MURFREESBORO, TN – The Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty made MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) ground zero in the battle against Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
The Big Lick Animal Cruelty has pervaded the MTSU culture for decades.
MTSU Basketball Coach Mr. Rick Insell is a Director of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration which features Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
MTSU AGRIBUSINESS AND AGRISCIENCE DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR DR. WARREN GILL HELPED RECRUIT MTSU PRE VET SOCIETY STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN MTSU HORSE SHOWS FEATURING BIG LICK ANIMAL CRUELTY
Dr. Warren Gill, MTSU Director of Agribusiness and Agriscience Department giving welcoming remarks at Big Lick MTSU Pre-Vet Society Horse Show.
One of MTSU biggest donors, MTSU Alumnus Mr. Steve Smith, is President of TWHBEA (TWH Breed Registry). He apparently wields extraordinary influence with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.
GEN’S ICE GLIMMER, TWHBEA #24704770, Blood Type # TWT050457
GEN’S ICE GLIMMER WAS TORTURED ON THE MAIN CAMPUS OF MTSU AT THE 2013 “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW” PUT ON BY THE MTSU PREVET SOCIETY
The Protestors at MTSU included students who represented over 12,000+ persons who signed the Change.Org Petition (below):
- September 30, 2015
- October 1, 2015
YOU TUBE VIDEO – MTSU PROTEST – OCT. 1, 2015
- October 3, 2015 – Two Facebook Videos telling the story of Gen’s Ice Glimmer, released on a Saturday afternoon, went viral. They have now reached over 2,314,645+ persons, and been viewed over 838,911+ times.
PART I – THE SORE WORLD OF GEN’S ICE GLIMMER – AMERICA’S TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE(c) TORTURED AT MTSU (MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY – APRIL 2013)
“This was my world for nine long years. I had 8 lb Stacks on each foot for 24 hours a day. That’s what a gallon of milk weighs. I was tortured with chemicals and chains by Big Lick Trainer BOYZ so I could do the Big Lick. I labored and strained in pain around a ring while ignorant people “whooped and hollered” while I was in horrible pain. These good people raised money off my suffering, and then they piously had their pictures made when they gave some tainted money to charities. I guess they were trying to obtain some degree of respectability for their barbaric treatment of me and my fellow Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses. The Big Lick Animal Cruelty left me with permanent scars on both front feet.
In 2013, I was even tortured on a college campus – MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) at the “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW”. The show was sponsored by a MTSU Pre-Vet Society Officer. The previous year, the show name was “MTSU PRE-VET SOCIETY HORSE SHOW”. An MTSU Academic Department Director Dr. Warren Gill even welcomed people to the Horse Show. That really hurt.
Something which also troubles me is Tennessee’s senior United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the United States Secretary of Education for the President George H. W. Bush, is sponsoring legislation which lets the Big Lick Animal Abusers keep on hurting horses like me.
How can a person who was in charge of all the education in the United States be associated with Big Lick Animal Cruelty torture which was done to me on the campus of Tennessee’s largest university MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee?
Now that I am America’s Tennessee Walking Horse, I want to meet Senator Alexander and ask him to change course, and not destroy his progressive legacy by his assisting Big Lick Animal Cruelty down to horses like me.
When the Big Lickers finally got through with me, I was taken to an auction sale on July 28, 2015. “Killer Buyers” were waiting to bid on me, and send me to slaughter in Mexico. Thank God, I was saved by humans who have since loved and cared for me. I now want to represent all my brothers and sisters who are still in the Big Lick Cruelty Gulag. I want educate people by going to vet colleges, horse science programs and youth events where people can learn what the Big Lick Animal Cruelty did to me. I also want to meet the Representatives and Senators who will vote on the PAST ACT (Prevent All Soring Tactics) to ban the Big Lick forever. When they look at my front feet, they will know exactly WHY they should vote for it.”
PART II – The Sore World Of Gen’s Ice Glimmer – America’s Tennessee Walking Horse (Part II) copyright © 2015 c.m.seay – all rights reserved – Tortured At MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University)
“At a Big Lick show, they make us go in a circle – first one way, and then another. What you see here is going the second way. This is in slow motion, so the yelling and hollering sounds like shrieks of pain and suffering.
