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Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

Like many of your readers I just attended the 65th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Unlike most of your readers this was my 50th anniversary of attendance. My father and I attended the 1953 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

Thinking about the changes that have taken place over time gives me pause to revisit what I consider the most important issues that the Tennessee Walking Horse industry has to deal with, specifically:


Most all major horse breeds in America that recognize a “World Champion” set the standards for and sanction the competitions for such designation. I know of no other breed which endorses the designation of such “World Championship” by a local horse show controlled by a self-serving, local entity and board of directors.

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association must take control, over a reasonable transition period, of the competition for its “World Championship.” There should be a system of qualification by which local shows are rated (ie: A, B, C) according to levels of competition and points are awarded to those who compete. At season’s end, those with the most points should compete at a Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association World Champion in each division.


The system for judging that we currently use became obsolete many years ago. Again, The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association must organize an independent judging system similar to the system of officiating in Major League Baseball. You never see a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves serving as home plate umpire in a game between the Giants and the Cardinals.

The “Judges Organization” should have a “Commissioner” whose responsibility is to assign judges to shows, evaluate their performance and censure noncompliance with Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association established standards for judging. Those who chose to compete at any level should be disqualified from judging.

In my opinion, the impact of these changes would improve the economics of owning quality performance horses. I can only image the value in August of any of one of say fifteen two-year-old fillies that are announced as qualified to compete in September for a divisional World Championship.


Bill Davis

Anniston, AL

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