SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Yesterday afternoon the Board of Directors voted unanimously to relieve Jennifer Davis of her assignment as a judge of the 2008 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  This action was taken after she had been relieved of her duties as a judge at the International Grand Championships that same day for a clear violation of the rules.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Davis today has released a statement to the press, which she has since retracted, denying she violated any rules, stating she did not recognize the horse in the class, was not given due process and claimed the rule violation was by the exhibitor not the judge.

The Celebration takes exception to all of these statements by Mrs. Davis and wants to set the record straight. 

On Thursday morning, Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and CEO Doyle Meadows were contacted by Tommy Hall and Lonnie Messick from the International Grand Championships and informed of Mrs. Davis’ rules violation.  They told us of their meeting with her including her admission that she in fact recognized the horse in question on the reverse in the class and was aware she had broken the rule.

 Mrs. Davis then called The Celebration in a conference call to explain the situation.  During the conversation, she confirmed her earlier statement that she had recognized the horse in the class and admitted she had violated the rule.  Her earlier statement today to the contrary is simply not true and is most unfortunate.

Mrs. Davis was relieved of her contract to judge The Celebration because the board felt that she either knowingly violated the rule or was unaware of the rules, neither of which is acceptable for a person charged with the responsibility of judging the World Championship Horse Show.

In a subsequent statement, Mrs. Davis said, “It is an unfortunate incident and I regret any negative implications to the International Pleasure Horse Championships and the TWHNC® that this may have caused.  I fully respect their decision in this matter.”

The Celebration has no jurisdiction over conduct at other horse shows but does have authority over the conduct of judges contracted to judge our horse show.

We commend the International for their action and feel confident that this matter will be dealt with in its entirety following due process by both the National Horse Show Commission, who affiliated The International, and the Walking Horse Owners’ Association, sponsor of the show.