AAWHA OBTAINS COMMITTMENT FROM N.C. STATE FAIR “TO REVIEW” ALLOWING BIG LICK (PERFORMANCE HORSES) TO SHOW AT 2015 N. C. STATE FAIR

AAWHA_Official

10/14/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Group:    AAWHA (ALL AMERICAN WALKING HORSE ALLIANCE)
Contact:      Clant M. Seay –  Media Representative/Spokesperson
Phone:      (662) ““ 380 – 3367      AAWHAMEDIAREP@gmail.com

AAWHA   – CALLS FOR NORTH CAROLINIANS TO BOYCOTT THE N.C. STATE FAIR HORSE SHOW THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS TO PROTEST THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA ALLOWING BIG LICK (PADS & CHAINS) TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES TO BE SHOWN ON THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE FAIRGROUNDS

RALEIGH, NC   ““     Jeannie McGuire, organizer of the historic “Walk On Washington” event,   which  brought natural sound flatshod Tennessee Walking Horses before the U. S. Capitol in June 2014 in support of passage of the PAST Act, is now calling on North Carolinians to boycott the Friday and Saturday night Tennessee Walking Horse Shows at the NC State Fair.

Virginia native McGuire said,  “The Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse is nothing more than institutionalized animal cruelty presented as family entertainment, and this is wrong.     It should never be on display in front of children, much less enabled by the State of North Carolina”.

“The AAWHA members from North Carolina and all over America have joined over 5,500 persons who have signed the Petition to:   Cancel Tennessee Walking Horse Performance Classes at the NC State Fair”,  she said.

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The Change.Org Petition,  addressed to N.C. State Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt was initiated by  Sound Horse Advocate Michelle Disney  of Raleigh, NC, on September 25, 2014.   The Petition,   along with the signatures of approximately 2,500 North Carolinians,   was delivered on Monday to the State Department of Agriculture.

AAWHA Spokesperson Clant M. Seay spoke to NC Agriculture Chief Deputy Commissioner N. David Smith Monday who said, “We will review the matter of (Big Lick) Performance Tennessee Walking Horses appearing at the 2015 N.C. State Fair.”   Smith has previously taken the position that the State of North Carolina would remain neutral on this subject so long as the N.C. Horse Show complied with hiring an Horse Inspection program approved by the USDA.     Mr. Smith indicated a possible change in policy, and reiterated that the question of allowing (Big Lick) Performance Horses will  “be revisited before the 2015 Fair”.

AAWHA representatives McGuire and Seay said the Big Lick (Performance) classes should be cancelled for the 2014 N.C. State Fair for the following reasons:

  • The Horse Inspection program, “HAWHA” (Heart Of America Walking Horse Association),   hired by the N.C. State Fair Horse Show is presently being decertified by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)   for not complying with the provisions of the Horse Protection Act.   The Complaint was filed in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 2014.
  • The N.C. Fair Walking Horse Show Judge, Mack Dekle of Shelbyville, Tennessee, has a Horse Protection Act Violation Citation for soring a horse in violation of the Horse Protection Act.
  • The N.C. Fair Walking Horse/Spotted Saddle Horse Show Advisory Committee has 11 members, and 9 of the 11 have received Horse Protection Act Violation Citations for violating the Horse Protect Act.   Collectively, the 9 persons have accumulated 37 Horse Protection Act Violations among them. One of the members is John Callicutt of Seagrove, NC who was the owner of “Walk Time Charlie”, the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion trained by Chad Baucom.   Mr. Baucom along with family members, Eddie and Jeannette,  have all been charged with soring horses under the terms of the Horse Protection Act.  Eddie and Jeannette Baucom are presently serving multi-year suspensions from showing.
  • The State Fairs of Missouri, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Oregon no longer allow Big Lick (Performance) Tennessee Walking Horses to be shown due to the soring and animal cruelty associated with producing the animated gait of the horses. Other prominent venues barring Big Lick horses are the Kentucky Horse Park and the Germantown Charity Horse Show (Memphis, Tennessee).

AAWHA Spokesperson Clant M. Seay said, “The NC State Fair, a division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, has no business providing a venue where Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses are exhibited.” Seay said,   “These horses are trained sore at the barn, and then they are brought to shows and manipulated to pass inspection.   Often, the trainers use pain masking numbing agents so the soring is difficult to detect”.  

Seay said,   “One sore horse is one sore horse too many”.

