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Irby Addresses United Horse Show Development Programs



The following letter was received Monday, March 28, 2011 from TWHBEA President Marty Irby.


Dear Friends:
 
There have been a number of questions raised in regards to the United Horse Show Development Programs last week under the FAST NON PROFIT 501C3 banner. I want to address these issues and clarify my personal stance on the subject.
 
1) I was approached over a month ago to meet with a group of owners during the Trainers' Show regarding a horse show development program. I met with these individuals and listened to their plan Friday, March 18.
 
2) From this meeting and after discussion a majority of those who attended the meeting decided Deborah Williams, Dee Cantrell, Diane McMurtrey, and Mike Inman would be the committee to oversee this program. At no time did I personally or on behalf of TWHBEA agree to serve in a position on any committee. I have never served on a committee within this industry that was not a TWHBEA committee.
 
3) During the meeting I specifically pointed out that excluding any HIOs would not be a goodwill gesture toward unity. I again specifically mentioned this item to the TWHBEA Executive Committee the following day.
 
4) In full disclosure, I did review the press release regarding this topic before it was released. A number of people gave input and the final result excluded HIOs who have accepted the mandatory penalties. Do I agree this is ideal situation? Absolutely not. I was told the donation of $25,000 had two stipulations. This was the first and the second was that the horse shows must be in the “hinterlands” outside of Tennessee and Kentucky. Otherwise there would be no donation.
 
5) It has been asked "Why was this not done under the TWHBEA banner?" I ask why TWHBEA would have a program with such stipulations. In addition, the donation was not offered to TWHBEA.
 
6) TWHBEA's job is to encourage and support any Horse Show Development anywhere in the world that involves Tennessee Walking Horses. We want more shows and are glad people want to put them on and help sustain them. More shows are good no matter the location. It is exposure for our great horse.
 
7) TWHBEA's Horse Show Development Program has been virtually non-existent for the past several years within the United States. We have worked internationally in this area and have been successful. The reason for this is that the federal funding from USLGE comes with a stipulation that it must be utilized to promote outside the U.S. I don't think we want to turn down their funds as an industry because of a stipulation. The same scenario applies to the stipulations on Tennessee & Kentucky. When we have the funding within TWHBEA to grow our horse show development department we will. We gladly welcome any donations individuals or groups would like to donate to TWHBEA for Horse Show Development under the TWHBEA banner!
 
I ask everyone think reasonably about these points and to think about the exposure for our horse. In my daily duties I always think about the horse first. I ask everyone to think about the horse first. Then let’s think about the people. Let’s work TOGETHER to help expose our horse no matter what organization is leading the charge. TWHBEA is the parent and the leader of our industry. It is the oldest and the largest organization still today. Let’s all help each other because we all need each other! Our horse needs us to help each other!
 
Can our industry rally and join together to help our horse just as Americans did on September 11, 2001? That day everyone realized our common bond: We are all Americans. Let us within our industry realize and respect the fact that we are all Tennessee Walking Horse people. I believe we can join together and be unified on many fronts if we always put the horse first.

Respectfully,

Marty Irby
President, TWHBEA

 

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