Called-Out Comment: Is William Ty Irby Trolling Me?

Bucket Stance

Another example of the “bucket stance.” Sore horses being ridden by overweight riders = more pain.

Yesterday I received this response to my blog post on the Tennessee Walker Horses.  It is purported to be from William Ty Irby,  so for the sake of this blog post we’ll assume it is actually he, although I can’t prove it.  The IP addy of the person posting resolves to the appropriate place in Tennessee though.  Mr. Irby Sr. is the father of Marty Irby, who was discussed at length in that blog post as a reformed “Big Licker” who is now a evangelic “Flatter.”

So,  “Mr. Irby” has taken issue with what I’ve written,  and the suggestion is that I’ve fallen for HSUS propaganda and lies. He writes:

“Ms Clemenceau: Please do not “throw around” my name, especially when you have no clue about which you speak! It is apparent from your article that YOU ARE ANOTHER OF THE GULLIBLE IDIOTS FALLING FOR THE HSUS PROPAGANDA & LIES! My son does not speak to me & has purposefully withheld his cell # from me! Where were you 44 years ago when the HPA was passed? How many performance horse shows have you personally attended & observed today’s inspection process for you to become an expert? Send me your email address & maybe I can send you some FACTUAL information to help better educate you on the matter! This would include FACTS disclosing my son Marty’s personal vendetta against the TN Walking Horse Celebration & the Chairman of it’s Board. Please try to learn more about the subject so you won’t be broadcasting incorrect information!”

Clearly,  this comment,  which you can read in the blog comments section,  deserves to be called-out….

Mr. Irby,

For years, the fox has watched the hen house in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. The “Lickers” turned the Tennessee Walker Horse into a freak show to the

Chip Weddington's Facebook message to Marty Irby

TWH Trainer Chip Weddington’s Facebook message to Marty Irby

general public and other horse owners. I can hardly bear to watch that awful flailing “gait” in the show ring, and the quality of riding in the “Big Lick” classes is the poorest I’ve ever seen of any breed show.  Have I attended any “performance shows?”  No,  the short answer is that we don’t have any such shows in my part of the world,  so the sum total of my experience comes from watching videos.  That’s more than enough for me – thank god the “Big Lick” is unheard of where I live.

TWHBEA has lost members in droves, and it is solely due to reputation. You have lost the public and turned cheating into high art. And now the TWHBEA has backed itself into a corner because many flat-shod TWH owners won’t join with you, and why would they? On Feb. 21, the Shelbyville Times-Gazette ran a story quoting Mike Inman, CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration (Sore-abration?) saying that the cost of most seats at the 2014 11-day show has been cut to less than half the usual price. Boxes with six seats that normally cost $575 will run $200 this year. And better boxes that normally cost $625 will be discounted to $500.

You’re fixated on blaming the HSUS when numerous other organizations that I highlighted in the original blog post all agree that penalties for soring need to increase. Not only is the PAST act backed by HSUS, but it is endorsed by veterinary groups. There is no indoctrination by HSUS or any other group. This is an effort to end a series of brutal practices that have been condoned and celebrated at the highest levels in the industry.

Clown shoes

If people wore stacks, they’d look like this…….

If soring, pads, chains, elongated hooves, long shanked bits, and all the other action devices used to create the “Big Lick” and cripple the breed were to go away, then good riddance to them. The physics and equine biomechanics that occur as a result of attaching these giant pads to the hoof confirms for me that the process is never benign. Unshod, flat shot, light shod are the only way to go. In my opinion, the only way to stop soring is to eliminate the “Big Lick” overall.  Why should your industry be given any more opportunities to clean itself up – the abuse has gone on for decades, culminating with the arrest of Larry Wheelon.

And why would I give you my email address? In order that I can become the recipient of cringeworthy messages like the masterpiece sent to your son by Chip Weddington?  If you had actually wanted to refute anything in my blog you could easily have done it in the blog comments. But you didn’t. If your son won’t give you his contact information, I can certainly understand why. Friends and family who condone abuse are not worth it.


