SHELBYVILLE, TN – For the second straight year, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration confirmed today that the “shining star” on its scandal plagued VAC (Veterinary Advisory Committee) would be missing.
HAGYARD EQUINE MEDICAL INSTITUTE VET DR. ROBERT HUNT RESIGNS FROM VAC CITING PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL CONFLICTS AFTER DIVULGING CELEBRATION VAC TOLD HIM IT WOULD PROHIBIT ACTION DEVICES ON BIG LICK HORSES
In 2014, former Budweiser Clydesdale Vet Dr. Dallas O. Goble refused to “touch (The VAC) with a 10 foot pole”.
Here is the announcement on the Celebration’s website.
CELEBRATION ANNOUNCES VAC PROTOCOLS IN PLACE FOR 2015
And here is The Walking Horse Report, attempt to spin the disastrous news that Hagyard Vet quit the VAC right before the Celebration for personal and professional conflicts. The Celebration’s “INDEPENDENT VAC” now consists of Big Lick “Hired Hand”(since 2006) Dr. Jerry Johnson, and Knoxville, Tennessee Vet Dr. Phillip Hammock.
A charitable term would now be “VAC-Lite” compared to the credentials of former Budweiser Clydesdale Vet Dr. Dallas O. Goble and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Vet Dr. Robert Hunt , both of whom decided to not associate with the Animal Cruelty featured at the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
“VAC Blood Testing Returns To 2015 Celebration
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is appreciative of the work of the Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) to research and implement objective, science-based inspections to enhance the welfare of the Tennessee Walking Horse. In addition, The Celebration is supportive and appreciative of the efforts of Senators Lamar Alexander, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul in introducing legislation that would implement an independent HIO that utilizes tests such as those developed by the VAC.
EDITOR NOTE: None of the VAC blood tests check for soring substances.
Here are some questions for the remaining two VAC members, Dr. Jerry Johnson who has been on the Big Lick payroll since 2006, and Dr. Phillip Hammock of Knoxville:
1). Are the common soring chemicals, oil of mustard, croton oil, GOJO ( an industrial handcleaner), oil of cinnamon or wintergreen, kerosene, diesel fuel, embalming fluid, JP-5, discoverable through blood tests that are done on equines?
2). As soring rather than traditional drug abuse problems found in horses is the most significant issue, if these chemicals can not be discovered then how can you determine that horses may have been sored and have managed to evade detection through the inspection process, or is that not part of the VAC’s charter?
3). Have you considered doing hair sample analysis to determine if residues from these chemicals remain in the hair shaft as cocaine does in human hair, for example. The only substance allowed under the HPA to be found on a horse’s pastern area is petroleum jelly/ vaseline to be used solely as a lubricant under chains, so nothing should be on the pastern area on the hair with that exception. If you find other compounds through hair analysis would that not be revealing?
4). It was reported last year by the VAC that exhibitors would be given lists of the drugs and medications that the VAC would test for. Not all of the substances prohibited by the USEF were on that list. The lists were published in plenty of time for exhibitors to find alternate drugs that were not tested. Is this how drug testing should be conducted?
5). Can short term pain killers like lidocaine be detected in blood samples that are taken up to an hour after a class is completed and up to 120 minutes after inspection has taken place?
“As a result, The Celebration will make its show grounds and facilities available to the VAC to implement their new, updated protocols at this year’s Celebration.
EDITOR NOTE: What, if any, of VAC blood tests check for soring substances.
The Celebration will continue to remain independent of the VAC and affiliate with the SHOW HIO and welcome the Veterinary Medical Officers of the USDA. The Celebration believes strongly that the future of the show horse would benefit from a reliable, consistent pre-show inspection and given the VAC’s work towards this goal, the Celebration is pleased to welcome the VAC back for a second year.
EDITOR NOTE: The Celebration pays for the VAC. The VAC Chairman, Dr. Jerry Johnson, didn’t report to Celebration Chairman David L. Howard or Vac Spokesperson Mr. Tom Blankenship that Dr. Dallas O. Goble was not part of the VAC in 2014. Now in 2015, it appears that Dr. Johnson told Hagyard Vet Dr. Robert Hunt that his participation on the VAC would help establish standards that would prohibit the use of action devices (CHAINS) on Tennessee Walking Horses.
