Copyright 2009 WHR

By Jeffrey Howard

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Walking Horse Association Board of Directors met this morning for the final time before the general membership meeting at 1:00 PM EST today (Saturday, January 10, 2009).  The nominating committee of Don Campbell (Chairman), John Jackson, Jamie Hankins, Kenny Smith and Dan Grigson presented the following document outlining the guidelines for the election.

2009 Nominating Committee Recommendations for the KWHA Voting Procedures for Directors & Officers:

• Ballots are distributed to membership as they come into the general membership session.  Family memberships receive 2 ballots.  Individual memberships receive 1 ballot
• At time of election on the agenda the membership totals will be announced
• The nominating committee chairman will present their list of members seeking election to the Board
• Nominations to add to the list can be made from the floor
• At the end of the nominations, the President will call for members to mark their ballots
• There will be 5 tables to receive ballots.  Each table will be marked to receive ballots based on the first letter of a member’s last name.  At each table there will be a director who has 1 year remaining on their term to be the Teller Chairman.  Three other members of that voting group will be selected to be on the table’s Teller Committee to count the votes.  Members will bring their individual ballots to the table.  They will first sign the membership roster, then have their number of ballots certified by the teller committee, then drop their ballot or ballots into the vote box
• The president will call for a close on the voting
• The table’s teller committee will count the votes for that table
• The chairman of the teller committee will take their results to the Overall Teller Committee, which is the Director Chairman from each table.  This group will add the totals from the tables to determine the winners
• This process will be first done for the directors.  Then the nominating committee will present nominees separately for each office. 
Nominations from the floor will be called for.  Each office will be a separate voting procedure as described above.  The exception will be if there is only one nominee for an office at which time a voice or hand vote can be taken

The committee then presented the list of 26 names they had received who had expressed an interest in serving on the board.  The election will be for 11 two-year terms and 1 one-year term.  The list of names presented are as follows:  Lee Arnold, Spencer Benedict, Bill Carmichael, Smokey Carswell, Mike Conyers, Lisa Evans, Bo Grugan, Billy Joe Hayes, Jessica Hayes, Joe Herald, Laurie Herschenroeder, Billy Howard, Danny Hughes, Courtney Luttrell, Lisa Newsome, Gary Oliver, Ray Perkins, Chucky Poynter, Andy Reynolds, Earl Rogers, Jr., Jared Scott, Bob Stannard, John Tudor, Tom Ware, Travis Wiley, Rodney Young.

The committee also presented their nominations for the offices of President and Treasurer.  The committee decided to nominate two candidates, Joe Herald and Denzil Allen, for President and Allan McQuerry for Treasurer. 

Bill Carmichael challenged the committee as to why no one had been selected for 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President by the committee.  Don Campbell answered that question, “We were not able to come up with those names because certain individuals would only serve in those offices if a certain person won President.”  Carmichael challenged the board and membership, “Are we serving the association or some party affiliation?”  Jamie Hankins assured Carmichael that the committee asked those individuals that same question.

As it stands now, after the election for president is complete the meeting will be recessed for a short time to allow the nominating committee to come up with those names for 1st and 2nd Vice President.  Campbell and Jackson seemed to think that would only take 5 to 10 minutes for those names to be selected.

A visitor to the board meeting, Jessica Hayes, who is also seeking election, asked the committee to make sure that no family members of the persons seeking election be allowed to count the votes.  Hankins and the committee assured Hayes this would not be allowed.

Other issues covered in the board meeting included several discussions regarding the Kentucky Celebration.  The Celebration is in the last year of its contract with the facility in Liberty, Ky. and the group felt it was time to form a search committee to seek all the options for venues in 2010 and beyond.  With the Equestrian Games in Lexington that year, venues could be in high demand throughout 2010.  The Kentucky Celebration will be held this year on September 16-19 in Liberty.

Carmichael also asked the board to consider possible changes to the show schedule because of the need to have weanling and yearling championship classes.  He mentioned the ability to do the qualifying classes, open and amateur, on the day performance of the Saturday schedule and then the championship on Saturday night.  However, that would not allow the entries to receive both sets of points in the KEEPS incentive, since that incentive requires each performance to be 24 hours apart.  No decision was made however the group liked the idea of the weanling and yearling qualifying classes being on Friday night and the championship classes on Saturday night.

Earl Rogers made the board aware that as of the end of 2008 the Tennessee Walking Horse was the largest non-racing breed in the state of Kentucky with a little over 38,800 horses.  The Quarter Horse has approximately 36,900.  This will increase the percentage of incentive funds allocated to the Walking Horse since the KEEPS fund is distributed based on those percentages.  This was good news because of the announced reduction in breeding fees in the Thoroughbred industry, which build the money in the fund.

Rogers also mentioned a bill that will be on the floor as the 2009 sessions starts (Slots to Track) that could potentially double the incentive funds available and be allocated to education, healthcare, horse facilities across the state as well as incentive monies.

The election this afternoon will be a very important election as the KWHA looks to its future in 2009 and beyond.  Much has been made of the election and its importance in industry chat rooms and in meetings across the state.  The KWHA board and nominating committee have done their best to assure that each and every voice is heard and represented in the 2009 election.

Full election results will be posted on Walking Horse Report as they become available.