SHELBYVILLE, TN – Celebration Chairman David L. Howard was faced with a dilemma.
- An unmarketable product in the sore Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse,
- Shelbyville’s largest banking institution, Regions Bank, abruptly withdrew its corporate sponsorship,
- 70% of the U. S. House of Representatives endorses the PAST ACT to remove the pads and chains to stop the soring and abuse of the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses. The American people want the sore Big Lick to end forever.
So sore Big Lick Champions David L. Howard and Steve Smith (Senator Alexander Campaign Finance Chair and Rep Blackburn benefactor) came up with a PLAN.
- Blackburn/Alexander introduced Bills in February/April 2014 which feature “Self Regulation”. “Self Regulation” has failed for the past 45 years. Their Bills propose allegedly INDEPENDENT COMMITTEES/BOARDs which essentially hire some veterinarians, and then propose allegedly objective science based Inspections.
- Block the PAST ACT in the U. S. Senate. In addition to having Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) putting “ping pong” holds on S. 1406, on June 5, 2014, a meeting was held in Shelbyville, Tennessee with Celebration Chairman David L. Howard, John T. Bobo and other key players and Gallatin,Tennessee Democrat activist attorney Charles Bone who represented TWHBA in the NWHA law suit which TWHBEA lost. From 1976 through 2000, Charles Bone was active in every campaign for former Vice President Al Gore and worked extensively with the Gore for President efforts. Former VP Al Gore is close to U. S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) who holds the fate of the PAST ACT in his hands. There is a possibility that inside influence with Senate Majority Leader Reid has been utilized by the Lickers to encourage Reid to not put the PAST ACT on the Senate calendar.
- Block the PAST ACT in the U. S. House. Representative Marsha Blackburn was supposed to be the cork in the bottle in the U. S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, but then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a shocking defeat in June, then Cantor resigned as Majority Leader on July 31, 2014. He resigned as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives on August 18, 2014. Flatters were optimistic that new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was going to have a favorable outlook toward the PAST ACT. Then in late July, the sore Big Lick PSHA with Celebration CEO Mike Inman and its Spokesperson Jeffrey Howard were fingered in trying to instigate an ethics investigation into PAST ACT Sponsor Congressman Ed Whitfield. Then on July 31, 2014, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner decided to put everything on hold until following the November 4 election. Congressman Whitfield will know on November 10 if the Ethics matter has resolved with no further action or if it will go forward.
THE DAVID L. HOWARD – STEVE SMITH PLAN FOR CELEBRATION 2014
In order for the sore Big Lick to have a chance to survive the push by the American people who are demanding CHANGE and elimination of the pads and chains to stop the soring and abuse of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Chairman David L. Howard and his Shelbyville patron John T. Bobo KNOW that this Celebration must get by the next 10 days without a major scandal which would sink the sore Big Lick for good.
Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and Steve Smith, (TWHBEA President and Senator Lamar Alexander Campaign Finance Chairman ) support the Representative Blackburn/Senator Alexander alternative Bills which feature “Self Regulation” which has failed for the past 45 years. The latest ploy is to come up with “VAC”, a so called INDEPENDENT Veterinary Advisory Committee, and which will provide oversight to protect the horses and implement sound objective science based inspections.
THE SORE BIG LICK “SELF REGULATION” FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE
– THE WILY TOM BLANKENSHIP –
Chairman Howard allegedly spent $250,000.00 to buy credibility and respectability for a fatally flawed Celebration venue which showcases a defenseless animal trained inhumanely as “sport”. The two major newspapers of the area, The Tennessean and the Chattanooga Times Free Press newspapers have editorialized for passage of the PAST ACT. The Times Free Press has advocated a Boycott of the Celebration.
After Chairman David L. Howard hired Five Celebration Judges – all of which have Horse Protection Act Violation Citations on their resumes – for a total of about $100,000.00, then Howard dreamed up the “VAC” – a Veterinary Advisory Committee a/k/a “Lipstick On A Pig” to try and fool Congress into not passing the PAST ACT.
Chairman Howard allegedly spent $250,000.00 on Blankenship and the Veterinary Advisory Committee.
SO HERE ARE THE “VAC” PLAYERS – FIRST, THE BIG LICK SPOKESPERSON
- Tom Blankenship – Indiana attorney – former Big Lick Exhibitor and attorney hired in 2006 to get a Bill approved in the U.S. Senate which would redefine the “Scar Rule” so as to render it impotent, and then redefine “Soring”. Blankenship was paid a lot of money for that gig, and he’s also getting paid a lot of money for this 2014 assignment.
TOM BLANKENSHIP – 1994 BIG LICK EXHIBITOR
TOM BLANKENSHIP 2014 SPOKESPERSON “VAC” VET. ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mr. Blankenship was the central piece of a 2006 plot by Steve Smith to get an amendment through Congress with the assistance of his personal friend, U. S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN).
An informed source says that Steve Smith called money man William B. Johnson and asked him to meet with Tom Blankenship. The meeting was arranged at the Shelbyville Country Club.
Tom Blankenship brought with him to the meeting Dr. Jerry H. Johnson, DVM. The purpose of the meeting was to raise money to establish The National Horse Protection Society. Allegedly, William B. Johnson gave $200,000.00 to fund the NHPS and allegedly that donation was matched by Robert Medina of Skillman, NJ. Then Steve Smith allegedly put in a substantial amount of money from the Show Horse Support Fund which was the successor to Friends Of The Show Horse. The total amount of the money for the venture amounted to $600,00.00 to $750,000.00.
