Posted April 16, 2002
LEWISBURG, Tenn. - Following the positive tone set by the National Walking Horse Trainers’ Show, the TWHBEA Executive Committee held its March meeting knowing the 2002 show season was off to a good start.

Following the call to order by President Robert Thomas, the agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting were routinely approved. Also approved were the financial statements for the periods ending January 31 and February 28. Approval of the 2001 audit was put on hold until Charles Wharton, vice president of the administrative/fiscal division, could review it. Once endorsed by the executive committee, the audit will be recommended to the national board for final approval.

President Thomas and Senior Vice President Jerrold Pedigo echoed one other’s praise of the Trainers’ Show, held March 20-23. Both were encouraged by the quality and quantity of entries, and Mr. Pedigo reported that the inspection process appeared to be fair. He also said the auctions held during the show were positive.

Executive Director Bob Cherry reported 3,133 current sign-ups for IPEDS, 1,074 of which are premium users. This has resulted in revenue of $53,700.

On Tuesday, March 19, Turner South Network was in Franklin, Tenn., filming at Harlinsdale Farm and Bobby Richards’ Colt Center. The footage will be used to feature the Tennessee Walking Horse in a show about the southern United States called “Liars and Legends.” TWHBEA assisted in the project.

Mr. Cherry reported that another television network, RFD-TV, has recently contacted TWHBEA requesting additional Tennessee Walking Horse programming. He said the network, which as 22 million viewers, has agreed to broadcast TWHBEA’s new promotional video at no cost and is willing to air more breed programming.

Continuing his report, Mr. Cherry said TWHBEA’s new youth judging video is in production and about 50 percent complete. He recently returned from a trip to the northwest where he met with the Western International Walking Horse Association at their request, and also attended the Greater Northwest Equine Expo in Albany, Oregon.

Mr. Cherry said year-to-date comparisons through February 2002 show first-time foal registrations up 348 (an increase in revenue of $15,804), transfers up 288 (an increase in revenue of $13,565), new and renewed memberships down 518 ( a decrease in revenue of $5,027) and current membership up 302.

Charles Wharton delivered the administrative/fiscal division’s report. Through February, he said the association is $23,000 ahead of last year in revenue, but expenses have increased $91,000. The net through February shows the association has lost $8,500. During the same period last year, the association had $59,000 in excess revenue over expenses. Although the budget committee projected a $10,000 loss for the period, Mr. Wharton said that he had hoped to be closer to last year’s first quarter number. “What it says to me is that we’re going to have to be careful with respect to how we manage our money for the rest of the year,” said Mr. Wharton.

Bonnie Barberot, vice president of the breeders division, presented multiple recommendations on behalf of her committee. One of the recommendations, which would increase late fees for registering new foals, was tabled until the effect of such an increase could be determined.

Another breeders’ committee recommendation presented by Mrs. Barberot was to reinstate the January 1 universal birthday, thus eliminating the “holdover” rule for foals born after October 1. A discussion ensued, and the executive committee placed the issue on hold until a determination could be made regarding the question of who has jurisdiction of the “holdover” rule for showing purposes, TWHBEA or the NHSC.

A breeders’ committee recommendation to limit a mare to three embryo transfers per year also resulted in no action taken by the executive committee.

Mrs. Barberot reported that her committee is planning to draft information, reminding people of the rules regarding the transferring of horses and it in the Voice Magazine and the Walking Horse Report.

Other items presented by the breeders’ committee included providing more information on color statistics and genetics in IPEDS, designing TWHBEA copyrighted software for the breeding business that is Tennessee Walking Horse specific, and notifying the membership of the deceased horse credit and the gelding credit available through the TWHBEA registry.

Brenda Bramlett, vice president of the enforcement committee, said there were no new formal complaints to report.

Charles Hulsey, vice president of the horse show division, updated the executive board on the activities of his committee. “Between the medallion classes, regional futurities, regional versatility shows and out ‘new show’ program, we are now assisting 60 shows scattered across 18 states,” said Hulsey.

He said his committee is now focused on helping revive struggling shows.

Jane Hardy Meredith, vice president for the performance show horse division, said she is excited about the hiring of Joni Jenne as Youth/Performance Show Horse Coordinator. She also gave a progress report on the new performance show horse brochure and showed Larry Lowman’s illustration of the training progression of a padded horse.

She reported that efforts to secure a corporate sponsor to enhance first-place prize money in the medallion class continue.

In an effort to expand the market for the $5,000 - $15,000 horse, Mrs. Meredith said she is working with Nicole Carswell and newly-appointed committee member Leslie Derrickson to develop an academy program and boost interest in the equitation division. Carswell has already created a point-based program for equitation riders called the Diamond Challenge Program, and Meredith assigned subcommittees to develop both it and the academy program.

Ann Kuykendall reported that the NHSC Pleasure Horse Rules subcommittee recently met by conference call and voted 6-3 to reduce the size of the plantation pleasure shoe to one inch with no bands beginning in January of 2003. The recommendation has been forwarded to the NHSC Rules Committee.

Larry Lowman, vice president of the sales/promotion division, announced the hiring of Andy Stooksberry as the staff’s new marketing assistant. Mr. Lowman showed the executive committee an illustration of the new TWHBEA sign that will grace the front of the commemorative garden. He also said a new TWHBEA flag is being designed for display in the garden.

The sales/promotion committee is revisiting the TWHBEA rolling billboard project and is looking to expand it by developing murals for a limited number of tractor-trailer rigs. Concluding his report, Mr. Lowman said his committee is looking at new avenues for print advertising, including airline magazines.

Bylaws chairman Sid Baucom reported that his committee communicates each month by mail, and has determined that the minutes of the February executive committee meeting are consistent with the bylaws. He said there have been no new bylaw recommendations to report. Nancy Lynn Beech, member at large-youth, delivered the final standing committee report. She announced the addition of Rick Wies to her committee and praised the hiring Joni Jenne to coordinate the association’s youth activities.

She said the youth handbook had been revised and that the name of TWHBEA’s “Saddletime” program had been changed to “Ride With Pride.”

Citing the need for association to purchase a youth-oriented tabletop display, Miss Beech asked for and received permission to allocate up to $6,000 for that purpose.

Under Old BUsiness, NHSC Chairman Craig Evans said the Trainers’ Show attracted 732 entries, and called the show “a huge success in many ways.” Evans gave particular praise to the attending USDA VMOs. He said they came to the Trainers’ Show looking to support the NHSC’s program, and “did a marvelous job, quite frankly, of doing so.”

The next meeting of the TWHBEA Executive Committee is set for April 29.