California Walking Horse Show Members Say They Are Being Forced To Travel To Tennessee To Vote On Ouster Of "Big Lick" Board Member

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
A group of California Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry members saying they are being told they must travel over 4,000 miles to Lewisburg, Tn., to vote in person on removing California Director Christy Lantis, who the group says opposes a bill in Congress to clamp down on "soring" of Tennessee Walking Horses. 
 

Christy Lantis presently serves on the breed association’s Executive Committee as VP – Fiscal Affairs. 

The group said, "Ms. Lantis was previously chairman of the Performance Horse Committee where she championed the Big Lick show horse, which is subject to much controversy for being abused and exhibited in pads and chains. 

The meeting to remove Director Lantis was set  for 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, after over 25 percent of the California members petitioned the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) to remove Ms. Lantis under Tennessee law. Ten per cent iis required to have a vote on the matter, the group said.
 
The group’s spokesperson, Fran Cole, an attorney and former California director, accused THWBEA President Steve Smith and Sr. Vice President Walt Chism of “oppressing the California members” by forcing them to travel to Lewisburg, Tn., to vote.”
 
Attorney Cole said the group was pursuing a plan to charter a “Stop The Soring - Free The Horses” bus to transport the California members to Tennessee so they could vote.
 
Attorney Cole said, “I have an elderly friend in a wheelchair who is a California TWHBEA member and wishes to vote. However, she cannot physically get to Lewisburg due to her medical condition, much less afford the travel expense.  Shame on TWHBEA for treating a loyal member with physical disabilities this way.”
 
Attorney Cole said she "hoped a reporter from Los Angeles could accompany them and file reports along the way."   She said the group would stop at television and radio stations to be interviewed regarding the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and Middle Tennessee "being the horse soring capitol of the United States." 
 
She also said that Tennessee media representatives along with music business celebrities would be invited to join the group on the bus in Nashville in order to show support, and then go with the group to Lewisburg to cover the meeting and the removal vote.  She said she expects fellow Sound Horse supporters to follow the bus and caravan to Lewisburg.
 

Attorney Cole said, "We plan to make it clear what this backward looking Big Lick leadership has put us through in order for us to do something that could have been handled by mail – all in the interest of attempting to protect someone who is against the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act from being removed from office.

She said directors' elections are always handled by secret written ballots being mailed to the members, and the votes are always counted by a Certified Public Accountant. 

Attorney Cole said,  “Director Lantis was elected by written ballot and should be removed by written ballot. That's the only right way to do it. No TWHBEA election in history has ever required members to travel to Tennessee to vote. It's an international organization, after all. The only possible reason for denying us ballots is to disenfranchise members solely to protect an insider. We just want TWHBEA to follow the law and to act fairly towards its members.”
 
She said, “This is in no one's best interest, and I should point out that directors of a non-profit corporation who act with willful misconduct or gross negligence risk personal liability in addition to the corporate liability imposed on TWHBEA.”  

Police Blotter: Woman Banned From Walmart Back Again "Trying To Steal"

Police said a woman banned from the Walmart in Lookout Valley was back "trying to steal $588 in clothes." The woman first said she was Devon Draughter. While in the patrol car on the way to jail, she admitted she was Derisha Draughter. She said she was reluctant to say because she has two active warrants for theft. Ms. Draughter, 20, was charged with felony theft, criminal ... (click for more)

Funeral Will Be Saturday For McCallie Graduate Who Died In Wreck At Athens, Tn.

The funeral will be Saturday for Riley Patrick Scott, a 2010 McCallie School graduate who died in a wreck near Athens, Tn., last Wednesday. He was 24. He was traveling northbound around 1:06 p.m. near mile marker 48 when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree after going into the median. The vehicle was on fire with the driver still inside when state troopers arrived.  ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Silly Apology

It didn’t get a lot of attention, as well it should not have, but when I heard Japanese giant Mitsubishi was offered an apology for heinous war crimes that took place during World War II, I thought it was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. But, no, in a solemn ceremony last month hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, that is exactly what ... (click for more)

UTC Football: First Practice To A National Title

Monday was the first day of pre-season practice for the UTC football team with 33 days to the season opener with Jacksonville (Ala.) State and 159 days (Jan.9, 2016) to the FCS title game in Frisco, Texas. The last time UTC played in Texas was half a century ago at North Texas State (Denton) in 1966.   “The first day of practice is always exciting as it’s the start ... (click for more)

Jones Press Conference Kicks Off Vols' Preseason

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Butch Jones held his preseason football press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. Jones heads into his third season with visible enthusiasm after the Vols finished off the 2014 season with an impressive win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, following that up with another nationally ranked recruiting class. "In terms of our football team, we ... (click for more)