While covering the horse abuse issue called soring, we have brought you the writing of Roy Exum, who brings his peerless insight to the opinion pages of The Tennessean.
Exum wrote two pieces, one on the day before the sentencing hearing of Jackie McConnell, the cruel Tennessee Walking Horse abuser exposed in a viral HSUS undercover video, and the second the day after.
In the first article, Exum states:
The overriding thought across the United States and many foreign lands is that no matter what the judge decrees, McConnell will not receive proper justice for his well-documented 30 years of constant horse abuse until the fateful day comes when he will meet his Maker and doubtlessly dance for an eternity in the hottest fires of hell. Tomorrow will just be a teaser of what is surely to come.
Sadly, if the truth be told, McConnell is virtually a nothing in the big scheme of the perverse and very sick “Big Lick” segment of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Jackie is a mere pawn, a lowly serf in an evil Shelbyville fiefdom where a high-ranking insider said last week that “at least 40 to 45 percent” of what is lustily called the “performance horse” is “every bit as guilty” as the heavily-scorned McConnell. “They just haven’t been caught yet.”
In Exum’s article the date after McConnell’s sentencing hearing he writes:
At precisely 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, former Maryland Senator Joseph Tydings noticeably tightened when Federal judge Sandy Mattice announced after a brief recess that he would accept a contentious plea agreement, thus assuring serial horse abuser Jackie McConnell would not go to jail. The sentence of three years of probation and a $75,000 fine would later be called “a travesty” by the 84-year-old legal expert who once served as a U.S. attorney for Maryland.
After all, it was Tydings himself who created the federal Horse Protection Act when he served as U.S. attorney for Maryland 43 years ago and today, although he sits ramrod straight and is still a skilled orator, Senator Tydings was the first to realize that the loathsome McConnell, in his brief and well-coached remarks of remorse, never once mentioned or apologized to the hundreds of horses he has purposely abused and tortured in a well-documented span of over 30 years.
We invite you to read both of these well-crafted articles — and everything else by Exum on the subject — particularly if you care about this issue and these horses.
— Finally a Day of Reckoning; The Chattanoogan; by Roy Exum; Sept. 17, 2012
— A Just — But Sad — Verdict; The Chattanoogan; by Roy Exum; Sept. 19, 2012