SHELBYVILLE, TN – “I AM JOSE” won by default in a mighty three horse class in what might be, could be, ought to be the last Big Lick World Grand Championship at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration before the Tennessee Walking Horse goes back to his plantation roots as Auburn Vet Dean Emeritus Tom Vaughan suggested it should.
Otherwise, it may return to its roots ““ the plantation walking horse, which may not be a bad thing. Tom Vaughan, Dean Emeritus Auburn Vet College
“I AM JOSE” – CASEY WRIGHT UP
Here is an article in The Tennessean along with Comments including a prefatory one by Clant M. Seay, Spokesperson for the All American Walking Horse Alliance.
“I Am Jose” has a championship Tennessee Walking Horse pedigree – Midnight Sun/Merry Go Boy – Midnight Mack K – Pride’s Generator – Sun’s Delight. All Horses that had natural ability. These are Horses that were and could have been champions without the Pads and Chains associated with soring.
“I Am Jose’s” Trainer Casey Wright has received 9 Horse Protection Act Violation Citations in the last nine years including unilateral sore, scar rule and foreign substance. Two of these horses have the name “Jose” in their pedigree. In the last eight years, 843 Tennessee Walking Horses have received HPA violation citations for being sore Sixty of these horses have the name “Jose” in their pedigrees.
America is firmly lined up against the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse because they endure pain to be trained to perform the Big Lick. MTSU Equine Professor John Haffner says ALL of them do, and he is irrefutably correct. A native Tennessean, Dr. Haffner grew up a fan of the Big Lick horse, and then saw “The Light”.
The Big Lick horse is presently unmarketable, and the State of Tennessee is earning the reputation for being the World Center of Horse Abuse.
At the 2014 Celebration, the USDA Vet inspectors were turned over 50% of all the Big Lick Horses they checked as being SORE.
The Celebration’s Premier Sponsor Mr. Dave Thomas of Winner’s Circle says horses are being sored in 2014, and pointed out that Go Jo, WD-40, Dawn and Gentlkleen are being used to do it.
There were only 3 Horses were left to show in the World Grand Championship class last night of which”I Am Jose'” was declared the winner. Of the five Judges, ALL of them had Horse Protection Act Violation Citations for soring.. Over half of the other championship contenders didn’t show because they were found to be SORE.
It’s time to pass the PAST ACT to remove the Pads and Chains so “I Am Jose’ offspring will not have to suffer like all the other Jose Jose offspring which have been sored to produce the sore Big Lick.
And to clean up Tennessee’s horse abuse image, and to free the Tennessee Walking Horse breed from the pads and chains which are an incentive to sore the horses.
Clant M. Seay, Spokesperson, All American Walking Horse Alliance, AAWHAMEDIAREP@gmail.com.
I Am Jose wins 2nd straight Walking Horse Celebration championship
SHELBYVILLE ““Debbie Woods calls I Am Jose her “history maker.”
I Am Jose became the first repeat champion in 58 years at the 76th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration on Saturday night.
In 2013, I Am Jose became the first 4-year-old horse to win the big stake since 1966, when Shaker’s Shocker won the world grand championship.
“Well, everything about that horse is special from the first time that I looked at him,” said Woods, I Am Jose’s co-owner from Lexington. “Last year, of course, he made history being the first 4-year-old and this year he made history repeating back-to-back. I was just a baby (the last time a horse repeated.)”
Go Boy’s Shadow won consecutive titles in 1955-56, with Shelbyville’s Winston Wiser in the saddle.
Reagan’s Casey Wright rode I Am Jose, a 5-year-old black stallion, to a unanimous decision.
“It’s unbelievable,” Wright said. “There aren’t many horses that can do that. He’s one of a kind.”
There were only three entries in the big stake. Ten years ago, it was typical to have more than 10 entries.
Inspections to check for soring by the U.S Department of Agriculture have been strict. There were 16 entries in last weekend’s two preliminary classes, but only six horses made it to the show ring
“I think they all got turned down last weekend,” Wright said. “(Inspections) are as strict as it can be. We thought (I Am Jose) was fine “” that’s why we took him up there. We ain’t got nothing to hide.”
Gen’s Black Maverick took second and Mr. Heisman was third.
Five hours of steady rain softened the oval dirt track, but I Am Jose didn’t have any problems with his footing.
“It was a little bit (slick), but not too bad,” Wright said. “It was pretty firm footing up under it.”
Woods calls the stallion “a mudder.” Rain kept many spectators away as dozens of bleacher rows were empty. Many of the die-hards who came wore rain ponchos.
Mud splattered the riders’ pants legs as 1.58 inches of rain fell in Shelbyville, according to the National Weather Service. One longtime Celebration employee said it was the rainiest day at the show since the remnants of Hurricane Katrina passed through in 2005.
Wright said it was harder to win this year than last year.
“There was a little more pressure this year,” Wright said. “It felt like every eye in that place was on me. I was a little tense, probably.”
The trainer from West Tennessee marvels at I Am Jose’s consistency.
“He’s just natural,” Wright said. “You can put him up for a month and get him out, and he’s still good. He’s just a great horse.”
Most big stake winners don’t defend their title so they can put their horses into breeding, which can make a lot of money for the owners.
“We bred him last fall after I won and then we took him back,” Wright said. “He stayed at the breeding barn from March until the end of June, and we started working him the first of July. (Saturday) was the only time he’s been shown this year.”
It seems unlikely that I Am Jose will go for a three-peat ““ a feat accomplished by only one horse: The Talk of the Town from 1951-53.
“I think we aren’t going to test our lucky anymore,” said Wright, who turns 33 on Monday.
But Billy Woods, the horses’ co-owner and Debbie’s husband, isn’t ruling it out.
“We never say no,” Billy said.
Reach Chip Cirillo at 615 664-2194 or on Twitter @ChipCirillo.
Shelbyville’s Charlie Green was named trainer of the year for the third time. He also won in 2007 and 2013.
Repeat Celebration champions
1940-41 “” Haynes Peacock
1945-46 “” Midnight Sun
1947-48 “” Merry Go Boy
1951-53 “” The Talk of the Town
1955-56 “” Go Boy’s Shadow
2013-14 “” I Am Jose
COMMENTS TO THE TENNESSEAN ARTICLE
The “AGONY OF AUGUST” was not kind to the sore Big Lick.