Presley donated the Graceland Challenge Trophy, named after the Graceland estate where her husband lived in Nashville, in 1983. She told the (Nashville) Tennessean she did not realize the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn., had continued to award the trophy.
While Presley, who lives in Los Angeles, owns two walking horses stabled at Graceland, she said she is concerned about the treatment many show horses are given. Trainers use ankle chains and elevated horseshoes to accentuate the breed's distinctive gait and even to apply harsh chemicals in what is known as "soring."
"Graceland isn't going to support this, knowing what we know now," Presley said Tuesday. "We want that trophy back. I can't support the trophy when inhumane methods are used on these horses. I can't support it."
Presley, daughter of a U.S. Army officer, met the singer when he was stationed in West Germany in the early 1960s. The couple married in 1967 and remained friendly after their 1973 divorce, four years before his death at the age of 42.