Horse Soring 2019 Year in Review

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.

Horse “soring” is when humans intentionally injure horses’ hooves or legs causing them so much pain they step higher in an exaggerated gait prized in “Big Lick” show rings.


January 22, 2019

A strong team of bipartisan lawmakers reintroduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (U.S. House) to end the cruel practice of “soring” Tennessee walking horses and similar breeds, H.R.693.

H.R.693 is identical to the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act that attracted overwhelming bipartisan cosponsorship from 290 representatives and 46 senators in the previous Congress. The only difference is the title.

The bill has been newly entitled the “U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act”.

January 25, 2019

H.R.693 referred to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce by Committee on Energy and Commerce.

April 3, 2019

S.1007, companion bill identical to H.R.693, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.


April 19, 2019

Footage released to Animal Wellness Action from a horse owner in Alabama shows despicable and even gruesome mistreatment of horses who are the victims of “soring” — the practice of intentionally injuring the foot and lower legs of horses to achieve a high-stepping gait in horse shows known as the “Big Lick.”

The horse owner identified Joseph Abernathy as the farrier that “pressure shod” the horse by driving hot nails into the part of the hoof where it is known to be the most painful. When the owner found this horse, he was barely able to stand and drenched in sweat despite 40-degree temperatures. The horse’s muscle enzymes became elevated which led to renal failure.

See Press Release »


May 14, 2019

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn, both Tennessee Republicans, have introduced legislation they say will protect Tennessee walking horses and the breed’s tradition. However, the truth of the matter is that they are continuing to shield long-standing abusive practices within the horse soring — or “Big Lick” industry.

Alexander and Blackburn’s bill, called the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2019, would update the Horse Protection Act of 1970 and mirrors a House version of the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn. The three have supported similar bills in the past aimed at blocking true anti-soring legislation — the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act — which was first introduced in 2014.


May 23, 2019

Motion to place H.R.693 on U.S. House Consensus Calendar filed by Mr. Schrader.

July 19, 2019

H.R.693 assigned to U.S. House Consensus Calendar, Calendar No. 3.

July 24, 2019

H.R.693, bipartisan legislation that promises to end the inhumane practice of horse soring (which became illegal in 1970 but persists due to loopholes in the current law) garnered enough support to receive a vote in the U.S. House, culminating with 307 cosponsors.

The U.S. House Chair announced the Speaker’s designation, pursuant to clause 7(a)(1) of rule 15, of H.R.693 as the measure on the Consensus Calendar to be considered this week.

Mr. Schrader moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. Considered suspended under the rules.

The U.S. House proceeded with forty minutes of debate.

At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed at 10:44 p.m.

July 25, 2019

1:52 pm. H.R.693 considered as unfinished business.

1:59 pm. H.R.693 passed the U.S. House 333-96. Roll call vote no 510 (See

This victory marks the first time Congress has moved to strengthen laws against soring since the practice was first banned, states Congressman Ted Yoho. Read more at


August 2019

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association encourages members to contact their U.S. Senators to urge them to sign on as cosponsors of the PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act (S.1007), stating that on the heels of the recent victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, it is important to keep the momentum going to help pass this critical legislation into law. S.1007 has 31 cosponsors at the time of writing.


Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty advocates rally on the courthouse lawn at the Shelbyville – Bedford County Town Square. NewChannel 5 WTVF-TV (CBS) Nashville, and the Times Free Press (Chattanooga) newspaper covered the historic event.

The group protested outside the grounds of the Celebration several other nights throughout the competition, which ran through Saturday, Aug. 31.


September 5, 2019

On Saturday, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville crowned its “Big Lick” World Grand Champions — Rodney Dick and “I’m Mayhem.” Although he’s been a serial violator of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) for decades, Dick was allowed to compete on the main stage for a shrinking and increasingly uninteresting event.

It turns out that Dick has very recent violations of injuring the feet of horses — a practice known as horse “soring” — but USDA still allowed him to compete.

