SHELBYVILLE, TENN. - Lonnie Messick has announced his planned retirement from the National Horse Show Commission on October 28, 2008.  He has been a DQP and licensed judge for over 30 years and a NHSC employee since 1987.  Most recently he has served at the Executive Vice President and Animal Welfare/DQP Coordinator.

“It has been a pleasure and honor for me to have worked for the Commission for many years,” says Messick.  “I have enjoyed working with the many individuals associated with the walking horse industry all around the country, especially those people who have served on the NHSC Board during my employment.”

Mark Farrar, chairman of the NHSC, thanked Messick for his service by saying, “Lonnie's fairness, integrity and knowledge have been a benchmark for the NHSC for over three decades.  We can't thank him enough for his dedication and the credibility he has brought our organization over the years.”

In a conference call held today the NHSC Board praised Messick for his service and thanked him for his willingness to work past his retirement if necessary.   “We want to structure the job and the Commission in the best possible way and find the most qualified person to fill the position we create,” says Farrar.  “It means a lot that Lonnie is willing to be patient with us while we work on this.”  Messick told the NHSC Board that he's willing to do “whatever he needs to” until his replacement is found.

“We've seen many improvements in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry over the last few years because of the Commission's dedication to its benefit.,” says Messick.  “I remain committed to the Commission in this effort.”