Need for Horse Security Is Disheartening
My business is in security, and my business partner has a history in showing Tennessee Walkers. On a recent trip to Kentucky, we toured several of the great farms that produced the legends of horse racing. Our guide was an expert in horse racing; horse breeding, and she not only gave us background information on the farms and their horses, but inside information as well. One of the topics of discussion was the growing need for security in horse barns and on race day.
Unfortunately, for every great group of people in the horse industry, there is someone who must cheat their way to the winner’s circle, and the way to cheat involves harming the animal. We have all heard horror stories: soring in Tennessee Walkers, injecting horses with substances, beatings, and more. Our host told us of a horse that was injected with poisonous snake venom to ruin its racing chances. My partner discussed a fine show prospect that had acid thrown over its hooves. My own riding was limited to showing as a child, so I was never exposed to such evil and abuse. I was appalled.
I moved to Nashville in 2006; I learned the show rules and regulations were changing for Celebration, the nationwide event for Tennessee Walkers, due to the poor sportsmanship of a few who were abusing the breed in the name of winning, ruining it for all. So much money and popularity has created a maelstrom in Celebration. It has no longer become a fair competition, but a dog-eat-dog (or horse-stomp-horse?) of ousting the competition. Stable managers and owners had to place security in show barns to protect their horses and property from sabotage. We, as human beings, should be embarrassed.
Horses give us their hearts and souls. They jump barricades, they race in circles, they work, and they lend ‘hugs’ and warm hearts. Horses provide transportation, they heal broken souls and minds in therapy when nothing else can. They led us into battle to destroy one another, giving their last breath, so we could win a war. Since the first horse was large enough to ride, they have pulled, pushed, lifted, carried, and given what they had to provide for mankind. Our civilization would not have survived without this mighty creature. How could you harm a horse?
When I started my own security company, I decided to create a department that would protect horses. I placed someone on our Advisory Board who had worked with horses all of their life, who had true compassion for horses, who could train our officers in ‘horse sense.’ As part of our services we now offer security for barns and shows, special events and fund raisers that involve horses. From priceless thoroughbreds to rescue animals, my staff will pledge to watch over these creatures with loving hearts and careful eyes.
I hope, one day soon, we all wake up and realize the need for security in a barn is nonsensical. No one should consider harming a horse. Competition should be friendly, fair, and equal. No animal should be harmed in the name of money or jealousy: particularly, an animal as great and distinctive as the noble horse.
Judith Yates is the Director of Amri Security Services