Horse soring "stacks" on the front hooves of a Tennessee Walking Horse at Big Lick competition. HSUS.

Roy Exum: Soring Will Still Thrive

We quote the following from Roy Exum’s column of yesterday. Exum, who has covered the horse soring issue for some years from his home base of Tennessee for The Chattanoogan, states what appears to be patently obvious to many, sometimes even us.

It’s about the future of the anti horse soring bill in the U.S. Senate. We have already warned our readers that Sen. Blackburn (TN) and Sen. McConnell (KY) will do all the ugly they can to make sure the Senate version of H.R.693 (S.1007) is defeated — and that’s a whole lot of ugly. Powerful ugly. We didn’t mention Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) (we thought we had enough evil to contend with without listing him), but Exum doesn’t ignore Lamar like we did.

Exum writes:

Last week, after four tries having been blocked every year in Congress to “Prevent All Soring Tactics,” the PAST Act made it through Congress in a rousing “beat your chest” fashion. Where it takes a two-thirds vote to proceed to the Senate, Congress voted 333-96 on the bill (HR693). Oh happy day! That was the overwhelming response after the House of Representatives roll call on Thursday.

Then we go to Skopos Labs, a firm that claims they are experts in “automated predictive intelligence” to learn … what’s this? The Senate bill for the PAST Act has 40 co-sponsors which doesn’t mean diddley. When House Bill HR693 came to a vote last week, among the 96 members of Congress who voted against it were Tennessee Republicans Phil Roe, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais, John Ross, Mark Green, and Davis Kustoff. Isn’t that peculiar? As a matter of fact, the Tennessee “bloc” has long embraced the “dirty lickers” with the lone exemption being Tim Burchett.

Tennessee’s two Senators are far worse. Years ago Lamar Alexander got saddled up with Steven B. Smith who agreed to be the treasurer of his campaign. Hello! Steven B. is the head of the dirty lickers and there is vivid proof that Lamar and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell have accepted hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from the dirty lickers.

Chuck Fleischmann and Scott DesJarlais have also been generously awarded by dirty lick contributors. A cross match of dirty lick contributors who “support” Chuck and Scott will make you start laughing. But, in my opinion, the all-time Queen of Dirty-Lick Corruption is our newest Senator, Marsha Blackburn.

Marsha has accepted more “benevolence” from the dirty lick than you would believe, and, when you track her government-mandated financial disclosures from the time she was first elected to the House until she began her impassioned role as a Senator, her investment prowess boggles the mind. I’m talking nothing short of genius on a Congress woman’s pay.

Don’t you see? I thought the upper reaches of the United States Congress and Senate were beyond reproach. Several years ago the law enforcement officers in Maryville, Tn., where there is a Lamar Alexander Boulevard, caught a known dirty licker — Larry Joe Wheelon — at his worst. There were photographs, testimony, irrefutable evidence and … hello … Larry Joe never went to trial.

Blessed with such a den full of elected representatives, do you in your wildest dreams think the PAST Act will get through the Senate? I’ve been following the charade like a bloodhound but with Alexander, Blackburn, and McConnell lusting for the day they can once again champion the torture of horses, neither the Senate bill nor humane horse-sense stands a cut dog’s chance.

Read Exum’s full column here at The Chattanoogan »

It will be a dog fight for sure with the odds stacked heavily against us. H.R.693’s companion bill in the Senate, S.1007, has 41 cosponsors as of this writing. We would like to see at least 60 to give us a fighting chance, but that might be all it gives us. 72 would be much better so long as no one changes their mind. Can we possibly do it?

Check here to see if your two Senators have already cosponsored S.1007. If not please contact them via and ask them to please cosponsor S.1007 and vote yes when the time comes.

Be prepared to tackle this again with us after the August recess.

Thank you.

HSUS Image

17 thoughts on “Roy Exum: Soring Will Still Thrive”

  1. To read the comments from those involved in this shameful industry of torture, you’d think people of conscience and rationality were from deep space. It doesn’t take an extended background with horses to look at horses performing in these classes and see something very, very wrong. If you watch them in slow motion, you’ll see how awkwardly the front feet twist as they hit the ground. Even worse–and disgustingly obvious– is the way the horses are forced to shift their weight unnaturally to their hindquarters. It is grotesque to watch and I feel pain when I do. The Tennessee Walking Horse is a lovely, beautifully and naturally-moving animal. To force them to endure the mindless pain that is so deeply enmeshed in this disgusting practice is a sin against God. I will do all I can here in California to encourage my elected officials to support this extremely important legislation.


  2. Respect and Humanity should exist, yet, ee allow Evil Horrific Cruelty to Exist! No animal EVER deserves torture. Evil Greed has consumed the people who torture horses; they have SOLD their Soul to The Devil! PLEASE STOP EVIL!!


