Roy Exum: Horse CEO Is Jumping Off

Sunday, July 22, 2012 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Dr. Doyle Meadows is jumping off what is uncannily similar to a run-away horse. After four years as the CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, it has been learned the veterinarian will soon take a flying leap after this year’s event. His decision comes only a month after the two largest equine veterinary groups in the nation castigateda Walking Horse industry that was already knee-deep in muck.
Already there is a resolution on the floor of the Tennessee legislature (sponsored Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville) in praise of Meadows but the better truth is that a video of horse trainer Jackie McConnell, appearing on ABC’s News Nightline in May and promptly enraging millions since then, has caused the seedy side of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry to come under intense and scathing scrutiny.
The latest laugher is that when the judges for the upcoming 74th Celebration were announced on Wednesday, it was quickly discovered that three of the five people who were chosen have a total of 16 past violations of the federal Horse Protection Act between them. And the biggest kick in the face came when the Tennessee State Fair, to be held Sept. 7-16 in Nashville, stunned all of Shelbyville when it just aligned with the Kentucky-based National Walking Horse Association.
The NWHA is “dedicated to preserving and promoting the naturally-gaited walking horse and its welfare,” so the so-called “Big Lick” horses, with their stacks and chains and questionable trainers, will not be welcome in Nashville. The thugs are also learning --- as Dr. Meadows knows only too well – that 50 years of soring and horse abuse will no longer be tolerated by the American people.
The epicenter of mounting concern is the annual Celebration in Shelbyville, which set for August 22 - Sept. 1, and when it was quietly revealed Meadows would be stepping down after this year’s event, it only fueled speculation that his action might have been a preemptive move.
Pepsi immediately pulled its sponsorship of the Celebration when the McConnell video was released and tickets were quickly put on sale in classified ads across the state. Worse, federal compliance officials are continuing to tighten down on a small but quite cancerous group of loathsome owners, trainers and riders whose criminal actions have tainted not just the industry but the magnificent and noble breed as well.
Meadows has been the Celebration’s CEO for four years but this has been, by far, his most tumultuous year. Federal prosecutors have successful sought and obtained guilty pleas from five men in federal court already this year and it has been proven, by public records, that the Shelbyville leadership of the walking horse industry is infested with past violators of the federal Horse Protection Act.
When the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners called for action against the Big Lick methods, one could only wonder how much longer Meadows could stomach witnessing the repeated soring and abuse of the some contenders that historically are brought to the Celebration in quest of the blue ribbon.
My goodness, there has been so much brought to light since the sickening McConnell tape was shown a weekly TV reality series could be called “The Shelbyville Soap Opera.” For example, it was just learned that one pitiful horse that co-starred in the vile Nightline tape is three-time world champion Moody Star.
The horribly-traumatized horse, owned by Wilsene Moody Kwok (her husband is the executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio), is now being trained and shown by Shelbyville’s Brad Davis, who has eight prior violations of the Horse Protection Act. The horse is now named “Star.”
In a recent poll on the Walking Horse Report website, asking “Why are horse shows being cancelled?” a whopping 45 percent cited the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s inspections with another 33 percent believed it was Unknown Mandatory Penalties. Oddly, “cheating” and “soring” and “suspensions” were not among the eligible categories. The USDA simply enforces the law.
Finally, word has gotten out that at a recent horse show, federal enforcement agents were charged admission to enter the grounds. How stupid, in the name of great Jehovah, is that? The first rule the littlest boy on a farm learns is “Don’t tease the bull.” My goodness gracious, the Shelbyville Soap Opera rolls on.

True Revenue Situation

My honorable and respected friend Roy Exum tells us again today, “It has been 12 years since the county fathers have approved a tax increase ... .” I’ll take his word for that, but want some more information. “No tax increase for 12 years” is just the chorus; I want to hear the rest of the song, the specific verses that really tell the tale. The fact is, although Roy’s bare ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Judge Walter Williams May Go Back On The Bench As Administrative Hearing Officer

One of the city's most colorful judges may go back on the bench. The City Council on Tuesday is set to vote on the nomination of former City Court Judge Walter Williams as administrative hearing officer - a new city position. The law license of the former judge was transferred to disability inactive status in August of 2015 after he suffered a stroke early in the year.  ... (click for more)

Body Believed To Be That Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

A body believed to be that of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim ... (click for more)

Morgan, Smith, Parrott Pace Lady Pounders Past Bearettes 6-0

Maybe Central softball coach LeeAnne Shurette won’t nag her Lady Pounders so much in the coming days. Central collected eight hits, including two-run singles by Tatum Morgan and Janara Smith, on Friday to back Brooke Parrott’s three-hitter and the Lady Pounders defeated Bradley Central 6-0 in the East Hamilton tournament at The Summit. “Shurette has been nagging, maybe ... (click for more)

McCallie Earns 3-1 Soccer Win Over Rival Baylor

When his team needed him the most, McCallie senior Drew Viscomi did what he does best. Two minutes after the Blue Tornado allowed an equalizer to rival Baylor in the Division II Mid-East Region soccer match on the Red Raiders’ home field, Viscomi’s strike put his team back on top. Five minutes later, the All-American and school single-season scoring leader ... (click for more)