Roy Exum: The ‘Lickers’ Are Desperate

Friday, June 21, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA), desperately trying to cling to the now-seedy image that has resulted in a half-century of abuse to Tennessee Walking Horses, accused U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) of “misleading and inaccurate testimony” on Thursday when, in fact, the Shelbyville-based organization is today considered a haven of false propaganda.

PSHA is the latest acronym of a club that those responsible for the Walking Horse Celebration has just launched to hide the tarnished reputations of other groups that revere the “Big Lick,” an unnatural gait that many believe can only be achieved by torturing and soring the magnificent animals.  Whitfield had sponsored an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have instead helped cripple those who apply caustic chemicals and agents to the horse’s forelegs so they’ll pick their painful legs up higher.

The Farm Bill was defeated for the second straight year in Congress yesterday, 234-to-195, and while it is unknown what Congress will do next, there is no doubt the horse welfare advocates will swat away any attempts by the PSHA to sell itself as a legitimate entity after years on consistent and rampant horse abuse in what is laughingly now called the “performance” animal.

In a poorly-advised press release, PSHA charged that “Whitfield failed to tell his former members of Congress that:

CLAIM: “The amendment eliminates a total division of the equine breed, impacting more than 10,000 horses that would be deemed no longer fit for their intended purpose.”

FACT: Horse shows wouldn’t skip a beat. “Dirty Lickers” might lose their jobs but if a massive effort to remove the cheaters from the game is successful, it only stands to reason that more people would show because the playing field is level. Believe this, the cheaters are well-known.

CLAIM: “Take from hard-working taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and income without cause or any scientific evidence”

FACT: In just the last year, five men have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from horse abuse and two trainers – convicted Jackie McConnell and just-caught Larry Wheelon – still face state charges. If Wheelon is found guilty on all 19 horses that were “scientifically” found to be abused, he could technically die in jail. We have more “cause” than the war in Iraq!

CLAIM: “Eliminate … self-regulation … which is far superior to federal government.”

FACT: Over half of the top horse show judges in the group SHOW have past violations of the Horse Protection Act and a recent check of the Trainer’s Association showed its members were rife with violations. (Wheelon headed its ethic committee) Trainers president Mickey McCormick has over a dozen suspensions – all by the US Dept. of Agriculture. “Self-regulation” in Shelbyville would outlaw mirrors.

CLAIM: “Eliminate … self regulation (in order to make the federal agency bigger).”

FACT: If mankind is ever going to do away with the “Dirty Lickers,” honest USDA veterinarians and inspectors are the only answer. How many USDA inspectors to you see at a dog show or county fair? The sleazy side of the Walking Horse industry has smeared the reputation of 95 percent of owners who are clean, sound and honest. Horse abuse for cheap ribbons must stop. America has clearly had enough.

CLAIM: “Creates a Federal bureaucracy at a huge cost to taxpayers ….”

FACT: You want to see a bureaucracy? Go to Shelbyville, TN and just follow the money. The Breeder’s Association just fired its president, allegedly so his boss could win a ribbon. The same Breeder’s Association is floundering in a stinking sea of public perception and there is, in fact, “so much smoke that anyone can tell the Dirty Lick is ablaze in troubles.” The National Celebration has turned into a fiasco with heavy financial losses.

Yet the press release from PSHA claims the Whitfield Amendment, if it stays on the next effort to get the Farm Bill through Congress, will ruin the walking horse industry. If ever there was a press release written by Pinocchio, Thursday’s missive from the so-called PSHA was surely it.

royexum@aol.com



Roy Exum: New Schools On Agenda

Hamilton County School Superintendent Bryan Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that a plan for several new public schools will be included on Thursday night’s School Board agenda. Hamilton County has fallen woefully behind other metro school districts in the state and, with an estimated $340 million in deferred repairs, upgrading facilities - that now average over 40 years old - was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)

$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

Hamilton County School officials on Thursday unveiled a $125 million building plan that includes moving the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to the current Tyner Middle School, which will undergo a major renovation. Tyner Middle will move across the street into Tyner High School. Both Tyner buildings have been under-utilized for a number of years. There will also be ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Committee Says Pulling Away From County Schools Is "Feasible"

After eight months of investigating the viability of Signal Mountain establishing a separate school district, a committee of six has determined that it is feasible and would meet the goal of improving the education provided to students. The committee was also tasked with identifying obstacles and if possible to find ways to overcome them.  Results of the report were presented ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon. There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment. Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)