The reason is money. The Big Lick horses bring the biggest bucks. To create the gait you need to either breed for it (a very
expensive and long
term process) or you can "nail it on." Since nails are cheaper than years of breeding guess what wins?
While much of the energy has been expended on the Big Lick, the Plantation and Light Shod Divisions need a serious housecleaning as well. Some of the sorest horses I've ever seen have been flat shod. Indeed, to get the "JV Big Lick" that wins in those divisions soring is even more
Once Upon A Time, I was told that, while the Performance TWH's are only 1% of the industry, they represent 90% of the money
I don't have statistics to back that up but when folks like the Baskin family (as in Baskin-Robbins ice cream) are heavily involved in Walking Horses, I can easily believe that.
I can't find it now; I should've bookmarked the Scoop article (that I THINK originally may have come from TWHBEA) where the soon-to-be new CEO of the Celebration alluded to the fact that he intends to raise up the very damaged reputation of the Performance Walkers<--those are my words but essentially what he said.
That tells me, the packages aren't going anywhere but there will be an attempt to clean house
Point-being, sounds like "business as usual" will eventually come back around but, I hope I'm wrong
I do know for fact that Ford Motor Company pulled their sponsorship. There are no Ford banners, no trucks, no booth, nada/zip/nothing with Blue Oval on it at the Celebration.
I've also heard attendance has been down by half every night, so far.
That is not only a shame for something that's been a tradition in this county since 1939, it's a shame for the income the Celebration is capable of generating for this rural-and-not-wealthy-county.
I could say I hope those $%^&*& trainers are happy but those trainers that practice soring, don't give a flying-flip about anyone but themselves to begin with.
How's that ball cap read and the song go? "you were born an a**h*l* and you'll be one all your life"---------------------