TULLAHOMA, TN – An impressive collection of the movers and shakers in the sore “Big Lick World” Tennessee Walking Horse World assembled Sunday and participated in a 90 minute “LIVE FORUM”.
The LIckers presented their views on where things stand in their fight to save the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse.
- The Lickers have spent almost $ 1 Million on the effort.
- In 14 days, a new Bill will be introduced in Congress to save the “Big Lick”.
- A full frontal assault will be launched in 14 days against the USDA to roll back “Scar Rule” enforcement. It will feature letters to the Secretary of Agriculture and Office of Inspector General attacking USDA “Scar Rule” enforcement and demanding changes from 2014.
The “Live Forum” featured the following persons:
- Mr. Jeffrey Howard, Moderator
- Mr. John Smith – Farrier
- Dr. Steve Mullins – Former Director, S.H.O.W. HIO Inspection
- Mr. Mitchell Butler – Head DQP, S.H.O.W. HIO
- Mr. Frank Eichler – PSHA Attorney/Rising Star Ranch
- Mr. Terry Dotson – Fund Raiser – Lobbying Coordinator
- Mr. Mike Inman – Celebration CEO
- Mr. Billy Young – Walking Horse Trainers BOYZ President
- Mr. Billy Morgan – Trainer BOYZ
- Mr. Kenny Lawrence, Trainer BOYZ
- Shelbyville, Tennessee Kiwanis Club Officers
LIVE FORUM – WHATAHORSE.COM – HOST – MR. JEFFRY HOWARD
Two of the most important presentations were those of “Licker Money Men” Mr. Frank Eichler and Mr. Terry Dotson.
MR. FRANK EICHLER, PSHA ATTORNEY & RISING STAR RANCH PROPRIETOR
Mr. Eichler’s Comments:
- Court held that USDA mandatory “minimum” penalties regulation was illegal.
- Last April, I sent two letters – to USDA and Office of General Counsel – that USDA VMOs were intimidating our SHOW HIO DQPs. I never received a response to either of these letters.
- We are now sending additional letters and the video of Dr. Baker at the recent DQP Training session in Shelbyville to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Office of Inspector General.
- Dr. Baker admitted that they have not followed the protocol regarding posterior scars on the pasters since 2009.
- They are not flattening out the scar.
- The letters will be sent within 24 – 48 hours.
- A question was asked: Will there be a legal challenge to the scar rule?
- Mr. Eichler said: It’s so subjective that it cannot be consistently applied. He cited instances of horses being turned down for violation of scar rule, then sent to vet colleges, and no scar can be found.
- Mr. Eichler said: “We have to eliminate the soring or the perception of it. He advocated blood tests.
- “All we are having right now are subjective inspections”.
MR. TERRY DOTSON – CHIEF FUND RAISER/LOBBYING COORDINATOR
Mr. Dotson’s Comments:
- Mr. Dotson recalled his getting involved with TWSHO in 2011, then going to see Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in March 2013.
- We have worked extremely hard on our lobbying effort.
- We have two lobbyists on the payroll.
- Lobbying alone has exceeded $300,000.00.
- We have spent over $100,000.00 on public relations.
- We have spent over $100,000.00 on vets and establishing “testing standards”.
- We are for objective inspections of “THIS HORSE”.
TRAINER LARRY JOE WHEELON QUOTE – AUGUST 28, 2013
- Reliable sources report that Mr. Terry Dotson has been integral in raising funds to pay legal costs for East Tennessee Horse Trainer Larry Joe Wheelon and his assistant Randall Stacy Gunter who are accused of 18 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. Both defendants are innocent until proven guilty. Mr. Terry Dotson is from East Tennessee, and is an active support of the East Tennessee Walking Horse Association.
Mr. Dotson’s Comments:
- We won a case, and that was a huge win.
- We gained momentum out of that.
- Our goal is to have a Bill introduced in Congress soon.
- Less than 50 people have provided all of the money spent so far in this effort.
- Everyone needs to donate: Time, Talent or Treasure.
- Go to Humane Watch and learn about The Humane Society Of The United States.
- “WE LOVE THIS HORSE”.
- We want to do what’s right.
- What we are trying to do is get a law passed which says, “This is what you can do with your horse.”
- What we are doing is for the betterment and protection of this animal.
- We raise money for charities like St. Jude’s.
- Washington, DC is 67 square miles surrounded by reality
- We’re going to spend $170,000.00 real soon to have standards in place to have the act in Congress passed.
MR. MITCHELL BUTLER – HEAD DQP – S.H.O.W. HIO INSPECTION PROGRAM
Mr. Butler’s Comments:
- We are not going to do anything different.
- If you were good last year, you’ll be good this year.
MR. MIKE INMAN – CELEBRATION CEO
Mr. Inman’s Comments:
- I have been getting calls from early to late – East Coast to West Coast.
- They are calling about the success of the lawsuit.
- This is the first “Downhill” part of the journey in the past few years.
- We have momentum now.
- We have the best product in the equine industry.
- We have something very, very special.
- It’s the only thing that both a six-year-old and a 90-year-old can compete on.
- Get out and enjoy “THE HORSE”.
- Take time to go out and hug your horse this week.
Mr. Jeffrey Howard, said 90% of Horse Shows benefit charities. He said 13 civic groups make money at the Celebration.
SHELBYVILLE KIWANIS CLUB OFFICERS
- I have been at it for 31 years.
- We used to bring in $40,000.00 in 10 days.
- Our take is now down 70%.
- We have to make our money on Friday and Saturday nights, but there’ s nobody in the stands.
- One year we had 19 projects and now only have five.
EMPTY STANDS 2014 TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE NATIONAL CELEBRATION
ARMED GUARD AT 2014 CELEBRATION CONCESSION STAND
DR. STEVE MULLINS, FORMER DIRECTOR, S.H.O.W. HIO INSPECTIONS
Dr. Mullins Comments:
- Raised tissue on a horse’s pastern should not be a scar.
- It’s no more than a callous on a working man’s hands.
- He said the USDA has an agenda to target certain people.
- He said USDA Vets tell DQPs “Are you going to turn down that horse or are you going to make me do it?”
- He did say “contracted heels” are a problem, but the USDA won’t let horses show with “heel springs” inserted.
- He said, “One of the best ways to fix this is to put “compression material” against the frog of the hoof.
- You can cause pressure shoeing using the compression material.
- You can pick up compression material on digital X-rays.
TRAINER BOYZ PRESIDENT MR. BILLY YOUNG
Mr. Billy Young along with Mr. Billy Morgan and Mr. Kenny Lawrence Comments:
- The Trainers Show is our only way to make money.
- We hope we have a great horse show.
- Please donate horses to our horse sale so we can make money.
Nephew Eugene says the only thing standing between the sore “Big Lick” Bad Ole Days are the American People.
These guys are depending on the American People to protect them.