Controversy surrounding Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show continues

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In April Tennessee walking horses will be galloping into Panama City Beach for the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show.

Organizers say the show has brought thousands of dollars to the area but others are calling it animal cruelty and have even started a petition to ban the show on the beach.

At Thursday's Panama City Beach City Council meeting both sides had the opportunity to speak. Clant Seay describes himself as an ordinary citizen who's dedicated to fighting animal cruelty. He says the practice, which he calls big lick, causes the horses pain. Bill Young is the president of the walking horse trainers association. He says the industry has come a long way, and the horses are well cared for.

"It's egregious what I've found out and you're the decision makers in this situation," said Seay. "For the show to come to Panama City Beach does not compute. Y'all have one of my beautiful places on world now we're talking about animal cruelty descending upon you."

"I've trained horses for 50 years and I've seen the Tennessee walking horse make some drastic changes," said Young. "There was a time in the history of this breed that I'm not particularly proud of. I'm ashamed of to be honest, but it's just that. It's history."

The horse show will take place from April 21st-23rd at Frank Brown Park.