The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration show rides on.
by ROY EXUM
Cross-posted from The Chattanoogan
Roy Exum writes:
In what should have been a huge positive step of a show, one that would focus on “clean” and sound horses, it has turned instead into a vicious war of words and, with newspaper readers and television viewers watching the diatribe more intently than ever before, the shameful allegations and barbs between the Celebration leaders and stern-faced officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society is reaching a crescendo as the weekend events arrive.
My goodness, a “wash out” would be a Godsend for the beleaguered annual event. Shelbyville leaders hired a public relations firm but after what has already transpired leading into this weekend’s finale, no amount of damage control can overcome the arrogance and brash stance that horribly misguided Celebration officials have taken towards the government officials, the Humane Society of the United States, the top two groups of equine veterinarians, and literally thousands of decent Tennessee Walking Horse owners who today vigorously stand up for the noble sanctity of the breed.
Spectators and riders alike have stayed away from the suspected donnybrook in a revealing way and no wonder; the Shelbyville “country club,” as the Big Lick leaders are called, has been as caustic as the irritants that scurrilous trainers apply to the forelegs of the defenseless horses, virtually assuring that the only sure outcome of this year’s event is that sweeping and stringent changes will finally come to what one Humane Society official calls “the cruelest horse show on earth.”
The coverage of this event has been of the highest standard, and would not be complete without Mr. Exum’s knowledgeable and balanced voice of wisdom. Thank you!