I guess the people yell and holler because it’s important to them. The people screaming have no idea what it’s like trying to do the Big Lick with 8 pound stacks and chains on your front feet. Much less with a big old man hunched over on my back digging jagged spurs into my side.
If I stumble like this brother of mine, then the “Trainer” does a lot of snatching and jerking in my mouth to get me back to doing the Big Lick. Believe me, that jerking on my mouth with the long shank bit is really bad.
I am safe now, but when someone wants to ride me, I have flashbacks remembering what it was like doing the Big Lick with all those folks whooping and shrieking at me.
I was tortured in 2013 at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) campus at the “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW”. The one thing I ask you to please do for me is call – 615-896-2623 – or write – Sidney.McPhee@mtsu.edu.
Please ask MTSU President Dr. McPhee to publicly sever all ties with the Big Lick Animal Cruelty, and please ask him to never allow another Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse on MTSU property.
College campuses should never be a place where people hurt animals like they hurt me at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University).”
- October 4, 2015
- October 6, 2015
- October 12, 2015
CAN AN ABUSED BIG LICK TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE (CRAIG’S LIST $757.00) BOUND FOR SLAUGHTER OVERCOME MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MR. STEVE SMITH’S MONEY, AND CHANGE THE BIG LICK ANIMAL CRUELTY CULTURE AT MTSU, TENNESSEE’S LARGEST UNIVERSITY???
- October 14, 2015
- October 11, 2015
OCTOBER 15, 2015 CITIZENS PROTEST AT MTSU
MTSU ALUM DR. KAREN BROWN WITH MTSU STUDENTS
FACEBOOK VIDEO – DR. KAREN BROWN, MTSU ALUM – OCT. 15
FACEBOOK VIDEO – MTSU PROTEST – STUDENTS – OCT. 15
DR. JOHN HAFFNER – MTSU HORSE SCIENCE PROFESSOR
- October 27, 2015
MTSU OFFICIAL STATEMENT TO MEDIA CONCEALED VITAL FACTS
The MTSU Official Statement by MTSU Spokesperson Mr. Andrew Oppmann provided to the MTSU Sidelines newspaper on August 26, 2015, http://mtsusidelines.com/2015/08/university-petitioned-by-horse-rights-activists-for-mtsu-walking-for-education/ and to the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro) on September 30, 2015, http://www.dnj.com/story/news/2015/09/30/animal-cruelty-protest-planned-mtsu/73060134/ , said in part: “The MTSU Walking For Education Horse Show was “staged by an outside group”, and the MTSU Walking For Education Horse Show “did not benefit the university.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MTSU FOUNDATION, MR. JOE BALES – OCT. 14, 2015, LETTER TO MTSU ALUM DR. KAREN BROWN “SPILLS THE BEANS” ON THE FACTS REGARDING THE “MTSU WALKING FOR EDUCATION HORSE SHOW”
Date: Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 3:40 PM
RE: Oct 15 protest against MTSU’s association with Big Lick animal cruelty
Ginger Freeman, our Director of Alumni Relations, forwarded me your e-mail and I wanted to take a moment to respond. As we have been dealing with this issue for some time, I felt it was important to provide you with the most accurate information and avoid any misrepresentations or incomplete/inaccurate material that might be found in the press or social media.
In discussing the issue of Gen’s Ice Glimmer and his appearance at a show held at our Tennessee Livestock Center, there are a number of items that I would ask that you consider.
The Tennessee Livestock Center, where the show was held, was constructed by the State of Tennessee over 30 years ago to serve as an educational center and to provide exhibition space promoting a diverse array of agricultural activities. Created as a public use space, it has been made available to help serve the needs of Tennessee’s diverse agricultural economy since it opened. The University makes this space equally available, for modest service charges, for a wide range of lawful activities.
Since it’s opening, the Center has hosted hundreds of events, from small shows for the local 4-H and FFA programs to large national events involving exhibitors from across North America, and has provided stalling and pen space for thousands of head of livestock, small animals and horses. These events, held and managed by a wide range of youth, agricultural and civic organizations, are required to adhere to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and to assure the safety of exhibitors, attendees and the animals themselves.
