ShelbyvlleNOW ARTICLE FAILS TO DEAL WITH “THE SORING” PLAGUING THE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE BREED – WHAT CAUSED PUBLISHER MR. DAVID THOMAS TO PULL UP SHORT OF THE FINISH LINE?

SHELBYVILLE, TN  –  Mr. David Thomas,  Celebration Premier Sponsor and ShelbyvilleNOW publisher,  has published Part 3 of his online article entitled “Concerned Voices” in which he talks about “rebuilding the walking horse as a breed.”

Strangely and inexplicably,  Mr. Thomas does not address the one real issue which is the albatross around the neck of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed:

———————————————- SORING ——————————————–

It is perplexing why Mr. Thomas refers to  “rebuilding of the Walking Horse as a breed.”  

The Walking Horse breed does well when there is no soring, but you can’t have the Big Lick without soring.  In Part 3 of his article,    Mr. Thomas simply tries to ignore the elephant in the room which is, of course,   the soring.

MR. DAVID THOMAS, CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR

DAVID THOMAS, WINNERS CIRCLE - CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR - PUBLISHER - SHELBYVILLE NOW

DAVID THOMAS, WINNERS CIRCLE – CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR – PUBLISHER – SHELBYVILLE NOW

Mr. Thomas couches Part 3 of his article as the “most prominent  and popular comments and suggestions.”

What Mr. Thomas apparently won’t write about is the unpopular subject of “SORING”.   You have to wonder why because it is clear that the American public now knows that you can’t have the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Show Horse without soring.

And they are having no more of it as evidenced by 70% of the U. S. House, 60% of the U.S. Senate and 117 House Republicans, the majority of the majority,  all supporting passage of the PAST ACT.

Veterinarian Dr. John Haffner,  MTSU Horse Science Professor let the cat out of the bag with his November 2013 letter which laid bare the sordid animal abuse which constitutes the training and “making” a Tennessee Walking Show Horse.    Dr. Haffner cared for many of them before he finally “saw the light” and sold his equine vet practice because he could no longer lend himself to what was being done.

JOHNHAFFNERQUOTE

Here is Part 3 of Mr. David Thomas’s article, and BGB comments are in blue.

http://www.shelbyvillenow.com/walking_horse_news

Walking Horse News

Concerned Voices –   Part 3
by David Thomas


WARNING:   Reader discretion is advised!   The content in this article  may offend some people and could be considered to be negative in nature.   Don’t read this if you can’t handle the opinion of others!

In Part 3 of our series  “Concerned Voices”  I will lay out the ideas we have received concerning the rebuilding of the Walking Horse as a breed.   I have received many emails, phone calls and personal visits. I have also   talked with business consultants, public relations specialists, stakeholders, horse owners and long time trainers and exhibitors. In this process I received wide-ranging thoughts and concerns.   But, for the purpose of laying out constructive ideas I will present the most prominent and popular comments and suggestions.

Here are the most popular and agreed upon areas of concern.

1.   UNITY-  For the Walking Horse Breed to survive as a legitimate recognized horse breed there has to be an organized structure of unity and leadership.   70% of the respondents feel that the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Assocation is the organization to do this.
Suggestions on how to accomplish this task is wide-ranging.   Most feel that all parties have to agree that this breed is worth saving because of its natural abilities and versatility.

  • Mr. Thomas,  how do you propose to “unify” around a breed registry, TWHBEA,  that is in denial about “Soring”,  has a majority of HPA violators on its current Board, and a new nominated Executive Committee which will practically all have HPA violations.
  • Mr. Thomas,   are you not aware that TWHBEA President Steve Smith and his sore horse crowd succeeded over feeble ineffective opposition by Sound Horse Directors led by Keith Dane to pass a draconian By-Law proposal which conclusively  spells the end of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed ever gaining any type of national. acceptance?   The proposal eliminated the  following  states from having a Director.
THE TWHBEA MAP IF THE STEVE SMITH BY-LAWS PASS

THE TWHBEA MAP IF THE STEVE SMITH BY-LAWS PASS

Here is where in October 2013,   63% of voting TWHBEA members voted for passage of the PAST ACT which would remove the pads and chains to eliminate the sore Big Lick.

PASTActMapCopyright

  • Mr. Thomas, how can you propose a sore TWHBEA which is presently bleeding out at the rate of 100 members a month which amounts to 20% of its members in the past 12 months providing any leadership or unity?

2.   ENFORCEMENT OF  THE HPA-  The majority of respondents feel our current HIO system falls far short in enforcing the HPA and keeping the sore horse out of the show ring.   Most feel that the inspection program cannot be overseen by industry insiders.   The majority feel an independent outside organization should be in charge of inspections and enforcement.   Nearly everyone agrees an organization like the USEF is needed.

