Three ThorSport trainers - Chad Williams, Aaron Self, and Robert Cortner - have all received "tickets" for soring horses but are still riding, training, and soring. Our previous case demonstrated deep and pervasive corruption within the elite circles of the sport, and this investigation clinches the case.
The federal Horse Protection Act of 1970 and the laws of several states prohibit soring, but the penalties are so weak and loopholes so gaping that scofflaw trainers gamble that they can sidestep law enforcement action.
Over a period of more than 50 years the Big Lick faction of the Tennessee walking horse industry has gotten away with routine crippling of horses as a core training strategy. They have become addicted to the grotesque, unnatural Big Lick gait.
The current enforcement of the Horse Protection Act - which relies on a failed system of industry self-policing - just isn't working, as the USDA's Inspector General concluded in its 2010 audit. Here's all the additional evidence that Congress needs to justify swift action to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R.3268/S.1121 - legislation to upgrade the existing federal law. Sadly, Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mitch McConnell, R-KY. have introduced legislation essentially drafted by the horse soring industry as a diversion. Their bill promises no meaningful reform, and is simply amounts to a legislative blocking maneuver.