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HAWHA Clarifies With TWHBEA

March 25, 2007

Mr. Charles Cadle
& the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association
Executive Committee Members
P.O. Box 286
Lewisburg, Tennessee 37091

Dear Mr. Cadle and the Executive Committee Members

I’m writing this letter in response to a letter written to you from Floyd Hampsmire and published in the March 5, 2007 Walking Horse Report.  See letter here.

It is NOT the official opinion of the Heart of America Walking Horse Association (HAWHA) that you abandon your HIO status.  According to a discussion I had with President Ted Nichols, three HAWHA officials took it upon themselves to take this position without the consent of the Board of Directors or the vote of the membership.  These officials should understand that they have a fiduciary duty to carry out the wishes of not only the Board of Directors, but also the wishes of the membership at large, regardless of their personal views.  Furthermore, during a recent HAWHA meeting, a motion was presented and passed that the HAWHA write letters to the TWHBEA and the Commission stating that the HAWHA is going to take a neutral stand with respect to views and opinions of both and not sign with either organization at this time.  The HAWHA is willing to work hard towards the unification of the industry as a whole, in whatever capacity needed.  It is not HAWHA’s place to condemn the efforts of other organizations.

I’ve had conversations with many of the HAWHA members and most are concerned that this industry we have invested so many resources in, is in danger of collapsing around us.  Owners I have spoken to are deeply concerned about the future viability of the Walking Horse industry in general.  The fight between the two major factions has, number one, killed the price of horses.  Secondly, a lot of people who were involved in the futurities say they are not going to breed and show colts any longer because it has become such a loosing proposition.  Finally, some owners I have spoken to have stated they are tired of all the fighting and are ready to get out completely, simply because showing is no longer any fun.  This industry will not be able to heal itself until the ALL dividing factions realize that they have to set down together and work towards a COMPROMISE.  A team of horses can’t pull a wagon if they pull at different times and go in different directions.

I’m asking for myself as well as MANY others in the industry, will you, the TWHBEA and the other dividing factions PLEASE come to some resolve soon, before the training barns start emptying out and it becomes to late to recover from all the damage?

Again, I apologize for the actions of others in our organization who exceeded there official capacity.


Dennis R. Hills
HAWHA Board Member

Cc:       The Walking Horse Report

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