WARTRACE, TN – The citizens of the Town of Wartrace can be proud of their Town officials. The Mayor, Board of Aldermen and Town Recorder are a class act. The words profiles in courage come to mind. America, the good kind, was on full display Thursday night at the Wartrace Town Hall – a 1900 turn of the century bank building on Main Street in this historic Bedford County Community which was founded in 1853.
Acting against the advice of the Town attorney, who was not present at the meeting, the Mayor and Board of Alderman listened attentively to the concerns of animal welfare advocates from the Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty.
Town of Wartrace Mayor and Board of Alderman (3 women)
Mayor Thomas Hurt grew up on a farm 4 miles from Wartrace. He served his county in the Vietnam War, and was spat upon when he returned to America in 1969 after wearing the uniform of his country. A widower, there is a bench on the town’s Main Street which bears the name of Mayor Hurt’s late wife. Mr. Thomas Hurt is a thoughtful intelligent man who obviously loves his community. He has a sense of perspective and fairness which is to be valued and admired. The deliberations of the Wartrace Town Board on all issues were respectful, direct, orderly and cooperative. It most likely is due to there being three women serving on the Board along with two men. Mayor Hurt is on the far left and Town Recorder Ms. Laura Gentry is on the far right.
On July 5, 2016, the Town officials were surprised when over 300 emails arrived at the Town of Wartrace email address from a Change.Org Petition before work started on Tuesday. Understand, the entire population of Wartrace is approximately 650. The Change.Org Petition – brought attention to and contested the acceptability of the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty Horse Show held annually in Wartrace, Tennessee.
Since July 5, 2016, almost 3,000 people from every state and all over the World have signed the Petition objecting to the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty known as the “Wartrace Horse Show”.
Upon learning of the Citizens Campaign Petition, Celebration CEO Mr. Mike Inman and Walking Horse Trainers BOYZ President Mr. Bill Young (who agreed to a Federal suspension from horse training when facing “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty allegations) shamelessly rushed 9 miles out to the Wartrace Town Hall at a Work Study Session and tried to deceive the Board using the usual “Big Lick Animal Cruelty” euphemisms – “industry” (Racket) and “performance horse” (Big Lick), and then went so far to tell the Board members that “Big Lick” was a “figment of the imagination”.
Then Town attorney, Ms. Ginger Bobo Shofner, urged the Board to not address the issue saying “You don’t have to allow anybody to speak on it. You don’t have to have any type of serious consideration My personal opinion is there should be no vote on it at your regular meeting” Ms. Shofner’s obvious conflict is her senior law partner is Mr. John T. Bobo who is former Celebration Board Chairman, and currently serves as a Director of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration which annually showcases the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty. Mr. Bobo is also the best friend and business associate of Mr. David L. Howard who is the founder of The Walking Horse Report who has become filthy rich off of “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty of the Tennessee Walking Horse over the past 40 years.
On July 12, 2016, the Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty wrote an email to Town Recorder Ms. Laura Gentry, and asked to appear before the Town Board at its regular meeting to be held on July 28, 2016:
“I regret that I was not able to attend last night’s work session. I will plan to attend the 7:00 p.m., Thursday, July 28, 2016 Board Meeting. At that meeting, I respectfully request the Board to please allow me to have five minutes for the purpose of making some constructive suggestions for them to consider in the future, and for me to answer any questions that any of them may have with regard to these suggestions, or the Change.Org Petition which has now been signed by over 2,400 persons. As a practical matter, I did not expect the Town of Wartrace to cancel the “Big Lick” classes at this year’s horse show, however, I wanted the Board members to be aware of the public interest in this issue, and on behalf of the over 90,000+ persons who have signed these Petitions against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty, to open a constructive positive dialogue regarding how this “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty issue may affect the Town of Wartrace going forward.
Thank you for relaying this email to the respective Board members.
Clant M. Seay
Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty
On Thursday, July 28, 2016, prior to taking up its Regular Agenda, the Board invited the Citizens Campaign advocates, Ms. Kim Walker and Mr. Clant M. Seay, to address the Town Board:
CLICK HERE FOR CITIZENS CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIVES COMMENTS
The Mayor and Board of Alderman (3 are women) appeared surprised to learn that on July 26, 2016, the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proposed a Federal Regulation to the Horse Protection Act making the “Big Lick” illegal.
Informed observers said that several of the Board members seemed pleased to learn of Secretary Vilsack’s action on behalf of “The Horses”.
Citizens Campaign Advocate Clant M. Seay suggested if the “Big Lick” is still legal in 2017, then before the Town of Wartrace permits another “Big Lick” horse show, it should insist that the name be “East Bedford County Civic Club Horse Show”, rather than have the Town of Wartrace’s name be associated with “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty which is a criminal enterprise.
Prior to the 7:00 p.m. Town of Wartrace Board of Alderman meeting, Clant M. Seay met for 45 minutes with Bedford County Sheriff Deputies and Wartrace Chief of Police and Horse Show Manager Mr. Ronnie Sutton to review and agree on procedures regarding the Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty peaceful assembly opposing “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty set for Saturday, August 6, 2016.
The meeting was cordial, professional, cooperative and productive. All arrangements were made to ensure the safety and right of Citizens to protest the “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty which will be on display at the city owned Jernigan Field.
Nephew Eugene says that the citizens of Wartrace have a lot to be proud of when it comes to their Town Officials.