SHELBYVILLE, TENNESSEE – The morally bankrupt “Big Lick” supporters are becoming desperate as the walls are fast closing in on the institutionalized Animal Cruelty being perpetrated upon Tennessee Walking Horses located within this Circle of Soring:
The 2015 Citizens Initiative Campaign Against Animal Cruelty of “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses is taking a toll.
A Maury County Grand Jury this week heard citizens and law enforcement unify and come forward, to testify and present evidence regarding an alleged crime/s committed by a World Grand Championship Big Lick Horse Trainer threatening a peaceful protestor on May 30, 2015.
Meetings were held today with the City Manager and Police Chief of Shelbyville finalizing plans for the upcoming Citizens Protest calling for a BOYCOTT of the 2015 Celebration.
Desperately searching for a Bogeyman, the supporters of “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty have put up a couple of billboards in Shelbyville trying to direct attention toward an organization which is a red herring.
Nobody is falling for this diversion tactic.
The “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty crowd has a problem, and it ain’t HSUS.
It’s this Animal Cruelty the public will no longer tolerate nor support.
And this lawless attitude:
And it’s these folks who live in Tennessee, and the surrounding Southern States, who have had enough of it.
The Lickers have met the enemy, and its these Tennesseans who want the institutionalized barbaric Animal Cruelty of the “Big Lick” to end in the hometowns that they love.
RESIDENTS OF COLUMBIA, MAURY COUNTY, TENNESSEE PRESENTING 8,000+ CHANGE.ORG SIGNATURES AND 3,000+ COMMENTS TO MAYORS OF COLUMBIA AND MAURY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
TENNESSEANS PROTESTING AGAINST “BIG LICK’ IN NASHVILLE, TN
TENNESSEANS – AGES 10 T0 70+ PROTESTING AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY
SCHOOL TEACHER FROM SHELBYVILLE, BEDFORD COUNTY, TENNESSEE CALLING FOR BOYCOTT OF TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE CELEBRATION
It’s time to put the “Big Lick” in a museum.
Here’s what Mabel’s Friend‘s has to say:
Today, in South Carolina, the state senate voted 93-27 to remove the Confederate battle flag from its place of prominence on the square of the state’s capitol. This happened after hours of impassioned speeches, both from those who wanted the banner gone after the shootings that took place in a South Carolina church and those who insisted that to remove the flag would dishonor the men who fought for the Confederate states in what was America’s bloodiest and most costly war, the War between the States. The speeches were delivered and heard and, although tradition was the word that kept coming up again and again, the flag will come down tomorrow.
On July 3rd, Tennessee’s Tom Ingram, a confidant of Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a lobbyist, and the founder of the Ingram Group, the public relations firm tapped by The Celebration and the big lick walking horse interests to revitalize the image of the “performance” horse and the traditional trappings associated with it, wrote an erudite letter that was published in The Tennessean, giving his view concerning the South Carolina shootings.
His piece was entitled “ An Open Letter to people of Charleston: Thank you” and in it he wrote, “ I have spent hours, some focused, more watching you on televisions in the background, over recent days, shocked, in tears yourself, mourning, remembering, celebrating, holding us accountable. This one feels different, like the change may not fleet as fast as the event occurred; this change may actually stick.”
And then, Mr. Ingram wrote something that was directly tied to South Carolina’s traditions, which included the public exhibition of the Confederate battle flag, “ We’ll think of you if we ever try again to rationalize or justify a word, a gesture, or a symbol of hate in the name of history.”
That’s a powerful statement coming from a person whose business it is to justify and explain away unpalatable truths through well designed and managed public relations campaigns and messaging .You see, for a fee, Mr. Ingram’s clients can purchase his professional advice and learn how to make some bad actions seem less hateful, and with luck, find that middle ground message that resonates, thereby allowing people to continue to hang onto ideas whose time has passed and practices that have been rejected by society at large, all in the name of tradition.
Although Mr. Ingram is in the rationalization and justification business, what happened in South Carolina was so shocking, that he knew, viscerally, that the grace shown by the survivors of the shootings and by the African-American community at large in Charleston, showed a way forward, a way which included ending the state sanctioned display of a flag that represented more than just the stars and bars simply flapping from a flag pole on a sultry summer afternoon.
“ Thank you, “ wrote Mr. Ingram, “for showing us the way”, after expressing his personal hope that the flag would “hopefully be removed permanently on another day following an orderly legislative debate.”
With Mr. Ingram’s caution about trying to rationalize or justify by word or gesture the use of symbols that divide and encourage some to hate, you have to wonder what he makes of Senator Alexander’s continued defense of the big lick soring situation as an important part of a Tennessee tradition.
And you have to wonder what he makes of local attempts centered in Shelbyville, Tennessee, to demonize one organization, the HSUS, while ignoring the attempts of the AVMA, the AAEP, all of the veterinary medical associations of 50 states, the ASPCA and the American Horse Council as well as the United States Equestrian Federation, to bring about an end to chemical and mechanical methods used to produce the “traditional” big lick show horse.
