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Incentive for trainers returning ‘Horse of the Year’ ballots



By Sadie Fowler

The Walking Horse Trainers Association is offering and incentive to trainers who turn in their ballots for the Horse of the Year Awards, which have been revamped this year. This year’s awards are being calculated by a combination of points from the High Point Report standings and votes.

The WHTA announced this week that any trainer who sends in their ballot by Nov. 14 will have their name put in a drawing for a chance to win a basket filled with great items, valued at approximately $1000.
Previously, the Horse of the Year was determined by a vote of the licensed members of the WHTA. The program has seen a decline in interest from voting members in recent years and the board of directors decided a change was needed.

“The Horse of the Year is the top honor for any horse to receive in our industry,” said WHTA president Bill Cantrell, in a story printed earlier this year in the Walking Horse Report. “In recent years, we just haven’t been able to get our members to cast ballots in large numbers and as a result horses have won awards in categories that they have not been major factors in other than at the Celebration.” 

This year, the Horse of the Year is being determined by a combination of high points earned in the category as well as votes by the members of the WHTA. Fifty percent of the tally is coming from the Walking Horse Report high points and 50 percent is coming from the votes received at the end of the year in each category.

“We have worked closely with the Walking Horse Report to understand their high points and feel it is a good mix to reward horses that have accumulated points based on their performance in our show rings as well as allow our trainers to vote for those horses that made the biggest impression on them throughout the year,” said Cantrell.

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