.
On June 22, 2014, the following invitation was extended to Ms. McKinney:
“Hi Ms McKinney,
I have learned from multiple sources that you were at the center of a controversy at the “Walk On Washington” Rally before the U. S. Capitol last Wednesday on June 18, 2014. The purpose of the Rally was to urge Congress to pass the “PAST ACT” and it appears you are on record opposing it. The independent sources say that in your interaction with the WOW rally volunteers that you used profanity and dropped the “F bomb” repeatedly, and that Capitol Police were called to request that you leave the “permitted premises” at which the WOW event was being held. It also appears that you are a TWHBEA Director from Virginia. Below is the story written based on the accounts of witnesses.
In the interest of fairness, I would be glad to receive from you a narrative statement saying anything you might wish about the incident or what led you, according to eye-witness sources, to use profanity and display an obscene gesture. You are also welcome to explain why you are opposed to the PAST ACT, and what you were trying to do at the permitted Rally site.
Ms. McKinney never responded, however, she did give an interview with the Culpeper Star Exponent Reporter Alllison Brophy Champion, and the following story was published today:
SORING DEBATE AMBLES
Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:15 am | Updated: 5:17 am, Tue Jul 8, 2014.
By Allison Brophy Championabrophy@starexponent.com (540) 825-0771 ext. 101
BRANDY STATION – A pair of local equestrian enthusiasts and Tennessee Walking Horse owners are the other side of a hot button debate in passionately opposing a federal bill they claim would harm the industry.
Brandy Station resident Pam McKinney and Bealeton resident Sharon Rice are adamantly against the so-called PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactic) Act because they say it would impose unnecessary fines and regulations on activities they say are already highly regulated.
Another local horse enthusiast, Jeannie McGuire of Orange County, recently attended an event in Washington, D.C. in support of the PAST Act and when McKinney saw coverage in the Star-Exponent of the rally she strongly wanted to share her side of the issue.
“I am a concerned horse owner,” said McKinney. “This is me representing the horses I love.”
She and fellow equestrian Rice both strongly object to soring horses, an abusive practice already prohibited by the Horse Protection Act of 1970. In soring, chemicals and other devices are used on a walking horses’s legs and hooves to create an artificially high step.
The PAST Act would eliminate any and all competitive action devices, even those that do not cause pain, McKinney said, including horse shoes. It would also increase funding for federal inspections at horse shows, and eliminate self regulation.
If the PAST Act passes, McKinney said, horses participating in competitions would have to walk barefoot.
She and Rice are supporting alternate legislation, House Resolution 4098, being sponsored by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee. Both legislative measures remain in committee.
Blackburn spokesman Mike Reynard recently told The Tennessean , “We want to save a Tennessee industry that has a 97 percent compliance rate and protect these animals from the bad actors who make up the 3 percent on noncompliance,” according to a July 3 article.
Reynard said supporters of the PAST Act are focused on eliminating the walking horse industry altogether.
McKinney agreed, saying certain organizations are specifically targeting the breed.
“You can see how much we love our horses and how much we care about them,” she said.
McKinney has been riding Tennessee Walking Horses since she her 20s when her father got one.
“This is the horse I want to ride,” she said, remembering when she first got on one.
The breed is particularly gentle and easy-going, McKinney said. During a recent visit to her horse farm, her affection for her horses shone through – McKinney liberally gave and received kisses from her animals, and she’s even trained one of them to smile.
Rice, active in the walking horse industry for more than 30 years, said soring is no longer rampant and that the industry has been largely compliant, and subject to regular inspections at all competitions.
“Pads and chains don’t hurt the horse – it’s the people,” she said.
Rice felt proponents of the PAST Act are blowing the issue out of proportion. The owner of eight Tennessee Walking Horses said she would continue to oppose over-regulation of the breed.
“There is space for everybody in here,” Rice said, noting different owners show their horses differently, “as long as there is no abuse.”
McKinney attended the recent rally in D.C. in support of the PAST Act she is against. Her fierce opposition was visibly and verbally made known.
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Kentucky, is a key sponsor of the PAST Act, also supported by U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia. In announcing the bill in 2012, Whitfield said those in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry have for too long turned a blind eye to abusive trainers.
“This amendment does not cost the federal government any additional money and is essential in helping to put an end to the practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses by abusive trainers,” he said in a statement.
According to the Performance Show Horse Association, based in Tennessee, the industry is 96 percent compliant when it comes to preventing soring. The organization said the Tennessee Walking Horse is the most inspected breed in the U.S., and that new regulations proposed as part of the PAST Act would seriously jeopardize the industry.
Strangely enough, Ms McKinney’s behaviour resembles that of Ex PSHA Chairman Terry Dotson about “kissing horses” – “During a recent visit to her horse farm, her affection for her horses shone through – McKinney liberally gave and received kisses from her animals, and she’s even trained one of them to smile.”
In a June 2, 2013, The Tennessean article, PSHA Chairman Terry Dotson the reporter wrote: “But it’s clear the Performance Show Horse Association chairman loves his prized animals. He drives his farm in a covered Polaris four-wheeler, hopping out to collect kisses from horses. On the mouth.” Then Dotson went on to say he “would leave the Tennessee Walking Horse business if the PAST ACT passed”.
In today’s Star Exponent article, Ms McKinney said:
“If the PAST Act passes, McKinney said, horses participating in competitions would have to walk barefoot.”
TWHBEA Director Pam McKinney apparently attempted to mislead Reporter Allison Brophy Champion, and she should know better. Here is September 23, 2013 letter from Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) addressing this issue:
Congressman Whitfield clearly says for the record: “There are many Tennessee Walking Horses currently being shown in several divisions with shoes that would be allowed under the PAST ACT.”
Yet, the not so kissy face Ms. McKinney does not want the truth to be known:
The PAST ACT eliminates these and what results from them:
Here Dr. Whitney Miller, DVM, AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) Congressional Spokesperson speaks directly to the issue of why the Pads and Chains (also known as Stacks, often weighing 10-15 lbs per foot) must be banned, and why the AVMA favors passage of the PAST ACT.
Also, Mr. James J. Hickey, American Horse Council President, speaks in favor of the PAST ACT.
Something tells me the American Walking Horse Alliance may have a comment on the misrepresentations made by Virginia TWHBEA Director, Pam “Finger Lady” McKinney.