Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

Danny Hughes, Kenny Smith and Duane Rector have tendered their resignation from the Kentucky HIO Oversight Committee.

Hughes, who will turn 60 years old on Saturday, said “I’ve been at it too long already. I started in 1988 in the first meeting with Mitch McConnell. I’ve paid my dues. I’ll continue to do all I need to do to serve the Kentucky HIO, but I’m going to enjoy the time I have left in the horse business.”

Smith also has served the Kentucky HIO for many years. “I am happy to continue to assist the HIO in USDA negotiations and matters related to the Horse Protection Act. But I don’t have the time to continue all of the day to day activities and to devote my full time energy to the HIO,” said Smith.

Rector made this statement regarding his resignation. “While I have tendered my resignation from the Oversight Committee, I will continue to support the Kentucky HIO in any way possible. While there will always be disagreements and conflict within a group, at this time I feel that some personal opinions and ideas are being put ahead of what is best for the Kentucky HIO,” said Rector.

Danny Hughes was the first person to resign and he confirmed that he had no influence on anyone else’s decision to serve.

The remaining members of the eight-member Oversight Committee are Gary Oliver, John Tudor, Joe Herald, Earl Rogers and Walt Bruner.

Rumors had attributed the resignations to a court case involving Gary Oliver. Oliver confirmed that he had been sued by a former owner involving an injury sustained by a horse in his care. Oliver settled the issue in court and did reimburse the owner for the cost of the animal.

“The jury did not find any record of abuse, and there were no punitive damages awarded. They tried to make this case about my care of the horse, but the jury found no evidence of any abuse,” explained Oliver.

Oliver will not be appealing the court decision and he will continue to serve on the Kentucky HIO Oversight Committee.