As the Center was funded, in large part, to provide public access and use in promoting a variety of agricultural activities it is our duty to allow as many agricultural activities as possible to utilize this space. Each year, we provide access to dozens of recognized organizations, including our own student groups, with the contractual requirement that they must adhere to any relevant state and federal laws and/or regulations.
While it has been inferred that we have the ability to apply special restrictions to our own student organizations; that is incorrect. Outside of legal and/or student conduct issues, student groups have the same rights to equal access as any other individual or group. As with all other individuals and groups, we require that student groups act in accordance with the law when using our facilities.
In the case of Gen’s Ice Glimmer, our review indicates that all processes were followed appropriately. The facility was reserved by a student group – the Pre-Vet Society – for the purpose of conducting a horse show to generate funds for a student scholarship. The students initially, and inappropriately, used the University’s name and branding materials in promoting their event, but when asked to remove all references to the University, the organization promptly remedied the issue. The group, following the requirements for the show, had inspectors at the show to evaluate the horses for any violations. The inspection process, as outlined by the US Department of Agriculture was followed. In fact, this process worked precisely as it was supposed to, as the horse in question, Gen’s Ice Glimmer, was deemed to be in violation of USDA regulations and was disqualified.
What is disconcerting about the issue is the allegation on the www.billygoboy.com site that Glimmer was “tortured” at MTSU, an inflammatory statement that was offered with no proof or validation and one that implies that the University was somehow involved. The University had no involvement in the care and treatment of Glimmer.
Further invalidating the allegations of “torture” by MTSU is the statement in the same article from industry experts that the alleged “torture” takes significant time and repetition, and is not something that happens at the show facility. Reckless statements like this made in an effort to discredit the University, make it very difficult to give credibility to the organization’s arguments and protestations.
We understand the issue and I can assure you that the University does not promote or condone the unethical or inhumane treatment of any animal. Our students and faculty utilize the highest standards of animal husbandry and care with all animals owned by the University and we require those who utilize our facilities to do the same. That is precisely what happened in the case of Glimmer.”
- November 5, 2015
“If they were doing the big lick, they had been sored. It was and is that simple.”
So said John Haffner, DVM, at the Sound Horse Conference in Brentwood, Tenn., on March 29, 2014, as reported by walking horse blog Billy Go Boy. The conference materials expand upon Haffner’s statement: “The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed. The big lick is a learned response to pain and if horses have not been sored, they do not learn it.”
In layman’s terms, what Haffner is saying is that the “big lick”—that is, the exaggerated gait for which the Tennessee Walking Horse is known—cannot happen unless the horses are first “sored,” or treated with painful methods including the application of chemicals to a horse’s hocks combined with chains attached to the horse’s foot and boots wearing eight pounds or more. In yet barer terms, Haffner’s claim is that the big lick cannot be accomplished without animal cruelty.
Haffner has been a veterinarian since 1982, and he has lifelong experience with Tennessee Walking Horses. He is currently an associate professor at MTSU’s Horse Science Center. By most standards, his statements would qualify as expert testimony.
Nor is Dr. Haffner alone in his conviction that big-lick show horses, as well as the competition and industry that surround them, are indispensably bound up in animal abuse and the illegal practice of soring. Clant Seay, a Mississippi native and longtime attorney who raised Walking Horses for many years, has personally espoused the cause of ending this practice—first in the court of public opinion, and then in our country’s code of laws.
Soring has been illegal since the Horse Protection Act of 1970, and Walking Horses are inspected by USDA officials before they can compete in shows. Many people are under the impression that soring never, or only rarely, happens nowadays. However, according to Seay, at last year’s Walking Horse Celebration, 35% of the registered horses were disqualified upon inspection. If this is any indication, then soring horses is a practice that’s still alive and well.
When a law outlawing the big lick floundered in 2014, failing to come to a vote despite strong support in both legislative houses, Seay realized that his fight to end soring would be a longer process than he had hoped. He started in his hometown of Jackson, Miss., where the Children’s Hospital had accepted a donation of $50,000 from a big lick horse show. He started a change.org petition in February of 2015 asking the hospital to turn down this money that sprang from the practice of animal cruelty. In six days, the petition amassed over 5,500 signatures, and on March 6, the hospital publicly announced that it would no longer accept money from big lick horse shows.
