Each year the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) awards the Reese L. Smith, Jr., Distinguished Service Award at its annual banquet.Due to a conflict with this year’s recipients schedule the presentation of the award was delayed until recently in Washington, D.C.

United States Senator Mitch McConnell was this year’s recipient for his decades long support and dedication to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Steve Smith, the 2008 recipient of the prestigious award and son of Reese Smith, Jr., was in Washington, D.C. to make the presentation to McConnell.

Senator McConnell has been one of the greatest advocates and supporters of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and epitomizes the qualities the Reese L. Smith, Jr. Distinguished Service award aims to recognize.  During his extensive time in the United States Senate and his tenure as Leader, McConnell has always been willing to advocate for the industry and the enormous impact it has on lives and rural communities in Kentucky and Tennessee.