HORSE-CRUELTY ACTIVISTS APPLAUD OUTCOME
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 4, 2018) — On December 29, founder of Concerned Citizens Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty (CCABLAC) Clant Seay reported that an official in Panama City Beach, FL “confirmed this week that there are no plans for a ‘Big Lick’ Tennessee Walking Horse Show to be held at the Frank Brown Park in 2018. The center ring gazebo will also be removed.”
In a video, Seay additionally showed that the “center ring fence” at the park is no longer there.
Last year’s Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show was the 19th consecutive year of the event, although for one year, the show was held in Tennessee rather than Florida.
Seay and his supporters attended the horse show in both 2016 and 2017, held annually in late April, to protest what they claim is the competing of horses which have been chemically-treated, or “sored,” in order to produce the gait they call the “Big Lick.”
An abundance of information is available on the internet detailing the process of “soring,” which has reportedly been passed down through generations of horse trainers primarily in the Southeast. Shelbyville, TN is home to the “National Celebration,” whose management Seay claims is aware that the horses entered into the competition have been sored to produce the desired high-stepping gait.
“Soring” was also featured on a 2012 ABC News broadcast researched by Brian Ross.
National Celebration CEO Mike Inman told The Post & Email in response to our inquiry that all horses in the competition are meticulously checked for signs of soring beforehand and again for those advancing to the last stages of the event.
Soring was declared “cruel and inhumane” by the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970 and precludes the transport, auction or sale of a sored horse. However, enforcement of the law is difficult since insufficient funding precludes the attendance of USDA inspectors at every horse show and auction held throughout the country.
Seay has posted a myriad of educational videos on his Facebook page about the pain and injury caused to horses by soring, which involves applying kerosene, diesel fuel or mustard oil to the pasterns, then further irritating the horse’s sensitized skin with chains. Added to that are “stacks,” or multi-level shoes, which sometimes contain sharp objects, causing the horse to barely touch his sore front hooves to the ground as it walks.
In both 2016 and 2017, Seay addressed the Panama City Beach Tourism Development Council (TDC) about the perils and pain of soring, asking that the Council deny the allocation of funds to the event. Last year, the TDC withheld $25,000 which had been allocated the year before.
In a statement on his BillyGoBoy blog responding to the new development in Panama City Beach, Seay said, “We applaud the leadership in Panama City Beach, FL who once they fully realized the harm that could result to their beautiful destination resort by being associated with Animal Cruelty, quietly and effectively took actions behind the scenes to end it”. They always listened attentively and I believe with our polite persistence we won them over. Everything was stacked against us when we began this effort in February 2016.”
Seay and his supporters are working to eradicate the process of soring completely by protesting visibly at events where sored horses allegedly compete. Tennessee Walking Horse shows generally begin in May and conclude in early November.