PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL – A Change.Org Petition today by Ms Laura Ousley of Knoxville, TN asks the nine member PCB/Bay County Tourism Board to “Not Pay One Dime” to the organizer of the Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show to “market and promote” Big Lick Animal Cruelty in the name of promoting tourism.
Ms. Ousley’s Petition draws attention to the Tourism Board perhaps not having all of the pertinent facts when it approved a $25,000.00 funding request on Jan. 12, 2016, made by “organizer” Ms. Martha “Sister” Blackmon-Milligan on behalf of the “Big Lick” Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Horse Show.
The Petition adddresses the Chairperson of the PCB Chamber of Commerce Ms. Jayna Leach, Mayor Gayle Oberst, Bay County Chamber of Commerce President Ms. Carol Roberts and TDC Director Mr. Dan Rowe.
MS. JAYNA LEACH, CHAIRPERSON PANAMA CITY BEACH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Ms. Ousley’s Petition puts at issue the following matters:
- The “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty associated with the Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show, and HPA Violation and Federal suspension history of certain WHTA (Walking Horse Trainers Association) officers, including President William O. Young, and certain directors and members of the association;
- Ms. Milligan’s history of Horse Protection Act Violation citations;
- Federal USDA Complaint alleging Horse Protection Act Violations (Animal Cruelty) filed on Dec. 14, 2015, against Ms. Martha “Sister” Blackmon-Milligan and her horse trainer, Mr. J. W. “Dick” Peebles, which allegedly occurred at the 2013 Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show held in Panama City Beach;
- Gulf Coast Charity Trainer’s Horse Show history since 2010;
- Paucity of contributions to PCB Charities since 2010 – $12,150.00;
- Alarming size of contributions to organizations located in Tennessee which champion the preservation of the “Big Lick Animal Cruelty” since 2010 – $41,549.00;
- Lackluster 2014 Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show held in Panama City Beach.
BIG LICK EXHIBITOR – MS. MARTHA “SISTER” BLACKMON-MILLIGAN – FOUNDER OF THE GULF COAST CHARITY HORSE SHOW
CLICK HERE TO PLAY
On Jan. 12, 2016, the Panama City Beach/Bay County Florida Tourism Boards agreed to give a “Horse Show Organizer” $25,000.00 of tax money to “market and promote” the “Big Lick” Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Horse Show at the City owned Park on April 21-23.
According to available online Federal 990 tax returns, the Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Horse Show, since 2010, has contributed a grand total of $12,150.00 to Panama City Beach charities, while it has contributed $41,549.00 to organizations in Tennessee which champion the institution of Big Lick Animal Cruelty.
The 2014 Gulf Coast Charity horse show in PCB was a failure. Only 164 horses exhibited over three days, with an average of 2.5 horses per Big Lick class.
In 2015, the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show moved 420 miles inland to Columbia, Tennessee. It was met there with public protests and a public boycott. The horse show features 60% Big Lick Tennessee Waking Horses.
Now in 2016, the “Big Lick” show attempts to return to Panama City Beach, Florida.
According to the Panama Beach City News Herald newspaper, the Show Organizer touted a TDC (Tourism Development Council) study saying the event generates an estimated $4.9 million in direct and indirect economic benefits, with 5,000 to 15,000 people coming to the Beach for the event.
The TDC Director says the TDC does not possess such a study.
Florida Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) is presently sponsoring a Federal Law, the PAST Act, which will make the Big Lick illegal and abolish it forever. Almost 60% of U. S. House members publicly support Rep. Yoho’s bill.
The “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse is no longer allowed at the University of Tennessee Homecoming football game due to its being associated with Animal Cruelty. A year ago, the University of Mississippi turned down an annual $50,000.00 charitable donation to its Childrens Hospital from a “Big Lick” horse show because it did not want blood money derived from “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty.
The “Big Lick” is an exaggerated gait which, according to Middle Tennessee State University Horse Science Professor Equine Vet Dr. John Haffner, is animal cruelty. “It is a learned response to pain , and the fact is the “Big Lick” can only be accomplished by ‘SORING'”. This practice is when Trainers or their employees apply irritating chemicals to burn the skin of the horses front feet. The horse is then shown with 8 pound platform shoes, and wearing “chains” which hit the sore burnt skin on the horse’s front feet creating the “Big Lick” gait.
The PCB Show Organizer failed to provide the Tourism Board with USDA Horse Protection Activity Report for the 2015 Walking Horse Super Bowl (Celebration), showing 35% of the “Big Lick” horses were disqualified by USDA Vet Inspectors for alleged Animal Cruelty violations.
