Got a call today from a lady who is a friend of my moms.Her husband is a farrier and he is out there and the celebration this year is in jeopardy of being shut down before it ends.One class 8 out of the 13 were disqualified.Another class the 2and place horse was disqualified and they are all dropping like flies going into inspections.
If you know the horse is going to be inspected,why do it? I mean isn't it just common seance not to soar these horses if you are going to be watched.If collectively they all stop then they would all be in the same advantage in the ring and not be fined.
I'm not saying this is true of everyone, it certainly isn't, however, there are a lot of people that are bought and paid for. That includes inspectors and judges. As more and more people are made aware of soring practices the pressure is on to catch the folks who are doing it. There's more personal accountablity, IMHO.
I knew a man who used to show big lick years ago. I've seen pictures of his stallion and OMG, gorgeous doesn't begin to describe him (the horse, not the guy, lol). You're old timey looking tw, just beautiful. He would talk about the special recipe of mustard paste, kerosene, chains, stewarding and things of that nature that were used to "enhance" gait. He also was very proud and protective about it, he very much believed in it and we used to get in some whoppers of arguements over it.
The reason he got out of it was the judging and unfairness of it all. He'd say that even if a horse wasn't all that great, it was pinned first before even entering the arena. Mainly due to who knew who, who trained for who, etc. So, he got away from it all.
I think old traditions die hard. People train a certain way, have been taught that for generations and don't want anything to change. There is a LOT of money surrounding Celebration and it drives people,, trainers, politicians, etc to turn a blind eye. There's also a lot of animosity amongst the natural gaited folks and the people who sore..remember a few years ago the National Guard was called in and some of the inspectors were threatened and needed protection. People were hauling out of there left and right, not even bringing their horses into the arena if one of their buddies was disqualified.
As with any controversial subject, there is hype and sensationalism on both sides. I have no dog in this fight, I just really disagree with soring. I'm not the type to fight tooth and nail with somebody over it (exception being the guy I knew and he'd bring it up since I had a tw). A good source of information is Friends of Sound Horses, or FOSH, if you're interested.
Thanks for the update...I still like to hear what's going on in that world!!