Written by Sarah Gee

Lewisburg, TN – The TWHBEA Executive Committee held its most recent meeting June 27, 2009 at association headquarters in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Absent from the meeting were Enforcement Vice President Rick Womack, Horse Shows Vice President Bruce Vaughn, Trainers Vice President Chris Bobo, and Vice President Member At Large By Laws Debra Jack.

Following the approval of the agenda and the approval of the minutes from the May 23, 2009 Executive Committee meeting, Executive Director Stan Butt presented for approval the financials for the period ending May 31, 2009.  He reported that actual revenue for the month was $147,465 compared to budgeted revenue of $214, 451 and that actual expenses for the month were $162,855 compared to budgeted expenses of $214,079. Year to date, the association is operating with a $29,758 deficit compared to a projected year to date deficit of $30,000. Following Butt’s report the financials were approved.

President David Pruett and Senior Vice President Robert Thomas opted to waive their remarks. In his remarks, Butt discussed his recent trip to the American Horse Council meetings in Washington, D.C. He stated that he had met with both Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Bob Corker, as well as with several representatives. Much of the discussion, according to Butt, revolved around the Tennessee Walking Horse industry’s economic impact on Tennessee and the surrounding states. Butt also reported that he had taken part in a meeting with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, at which many of the same topics were discussed. Present at that meeting were Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Ken Givens, TWHBEA President David Pruett, Walking Horse Owners’ Association President Frank Neal, Celebration and SHOW CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows, Middle Tennessee State University’s Dr. Dave Whitaker, several top aides for Tennessee senators and representatives, as well as a number of other industry supporters.

In the first standing committee report of the day, Breeders Vice President Dee Dee Sale reported that things are moving along smoothly with the new iPeds program and that National Futurity nominations are holding steady year over year. Reporting next, Marketing Vice President Kasey Kesselring discussed plans for a Tennessee Walking Horse logo contest and the production of a new promotional view book about the breed and association.

Owners’/Exhibitors’ Vice President Kathy Zeis related that her committee had come in way under budget on the upcoming Celebration Clinics. She said that plans call of several organizations to set up informational booth at the clinics and that TWHBEA was partnering with the Pleasure Walking Horse Association of Tennessee to organize the clinics that are to be held on Wednesday, September 2. Zeis also reported that there are currently 63 horses enrolled in the GO! Gelding Opportunities program and that TWHBEA’s international membership is growing by leaps and bounds.

During Performance Horse Vice President Wayne Dean’s report a committee was established to look into the feasibility of the scar rule study proposed by Tom Kakassy at the May International Board of Directors Meeting. That committee consists of Wayne Dean, Bruce Vaughn and Chris Bobo.

Pleasure Horse Vice President Diane McMurtrey reported that her committee had decided to table any discussion concerning regional versatility shows because they felt that the proposed changes to the Supreme and Superior Versatility Championship requirements might achieve the same goals. She then stated that her committee was committed to developing a versatility futurity and that plans were to work with the futurity subcommittee following the World Versatility Show.

In the final report of the day, Vice President Member At Large Youth Christy Lantis discussed plans for All Youth Day at the Celebration. She related that three trainers had committed to providing performance horses for the youth judging contest and that this year the youth mini clinics would be patterned on The Amazing Race television show. Lantis also reported on upcoming scholarship fundraising efforts including the Betty Freeman Horse Show, which will feature a silent auction, the Celebration Golf Scramble, and the Lewisburg Horse Show, which will contribute half of the money collected at the gate.

Under old business, McMurtrey discussed the possibility of TWHBEA sponsoring Tracy Pinson as she competes in the finals of the Extreme Cowboy Race. Under new business discussion turned to filling the vacancy left by former Georgia Director Mike Inman. Alternate Buster Black will fill the vacancy.

The next meeting of the TWHBEA Executive Committee will be August 8, 2009 at association headquarters.