HISTORY MAKING DAY FOR MTSU – PROMINENT MTSU ALUM WRITES DR. SIDNEY A. MCPHEE

MTSU – MURFREESBORO, TN – History was made Thursday on a windy first day of October at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University),  when MTSU students were shocked to learn what happened to Gen’s Ice Glimmer at the 2013 “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW” put on by the MTSU Pre-Vet Society Vice President Mr Martin Johnson, and are perplexed why Dr. Sidney A. McPhee won’t publicly sever all ties with the Big Lick Animal Cruelty.

SIDNEY A. MCPHEE, PhD, President, MTSU

SIDNEY A. MCPHEE, PhD, President, MTSU

PROTEST AGAINST BIG LICK ANIMAL CRUELTY – OCTOBER 1, 2015

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Unfortunately,  starting on August 26, 2015, and then again on September 30, 2015,   the MTSU Administration apparently tried to “cover things up” regarding the MTSU Pre-Vet Society and Dr. Warren Gill’s involvement and influence in putting on Horse Shows at MTSU in 2012 and 2013 featuring Big Lick Animal Cruelty.

Here are the facts which contradict the MTSU Official Position:

In 2012,   it was the “MTSU Pre-Vet Horse Show” according to this Facebook Post by Show Manager Mr. Martin Johnson, MTSU Pre-Vet Society Vice President.

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MR. MARTIN JOHNSON, MTSU PRE-VET SOC MIETY VP AND 2013 "MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW" MANAGER

MR. MARTIN JOHNSON, MTSU PRE-VET SOC MIETY VP AND 2013 “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW” MANAGER

CELEBRATION CEO MR. MIKE INMAN AND MR. MARTIN JOHNSON, 2013 "MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION WALKING HORSE SHOW" - MTSU PRE-VET SOCIETY OFFICER

CELEBRATION CEO MR. MIKE INMAN AND MR. MARTIN JOHNSON, 2013 “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION WALKING HORSE SHOW” – MTSU PRE-VET SOCIETY OFFICER

2013 – “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW” -MTSU CAMPUS.

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The MTSU Pre-Vet Society is not an “Outside Group” as the MTSU official position claims.

The fact is that Dr. Sidney A. McPhee is presiding over a brewing Big Lick Animal Cruelty scandal in which the MTSU Department of Agribusiness and Agriscience Director Dr. Warren Gill is deeply involved.

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MTSU DIRECTOR - PRE-VET SOCIETY - DR. WARREN GILL

MTSU DIRECTOR – PRE-VET SOCIETY – DR. WARREN GILL

Students are being informed and prominent Alums are now protesting:

Here is a September 30, 2015 letter to Dr. Sidney McPhee from prominent MTSU Alum Karen Brown, PhD of Chattanooga, Tennessee:

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Nephew Eugene says it was a sad day for student journalism at MTSU on Thursday, October 1, 2015 when nary a student journalist attended the Animal Cruelty Protest,  yet two Nashville television stations,  WKRN TV Channel 2 (ABC) and FOX TV Channel 17  assigned veteran reporters Mr. Larry Flowers and Mr. Darin Belcher, respectively, to cover the story.

Also,  the Murfreesboro  Daily News Journal reporter Ms. Mary Reeves filed her story on September 30, 2015.

Animal cruelty protest planned at MTSU

Mary Reeves, mmreeves@gannett.com 8:48 p.m. CDT September 30, 2015

http://www.dnj.com/story/news/2015/09/30/animal-cruelty-protest-planned-mtsu/73060134/?fb_comment_id=866773413429681_867142533392769&comment_id=867142533392769#f19b7e4eb8

