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Celebration Releases Both Letters To TWHBEA

(Copyright, 2006, Walking Horse Report)

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration hosted the HIO Committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association on Wednesday, June 21, at their monthly Board of Directors meeting. Following the meeting, the Celebration sent a letter to the TWHBEA Executive Committee requesting their cooperation in hosting the National Futurity on the Celebration grounds the night prior to the start of the Celebration.

The June 23rd letter asked the TWHBEA to make an exception to their new HIO and affiliate with the National Horse Show Commission and have those classes as qualifying classes for the Celebration as they have in the past. The Celebration agreed to partner with the new TWHBEA HIO in bringing all industry groups together under one program.

At their June 26th monthly meeting, the TWHBEA executive committee voted 8 to 4 not to affiliate with the NHSC but left the door open by postponing a final decision on the Futurity until Monday, July 3. In cooperation with officials of the organizations involved, the Celebration has drafted a second letter dated June 30 and sent it to the TWHBEA to be presented to the executive committee prior to their vote on Monday.

The Celebration has released a copy of both the June 23rd letter and the June 30 letter today.

The June 23, letter is as follows:

Mr. Jerrold Pedigo, President TWHBEA 1711 Old Fort Parkway, #A Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Dear Jerrold:

Thank you and your committee for attending our June 22, 2006 Board of Directors meeting. It was both informative and constructive and we look forward to partnering with the TWHBEA to insure the showing of sound horses and uniform enforcement of one industry wide rulebook.

We appreciate the invitation for the Celebration partner in your HIO Sanctioning P lan and willingness to incorporate constructive changes and additions that are mutually agreeable. We will formally review your HIO Sanctioning Plan and offer recommended changes and additions within 30 days.

It is our goal to include all industry groups and organization in a comprehensive and effective sanctioning plan and believe that working together that we can accomplish that no later than the 2007 season.

As you are aware, we are a participant in the National Horse Protection Society and have always affiliated with the National Horse Show Commission. Your strong support of the Commission since its inception, along with the Trainers' Association and the Owners' Association, has resulted in significant progress and it is now time to take the next step in improving the show horse industry.

We believe that the Commission, the Society and TWHBEA are all striving for the same goals and The Celebration fully supports those goals.

As you know, time is of the essence and the Celebration is less than two months away. While we realize that you have formed your own H IO, we would ask that you consider making an exception to your plan this year and affiliate with the National Futurity with the Commission and hold it on our showgrounds the night prior to The Celebration with all classes serving as qualifying classes at our show.

These are indeed difficult and trying days for our industry but The Celebration remains confident that we can all unite in a common effort to effectively enforce one common set of rules and the Horse Protection Act. The future of our horse depends on it and we pledge our best efforts to bring this to fruition.

Thank you for your consideration of this request and we look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Yours very truly,

John T. Bobo

Chairman of the Board

The June 30, letter is as follows:

Mr. Jerrold Pedigo, President TWHBEA 1711 Old Fort Parkway, #A Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Dear Jerrold:

This is a followup to The Celebration's letter to you of June 23, 2006, asking TWHBEA to consider making an exception to your plan this year and affiliate the National Futurity with the Commission and hold it on our showgrounds the night prior to The Celebration with all classes serving as qualifying classes at our show.

As we stated in the previous letter, The Celebration looks forward to partnering with TWHBEA and appreciates your willingness to incorporate constructive changes in your new HIO Sanctioning Plan. As you know, we have endorsed the National Horse Protection Society's Mission Statement. In addition, we have a long-standing relationship with the Commission since its formation 15 years ago by TWHBEA, the Trainers' Association, and The Celebration. We now endorse your plan subject to these changes.

The Celebration does not belive that these positions are inconsistent but rather belives that all of these groups are committed to the long term wellbeing of the Tennessee Walking Horse and the industry.

The Celebration cannot imagine a meaningful long term program within our industry without the participation and involvement of TWHBEA and appreciates the bold steps undertaken by TWHBEA and the Society in an attempt to lead the industry into the future. For that very reason, we have worked diligently this past week, and will continue to do so, in an effort to unite all groups. The Society has specifically stated that it will make an earnest effort to merge the two HIO plans.

The Celebration unequivocally pledges to work as a catalyst to unite the entire industry. Thank you for your continued dedication to the Tennessee Walking Horse and our industry.

Yours very truly,
John T. Bobo
Chairman of the Board

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