THETA, TN – One of the few entertainment enjoyments out here at Theta is listening to Public Radio. An enterprising radio reporter Mike Osborne over at MDOT in Murfreesboro decided to cover the Tennessee Walking Horse story by talking to Horse Trainers on both sides of the issue. (Please note that Mr. Osborne doesn’t refer to the sore Big Lick as a “sport”.)
One, WHTA President Mickey McCormick from Shelbyville, Tennessee has a resume filled with violations of the Horse Protection Act, a Federal law to ban horse abuse.
The other, Cat Dye from Winchester, Tennessee, has a spotless record with NO HPA violations.
Mickey McCormick trains the sore Big Lick.
“I AM JOSE” – 2013 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION EXHIBITED AT 2014 NATIONAL TRAINERS SHOW – CASEY WRIGHT UP
Cat Dye trains sound Tennessee Walking Horses.
2012 – UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE Homecoming – Kimbrell Hines Up On “A Daring Affair” – Taking The Place Of ‘Big Lick’ World Grand Champion Walk Time Charlie
CAT DYE AT THE SOUND HORSE CONFERENCE – BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE
MICKEY MCCORMICK – PRESIDENT, WALKING HORSE TRAINERS ASSOCIATION WITH 24 KNOWN HPA VIOLATIONS
MICKEY MCCORMICK, WHTA BOYZ PRESIDENT
HERE IS MIKE OSBORNE’S MDOT RADIO STORY WITH INTERVIEW AUDIOS
Opposing views of the PAST Act: Walking Horse Trainers in Their Own Words
By Mike Osborne
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) — A bill that veteran Tennessee Walking Horse trainers say will destroy their industry recently acquired its 300th House of Representatives sponsor.
The PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act would outlaw the use of the mechanical devices – oversized shoes and leg chains – that industry insiders say they need to achieve the high-stepping “big lick” gait that’s become synonymous with the Walking Horse.
The Walking Horse industry puts millions of dollars into the Middle Tennessee economy each year. So with Shelbyville’s 76th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration looming on the horizon, WMOT News decided to examine the ongoing Walking Horse controversy from the viewpoint of trainers who both support and oppose the PAST Act.
EDITOR’S NOTE: WMOT understands that the training of Tennessee Walking Horse is debated with great passion by horse lovers on both sides of the issue. We would ask that anyone commenting on this story do so respectfully. Please discuss the issues involved without making personal references.
As spokesperson for the All American Walking Horse Alliance which recently staged the campaign rally before the U.S. Capitol to urge passage of the PAST ACT, I believe that people need to realize when Mr. McCormick claims a 96% compliance rate, that is one which has been manufactured by the Celebration’s horse inspection program S.H.O.W. HIO which is presently being decertified by the United States Department of Agriculture for violating the Horse Protection Act. Also, Mr. McCormick and the Walking Horse Trainers (BIG LICK) leadership have consistently violated the Horse Protection Act – One of these with HPA violations is WHTA 2nd VP Mr. David Landrum who was announced this week as a Judge of the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Mr. Landrum has rented a barn for over 25 years from Mr. Steve Smith, TWHBEA President, who is also U.S.Senator Lamar Alexander’s Campaign Finance Chairman:
WALKING HORSE TRAINERS LEADERSHIP HPA CITATION VIOLATION RECORDS
At least 117 known citations for violations of the Horse Protection Act have been issued to members of the 2014 Walking Horse Trainers Association board of directors, by either the USDA or Horse Industry Organization inspectors.
W.H.T.A. Board HPA Citation Tallies Mickey McCormick: 24 known citations David Landrum: 6 known citations
Bill Cantrell: 10 known citations
Edgar Abernathy: 9 known citations
Jeff Green: 28 known citations
Link Webb: 39 known citations
Ross Campbell: 1 known citation
NOTE: Mr. Osborne is correct that Tennessee Walking Horses do have a significant economic impact in Middle Tennessee, however, Mr. Osborne needs to recognize that the flat shod sound Tennessee Walking Horse will easily fill the vacuum once the sore Big Lick is abolished by the PAST ACT. Here are the facts about the “actual” number of sore Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses:
COLD HARD FACTS ON SORE BIG LICK TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE RACKET:
Passage of the PAST ACT would only affect 8/10th of 1% of all living Tennessee Walking Horses.
The other 99.20% of the Tennessee Walking Horses will be fine, and actually, the 8/10th of 1% will be too because they will no long be institutionally sored to created the sore Big Lick.
According to a 2012 USDA survey there are approximately 200,000 living TWH.
There are only 85 dues paying members of the Walking Horse Trainers Association.
There were only 569 Big Lick Horses at the 2013 Celebration
Assume each Trainer has an average of 10 horses in training.
Assume 850 total Big Lick Horses.
Then give it the benefit of the by doubling it 1,700 Big Lick TWH.
1% of 200,000 = 2,000
1,700 =8/10th of 1%
It’s good to see these matters covered by the press.