Copyright WHR 2007

By David L. Howard

The endorsement by the American Farm Bureau Federation of the TWHBEA’s “self-regulatory” program created quite a stir…but for all the wrong reasons. As usual, rumor and misinformation got in the way of the facts and people were so busy pointing fingers we never got around to challenging what was said.

First of all, I am not sure of the significance of an endorsement by the AFBF for the Breeders’ plan, although I have great respect for this organization. I doubt they know very much about our breed and based on the quote from their President what they do know is wrong.

TWHBEA critics, and there are many, wanted to blame the Association for writing the release and making the comments about soring -“the practice continues today and, in fact, may be increasing.” The finger pointing and evasive answers got so bad that The Report contacted the Federation and they confirmed that their President, Bob Stallman, in fact made those comments, not the TWHBEA.

The sad part is that we were so busy bashing one another that no one in an official capacity challenged the allegation publicly. I am sure Bob Stallman is an honorable man but he is terribly misinformed. Granted, that’s probably all he has ever read or heard about the Tennessee Walking Horse but before making such a statement he should have gotten the facts.

The facts are there are sore horses and always will be but they are not increasing – they very much are on their way out. I hope someone will call Mr. Stallman and invite him to our shows so he can see for himself. If we don’t educate the general public, who will?