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Editorial- Christy Howard Parsons

A Big Thank You!


            We, at the Walking Horse Report, are so blessed to have so many customers who have supported us again this Celebration! We enjoy providing the most professional customer service possible in this industry and our entire staff is committed to providing outstanding coverage of the Tennessee Walking Horse and those who love him.


            We hope that you have enjoyed the daily issues of the Walking Horse Report during the Celebration. It takes a hard-working staff to produce 1100 pages during these ten days, not to mention supplemental coverage on the internet.


            Walking Horse Report is not the only thing we do here in the media division of Dabora. Besides the Walking Horse Report online, we also produce Saddle Horse Report and its online counterpart as well as our monthly issue of Horse World.


            As luck would have it, the American Saddlebred World’s Championship Horse Show overlaps with the Celebration, so the weeks leading up to the Celebration are pretty hectic around here. In fact, this year we broke our own record for the most pages produced in a seven-day period. This year we produced 752 pages in seven days before the Celebration ever started!


            If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to thank the outstanding staff here at Dabora for all of their hard work this Celebration.


            Our Report sales staff is extraordinary. Representing professionalism, knowledge, experience, and an outstanding attitude towards customer service are Linda Scrivner, Stephanie Rose and Sarah Smith. Maggi Painter and Sarah Engel have led the team through the monumental task of organizing the Celebration dailies. I’d like to thank this staff for their hard work and for supporting myself and my family when that wasn’t always the popular thing to do this season. It’s tough to have to respond to not only the  inquiries about the paper, but also about everything from the tickets to table decorations at the  Celebration as well!


This capable group received some great assists this year.


            Renee Isaacs came from her position with us in Kentucky down to Shelbyville to help the team out in the office. Debbie Graham, our long-time and valued West Tennessee correspondent, once again came to Shelbyville to help with the coverage of the day classes. Longtime friend and former employee Mark Davis each year takes vacation from his “regular job” to come and write up each class of the Celebration with his knowledgeable flair. Daryl Bell returned for the second year to sell and prepare the Celebration insert, and she too broke her own record that she set only the year before.


            We hope you have enjoyed our editorial content during the Celebration dailies. A joint effort between the sales staff, our editorial director Jennifer Styskal, and some excellent free-lance writers including Ann Bullard and Bonnie Vanatta, we want you to have lots to read each night of the Celebration. If you’ve missed any of it, you can stop by our building on the Celebration grounds and pick up back issues.


            While you’re there you’ll meet Lesley Ward who will be glad to take you through a free demonstration of all the features of Walking Horse Report online. Lesley has the huge task of taking care of all of our needs in the office as well as remodeling our Celebration building and helping subscribers renew their subscriptions to Walking Horse Report.


            Our art department, capably led by Danita Meeks and Rhonda Dunn, has done an outstanding job of turning out interesting, creative layouts hour after hour. This team splits shifts during the Celebration. Our day shift of long-time editorial expert Elaine Stacy, and creative talents Alicia Warren, Susanna Haynes and Michael Young worked with Danita Meeks to make sure that each day’s paper was under control before leaving it to the night shift. The night shift is capably led by our veterans Rhonda Dunn and Robert Carter. We also baptized by fire our newest hires, Mac Johnson and Amanda Headrick, who started in our record 752-page week, and who we are happy to say kept coming back! Thanks to everyone in the art department for making us look so good!


            I’d also like to thank Pulaski Web for taking the layouts we sent them and giving us an excellent printing job. They are masters at working with newsprint. Marvin Smith and his helpers/grandchildren Dakota and Montana make sure the papers get from Pulaski into your hands and to all the horse sales and local vendors around Shelbyville.


            Our internet staff has also worked exceptionally hard to make sure that Walking Horse Report online is the best source of news about the Celebration. Ashlea Wheelon manages the content and advertising on the website and has done a great job of supplementing our coverage with pictures of the most special moments at the Celebration.


            Jan Ontiveros is perhaps one of only a very few people who see every single horse enter and leave the Celebration ring. Jan inputs all of our Celebration results as the classes happen, and then she enters the judges’ cards, for both the Walking Horse Celebration and the Louisville World’s Championship. We also could not maintain the accuracy of our database without the help of master historian Sally Carver. Sally doublechecks every entry, inputs many of the shows as well, and generally makes us all look very smart!


            We’re all supported by a great front office staff led by Peggy Youngblood. Dianne Green is always friendly on the phone, and Jon Morrow helps out from his usual duties by covering the night shift for us so that our phone lines are open virtually around the clock. Jenny Logsdon and Rachel Cunningham complete our crackerjack customer service staff.


            I do want to thank my brother Jeffrey for being a great ambassador for the Report. And of course, my father, David Howard, for the guidance, leadership, and ethical example he sets for our whole team!


            As you can see, it takes a village to put out the Report in all its forms! I’m so very fortunate to have a team of this caliber, and we all feel fortunate to be able to serve the best customers in the world!


            Thanks for your loyal support!


            Christy Howard Parsons

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