The Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitors’ Association (GWHEA) Summer Classic horse show in Buckhead, GA has declined to participate in the WHTA’s Enforcement Initiative.  The show, held on June 23, 2012 is affiliated with the PRIDE HIO and even though PRIDE HIO has endorsed the program, show management will not allow the use of the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technology at its show.

“We are extremely disappointed that Show Manager Jimmy Brown and the GWHEA have declined to participate.  This enforcement initiative and use of this technology has been endorsed by all four performance horse HIOs and the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association.  To decline a program intended to ensure the welfare of our horses is irresponsible and disappointing,” said TWSHO representatives.

The newly formed Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO) has endorsed the program and has agreed to fund the program initially so at this time there is no cost to the GWHEA or any exhibitor.  “To not participate in a program founded by the WHTA and endorsed by all of the performance  HIOs is simply not recognizing the importance of the welfare of the horse, the welfare of the persons responsible for the horse or the future of the horse,” said TWSHO.

TWHSO and WHTA discourage any licensed Walking Horse trainer from participating in any horse show that does not endorse and include the new enforcement initiative.