LEWISBURG, Tenn. - The executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) met July 29, 2002 for a scheduled monthly meeting.

The meeting began on a positive note with TWHBEA President Robert Thomas expressing his satisfaction with the 2002 show season. He said the industry is enjoying a great horse show season with big numbers nearly every weekend.

Executive Director Bob Cherry delivered the financial report on behalf of Charles Wharton, who was absent from the meeting. Mr. Cherry reported that excess revenue over expenses is currently $19,000 down from $109,000 a year ago. He said there were three primary reasons for the reduction in revenue. First, the budget committee, at the direction of the Association’s accounting firm, budgeted for closer margins this year. Second, two unbudgeted staff positions were added this year. And third, the Association has experienced a 29% increase in health insurance costs this year.

Following this report, the executive committee approved the financial statement for the period ending June 30, 2002.

President Thomas gave an update from the TWHBEA Search Committee. This committee is charged with finding a replacement for Bob Cherry, who is set to retire at the end of the year. Mr. Thomas said the group had met three times and plans to meet again during the Celebration. He said he was disappointed that only two resumes had been received so far, and that the committee plans to increase its advertising of the position. In addition, the committee is looking into the possibility of setting a deadline for submitting applications.

Sid Baucom, member at large-bylaws, said a determination should be made with regard to establishing qualifications for the position. He asked the personnel committee to determine if qualifications should be established, and if so, what they should be.

Jerrold Pedigo, senior vice president, said his unity committee has met with one more HIO since the last executive committee meeting. He said meetings with three HIOs remain.

Mr. Cherry’s report included a positive update on TWHBEA’s recent participation in Euro Cheval, a large equine trade show held in Offenburg, Germany. He also distributed an updated list of candidates for the TWHBEA board along with a letter from Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) President Bill Young urging TWHBEA to commit to a multi-term contract with the National Horse Show Commission.

Mr. Cherry reported the year-to-date numbers from the registry department. Registrations show an increase of 299, resulting in an increase in revenue of $23,000. Transfers are up 796, and transfer income is up $36,000. New and renewed membership are up 52, while mares listed on stallion breeding reports are down 383 (but have increased 50 since last month). Current membership through mid-July shows an increase of 606.

Brenda Bramlett, vice president of enforcement, stated that an enforcement situation had recently surfaced that required her rescue from the matter. She recommended that Jane Meredith be added to the committee, and that Larry Lowman serve as chair. This recommendation was approved.

Charles Hulsey, chairman of horse show committee, presented some positive numbers from his division. He said 28 new shows have been developed within the fiscal year. Collectively, these shows have accounted for 4900 entries. He feels the division’s goal of 40 new shows is within reach. Meeting this goal would result in approximately 2100 additional entries.

Jane Meredith, vice president of the performance horse division, said response to the Youth Medallion Classes continues to be disappointing. Her committee will be revisiting this program. On the other hand, she called the response to the Academy Program “phenomenal,” and said planning is well underway for the August 20 certification program to be held in the Calsonic warmup ring on the Celebration grounds. Her committee has joined forces with the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) in endorsing and promoting this new program.

Mrs. Meredith said that an Atlanta-based consultant had recently reviewed the proposed performance horse brochure and recommended some helpful improvements. She showed a preliminary design that was met with favorable responses among the members of the executive committee.

The brochure has exceeded its budget, and Mrs. Meredith received an additional $1,000 from the executive committee to complete the project.

Ann Kuykendall, vice president of the pleasure horse division, reported on two successful shows she recently judged in Alberta and Minnesota. She also conducted a clinic while in Minnesota. She said both experiences were quite rewarding, and that the quality and quantity of entries at both shows was tremendous. She said that youth participation in particular continues to increase.

She reminded the committee of the TWHBEA World Futurity Show scheduled for August 3. Larry Lowman, vice president of sales and promotion, said his division is working on the new Fall and Winter Gift Shop brochure, which will include some new items. He said the Gift Shop is scheduled to be open for business on the show grounds for the entire Celebration. The Gift Shop will also be set up during the TWHBEA World Versatility Show.

In an effort to increase Gift Shop sales, TWHBEA Youth Program sold merchandise at the Texas Youth Spectacular and the North Carolina 4-H State Championships.

Mr. Lowman said he is working with an individual from Shelbyville, TN to provide general upkeep for the TWHBEA Commemorative Garden. Mr. Cherry continues to work with representatives from the Dixie Plantation to secure the large statue of Midnight Sun. If successful, the statue will be featured in the garden.

Concluding his report, Mr. Lowman showed the designs that his committee selected for the rolling tractor-trailer murals.

Training Division Vice President David Landrum underscored the message of Bill Young’s letter to TWHBEA. He said the WHTA is very appreciative of TWHBEA’s involvement in the NHSC.

Mr. Landrum said that despite the USDA’s presence, 230 entries participated in the recent Marshall County Horseman’s Association Show in Lewisburg, TN. He said this was a tribute to the NHSC and the confidence exhibitors have in the fairness of its inspection procedures.

He said the MASCUP Championship Show, that he mentioned at last month’s meeting is on hold for now because of scheduling conflicts associated with the year-end meetings of the WHTA and TWHBEA.

Nancy Lynn Beech, member at large-youth, said the Photo, Art and Essay contests have been judged and the winners notified. She said officials from TWHBEA, WHOA and WHTA met recently to discuss co-sponsoring events specifically geared toward youth. The first event, a pool party, took place July 24 at the Riverbend Country Club in Shelbyville, TN., and was attended by 23 kids.

Under Old Business, the committee asked Sid Baucom to look into the possibility of incorporating the TWHBEA Code of Conduct Standards into the bylaws and include stated penalties for code infractions.

Mr. Cherry reported the much-anticipated TWHBEA judging video, Judging Classes of Tennessee Walking Horses, is now complete. He said the video jackets were being printed and 250 copies of the video have been ordered.

The next executive committee meeting is scheduled for September 30, 2002.