The Big Lick began with Talk of the Town, who won the WGC in '50, '51, and '52 (the only three time winner). To compete the other trainers needed to either breed for this movement or otherwise get it. Training and action devices were the two non-breeding barn choices. They opted for the action devices because they were cheap and effective in creating a winning movement.
Time progressed and the movement became more extreme. By the mid-'50s soring up a horse to achieve the Big Lick was common. Sports Illustrated
did an expose' in the late '50s, documenting the cruelty that was used. Practices did not change. In 1968 LIFE
magazine did a full photo spread showing the cruel practices in use. The result was a promise to clean up and the first HPA. Practices did not change. Multiple times since then the cruel practices of the Big Lick trainers were exposed and each time a promise was made to end them. Nothing changed.
So here we are, a half century after the first public discussion of these practices and nothing has changed. Nothing will change as long as the Celebration puts bums in the seats at Calsonic.