Heather Clemenceau


Not everything out of Tennessee is as good as this:



About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic plant-based eater, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

14 responses »

  1. That douche. I saw many TWH shows as a child and I knew that it was wrong when I was 8. It made my young heart sick to see those horses jacked up & foamy with some fat, red faced, asshat dressed in a man suit and holding the rains in a death grip while prodding some poor, undeserving TWH to “big lick” it around the ring to the sound of cheesy organ music. No wonder nobody goes to their stupid walking horse shows anymore. They’re fucking ridiculous. Anyone with a third grade education knows that.

    • Ms. Clemenceau, thank you so much for publicizing this person’s attack on you, the Humane Society, his son and everyone else he can think of. Clay Harlin stated at the 2014 Sound Horse Conference that personal attacks are the “modus operandi” of the big lick people. Congratulations for making a difference by publicizing the horror of the lives of big lick Tennessee Walking Horses. To think that these beautiful, kind horses are in the hands of people like this and others like him haunts me.

  2. Deedie, boy you sure hit the nail on the head. I have seen the poor horses collapse in the line up. one time the man got off, well, he had to, but after awhile when the horse got back up…with no vet help or anything, HE GOT BACK ON!

  3. I am sure Marty did with hold his cell number from his father. If my father spoke to me and said the things he has said about Marty, I would with hold the number as well. It amazes me that people assume this is an issue that the HSUS has created and flashed around. This has been an ongoing issue with the breed for over a decade.

    They people who support the Padded Performance industry want you to believe that the PAST ACT will kill the show horse. Which is by far not the truth, which was apparent by the wonderful turnout out the WHOA International show. They have a little over 1900 entries and I expect that number to rise much more in 2015.

    The PAST ACT is not here to kill an industry, it is not here to do away with shoes, it is not here to put trainers out of a job, or cause people to have to close shop. It is here for the safety of the horse. One of the major things this legislation removes is the pads and chains. In all reality if a horse is not sore there is no reason for the chain to appear as it serves no purpose other than to agitate the sore area on a horse. The pads serve no purpose and in reality puts the horse off balance.

    The economy is one of the biggest contributors to a failing industry. When the economy crashed in June of 2007 we all felt that blow back. People lost not only their jobs, but their homes, cars etc. Many people actually got out of the horse industry all together. In this day and age people have to be smart about when and where they spend their money. You pick the shows you need to go to to qualify for other events or you simply pick the shows that you enjoy showing at.

    Also, if a trainer can only train a horse by placing chemicals on its legs or hoof and/or beating it then they deserve to be out of a job. That goes for any breed trainer.

    Now I am not one to judge a person on their weight, however, when you see a man that is over 200lbs riding a horse that is claimed to be a little over a year, to me that is abuse in itself. The heavier you are the more stress you place on the horse. I know this statement may offend some and I am sorry but grossly overweight individuals should not be on the back of a horse and unfortunately that is the majority of the Padded Performance people.

    I for one, am someone who can not be called out for falling for “HSUS lies” as he puts it. I now and will never like HSUS. Have they done some good things? Yes, but I for my own reasons do not like them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist no HSUS to show someone that soaring a horse is animal abuse. It doesn’t take HSUS to show us that it’s wrong. Anyone with a conscious knows its wrong. Most of us make the choice to not abuse our horse(s).

    The 5%ers as I like to call them are grasping for anything at this time to save them from having to hang up the pads and chains and throw out the chemicals for sound flat shod horses. The sad part of all of these is, if they would just go sound they would probably be just as successful breeding and showing sound flat shod horses.


  5. Pingback: Called-Out Comment: Is William Ty Irby Trolling Me? | Comedyflyer's Blog

  6. It is so hard to keep focused on the issue – passing the PAST act. I find that I want to rant and rage against these heartless people that inflict pain and ruin a magnificent horse for the sake of…what? I get so angry with the big lick crowd, advocates for horse slaughter, etc. that it really is hard for me to go on with the fight. However, when I read your blog, once again I realized that there are so many more of us that want to see an end to abuse than there are abusers – the abusers are just so loud and obnoxious that they stand out. We as a group – whether it is the Humane Society or another organization or just caring individuals, are getting more and more united and I do feel that we will eventually see some improvements in the quality of lives of the animals we are trying to help. Just knowing there are other people out there that feel as compassionate as me helps. I used to feel very alone (except for my sister, who has the same views I have). Thank you for your strength, and please know that there are more people (especially since we have social media to spread the word) that share the emotion and outrage you do! If we keep standing together, we can make this world better!

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