The Walking Horse Report has confirmed that Director Herschel Blessing from Bristol, Tenn., has resigned from his directorship at the Walking Horse Owners' Association today. This brings the total number of resignations from the WHOA board to five following the annual board of directors meeting on Feb. 12, 2011.

WHOA directors who have previously resigned include Bruce Vaughn, Valley City, Ohio; Kathy Zeis, Douglasville, Ga.; Virginia Stewart, Bell Buckle, Tenn.; and George-Ann Pratt, Shelbyville, Tenn. The Report is contacting other board members regarding their status as members of the board of directors.

During the annual meeting of the WHOA board, an executive session was called and the board voted to continue its HIO and to accept the mandatory penalties proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

WHOA has since issued a news release explaining the reasoning behind the board's decision.