11:55am

Thu July 17, 2014
Opinion

Opposing views of the PAST Act: Walking Horse Trainers in Their Own Words

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A bill that veteran Tennessee Walking Horse trainers say will destroy their industry recently acquired its 300th House of Representatives sponsor.

The PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act would outlaw the use of the mechanical devices - oversized shoes and leg chains - that industry insiders say they need to achieve the high-stepping “big lick” gait that’s become synonymous with the Walking Horse.

The Walking Horse industry puts millions of dollars into the Middle Tennessee economy each year. So with Shelbyville’s 76th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration looming on the horizon, WMOT News decided to examine the ongoing Walking Horse controversy from the viewpoint of trainers who both support and oppose the PAST Act.

Cat Dye is a horse trainer at Black Anvil Equestrian in Winchester, Tennessee. Dye grew up riding Walking Horses in competition. She currently trains young riders using Walking Horse mounts. She favors passage of the PAST Act. Here is Cat Dye in her own words.

Mickey McCormick is the current president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Trainers Association. His stables are located just south of Shelbyville, Tennessee. McCormick is vehemently opposed to the passage of the PAST Act, asserting that it will destroy the Walking Horse industry. Here is Mickey McCormick in his own words.

EDITOR'S NOTE: WMOT understands that the training of Tennessee Walking Horse is debated with great passion by horse lovers on both sides of the issue. We would ask that anyone commenting on this story do so respectfully. Please discuss the issues involved without making personal references.