2017 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration
Compiled by Nancy Brannon, Ph.D.
The news following the 79th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, August 23 - September 2, 2017, revealed the suspension and fine on this year’s winning trainer/exhibitor for violations of the Horse Protection Act (HPA).
Bill Callaway, who rode Gen’s Black Maverick to the 2017 World Grand Championship, began an eight-month suspension – from September 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018 – from any participation in horse shows and was fined $1,100 under a Consent Decision and Order with APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture), filed 3/29/2017, with allegations that Callaway violated the Horse Protection Act (HPA), January 12, 2017. Complete information is on HPA Docket number 17-0169 (link below). In response to this, Callaway told the Shelbyville Times-Gazette: “When I went into this, I felt great about my situation. They offered a great deal, a small period of suspension.”
The brother of Bill Callaway, John Allan Callaway, was also suspended for these same eight months and fined $1,100 under a Consent Decision and Order with APHIS, entered 3/29/2017. HPA Docket number is 17-0170. An archived USDA/APHIS website on enforcement actions, January 2017 states: “USDA’s administrative law judges and judicial officer issued decisions and orders under the HPA involving the following persons: HPA Docket No. 14-0017; John Allan Callaway II, dba Allan Callaway Stables.”
Gen’s Black Maverick is a black Tennessee Walking Horse stallion. He was sired by Gen’s Black Gin, out of the mare Cash For Roses. Gen’s Black Maverick is owned by Keith and Lorraine Rosbury and Maple Crest Farm of Bell Buckle, Tennessee and trained by Bill Callaway of Shelbyville, Tennessee. Gen’s Black Maverick has competed in the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration multiple times; he and Callaway entered the World Grand Championship in 2014 and 2015. Both years, I Am Jose was the winner, but in 2014 Gen's Black Maverick placed second – the Reserve World Grand Champion – and in 2015 he placed third.
Bill and John Allan Callaway are the grandsons of Mrs. Adolphus Sanford (Helen) Callaway and children of Allan and Karen Callaway of Shelbyville, TN.
Bill and John Allan Callaway operate out of their father’s stable, d/b/a Allan Callaway Stables. Callaway told MTSU Sidelines editor: “My dad’s been training horses since 1973, and I grew up watching him, and then my brother went to training, and as soon as I got out of college, I stepped in and went to training with them. I was born and raised in the horse business. …I am very blessed with the opportunity to work with my father and my brother. We’re a team deal, and I can’t do one thing without those guys.”
The Callaway brothers have a history of multiple HPA violations. HPA data records show that John Allan Callaway has 19 HPA violations dating back to 2002, and Bill has five previous violations.
On 8/25/2015, John Allan had two violations on the horse Tennessee State Line at the 77th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration; ticket # TN160143-AC. He had two violations on the horse An Apocalypse at the 77th Celebration; ticket # TN 160169-AC. Bill and Allan had two violations (one each) on the horse Lindsay Lohan at the 77th Celebration; ticket # TN160108-AC.
Furthermore, at the 77th annual Celebration (2015), John Allan had violations on horses Popcorn Sutton (ticket #160076-AC); Spot Light On Parole (ticket #160159-AC); and Texas Joe Black (ticket #160086-AC).
At the 76th annual Celebration (2014), John Allan had violations on He’s Starbucks, scar rule and foreign substance, (ticket #TN150068-AC).
At the 74th annual Celebration (2012), John Allan had violations on Cheatin Danger and The Prime Suspect. He was cited for sore horses, resulting in a formal complaint (Docket No. 14-0017). He was fined $1,100.
In 2014 John Allan had violations on Epic, 8/21/2014 (ticket #s TN 150168-AC and TN 150138-AC).
John Allan had foreign substance violations in 2012 on the horse Godfather By Ultra Copy at the 2012 Gulf Coast Charity Celebration (ticket #FL120272-AC). He had a violation on Reflection in Gin at the Tunica Fall Classic Horse Show, 11/9/2012 (ticket #MS130010-AC).
John Allan had a sore horse at the 71st annual TWH Celebration (2009) (ticket # VA10002AC).
John Allan Callaway was named 2015 Performance Trainer of the Year by the Walking Horse Trainers Association.
Bill Callaway had violations on She’s Short On Cash at the Liberty Lions Club Show, 6/21/2013 (SHOW ticket #40512).
John Allan also had a violation on Jose’s Macho Man at this show, 6/21/2013 (SHOW ticket #40155).
John Allan had a violation on Power Strokes at the Woodbury Lions Club Horse Show, 7/6/2013 (SHOW ticket #29817).
