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PSHA Discusses 2014 Agenda

The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) met on January 28, 2014 to discuss the organizations goals for 2014 and recap the progress made in 2013.  PSHA has focused heavily on the PAST Act and its developments over 2013 and into 2014.  PSHA has a contract with lobbyists Jeff Speaks and Bill Spencer with Potomac Strategies that costs roughly $12,000/mo.  These lobbyists have been instrumental in helping to educate the members of Congress from the states most affected by the Tennessee Walking Horse and have been successful in only having a very few members from those states support the PAST Act.

PSHA has worked diligently on potential alternative legislation to the PAST Act and believes that legislation that cures the industry of its problems is far greater than the current PAST Act that would kill the industry.  Developments surrounding the potential alternative legislative route will be forthcoming in the near future. 

PSHA has supported the single, independent HIO structure publicly since its inception.  PSHA is aware of the application of the Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO with the USDA.  PSHA has no ownership of the HIO and will remain independent of its management but will work to support the HIO if it is certified and follows the outline of independent management, independent, qualified inspectors and tough enforcement of the HPA.  PSHA hopes to forge a relationship with the HIO where it assists with the recruitment of horse shows thus leading to funding to assist with lobbying, public relations, research, scientific testing, and HIO responsibilities through entry fees.

PSHA has retained the services of Preston-Osborne in Lexington, Ky. to manage the public relation efforts of PSHA in support of the performance show horse in the industry.  Currently Preston-Osborne is working with outside media on education of the industry along with producing a packet of information that will help in lobbying efforts in Washington and throughout the industry.  The monthly fee is being paid by a donation to PSHA at this time, however moving forward the firm will require payment by PSHA.  That fee will be approximately $5,500 per month.

PSHA has assumed all financial responsibility for the lobbying services, public relation services, swabbing in 2013, and equine experts to aid in research.  Contrary to false accusations that the $25 fee charged by the SHOW HIO in 2013 went to pay back the loan the Celebration made to SHOW for $560,000, only $10 of the fee went to SHOW.  That portion of the fee was used to run the SHOW HIO.  Of the $25, $15 was paid by SHOW to PSHA to help fund the aforementioned items.

At this point in time, PSHA has payables that exceed its available balance.  Many board members, along with a core group of owners, have been generous in continuing to fund the ongoing efforts of PSHA.  At this point in time, no other funding source is in place until show season.  Until a new HIO is certified with independent management, SHOW HIO has informed PSHA that it will fill the void and affiliate shows and continue to send $15 of every entry to PSHA to fund their initiatives.

PSHA believes strongly that donations to fund operations of lobbying, public relations, scientific testing and expert assistance and advice should not be the method of funding.  PSHA believes that everyone showing a Tennessee Walking Horse should contribute to assist with these functions.  The future of the show horse is at stake.

PSHA has formed a membership committee to explore ways to launch membership of PSHA.  The hope is for membership to include a fee based structure that will allow additional funding moving forward in hopes of ensuring the future of the breed.  Member benefits, other than voting privileges in PSHA activities, are being explored and will include as much value to members as possible.

PSHA also was made aware of a Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) general membership meeting on February 17, 2014.  At that meeting, members of the WHTA will voice their opinion and vote on whether they will support the independent, single HIO concept exclusively.  That decision will influence the efforts of PSHA moving forward and the board of PSHA will convene for a meeting on February 18, 2014.

The current PSHA board consists of Jim Cortner, Chairman, Lee McGartland, Secretary, Mike Inman, Treasurer, Duke Thorson, Terry Dotson, Jamie Hankins, Mickey McCormick, Linton Griffith, Bruce MacDonald, Buddy Stasney, Dr. Doyle Meadows and Jeffrey Howard.  Frank Eichler serves in an advisory role to the board.

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