Dear Mr. Roy Exum,
The civilized world is in shock after having to witness the training methods that are used to abuse and torture one of man's most loyal friends for financial gain and collection of ribbons. Being a trainer of horses myself I can't understand how such cruelty could pass as "training" and was tolerated for decades, practiced by judges we learn, trainers, owners and spectators.
The Greek Statesman Xenophon 400 BC wrote a book about the training of the horse in which he emphasizes kindness because 'movements achieved through force and pain can never look pleasant nor beautiful like forcing a dancer to dance with whips and pikes.'
The German Poet Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe wrote: ' you must learn his thoughts from the noble horse you intend to ride, you must not demand anything unwise, anything foolish of him.'
All the people who endorsed the most unnatural training methods that were used to subdue one of the kindest breeds in existence violated all the rules of civilized behavior and brought shame on a profession that was highly respected in the past.
Thank you, Mr. Roy Exum, for your outstanding courage to make an end to the inhuman treatment of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
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I just wanted to let you know how good it is to realize there are folks out there such as yourselves that are standing up for the Tennessee Walking horses.
The Performance Horse industry, supported by TWHBEA, needs to be put out of business. The soring must stop. It is only through the publicity given by folks such as yourselves that this will happen.
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A huge thumbs up for my newest hero, Roy Exum who is bravely and tenaciously following up on the latest videos released by HUS about the continuing and ongoing cruelty and HPA violations in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.
I am sure his statements are not popular in your part of the country, but please know a far bigger majority of U.S. citizens are cheering him on and hoping this investigative reporting helps set new laws and penalities for those who abuse these beautiful horses in the name of entertainment.
The laws need to go further and ban, as abuse, the stacks and pads now used that hide pressure devices inside the shoe, pared down heels, tacks and other hidden torture devices that cannot be seen. These pads also alter the gait of the TWH into a grotesque parody of the signature running walk the breed is known for.
Roy, you are my biggest hero.
Karen Sullivan owner of two barefoot, naturally gaited TWH
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The Roy Exum article is wonderful, thank you for someone finally putting all this together.
I’ve already written the governor and all officials in Tennessee, but will copy his article and now send it to more.
We own three registered TWH, I am ashamed of the breed association. Thank you for adding to the voice to stop the abuse – finally.
Sara Cain-Bartlett, LCSW
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Thank you so much for trying to open the eyes of Horse People. We all hate to think that anyone could do such outrageous things to such big, gentle, kindhorses, and for what - a ribbon. I can’t imagine what some of these animals have been through, and it makes me sick to even think about it.
I could only watch a bit of the videotape, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
Once again, thank you for having the guts to write all you have and expose all the people and their violations. When you see the total violations and the number of people and their positions, you begin to realize that the whole TWH industry is sick.
Please get that information out as much as you can. You can make a difference in the horses' lives. Thank you
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Loved Roy's articles about Tennessee Walking Horse expose of the criminal/thug Jackie McConnell regarding video showing him beating in the head beautiful TW horses. I want that "shot" on a T-shirt with the thug's name, the horse's name, and the federal indictment charges listed. The Humane Society could sell these T-shirts. I will buy one and wear it everywhere on horse show grounds. I want the fear depicted in the horse's eyes seen every day not just fleetingly in a quick film forgotten on a shelf.
The TWHBEA/SHOW industry is a criminal/thug group advocating soring of these horses and involved in a conspiracy to dupe the government and the general public and should be brought up on RICO statute organied crime charges. This industry uses disinformation, misinformation to continue to sore these wonderful horses and allows its thugs to intimidate anyone speaking out against it. It allows these thugs to intimidate film crews and federal vets inspecting these horses and then glorify the thugs with coveted titles and judgeships.
Their disinformation/misinformation "SHOW" title stands for Sored Horses OutWitting the government.
Even in the face of the exposure on undercover film, the vet in charge of "SHOW" while being interviewed on the abuses visible in the film, is still protecting the criminal/thug industry by infering the abuse is by a few instead of the majority of the thugs involved in showing added/chained pathetic Tennessee Walking Horses.
Without the Humane Society undercover film and the accompanying Tennessee federal Grand Jury Indictments against these criminal/thug horse abusers, this corrupt/thug TWHBEA/SHOW industry would still be chanting, "the horses are not sore" - "soring is a thing of the past" - "the Horse Protection Act protects these horses" - the chains are like ladies' bracelets" - "your watch doesn't hurt your wrist, does it" = ad nauseam.
