Copyright WHR 2007

Letter to the Editor:

This has been an unusual year for the TWHBEA. Many challenges were presented that altered the way business is normally done. The hiring of a new Executive Director, the DNA conversion, the long overdue reconcilement of assets and liabilities, evaluating and correcting our insurance coverage, the NWHA lawsuit, the launch of the HIO Sanctioning Plan, the election, and the budgeted revenue shortfall clearly impacted this year’s operations. However, in the face of all these challenges, we still accomplished many of the goals that our International Board of Directors had given us for 2007. Since commitments were made early in the budget cycle, they could not be reversed when the budgeted revenues did not materialize. Programs like the Best of America by Horseback, the Walk This Way tour, the What-a-Horse sponsorship, and many others continued as planned.

This budget shortfall and the legal expense associated with a lawsuit have negatively impacted our financial position. We made expense and staff adjustments where we could and this enabled us to stop the cash drain from operations but we are still subject to the legal fees associated with the lawsuit. Our plan for 2008 is exciting and should really play a role in revitalizing the interest in our horse. As I looked at our goals and the cash required to implement them, I became increasingly concerned that we needed contingency funds and further expense reductions. To this end, I decided that the staff under the leadership of Ms. Kristi Lane would be more than qualified to accomplish the strategy for 2008. I was also concerned that should our budgeted revenues for 2008 be less than planned or the legal expenses come in higher than planned, the Executive Committee would not be in a position to cancel my contract due to the cost associated with the cancellation provisions. Therefore, I presented them with my concerns and proposed that I do not sign the extended contract and that I end the current one at the end of December. The Committee unanimously accepted this offer.

I have really enjoyed my role and my involvement with the many volunteers that are behind the TWHBEA operations. We have, in effect, many lifetimes of knowledge and experience involved. There is so much we can learn from each other. The success of this breed is the result of the generosity and determination of members and enthusiasts who despite the many demands on their time and resources give back to this industry. They do this because of their love for the Tennessee Walking Horse. Over the past year, I have come to learn about the wide range of opinions we have for the TWHBEA. There exists strong opinions and there are many things we don’t see eye to eye on. But there is one thing that we can all agree on: A healthy and growing industry is good for all of us. Recently, there have been a lot of false and misleading accusations and political maneuvering that have not added value to our industry’s image. These actions create an air of mistrust. I was informed yesterday that two former employees of our association were calling our International Board members with incorrect information. If this is true, then I am disappointed. I also read that the Celebration recently hosted equine leaders. Interestingly the industry HIOs, the TWHBEA, the WHOA and the WHTA were not invited. Isn’t it time to unify this industry for the benefit of our horse? Hopefully, after this Saturday’s election, our industry counterparts will work together with the TWHBEA toward restoring a healthy and growing industry.

Again, thank you for including me in the TWH family and I wish each of you the best for this holiday season.

Chuck Cadle

Executive Director, TWHBEA