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Baskin Issues $100,000 Fundraising Challenge To WHTA



A group of concerned walking horse owners, trainers and breeders from across the industry gathered inside the Calsonic Arena on Friday May 25, 2012 and discussed many of the issues facing the industry.  As part of the informational session, the attendees were updated on the current state of the show horse industry and briefed on the enforcement initiative of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA). 

As part of the enforcement initiative the WHTA is asking the four primary HIOs that inspect performance and pleasure horses, horse shows and trainers to participate in a swabbing initiative.  The initiative was previously approved unanimously by the WHTA board of directors.  The administration of the initiative will be finalized after receiving HIO, owner and outside expert feedback.

At the conclusion of the information session it was agreed that a new group would be formed, The Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO).  The focus of the new group will be to support and promote the Tennessee Walking Show Horse, both performance and pleasure.  Initially the new group will focus on finalizing and funding the Swabbing and Blood Testing Initiative, hiring a public relations firm to help promote the show horse and beginning a political initiative to interact and educate state and national political representatives.

A funding goal of $1,000,000 was established to accomplish the three objectives and Randall Baskin issued a challenge to match all contributions raised through the WHTA up to $100,000.  Baskin, a long-term supporter and contributor to the industry, addressed the attendees personally and said, “Now is the time and let’s get this started.  Trainers, this is your livelihood and you have everything at stake,” said Baskin.

The new group is open to anyone or any organization that supports all disciplines of the show horse and will begin communications with all owners, trainers, breeders and industry participants.  Initially, fundraising will generate the funds to operate the organization and fund its three-phase approach.

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