SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration announced that its 70th world championship horse show and the 38th Annual Celebration Spring Fun Show will be affiliated with the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC).  The Celebration will select its judging panel for both shows from the NHSC’s pool of judges.  The NHSC will also provide DQP’s (Designated Qualified Persons) to inspect all entries at each of the events.


“I’m very glad we are able to make this announcement before the show season ever begins,” said Celebration Chairman David L. Howard.  “We have been affiliated with the NHSC since its inception and felt there was no need to change that.”


The Celebration board of directors made it clear in 2007 that it wanted the event to be affiliated with a Horse Industry Organization that had signed the 2007-09 USDA Operating Plan.  The NHSC is a signatory of that document.


“We’re very proud of our relationship with The Celebration and Spring Fun Show,” said NHSC Chairman Frank E. Neal.  “The Operating Plan has proven to be workable for our trainers and owners and, most importantly, continues to ensure the health and safety of the animals at horse shows all across the country.”

The NHSC DQP’s work closely with the Veterinary Medical Officers (VMO’s) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


“The working relationship between the DQP’s, VMO’s, trainers, owners, exhibitors, and show management was outstanding last year,” said Walking Horse Trainers’ Association President, Link Webb.  “This agreement allows all parties to continue that positive momentum into this show season.”

In addition to the affiliation agreement with the NHSC, The Celebration put in place several bold initiatives in 2007 geared toward protecting all the animals on site, the integrity of the event, and the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.  The initiatives were described as a “model for other shows to work from” by USDA officials.

The Celebration's announcement followed meetings today with David Howard, Chairman of the Celebration, Link Webb, President of the Walking Horse Trainers Association, and Frank Neal, President of the Walking Horse Owners' Association and Chairman of the Commission.

"We look forward to working with the NHSC and the trainers and building on the cooperative relationship we developed last year. Our communication and cooperation with the trainers' and the Commission in 2007 was the best it has ever been and it played a large part in the success of our show," Howard said.

Howard went on to say "We intend to continue to develop our working relationship with the United States Department of Agriculture, humane groups, the American Association of Equine Practitioners and national media in order to improve our show and the public image of our horse. Last year trainers and owners presented the best conditioned and soundest horses in our history and we expect that to continue this year."