The Show Organizer also failed to disclose that a federal USDA Complaint was filed against both her, and her Horse Trainer, on Dec. 14, 2015, for alleged Horse Protection Act violations (Animal Cruelty) at the 2013 Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Horse Show held in Panama City. The USDA Vet inspectors charged the Organizer with riding a “SORE” Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse.
On Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, it was learned that the $25,000.00 tax money has NOT been paid to the Horse Show Organizer. The TDC Director said, “The cooperative marketing funds for the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show that were authorized by the CVB Board of Directors have not been paid to date. These funds are generally used to reimburse the event organizers for actual expenses related to the marketing and promotion of the event.“
If Panama City Beach is to maintain its reputation for integrity, which is worth far more than $25,000.00, the “Big Lick” Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show should NOT receive one dime of the $25,000.00 tax money.
The Panama City/Bay County Tourism Board meets at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. The nine members will determine how Panama City Beach/Bay County, Florida will be regarded all over America, and throughout the world, where the subject of Animal Cruelty is concerned.
Please SIGN this Petition and ask Tourism Board Members to NOT provide any tax funds to “market and promote” the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show IF there are ANY “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse classes at the Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show.
If Tourism Board members fail to do this, then Panama City/Bay County Florida will sadly own the image of hurting innocent defenseless “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses in the name of promoting tourism.
That would be inhumane and unacceptable.
Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) said, ,“Bottom line, you either want to end equine abuse caused by humans or you favor equine abuse caused by humans. Which is it?”
God bless Florida U. S. Representative Theodore Yoho.
TOURISM BOARD EARMARKS $25,000 TO MARKET AND PROMOTE HORSE SHOW
On February 14, 2016, the Panama City News Herald newspaper reported “The Tourist Development Council recently kicked in $25,000 to bring the show back to the Beach after hearing an organizer talk of its economic benefit to the city …”
According to the newspaper, the “organizer” was Ms. Martha “Sister” Blackmon Milligan described as the “founder of the Gulf Coast Charity Association that is involved in putting on the event, made the pitch. She said Friday a TDC study shows the event generates an estimated $4.9 million in direct and indirect economic benefits, with 5,000 to 15,000 people coming to the Beach for the event.”
TDC/CVB BOARD MEMBERS – JANUARY 2016
On Friday, February 19, 2016, Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty representative Clant M. Seay asked TDC CEO Mr. Dan Rowe: “When we met last Friday, you told me that only the City could terminate the Horse Show Contract, and you confirmed that the $25,000.00 that the PCVB/TDC Combined Board authorized on Jan. 12, 2016, had not been delivered to Ms. Sister Milligan on behalf of the “Big Lick” Horse Show.
Question: Please confirm that the $25,000.00 has not been delivered to Ms.Milligan or the Horse Show. It is my understanding that Mayor Oberst and Councilman Russell serve both on the City Council and the Tourism Boards.
If by chance the $25,000.00 has been delivered , I request to know when it was delivered, and be provided with documentation of same?
Mr. Dan Rowe responded as follows:
“The cooperative marketing funds for the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show that were authorized by the CVB Board of Directors have not been paid to date. These funds are generally used to reimburse the event organizers for actual expenses related to the marketing and promotion of the event.” Dan Rowe – Visit Panama City Beach – Bay County TDC
According to MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) Horse Science Professor Vet Dr. John Haffner, the “Big Lick” is Animal Cruelty. The “Big Lick” gait is a learned response to pain.
The USDA Horse Protection Activity Report for the 2015 Gulf Coast Charity Horse Sow held 420 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in Columbia, Tennessee reflects that 20% of the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses inspected by USDA Vet inspectors were disqualified for alleged violations of the Horse Protection Act (Animal Cruelty).
CITIZENS PROTEST AGAINST BIG LICK ANIMAL CRUELTY AT 2015 “GULF COAST CHARITY HORSE SHOW” IN COLUMBIA, MAURY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
The nine member Tourism Board which will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and they can possibly take up the matter of voting on whether to either terminate the payment of any tax funds to Ms. Milligan to “market and promote” the “Big Lick” Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Horse Show in the name of Tourism, or condition the payment of monies upon no “Big Lick” horses being allowed on the grounds of the Gulf Coast Charity Trainers Show”.
Nephew Eugene says the PCB/TDC Tourism Board has a golden opportunity to make it clear that the “Home Of The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” will have absolutely nothing to do with “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty.
If that happens – Panama City Beach – Bay County, Florida – will have the “Slow Applause of America and the World.