It is about time the federal charges have real fines ($250,000 -10-year sentences) attached to this horrible horse abuse - and the fact that no one can fight these charges, conspiracy, falsification of federal papers, money laundering, etc., they don't have enough money to fight this, instead of the laughable self-policing industry and Horse Protection Act fines, such as a slap on the hand and $2,000 fine, with two weeks penalty from showing in late December.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all send a copy of From the Horse's Mouth book about TWHorse soring to the jail libraries where the convicted thugs end up so their inmates could read about exactly what these sorers/horse abusers actually do to these helpless horses, then just maybe the thugs/sorers would get the sentences they deserve from what only their jail cell mates can give them. Remember inmates do not like child abusers or animal abusers.
The frightened look in the eyes of those poor horses is imbedded in our mind's eyes and so is the real punishment the thug/animal abusers will get from the animal-loving inmates.
All the TWHorse lovers living near university law schools can give presentations of this animal abuse film and the corrupt/thug industry supporting this abuse and urge the school to take this subject on as a class project. See if they can come up with a way to legally overthrow the TWHBEA/SHOW corrupt/thug industry and get a court-appointed 'take over' of the breed Registry so it can then be run as a normal horse breed Registry to protect these horses and eliminate pads/chains from the breed instead of the continued criminal/thug element allowing this horse abuse to continue for 60 more years.
RICO statute organied crimecharges being brought against the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association isn't just ranting and raving from an outspoken owner any longer, it is now being urged by The Humane Society and looks like the federal Indictments are charging "conspiracy" too. It is just a matter of time.
Keep the TWHorse abuse/soring expose articles coming.... this is about time, too. Thank you,
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My, my what a "touchy feely" article by Mr. Exom. I guess we should all be so grateful that Jackie McConnell pled guilty and threw himself upon the "mercy" of the court. Jackie McConnell has proven time and time again that he has complete and total disregard for the Horse Protection Act. He kept "training", hauling and showing horse' even after being cited.
Basically the man thumbs his nose at regulations set up to prevent cruelty to animals. The HSUS video is seared into my mind and that of thousands like me who are fed up with the mistreatment of these magnificent animals in the name of a buck or in Jackie's case, the thrill of dominating a helpless beast who cannot fight back.
There were smiles on his and his helpers faces as they beat and shocked during "stewarding" lessons. Sadistic is the word I would use and now he begs mercy due to his age and health? Did he show mercy? I say prison and a massive monetary fine would be his just reward. After all, it's all about the money. Jackie McConnell exhibits all the early signs of a serial killer. I say, "Hang him high as an example to those who continue this."
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Good for you for taking up the fight against these cowards. You've got the voice to make a difference and it's happening.
Like most of society I had no idea this was occurring and was horrified by the video of Jackie the cowardly jerk. In the coming days the industry is hoping the bad press will move on so they can get back to business as usual being cruel in pursuit of money.
You have the ability to control the spotlight so to speak so keep up the good work and make them sweat.
In my opinion if they've allowed this guy to remain in the loop after numerous offenses then they see no wrong in it and therefore don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. If this is how great walking horses are made then the sport should be abolished.
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I thought people like you were gone...you know...the real kind of newspaper reporters that stood up against "the system" and did "the right thing, regardless of the cost"...and reported the truth.
Like most of the general public, I have lost faith in the media and our judicial system. Reading your reports, from here in Ohio (via emails from other horse people in Tennessee), I feel like I'm watching an old Jimmy Stewart or Clark Gable movie, whereas the good guy battles the powerful "good ole boys" to bring justice to the little guys. In this case the little guys are God's innocent and helpless horses. With tears in my eyes as I type this email...I just want to say that " you are my hero."
I've had Walking Horses for 20 years and have always despised the entire concept of the "big lick," but was told by so many to keep my opinions quiet. As all cowards do, I did as I was told. But no more...if you have the guts to stand on the rooftops and cry "foul," then I will follow your example and suggestions.
To the "good ole boys/girls" in the media, I say: why is this man not on national news and TV shows everywhere? Thank you for doing what you are doing. Keep up the good work and may God keep you and yours safe.