Skip to content

Bell and DeHaven Resign From NWHA

Editor's Note: According to the website of the National Walking Horse Association, Ken DeHaven, President and Don Bell, Director of Operations have resigned. The following is the official board announcement from their website,, and the resignation letters.

Board Announcement

The National Walking Horse Association Board of Directors announces, with regret, the resignation of Ken DeHaven, President and Don Bell, Director of Operations. Both Ken and Don have been instrumental in the development and growth of NWHA and are strong proponents of the Sound Horse movement. NWHA wishes them well in their future endeavors and honors them by continuing their work as advocates for the Walking Horse.



Letter of Resignation as NWHA Director of Operations
Resignation effective September 2, 2006

August 18, 2006

To the Officers and Directors of the NWHA:

This past Monday was a dream come true for many of us that met in Indianapolis back in 1998 to form the National Walking Horse Association.

The Executive Board, Sheryle & Clark Long and I met in Lexington, KY. We looked at office space for NWHA at the Kentucky Horse Park, met with the USEF and the US Dressage Federation. Additionally, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon for us. Think about the possibilities this presents for NWHA. All this plus the possibility of winning the lawsuit. Do you really know what this means? This truly boggles the mind and fills all of us that helped birth the NWHA with so much hope. Just maybe, we can finally rid this great breed of the stigma that has plagued it for over fifty years and get it back in the main stream of the greater horse world.

As exciting as this is for me personally, I have to face reality. This job has gotten very stressful. For the past three years, behind the scenes, there has been a lot of internal problems within the leadership of this organization. The saving factor has always been that the majority of the board has been a strong force and has been able to overcome everything and everyone that has tried to bring us down. Now this board is divided. Not to say that there are not still good, strong committed people on the board, but I’m not sure they are now in the majority. I see personal agendas, inflated egos, back stabbing, lack of loyalty and people using the word “power” to describe positions of responsibility. If this is allowed to continue, this organization will follow in the way of other sound horse organizations, self destruction.

Under normal circumstances this job would be stressful enough, but with the added stress of being attack by people you considered to be your friends is more than I want to deal with at this time in my life. The resignation of our president, Dr. Ken DeHaven, is the final straw. This is the man, while on the Executive Committee of the Breeders Association, was ask but refused to present trophies to sore horses at the Celebrations and was censored for it. The lost of someone with Dr. DeHaven’s leadership skills, integrity and rock solid stability leaves a huge void in the potential of NWHA, a void that will be very difficult to fill.

With this being said, let this serve as my letter of resignation as Director of Operations effective September 2, 2006.


PS: For some of you I recommend you do some research on Tom Horn


Letter of Resignation as NWHA President
Resignation Effective Immediately
August 17, 2006

Dear NWHA Board Members:

The NWHA has been the most successful of the "Sound Horse Organizations" and it is the last best hope for ending the abuse of Walking Horses. It is with a truly heavy heart that I must inform you that I will no longer serve as NWHA President. Please allow me to leave you with a few thoughts.

The opportunities at the Kentucky Horse Park are fantastic but they are only opportunities. They must be brought to reality. In the current mode of operation of this Board, the probability of bringing these opportunities to their potential is not good. Am I saying that this Board does not have the ability to read and act on these opportunities? Absolutely not! This Board can accomplish anything that the Board wishes. The problem is that the Board does not know what it wishes to accomplish.

Yes, we set up some tasks to accomplish, and that is good, but while we work on these, we fuss and bicker about who does what and who stepped in my territory. It reminds me of two girls arguing about who has the prettiest dress while they miss the dance.

The minor things that have caused such divisions are at best only chores that have to be done to accomplish a goal. The goal cannot be about who gets to be President or any other office or who receives the most accolades for good deeds. The goal has been and must continue to be to improve the welfare of the horse and to develop this gift of God to its highest potential.

And now, I ask you to forgive the failures and remember the good things that have happened over the few months that I have been your President. MAY THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE ON THE NWHA.


More Stories

  • Obituary - Karen Pendleton

    Karen Jo Wright Pendleton, 66, of Mt. Sterling, died Monday, Feb. 12, at her residence surrounded by her family. She was born Mar. 15, 1951 in Lexington to the late Wheeler and Retta Stephens Wright. Read More
  • APHIS launches webpage for frequently requested records

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Frequently Requested Records” page on our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) e-reading room, in accordance with the FOIA statute Read More
  • Pre-entry available for Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview

    The Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview showcases the new crop of stars that will be coming to the show rings in 2018. At Rising Star Ranch we want to help the trainers and owners present their entries in our Colt Preview in the most professional manner... Read More
  • Youth Council hosts first annual “Tennessee Globewalkers” basketball game

    We are doing it again! Having fun and raising money to help one of our own! You’ve heard of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” Now you have a chance to see and experience the “Tennessee Globewalkers!"... Read More
  • Owners excel in 2017

    Valentine’s Day and honoring the owners with an annual banquet always come close together and highlight February. The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) hosted a fabulous banquet with their usual tremendous crowd on Saturday, Feb. 10. The banquet was hosted to honor those who did well in 2017. Read More
  • Trainers' Show offers rich history; a must stop for many contenders

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association serves as host to its annual show each year, oftenreferred to by industry insiders as simply “The Trainers’ Show” — and it’s become a must stop for many of the industry’s best of the best as they embark on the new show season. Read More
  • Equine Education – coming to Shelbyville!

    The youth is the future of the walking horse industry, and, quite simply, the more kids interested, the better off the industry. That’s the line of thinking Jerry Harris had when he began organizing Equine In Education, a program scheduled to take place in Shelbyville, Tennessee March 9 at the Calsonic Arena. Read More
  • Shane Shiflet Photography Special

    Starting Monday Feb. 12 through noon on Feb. 16, you can buy 5 images between 2008 and 2017 from any show for $175. Over a 50% savings! These will be emailed, cropped and color corrected high res images that you will own to do whatever you like.   Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase adds class

    The FAST Spring Showcase, scheduled for Apr. 13-14, has added a class to their original schedule. Class 11a on Friday evening will be Amateur Lite-Shod... Read More
  • WHAA hosts barn party & auction

    Items for the auction are needed. Breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers will be available at the auction. Everyone is encouraged to bring your horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More