Marty Irby: Meet Alabama native who is honoring Queen Elizabeth in way she would absolutely love
'A devotion to horses is a passion the Queen and I share,' says Marty Irby
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA: An Alabama resident has come forward to share his remarkable journey of fighting against horse cruelty and reveals his greatest honor as the late Queen Elizabeth II awarded him for advocating against horse cruelty. Marty Irby has now vowed to honor the Queen's memory by continuing to work to protect the horses and stop the practices of abusive training methods used on horses.
Marty Irby, who grew up in the walking horse industry, stated that he started advocating against horse cruelty very early on in his life, specifically against soring, a practice where he says "horses’ feet are coated in harmful chemicals like diesel fuel. Sharp objects are then placed into their hooves exacerbating pain." Irby who connected with the Queen's horsemen to learn more about horses says, "a devotion to horses is a passion the Queen and he shares," Irby told CBS42.
"Queen Elizabeth was a long-time caregiver for horses, even saying as a child, she wanted to be one when she grew up," Irby told the outlet. Irby connected with the Queen’s horse trainer Monty Roberts and adapted his natural horsemanship training principles now called ‘Join Up.’ Join up is an international foundation that practices the safe training of horses. Soon after, Irby took his advocacy to Washington DC. Irby said he came to Washington in 2013 to testify in front of congress about the horse cruelty issue and he never left. "I am still here," Irby remarked. He is currently an executive director at Animal Wellness Action in Washington DC and says, “Best decision I ever made though was to speak about it.” He further added the Queen's horse trainer Monty Roberts notified the queen of his work. Irby then shared his story with the Queen through a letter he sent her and in 2020, a royal mail from Windsor Castle came for him.
Irby was appalled by the Queen's gesture and said, "I thought, ‘Oh my word. What is this?’ I never imagined inside it would be an award from the queen for my extraordinary efforts to help in this cruelty around the world." Unfortunately, Irby and the Queen could not meet in person for the ceremony due to Covid but ever since Irby vows to continue spreading the natural horseman principles taught to him by Robert and will fight worldwide to end violence against horses. “You know, it worked out like it did, but I will cherish her memory for the rest of my life, and I don’t know that I’ll ever have a greater honor in my life that’ll mean more than this coming from anyone on this planet today,” Irby now continues to work to bring forth the queen’s legacy of horse advocacy as he is currently working to pass the Safe Act to end horse slaughter in America and the Prevent practices of All Soring Tactics Act.