  • Mr. Thomas,  what are you talking about “keeping the sore horse out of the show ring?”   Mr. Thomas,  you of all people,  know they are soring the horses.  You asked the bogus “VAC” to test for what they are using to “FIX” the horses, and you never got an answer, did you?  And you haven’t seen any blood test results either, have you?
  • Mr. David Thomas, here is what you said:    “I think it would be common sense to try to stop the soring by  including the 5 or 6 items  that are being used today to  “fix”  the horse if we truly want to end soring. The opposing forces that want to end the performance horse know the popular products that will sore and they know what is being used. To stick our heads in the sand and  act like it isn’t prominent in the industry is not very smart.    I find it disturbing that  most people in the industry get real nervous  when I mention“GoJo”, “Dawn”, “Gentl-Kleen”, or  WD 40.  Those 4 alone would eliminate  95%  of it.  No one wants to address this issue. The ingredients in these 4 are petroleum products or detergents. The swabbing would easily detect these products just as easily as it would detect Mustard oil or Croton oil.”
  • Mr. Thomas,  please share under what conditions, other than what the PAST ACT proposes (removal of pads and chains), do you think the USEF would want to touch the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse “with a 10 foot pole” (Dr Dallas Goble).

3.   REBRANDING OF THE BREED-   Nearly all respondents are embarrassed to tell anyone they own a Tennessee Walking Horse.   The stigma hanging over the breed has expanded across the globe.   The next 3 items will expand on the rebranding of the TWH.

4.   CHANGE IN SHOEING-  80% of those responding, the public relations experts and the business consultants all agree that the performance show package has to be reduced to a more eye appealing presentation.   The most experienced public relations expert said,   “The current visual statement made by the performance horse is offensive to the average horse person, even more so to non-horse people”.

  • Mr. Thomas,  “eye  appealing  appearance” was what the Walking Horse Trainer Boyz came up with when they adopted “color coded chain” which was nothing more than “eye appealing appearance”.    Do you seriously think the public isn’t on to what goes on under those pads?  

5. ELIMINATION OF CHAINS-   Most agree that the chain around the ankle has to be changed in order to get our current stigma erased.   Lots of people have suggested that the performance horse move to a light weight bell boot or small ankle ring.

  • Mr. Thomas,   that one is dead on arrival – the small ankle ring will be a lead  weighted dog collar.    
  • Mr. Thomas,  why have anything around the horse’s ankle in the first place?  Why do you need an action device?

6. RIDER TRAINING-  This was a very popular topic and the talk surrounds the posture of many riders in the show ring. Most all agree that many or our riders present a bad image with their poor posture and total lack of horsemanship when in the saddle.

  • Mr. Thomas,   these young trainers like Justin Harris,  Casey Wright,  and John Allan Callaway could give a darn about their posture.   They are into setting that sunuvabuck down and have him honking hot.  You,  sir,  are wasting your time with that one.

2TUNICAFRIDAYHARRISAGED04

BUBBA UP ON "PURPLE STRATEGY"

BUBBA UP ON “PURPLE STRATEGY”

  • "I AM JOSE" - 2014 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION ACCOMPANIED BY "TOWEL MAN"

    “I AM JOSE” – 2014 WORLD GRAND CHAMPION ACCOMPANIED BY “TOWEL MAN”

  • Big_Lick_Big_Lie_Reversed
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

JUSTIN HARRIS UP AT CELEBRATION, AUGUST 23, 2014

7. TRANSPARENCY-   One of the public relations experts recommended that all efforts to enforce and regulate the rules HAD to be in a transparent format.   The hiding behind the scenes has to stop in order to gain any credibility back with the general public.

The list could be much longer but I will stop with these 7.

  • Mr. Thomas,  why do  you choose to stop at 7,  and then wander off into a “Youth Academy Program”?

In the event you are suffering amnesia,  here is what you wrote in Part 1:

ShelbyvilleNOW” … we will examine the data received from many sources as to why the Celebration is where it is today as well as possible solutions to the problems that exist.    I received  a large number of  responses concerning the Celebration and I will list the top concerns as well as address some suggestions that were presented.

1. Nearly every response started with the current Celebration Leadership.   Hardly anyone complained about specific individuals, but the general concensus was that leadership change is necessary.
As one respondent put it,    “There needs to be a wholesale change for the Celebration to get back on track”.

——————————————————————-

Mr. Thomas, why in Part 3,  did you not go there?

Don’t you agree that your article loses credibility when  you didn’t.

Note:  No parent is going to put their child in a barn where the substances of soring are located and practitioners of soring perform what they do.