In her letter, MTSU Alum Dr. Karen Brown specifically mentioned that MTSU Sidelines writer, Sarah Taylor, in her August 26, 2015 piece about the AAWHA petition wrote, “Among the supporters are several who claim to be MTSU alumni ‘sickened’ by the university’s involvement in the big-lick cruelty. There were several remarks on the petition that indicated they were alumni, but Sidelines could not independently verify the origin of the remarks.” I was one of those alumni who signed the petition and wrote of my embarrassment over my alma mater’s involvement with the big lick industry. Regarding my personal background, I transferred to MTSU in 1975 because it was one of the only universities in the South with courses in Horse Science. From 1976-1977 I was a work scholar in the equine program. My jobs included everything from cleaning stalls to riding and training project horses newly donated to the program. In 1977, I rode in MTSU’s first IHSA horse show under the direction of Anne Brzezicki. After graduating in 1977, I frequently attended horse shows, equine exhibitions, and riding workshops at MTSU. It has been a long time since the 1970s. It’s sobering to consider that the systematic abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses has been going on for even longer.”

Earlier in the week, Ms. Sarah Grace Taylor  advised Ms. Teresa Bippen,  President FOSH (Friends Of Sound Horses)  that MTSU Sidelines would not publish Ms Bippen’s Letter to the Editor:

http://mtsusidelines.com/2015/08/university-petitioned-by-horse-rights-activists-for-mtsu-walking-for-education/

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Dear News Editor:

I am Teresa Bippen, President of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH), a national nonprofit organization that has fought the battle against soring and abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses for 15 years.  On August 26, you reported in MTSU Sidelines about a Change.Org Petition detailing the cruel soring of a Tennessee Walking Horse, “Gen’s Ice Glimmer”, which occurred on the MTSU campus at the 2013 “MTSU Walking For Education Horse Show.”  (Soring is the deliberate infliction of pain upon the front legs and hooves to create an exaggerated gait for the show ring.) 

I came to the MTSU campus on August 28 to meet with MTSU President Dr. Sidney A. McPhee and give him almost 9,000 signatures and comments from people from every state and over 80 foreign countries.   This Change.Org Petition asks Dr. McPhee, on behalf of MTSU, to sever all ties with Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses.   Dr. McPhee was unavailable, so I left the signatures and comments, several from MTSU alumni, at his office.

Later that day, along with other citizens proudly wearing MTSU baseball caps, I protested the Big Lick Animal Cruelty at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  Following the 10 day Celebration, the USDA announced that USDA Vet Inspectors had disqualified 35% of the Big Lick horses from showing because of Horse Protection Act soring violations.  This confirms that Animal Cruelty occurs at a high rate among Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses.  For the record, soring is no different than dog fighting.

Since my visit to MTSU on August 28, I have not heard anything from Dr. McPhee regarding our request for MTSU to sever all ties with Big Lick Animal Cruelty.  

In the August 26 Sidelines article, it was reported that MTSU Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Andrew Oppmann, said the events were not “organized or sanctioned by the school.”  Further investigation last week revealed that contrary to Mr. Oppmann’s statement, Big Lick shows on MTSU property were organized by an MTSU organization — the MTSU Pre-Vet Society.  Moreover, the Director of the Agribusiness and Agriscience Department, Dr. Warren Gill, took a lead role in Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses being exhibited on the MTSU campus.

I want to know why President McPhee has not made a public statement that MTSU will take steps to disassociate from the Big Lick, and no longer allow Big Lick horses on MTSU property?

It is now time for Dr. McPhee to sever all MTSU ties with the Big Lick*.  When over 1/3 of the Big Lick horses down the highway at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration are disqualified for soring, what is the hold-up at MTSU? 

Horse lovers around the world await MTSU’s decision.

Sincerely,Teresa Bippen                                                                                            President, Friends of Sound Horses                               www.fosh.infowww.stopsoring.com                                                                             (Note: less than 1% of all living Tennessee Walking Horses are Big Lick)

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Most likely,  another Educational Protest will be held next week on the MTSU campus, and Dr. Sidney A. McPhee will be cordially invited to come visit with Citizen advocates and students who wish for MTSU to publicly sever all ties with Big Lick Animal Cruelty.

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