SHELBYVILLE, TN – If it takes sore to judge sore, then Celebration Chairman David L. Howard has exceeded all expectations in hiring his long time buddies David Landrum and Rollie Beard as two of the five person panel to judge the 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Celebration CEO Mike Inman commented: “The Celebration is excited to bring such a talented, knowledgeable panel together for our 76th annual show. We have an excellent mix of experience and fresh faces and they are all anxious to oversee the amazing quality of the Tennessee Walking Horses that come to Shelbyville each August. It isn’t often that no active trainer and two rookies are selected but we have the utmost respect for each of the members of the panel and their abilities,” said TWHNC CEO Mike Inman.
Apparently, Mike Inman has the “utmost respect” for the soring records of David Landrum and Rollie Beard.
2014 CELEBRATION JUDGE DAVID LANDRUM
David Landrum has a record of federal Horse Protection Act violations. Due to the severity of his violations, Landrum was suspended from training for two years – 1995-1997.
DAVID LANDRUM – TWHBEA PRESIDENT STEVE SMITH’S PERSONAL HORSE TRAINER AND STEVE SMITH HORSE BARN RENTER (OVER 25 YEARS)
“A database of HPA violations lists five suspensions for Landrum from 1997 to 2010 “” for soring, for putting a foreign substance on a horse’s leg, for violating show rules and for verbal abuse.
David Landrum and the assistant trainers who have worked for him over those approximately 25 years have an extensive record of horse soring. Horse soring is hurting horses for competitive advantage in the show ring. It goes on in the barn where horses are trained and in the show ring where they are exhibited.
David Landrum served a two-year federal suspension from horse training from 1997 ““ 1999.
Steve Smith was President of TWHBEA from 1995 ““ 1997.
Steve Smith is presently U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) Campaign Finance Chairman, and is a major campaign contributor to Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
David Landrum was Steve Smith’s Trainer when Smith was ticketed as Exhibitor of a sore horse. When Steve Smith ran for President of TWHBEA he answered a question “NO” if he had ever received a HPA violation notice from a HIO.
David Landrum presently serves as 2nd Vice President of the Walking Horse Trainers Association.
2014 CELEBRATION JUDGE ROLLIE BEARD
To say Celebration Judge Rollie Beard has a checkered past regarding the Horse Protection Act would be an understatement.
In November 2009, Rollie Beard was hired as SHOW HIO(Celebration) Director of Judges in November 2009. At the time of Beard’s hiring Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) contact person Teresa Bippen protested the hiring in a letter to Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows:
“Beard received five tickets for Horse Protection Act (HPA) violations within the last six years with the last violation occuring just last year. FOSH questions how a repeat HPA violator can be named as a director of a judging program in a year when a record-breaking number of soring violations has occurred. In addition to soring being illegal, it is also cheating against all the exhibitors who do not sore. As SHOW expects its Director of Judging to demonstrate honesty and support for the sound horse, FOSH fails to understand how this appointment is not a conflict of interest when one considers Beard’s own recent history of soring and exhibiting. As long as SHOW continues to honor HPA violators such as Mr. Beard with positions of leadership, it is difficult for outsiders to envision that SHOW is serious about enforcement of the HPA or values such as honesty. We hope that you will reconsider the message you sent to the public with your Judging choice.”
At the 2010 Celebration, Rollie Beard served as SHOW HIO Director of Judges. At that Celebration “The Coach” was tied as Tennessee World Grand Champion amid controversy and allegations regarding the integrity of the judging. “The Coach” was exhibited by “Big Lick” icon Billy Gray who served a five year USDA Federal Suspension sentence for violating the Horse Protection Act. Billy Gray is now on another long multi-year suspension along with his son, Tim. During the championship class on the final Saturday night of the 2010 Celebration, “The Coach” broke his gaits several times while being judged, yet still was declared the winner.
In matters not related to “The Coach” being tied and the public outcry following it regarding the judging, Beard’s job performance at the 2010 Celebration as SHOW HIO Director of Judges was reviewed by Celebration officials during the Celebration. Beard was critiqued for his performance at that time. Following the 2010 Celebration, Rollie Beard resigned as SHOW HIO Director of Judges.
Another “Rollie” moment occurred when Beard was hired to judge the 2004 Celebration, but had to resign immediately prior to the 2004 Celebration as reported in the Mid-South Horse Review:”2004/08/13 Celebration Judge Resigns From Panel Celebration CEO Ron Thomas announced that Rollie Beard has submitted his resignation from the 2004 Celebration judging panel. Beard is currently involved in a hearing process with the National Horse Show Commission that could result in his suspension from active involvement in the industry prior to the start date of The Celebration. If that happens, he would be ineligible to judge “There is no doubt that this is an uncomfortable situation for all involved,” said Beard. “While I go through this appeal process, I feel it is best that I resign from the judging panel.
Those are the brief thumbnails on 2014 Celebration Judges David Landrum and Rollie Beard.
There is more, much more, to come on both of them.
And Nephew Eugene is looking into the other three Judges:
- Jennifer Bingham
- Paul Robbins
- David Sisk
Please stay tuned.