(News release from the TWHNC - released (3/31/09)

In an unprecedented move yesterday, the National Horse Show Commission voted to accept the proposal from SHOW, The Celebration HIO, to assume all responsibilities currently conducted by the NHSC.  The actual transfer will take place Wednesday, April 1, 2009.  The NHSC Board of Directors voted unanimously to make the transfer after a lengthy discussion about assets and the ultimate dissolution of the Commission.  The TWHNC Board of Directors voted last Thursday, to proceed with the proposed action and began immediately to initiate the revival of the horse show season.  USDA agreed to accept the transfer of Designated Qualified Persons (DQP’s), all horse shows and sale affiliations previously contracted with NHSC and all shows to begin operating under the SHOW HIO immediately. Pat Marsh, Chairman of the SHOW HIO Planning Committee and Dr. Doyle Meadows, CEO represented The Celebration at the meeting.

“I think the industry was ready for a change but I take complete exception to anyone that says the Commission was not successful in putting a more sound horse in the show ring,” stated Dr. Doyle Meadows, Celebration CEO.  Meadows added “horses are in much better shape today than years prior to the NHSC and should be given tremendous credit for their efforts for many years.  The NHSC Board of Directors made this decision because they felt it would benefit the industry.”
The first order of new business was the action item everyone came for, the dissolution of the NHSC and the activation of SHOW.  Dr. Meadows addressed the NHSC board, “we appreciate being here and this has been what seems like a long time coming.  The last 30-40 days have seen a lot happen and even though we don’t necessarily want this task, we have agreed and are ready to take it on.  We don’t just want to do it; we want to do it correctly and are going to need everyone’s help.”

Both Mark Farrar and David Pruett asked about the amateur card monies that currently support the WHOA business operations.  “It is our intention to leave those monies with WHOA this year and decide moving forward the best way to handle these,” said Meadows.  Farrar asked if there was any way to guarantee WHOA and WHTA that the monies they currently collect from licensing would be allowed to stay there in the future.  Pat Marsh from The Celebration® added, “we don’t want this to be like the TWHBEA plan from a couple of years ago and cause conflict in the industry.   We want to get along with everyone and include everyone for the betterment of the industry.”

He continued, “the plans that the industry have asked us to implement up front are going to cost more money than what currently comes in through the NHSC and we want to do these things up front in order to be successful.”

It was agreed that time was of the essence and all in attendance agreed that the decision needed to be made today in order to move the industry forward.  “There has been ample time for these questions to have been asked.  We have to move forward with trust and we have to make a change,” said David Landrum.  He concluded his remarks with the resounding statement, “we can’t divide this industry.”

In regards to fees and what SHOW would charge, Meadows assured the NHSC, “in 2009 we will charge the same fees and after the Celebration and fall shows we will see how short we are and come up with a plan to make up for the shortfall.”

When time for the vote came due, a little curveball was thrown in that the USDA had not assured SHOW that it could begin conducting itself as an HIO at existing affiliated shows with the NHSC.  Dr. Meadows felt sure they would allow SHOW to move forward and conduct the Jackson, Mississippi horse show as a SHOW affiliated horse show.  In the unlikely event that doesn’t happen, the NHSC will remain active until May 1, 2009 or whatever date SHOW would like for them to.  This provides the security that all horse shows can currently happen and will be under SHOW management, if not the official name as well.

When asked about what will be different effective April 1, 2009 when SHOW takes over? “I can’t assure you that anything will be different effective immediately,” said Meadows “what I can tell you is the single biggest difference will be the trainers and owners out of the inspection process,” concluded Meadows.

“We have two or three veterinarians that are Designated Qualified Persons (DQP’s), including Dr. John Bennett and Dr. Steve Mullins.  Dr. Bennett will be at the Jackson Horse Show and Dr. Jim Baum and Dr. Mullins will be at the Panama City Show.  None of these will be checking horses as a DQP but will be there to assist in the inspection area.  As Compliance Coordinator of SHOW, Dr. Mike Harry will also be at these shows as will Andy Messick,” said Meadows.  Andy Messick will serve as a DQP during the shows as will other DQP’s assigned by SHOW.

Meadows concluded the meeting with this personal statement.  “There are no guarantees and in a year you may not like the job I have done but I promise you that I am going to do everything in my heart and soul to make this better for you and to do a good job,” concluded Meadows.

Jamie Hankins jumped in, “that is why we can give up these monies and allow you to invest in the programs needed to help the industry and put in place what has been discussed before but hasn’t been implemented.”

Frank Neal ended the meeting stating, “everybody here today, whether they personally agree with everything or not, is doing what they feel is best for the industry and is supporting this change.”

The industry faces a big April 4, 2009 scar rule clinic and the following week will mark the debut of the SHOW HIO at the Jackson, Mississippi horse show.  It is the intent of all members of the NSHC board to assist the SHOW HIO in any way possible and SHOW promised to have an open door and form committees of owners and trainers to assist in the activities moving forward.