No humane treatment? No trophy, says Priscilla Presley.
[top image: Wikimedia Commons]
This week, Priscilla Presley announced that she would be taking back the Graceland Challenge Trophy, which has been awarded at the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN for over thirty years–unbeknownst to her.
She donated the trophy to the event to honor her ex-husband Elvis Presley’s memory, and intended it to only be awarded once, as part of a 1983 exhibition featuring Ebony’s Double, the last horse Elvis bought. She had no idea it had been the annual prize since then, as the competition has come under scrutiny for competitors using abusive soring techniques (intentionally injuring the horse’s legs to make them step higher).
“I can’t support the trophy when inhumane methods are used on these horses. I can’t support it,” she said to the The Tennessean.
Presley has been an outspoken advocate for Tennessee Walking Horses, working to raise awareness and end the practice of soring. She is a strong supporter of H.R. 1518, a bill that would strengthen the 1970 Horse Protection Act by increasing penalties for soring, outlawing stacked shoes and ankle chains, as well as reforming horse show inspections.
Since the office for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was closed for the holidays, the organization has not formally received Presley’s request yet. However, CEO Mike Inman has stated that he hopes to talk to Presley, saying, “I believe she’d come to a different conclusion.”
What do you make of the controversy, Horse Nation?
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