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Letter To The Editor- Tom Davis

I am responding to the article in the Sept. 24, 2007 walking Horse Report titled:  TWHBEA Election Dominates Executive Committee Meeting.
I am not responding to anything concerning the TWHBEA Election as I have already expressed my opinion by returning my ballot. 
I am responding to the statement by Jamie Hankins about the Judges at the TWHBEA National Futurity.
I am a TWHBEA HIO Certified judge & a TWHBEA member that has 4 active Gaited Horse Judges License & 3 former  License's that I no longer renew.  I hope that my reputation as a judge, that judges above the saddle, is as good as most & as good or  better than those that wish to "degrade" or ridicule me.  I was able to  judge the TWHBEA Futurity because I have no connection to any organization  that could threaten me with expulsion & since I do not show anymore I  was not concerned about not being allowed  to earn an honest ribbon in  any affiliated Horse Show.  I was well aware that, because of the hate  for some at TWHBEA, we Futurity Judges would be ridiculed & was willing  to accept same however I NEED to set the record straight concerning the  following statement by Jamie Hankins in a public forum/TWHBEA executive  board meeting on Monday, Sept 24, 2007 as reported by the Walking Horse Report.                                           .

There  was some discussion about the attendance at the National Futurity, and there  were some complaints about the judging at the Futurity. “That two-year-old  performance class was a disgrace,” said Jamie Hankins. “If that’s what  you’re training them to do Craig, then you’re doing it wrong. Ray Charles  could have tied that class.” 

            “An  honest person who doesn’t know is as bad as a crooked person who does know,”  Hankins continued with agreement around the table from Craig Evans and  Jerrold Pedigo.

I do not know or care which category  Mr. Hankins would place himself in as stated in the above paragraph but for  Mr. Hankins to imply that the Futurity Judges didn't know how to judge &  or being compared to being crooked is about as "tired" as the Ray Charles  reference. I think since Mr. Hankins has seemed to make "bashing the  Futurity Judges" a priority at Ex. Committee meetings I would like to remind  him of an observation by Mr. Sam Rayburn, Speaker of US House Of  Representatives. 1940--61

"No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut".

I can't & won’t speak for the other judges but my reasons for tying the 2yr old performance class as I did is as follows:

If I have a choice "I will not tie a horse first that is not executing a true walking gait no matter how high the feet come up & or how fast it goes especially when it only "nods" his head every 2 to 3 strides."  A head shake should be timed with the stride/footfall.

I  had another horse to tie first that did not have as much action but met the  TWHBEA rule book requirements & I thought a better overall stride &  a better example of a "balanced & timed" horse with a good head shake.  

In every class except 3 the winning horse was  FIRST on my cards.

I have never publicly expressed an  opinion of Jamie Hankin's judging before but will now.  I could care  less how, when or where he judges & hope he can get over his dislike for  the TWHBEA Futurity & stop "bashing" the judges. If he likes a high  stepping, off beat fast striding horse with an irregular head shake then  maybe he could use some of Craig's training.

Tom  Davis--2007 Futurity Judge



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