And you have to wonder what he really thinks about recent attempts by two angry truck drivers to run over women carrying protest signs in Columbia, Tennessee, at a horse show there.
And what do you suppose, if his business wasn’t behind it, Mr. Ingram makes of this billboard that has just appeared in several locations in Celebration City sponsored by PSHA, the Performance Show Horse Association?
The image of a beautiful horse running free through a green field with the initials “HSUS” and “Stop Trashing Our Tradition” as its message, urges the passer-by to go to PSHA1.com/Truth to find out more.
The “truth” they will discover does not include the HPA violation history of its officers but it does offer the dramatic ” Three things can not be hidden. The sun. The moon. The truth.” Let’s instead reference Mr. Clemens who had this to say about Thomas Carlyle’s version of their comment.
Carlyle said, “a lie cannot live.” It shows he didn’t know how to tell them.”
— Mark Twain
Ironically, the image on the PSHA billboard is itself a lie. The horses that will be competing at this year’s Celebration, Mr. Ingram’s clients, don’t spend their days running barefoot through fields of clover. Where on this billboard is the real image of the horse that they love, the one big lick, big spenders are paying the Ingram Group to preserve, the stacked and chained horse hitting the way high?
That is the “ tradition” they want the HSUS to stop “trashing”, while neatly ignoring the rest of the support in the larger equine professional community for the same position held by the HSUS regarding the use of weighted shoes and action devices that are part of the soring equation that produces that “traditional” show horse.
If PSHA wants to save the big lick tradition, why did they cravenly choose to replace the image of their horse with a generic, romanticized vision that bears no resemblance to the one they adore? They paid to put up a picture of a horse with no big lick shoes and its tail floating freely behind it, not bound up in a brace or a tail set, a horse with no hunched over rider and no 10 inch shanks on the bit. They paid to put up a picture of the sort of horse that the Tennessee Walking Horse used to be before it became in a small section of the world, the charade of a horse that it has now become.
No matter what you think of the South Carolina supporters of the battle flag, they at least had the gumption not to run away from the tradition that they were trying to save: in fact they waved it, displayed it, and covered their ball caps with it in the days leading up to today’s vote.
So, if you’re proud of your big lick horse and all it represents, why not run a real picture of it up the flagpole and see who salutes it? That’s what the supporters of the battle flag did in South Carolina and that’s the honest thing to do while we’re speaking about truth.
In South Carolina it was left to Representative Joe Neal to say it best about the reality of the issue behind the veneration of the Confederate battle flag in places other than museums. He said, “ The whole world is watching, is South Carolina really going to change, or will it hold to an ugly tradition of prejudice and discrimination and hide behind heritage to excuse it?”
Perhaps Mr. Ingram should listen more closely to the equestrians from around the world who are following what goes on in the Volunteer State regarding the Tennessee Walking Horse because they are asking a similar question: “How long can an ugly tradition, rooted in cruelty , practiced for no other reason than to obtain an artificial level of performance that bears no resemblance to the horse’s natural gaits, hide behind heritage to excuse its continued existence?”
With the reintroduction of the PAST Act, an orderly debate on that question is once again underway. The appearance of protestors at big lick horse shows is part of that orderly debate, the sort of debate Mr. Ingram says he applauds. If he listens and reads the comments on social media, he will learn quickly that no amount of rationalizing or justifying or emotional appeals to tradition, either in news stories or on billboards, is going to make the core issue go away. The public is done with the big lick horse.
As he did with the South Carolinians of conscience, Mr. Ingram should thank the AVMA, the AAEP, the ASPCA, the AHC, and the HSUS for showing the way forward by insisting, after first documenting the real and present evidence that soring still exists, that , after more than a half century of cruelty done to prepare horses for the show ring, real change (not lip service to change) must at long last come about. If you are not part of that solution, you are definitely part of the problem.
The world is watching, Mr. Ingram, and in South Carolina, as you hoped, the flag is coming down. So, what should be done about events in your own state that have given Tennessee and particularly Shelbyville, a deserved blackened eye?
Can you think of a way, Mr. Ingram, to become part of the solution rather than catering to the problem? You might have to tell your clients an unpopular truth: the problem is the training and exhibition of the sore show horse, owned, supported, ridden, and trained by a very small group of people, who are viewed by the larger world as out of step and out of time.
People you call clients and their forebearers have had more than 40 years to stop lying and clean up the business . They haven’t done it and the public is growing more insistent. Using emotional words like tradition and heritage can not justify cruelty.
You asked in your fine piece that people be held accountable for their actions. You asked personally to be held accountable. We read your letter and we heard you. Let’s see what you will do about ending the tragedy that is the sored Tennessee Walking Horse.
Nephew Eugene says the Folks in Shelbyville, Tennessee are ready to see all this end so they can move on to higher ground. They are tired of the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty taking place in their home town which has made Mr. David L. Howard and his family multimillionaires.
WALKING HORSE REPORT PUBLISHER MR. JEFFREY HOWARD; FORMER CELEBRATION CHAIRMAN MR. DAVID L. HOWARD