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Lantis Responds to Attacks By Cole



I have recently become aware of an effort initiated by Fran Cole, a former TWHBEA director, to encourage director recalls, with me as the first such effort. I understand that there is no allegation of wrongdoing, but in fact the opposite, in that, as Performance Vice President 2013, I have acted to encourage the marketing and showing of performance horses, among all disciplines of the breed, as was clearly my charge by the duties assigned to that position.  I believe it important that those who have been encouraged by Ms. Cole understand who I am and the position I am to fulfill in the remaining ten months of my term as a TWHBEA officer and California director. 

It is perhaps reflective of the diversity of the states of California and Tennessee that I have engaged in field trial riding, 4-H, trail riding, fox hunting, flat shod shows, padded shows, park performance, breeding, versatility, halter, and the promotion of youth activities, and love them all equally. The common denominator in all of these activities is that my horses have been loved, well cared for, and well trained.  

As a director from the great state of California, I represent owners that participate in these same disciplines, and others.  It is important to note that there are many performance horses and performance horse owners in California, and I represent their interests as well as those that prefer only flat shod Tennessee Walking Horses.  It has been purported by Ms. Cole, and others, that I am not ‘listening’ to my constituents, which is untrue.  In fact, prior to this ‘test case’ removal of me initiated by Ms. Cole, I have only been contacted by members opposed to the Whitfield amendments.
 
Those who attempt to demonize performance divisions and their shoeing rules, in the face of long-standing government studies and a lifetime of experience which shows that these regulations are safe and humane, simply ignore fact and science and have no traction with me. I do very much object to bad and inefficient inspection processes and abuse of any horse, at the barn, on the trail, and in the ring, and in my career have complied with the Horse Protection Act.  One year ago, TWHBEA sent me to Washington to seek cooperative and efficient ways in which the industry and USDA could work together to help horses. 

For 2014, I have been elected to the Admin/Fiscal Vice President position. In this crucial time for TWHBEA, President Smith has pointed out that this organization, like any other, must market its product, do its job, and stay in the black to continue. My job, which has no direct relationship to the “Whitfield Amendment”, is essentially that pursuit. The TWHBEA Board has twice indicated its clear position on Whitfield; and yet, Ms. Cole indicates that her effort to remove me and other directors is about this legislation.  She misunderstands and misstates the function of my office, the effect of the effort, and the effect of the proposed law. 

Whitfield is bad law, conceived in conflict and encouraged by misrepresentation. If passed, it would result in the slaughter and mistreatment of thousands of unused and cast-off horses; it will promote the continued abuse of horses by the elimination of inspections by those who know how; and clearly its own purported author, who did not draft this language, does not understand its import.  The ambiguity in Whitfield is astounding, and Whitfield and others pushing this bill tell us that it will all be handled after the passing of the bill.  Personally, I do not believe that is prudent and would leave our breed in a rulemaking process for possibly years, with uncertainty.  However, this is beside the immediate point, as my focus in the next months is in the restoration of fiscal balance to our inclusive breed registry. There are no matters related to Whitfield on any present agenda.
 
I have absolutely no intention of resigning any position. I leave to those attorneys who know and correctly apply the law applicable to this situation, and who have no personal interest, to determine whether and how to proceed.  I encourage those well-intentioned folks who have been led to believe that they are helping horses by lending their names to Ms. Cole’s effort to understand the facts, her motivation, and my position. I continue to promote a policy of inclusion as the best way to represent everyone. In the meantime, I will proudly perform volunteer work for TWHBEA and the presentation of this horse, and all of his unique abilities, to the world.   

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