The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration activated its Horse Industry Organization (HIO) SHOW on April 1, 2009 at the request of the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) and the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA), partners in the former National Horse Show Commission (NHSC).  SHOW is an acronym for Sound Horses, Honest Judging, Objective Inspections and Winning Fairly. 

SHOW assumed the activities of the NHSC and retained all three employees, including newly hired Executive Director and Director of DQPs, Andy Messick.  Messick retained the title of Director of DQPs with SHOW.  All licensed judges with the NHSC were accepted and given judging licenses for SHOW.  Twenty-six of the 35 licensed DQPs with the NHSC were given SHOW DQP licenses. 

“After reviewing the record, we believe the individuals now being licensed as DQP’s by SHOW will maintain the high standards, principles and integrity of our new program,” said Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows.  Dr. Mike Harry has served as a consultant to SHOW, assisting with Horse Protection Act compliance.

SHOW also adopted the current NHSC rulebook as amended and will continue through 2009 with this rulebook.  A new rulebook for 2010 will be developed.  “I see no reason for the added expense to print another rule book since the one currently in use has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture.  I discussed this with the USDA-APHIS’s Dr. Rachel Cezar and she agreed to the decision,” said Meadows.

Countless meetings, conference calls, and planning sessions have ensued throughout April.  These meetings have included SHOW management, industry leaders, USDA officials and other industry HIOs.  Meetings have also included attorneys, veterinarians and other breed representatives.  These meetings allowed SHOW to gain an evaluation of the current situation and begin to devise a future direction.

In addition, Meadows has attended shows in Jackson, Panama City Beach and Shelbyville to monitor the inspection process and performance of SHOW DQPs.  Meadows continues to meet with industry and independent veterinarians to enhance the inspection process.  This veterinarian group has helped surface issues and potential solutions to industry concerns with enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.

A SHOW HIO Task Force is being assembled currently to assist with SHOW and its strategic plan.  This task forces will focus on areas of need such as budgeting, sound horse initiatives and an analysis of the operating plan, both present and future.  Additionally, horse industry leaders from across the nation are being contacted to attend a walking horse educational forum, sponsored by SHOW.

Potential candidates are being identified and contacted regarding their service on the HIO independent oversight board.  SHOW hopes to have this board in place by June 1, 2009.