Skip to content

Letter To The Editor - Denise Rowland



A letter to the Editor:

After reading and listening to the many comments in this industry on the perceived roles of the various groups and organizations, I find that many people perhaps do not understand the structure and the functions of these industry organizations and how they arrived at the positions they are in today. We seem to have a serious ambivalence among us as to just what we want TWHBEA in particular to be and how it should interact with the rest of the industry.

I have been in the Walking horse industry for 40+ years.  I have seen TWHBEA go from the only game in town to an organization which, according to some in the other competing organizations that have been formed, can and should function from a Motel 6 rented room.

TWHBEA is a government recognized organization empowered by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1935 to maintain the stud books and to record the pedigrees of the Tennessee walking horse, an animal that has been selectively developed to have the ability to perform the unique gaits, the flat walk and running walk. Just as an aside, this fact puts them in direct conflict with the most powerful lobby group in this country HSUS whose CEO Wayne Pacelle has said “"We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."
— Wayne Pacelle, HSUS President, Animal People News.”

Along with the accuracy of the registration paperwork, TWHBEA’s mission statement and bylaws include the ability to govern the entire TWH industry from the rail to the trail, to protect the welfare of this breed and to ensure its survival into the future. It is structurally set up to be the mother ship, with the sails manned by members.  TWHBEA (and WHOA) are currently the ONLY member driven organizations in this industry where the stake holders can directly influence the course of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

TWHBEA is an international membership driven organizational structure that DEMANDS fiscal accountability and operational transparency. Guaranteed in the bylaws is the ability of every member to review the fiscal accounting statements, the minutes of the meetings, attend Committee meetings, International  Board meetings and Executive meetings,  and  to DIRECTLY influence policy through their vote and in turn the votes of their elected representatives.

And yet we hear two divergent camps screaming at TWHBEA to either “shut up and just register horses” and then in the next breathe excoriate them for doing just that, and not doing “something” about the current state of the industry. Where are these voices coming from? Are they actual members, and if so are they involved by their participation in the actual policy making boards and committees of THWBEA, or if not that, even as little as bothering to vote in an election. I am constantly hearing “they, they, they, in referencing what TWHBEA does, yet in all truth the words are WE, WE, WE, that must be used, for TWHBEA is the “WE” that have not turned our backs on the breed in its entirety.

As with the rest of society we have reflected within the industry a philosophy of both “not my fault” and  “I’m picking up my marbles and leaving”. Understand, TWHBEA in its very core is likened to the United States Government, the structure is sound but it will only function as well or as poorly as we the citizens of both this country and TWHBEA demand.  It is all inclusive. To abdicate membership in TWHBEA is akin to renouncing citizenship in the US.

Where else within this industry is it guaranteed in the very bylaws, that YOU have a VOICE. 
 
Where else in this industry is there an organization that MUST respond to YOUR VOICE.

To those who are not happy with that response, look into the mirror because it is YOUR  response.

Membership gives you that VOICE and that response.

Respectfully,
Denise Rowland
Shelbyville, TN

More Stories

  • Latest_Issue_June_25_18

    Read More
  • Christmas In July schedule update

    The Christmas In July show, scheduled for July 4-5, has modified their original class schedule. Class 32 will now be Amateur Country Pleasure Western and class 9a will be Amateur Country Pleasure English. Read More
  • Supreme Court Decision Holds ALJs Must Be Appointed

    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Administrative Law Judges must be appointed by the department head and not how they are currently retained by the agency they represent.  The case, Lucia vs. the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not deal with administrative law judges in the USDA, however the ruling could have a major impact on the enforcement scheme currently utilized by the USDA in Horse Protection Act cases. Read More
  • Obituary – Sam Hartsell

    Sam “Shot” Hartsell, age 74, of Newport, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nan Hartsell and parents, Floyd and Viola McMahan Hartsell... Read More
  • WHOA announces International judging panel

    The Walking Horse Owners' is pleased to announce the three judges selected by current WHOA members. Charlie Brown, Shelli MeHaffey and Lonnie Messick will officiate the 40th Annual International Pleasure & Colt Championship.

    Read More
  • Savannah Lions Club adds classes

    The 52nd Annual Savannah Lions Club Show, scheduled for June 23 at 6:30 pm, has added two classes to their original schedule... Read More
  • Scrivner selected to judge Mid-South

    The Mid-South Walking Horse Association Show, scheduled for July 14, has selected Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Pugh Bourne Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More