TWH Tide Turning?

The “big lick” cadre of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry faced another setback last week at the annual National Celebration show.

Honors, billed as the walking Horse of the Century, failed his soundness check by a USDA inspector before the class that would have qualified him for the “Super Bowl” of the TWH show season, the World Grand Championship class. Two other horses failed inspection in the same qualifier, leaving only three contestants.

Hope all those high-ranked competitors in the TWH “big lick” industry who have a history of soring violations will sit up and take notice that change is necessary. The horse-aware public is watching and many of us don’t like what we see.

2 thoughts on “TWH Tide Turning?

  1. Well, public awareness is a good thing in this case, but the article about USDA finding 76 percent of horses tested positive paints a grim picture of progress in this challenge to remove the evil practice. When Larry Wheelon, AAA-show judge and director of the ETHICS committee for TWH is arrested for abusive soring, it appears that the entire TWH Show industry needs a ‘rat-out’. Of course, TWH isn’t the only villain. Drugging racing Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses, breaking tails of Saddlebreds, nicking tails and drugging Paints and AQHA, and I’m sure MANY other unethical, illegal, inhumane treatments to gain a competitive edge go on across the nation. Hard to think about the unnecessary suffering these wonderful horses go through every day, without tearing up.

    • “Rat-out” indeed, Allana. Ultimately the change is going to have to happen because TWH owners refuse to allow their horses to be tortured and the public stops going to shows and clapping for those awful big lick horses. It’s going to be a slow process, but it does seem to be gaining some momentum. Technology lets those of us who don’t live in Walking Horse show country see what’s going on and weigh in. As for the USDA and HSUS, I’m just glad that someone is recording and counting the violations and making the information public.

      Just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Plenty of other disciplines could use a good “rat-out,” too.

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