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Ingram Group Proposes Plan to Celebration



Walking Horse is an icon and centerpiece of industry worth saving

Shelbyville, Tenn. – The Ingram Group, a nationally recognized strategic consulting and lobbying firm, recently met with the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and presented a plan for the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse and The Celebration.  The Celebration initially met with The Ingram Group in late 2014 to explore options of how the groups could potentially work together.

The Ingram Group conducted several meetings with influential decision makers including Senator Lamar Alexander, Dr. Jim Thompson, Dean of the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine, Neil Chatterjee, Senior Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Maria de Varenne, Editor of the Tennessean.  The conversations were part of the fact-finding mission to help further understand the industry and testing The Ingram Group’s theories.

Two members of The Ingram Group, Beecher Frasier and Rachel Albright attended the Tunica Fall Classic in November 2014 to get a better understanding of the inspection process as well as viewing a traditional Tennessee Walking Horse show.  They left Tunica convinced they could and needed to help save such an iconic figure as the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Many of the challenges facing the Tennessee Walking Horse were quickly uncovered as were the perception problems associated with the performance Tennessee Walking Horse.  Both Frasier and Albright have personal experience in other equine breeds and were astonished at what was required of a Tennessee Walking Horse during inspection.

During the presentation to The Celebration the Ingram Group made many of the same suggestions that are currently underway through the Celebration’s Veterinary Advisory Committee and efforts to certify an independent Horse Industry Organization.  The Ingram Group supports and recommends the independent HIO as well as having equine veterinarians lead objective testing to ensure the welfare of the horse and complete abolishment of soring..

In addition, The Ingram Group would propose a campaign for The Celebration to lead the industry back to its rightful place as a celebrated breed and the pride of Tennessee.  As part of that campaign, eliminating the uncertainty of the inspection process is paramount to the success as is the uniting of the breeders, owners and trainers behind a singular, strategic plan.  The Ingram Group realizes that in order to give people a reason to trust The Tennessee Walking Horse industry again significant changes in the industry must be supported by all groups.

In addition to the campaign centered on the horse, The Ingram Group would also like to help The Celebration rebrand itself and focus more on the fan experience and building the industry back with more than just horses.

The Ingram Group was started by Tom Ingram in 1983 after he left his post as Deputy to the Governor and Chief of Staff to then Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander.  Since that time The Ingram Group has grown to one of the country’s most respected crisis management and lobbying firms in the country with offices in Nashville and Washington, D.C.  The Ingram Group operates as The First Group in Washington.  Clients of the Ingram Group include Pilot Flying J, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Anheuser-Busch, National Healthcare Corporation and Lipscomb University.
 

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