Letter To The Editor


Friday, Sept. 8, 2006


Dear Editor,


      I read with interest the announcement made by Mr. John T. Bobo, chairman of the Celebration Board. The three trainers whose horses passed inspection on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, in preparation for the World Grand Championship class, will now EACH be paid $15,000 (the first place prize money) they MIGHT have won. 

      You really must be kidding!  These men and their horses reported for work, checked in at work, work was canceled, but each trainer will still be paid $15,000.  

      I think if I presented this ideology to my employer I might end up unemployed.  I report for work, am prepared to work, but if my work is canceled.... guess what, I go home WITHOUT pay. 

      What was the Celebration Board of Directors thinking?  You can publicly commend the three trainers who had their horses pass inspection, but to award first place prize money that they might have won. . . What about the owners of those entries? Are they going to be refunded the entry fees that they paid? 

      In addition to their entry fee, I am also sure they will receive a bill for August from the trainer and probably a haul bill for getting their entry to the show grounds and/or a stall fee charged to them by the trainer or Celebration.  Maybe they do not mind paying these expenses and that certainly is their privilege. I am not saying the trainers did not earn their training fee for August.  But I am saying they certainly did nothing to receive $15,000 each from the Celebration!

      This year was the first year in nearly 25 years of attending the Celebration that I noticed the west grandstand was not sold out.  We were able to come and go from the stands with ease.  Many of the familiar faces we usually see were not in attendance this year.  I believe many Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiasts are becoming disenchanted with the Celebration in general.  We paid $100 per seat for our tickets this year and saw very little on the last Saturday night. Will the Celebration refund the ticket price for that last Saturday evening?  Definitely not.    

      In closing, if I were one of the trainers receiving $15,000 for being ready to show, I would donate every penny of that money to a charity of the trainer’s choice. 


      Respectfully submitted,

      Jean Babcock

      Spring Valley, Ill.