As Lonnie Messick prepares to leave his post with the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) on December 1st, a retirement reception is being hosted in his honor prior to the Walking Horse Trainers Association (WHTA) Horse of the Year Awards on Saturday, December 6th.  The reception is from 6:00 - 7:00 pm at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin.

Messick's time with the NHSC spans almost 30 years.  He has been a licensed judge and DQP since the late 70's and on the NHSC staff since the mid-80's, most recently as the Executive Vice President and Director of Animal Welfare/DQP Services. "Lonnie has seen our industry through some major changes and has been a steadfast leader.  His dedication to fairness and the welfare of our horses is unparalleled in the history of the Walking Horse industry," says Mark Farrar, NHSC Chairman.

Although he will leave his full-time position, he will continue on a part-time basis until his replacement is named.  Prior to joining the NHSC staff Messick judged many of the industry's major shows, including the Celebration, and plans to retain his judges card and DQP license.

For more information on the WHTA Banquet or to make reservations, call their office at 931-684-5866.