In a statement issued today by Virgil Johnson, chairman of the Celebration’s Board of Directors, he acknowledged the fact that the Celebration had received a few implications of concern over judging issues arising from the 2002 Celebration. After careful investigation of the implications, a few items came to the front that were somewhat disconcerting. The Celebration always follows up on any reasonable complaint and usually the issue fails to materialize into any matter of substance. However, there was enough evidence to investigate this matter further.

The Celebration has retained the services of Tracy Shaw of Howell and Fisher PLLC to investigate these matters to the fullest. The Celebration has had initial meetings and discussions with the area District Attorney and FBI field representative. The findings of the investigation will be given to the National Horse Show Commission, the Celebration’s governing body, as soon as the findings are complete.

Johnson said, “It has always been the mission of the Celebration to pursue any hint of wrongdoing and this matter is no exception. We anticipate that the investigation will be handled quickly and thoroughly.”