David L. Howard, Publisher
Walking Horse Report
730 Madison Street
Shelbyville, TN 37160

Dear David:
It has always been my opinion that it is counterproductive to respond to those letters of criticism or internet “chat” that are occasionally forwarded to me and/or published. However, I have concluded that the most recent letter to the editor by Robert Smith, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) Director from the otherwise great state of Washington, must become an exception. Mr. Smith’s letter, although delightfully amusing to me, is so utterly devoid of any accurate recitation of fact or any intelligent comment as to necessitate a response. I fear that some unsuspecting individual might assume that because Mr. Smith is a “Director” he possesses some insight, regardless of how miniscule. Thus, I feel compelled to address the obscene abundance of factual inaccuracies in his letter, but I will resist the temptation to address the unartful and inappropriate use of contextually inane clichés.

First, Mr. Smith opines that the unity plan only allows for “…20 breeders, 20 owners and 20 trainers, totaling 60 people.” That opinion is inaccurate, but at least the math is correct. In broad overview, the unity plan provides for a one hundred (100) member Board of Directors to be elected by the entire membership. That Board of Directors would formulate general policy and elect an Executive Committee to oversee the more detailed policies. The Executive Committee would be constituted by two (2) Breeders, two (2) Exhibitors, two (2) Owners, two (2) Trainers, and four (4) other breed interested individuals, veterinarians, doctors, accountants, mechanics, etc. It is hard for me to imagine a more representative group, and every member has the opportunity to participate in the election process.

Second, Mr. Smith opines that “As we know the Commission now is 15 people, 5 from each association…” That opinion is equally as inaccurate as the first. I do not know from where Mr. Smith derives his information, but he has been a Director for quite some time and has been privy to accurate information as it is contained in his TWHBEA Director’s manual. As informed individuals in the industry know, the National Horse Show Commission (“NHSC” or the “Commission”) is actually constituted by nine (9) Directors, three (3) from TWHBEA, three (3) from the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (“WHOA”), and three (3) from the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (“WHTA”), ane it has a contractual relationship with the Racking Horse Breeders’ Association of America (“RHBAA”). Additionally, Mr. Smith opines that the Commission has been unable to solve the “industry problems”, but does not identify the problems and therefore I am unable to respond. Frankly, I am left wondering if the lack of identification is the result of a fundamental lack of understanding.