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Coverage of TWHBEA Semi-Annual BOD Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Marty Irby at 9:00 a.m. Roll call was performed by Mrs. Sharon Brandon, Secretary, who confirmed there was a quorum. The agenda was approved along with the minutes of the last meeting held on December 4, 2010.
The first order of business was review of the 2009-2010 yearly audit. Because of some discrepancies regarding duplicate billing by the University of Kentucky lab and disputed charges which are being investigated, approval of the audit was deferred until the December meeting.
In his remarks, President Irby reported that membership had exceeded the goal of 10,000 with 10,142 members presently. Of that number, 1006 are new memberships, 477 are renewed memberships that were expired, and 425 are youth memberships.
In her remarks, Senior Vice President Margot Urad reported on the cost of changing the name of the Association to the Tennessee Walking Horse Association, which would be about $21,000.00. Later in the meeting, members at large questioned the efficacy of spending the money to do this.
In his report, newly-appointed Executive Director Ron Thomas thanked the staff and membership for helping to initiate his first four months of service. He reported that there are several revenue-producing ideas in the works including a museum which would be funded by corporate and personal donors. The company 1220 Exhibits of Nashville is working with a committee of David Pruett, Stephen Brown, and Dee Dee Sale to get some plans underway.
Mr. Thomas also reported on the possibility of regional futurities. He reported that he had met with potential corporate sponsors for this undertaking.
There being no old business, the meeting moved into new business. A resolution to the Bylaws was made, seconded and passed that the Executive Director and Executive Committee could increase or decrease fees as warranted within the six-month period between semi-annual meetings.
There was discussion of a half walking horse registry or appendix registry as a means of raising revenue. After much discussion of pros and cons of such a registry, decision was tabled until a later meeting.
The Standing Committee reports were then made.
Rob Cornelius reported earlier from the Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Division on a $5100.00 discrepancy in DNA lab testing fees with the University of Kentucky. He visited the accounting office at UK and an agreement has been reached regarding the duplicate billings, bringing the outstanding balance from $11,000.00 down to $5,900.00.
Kathy Zeis gave the Breeders Division report. She reported that she had been negotiating with various DNA labs. In the past, her committee had only been able to negotiate a one-year contract. A motion was made, seconded and passed that Zeis, along with Irby and Thomas can negotiate 3-5 year contracts with labs in an effort to get a better price for DNA initial tests and conversions. She reported that the best price had been offered by UK. Zeis also reported that effective July 15, 2011, conversions will cost $40.00 as opposed to the $25.00 that has been charged to members in the in the past.
Mike Hicks presented the Enforcement Division report. There have been no enforcement issues. He presented a motion that TWHBEA pursue a comprehensive judging system and universal rulebook. This motion was seconded and carried.
Dr. Linda Montgomery presented the Equine Welfare Division report. There have been 2 reported cases of EHV-1 in Florida. She explained the EHV-1 outbreak in the western part of the country, spread by horses that had participated in a reining contest in Ogden, Utah.
Tracy Boyd gave the Horse Show Division report, stating there were 404 futurity nominations this year, down 100 from last year. Beginning in 2012, two and three-year-old nominees must be fully parentage-verified.
Boyd advised that there is a new show application sponsored in part by FAST whereby matching funds will be available to new shows outside Tennessee and Kentucky up to $25,000.00. Boyd’s committee is working out the details of a comprehensive high point program which will be announced at the December meeting.
Joyce Moyer presented the Marketing Division report and put forth several new and exciting marketing ideas to increase positive involvement in our industry. She announced that the Tom Seay television program Best of America on Horseback is sponsored in part by TWHBEA and that trailer is seen on screen with each of his programs. Members are eligible for discounts on his rides.
The Owners/Exhibitors International Division report was given by Stephen Brown. He advised that MannaPro will sponsor the TWHBEA clinics at the Celebration this year. He further announced that all information provided by TWHBEA will be available in Spanish and German in the very near future.
Thomas Kakassy relayed a great deal of information in his Performance Horse Division report. He reported that TWHBEA will be publishing position statements that are all-inclusive in that any Tennessee Walking Horse in the show ring is a performance horse. He further stated that the position or mission statement is “TWBHEA speaks for the horse”. Kakassy further advised the membership that the conference call with the USDA relative to their proposed amendment of the HPA was nonproductive. He advised that the amendments will become law within 60 days.    
After discussion by the membership, the following resolutions were made:

1. That TWHBEA initiate and collaborate an agenda creation for an industry conference of all HIOs and other industry organizations for the purpose of planning for and reacting to the proposed USDA regulations.

2. That TWHBEA, in the best interest of the horse, assemble a proposal for industry and USDA participation in further scientific study regarding callus formation, the effects of action devices, and the promotion of uniformity in palpation techniques.

Kakassy further stated that Auburn University very much wants to do this scientific study.

Rick Weis gave the Pleasure Horse Division report. His committee is the largest with 26 members internationally. He advised that versatility points will count in both two and three gaited classes at the same show from now on. He further advised that there will soon be a “versatility button” on IPEDS which will give this information about any given horse. He also explained that the World Versatility Show will be a three-day event at Miller Coliseum, July 22-24, 2011, and is still in need of sponsors.
Wayne Dean presented the Training Division report. He
reported that the Academy Program is doing well, having had four shows this year that were very well-attended. He reported that the CRI Licensing Program has licensed 10 new instructors.
Dean reported on the status of the Trainer ID for which FAST supplied the money for the equipment to produce ID cards for all licensed trainers. This is in the works but takes some time to get every trainer into the office for a picture to get the individual ID cards made.
Lloyd Black, Jr. presented the Member at Large Bylaws report.  He advised that the $14,000.00 ear-marked for postage for Bylaws changes was diverted to cover the lab charges at UK. He advised that a complete rewrite of the Bylaws is in process.
Linda Starnes presented the Member at Large Youth report, stating the TWHBEA Youth have a Facebook page, receive weekly E-blasts about FUN with TWH happenings.  The 8th Annual Youth Clinic at the Celebration and All Youth Day at the Celebration will be Saturday, August 27, 2011. The theme will be “Grab Life By The Reins”. They are in need of a button maker should anyone like to donate one. It costs $25.00 to sign up for the Versatility High Point Program.
Discussion from the floor was entertained. There were comments concerning the expenditure of funds for a name change for the Association and whether or not it was actually needed.
Another item of discussion was  the possibility of something like the All American Cup in association with a stand-alone Futurity, something along the lines of what the ASHA has done for the last 8 years with large cash prizes to the weanling and yearling winners.
There being no further old or new business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m. 


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