FAST, a group within the walking horse industry behind much of the fundraising efforts used to support the walking horse industry, is gearing up for its inaugural strategic planning session, which will take place Saturday, March 7 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. 

FAST has invited a small group of industry representatives ranging from various corners of the breed to join forces and have a meeting of the minds to discuss and brainstorm various relevant topics facing the walking horse industry. 

Knowing that not everyone can attend such a strategic planning session, a comment period will be opened up for anyone in the industry to lend their thoughts and ideas concerning what they key priorities of the industry should be in the next 12 to 36 months. A list of participants will be made available in case anyone wishes to share comments with a participant to include in the strategic session. 

“We felt like, as the group charged with promoting the show horse, it could perhaps help us all if we joined hands and minds and worked together to ensure our horse and our industry’s future remains alive and well,” said Sadie Fowler, FAST’s director of advancement. “We felt it certainly wouldn’t hurt. If nothing else, this small group session will be a starting point for hopefully improved communications between the various groups and then to the industry at large.” 

The intent of the session, which will take place from 8 to 4 p.m. with the exact location to be determined, is to create action steps than can be taken to propel the industry forward in some form or fashion.  

Prior to Saturday’s full-day session, an even smaller group will meet to discuss the possibilities for a roundtable discussions group formed to carry out some of the items that are identified at the weekend’s meetings that will ultimately culminate in a strategic planning document. 

“Friday’s small group will sort of pave the way for some topics that we hope will be addressed on a quarterly basis,” said Sadie Fowler, FAST’s director of advancement. “This gives us a chance to casually come together and brainstorm areas we can take an active role in advancing our industry.

“It is imperative that I articulate that this is not the formation of ‘another group’ or an effort to initiate control, but merely a roundtable discussion group representing industry organizations to better facilitate communication on topics affecting our industry as a whole.”

More information about the inaugural strategic planning meeting will be published in the weeks to come. For more information call Sadie Fowler at FAST, 931-639-3525. 

Commentary period
If you would like to submit a question or comment to be read to the panel during the session please email your question to Sadie Fowler by April 5 at