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NHSC Discusses Celebration Proposal


by Linda Scrivner


            SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The monthly meeting of the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) was held Monday, April 30, 2007. All members were in attendance.

            Following the approval of the March minutes, Lonnie Messick gave a report. There are 130 shows or sales that have affiliated with NHSC as of April 27, 2007. They have inspected 5,667 horses with 93 violations at 39 shows or sales to date. The USDA has been present at 10 shows. At the Gulf Coast Charity Show this past weekend there were over 400 entries with eight violations. There were seven scar rules and one unilateral sensitive. The USDA VMOs were very cooperative on inspections. At Decatur there were 399 entries with 14 violations and the USDA was present also. They checked second and third place horses. The USDA took information on all horses that were written up. They were very complimentary of the DQPs dedication to insure that only sound horses exhibited at both shows. Messick reported that people are beginning to show more and more.

            The NHSC has received a letter from a person that was put on a lifetime suspension 16 years ago for pressure shoeing. The person had requested that since the penalty was less now that they would like for it to be overturned. The group went into executive session to discuss the circumstances and no action was taken.

            Chairman Wink Groover asked about the number of entries this season compared to last since some shows had canceled and others were smaller. Messick reported that in 2006 there had been 8,723 horses shown.

            The upcoming meeting of May 6, 2007 with the USDA and the industry’s HIOs was discussed. It was explained that this meeting was concerned with getting relief on the scar rule and the probationary period and nothing else would be discussed. Wink Groover reported that he was going and he hoped that Bill Hawks would also be allowed to attend. Link Webb said we needed to continue to negotiate about signing the operating plan and getting appropriate changes made.

            The cost of the Independent Hearing Committee was discussed and it was suggested that if a person lost an appeal that they should pay court expenses to help with the cost. David Pruett related that WHOA would no longer be paying Neils Holch after April and it was decided that the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association would not continue with his services.

            Frank Neal made a motion to move the interest from their CD to the checking account quarterly. Motion was seconded and carried. It was reported that David Finger would not work full time but would continue with his present job and to work shows on weekends and to operate from his home just as he had been. They commended Finger for doing a good job.

            David Pruett brought the board up to date on the Veterinary Advisory Board. Wink Groover explained the plan that Dr. John Bennett had presented concerning micro chipping horses and examining them for scar rule every four months. Then a person would know when they left home that they were able to show in regards to the scar rule. The horses would still be inspected for other violations at the show. The horses would be inspected three times a year. If the horse was out on scar rule, he would be out for four months and then could be checked again. There were no objections to Dr. Bennett proceeding and presenting his plan to others.

            The board discussed the pros and cons of the proposal that had been presented to them by the Celebration at the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association meeting. Several felt strongly that they should talk to the Celebration soon and since they had not received any word back from them that they would request a meeting with David Howard, Chairman of the Board and Ron Thomas, Celebration CEO. They called and set up a meeting for Tuesday, May 1 at 9 a.m. at the NHSC.

            The meeting was adjourned.

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