Editor's Note:  The following is the response to Tommy Halmontaller's letter to TWHBEA President Tracy Boyd.  Halmontaller's sent his letter to Boyd to the Walking Horse Report as a letter to the editor and Boyd has done the same with his response.  Below is the email from Boyd to Halmontaller sent on June 14, 2013.  Halmontaller sent his email to Boyd on June 13, 2013.

Hi Tommy,

Thanks for your email. I understand your concerns. People like Bobby Joe Jones are the backbone of this breed. And, sadly, he is one of the few large scale breeders left in our industry. I consider Bobby Joe a family friend. He went to the same high school, Kittrell, as my parents. In fact, my mother chaperoned his senior trip to Florida.

Bobby nominated about 13 colts to the Futurity last year when I was at Rising Star Ranch, and he and I talked about the move to Murfreesboro before he nominated them. His concern then was not so much the move, but the affiliation. I assured him at that time we would go with SHOW, and we did. I thought the show last year went pretty well.

We did, however, catch much grief from many of our members for affiliating with SHOW, who many deem to be a non-compliant HIO (did not sign on to the mandatory penalties and filed a lawsuit against the USDA). This year, to avoid that controversy, we decided to affiliate with WHOA, an HIO that has signed on to the mandatory penalties. WHOA has been around many years, is well respected, and our decision to affiliate with them was actually a pretty easy call.

Then came the decision of the Walking Horse Trainers Association's board of directors, who inexplicably voted unanimously to suspend for six months the licenses of trainers who show padded horses outside the PSHA HIO. For the life of me I cannot understand this decision and have expressed that concern to our TWHBEA Trainers' VP Wayne Dean.

Tommy, I have talked to many owners and trainers about the Trainers' decision, and I have found no one that agrees with it. One trainer I know very well says that there are members of the Trainers' board who voted in favor of the motion, yet disagree with it privately. If so, that is a sad commentary.

I had hoped there would be a chance to get special consideration for our four padded futurity classes, but I've been told in the last 24 hours that no exceptions will be granted. I really hate this for good people like Bobby Joe, but at the end of the day it was the WHTA Board who decided that WHOA and all other HIOs not called PSHA are unqualified to inspect padded horses.

Thanks again for your email.

Best regards,