Skip to content

Trainers meeting held Tuesday evening




By Sadie Fowler

The annual Trainers meeting took place Tuesday evening at the Celebration’s Blue Ribbon Circle, a traditional gathering of trainers and representatives from the Celebration the eve of the show kick off.
 
Celebration CEO Mike Inman addressed the group first, telling the trainers he anticipated a great show this year with a tremendous turnout. Operations Manager Charles McDonald also spoke, along with Head SHOW DQP Mitchell Butler and WHTA president Billy Young.
 
“I think that if we can use the things that have transpired so far this year as a barometer we will be in good shape,” Inman said. “We are excited for a great show and looking forward to the next 10 days.”
 
Inman encouraged trainers to communicate with officials of their needs, especially concerning the two-and-a-half minute timing on gate calls, which can be a challenge for trainers showing in back-to-back classes. Nothing is different with that time limit, but Inman said he wants to work with the trainers if they are in a crunch thus he encouraged them to communicate with Celebration staff, including himself or Butler, who will be more present in the warm up area.
 
Inman said a corporate sponsor has made it possible for a high-definition screen to be placed in the warm up ring so exhibitors can see action in the Big Oval as it happens, something new to the show this year that should be helpful.
 
McDonald told the trainers he respected them for their hard work, acknowledging the effort it takes to put so many horses through the ring at the Celebration.
 
“It’s a mutual partnership,” he said. “Without you we don’t have a horse show and without us you don’t have a world grand championship…Our industry has been through a tremendous amount as you so greatly know but at the same time we’ve made great strides that will reward everyone going forward.”
 
McDonald outlined the Celebration’s new policy on appearance for anyone entering the ring to assist entries, whether it be for win presentations or timeouts. Any person, including grooms, entering the ring must be 18 and also properly dressed with at least a collared shirt and pants.
 
“If they’re wearing a hat make sure it’s at least forward,” he said, adding at times in the policies like this have not been enforced. “In the future going forward, beginning Wednesday morning, if you slip up and don’t meet requirements we will hold your winnings. No change will take place in the placement but winnings will not be given to that owner, trainer, barn, etc. We are serious about this.”
 
Following Inman and McDonald’s words, Butler went over technical reminders, such as reminding trainers to check their bands (they must be half-inch from cornet band) and speaking to complaints he’s received this year related to flat shod classes.

“We’ve had numerous complaints over the size of shoes on back feet,” he said. “A class shoe size regulation is for both front and back feet and we will be looking for that.”
 
He closed by saying conversations he’s had with the USDA this year have overall been good, predicting a good show as well. He said everything he does is with fair competition and the horse in mind.
 
“You trainers are the only ones who can control this industry,” he said. “The Celebration can’t. I can’t. The only person owners are going to listen to is you. If you take the core of trainers and the core of the industry and those people will stick together you can do anything you want to do. People can’t survive without that core. My point is, right now we are in survival mode, not in ‘growth’ mode, and I get that. You want to pay your bills. But the only way you’re going to grow is if you stick together.”
 
Young closed out the meeting, mirroring the sentiments from the first three speakers and reminding trainers to be mindful of the swabbing that takes place during inspection.
 
Regular business followed, with reports on the Trainers’ Association budget, committees, scholarships and banquet (scheduled for Dec. 2 in Bell Buckle) briefly addressed. Young encouraged trainers to get involved.
 
Young also reminded those in attendance of likely protesters who will be present during both weekends, cautioning trainers to drive by and ignore them. “Don’t do what they want you to do and cause yourself a problem,” he said.
 
Herbert Derickson had the final word and invited all to attend a group prayer on the grounds at 6 p.m. Thursday night that will be led by Tim Brooks.
 

More Stories

  • Celebration releases tentative class schedule for 2021

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration recently formed a committee to review and recommend changes to the Celebration’s class schedule. The committee has met over the last couple of months and reviewed past schedules, participation levels, industry trends and other criteria to come up with an initial class schedule. Read More
  • Make plans to attend the National Trainers' Show

    Make plans to attend the 53rd Annual National Trainers Show scheduled for March 18-20, 2021 at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn... Read More
  • TWHBEA offers Youth Medallion Program for 2021

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association is proud to once again offer the Youth Medallion Program for the 2021 show season... Read More
  • Southern Championship relocates for 2021

    For many years the Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitors Association has sponsored and operated the Southern Championship Charity Horse Show... Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More