On December 11-13, 2009, the Arizona TWHBEA members, headed by Debra Sedlmayer, TWHBEA Director, participated in the Festival of Horses in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Stan Butt, Executive Director of TWHBEA in Lewisburg, TN was also on hand to help announce several events and explain TWHBEA positions on various topics and questions from those attending.  The event was held at West World, the horse “place to be” for anyone interested in horses.  West World is the location where the largest Arabian horse show in the United States is held.

The Festival of Horses included numerous vendors selling their wares, educational seminars from top trainers, along with several different exhibitions of the various breeds.  Specifically, there was a Breed Demonstration and an Equi Dance.  Bill Cody and Clever Debutante, 2009 TWHBEA Supreme Versatility Champion and 2008 WHOA High Point Pleasure Horse of the Year with top honors in Trail Pleasure, Trail Obstacle and Timed Versatility represented the TWH breed in both events.  Bill and Clever Debutante are snowbirds in Arizona but reside in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Numerous attendees visited the TWHBEA booth to visit Clever Debutante, check out her conformation and even inspect the front feet and shoes (very worn keg shoes with no caulks).  Most attendees were amazed at her canter to the “Tennessee Waltz”, spins and side passes.

 Many attendees asked numerous questions of local members about specifics of the breed, location of trainers in the area and where they could purchase a horse.  Most notably there was a tearful snowbird from New Jersey who had just sold his TWH in New Jersey because of his fear of the Arizona environment and the impact on his aged TWH.  After seeing the wonderful horse environment and riding in Arizona, he is looking for another TWH.  Other attendees were from  California, Colorado, Texas and Washington state besides Arizona and New Jersey.

Stan Butt was confronted with questions about the direction of TWHBEA related to USDA inspections and requirements specific to the trail pleasure horse and how that represents the breed throughout the world, but most importantly how Arizonans look at a trail pleasure horse.  Stan fielded the questions with the upmost sincerity and gained the respect of all those who visited with him. 

Certainly, this event helped gain the respect for the breed’s natural ability and utility with trail riding and ranch work and for TWHBEA and their promotion of the TWH breed. TWHBEA is proud to announce it has already committed to attending the event in 2010!