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“WE WILL BE RIDING TOGETHER 2004”



by Christie Miller

LOUISVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi Walking Horse Association held its annual high point awards banquet Feb. 21, 2004, at Lake Tiak-O’Khata. The general membership meeting was first. The topic generating the most discussion was the bylaws. Elizabeth Rester suggested a clarification and updated version was needed. It was decided that each member should be sent a copy of the bylaws at which time they may submit any changes or concerns in writing to the board of director in their respective district or to President Harlan Hatcher. Following the meeting everyone enjoyed socializing and the appetizers prepared by the resort.

President Hatcher welcomed each guest to the banquet and presented the association’s new motto, “We Will Be Riding Together.” Hatcher also introduced the officers and directors for 2004. They are Angie Etheredge, vice-president; Mary Ivy, secretary-treasurer; Larry Russell, board of director district one; Doug Estes, board of director district two; Dr. Tommy Vinson, board of director district three; Paul Baham, board of director district four; and Patsy Fairly, board of director district five. Past officers were also recognized. All trainers present at the banquet were introduced.  Door prizes donated by Promotional Products, Bedford Tack and the MWHA were given away throughout the evening. A raffle ticket winner received $500. Samantha Rodgers, representing Summer Crest Farms of Olive Branch, Miss., performed songs by various country artists.

Mrs. Loraine Wesson became not only the newest member of the MWHA Hall of Fame, but also the “first lady” ever to be inducted. Daughter-in-law Patti Abernathy read the lifelong achievement resume and with husband Dr. Tom Wesson by her side, Mrs. Wesson accepted the award she regarded as one of her highest honors.

The first awards of the evening were presented to the juveniles for their yearlong show participation. Recognition was also given to the owners and exhibitors who owned a current world champion or received celebration ribbons. Karla Massey, Joseph Abernathy, Donna Weaver and Bob Scott were commended for their sportsmanship. A gift of appreciation was given to Mike Farley, Joy Smith, Susan Frank, Mary Ivy, Joanne Dempsey and Christie Miller for their service to the MWHA.  High point awards were presented in 39 categories followed by the presentation of voted awards.

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