(Editor’s Note: The end of a Year is a good time to take inventory – to reflect – to learn and to avoid the mistakes of the past. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity to chart a wise and productive course in the coming year. The intent of this series of articles is to provide the necessary information and perspective to do just that).
Theta, TN – Columbia, Tennessee is the largest city in Tennessee still hosting a Big Lick Horse Show. The Citizens Campaign protested the “Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show” in Columbia on April 25, 2015, and public did not come. On Saturday, April 26, the “Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show” pulled up stakes in Columbia, and moved the under fire show to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
PUBLIC BOYCOTTS “GULF COAST CHARITY HORSE SHOW” AT MAURY COUNTY PARK, COLUMBIA, TN – APR. 25, 2015
- May 4, 2015 – Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty animal welfare advocate Ms Laura Ousley of Knoxville, Tennessee started the following Change.Org Petition:
The traditional 60+ year old Columbia Spring Jubilee Horse Show was set for May 28-30 at the Maury County Park in Columbia, Tennessee.
- May 12, 2015 – Citizens from Tennessee and surrounding states met with the Editors of The Tennessean newspaper to establish a frank dialogue explaining the Animal Cruelty which was the impetus for the Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Cruelty centered in Middle Tennessee.
The Tennessean sent a reporter to cover the April 25, 2015, Citizens Protest Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty on West End Boulevard in Nashville, but it did not publish a story.
The Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty asked for the meeting with The Tennessean management to discuss the Big Lick Animal Cruelty and the Citizens fight against it.
The Citizens group included:
- Carl Bledsoe, former Big Lick Horse Trainer – Alabama,
- John Haffner, DVM – MTSU Horse Science Faculty Professor – Tennessee,
- Dee Dee Miller, President of WHOA (Flat Shod TWH) – Tennessee,
- Clant M. Seay – Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty – Mississippi.
Scheduled to last 30 minutes, the meeting ran an hour and a half.
Questions were asked and answered regarding the “nuts and bolts’ of the Animal Cruelty necessary to create and maintain the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Show Horse, and future coverage of Citizens Campaign events The persons at the meeting made it clear that they had no connection with or tie to the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States).
The newspaper management pledged to cover the Big Lick Animal Cruelty story as the members of the Citizens Campaign For Big Lick Animal Cruelty exercised their constitutional free speech rights to protest Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
- May 24, 2015 – The Citizens Campaign ran Ads in The Daily Herald Newspaper in Columbia making the public aware of the Big Lick Animal Cruelty and asking them to BOYCOTT the Columbia Spring Jubilee on May 28 – 30, 2015
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY HERALD NEWSPAPER
Mr. James Bennett
Editor -The Daily Herald
1115 South Main Street
Columbia, TN 38401
Dear Editor Bennett:
Columbia residents join the All American Walking Horse Alliance in opposing the
Animal Cruelty of the “Big Lick” Tennessee Horse at Maury County Park this weekend.
We do NOT want any form of animal cruelty like the “Big Lick” coming to our town. We oppose SORING of horses and feel strongly that this “Tennessee Tradition”, no matter how long-standing, is WRONG. We believe that the majestic animal on whose back this nation was literally built upon deserves better.
In the medieval ages, drawing and quartering a person on the town square was acceptable for a hundred years until people woke up and realized just how barbaric it really was. The cruelty that is rampant among the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration and it’s sister shows in Tennessee is barbaric, inhumane and above all, CRUEL.
Over 8,000 people from every state and more than 71 foreign countries signed a Petition by Laura Ousley of Knoxville urging a “BOYCOTT” of the Columbia Spring Jubilee. One signer commented: “My husband & I own property in Maury County. We are also horse owners. It shames us to think that Columbia would in any way be associated with this appalling animal abuse. The Big Lick is vicious & cruel almost beyond belief. There is money, lots of money, at stake in this industry. That prancing walk you see is pain – pure torture with every step, caused by mustard oil, nails, chains…whatever an unscrupulous trainer thinks will work. The Big Lick is a freak show-some of its fans even call it that. We want no part of this filth.
It is time to speak out for horses! We want no part of this cruel racket and the torture it inflicts on horses. It is a barbaric “Tennessee Tradition” that MUST stop!
All citizens need to “BOYCOTT” these “Big Lick” horse shows.
- May 29, 2015 – Ms. Laura Ousley’s Change.Org Petition was presented by Citizens of Columbia and Maury County to the respective Columbia City and Maury County Mayors:
THE DAILY HERALD – COVERAGE OF PRESENTATION OF CHANGE.ORG SIGNATURES
- On Friday, May 29, 2015, a gauntlet of American Citizens, from ages 10 to 75, joined together at Maury County Park to protest Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
THE TENNESSEAN NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH OF MAY 29, 2015 PROTEST
- May 30, 2015 – On Saturday, the USDA APHIS inspectors were not present at the Horse Show, and the Big Lick Rigs poured in from every point of the compass attempting to show there could be a crowd for the traditional Big Lick Saturday night at the Columbia Spring Jubilee.
Although not as many as the day before, seven American Citizens Protestors assembled at Maury Count Park to exercise their right to free speech and protest Big Lick Animal Cruelty. The “BOYCOTT” posters were displayed on the sides of Maury County Park Drive, and the Protestors took their positions.
Then it happened:
TERESA BIPPEN TESTIFYING BEFORE CONGRESS FOR PAST ACT – 2013
- May 30, 2015 – Again the public BOYCOTTED the Columbia Spring Jubilee:
- And the Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty ran a full color ad in The Daily Herald newspaper congratulating the community:
- May 30, 2015 – The Big Lick supporters did their best by grouping their supporters in the curve of the show ring to make it look like a crowd was there:
- June 1, 2015
FOSH PRESIDENT TERESA BIPPEN ESCAPES WITH HER LIFE AFTER CLOSE CALL WITH RECKLESS RAGE OF TRAINER BOYZ – USDA OFFICIALS AND U.S. SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN) SHARE THE BLAME FOR CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT OF LAWLESSNESS AMONG THE “BIG LICK” TRAINER BOYZ
- June 2, 2015
(TO BE CONTINUED WITH PART IV) – January 1, 2016
Note: As the Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty gained momentum, an attempt was made to hack the www.billygoboy.com website. Some articles from May 1 – May 15 were corrupted. The damage was repaired and security measures were taken to prevent future attacks. Some articles were republished, and other will be in the future.