Dick will serve a federal suspension for violating the HPA beginning October 1st — with the punishment conveniently taking effect after he got to show his horse at the industry’s main event. The consent decision that Dick agreed to with USDA was signed on December 20, 2018, and it’s a travesty that the suspension was delayed for nearly nine months to allow him to appear at The Celebration so that he was able to participate in the high-profile showring event.

Poor enforcement and delayed sentencing seem to be the new normal at USDA. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his own Office of Administrative Law Judges have agreed to dozens of consent decisions with serial violators of the Horse Protection Act. Some of the key players in the industry have been cited but their suspensions don’t take effect until 2022! Justice delayed, as the old saying goes, is justice denied.

Read More »

Natalie Jackson-Pritchard shows the horse Champagne Watchout in the World Grand Championship class on the final night of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, held in Shelbyville, Tenn., on Saturday night. Champagne Watchout was the only flat-shod (wearing no pads) horse to compete in the class.


September 5, 2019

Attendance at Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration fell to a shocking 50 year low — fewer than 25,000 actual attendance (persons occupying seats at the Celebration events).

Based on eye-witnesses and photographs, the 2019 Celebration attendance was under 25,000 for the ten (10) nights of the event.

A lifetime Celebration patron said, “A ten night event has essentially now become a one night horse show.” The 2019 Celebration actual attendance was paltry, except for the first Saturday and the second Friday and Saturday.


September 11, 2019

ALL top three Celebration Trainer BOYZ — Mr. Rodney Dick, Mr. Herbert Derickson and Mr. Gary Edwards — are about to go on USDA Federal Suspension for alleged “HORSE SORING” (“Big Lick” Animal Cruelty to “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses), along with the Walking Horse Trainers Association “Trainer Of The Year”, Mr. Phillip Trimble, it sure looks like the whole bowl is chock full of “bad apples”. Seay reported earlier on Rodney Dick (see above).

World Grand Champion “Big Lick” Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick upholds “Tennessee Tradition” of going on the USDA federal suspension list for alleged “horse soring” shortly after the conclusion of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. (via Clant Seay /


September 15, 2019

A network of local citizens, referred to as “Theta Net” provided Mr Seay’s publication with classified information that the “Big Lick” World Grand Champion — “I’m Mayhem” — was going to arrive under a veil of secrecy at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019, for the express purpose of Trainer BOYZ Mr. Rodney Dick exhibiting him at the Tennessee State Fair at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

Then, for whatever reason, “I’m Mayhem” was not exhibited, and a truck and trailer hauled him back to Finish Line Farm at Unionville, Tennessee, which is a suburb of Shelbyville. (via Clant Seay /


September 25, 2019

Almost 5,000 persons have signed a Change.Org Petition in the past three days asking 36 year old Mayor Chaz Molder to take down a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse that he approved being hung in the Columbia City Hall in mid-August 2019.

Molder had approved City Manager Tony Massey hanging a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse on the wall at Columbia City Hall about 30 days ago. (via Clant Seay /


October 17, 2019

The “TWHBEA Chickens” all came home to roost on Friday, October 17, 2019, when the 2019 TWHBEA Director Election Results were posted on the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association Facebook page. The key statistic is the number of “Ballots Mailed” — 3,027.

“This number conclusively proves that the continued decline and demise of TWHBEA (TN Walking Horse Registry) is solely due to it being in the clutches of the ‘Big Lick’ Animal Cruelty Racket”, writes Clant Seay.

In 2013, there were 6,955 TWHBEA members. The dramatic loss of 3,923 persons is a 56% decline in voting eligible members since 2013.

Seay contends, “The shocking decline of TWHBEA can be directly laid at the feet of Mr Steve Smith and his close associate Mr. Walter Chism. They totally own this disastrous situation. They took over TWHBEA in December 2013 thinking that they would go back to the ‘Big Lick’ glory days. They were 100% wrong.”

TWHBEA is denied membership in the prestigious American Horse Council. (via Clant Seay /


October 20, 2019

The city of Columbia, TN chooses the “right side of history” by removing a picture of a “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse from City Hall wall. (via Clant Seay /


December 30, 2019

S.1007, the U.S. Senate version of the anti horse soring PAST Act (identical to H.R.693), closes the First Session of the 116th Congress with 51 cosponsors.

