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Letter ToThe Editor- Sarah Lynn Bledsoe



Dear Mr. Cadle:
 
As a performance TWH enthusiast and former member I wish to welcome you to our industry as Executive Director, TWHBEA, the entity authorized and maintaining the records for my horses.  I am greatly impressed with your business, entrepreneurial, financial and educational experience.  Likewise, I am impressed with your equine accomplishments: your American Quarter Horse financial interest/direction/involvement and trail riding experience, and your Arabian Horse affiliation.   
 
Like yourself, many of your constituents in the Walking Horse world are trail riding enthusiasts.   I own a wonderful TWH multi-titled and structurally correct aged pleasure mare evidencing no scars or blemishes, no mal-formed pasterns, no unusual skin formation, no lameness, no contracted heels, and no calluses to address and evidence any form of soring and/or abuse, that I will gladly loan to you so that you might become acquainted with our wonderful breed and perhaps explore the beautiful Middle Tennessee countryside on horseback while becoming situated and familiar in our community and surroundings. 
 
Your work is definitely "laid out" for you.  The tremendous problems experienced within the registry for our great breed will benefit from your knowledge of the significantly appropriate management of the American Quarter Horse Association.  Should you have acquired knowledge through your wife's involvement with the Arabian Horse, regarding the serious problems within that breed's registry in recent years past, that very knowledge can indicate many appropriate directions you might pursue for a solution to our current serious issues surrounding our breed registry, TWHBEA.
 
Being very interested in the "new man" in the front office after having known each of your predecessors for many years, I am both amazed and impressed at the scope of your goals and the magnitude of your intentions.  During my four decades plus of involvement with the Walking Horse industry in various areas and disciplines, and oftentimes performing promotional type activities both for and through TWHBEA, I have never witnessed so much discord, problems, covert activities, mismanagement and confusion within that organization.  That the breed registry would create the turmoil currently existing within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry is unfathomable and incomprehensible.
 
You granted an introductory interview to Walking Horse Report this week and you are quoted:   "I know that the transition to new training methods will cause some inherent challenges to trainers that are attempting to work with horses that do not have a squared gait. We at TWHBEA need to help these trainers and to work with the trainers' association to make this transition easier. Using our collective experience, we can adopt training methods that are acceptable."
 
Additionally, when you assumed your position last week you issued a clarification statement to alleviate any misunderstand that TWHBEA's HIO is in any manner managed by TWHBEA, the registry.  In your letter to the editor of Walking Horse Report you stated:  TWHBEA's focus now is to bring education and attention to helping trainers come up with new methods to teach the horse to do its gait. After that, we will have a standard that can be more global in nature. A horse that shows in Kentucky will have the same chance of winning in Germany. That would be awesome!
 
This statement about a "global" horse causes immediate concern.  How do you expect a horse that might win in Kentucky to be eligible to win in Germany?  While horses in the Netherlands and Great Britain can possibly wear pads on the feet, I know that horses in Germany are precluded that privilege, as I believe pads are allowed on no horses' feet in that entire country.  Are you alluding to any intention at TWHBEA that the Tennessee Walking Horse will not be allowed to wear pads?  You must define and clarify your statement, as this should be a serious concern for your entire TWHBEA constituency involved in the exhibition and competition of the padded performance show horse.  Does the entire TWHBEA Executive Committee have knowledge of actions pertinent to this possible action and any voting opportunity in consideration of this issue?
 
I have never in all my four plus decades of industry involvement had any knowledge what-so-ever of there ever having existed in any manner and/or at any time a division specific to serving or assisting the trainer segment of the industry .   When was a trainer division developed?  Who are the members?  Does a trainer division Ad Hoc committee exist?  Does a committee comprised of trainers exist?  If so, when was it organized?  Who are the members?  Is TWHBEA Executive Committee in it's entirety aware of actions  and/or have voting opportunity pertinent to this possible action?
 
I am aware that an Ad Hoc HIO Committee reportedly manages TWHBEA HIO totally separate and removed from TWHBEA, and is said to consist of a least three individuals:  Mr. Jerrold Pedigo, Ms. Donna Benefield and Mr. Craig Evans.  Please identify this specific committee as to the function, intent, goals, and of whom it is comprised.  Why was the reason for withdrawal from participation by TWHBEA with NHSC identified as the fair and equitable consideration of the horse point system for the total constituency when no points can be considered for any HIO not affiliated with TWHBEA HIO, the announcement and identification of which was accomplished immediately following that exact abrupt action? 

Under the current structuring and Ad Hoc TWHBEA HIO committee management, the complete and entire horse show discipline of TWHBEA appears to be totally managed by one HIO, Horse Protection Association.  Please explain this confusing issue.  Please define and explain the fair and equitable balance of the voting percentages represented in TWHBEA HIO.  When, on what date, under whose signature, and by what authority “ TWHBEA or TWHBEA HIO “ was the contractual agreement signed with HPC.  Was this contractual agreement signed at the authority, consent, agreement and knowledge of TWHBEA Executive Committee?  Why does this committee exist without control, management, knowledge and information, and without the voting privilege of the total TWHBEA Executive Committee?
 
I also am aware that possibly a now defunct Ad Hoc Judging Committee, not to be confused with the current Judging Program under TWHBEA HIO, might have existed some months ago that may have been legally disbanded perhaps as a result of charges approaching the practice of "black-balling."  Because of the nature of any possible problems that could be incurred at TWHBEA, I shall not identify any individual said to have served this specific committee that no longer exists.  It is most important that you perform discovery pursuant to this possible problem and report to your constituency and those additional individuals who, by necessity of Tennessee Walking Horse ownership, are compelled to utilize the registry services performed by TWHBEA. What current TWHBEA Executive Committee members served this committee and/or had knowledge of the existence of the now defunct Ad Hoc Judging Committee?
 
 
I am aware that an Ad Hoc Unity Committee has existed“ probably for at least four years reportedly including:  Mr. Pedigo, Ms. Meredith and Mr. Wharton et al.  Please identify this specific committee as to the function, intent, goals, and of whom it is comprised.  Why does this committee exist without control, management, knowledge and information, and without the voting privilege of the total TWHBEA Executive Committee?
 
 
Any unification plan to be presented by TWHBEA, TWHBEA HIO, Tennessee Walking Horse Association, Inc., and/or any additional yet to be publicized organization paralleling and/or in any manner affiliated with TWHBEA, should be immediately identified to and understood by each and every person within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, to and including the performance show horse discipline“ many which members comprise your constituency at TWHBEA.  Please understand activities by your group(s) can greatly affect either positively or negatively the investments, equine investments, livelihoods, job security, and the safe and secure holding of real estate, etc. for countless individuals.
 
The Vice-President, TWHBEA Executive Committee and another individual, a gentleman who was the organizer of the now defunct Facilitation Group “ ironically individuals residing in Roswell, a town sharing a common boundary to your former town address, Alpharetta “ both reportedly serve/served a "unification effort.  " I am confident your position allows you to have information pertinent to an ongoing TWHBEA  "unification process" and that was addressed personally to me by an Executive Committee member via certifiable email on 2/1/07.   Any actions possibly ongoing to an end result of some type unification, and of which the performance industry individuals are yet to be apprised, must be publicized.  
 
Thank you for your immediate and complete response to me regarding the issues and the questions I have addressed.  Should additional information or clarification be required, please advise.  I sincerely appreciate your position and the magnitude of the duties that are yours.
 
Respectfully,
Sarah Lynn Bledsoe

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