Posted February 12, 2002
The newly seated TWHBEA Executive Committee held its first monthly meeting on January 28, 2002 at the association’s headquarters in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

Following the call to order, President Robert Thomas called upon board member Carroll Benedict, who made a formal request to address the executive committee. Mr. Benedict addressed two items - pressure shoeing and the NHSC contract. First, he asked the executive committee to recommend to the NHSC a five-year penalty for a first-time pressure shoeing conviction. Mr. Benedict called this action a “no-brainer,” and said it would send a strong message to the industry that the practice of pressure shoeing would not be tolerated.

Secondly, he said TWHBEA should not extend the current NHSC contract automatically renews for successive one-year periods unless a member organization gives written notice six months prior to the contract’s termination.

He said this action was needed for four reasons. ONe, it would open the door to meaningful dialogue with other HIOs. Two, the present agreement has been unsuccessful in directing all show activities through the NHSC, and has served instead to create greater diversity and more HIOs than ever before. Three, many members of TWHBEA are being discriminated against because of where they live. The show records and accomplishments of exhibitors who particapte in non-NHSC affiliated shows around the country are not recognized by TWHBEA. Often, exhibitors in areas where the NHSC is not the prevailing HIO have no other showing options. Mr. Benedict said that creating an inclusive atmosphere would generate more support than anything TWHVEA has ever done. And four, because of the current economic recession, he feels the time has never been better to take this action. He said training barns are full and horses are not selling, particularly the low to mid-priced horses. The current down market provides an ideal opportunity for industry reorganization.

He stressed that he only wishes to redefine TWHBEA’s role, and that he is not suggesting the NHSC be abolished or the TWHBEA establish another HIO. He said TWHBEA should issue a national rulebook, conduct a judges program with an emphasis on accountability, and serve as the industry’s single voice in Washington, D.C.

“You’re not going to run everybody through one HIO,” said Benedict. “I believe that this association should put its arms around every group.”

Mr. Benedict’s remarks were later addressed under new business. The executive committee agreed with his stance on pressure shoeing, and took it a step further. A motion was made and approved to recommend to the NHSC that a first-time conviction for pressure shoeing result in a five-year suspension, and that a second conviction result in a lifetime ban.

The executive committee deferred the second part of Mr. Benedict’s comments to a new committee that was formed in response to a motion made by board member Robert Smith at the December director’s meeting. Named to that committee were Jerrold Pedigo (chairman), Charles Hulsey, Charles Wharton, Ann Kuykendall, and Jane Hardy Meredith. This committee will issue a report and bring forth any recommendations at the May director’s meeting.

Prior to his report, TWHBEA Executive Director Bob Cherry, showed the executive committee the association’s new 10-minute promotional video.

During his report, he said four people had been interviewed for the Youth Programs Coordinator position. Since those interviews, he has received seven more resumes and one letter of inquiry. He also said the marketing assistant position has recently opened, and hopes to fill it with one of the youth coordinator applicants.

Mr. Cherry reported that he had met several times with a candidate for the position of in-house computer programmer. The personnel committee was scheduled to meet with that individual immediately following the executive committee meeting.

Mr. Cherry proposed a new staff position to the executive committee - a staff writer for the Voice Magazine. He siad the position is very much needed and has the full support of the personnel committee.

Rounding out his report, Mr. Cherry said year-to-date first-time foal registrations through December increased 186 and transfers increased 164. Memberships (new and renewals) are down 523, and current membership decreased 518. Mares listed on stallion breeding reports show a decrease of 826, but he said historically more than 1,000 mares are added annually via late reports.

Committee appointments for each operating division except administrative/fiscal and enforcement were made and accepted during the meeting. Charles Wharton, vice president of the administrative/fiscal division, and Brenda Bramlett, vice president of the enforcement division, will make thier appointments at the February meeting.

During his standing committee report, Mr. Wharton gave an overview of the association’s financial status. A preliminary financial statment for the fiscal year ending November 30, 2001 shows TWHBEA has increased its net assets about $437,000, versus $310,000 last year. The association’s net assets total $1.9 million. He said TWHBEA has about $1 million in cash and cash equivalents and about $280,000 in notes payable.