That old saying, “the wheels of justice grind slowly . . .” is certainly true.
However, we are encouraged that the brave woman nearly run over while protesting a Big Lick event in Columbia, Tennessee, may get her day in Court. We thank District Attorney Brent Cooper for pursuing this case.
FROM THE DAILY COLUMBIA HERALD
by JAMES BENNETT | Link to Full Report
A Tennessee Walking Horse protester who says she nearly was run over by a trainer last month will have her case taken before a Maury County grand jury, District Attorney General Brent Cooper said Sunday.
Teresa Bippen, 58, of Hillsboro, Mo., was among animal welfare activists picketing the Spring Jubilee at Maury County Park on May 30 when a truck driven by Jamie Lawrence, 42, veered toward her, according to a Sheriff’s Department report of the incident.
Lawrence, of Vinemont, Ala., and a world champion rider and trainer in Racking Horse competition, was pulled over by a deputy who allowed him to continue with the show. Lawrence was not arrested.
“I motioned to him to bear to the left, and as he came closer to me, I witnessed him cut his truck hard left into the area where Ms. Teresa Bippen was standing,” wrote Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Jackson, who was directing horse trailers and other traffic into the park. “Then he cut his wheels back hard right. I could not tell how close he came to Ms. Bippen.”
Jackson and two Columbia Police officers approached the truck, the report said.
“I asked the driver why in the world would he do that?” Jackson wrote. “He stated that he should not have. I told him to go into the horse area and park, and I would be back there to talk to him.”
Lawrence told Jackson he was watching the deputy wave him over. He said he thought he was getting too close to Bippen and swerved the other way.
Bippen was protesting soring at Walking Horse shows and trying to discourage attendance. Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ feet and legs to produce an exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick” to impress judges.
Bippen said Lawrence’s truck came directly at her after she saw him speaking with another protestor, Tara Taylor, about 10 feet away.
“I was surprised that he looked me directly in the eye,” Bippen wrote in a witness statement. “I raised my sign and said, ‘Big Lick, Big Lie’ and ‘Soring is Animal Abuse.’ I heard the motor gun, the vehicle sped up and suddenly turned toward me all at virtually the same time.
• Read more at: http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local
• Friends of Sound Horses President nearly run down during Big Lick protest; Tuesday’s Horse; June 1, 2015
FROM OUR WEBSITE
• Horse Soring Fact Sheet »
2 thoughts on “Grand Jury to decide on charges in Walking Horse protest incident”
Wonderful to see dedicated and courageous protestors speaking up for these poor Tennessee walking horses who suffer horrific cruelty. I once saw footage of the atrocities committed on these horses and it still haunts me. The horse being a prey animal does not display his pain and vulnerability for his self preservation, whereas a dog being a predator would be yelping displaying his pain. What struck me was that in this footage I could hear the horses MOANING IN AGONY from the terrible pain with what these lowlife mongrels do to their feet. That told me how bad the pain was for the horse to display such unnatural behaviour.
I hope Teresa gets the justice she deserves at the Court hearing and I also hope there’s heaps of publicity which will alert decent members of the public as to the unspeakable cruelty inflicted on these horses.
Good news. I can’t for the life of me understand why this blatant horse abuse is being allowed to continue.