SHELBYVILLE, TENN -- The National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) has established a special task force to review the recommendations in the AAEP White Paper,review current industry procedures and interview equine experts. Their findings will bepresented in a report to the NHSC giving specific recommendations on how the NHSC should be structured to best protect the welfare of Tennessee Walking Horses and serve the needs of the industry.

The six person task force includes five veterinarians, two of whom served on the AAEP Tennessee Walking Horse Task Force - Dr. Mike Harry and Dr. Monty McInturff.Also on the task force are Dr. John Bennett, Dr. Phil Elsea, Dr. Tony Kimmons, and NancyLadd. "The expertise and insight of these people is invaluable to us," says Mark Farrar,NHSC chairman. "I can't thank them enough for giving their time to help us."

The task force will begin meeting this week and initially has been asked for thefollowing:

. Review the AAEP White Paper and make specific recommendations to the NHSC.
. Review the current NHSC infrastructure and procedures and makerecommendations for changes, including how to best staff the position(s) ofExecutive Vice President and Animal Welfare Coordinator.
. Solicit input from industry organizations and equestrian experts in this breed andothers.
. Review procedures and policies from other HIOs and other breed organizations.

"We are not limiting the scope of this task force in any way. We want them to talk to as many people as possible and listen to a variety ideas so the final proposal is an encompassing plan for our industry," says Farrar.