Commend Horse Rights Advocate for Bravery

Target: Marty Irby

Goal: Commend animal rights supporter for advocating for the welfare of Tennessee Walking Horses.

Animal welfare advocate Marty Irby received threatening phone calls after he testified on Capitol Hill about the horrific abuses Tennessee Walking Horses are subjected to. These horses are known for their high stepping gait called the “big lick,” a gait that is unnatural to them. Recently, testimonials and video footage have uncovered the use of soring, where horse trainers place harsh chemicals upon the horse’s hooves, wrap them in plastic, and then weigh the hooves down with chains. This technique forces the horses to adopt the characteristic gait.

Not even a day after Irby gave his testimony, he received threats from a former childhood friend and Tennessee Walking Horse trainer named Chip Weddington, over Facebook. “I don’t associate myself with b***h made mother f*****s who sing like little f*****g birds to the f*****g [Humane Society of the United States] and everybody else … I hope your gay a** gets what’s coming to you soon!!!” If Irby ever approached him, Weddington said he would “knock ur a** smooth out!!!” Weddington was suspended from the Tennessee Walking Horse shows for a year, after inspectors found that he violated the Horse Protection Act by practicing soring on his horses.

Irby testified that the act of soring is a widespread problem among those who have Tennessee Walking Horses. A former competitor and champion of the show himself, Irby became disgusted by the cruel abuse inflicted upon the horses. By becoming an advocate for the horses, Irby has lost his marriage, his contracting business, friends, and is no longer on speaking terms with his father. Irby is hoping that the industry will no longer be self regulated, which allows this abuse to continue. Lawmakers are working on a bill to require licensed inspectors, who have no ties to the industry, to perform examinations upon horses. Commend this man for standing up to the rights of horses in the face of adversity.


Dear Marty Irby,

I wish to thank you for standing up for the rights of Tennessee Walking Horses by testifying at Capitol Hill. I realize that because of your testimony, you have been threatened by a childhood friend. I ask that you do not let such threats get in the way of doing the right thing for these horses. I am grateful that someone within the industry realizes the harm in soring, and doesn’t allow it to continue merely because of profits.

I hope new legislation will halt this abusive practice and ensure that these horses are treated with respect and love. I also hope you will do everything in your power to pass this legislation, as these horses’ only advocates are us humans.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Farli Trantorian via flickr

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  1. Cage Free VS. Free Range? Cage free is misleading, it leads people to believe that the chickens are free but they are not, there are a lot of chickens crowded and packed in one huge cage. On the other hand, free range chickens are those that roam free. Many times I have asked people whether they know the different between the two and 95% of them do not know the different!!!

    Cage free is NOT free range. Cage free has cage, one big cage not cubicles. Remember, when you get a chance choose FREE RANGE, which means the chicken roams free. However, cage free is one step better than cubicles.

    • Even the free range chickens get locked up like if they were in prison! So dont trust companies that say cage free or free range. Its still the same as any other chicken the only diff. Is that free range ones get a tiny bit more space. Thats it! They dont roam free!

    • Here’s a solution to all this speculation and questions: GO VEGAN. the only true way to make sure you are not supporting cruelty, abuse and torture

  2. Irena Franchi says:

    Commend Horse Rights Advocate for Bravery

  3. I think Marty did the absolute right thing! Hes really brave for speaking up. The childhood ” friend” is so afraid of being caught abusing horses thats why hes attacking Marty. Hope marty doesnt listen to any threat and keep speakin for animals!

  4. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Your the man! You done right,
    and a hero you are!

  5. I applaud you Marty Irby. Threats such as that w@nker Chip Weddington, I’d smash him to the ground!

  6. What a little man Weddington is! He should not have the gift of being around any horse, he does not deserve this. i cannot believe that this person considers himself to be a horse trainer. Although there are alot of losers out there that call themselves horse trainers. Keep away from them!!

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