A Maury County grand jury indicted Alabama walking horse trainer Jamie Lawrence this month on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The charge stems from a May incident in Tennessee where anti-soring protesters waited outside the Spring Jubilee at the Maury County Park with signs. Lawrence, of Vinemont, allegedly drove his truck at protester Teresa Bippen, the president of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH).
In her witness statement, Bippen said, “I was surprised that he looked me directly in the eye.”
Video shows (see below) the incident happens in mere seconds.
“I raised my sign and said, ‘Big Lick, Big Lie’ and ‘Soring is Animal Abuse’,” Bippen writes. “… the vehicle sped up and suddenly turned toward me all at virtually the same time. I leaped to my right in order not to be run over, and I was grateful not to be hit. I recollect hearing the gravel crunch and seeing it scatter when the vehicle reached the edge of the road.”
Soring is the illegal practice of applying blistering or burning agents, sharp objects, or other substances or devices to the horse’s foot. By doing so, they make each step painful, forcing the horse to perform an exaggerated high-stepping gait that is rewarded in the horse show ring. The gait is also know as “the big lick.”
Lawrence, who operates Jamie Lawrence Stables, has two Horse Protection Act violations for soring horses, according to APHIS.
Bippen’s group is working to discontinue the abusive practice of soring.
click play below to view video of incident