Anti-Soring Leader Releases Series of Articles on the History of Tennessee Walking Horse Abuse, PAST Act, and State of USDA Regulations

This week Animal Wellness Action released the fifth and final in a series of articles published by Washington, D.C.’s that walk readers in the equine industry and animal protection space through the six-decade-long plague of soring that’s marred the American show horse world since the 1950’s.

Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by means of applying caustic chemicals such as croton oil or kerosene, or by cutting the horses’ hooves down to the bloodline, known as “the quick” and then driving nails into that soft tissue, making it hurt when they touch the ground in order to achieve an artificial high-stepping gait known as the “Big Lick.”

The series, authored by Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association, and former 8-time world champion rider and driver who was recently honored by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, II for his work to end soring opens with a short piece and general overview of the issue and transitions through the history of the practice and breed, and the past decades of attempts to end soring that continue to be thwarted by parties on both sides of the issue.

“It’s time for everyone to lay down their swords and get something practical done to alleviate the pain that’s scourged these horses for more than half a century,” wrote Marty Irby in his final comments of the blog series. “This is not that hard. Lawmakers who have led on this issue and the key stakeholders just need to get together and recognize that 90 percent of the loaf is better than no loaf at all.”

The series of articles can be found below at the hyperlinks to

Horse Shows Where ‘Big Lick’ Abuse Runs Rampant Begin Soon

 Big Lick Animal Cruelty: ‘The Gloves Are Off Now’

 Big Lick Animal Cruelty: Win One for Joe

 Big Lick Animal Cruelty: Oliver Potts & USDA’s Regulatory Debacle

 Big Lick Animal Cruelty: PAST Act Compromise Will End Soring

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies, and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Contact: Marty Irby, 202-821-5686 |

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