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Priscilla Presley seeks return of Graceland Challenge Trophy from Celebration

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The Tennessean reports on Dec. 25 that Priscilla Presley is seeking the return of the Graceland Challenge Trophy. This trophy has been awarded at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration for thirty years.

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Presley said that she was unaware that the trophy was still being presented at premier walking horse competitions. She originally sponsored the trophy in memory of her ex-husband, Elvis Presley. In 1983 Presley attended the Shelbyville, Tenn. event and donated the trophy as part of an exhibition featuring Ebony’s Double, Elvis’ last walking horse. Presley was under the impression the trophy was a one-time award.

She owns two Tennessee Walking Horses herself and stables the horses at Graceland in Memphis. She is a staunch supporter of the federal bill seeking to end abuse of the breed. She says that Graceland does not wish to support the Celebration class knowing everything that has come to light about the abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking horses. Presley wants the trophy back.

Presley says,

I can’t support the trophy when inhumane methods are used on these horses. I can’t support it.

Celebration’s CEO Mike Inman would like to speak to Presley before the final decision is made. He believes she will reach a different conclusion after they speak.

Presley learned about the Celebration trophy the Humane Society’s Keith Dane, equine protection director. Since then she put her support behind H.R.1518. She said she is calling on her friends to also support the bill and this has become the largest project for her right now.

Dane is most pleased that Presley, who is a respected celebrity, is supportive of the effort to stop the soring and this is significant.

Dane said,

She knows that this legislation is the only thing that will protect walking horses from the abusive practice of soring and end it once and for all.

Presley has loved horses since she was a child. It was Elvis who introduced her to the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. Together they purchased Carbon Copy to ride around the Graceland grounds. Neither of the Presleys had any idea of what went on behind the scenes in show barns. She says that if they had any inkling of the pads, chains, soring and horrendous torture the horses had to endure, they would never have been participants.

Story Source: Tennessean

Here are two other interesting videos: Elvis Riding Horses at Graceland and Famous Barns Tour of the Stables at Graceland

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