Bill Callaway had a violation on Jose’s Gunpowder at the Columbia Spring Jubilee, 6/1/2012. The horse was sore on one foot (SHOW ticket # CSJ001).
John Allan had a violation on Out All Night at the Celebration Spring Fun Show, 5/26/2011 (SHOW ticket #29456).
Bill Callaway had a violation on An American Threat at the 2011 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, 8/26/ 2011; the horse was sore on one foot (SHOW ticket #29620).
John Allan had a violation on Cheatin’ Danger at the 2011 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, 8/31/2011 (SHOW ticket #19740).
Bill Callaway was cited for sore horse, Absolute Proof, 8/28/09 and 9/04/09 at the 71st TWH National Celebration (2009) (ticket # VA10002-AC). Absolute Proof was also cited under the name Ella Meghan Callaway. Date of the order was 1/22/2013.
According to a SHOW document dated 3-31-2012, Gen’s Black Maverick, shown at the Mississippi Charity Horse Show by Joe Cotton, was found to be sore on the left foot.
Records show that owners Keith and Lorraine Rosbury also have several HPA violations.
8/23/2008: Keith: horse: Don Diego; sore, case # TN08070-AC, date of order: 4/11/2012, 70th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration
8/30/2010: Keith: foreign substance violation on He’s Top Priority
Keith: horse: He’s Top Priority; sore; incident date 10/23/2010; case # KY11012=AC; date of order 4/11/2012, East Tennessee Walking Horse Association Fall Classic Horse Show
Lorraine: horse: He’s Top Priority; foreign substance violation; incident date 8/30/2010
Lorraine: horse: Willie Twilight; foreign substance violation; incident date 8/31/2012; substances: Sulfur and Octyl methoxycinnamate; case # TN130248-AC; date of order 4/26/2013.
Lorraine: horse: Don Diego, sore; incident date 8/23/2008; case # TN08070-AC; date of order 4/11/2012, 70th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Lorraine: horse: He’s Top Priority; sore; incident date 10/23/2010; case # KY11012-AC; date of order 4/11/2012 East Tennessee Walking Horse Association Fall Classic Horse Show
Lorraine: horse: Beverly Hills Ritz; sore, 1 foot; SHOW; 73rd annual National Walking Horse Trainers’ Show, 3/17-19/2011. Lorraine was the owner/exhibitor of the horse at the time of the violation. That horse was cited multiple times over the years, including once in 2010 with Jimmy McConnell as the exhibitor/trainer.
Available records show that the Callaway brothers and the owners of this year’s World Grand Champion all have multiple violations of the Horse Protection Act. But it is becoming more difficult to find current information about HPA violations, which is still a federal crime.
In February of this year, the Trump administration ordered removal of the HPA violations data records from the USDA/APHIS website. I was told by Richard A. Bell, Public Affairs Specialist at USDA, that the records, once available online, must now be requested through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application, which could take several weeks.
In an article published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on September 16, 2017, Times Editor Pam Sohn questioned the timing of Callaway’s suspension. She wrote: “Here’s the kicker: The suspension stems from a complaint filed in January (2017), according to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. Calloway told ...reporter Jason Reynolds that he couldn’t afford to fight the case so he made a deal with USDA. And apparently part of that deal bought him time to win the biggest walking horse title in the world. …Once the suspension is up, he’s free to train and compete again.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) have both condemned the practice of soring and supported the APHIS rule that would have banned pads and action devices used in conjunction with chemical irritants to create pain when horses move. “The changes this rule would implement are simple and necessary steps to promote the welfare of horses,” wrote Dr. Thomas F. Meyer, President of the AVMA, and Dr. R. Reynolds Cowles, President of the AAEP.
Consent Order against Bill Callaway: https://www.oaljdecisions.dm.usda.gov/sites/default/files/12-Bill%20Callaway%20-%20HPA-17-0169%20-%203.29.17.pdf
Link to the Consent Order against John Allan Callaway: https://www.oaljdecisions.dm.usda.gov/sites/default/files/13-John%20Allen%20Callaway%20-%20HPA-17-0170%20-%203.29.17.pdf
Meyer, Dr. Thomas F. and Dr. R. Reynolds Cowles. “Don’t Let Horse Welfare Become A Partisan Issue.” Jan. 17, 2017 The Hill Blog. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/316546-dont-let-horse-welfare-become-a-partisan-issue
Sohn, Pam. “Did USDA Just Condone More Horse Soring?” Chattanooga Times Free Press. www.timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/times/story/2017/sep/16/sohn-did-usdjust-condone-more-horse-soring/449335/
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