“Our board would like to thank Dr. Jerry Johnson, Dr. Phil Hammock and Dr. Robert Hunt for their work in developing the protocols to be implemented at this year’s show.
We would also like to thank Dr. John O’Brien and Dr. Scott Stanley from University of California, Davis for their contributions as part of the VAC’s work,” said Celebration Chairman Pat Marsh.
In the program’s initial year, both the VAC and participants at the Celebration learned valuable lessons on the benefits and challenges of conducting objective, science-based inspections on site.
As a result, the VAC will host an educational meeting for trainers, veterinarians and owners August 3, 2015 to answer any questions regarding the updated protocols at this year’s show.
“The VAC has undergone extensive review and analysis of the results of over 230 tests conducted at the 2014 Celebration. After consultation, the general consensus among leading national and international experts (Jumped The Shark On This One) is the best approach to this type of testing is to develop breed specific standards.
To that end the VAC and our team has worked tirelessly (?) to develop a breed specific standard and protocols to protect the health of the Tennessee Walking Horse and insure the highest levels of welfare of horses in competition,” said VAC Chairman Dr. Jerry Johnson.
Moving forward, due to personal and professional conflict, Dr. Hunt will not be a member of the VAC. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Hammock will continue as members of the VAC with one or both present for at least a portion of the Celebration in 2015.
EDITOR NOTE: At 2014 Celebration, The Tennessean newspaper reported no member of the VAC was present inspecting horses at the Celebration, and VAC Spokesperson said that VAC members did not have to be present to inspect the horses.
ROBERT J. HUNT, DVM
PHILLIP HAMMOCK, DVM
JERRY JOHNSON, DVM
The VAC protocols are not required by the Horse Protection Act and are supplemental to all other inspections conducted by the HIO and USDA. The VAC does not interfere nor offer opinions on the inspections conducted by the HIO or USDA. “The Celebration remains committed to doing everything it can to insure the welfare of the horses competing at its shows. For that reason, we will make our show grounds available to the VAC to conduct this extra level of inspections in hopes that in the future the USDA and entire industry will recognize the success of objectives inspections and institute their use across all Tennessee Walking Horse shows,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.
The Celebration is appreciative of the support of the program by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) and would like to thank them for all of their contributions toward the goals and objectives of the VAC. The Celebration remains committed to the implementation of an independent HIO to enforce the HPA.
“TWHBEA is pleased with The Celebration’s decision to implement the VAC’s standards and protocols at this year’s World Championship. We are appreciative of the hard work of the VAC to develop specific standards to advance the welfare of Tennessee Walking Horses in competition,” said TWHBEA Deputy Executive Director Rory Williams.”###
NOTE: TWHBEA has been kicked out of The American Horse Council. The American Horse Council now looks to WHOA (WALKING HORSE OWNERS ASSOCIATION) as the official representative and Spokesperson for the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. This was confirmed WHOA’s “Walking On” Magazine, and by the front page of the Sunday, The Tennessean newspaper.
The VAC enters the 2015 Celebration having little, if any, credibility as a result of the back to back scandals. First, Budweiser Clydesdale Vet Dr. Dallas O. Goble, and now Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Vet Dr. Robert Hunt, both of whom refused to participate in what appears to be another “BIG LICK, BIG LIE”.
Nephew Eugene has a question for Celebration Chairman Mr. Pat Marsh
Mr. Marsh, how can you expect the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration to have any credibility when in 2014, the *Celebration refused to pay $15,000.00 winnings to World Grand Champion Stake Class winner “I AM JOSE” because the horse failed a VAC blood test, yet the Celebration allowed “I AM JOSE” to keep the World Grand Championship title”?
* According to December 2014, ShelbyvilleNOW online publication.
Nephew Eugene says he’ll be waiting a long time for Mr. Marsh to answer that question, but the explanation is always the same.
Only 34 days until the 2015 Celebration.