The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is being asked to host a meeting of the major competing HIOs in an effort to reach some agreement and unify the industry.  The action was taken Wednesday in a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the National Horse Protection Society in Nashville, TN.

            Spokesman Tom Blankenship stated, “We are asking the Celebration to use their influence to bring all these HIOs together for a meeting that will result in a plan acceptable to all and present a unified position in Washington.  The plans being discussed and the present National Horse Show Commission have many similarities and hopefully the differences can be ironed out to satisfy all.  We face serious issues with the new Operating Plan for 2007 and it is important that this industry speak with one voice.”

            The Advisory Committee was appointed by the NHPS and is chaired by Dr. John O’Brien, DVM from Kentucky.  Other members include Steve Aymett, Knox Blackburn, Jackie Brown, Charles Gleghorn, Neal Holland, Jr., David Howard, Bob Medina and Frank Neal.

            The Committee also viewed a presentation from Bryan Cave Strategies, a prominent Washington law firm, and held a candid discussion of the issues facing the industry and the challenges faced in Washington.

            Reports were also presented by the following committees:  Organization – Neal Holland, chairman; Compliance – Dr. John O’Brien, DVM, chairman; Technology – Tom Blankenship and Dr. Jerry Johnson, chairmen; Education and Outreach – David Howard and Tom Blankenship, chairmen; and Peer Review – Knox Blackburn, chairman.