Tom Blankenship was the attorney for NHPS. Its goal was to get an amendment to the Horse Protection Act which would get rid of the “Scar Rule” and redefine “Soring”. Steve Smith’s friend Senator Bill Frist introduced the proposed Law, and Tom Blankenship who also represented the Walking Horse Trainer BOYZ endorsed it.
The bottom line is that Tom Blankenship, exhibitor of Big Lick horses, has a long track record of working against strictly enforcing the rules against horse soring. The grandiose plans of Steve Smith’s National Horse Protection Society blew up when a copy was leaked to The Tennessean reporters and then made public.
FLASH FORWARD TO 2013
Steve Smith once again brings Licker attorney Tom Blakenship on board who once again brings Jerry H.Johnson, DVM on board. It recently came to light that U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has been listening all along to Steve Smith’s men Tom Blankenship and Dr. Jerry H. Johnson on that “Soring Problem”. This explains how and why Senator Alexander is so “Out Of Touch”. One thing Senator Alexander is not out of touch with is the amount of money provided to him for his 2014 re-election campaign. In essence, Senator Alexander was paid $3 Million in campaign funds by Steve Smith and one of the things Smith expected for the money was for Alexander to block the PAST ACT – which he has done.
U. S. SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN) STATEMENT ON DEC. 8, 2013, BEFORE THE TENNESSEAN EDITORIAL BOARD
In his December 8, 2013 meeting with the Tennessean Editorial Board, Alexander said, “I have examined the bill that Congressman Whitfield has I know he’s sincere about it. I am told by veternarians and people who show horses that it would decimate the tradition of the Tennessee Walking Horse. It has unneccessary provisions in it. I have been to the Celebration a number of times. I am not an expert on veterinary medicine ““ but I know of the inspections that they have there. Almost all of them are 96 to 98 % successful. It comes down to the industry itself to do a better job of self regulation. Having veterinarians do the inspections. It comes down to the industry itself doing a better job of self regulating finding a way to more resources into hiring independent vets whenever possible to do the examinations.”
The veterinarian filling up Senator Alexander’s ear was none other than Steve Smith’s Guy Tom Blankenship’s Guy – DR. JERRY H. JOHNSON
When it came time for this assignment, Blankenship hired Dr. Jerry Johnson again.
The way it all fits together is Tom Blankenship is Steve Smith’s buddy, and Dr. Jerry Johnson is who Blankenship used to “carry the water” in 2006 in the ill fated effort to gut the “Scar Rule” and redefine scoring.
Then making the “LIPSTICK ON THE PIG” look good and INDEPENDENT, Dr. Jerry H. Johnson had to go get TWO more Vets.
He got 75+/- year old Dallas Goble, DVM who has retired and left Tennessee and gone to live in Texas. Goble was out to pasture and will now be paid a nice sum of money to lend his name to the Celebration “VAC”.
Then Johnson was able to get Blount County, Tennessee (Home of Larry Joe Wheelon) vet Dr. Phillip D.Hammock. The 48 year old Hammock is a surgeon and a race horse vet. His specialty is not treating the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.
So, having the “VAC” Spokesperson Tom Blankenship in place, and the political operative vet, Dr. Jerry H. Johnson on board, and two other vets who are lending their names to the venture, what exactly is the “VAC” Committee supposed to require that will make a difference in preventing the Soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.
The big proposals are:
- BLOOD TESTS – The vets are approaching the Celebration as if it were an Jumper event at Kentucky Horse Park or a Thoroughbred race at Churchill Downs.
Last week, Celebration Premier Sponsor Winners Circle owner Mr. David Thomas of Shelbyville, Tennessee asked pertinent questions IF the “VAC” was going to blood test or swab for the substances used to sore horses in 2014.
Mr. David Thomas has lived in Shelbyville virtually his entire adult life. He owns one of the region’s leading tack stores, Winner’s Circle, and although he values it, Mr. Thomas does not depend solely on the Tennessee Walking Horse trade to survive.
Mr. Thomas’s business, Winner’s Circle, is a Select Sponsor – that’s as big as you can get.
Mr. Thomas knows the Trainer BOYZ are soring Tennessee Walking Horses in 2014. He knows what they are using to sore the horses.
On a message board, Mr. Thompson asked a simple question:
“I’m asking a simple question. Very simple.
Will the VAC be considering Gojo, Dawn, wd40 , or Gentlkleen as substances they consider as prohibited. To break it down so everyone can understand. Would these substances be considered as in the same category as oil of mustard, croton oil, diesel fuel and other known caustic chemicals?
This is a yes or no question.”
The question has not yet been answered.
- DIGITAL X RAYS
The Trainer BOYZ know how to beat the Digital X Ray.
- Take hoof trimmings – dry them in the sun until they are very hard – then put them with a little silicone, not much, between the pad and frog and you have skillfully pressure shod the horse and it’s not detectable on digital x ray.
- Take the finely ground limestone particles which make up the Celebration ring surface and the inspection area and mix them with pine tar and okum and put them against the sensitive parts of the horse’s foot and pad. Again, they can’t be dectected by digital x ray.
- One more way is to have a farrier to bevel the hoof wall just so to put pressure on sensitive trimmed down areas. Again, not detectable on digital x rays.
It’s going to be an interesting 11 days.