Chattanooga Softball Gets Alabama Regional With Alabama, Stanford, Murray State

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

Friday, July 31, 2015 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, the barbaric practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses goes on unabated.

This is particularly true in Tennessee and Kentucky, we are told, and that is quite noteworthy because not one of Tennessee’s eight Republican members of Congress or the state’s two Republican senators endorse either bill.

Neither do all five of the Republican members of Congress from Kentucky or its two senators.

Soring horses, where a twisted trainer intentionally inflames the front legs of a Tennessee Walking Horse so it will dance a gruesome and agonizing dance called the “Big Lick,” is illegal as well as nauseating. But the Republican stronghold in the worst two states are not willing to lift a finger unless it’s the middle one. That’s allegedly because the “Big Lick” and its crazed followers have been found to give thousands upon thousands of dollars in “campaign donations” to the same Republicans in a way some believe – using polite words -- curries favor.

Last year, one member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.), sponsored alternate legislation after receiving donations in excess of $60,000 that could be directly traced to the cancerous “Big Lick” crowd. Are you kidding me? If you ever wanted a lesson in how an elected member of Congress goes wrong, take a look at this woman’s despicable actions in the same year – get this – that over half of the horses entered in the Big Lick’s National Celebration were proven to be sored and abused.

Scott Desjarlais (R-Tn.), in another documented instance, has openly berated the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its inspection process, this after he allegedly received over $30,000 at a reception sponsored by the Big Lick and Chuck Fleishmann (R-Tn.) has taken thousands in donations from Big Lickers which, obviously, he “deeply appreciates.”

As a matter of fact, the word is out that the Big Lickers are forming a new board of governance that will supersede all other Big Lick groups and make up its own rules, as well as penalties, in order to foster the cheating. The rumor is it will be called The Walking Horse Equestrian Foundation, a play on the widely-respected United States Equestrian Foundation, which despises and detests the sadistic practices that are such a delight to the Big Lick.

With attendance at Big Lick shows at an all-time low, the lickers are fighting back. Earlier this month a Big Lick trainer, Jamie Lawrence of Vineland, Ala., was indicted by a Maury County grand jury after video tape showed him apparently trying to hit Teresa Bippen with his truck as she protested a show. Ironically, Ms. Bippen is a champion of flat-shod Wwlkers and is the president of the fast-growing Friends of Sound Horses.

Ms. Bippen escaped unhurt, but observers claim the horses Lawrence was hauling could be heard falling inside his aluminum trailer as he jerked his truck’s wheels at Ms. Bippen. That’s the Big Lick, alright. Lawrence is a known violator of the federal Horse Protection Act and has received several citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the past. Now he’s facing “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon” and, again, the felony offense is well-documented on a video tape.

Believe it or not, many believe the new bills sponsored by Congressman Yoho and Kurt Schrader (D-Or.), will likely fail. In 2013-14 the PAST Act had a majority of co-sponsors and would have passed in the House, but John Boehner (R-Oh.), after receiving a cascade of hurried donations from big lickers, according to public records, for some reason would not call the bill to the floor.

There was also a majority of senators who co-sponsored Ayotte’s bill, but it is believed the Big Lick’s largest campaign contributions for years have centered on Lamar Alexander and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The bill didn’t have a chance, despite a majority of senators supporting it.

With Alexander already sponsoring an alternate bill (it just has two co-sponsors, McConnell and Kentucky’s other senator, Rand Paul) supporters of this year’s legislation fear the same political shenanigans could be used by pro-Big Lick politicians. But next year is an election year. Horse advocates are hopeful some of the pro-Big Lick politicians – especially the Tennessee Republicans who bathe in the Big Lick donations -- will be defeated and replaced.

This year’s National “Sore-abration,” as it is called by an increasing disdainful public, is scheduled Aug. 26-Sept. 5, but signs urging a boycott are popping up in Shelbyville, the home of the Big Lick, and online petitions are being circulated. Here’s a dilly: Mike Inman, a Big Lick leader, recently announced the judges for this year’s show, saying, “I strongly feel that this panel is one of the most respected and qualified ever to mark the cards at The Celebration.”

Excuse me! What he should have said is that every one of the judges he picked have violations “on record” of the Horse Protection Act. Are you kidding me! That’s incredible in any sport, but when over half of 389 horses tested at random last year tested “hot,” obviously the reasoning is “a man has to do what he has to do.”

Why can’t Tennessee and Kentucky Republicans learn to follow the dots? There’s only one reason that comes to my mind.

royexum@aol.com


It's All About Competence

Roy Exum: A Fair Trial

Student Debt - And Response (2)


Joe Biden’s answer to no COVID test kits during the December 2021 surge was, “I wish I had thought about ordering 500 million tests two months ago” (ABC News, Dec 22, 2021). Move ahead to ... (click for more)

I have undergone more surgeries than anyone I know. I am also among those who are lucky enough to have discovered that the hero nurses become your best friend when things go sour. Because of ... (click for more)

“And so we come to commencement, that glorious moment of achievement when a high school or college graduate will be awarded a hard-earned diploma and venture into a complex world full of promise ... (click for more)



Opinion

It's All About Competence

Joe Biden’s answer to no COVID test kits during the December 2021 surge was, “I wish I had thought about ordering 500 million tests two months ago” (ABC News, Dec 22, 2021). Move ahead to 2022. Joe’s answer, “If we’d been better mind readers, I guess we could have,” when asked if his team could have acted sooner to address drastic shortages of baby formula. (CNN, MJ Lee & ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Fair Trial

I have undergone more surgeries than anyone I know. I am also among those who are lucky enough to have discovered that the hero nurses become your best friend when things go sour. Because of my affection for those in the healing arts, it seems like I have worried about RaDonda Vaught for a long time. She is the Vanderbilt nurse who was just convicted on criminally neglect homicide ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Woman Gets 6-Year Suspended Sentence In 2018 Stabbing Death Of George Deramus

A woman charged in the stabbing death of 60-year-old George Deramus pleaded guilty on Monday morning to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Tavowia Hinton, who was 49 at the time of the Dec. 2, 2018, incident, had been facing a charge of second-degree murder. She was given a six-year prison sentence, but it was suspended. Ms. Hinton was directed not to have any contact ... (click for more)

Florida Man Says Deal Should Go Through To Buy 6,161 Acres In Hamilton, Sequatchie Counties From Pattens

A Florida man has filed suit in Federal Court, saying he had a deal to buy 6,160 acres in Hamilton and Sequatchie counties from Bryan and Cartter Patten, but they are backing out of the deal. C. Lee Eggert, of Brandon, Fla., said the agreed purchase price was over $11.6 million. He acknowledged that he was being furnished the money by a logging company, Consolidated Timberlands. ... (click for more)

Sports

"I Just Want To Travel" - Pare Pene On To Big Things

The swishing of nets, the squeaking of sneakers, the bouncing of a basketball, the applause of the crowd and Pareunuora ‘Pare’ Pene’s voice echoing through McKenzie Arena. If anyone decided to put together a “soundtrack” of UTC women’s basketball over the last four years, those would be the essential elements. Pene’s cheers of joy and encouragement through the highs and lows ... (click for more)

Dan Fleser: Vols And Lady Vols Recruiting Has Changed

Used to be when someone like five-star prospect Julian Phillips signed with Tennessee basketball, the news would’ve been hailed as a rare achievement for the Vols. Not anymore. Likewise, the thought of Tennessee women’s basketball adding four transfers in one incoming class would’ve been unthinkable in years past. Times have changed. The recruiting of both Tennessee ... (click for more)