Listen Up! Episode #14: Our Work with Priscilla Presley to End Horse Abuse, Fulfilling the Passion of Elvis

Nearly a decade ago, I made a new friend named Priscilla, our paths having merged in an improbable circumstance. From within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, I had been working for years to curb the practice of soring — intentionally inflicting pain to horses’ front feet to create an artificial high-step known as the “Big Lick.” I had been a latecomer to the fight since many others had pushed to end the inhumane practice in the Volunteer State. The most prominent of the advocates for that reform had been Priscilla, who had been inspired by her late husband’s deep love for Tennessee Walkers. That man was Elvis Aaron Presley.

Five decades earlier, Elvis and Priscilla had purchased a Tennessee Walking Horse to fulfill his passion and give “The King” a safe haven — away from the lights, the music, and the stardom. And during that same era, a U.S. Senator from Maryland named Joseph D. Tydings worked to pass the Horse Protection Act — to protect those same horses Elvis sought out.

Of all the things I’ve learned about Elvis Presley since then — one stands out: his love for the horses, and one named Ebony’s Double — an offspring of the 1962 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion Ebony Masterpiece. Priscilla has continued to ensure that Elvis Presley’s legacy include the Tennessee Walking Horse and bringing an end to soring is a great part of that legacy.

Today’s episode of  Animal Wellness features a never aired throwback interview with Priscilla, and our host Joseph Grove on what would have been Elvis’ 83rd birthday. We felt it was quite fitting for today on what would have normally been the annual Kentucky Derby day. With all the breakdowns and doping we’ve heard about in horse racing, we thought it was a good day to discuss bringing an end to any kind of mistreatment of American equines.

We discuss the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act that would permanently end the practice of soring, and that we’re still working hard to get signed into law, and the Horseracing Integrity Act that would end the rampant practice of doping American racehorses, and create a uniform nation standard for drug testing in the U.S.

I hope you’ll listen and enjoy this terrific and memorable discussion.

The Animal Wellness Podcast is a regular segment that not only delivers timely information but offers insights and analysis you won’t hear anywhere else. We’ll offer in-depth discussions of local, state, or federal policy and elections, and the effects of laws and regulations on corporations. We hope you’ll listen today, and also check out earlier episodes:


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