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An Overview of TWHBEA's Accomplishments during 2008

An Overview of TWHBEA's Accomplishments during 2008

• Restored financial integrity and accountability to the association. In doing such, halted the need to take a loan out against the breed headquarters building. TWHBEA is now spending less than it is brining in. When the current Executive Committee took office TWHBEA had $107,000 in cash and $212,000 in payables. The association now has $69,000 in payables and over $600,000 in cash. In order to be accountable to its members, TWHBEA now publishes financial statements in the Voice. The trust of the membership has been reestablished as evidenced by their generous financial support of the association.

• Hired Executive Director Stan Butt.

• Restored confidence in the staff and registry. Brought a new level of organization and efficiency to the registry.

• Gave Voice magazine a makeover allowing for broader coverage of the breed and an easier to read format.

• Successfully negotiated the settlement of the NWHA lawsuit and moved forward with a favorable ruling.

• Moved forward with conversion to DNA parentage verification. Worked to better organize the process. Worked to catch up on all outstanding conversions.

• Made growing the membership a priority by creating the Amnesty Program and offering a discounted rate for lifetime memberships. Also established two new membership levels - First Time Member and Associate Member. Instead of just a free foal registration each year, full adult members now have a choice between a free foal registration and a free transfer.

• Sponsored the first annual Sound Horse Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

• Produced the brochure "The Tennessee Walking Horse: Facing The Future With Pride" for the Sound Horse Conference as well as other venues.

• Furthered TWHBEA's relationship with the National Park Service and furthered TWHBEA's Equine Trails Initiative. Organized a very successful first ever Equine Youth Trails Day.

• Established partnerships with Back Country Horsemen, Equestrian Land Conversation Resource, Leave No Trace, Southeast Equestrian Trails Conference, and Ohio Valley Equestrian Trails Conference.

• Continued as a sponsor of Best Of America By Horseback.

• Established an International Committee to expand the Tennessee Walking Horse's presence abroad. Expanded the European Championships, established a European Futurity, and expanded the European Youth Camp.

• Restored TWHBEA's relationship with United States Livestock Genetic Export (USLGE) for international marketing.

• Increased TWHBEA's involvement with the American Horse Council. TWHBEA now holds prestigious seats on AHC's Animal Welfare Committee and Governmental Affairs Committee.

• Joined with the Walking Horse Owners' Association to host one of the most successful Academy seasons ever. Also jointly hosted a summer youth camp in Montverde, Florida and the Youth Challenge program with WHOA.

• Restored the TWHBEA Scholarship program, which wasn't even in the budget for 2008. Monies for the program were raised through donations as well as by the Betty Freeman Memorial Horse Show ($11,800), via the Ford Foundation, and by the Voice/TWHYA Golf Scramble ($6,500).

• Sent members of the Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association to the American Youth Horse Council Conference.

• Successfully revitalized the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation for the good of the entire industry.

• Expanded several programs including the Certified Riding Instructors program and the GO! Geldings program.

• Reaffirmed the commitment to updating and maintaining the TWHBEA Commemorative Garden.

• Moved the World Versatility Show back to the Miller Coliseum and once again held it in conjunction with the International Pleasure and Colt Show. Added new classes such as Hunter Hack and Dressage to the World Versatility Show and improved prizes for high point winners. Took part in the Triple Crown Challenge.

• Placed the National Futurity back under the management of the Celebration and made it, once again, a qualifying event for the Celebration. Secured Silverspring as a corporate sponsor for the National Futurity and introduced the new In-Hand Extended Gait class for yearlings, which proved popular with both exhibitors and spectators.

• Expanded the TWHBEA Celebration Clinics to four full days. Video taped each clinic for resale.

• Returned the TWHBEA booth to the Celebration Trade Fair.

• In an effort to protect all horses, TWHBEA established partnerships with both Mountain View Equine Rescue and Stolen Horse International.

• Secured sponsors for and is working on production of coffee table book "The Tennessee Walking Horse: An American Tradition"

• Continued TWHBEA's relationship with Gaylord Opryland Resort. Refurbished and redesigned the Tennessee Walking Horse museum at Opryland.

• Maintained the visibility of the Tennessee Walking Horse at horse fairs throughout the country including all three Equine Affaires. Designed two new trade fair displays.

• Joined with public relations firm Gish, Sherwood & Friends, Inc. and WHOA to create to provide accurate breed information to the media.

• TWHBEA readjusted the transfer rate on geldings to $20

• Readjusted duplicate registration certificate rates to $75 (member) and $130 (non-member)

The above article may not be reproduced except in its entirety and with the written permission of TWHBEA


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