Reprinted with permission of the TWHBEA from

LEWISBURG, Tenn. (August 30, 2007) – Last week, the TWHBEA celebrated the 69th year of its National Futurity. It was the culmination of a very successful year for the organization and its continuing effort to preserve and promote the Tennessee Walking Horse.

For the first time in its history, the Futurity was not held under the jurisdiction of the Celebration. Although, the National Celebration did provide several excellent staff resources that helped make the event a success. Chip Walters announced the show with Margaret Eakin assisting, Connie Dunlap was the organist, Jimmy Burton served as Ring Clerk, Mary Lynn Reed provided electronic data entry and Mandy Bolin assisted with scoring.

“Following the directives of our International Board of Directors, the event was held in compliance with the TWHBEA-sponsored HIO Sanctioning Plan,” said Chuck Cadle, Executive Director of the TWHBEA. “Initially, we thought this would be a qualifying event for the National Celebration but the Celebration reversed that commitment adversely impacting the number of entries. Reportedly, The National Horse Show Commission, Inc. dictated that result by not allowing NHSC licensed Celebration judges to judge the Futurity unless the Futurity agreed to use the NHSC rule book, which would have conflicted with the terms of the Sanctioning Plan.”

There were 120 entries in the Futurity and they split more than $76,000 in prize money in the industry’s richest one-day event. The TWHBEA staff and several Board Directors worked with an outstanding volunteer group to pass out awards, assist the judges and to provide the other key services necessary to host this key industry event.

Tom Davis (Elkhart, TX), Ronald Sapp (Pikeville, TN), Ken Shrum (Murfreesboro, TN), Vernon Stamper (Sharpsburg, KY), and Leslie Topham (Lehi, UT) judged the Futurity. Sandra Guy Fox, a USEF certified judge, also scored the event as an alternate judge.

Next year, the National Futurity will be significantly expanded.