View Cosponsors here »


Clant Seay reminds everyone that it’s not “a few bad apples”; rather the entire barrel of apples is rotten.

The “Big Lick” is no better than dog fighting and cock fighting. All who practice or support it are guilty because animal cruelty is absolutely necessary to create and maintain the “Big Lick” gait.

Horses do not have a voice, so we protest for them until “Big Lick” animal cruelty no longer exists.

“I have never been more proud of the Citizens Campaign animal welfare advocates, and all the people throughout America and around the world who support them, than I was this year at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. “WE, The People” — CCABLAC are clearly winning for ‘The Horses’. It’s truly heart warming to experience.”

(via Clant Seay /

Clant Seay is the founder and leader of “Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty” and a major mover and shaker in the campaign to eliminate horse soring.


What You Can Do

Senators Mitch McConnell and Marsha Blackburn will be employing their full arsenal of tricks to defeat S.1007 and keep the “Big Lick” alive.

They can be defeated, but it will “take a nation”. We are that “nation”.

Contact your two U.S. Senators today and ask them to cosponsor and remain steadfast in their support of S.1007 by promoting and voting for its passage.

Need help? Get it right here on Tuesday’s Horse.

Thank you everyone.

Premarin, doctors and conjugated equine estrogens

March for Premarin Horses featured image.
The Premarin family of HRT drugs is made from the urine of pregnant mares.

Updated: 1:50 pm

MORE and more doctors who prescribe Premarin® are arguing with us that the menopausal drug no longer contains conjugated equine estrogens derived from pregnant mare’s urine. Huh?

The idea doctors most often cite in support of this belief is what it says on the drugs’ packaging, that Premarin® is made from “conjugated estrogens” where it used to say “conjugated equine estrogens”. Removing the word equine is something Pfizer pressed the FDA to do shortly we believe after they merged with or acquired Wyeth pharamaceuticals, adding these drugs to their portfolio. The removal of the word equine is obviously having its desired effect.

Premarin sample package with words "conjugated estrogens". Google search result. Unattributed image.
Premarin sample package with words “conjugated estrogens”. Google search result. Unattributed image.

Well dear doctors. A quick check on the internet should assure you that the Premarin® family of drugs including Duavee (originally called Aprela) which we don’t hear much of, has and assuredly always will be made with CEE’s — conjugated equine estrogens.


Conjugated estrogens (CEs), or conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs), sold under the brand name Premarin (a contraction of “pregnant mares’ urine”) among others, is an estrogen medication which is used in menopausal hormone therapy and for various other indications. Read more »


PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens tablets, USP) for oral administration contains a mixture of conjugated estrogens purified from pregnant mares’ urine and consists of the sodium salts of water-soluble estrogen sulfates blended to represent the average composition of material derived from pregnant mares’ urine. Be sure to check out the side effects. They include endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disorders, breast cancer and probably dementia. Read more »


Conjugated Equine Estrogens (CEEs) are derived from the urine of pregnant mares and contain a blend of at least 10 estrogen derivatives. Marketed under the brand name Premarin, CEEs are the most frequently used form of conjugated estrogens.

All estrogen products mimic the effects of endogenous estrogens in the body which are responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics.

Conjugated estrogens, or Conjugated Equine Estrogens (CEEs) are composed of a mixture of the water-soluble salts of sulfate esters from estrone, equilin, 17 α-dihydroequilin, and other related steroids that are purified from pregnant horse urine. Available as the product Premarin (FDA), this combination of equine-derived estrogenic compounds is indicated for the following conditions: treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms and vulvovaginal atrophy associated with menopause; hypoestrogenism due to hypogonadism, castration or primary ovarian failure; palliation of metastatic breast cancer; palliation of advanced androgen-dependent carcinoma of the prostate; and for prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Read more »


Premarin is a pharmaceutical preparation containing a mixture of water-soluble, conjugated estrogens derived wholly or in part from URINE of pregnant mares or synthetically from ESTRONE and EQUILIN. It contains a sodium-salt mixture of estrone sulfate (52-62%) and equilin sulfate (22-30%) with a total of the two between 80-88%. Other concomitant conjugates include 17-alpha-dihydroequilin, 17-alpha-estradiol, and 17-beta-dihydroequilin. The potency of the preparation is expressed in terms of an equivalent quantity of sodium estrone sulfate. Read more »

See also NCBI » See also MedScape for Black Box Warnings such as increased risk of invasive breast cancer »

We get the picture. Surely doctors will now too.

