In response to an earlier request for comment by the Walking Horse Report, as well to serve as a general reply to the many inquiries I have received from the walking horse public, I would like to convey the background and circumstances surrounding my termination as the National Horse Show Commission Director of Judges.

The NHSC Executive Director, Lonnie Messick, terminated me on May 23, 2005 because there had been “no improvement in the Judges program during my two year tenure.” I have reserved public comment until now, as I felt obliged to give the NHSC management an opportunity to expand upon the stated reason for my termination and to defend its decision to do so. With this in mind, I requested a meeting with and delivered a presentation to the NHSC Board at its July 25, 2005 meeting (the Board did not meet in May and Messick denied my request to be on the agenda for the June meeting). As you will note, the purpose of my presentation to the board was not to request that my position be reinstated, but merely to ask for a more substantiated explanation to ensure the continuation of my good and long-standing reputation in the walking horse industry. I received no response during the meeting and despite repeated requests since then, neither the NHSC management nor board have provided any further explanation. In fact Messick informed me by phone on Aug. 1, 2005 that he was denying my requests. I thus believe I have given all parties a chance to express their opinions and feel it is an appropriate time to make a public statement

Although the primary motivation for this letter is to maintain my reputation, it should also serve another purpose. The NHSC, which represents and is funded by walking horse owners, breeders and trainers, should be held accountable, to ensure it is keeping the best interests of the entire walking horse industry at heart. Thank you for your time and your continued support.

[Editor's Note: The following is Martin's presentation to the NHSC Board.]