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Financial Improvement Highlights TWHBEA Mid-Year Meeting



By Jeffrey Howard

LEWISBURG, Tenn. - The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) held its International Board of Directors’ meeting in Lewisburg on May 23, 2015.  Gone are the days of the hotly contested meetings that lasted late into the afternoon.  President Steve Smith presided over a quick and tidy meeting lasting less than two hours.  “I am appreciative of the honor of being your President and I assure you the executive committee is working hard for you.  Our board meetings are lively and constructive,” said Smith as part of his opening remarks.

One of the main goals of TWHBEA under Smith’s direction has been to stabilize the association financially.  Although tough decisions have been made, TWHBEA is beginning to show signs of improvement.  Since the end of the fiscal year in November 2014, TWHBEA has grown its cash on hand to $407,854 from $364,283, an increase of 12%.  Through the five months ending April 30, 2015 TWHBEA has lost $7,780 as compared to a loss of $78,797 last year during that same timframe.

The reason for the turnaround can be found in the increase in revenue from the registry ($45,000), marketing ($30,000) and the reduction of $100,000 in expense from the Voice magazine among other smaller items.  TWHBEA outsourced the production of the Voice which is the reason for the reduction in the expense, although the revenue in the Voice has also dropped from $62,805 to $36,012, a 43% decline.

The marketing revenue jumped from $1,000 to $31,000 as a result of securing the revenue stream from the sale of the Tennessee Walking Horse license plates.  Three areas highlight the improvement in the registry.  New foal registrations are up $13,112, transfer fees are up $13,363 and DNA of new foals is up $12,190.  One alarming note on the financials is the continual decrease in membership revenue, currently $22,366 less in 2015 than this time in 2014.

Gloria Rambo is a familiar face to anyone who has visited TWHBEA over the last 50 years and Smith recognized Rambo’s 50 years of continuous service at the start of the meeting.  A humble Rambo accepted a couple small gifts of appreciation from TWHBEA and simply stated she had been happy to serve the membership over the last 50 years.

During his performance horse committee report, Ford Gates announced that TWHBEA will be bringing back the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show on the traditional date in the horse show calendar, this year falling on July 31.  The pleasure horse and youth committees are helping with the show, which will feature a youth pleasure horse fun day at 4:00PM with the traditional class sheet starting after.  Gates did warn that it will require the funds to be raised prior to the show, approximately $12,000, or the show will have to be canceled.

During his breeders’ committee report, David Williams announced the addition of two new classes at the National Futurity.  The classes will be for the uniquely colored and patterned Tennessee Walking Horses.  “This class has been very appropriately named to memorialize TWHBEA director Elsie Darrah of Kansas.  Elsie was the “guru” of color for TWHBEA and was very instrumental in the explanation and promotion of the unique colors and patterns of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.”  There will be classes in the weanling and yearling divisions.

The World Versatility Show is in desperate need of sponsorships according to Pleasure Horse Vice President Margo Urad.  The show has moved the rail classes back to Saturday evening this year so as not to conflict with the Marshall County Horseman’s Association show.  Expenses for this year’s show have been cut but the need for sponsorship still remains.
 

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