by David L. Howard

I am not sure of the merit of the TWHBEA’s proposal for doing away with the National Horse Show Commission. First of all, the plan is too sketchy with many blanks still to be filled in and no two breeders’ representatives explain it the same way.

This is not to say it is without merit, it is simply without enough substance on which to make an intelligent judgment and the timing does not allow sufficient communication and clarification to create a new program for 2006 in just a few short months.

The Trainers had it right at their annual meeting -- there may be merit to the TWHBEA plan but let’s all get behind the Commission for 2006 and work on coming up with a better solution for the next year.

We have enough on our plate now -- an operating plan that is expiring at the end of 2006 and needs to be renegotiated; we have a new group, The National Horse Protection Society, trying to make substantive changes at the national level; you have a turf war ongoing at the TWHBEA with very serious allegations and rumors floating around about Executive Director Charles Hulsey; there are serious doubts that any of the other organizations are going to buy into the plan without some communication, input and concessions; and concerns have been expressed that this new umbrella organization does not meet the requirements of the USDA.

Besides, the plan as I understand it will use the same judges, the same DQPs and much of the current staff in 2006. If that’s the case, what are you really changing?

Can the Commission be improved -- absolutely! Is it better to improve it with the input of all the major organizations -- absolutely! Can we really afford the luxury of spending our time, energy and effort on this with all the challenges we face next show season?

I think not!!