FAST Receives Fundraising Challenge
Friday, January 27, 2017
The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) has been instrumental in raising monies for the ongoing legal battles to preserve the Tennessee Walking Show Horse. Recently six donors committed $50,000 each to help with the legal challenges that will be necessary to preserve the performance horse and ensure a science-based, objective inspection protocol.
Each donor will initially donate $25,000 each to continue the funding of the legal expenses. The industry, with the help of FAST and other industry organizations, will be challenged to raise an additional $250,000 at which point the six donors will donate the additional $25,000 each, making the total $550,000. This will be in addition to the $500,000 previously raised bringing the total to over $1,000,000.
The USDA recently finalized a rule that would eliminate the pads and action devices worn by Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses as well as would eliminate the Horse Industry Organizations and place undue burdens on show management. The rule has been temporarily withdrawn pending a review by the new administration. After review the rule could be reintroduced, changed or completely withdrawn.
However, the rule does not address the current inspection system that has resulted in wide variances in results. The industry has long-supported the change to an independent inspection entity utilizing science-based, objective inspection protocols. It is possible that a legal challenge to the current system and its results will be necessary in the near future. The need for a long-term solution emphasizes the importance of fundraising to provide the industry the necessary resources to preserve and grow the Tennessee Walking Show Horse.
“We can’t thank the industry enough for the generosity shown during our most recent fundraising efforts. To achieve $500,000 by the last night of the Celebration was an example of the tremendous support of our show horse. We would like to especially thank these six individuals for kicking off phase two as we move above $1,000,000 raised in this initiative. We are confident the industry will raise the necessary $250,000 to meet the challenge and raise the amount donated above $1,000,000,” said FAST’s Vice President Kathy Zeis.
Anyone interested in donating can either visit FAST at www.fastwalkingshowhorse.org or donate directly to the law firm handling the industry’s response to the rulemaking.