Take Action

Dear Doctor Letter

Print and mail this letter to your doctor.

• PREMARIN_Dear_Doctor_Letter_UPDATED_October_2018_WORD (pdf, 4 pp)

Send this letter whether you are male or female. Doctors are known to use Premarin® intervenously to prevent bleeding during surgery.  So you may be treated with Premarin® without even knowing it or giving your permission. More to come on that so stay tuned here.

In the meantime, share far and wide. Save the horses!


The biggest challenge outside of the US is educating the Chinese who produce more pregnant mare’s urine and prescribe it more than anyone else in the world according to a recent source in China. And the Chinese love horse meat. So the two — Premarin® and horse slaughter — continues to go hand in hand.

Premarin tables. If you look closely you can see a legend in Chinese. Google image.
Premarin tables. If you look closely you can see a legend in Chinese. Google image.

Chinese version of Premarin cream.
Chinese version of Premarin cream.

In the meantime, doctors in the US are still prescribing and using the Premarin® family drugs at an alarming rate and seemingly unaware of the history and multiple dangers associated with this despicable drug.

Nothing has been, or ever will be, appealing or beneficial about the PMU industry and the Premarin family of drugs; they are clearly harbingers of death from both sides of the equation”.

Related Reading

•  Update! Alternatives to drugs made with pregnant mare’s urine by Jane Allin »

A look at a PMU farm in China and its not all about Pfizer »


Premstoppers  is a Horse Fund campaign to eliminate drugs made with pregnant mare’s urine and their decades old legacy of cruelty and death.

Learn more at the Horse Fund website »


Donate to Premstoppers »

Thank you!

Unsanctioned horse racing flourishing in rural Colorado

DENVER, Colorado. KDVR FOX31. Chris Halsne and Chris Koeberl reporting. (May 18, 2017)  — Hidden cameras capture doping, gambling and abuse of horses as regulators, politicians, and law enforcement turn a blind eye. Go to full investigative report »

It’s Easter Sunday outside the Deer Trail Rodeo grounds.

Armed teams of private security in flak jackets set up a road block searching passengers and vehicles. What they are looking for is unclear, but alcohol and beer are allowed to pass. An Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy drove by slowly on the street outside the stadium, but did not stop.

By early afternoon, approximately 500 spectators are lined up along metal railings near a long, manicured dirt track.

They were drawn here by an online advertising push from a company calling itself Parejeras Racing USA.

A Spanish language flyer promised 10 “match-races,” with prize money in the thousands of dollars.

At first glance, the horse races looked much like the legal, sanctioned ones held at Colorado’s only licensed horse race facility, Arapahoe Park in Aurora.

Jockeys, in colorful silk, mounted muscular Quarter horses draped with matching blankets embossed with large numbers. Handlers helped guide the horses and riders to a metal starting gate.

As the horses charged down the straight-away, it became apparent, there were few rules.

Whipping of the animals was harsh and nearly nonstop.

In one race, a jockey veered his horse into another competitor. The high-speed ramming pushed the thundering beasts toward spectators standing within inches of the track, including children.

In two other races, jockeys lost their balance and went tumbling among the hoofs of other race horses.

Problem Solvers, working with knowledgeable insiders, acquired hidden camera footage of not only the races, but all the activities happening just off the track.

Audio and video recordings show plenty of cash being wagered on horses. Continue reading at source »


Image source: KDVR.
Image source: KDVR FOX31.

The drugging of the horses is rampant and potentially lethal.