  3. This needs to STOP and stop now….. Talk about cruelty to animals.. this is beyond belief…
    Something must be done ASAP….
    Avid Horse Lover………….


    1. Agree Penny. You can help. Contact both of your U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor and vote yes for S.1007, the Senate version of the PAST Act that just passed the House 333-96. The horses need every single Senator they can get to do this that we can get.

      Every single one will be crucial to defeating Blackburn / McConnell who oppose helping these horses, putting Big Lick competitions out of business.

      See the bill at

      Contact your two Senators at here

      Thank you.


  4. I have never destroyed one of my retired show horses. They have come home and lived until their natural death. Back up your inaccurate info.


  5. This is an inacurately old photo used by HSUS to further their agenda and line their pockets. I strongly urge any of you to attend a Performance Horse show and see for yourself the inspection process and TRUTH instead of blindly believing what you’re told. Any of you who believe one syllable of anything the spews from Marty Irby’s lying mouth need to watch his actions. He sides with whatever suits his purpose at the moment.

    Put your presence where your name calling is COME TO A SHOW AND SEE FOR YOURSELF.

    Regarding the Wheelon incident-a personal friend of mine was awakened from his home and arrested and spent several thousand dollars he didn’t have lying around after he complied with everything asked of him. FYI the horses removed from that barn were taken to a rescue and turned out. Their “farrier” didn’t even know how to remove their shoes. A simple process since they’re attached to a nail on pad and removed like a regular keg shoe.

    When these horses were returned to owners, from the rescue, they were in such poor physical shape it took vets and proper feeding and care over months to return them to decent physical condition. The care provided by the rescue was less than subpar and the so called “rescuers” should be deeply ashamed. TWHs live in clean barns, are feed the best hay and grain money can buy. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ! Stop making half cocked accusations you can’t back up and come from second, third, fourth hand information. You’ve always got an open invitation to ATTEND A SHOW.


      1. Just spoke with Marsha Blackburns office manager . These people have there heads in the sand and could careless about the welfare of helpless animals. Soring is REAL and still exsists! The Big Lick cannot happen unless a horse is tortured and sore it is impossible!!!!! Let’s get REAL and help these innocent creatures get away from these barbaric practices and totureous monsters!!! They are in it for money not the sport or love of the animal just dollar signs.


  6. Unbelievable! Can Senators not understand the deliberate harming of these horses? You allow killing babies and torturing horses! Way to go Senate! Cornyn and Cruz… be a man! Stand up and vote to STOP this act, Please! If you need more information let me know!


  7. Please stop the big lick for the horses sake? This brutal procedure stretches their ligaments so tight after time after time it totally cripples the horse All of this is just for the humans to applaud and give them the attention they want! All at the cost of eventually this horse lives in tremendous pain all its life. It can no longer stand on its feet. And has to be destroyed. The people who own these horses donot care. They just go buy another one they can torture to death!


  8. Spring…mmm. Perhaps if those who support/big lickin’ money folks were treated thusly…soreing, block-shoeing, chaining, chem-burning, etc., and forcing them to prance around endlessly, would they scream? The ginger/tail-breaking is horrid enough. Greed abuses and destroys God’s already beautiful creatures.
    Support PAST. Stop hurting/damaging/destroying TN Walkers and American Saddlebreds.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. For the first time, I have seen the Lickers squirming and its not from the PAST Act. It’s from a local ordinance proposed by Nashville Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy that mirrors the PAST Act. This may be how we stop years of abuse known as the Big Lick.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tennessean’s should be ashamed of themselves , having an industry that allows horses to be treated this way. Several years ago while protesting
    ” The Big Lick ” I contacted Marsha Blackburn she promised me she would everything she could to stop Soring .
    Flat out ” she lied ” what a surprise !
    A politician that gets bought off , and to think many years ago my ex-husband and I made contributions to her in early 2000. How sad that Big Lickers pay off politicians , cruelty , pain and torture to helpless, innocent animals with NO VOICE…..and NO CHOICE! ! What have these politicians become??? Greedy, heartless shells of what should be a human being ! I don’t understand it ??? We all know what is right and what is wrong we are taught that inflicting pain to innocent life is wrong !
    Even when your a politician ,that sticks their head in the sand or turns there back just to fund there campaigns , cruelty and torture are wrong. Accepting blood money is Wrong!
    They will answer one day to a higher being, I ask everyday that God protects thiese helpless horses that endure torture and pain because of ignorant , greedy SO CALLED humans!
    Anyone that takes part in the Walking Horse Industry falls short…..Way short of anything human!

    Liked by 2 people

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