He cited the “USDA Horse Protection Activity Report” at the 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration where over 51% of the Big Lick, a/k/a Performance Horses inspected by the USDA inspectors were found to be sore in violation of the Horse Protection Act of 1970″.  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2014/09/pdf/VMO%20Total%20Report%20Celebration.pdf

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AAWHA Organizer Jeannie McGuire,  who has lobbied in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the PAST ACT (Prevent All Soring Tactics Act) which would remove the pads and chains,   make horse soring a felony and eliminate the corrupt Horse Inspection programs,   said North Carolina’s honest and ethical horsemen and women are taking a stand against soring,  and they have succeeded in gaining support from Senator Kay Hagan, and more than  half of their representatives on a national level    to pass the PAST ACT”.

U. S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has not yet committed to co-sponsor the PAST ACT.

Along with U. S. Senator Kay Hagan (NC-D), the PAST ACT is co-sponsored by seven of eleven presently serving North Carolina U. S. Congressmen including:

â–ª                               G. K. Butterfield ““ 1st District ““ Democrat

â–ª                               Renee Elmers ““ 2nd District ““ Republican

â–ª                               Walter Jones, Jr. ““ 3rd District ““ Republican

â–ª                               David Price ““ 4th District ““ Democrat

â–ª                               Howard Coble ““ 6th District ““ Democrat

â–ª                               Mike McIntyre ““ 7th District ““ Democrat

â–ª                               Mark Meadows ““ 11th District ““ Republican

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BACKGROUND:

The   AAWHA –  All American  Walking Horse Alliance  is  a group of concerned citizens against soring of Tennessee Walking Horses who support the  PAST ACT.

Soring  is both an illegal and a cruel practice that uses chemical and mechanical means to create pain in a horse’s pastern areas and feet to exaggerate the step in some Tennessee Walking Show Horses. The resulting exaggeration of the gaits bears no resemblance to the natural going gaits of the walking horse envisioned by the breeds founders.   Action devices and heavy, stacked shoes are used to enhance the gaits and often to obscure other soring practices.

Although a smaller chain action device is used in the show ring as part of the   package to accentuate the gaits, McGuire asserts that at the training barns multiple pairs of chains of varying weights are used in the training process, with the weights far exceeding what is allowed in the show ring. Further, she says, that horses are trained through punishment not to react to inspections used to detect soring.  “This is a process called stewarding, ”  said McGuire.

McGuire said in discussing her call for the boycott,  ” It’s time for the pain of these horses to end.   Horse shows should not feature horses that have suffered and are suffering   in order to provide a thrill for an   audience that does not understand how these gaits are obtained.”

Native Tennessean Dr. John Haffner,   Veterinarian and MTSU Horse Science Faculty member,   has said,    “The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed. The big lick is a learned response to pain  and if horses have not been sored, they do not learn it.”  Dr. Haffner is Vice President of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of Equine Practitioners.

With  305  members of the House of Representatives signed on as co-sponsors of the PAST Act along with  59  members of the Senate, McGuire says that actions like a boycott of the Big Lick (Performance) Tennessee Walking Horses would send a message to Washington, D.C., that this bill needs a vote this session.

To speak with a representative/spokesperson of the  AAWHA, please call or email

Clant M. Seay:    Mobile:  662-380-3367      Email:    AAWHAMEDIAREP@gmail.com

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The following YouTubes tell the story of  “Walk On Washington”  and the persons and organizations which urge passage of the  PAST ACT  to stop the soring and abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses,   once and for all.

AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW-XzyfJoMI

AMERICAN HORSE COUNCIL PRESIDENT JAMES J. HICKEY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vik88tr7Q8I

SENATOR JOE TYDINGS ““ FATHER OF HORSE PROTECTION ACT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI4inyg3EaM

WALK ON WASHINGTON ““ HORSES & REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjFY5zYWmaY

“THE STORY OF “DUTCH’S ROAD TO RECOVERY”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WQcjdaFKYY

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HARD FACTS ON SORE BIG LICK TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES:

â–ª            Passage of the  PAST ACT  would only affect  8/10th  of 1%  of all living Tennessee Walking Horses.

â–ª            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.

â–ª                According to a 2012 USDA survey there are approximately  200,000  living Tennessee Walking Horses.

â–ª          There are only  85  dues paying members of the Walking Horse Trainers  Association.

â–ª                There were only  569  Big Lick Horses at the 2013 Celebration

â–ª                  Assume each Trainer has an average of  10  horses in training.

â–ª                  Assume  850  total Big Lick Horses.

â–ª                  Then give it the benefit of the by  doubling  it  1,700  Big Lick TWH.

â–ª                  1% of 200,000 = 2,000

 1,700  =  8/10th of 1%  ARE BIG LICK OUT OF 200,000 LIVING TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES

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POLL OF TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE REGISTRY MEMBERS ““ OCT. 15, 2013

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