From the Desk of the CEO…
Dr. Doyle Meadows

Q – Give us a quick synopsis of the first 90 days of office?
DM – It has been great. I have been wonderfully received by the community of Shelbyville as well as the extended walking horse community. There have been several activities for me to meet people and these people have been wonderful to me and my family. As a family, we sincerely appreciate the response by the community.

Q – Can you sum up your first Spring Fun Show?
DM – I think the Fun Show was a wonderful tribute to the walking horse industry and its cooperation with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) VMOs and National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) DQPs. The ability to show 531 entries in front of the USDA was great. The recent Columbia Spring Jubilee had slightly more entries without the government in attendance so it is a tribute to our industry to have these numbers with the USDA present at the Fun Show. Also, it was nice to see the top horses show at the Fun Show that will be vying for world championships at the Celebration.

Q – How did your first set of judges do at the Fun Show?
DM – I was really proud of the judges. They were close when there was an opportunity to be close and when there were good horses in the class, they found them. In a three-judge system, there may be a horse that has a problem in front of one judge that the other two don’t see and thus tied accordingly. Judges can only be mirrors to reflect what they see.

Q – How did the staff respond during the Fun Show?
DM – They were all center ring veterans and for the most part kept me out of trouble. They are a wonderful experienced crew and I look forward to working with them at the upcoming Mule Show and Celebration. From the entry office to the entry gate to the Hall of Fame, they all performed great and I appreciate them very much.

Q – What was the motivation behind the planting of the tree in the warm-up ring?
DM – An older gentleman came to see me and said let’s bring back whittlin’ to the Celebration. The planting of the tree is symbolic of the old tradition of whittlin’ and selling horses in the warm-up area. But we are talking about more than that; we are talking about a renewed philosophical presence to bring back traditional things to the Celebration. I would like to thank those that made it possible: Jerry Harris who was instrumental in getting the process done and donated the monument beside the tree, Hawkersmith & Sons Nursery who donated the tree, Richard and Gail Greer who donated for the planting of the tree and Southern State Turf for the sod. The monument sums it up best with its inscription, “We look to the future by bringing back the past.”

We also look forward to planting more trees back around the ground in dedication to those that have been instrumental in the tradition of the Celebration and walking horse industry.

Q – Where are you in the process of selecting Celebration judges?
DM – Letters have been sent from the Celebration to various walking horse groups for them to recommend judges for the 2008 Celebration. Those recommendations will be evaluated and judges will be selected in late June or early July. All recommendations from these groups will be taken very seriously.

Fact or Fiction: The Celebration does not pay property taxes to the city of Shelbyville or Bedford County.
Fiction: The Celebration pays property taxes to both the city and county in excess of $50,000 annually.