Hidden camera footage revealed a brown liquid being injected into a racehorse’s neck who moments later was entered into the starting gates and raced.

The liquid in the syringe was described as “ ‘typically a cocktail of stimulants’ to ramp up the horse’s heart – to get it to run faster”.

Equine veterinarian Bruce Connelly stated, “I’ve seen match-race horses run blind. Break themselves up because of stuff that was put in ‘em that shouldn’t have been.”

Local Law Enforcement

The problem is, the report points out, is that law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees some 1,400 pages of racing regulations, can take action only in sanctioned horse races. Adding “it seemed impossible to FOX31 that such a large event, widely advertised and attended by so many people could go unnoticed by local politicians.”

Oh, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by local politicians or law enforcement. They have either turned a blind eye to it like that Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy who drove slowly by and didn’t stop, or profited by it, or both.

What about the Mayor?

According to state records, Deer Trail mayor, Kent Vashus is the “registered agent” of the Deer Trail Jockey Club. The Jockey Club is one of the oldest non-profits in Colorado and owner of the Rodeo grounds where the unsanctioned Easter races were held.

Vashus admitted to the FOX31 Problem Solvers he had allowed Parejares Racing USA to use the Rodeo grounds for races in the past. Records show he approved at least fourteen “Mexican Horse Races” in Deer Trail since 2015.

There is much, much more including video reports. This is an in-depth undercover report and one of the best we have seen in a very, very long time.

Take Action Colorado Residents

The Governor

Contact the Governor and register your concern using his online form.  Ask him to take immediate action against unsanctioned horse racing and the horrific abuses of the horses used for it.  Notwithstanding the horses, onlookers including children are put at risk of injury and even death. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report with him —

Colorado General Assembly

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned May 10, 2017 and reconvenes January 10, 2018.

(1) Contact your individual legislator stating this is an important issue to you and you wish to see it on the next Session’s agenda. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report —

(2) Contact the following Colorado lawmakers urging them to place this issue on the next Session’s agenda and enact all laws necessary to make these unauthorized races illegal. Be sure to share the link to the full KDVR investigative report —

• Speaker of the House, Cristanta Duran (
• House Majority Leader, K.C. Becker (
• House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville (

• President of the Senate, Kevin Grantham (
• Senate Majority Leader, Chris Holbert (
• Senate Minority Leader, Lucia Garcia  (

Oh, and throw that unscrupulous Mayor of yours Kent Vashus out on his ear next election Deer Trail residents.

The image of the horse looking out from under the stands was taken at the Deer Trail Rodeo Grounds and is used here for illustrative purposes only. The image was not filed with the source report.

Horse protection advocates meet with Congressman Wednesday on soring rule

Stacked shoes of a sored Tennessee Walking Horse. HSUS image.

WASHINGDON, DC (Mar. 26, 2017) — Early on Sunday evening, Clant Seay, founder of Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty (CCABLAC), released a short video in which he affirmed an event scheduled for Wednesday in Washington, DC and an appearance with a congressman.

The group had previously scheduled the presentation of its petition containing 100,000 signatures to the White House and a subsequent press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, March 29.

Standing at the location of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Seay said that in addition to presenting the petition and holding the presser, the group will be meeting with Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida’s third congressional district, who is a large-animal veterinarian and former businessman.

The group will speak in the Edward R. Murrow Room at the National Press Club at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.  The address is 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20045.

The petition, posted several months ago, is showing 99,744 signatures as of press time and asks OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, as-yet-unconfirmed USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue, President Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump to publish a federal rule supportive of the Horse Protection Act of 1970 which would ban “pads and chains” used on Tennessee Walking Horses during horse shows.

In his announcement on Sunday, Seay said that Yoho plans to “reintroduce the PAST Act,” a proposal first raised in 2013 with bipartisan support which encountered a number of obstacles and did not become law.  “PAST” stands for “Prevent All Soring Tactics” and is intended to eliminate soring by assigning inspections only to those without a conflict of interest.  Continue reading »

The Post and Mail »


Stacked shoes of a sored Tennessee Walking Horse. HSUS image.