Even Big Lick Hall of Fame member and 2014 Celebration Judge and current WHTA Trainer Boyz  David Landrum realized that when he discontinued his sore Big Lick training operation and opened up a “Riding Academy” outside Franklin, TN  in the barn that Steve Smith has rented him for the past 30 years where many many many horses were stored.

WHTA TRAINER BOYZ 2ND VP – DAVID LANDRUM

DAVID LANDRUM,  2 YEAR SUSPENSION FOR VIOLATING THE HORSE PROTECTION ACT FOR SORING HORSES - 2014 CELEBRATION JUDGE

DAVID LANDRUM, 2 YEAR SUSPENSION FOR VIOLATING THE HORSE PROTECTION ACT FOR SORING HORSES – 2014 CELEBRATION JUDGE

DAVID LANDRUM STABLES - "VISITORS WELCOME"

DAVID LANDRUM STABLES – “VISITORS WELCOME”

BARN OWNER STEVE SMITH & DAVID LANDRUM – TICKETED FOR SORE HORSE

STEVE SMITH/DAVID LANDRUM HORSE PROTECTION ACT VIOLATION CITATION

STEVE SMITH/DAVID LANDRUM HORSE PROTECTION ACT VIOLATION CITATION

 On a personal note-   The Walking Horse Industry is missing out on an area that could propel the Walking Horse breed into the future.   That is a youth academy program.   A few years ago this was attempted but not supported.   If this industry is going to survive there MUST be a program to introduce this great breed to our children.   At this year’s Celebration and most other shows across the area there were hardly any youth participating.   An Academy program works!   Take a long look at the Saddlebred industry.   Nearly every barn has an academy instructor to go along with their program.   Most TWH trainers don’t realize what an opportunity they are missing out on.  

The problems are many and must be addressed immediately.   Show season is over and there should be an expedited plan in place to save this breed.   Unfortunately, only a few are willing to change and honestly discuss our REAL issues.

Those few will lead this breed into the future.   The rest will fade away.
Which one will you be?

Disclaimer:   The comments made in this article are not the opinion of Shelbyville NOW or my personal opinion.
This article is for the purpose of allowing concerned voices to be heard in an organized fashion.”

————————————————————

So Mr. Thomas, you say, “only a few are willing to change and honestly discuss our REAL issues”, so  I am now going to ask you the question you asked the ShelbyvilleNOW readers:

Why didn’t you discuss the REAL issues:

  • The change needed in the Celebration leadership?
  • The conflicts of interest with exhibitors paying for corporate sponsorships?
  • The problem with the City of Shelbyville and the civic clubs being shown the door?
  • The Celebration suing the USDA?
  • The Celebration trying to control the entire walking horse breed.

Mr. Thomas,   you started off good with your 3 part article, but it appears you got the ball inside the five yard line, and then you fumbled it.

Why?

BGBHEADSHOT01

————————————————————————–
REPEAT – PART 1, “Concerned Voices” – ShelbyvilleNOW
http://www.billygoboy.com/2014/11/13/shelbyvllenow-article-essentially-calls-for-ouster-of-celebration-chairman-david-l-howard-and-board-members-john-t-bobo-and-pat-marsh-without-specifically-naming-them/
Posted on  

SHELBYVILLE, TN  ““ A piercing analysis of the woes and travails of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in an article by Celebration Premier Sponsor, Mr. David Thomas, proprietor of Winner’s Circle Tack Shop,  appeared yesterday in  ShelbyvilleNOW,  a community online publication.

MR. DAVID THOMAS, CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR

DAVID THOMAS, WINNERS CIRCLE - CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR - PUBLISHER - SHELBYVILLE NOW

DAVID THOMAS, WINNERS CIRCLE ““ CELEBRATION PREMIER SPONSOR ““ PUBLISHER ““ SHELBYVILLE NOW

Mr. Thomas’s article  “Concerned Voices”    raised questions about the competency of the Celebration leadership without specifically naming Celebration Chairman David L. Howard, and key board members John T. Bobo and Pat Marsh

By posing a series of questions.  Mr. Thomas laid bare the basic flaws troubling the 76 year old Tennessee tradition which is managed, directed and controlled by the following three gentlemen:

CELEBRATION CHAIRMAN DAVID L. HOWARD

CELEBRATION CHAIRMAN DAVID L. HOWARD, THE WALKING HORSE REPORT PUBLISHER

CELEBRATION CHAIRMAN DAVID L. HOWARD, THE WALKING HORSE REPORT PUBLISHER

CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER ATTORNEY JOHN T. BOBO

JOHN T. BOBO - THE CONSIGLIERE - MAN BEHIND DAVID L. HOWARD

JOHN T. BOBO ““ THE CONSIGLIERE ““ MAN BEHIND DAVID L. HOWARD

CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER BUSINESSMAN PAT MARSH

PAT MARSH, CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER/STATE REPRESENTATIVE

PAT MARSH, CELEBRATION BOARD MEMBER/STATE REPRESENTATIVE

http://www.shelbyvillenow.com/walking_horse_news

Walking Horse News

Concerned Voices –     Part 1
November 12, 2014     –   by David Thomas


The title of this multi-part article was chosen because of the sources used for compiling the content.     Concerned Voices have been communicating potential solutions to our issues revolving around the decline of the Celebration and the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.