Seay next turned his sights to Tennessee, the home of the Walking Horse and the biggest hub of the show industry. On April 23, he led a protest in Nashville on West End. On April 24, and again in May, he led protests in Columbia, Tenn.
“It was a different group of people each time—not people who knew each other,” says Seay.
At one of the protests, an angry trainer drove his truck and trailer towards one of protesters, says Seay. The trainer has now been indicted for assault with a deadly weapon. Seay says that he himself was threatened both online and in person at horse shows last year and in 2015. He says he understands why people are upset—though he never sored himself, he sees that this practice has become part of the culture around Walking Horses and a way of life for many people. His goal is to change this culture and perception, without lessening anyone’s enjoyment of a breed of horses for which he has his own deep affection.
Now, Seay has set his sights upon MTSU. His goal is simple: he would like the university to issue a statement publicly severing its ties with the big lick and, consequently, with animal cruelty. The banner that hung at his recent protest on campus states his case succinctly: “MTSU condones unethical treatment of animals by not severing ties with big lick animal cruelty.”
This campaign officially began on July 28, 2015, when Seay received a call from an animal rescue group asking for financial assistance in buying a Tennessee Walking Horse called Gen’s Ice Glimmer from an auction in Cookeville. Seay responded and purchased the 11-year-old registered Tennessee Walking Horse, who was severely scarred by soring. Nevertheless, this very same horse had been registered at a horse show at MTSU as recently as 2013—despite the fact that it is illegal to bring a scarred horse to any horse show or sale (Glimmer was ultimately disqualified from the event). Seay has insisted that this case be investigated and is bringing further attention to this issue through a video he has posted showing a trainer demonstrating the makeup and tricks that can be used to conceal the scarring caused by soring—even from trained USDA inspectors. He hopes that Glimmer’s example can show the world—and the Walking Horse community—that soring is still practiced, and how cruel it can be.
Because this abused horse had been entered in a show at MTSU, and because university faculty, staff and donors are publicly affiliated with the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Seay is calling on the university to halt its horse shows and show its support for the ethical treatment of animals instead. On Aug. 14, he assisted Laura Ousley of Knoxville in starting another change.org petition directed to the university’s president, Dr. Sidney McPhee. Within about two weeks, the petition collected over 9,000 signatures, as well as numerous letters from alumni and others asking MTSU to take a stand against big lick and the practice of soring. On Aug. 28, Seay, accompanied Ms Teresa Bippen, President of Friends of Sound Horses, and Ms. Jeannie McGuire, presented the petition to the president’s office, where it was received by university spokesperson Andrew Oppman, the Vice President of Communications.
Oppman issued a statement that included the following: “MTSU does not condone the illegal or unethical treatment of any animal. As home to the state’s largest Equine Science program, the university is a strong supporter of our state’s horse industry. We also recognize that the overwhelming majority of people associated with the industry maintain the highest standards of ethical care for their animals.”
For Seay, however, this is not enough. “The university says they don’t condone the unethical treatment of any animal—but the big lick is animal cruelty,” says Seay; he adds that while MTSU says the horse show “did not benefit the university,” the funds raised from the show went to fund MTSU student scholarships, paying tuition to MTSU, and therefore did directly benefit the university.
Seay is continuing to spread the word via social media and through protests on and off campus.
“We’re not trying to embarrass MTSU,” he says. “We will praise and applaud them if they take a stand.” Seay has no problem with Tennessee Walking Horses as a breed, he says, or with flat-shod horses. “We have a problem with animal cruelty,” he says. “All we’re asking is for a policy statement against it.”
For more information on Seay’s campaign and putting an end to horse soring, visit facebook.com/helpglimmerrecover.
The 2015 Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty, started at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi in late February 2015, when there was not much hope. When it ended in November at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the Big Lick was shaken to its core.
It was due to Citizens from Tennessee, surrounding Southern States, America and all over the World joining the cause for the humane treatment of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. The Citizens won victory after victory in their relentless battle to vanquish Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
The 2016 Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty beckons.