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Champagne Watchout steps out

August 10th, 2006, 11:05 AM
This isn't a 100% happy story, but I found it very inspirational. :)

Tennessee Walking Horses that compete in the big licks competitions are often "encouraged" to step absurdly high through various forms of abuse known as "soring", which can involve putting painful chemicals on the horses hooves or cutting the hoof down until the quick is touching the ground and then forcing the horse to walk over something hard like BBs. And so on. It's horrifying and disturbing that people who raise and supposedly love horses would do these things just for a scrap of blue ribbon. :sad:

Well, one family decided to put their flat-shod, unsored horse, Champagne Watchout, into the ring with the "big boys" in 1999.

Their story is amazing. It encompasses death threats, bribes, arrest attempts, corruption, and even the KKK. (Champagne Watchout's owner is a black guy married to a white woman.)

The story is very long, but well worth reading. If nothing else, watch the video of Champagne Watchout in the ring with the other horses. He'll be easy to pick out . . . He's the one who's not goosestepping. ;)

The video, split into three parts: