WASHINGTON, DC – Priscilla PresleyÂ went door to door on Capitol Hill today asking Â U. S. Representatives and U. S. Senators to co-sponsor and support the PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to remove pads and chains from Tennessee Walking Show Horses to Â end the soring that plagues the breed.
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) agreed to co-sponsor the Bill becoming the 45th Â United StatesÂ Senator to endorse the PAST Act.
The PAST Act presently has 264 Representatives and 44Â (+1) Senators sponsoring it. Â Â The list includes 58% of the U.S. Congress; Â 75% of the women serving in Congress and such notables as U. S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), Â Marco Rubio (R-FL), Â 91 Republicans in the U. S. House and 172 Democrats; Â and a remarkable bipartisan mix of Republicans and Democrats in the U. S. Senate.
â€œOver the years, Elvis and I owned several Tennessee walking horses, and I know them to be gentle, graceful creatures. Today, 43 years after the passage of the federal Horse Protection Act that was intended to end the terrible practice of â€˜soring,â€™ these horses continue to suffer at the hands of abusive trainers. Iâ€™m calling on Congress to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to finally end this torture.â€
Presley presently owns two Tennessee Walking Horses, stabled on the grounds of the Presley familyâ€™s Graceland estate in Memphis, and is a vocal supporter of a federal bill seeking to end abuse of the breed.
The PAST Act would remove the pads and chains from the Tennessee Walking Horse to eliminate horse soring which has become an institutionalized way of life. Tennessee Â Walking Horse icon Bill Harlin of Franklin, Tennessee, Â says “Tennessee is getting a reputation as a horse abuse state”.
During Christmas 2013, Â Priscilla Presley reclaimed from the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration the Graceland Elvis Presley Challenge Trophy which has been awarded to the Four Year Old World Grand Champion for the past 30 years. Â â€œI canâ€™t support the trophy when inhumane methods are used on these horses. I canâ€™t support it.â€
Presley, a business manager,Â actress and designerÂ who lives in Los Angeles, said sheâ€™s loved horses since childhood, Â but got to know the Tennessee Walking Horse breed when Elvis purchased a Carbon Copy colt to ride around the grounds of Graceland.
â€œWe both fell in love with this horse,â€ she said. â€œWe knew a little bit of the lingo, but we didnâ€™t know what went on behind the scenes. We were very naive in thinking thatâ€™s just the way these horses were. We were novice horse owners.
â€œWe rode just about every day all over the 13 or 14 acres, and people would stop their cars to watch. Elvis was an entertainer, he loved to show his horses.Â To be honest, we didnâ€™t know anything about the soring, the pads and the bracelets. If we did, we never would have been behind this horrendous torture.â€
Priscilla Presley spent the past weekend visiting Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi which is also the home of Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. Â She was given the keys to the city by the Mayor.
MISSISSIPPI – Â U.S. SENATOR ROGER WICKER (R-MS
MISSISSIPPI JUDGE FRED WICKER -FATHER OF U. S. SEN. ROGER WICKER (R-MS) Â AT THE OVERBY CENTER(2008) – THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI