The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) recently issued a grant to the National Block & Bridle Convention which was held at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).  As part of the convention, students visited Rising Star Ranch in Shelbyville, Tenn.

Students in the Block & Bridle club plan to make their careers in some aspect of animal agriculture and as part of their visit to Rising Star Ranch they toured the breeding operation and had the opportunity to ride a World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse.  The visit to Rising Star Ranch, owned by Frank and Debbie Eichler, was a big hit among the students and the video of the visit has received rave reviews within the Walking Horse community.  To view the video of the demonstration at Rising Star Ranch go to

Jessica Gentry Carter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Animal Science at MTSU, sent the following thank you to Kathy Zeis, FAST Treasurer:

Hi Kathy,
I wanted to send you a note of thanks for your help with the tour group during the 92nd National Block & Bridle Convention.  The students and faculty advisors that toured Rising Star Ranch really enjoyed the tour.  I appreciated your help with lining up horses to collect and ride during the tour (and for bringing one of your stallions).  The students were so excited about the tour and I know that it was one of the highlights during the convention.  The faculty advisor from the University of Kentucky (Dr. Debra Aaron) said that the tour was fabulous and she indicated that everyone had a great time!

Thanks so much for your assistance with our group and for your help with a sponsorship from FAST.  We had 438 students participants from 35 different universities participate in the national convention.
I appreciated your help and hope that I will have a chance to meet you in person sometime.

Jessica Gentry Carter, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Animal Science
Middle Tennessee State University

FAST is a 501 (c)3 organization that’s mission is to promote and preserve the Tennessee Walking Show Horse.  All donations are tax deductible and are put to immediate use in the industry.  For more information or to make a donation visit FAST online at