COLUMBIA, TN – Ms. Teresa Bippen is lucky to be alive.
This 5’2″ lady from Missouri joined by a Tennessee educator was exercising her constitutional rights by protesting against Animal Cruelty of “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses when a burly man driving a 3/4 ton Chevrolet Dually truck, in an apparent reckless fit of rage, almost killed her.
According to an eye witness, the driver of black Chevrolet truck snapped in a fit of uncontrollable fury. He gunned his powerful engine, accelerated and swerved right at Ms. Teresa Bippen, barely missing her.
The driver came up Lion Parkway last Saturday, and turned left on to Maury County Park Drive. He was following a big rig owned by “Big Lick” heavy hitter Mr. David “Duke” Thorson who owns ThorWorks Industries, Inc.
The first thing the driver and the people riding with him saw were these Posters which apparently infuriated them.
Then they came in contact with a man wearing a cowboy hat on the right and a lady in a straw hat on the left. The truck driver and passengers were greeted with “Big Lick, Big Lie” and “Animal Abusers”, and people holding signs condemning the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty.
The driver of the black truck made an obscene gesture (flipped the bird) at the man in the hat, and the occupant sitting on the back passenger side lowered his window and hurled personal insults at the female protestors on the left side of the road.
As the black truck approached the intersection with a crossing road, the driver slowed as he approached two female protestors on the right side of the road.
In the photo below, the truck driver can be clearly seen talking to one of the lady protestors through the driver’s side window. At the same time a passenger on the near side on the back seat wearing a yellow shirt is speaking to two protestors.
According to an eyewitness, the gist of the conversation was:
Protestor: “Big Lick hurts horses. Soring hurts horses.” (The driver’s face turned red, and he was yelling at the female protestor.
Driver: What right do you have to tell me what to do with my horses? How do you know what goes on with these horses?
Protestor: Because I own a Tennessee Walking Horse.
Driver: How do you know what I do with my horses?
Protestor: Because I have been in “Big Lick” barns and seen what they do.
At that point, according to an observer, the driver reportedly “erupted” in rage, and clenched both hands on the steering wheel, gunned the engine, and accelerated while turning the truck’s front wheels and swerving toward Ms. Teresa Bippen, putting her in fear for her life.. The male and female protestors in the foreground looked on in horror, and yelled out at what the driver is doing as Ms. Bippen was standing in the direct path of the truck.
The Maury County Deputy Sheriff reacts toward the truck yelling at the driver, and pursuing the truck and hitting on it to stop.
And on the far left, a Columbia Police officer leaps from his patrol cruiser, and pursues the black Chevrolet Dually on foot. The two Columbia Police officers assist the Maury County Deputy who hits on the side of the truck, and continues to yell at the driver to stop.
Finally, the driver is made to stop and gets out of Truck.
He is interrogated by the Maury County Deputy and the two City of Columbia Police officers.
DRIVER OF THE 3/4 TON BLACK CHEVROLET DUALLY TRUCK
As of late Saturday, the Maury County Sheriff had not released the name of the person driving the black truck nor made it official regarding what, if any, charges would be filed against the driver.
STATEMENT BY MS. TERESA BIPPEN
“I am grateful that I was not killed. I praise the Maury County and Columbia Police Department officers for their quick reactions in taking control of a volatile dangerous situation. No one should be put in fear of their life because they exercise their constitutional rights to protest against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty. My hope is that the person who recklessly endangered my life and well-being is prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law”.
Some possible charges under Tennessee criminal code include:
- 39-13-103. Reckless endangerment.
(a) A person commits an offense who recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.
(b) Reckless endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor; however, reckless endangerment committed with a deadly weapon is a Class E felony.
- 39-13-101. Assault.
(a) A person commits assault who:
(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
(2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or
(3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.
(b) (1) Assault is a Class A misdemeanor unless the offense is committed under subdivision (a)(3), in which event assault is a Class B misdemeanor; provided, that, if the offense is committed against a law enforcement officer under this section, then the maximum fine shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000).
- 39-13-102. Aggravated assault.
