Billygoboy wins again
TUNICA, Mississippi––Having organized boycotts that have shut down “Big Lick” walking horse shows in at least 13 southern cities, semi-retired attorney Clant Seay, 71, better known as Billygoboy, is now celebrating a victory of a different sort.
This time Seay has collected $50,000 on behalf of four clients, plus himself, in settlement of two federal lawsuits against alleged vehicular intimidation by walking horse exhibitor Richard Mitch, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri.
Between the two cases, “Seven seconds of enormously bad judgement cost Mitch’s insurer $7,142.86 per second,” Seay calculated.
“In fear of my life”
Mitch, who won the Show Pleasure World Championship at the 2016 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on November 3, 2016 allegedly swerved out of his way to drive his white Nissan Frontier pickup truck dangerously close to four demonstrators––including Seay––at the Tunica Arena.
The incident was captured on videotape.
Testified Seay in his witness statement, filed the next day, “I was in fear of my life. I called property management and the Tunica County sheriff, who sent two deputies to investigate. They looked at the taped video and noticed the driver was making obscene middle finger gesture toward us while driving with one hand.”
Seay’s statement was supported by witness Mario Chiozza.
Sued at the Celebration
In August 2017, according to Seay, “Shortly after receiving sixth place in ‘Owner Amateur Gentlemen On Show Pleasure Horses’ at the National Celebration, and dismounting from his horse, Mitch was served with a ‘Summons In A Civil Action’ issued by the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, notifying him that he was the defendant in a lawsuit” filed by Seay on behalf of one of the Tunica demonstrators, Sandra L. Culbertson of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Seay, representing Culbertson, sought damages of $300,000 and a jury trial.
Filed cases as one-two punching combo
The American Family Insurance Group, of Madison, Wisconsin, on December 6, 2017 settled with Culbertson for $25,000.
Seay then hit Mitch on February 4, 2018 with a parallel lawsuit brought on his own behalf, on behalf of Chiozza, and on behalf of fellow demonstrators Cathy Bickerstaff and Caitlin Glidden. The American Family Insurance Group on May 8, 2018 settled that case for $25,000 more.
Said Seay, “We are not for one second going to tolerate any unlawful or threatening act toward any of the brave animal welfare advocates who gather peacefully to exercise their First Amendment constitutional rights to protest against cruelty to Tennessee walking horses.”
Targets of animal advocacy protests have often driven vehicles at protesters, sometimes inflicting serious injuries, but few before have been brought to justice as quickly or successfully.
Commented Showing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) founder Steve Hindi, after seeing the video that brought the settlements from the American Family Insurance Group, “Good grief! I wish the vehicular attacks against us were so tame. Good for those folks collecting money, though,” Hindi added. “People who use vehicles as weapons are the lowest of cowards.”
Wing Pointe & Prior Lake
SHARK has posted video of similar alleged vehicular assaults against pigeon shoot protesters that occurred on October 31, 2011 near the entrance of the Wing Pointe Gun Club in Pennsylvania, and on March 15, 2018 outside the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club in Prior Lake, Minnesota, at a shoot held to raise funds for Ducks Unlimited.
Hindi after the 2011 incident sought hospital treatment for knee and hand injuries. Fredrick K. Campbell, 58, of Lower Alsace Township, Pennsylvania, was cited by state police for driving at an unsafe speed.
Several SHARK video and still cameras captured the incident, the sixth in 2011 in which Wing Pointe pigeon shooters and personnel responded to protesters with violence.
In earlier incidents, Robert M. Boyd, 47, of Ringoes, New Jersey, was cited for summary harassment after allegedly reaching into a SHARK vehicle to try to prevent SHARK activist Janet Enoch from videotaping him as he left a pigeon shoot.
Hindi on the same day suffered a bloodied head when hit by an unidentified assailant with the metal end of a dog leash.
Robert Olsen, 61, of Warminster, Pennsylvania, received two summary citations for a February 22 confrontation in which Enoch videotaped him in the act of pointing a handgun at Hindi.