In this edition we will examine the data received from many sources as to why the Celebration is where it is today as well as possible solutions to the problems that exist.
I received  a large number of  repsonses  concerning the Celebration and I will list the top concerns as well as address some suggestions that were presented.

1. Nearly every response started with the current Celebration Leadership.   Hardly anyone complained about specific individuals, but the general concensus was that leadership change is necessary.
As one respondent put it,   “There needs to be a wholesale change for the Celebration to get back on track”.

2. The Celebration does not need to be involved in lawsuits against the USDA.   One respondent stated,   “The minute SHOW was involved in a lawsuit against the USDA, they painted a target on my back if I show horses at one of their shows.”

3. The Celebration needs to concentrate on putting on horse shows rather than try to control the entire Walking Horse breed.   Nearly all responses expressed this concern. The Celebration and its leaders are perceived as “power hungry” as several respondents put it.

4. The Celebration needs to update its facilities with upgrades to the Calsonic arena.   Specifically, several respondents pointed out that most other venues have Air Conditioning and that the Calsonic was very uncomfortable and at sometimes miserable during the day time performances.

5. The Celebration judging system needs to be changed to include new faces and different judges from year to year.
As one respondent expressed, “Its the same ones year after year, and you know who they are going to tie before you go into the ring”

6. The Celebration needs to decrease the number of duplicate classes to prevent the title “World Champion” from being watered down.   This will produce larger classes and give more credence to the title “World Champion”.

7. The Celebration needs to pay out the winnings in a timely fashion.   One respondent said “I’ll never be back!   I have waited 6 weeks for my winnings and I’m tired of the run around.”

8. The Celebration needs to discontinue corporate sponsorships from anyone that is an exhibitor.   Too many conflicts of interest.

9. The Celebration needs to work with the community more to involve more organizations rather than try to run them out.   One civic club member said, “Our involvement is about over.   Greed has taken over”.

10. The Celebration should hire a business consultant and then follow their suggestions.   One comment received was, “To many people that think they are experts and have lost touch with its support base”.

It is obvious that the Celebration now has a public relations nightmare to deal with.   The question is: Will they make positive steps in dealing with the issues at hand?

It is natural for we as human beings to go into defense mode when criticized.   Sometimes we even go into a state of denial.   Those that accept criticism and make changes end up stronger and usually have much success.   Hopefully,   the criticism in this article does not trigger a defense or denial response, but maybe it could lead to self evaluation and we can see changes for the positive.   Isn’t everyone’s goal  a Healthy and thriving Community Event”¦..The Celebration.

send all comments to:    admin@shelbyvillenow.com

“”””””””””””””””””””-

The Celebration is built around the soring of Big Lick horses.  Its inspection program, S.H.O.W. HIO, is being decertified by the USDA for its failure to enforce the Horse Protection Act.

The USDA conclusively proved,  by publishing its 2014 Celebration “Horse Protection Activity Report”, and 2012-2013 data,  that the 95% HPA compliance rate claimed by Celebration officials and TWHBEA President Steve Smith was a lie.

USDACEL01

Also, the Celebration management was exposed lying to the public about the much publicized “VAC”  Veterinary Advisory Committee  when one of its members,    Budweiser Clydesdale Vet Dr. Dallas O. Goble was discovered to not even be part of it while  the Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and “VAC” Spokesperson Tom Blankenship were lying to the public that he was.

Dr. Goble said,  “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole”.

VAC_Chart_#6

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And the Celebration featured Cock Fighter B.L. Cozad, Jr. as its Spokesperson in the Celebration’s Hall of Fame Club:

B. L COZAD, JR - COCK FIGHTING SONUVAGUN  CELEBRATION HALL OF FAME CLUB

B. L COZAD, JR ““ COCK FIGHTING SONUVAGUN CELEBRATION HALL OF FAME CLUB

“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Mr. Thomas tiptoed around the tulips with  “Concerned Voices”,    but the gist of his article essentially suggested throwing David L. Howard’s sore Big Lick crowd out into the street and starting over.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

BGBHEADSHOT01