(a) A person commits aggravated assault who:
(1) Intentionally or knowingly commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101 and:
(A) Causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(B) Uses or displays a deadly weapon; or
(2) Recklessly commits an assault as defined in § 39-13-101(a)(1), and:
(A) Causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(B) Uses or displays a deadly weapon.
Native Tennessean, John Haffner, DVM and MTSU Horse Science Professor, said his epiphany in coming to grips with the Animal Cruelty represented by the “Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse” ironically began at the Columbia Spring Jubilee when he was working as the Show Veterinarian.
Dr. Haffner was asked to inspect and testify regarding a horse that the USDA inspector determined to be sore. He did so, and eventually the case was won, based on his expert testimony. Afterwards, he describes: “As I recall, that was in February. It was just in time for everybody to get ready for the show season. And did they ever get ready. I saw more open oil of mustard and blatant soring that spring than I had ever seen in my life. It just sat out in the open in the cross ties. The oil was so pungent in the cross ties that it made my eyes water. The USDA had been put in their place, and I had helped do it. So we were free at last to show like we wanted. That entire spring and summer I was troubled greatly about what I had done. I told the truth, but not the whole truth. I wasn’t asked, and I did not volunteer the information.”
“I asked the attorney what he thought I was going to say if they asked me if soring was routine. To his credit, he said I must tell the truth. Then he asked Is it?
I assured him that it is.”
Dr. Haffner said at trial the question was never asked him.
Here is how he described the “Big Lick” Racket – “it seems that it has always been overlooked. In my opinion it is the critical question. It is the question that reveals the farce that inspection is. It is all a game. The trainers pretend they don’t sore the horses, the DQPs pretend that some horses haven’t been sored, the USDA lets everybody pretend that there are only a few bad actors that sore, and horse show life goes on its merry way.”
“I hear people talk about the perception problem the industry has.
I contend that the problem is not the perception.
The problem is the reality.
The reality is that soring is the foundation upon which the big lick is built”.
In addition to the enraged “Big Lick” Trainer BOYZ driving the 3/4 ton Truck, Ms Teresa Bippen almost lost her life because of the woeful inaction to stop SORING by these two gentlemen:
APHIS ADMINISTRATOR MR. KEVIN SHEA
APHIS DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR DR. CHESTER GIPSON
Mr. Kevin Shea and Dr. Chester Gipson did not have USDA Inspectors at the three-day Columbia Spring Jubilee. They also didn’t have USDA Inspectors present on the Saturday night of the Fun Show on May 23, 2015. At that show, a scarred horse named “Honors” was allowed to show because the USDA was not present to disqualify him.
Honors is the “Saviour Horse”. He was sored and scarred as a young horse as documented by the above HPA violation citation.
After being disqualified for being SORE at the 2013 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Honors has repeatedly been turned down and disqualified at inspections due to the scars on both of his front feet.
So what does the USDA walking away from vigorously enforcing the “Scar Rule” and Horse Protection Act have to do with Ms. Teresa Bippen nearly being killed???
Dr. Haffner touched on the answer in his 2014 Sound Horse Conference presentation.
The sad conclusion is the people who have become “hardened” to the Animal Cruelty of the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse, also become “emboldened” when they realize that they have an open door to SORE horses, and there is no authority in place to stop them.
It brings out the worst in them.
Add to that, an almost 75 year old out of touch and badly misinformed U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who supports and encourages the continued practice of the Animal Cruelty necessary to produce the SORE “Big Lick”.
All of these things lead the Walking Horse Trainer BOYZ to think they are above the law.
The BOYZ and GIRLZ are apparently proud that they can hurt Animals and not be held accountable.
And it appears that last Saturday night one of the Trainer BOYZ believed he could with inpunity recklessly endanger the life of a wonderful courageous person like Teresa Bippen.
Ms. Bippen’s only transgression was that she stood on the side of the road for two hours, much of it in the rain holding this sign:
Nephew Eugene wants to know what in God’s name is a Trainer BOYZ thinking about when he almost kills a defenseless person in a reckless fit of rage after being confronted with the truth about the Animal Cruelty to Tennessee Walking Horses?