Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tennessee Walking Horse, Mitch McConnell and Attributes - Part 3

In a September 2, 2008 article Tuesday's Horse reported that Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, "pressured the U.S. Department of Agriculture for years to back off its enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, even threatening to cut the agency’s funding, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader."

McConnell backed the industry’s demand for its own inspectors — paid by the industry, drawn from the ranks of horse owners and trainers — to have a greater role in soring inspections, rather than the independent USDA veterinarians who uncover and report soring more frequently.
At the same time, the industry gave McConnell tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and hired his Senate chief of staff, Niels Holch, as its Washington lobbyist and attorney.

Tuesday's Horse quotes the highly respected Donna Benefield, administrative director of the Horse Protection Commission, a USDA-certified inspection organization in Gallatin, Tenn.

“McConnell probably has caused more problems for horse protection single-handedly than any other person. He set the cause of horse protection back by years,” said Donna Benefield.
“He has supporters here (in Tennessee) — financial supporters, if not people who can vote for him — who are doing illegal things and don’t want to get caught,” Benefield said. “It’s very important to them that the law be loosely enforced. Sen. McConnell has been their champion in that.”

McConnell has consistently voted against tighter regulations in the industry.

Part 1: The Natural Gaited Tennessee Walking Horse

Part 2: The Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse


The following organiztions have been in the forefront in trying to put a stop to the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. I owe a debt of gratitude to them for trying to protect these beautiful horses.

American Horse Defense Fund

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH)

Stop Inhumane Soring - a petition

The Humane Society of the U.S. - multiple links to articles on the TWH

The National Walking Horse Association

Article: Equus Special Report - Why Soring Persists


  1. I'm trying to imagine a human being causing this much pain to the grand beast standing in front of them and actually enjoying it... no, can't see it. This is a sick bunch and that Sen McConnell is amongst them; a public leader?
    Excuse me while I get sick....

  2. Did a little exploring and found an NC horse board where after a long thread this comment was left:"I will go home now and get my bullet proof vest in case the show barn trainers are reading this."
    Seems TN isn't the only place where you could be "sanctioned" for speaking out against Big Lick practices.
    Scary stuff but I'm going to find out who among my representatives I need to contact. This story is heartbreaking.

  3. I figure people who do this kind of thing must abuse their spouses and kids. And if both spouses are trainers or inspectors, it must be pure hell in their homes.

    McConnell is pure unadulterated slime.

  4. Good for you, Rocky. I hope others will do likewise. There is a link

  5. oops - There is a link to a petition drive. I don't know how strong it is but I think it just got started.

  6. What a piece of work. This is just another reason for me to actively dislike Mitch McConnell. He would sell his soul for a campaign buck; wait, he already has.

  7. At the same time, the industry gave McConnell tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations

    Bribery, plain and simple. He's helping perpetrate cruelty for the sake of a paycheck.

    At other times and places, such a person might have been a concentration-camp officer, or an official of the Inquisition.

    That settles it -- the blobfish does not deserve to be compared with such a creature.

  8. I wish I could say McConnell is the only whore available to the TWH industry but he isn't. No southern politician is going to vote for tighter regulations for the same reasons the insurance whores voted against HC. I guess that makes McConnell an all around whore, eh?

    Hillbilly Report has a heck of a video up about their Senator's porky pies.

  9. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said McConnell was one of the 15 most corrupt politicians in Congress. All ties in with what you said.

  10. Interesting Holte. I'll tuck that away for future reference.