(ANIMAL ABUSE) Pepsi, the iconic soda brand, will no longer sponsor the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration due to horrific horse abuse that surfaced in a video last week. The video, given to ABC News from the Humane Society of the United States, displays trainers openly beating a horse over the head, and the abusive practice of “soring,” applying chemicals to horses feet to produce an exaggerated gait known as ‘Big Lick.’ Read on to learn more about this horrific finding, watch the video, and do your part to help end horse abuse. — Global Animal
Dr. Clem Dussault of the Office of Inspector General and veterinarian Angie Lingl investigate for evidence of soring at the stables of well-known Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell in Fayette County, Tenn. The undercover investigation led to felony criminal indictments against McConnell, for multiple violations of the federal Horse Protection Act. Photo credit: Humane Society for the United States

Ecorazzi, Allyson Koerner

The popular soda company Pepsi has recently pulled its sponsorship from Tennessee’s Walking Horse National Celebration, a prestigious horse show, after startling and horrific videos surfaced of horse cruelty, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Last week, ABC News revealed exclusive footage of a horse, which was part of the show, being beaten over and over again by a trainer. The video was given to the news station by the Humane Society of the United States, after the organization conducted an undercover investigation.

“We have ended our sponsorship of the event,” Vincent Bozek, a Pepsi spokesman, revealed on Thursday. No further comment was given for the cancellation.

Please help the victims of this "prestigious" horse show by signing the petition to help protect the Tennessee Walking horses.

The exact reason why Pepsi pulled ads was not answered, but according to an expert on the Tennessee horse show, whose identity remains under wraps, it’s because of the video, which illustrates “soring.” This abusive horse practice is “the intentional infliction of pain to [horses] feet and legs to produce an exaggerated gait known as ‘Big Lick,’” the HSUS explains.

An animal activist filmed the footage in 2011, which shows horses being beaten with wooden sticks and poked with electric cattle prods. Chemicals were applied to the horses’ legs, while their ankles were wrapped with plastic to intensify pain.

The president of the horse show, Dr. Stephen Mullins, said “For any animal to be abused like that … I totally disagree with that.”

Keith Dane, the HSUS director of equine protection, fully supports Pepsi’s decision and said, “This procedure of soring has been going on far too long . . . the industry itself has been allowed to self-police and with very poor results.”

Dane also revealed the HSUS sent someone in to film, because the Tennessee Walking Horse’s self-policing strategies of “soring” were not working.

Doyle Meadows, the chief executive of the Tennessee horse show, said in a statement, “The Celebration has worked extremely hard over recent years to gain the trust of our corporate partners and we would do nothing to destroy that relationship. As the Celebration moves forward to promote a sound horse we hope that everyone will assist in our efforts to promote this magnificent breed.”

Below, is a video ABC News and the HSUS released showing the disturbing images of horse cruelty. Watch at your own risk, because the footage is very graphic.

To help stop this cruelty, click here and lend a helping hand.

More Ecorazzi: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/05/20/watch-pepsi-pulls-ads-from-horse-show-due-to-animal-cruelty/

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16 COMMENTS

  1. This abuse of animals is often hidden behind the facade of 'the show'…not unlike performances in circuses and aquarium. It breaks my heart to hear friends defending the use of horses for their riding 'pleasure' and the manipulation of these sensitive animals for ridiculous stunts they would NEVER perform on their own.

    • That is so naive of you to say such a thing. Do you seriously think things like that do not happen in Finland? There’s constant animal abuse that is systematically hidden and covered by the local veterinarians.

      You are blinded by the nationalistic praise (and proud) that Finland is somehow ‘above’ such animal cruelty as shown in the video. Think about slaughterhouses, fur trading, puppy factories and so on.

      Finns and people in other Scandinavian countries are as cruel as in every other nation.