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Baucom Addresses Free The Breeders

Editor's Note: Sid Baucom, TWHBEA Vice President By-Laws, submitted this letter to address the claims made by the organization, Free The Breeders.

September 17, 2007

Dear TWHBEA Member,

Mr. Justice Brennan, United States Supreme Court, in a dissenting opinion some years ago said “great nations like great men should keep their word”. So here, great horse people like great men should tell the truth. This principle should apply with force to the Free the Breeders (FTB) movement.

Having been beaten twice in open meetings by the elected representatives of the entire membership, Free the Breeders, through deceitful means, now continues to thrust upon the Association militant minority control.

In Bylaw changes they argue “. . . unless voted down . . .” will put current leadership in power for the next three years. RIDICULOUS! Every present member of the Executive Committee term expires this year. Any present member qualified to run for the Executive Committee would have a maximum term of two years if the proposed amendment is adopted. Only newly elected directors could possibly be elected to a three-year term. Interesting too is the fact that it is a supporter of Free the Breeders that made this recommendation to the Bylaws Committee so there would be more continuity in management without the inevitable resulting term stopping. A good suggestion then and now.

Certain supporters of Free the Breeders have actively discouraged individuals from obtaining or renewing membership in TWHBEA in order to reduce its revenues – having the same objectives - as the Editor of the Voice says revenues have been reduced as a result of “supporters” of FTB boycotting the magazine by not advertising. Those same “supporters” boycotted the National Futurity and anyone judging a TWHBEA affiliated show lost his or her judge’s license with National Horse Show Commission (NHSC). Even those attending the TWHBEA judging clinic lost their license. Persons have been intimidated from participating in TWHBEA shows and events and even from voting their own convictions with the threat that they will never be tied again in the show ring.

TWHBEA did become a Horse Industry Organization (HIO), as it always has been, and did adopt an industry Sanctioning Plan. It is completely voluntary. No one has to join – no one has been pressured to join. The TWHBEA original Charter from the thirties has an object of “exhibiting” the Tennessee Walking Horse in addition to promoting the horse and protecting the Registry. A great deal of money has been spent in protecting the Registry. Free the Breeders well knows how much, and it has never been suggested that the NWHA copyright law suit should not have been undertaken.

Also, throwing barbs at the Executive Director, Mr. Chuck Cadle, and the staff is uncalled for and unfair. They do what they are instructed to do – satisfy member needs and follow the Bylaws and Rules. Any request for membership labels for mailing purposes will be satisfied and has been satisfied if the request is in accordance with the Rules and the law. Those making requests are well aware of the requirements.

The charge of “irregularities” in the election process of 2006 impugns the integrity of an AICPA firm and may well be actionable.

Bottom line here is control. The “supporters” of Free the Breeders control the NHSC and the center of the show ring via judges. They attempted to control the National Celebration and, thank God, the Celebration stood firm and didn’t allow a repeat of the orchestrated disaster of ’06 to occur and the leadership of the “supporters” has exerted a positive influence in this regard. Through their endorsement of candidates Free the Breeders hopes to now control TWHBEA. I don’t know all of the candidates they endorse but I do know some of them. People like Charles Gleghorn may agree with some of their objectives, I do too. But people like that are going to think for themselves and vote for the best interests of the horse and the Industry. The sense of thinking people will not allow Free the Breeders “supporters” to take over TWHBEA, the Celebration, and the Industry.


Sid Baucom

Vice President, Member-At-Large Bylaws

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