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Report Conversation - Rachel Reed




(Editor’s Note: The following Q&A interview took place between Walking Horse Report’s Sadie Fowler and Rachel Reed. Reed is the office manager for the SHOW HIO) 

Fowler: Tell me a little about your background.

Reed:
My family and I moved to Shelbyville the summer before my fifth grade year. I have an Associate’s Degree from Motlow State where I was studying art and psychology/sociology. My husband and I have been married for 25 years and have two children, a son who is a sophomore at Shelbyville Central High School, and a daughter who is a sixth grader at Liberty.  

I’m currently the Office Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for SHOW, Inc.  My family and I attend Victory Celebration Revival Church and I was a member of the board of directors for Circle of Friends Christian Pre-School which began with my son’s attendance and ended once my daughter started kindergarten.

Fowler:
How long have you served in your current role with the SHOW HIO and how did that come to be? I have worked for SHOW since the HIO was activated in April 2009. Prior to that, I had been employed with NHSC since the summer of 1998 until it was dissolved and was asked to remain on board with SHOW.

Fowler:
What’s your typical day like this time of year, in the middle of show season and leading up to the Celebration?  

Reed: A typical day is responding to emails and phone calls generally for rule clarification. I’m also constantly doing paperwork of some sort whether it is monthly reports or statistics for the board.

Fowler: What is something about your job that people might be surprised to learn? 

Reed: Honestly, I think a lot of people don’t really realize how much I actually do. If I were to sit down and write out my job duties I believe the majority of folks would truly be surprised.

Fowler:
What are your favorite aspects of your job? What has improved in recent times vs. years past, from your shoes?  

Reed: I do appreciate that the board trusts me to do my job with minimal oversight and they trust that I do complete my work, which in turns give me some flexibility if I need to take a day off with one of my children or if something comes up and I need to leave.  

As far as improvement, bar none, the communication with the USDA at horse shows and throughout the course of this show season. The DQPs and VMOs are getting along much better than in recent years and are able to discuss differences of opinion. Nothing has really changed on SHOW’s end as far as leadership, inspections, etc. so I believe these changes have come through the hands of the USDA’s new leadership, Bernadette Juarez.

Fowler: What is something you have learned or a skillset you’ve developed as a person as a result of your role? 

Reed:
There are some nuances I have picked up in the past 19 years; How to interact with different people, watching body language, and knowing how to talk with some people compared to others (whether I can joke around with them or not).

Fowler: How do you manage stress this time of year and create balance in your life? 

Reed:
I work on furniture. I love to take an old piece of furniture and make it beautiful again. It probably sounds funny, but I’m at peace when I’m using a sander or putting polyurethane on a table. 

Fowler: Do you have a horse background and do you ever go to the Celebration simply as a spectator? 

Reed: I do not have a horse background. Prior to being hired by the NHSC I had been to the Celebration twice with friends as a teenager.  Since I’m working in the inspection area every session I don’t get a chance to watch any of the classes.

Fowler: What are some of your general thoughts about the industry as it currently stands? 

Reed: Entries, for the most part, seem to be up. That’s always a plus. People seem to be having a genuine good time again.   

Fowler: Is there any message you would like to relay to walking horse trainers, owners and exhibitors?  

Reed:
Just that I wish them all the best and hope they have a fun Celebration.

Fowler: How do you spend your time when you’re not working and what do you most enjoy about the Bedford County area?  

Reed:
Once I get outside the city limits, the county is just beautiful. I really enjoy driving back roads or riding 4-wheelers with my husband on our farm. I help him with a lot of our farming but most of my time is centered on our children.

Fowler:
How would you describe the horse show or your job to some of your non-horse friends? 

Reed: Typically I just say that it’s a lot of paperwork, which it is.

Fowler: How would you describe your relationship with representatives of the USDA? 

Reed:
I think it’s good, much better than the last few years. There seems to be more of a sense of mutual understanding and/or respect that has been lacking.

Fowler:
Do you have a motto or principle in life that guides you day-to-day? 

Reed: The first thing that came to mind when I read this question was the scene with the penguins from the animated movie, Madagascar, “Smile and wave boys. Smile and wave.” But in truth, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is bigger than anything I will ever face and He has my back.

Fowler: Anything else you’d like to share? 

Reed: Just keep moving forward. No matter the obstacles, no matter the challenges, no matter how things look or may seem in that moment, keep moving forward.
 

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