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A Horse of a Different Color
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

December 8--  A photo and comments from a Vidalia Christmas parade-goer about some horses in the parade have drawn reaction from the horses' owner and a friend of the family.

From Owners Jack and Kim Williamson (added 3:50 pm):

We would like to briefly address this article.  First we want to thank Mark for his support and honesty. Second we thank our son Cody who is  honest Thank you, You make us proud.  We had been uptown in Lyons on the Thrusday night before for the rain for the lighting of the Christmas tree where they looked beautiful.  We give our horses the best care humanly possile.  To have bathed Jay and Jake that morning would have opened the door to health issues the could have resulted in death ( flu, pneumonia, cold). Being horse people we know to keep a watch and do keep a watch on thier feet.  Jay and Jake like all horse put on a winter coat and no amount of brushing is going to make them look sleek and shiny. As for poo-bags I myself would not want to walk around with poo hanging from me, and we wont make the horses.  Just so everyone is aware poo we pray for its important in the health of a horse ( colic,stomach ache, death). Unfortunaltly horses have their own smell and we love it.  We apologize to those it offends but that has nothing to do with thier care.  Now the dental issue, we invite you Pam to be here at feeding time to exmaine thier teeth up close and personnel and tell me what you may find.
What we want people to know most of all is that, WE as a FAMILY, JACK, KIM, CODY, AVERY, ABIGAIL, AND ADISON, have never considered these animals a peice of property, or owned, but they are now and always have been and always will be our brothers, our sons, our family.

Mark Montfort, Ag teacher at Toombs County High School, writes:

As the agriculture teacher of Cody Williamson, the son of Jack and Kim Williamson I know first hand that the "Belgian" draft horses and all other animals that the Williamson's raise are well taken care of and that the Williamsons were doing what was best for the animals on the morning of the Vidalia parade. It was a cool 35 degrees and it had been raining the day and night before so while the Williamson's always would like their animals to look their best before an event they did not dare wet these animals down in the cold temperatures. The Williamson Family are farmers in our community that feed America. It is families like the Willamsons in our community who have made our area what it is today. Vidalia and Lyons would not be the growing communities that they are today without Agriculture. I feel that the comments made against the Williamsons were uncalled for not knowing the circumstances or the Williamson Family.


Cody Williamson writes:

My name is Cody Williamson. My dad is the proud owner of Jake and Jay, a pair of Belgian draft horses that pulled the carriage with Santa Claus in the Vidalia parade. I was hurt by the comments that Mrs. Pam Waits posted on southeastgeorgiatoday.com regarding my family and our animals. We take very good care of our animals and made the decision on the morning of the parade to not wash the animals because of the cold temperatures. If I may use an example, tell your husband to wash you and put you outside in the cold temperatures.... and then put you in his truck and haul you to the Christmas Parade and lets see if you get a cold or sick.  Jake and Jay came out of Mississippi where they were loggers in the timber industry so mud and dirt are no foreign object to them. While its not the way we would have liked to have brought them to the parade the circumstances left of no choice.

    Every day my Belgianm Percheron, and Suffolk horses get five gallons of oats a piece. That is each horse does. On top of that they have a hay barn to eat out so the hay is off the ground and out of the weather. It is constantly full with good grade hay. There is a high price payed for each thousand pound bale. They get a new bale every four or five days. We feed our horses before we eat.
 I hope the people of our community understand that most of the events we participate in are free of charge and do it for the good of the community.
    Now ma'am before you go and say anything about my dad being a redneck. I was taught not talk about people or call them names. My dad has taught me everything I need to know about Agriculture and helping others.He volunteered his time so the kids could see Santa Clause in a horse and carriage. Shouldn't you feel bad for wanting to ruin the good feeling of Christmas for a little mud and a little stench.



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