Editor’s Note: Joey Manos read the following prepared statement to the TWHBEA Executive Committee.


Creating Civil Unrest Promotes Civil War


The years of 1861 through 1865 were the bloodiest and worst years in the history of the United States.  During this period called the Civil War, more Americans died than in all of the other wars that the United States has been in put together.  This war, which was supposed to last less than 90 days, became a catastrophic mistake of colossal proportions.  In this day and age everyone will agree that slavery was and is a horrible situation.  But, this was only the catalyst used by power hungry warmongers to divide a country made up of separate sovereign states.  Most historians believe that slavery would have ceased on its own within a matter of a few years but there were those that refused to wait.  In my research I have been hard pressed to find a person that would say that the loss of over 970,000 Americans was worth it.  A staggering eight percent of all white males between the ages of 13 and 43 died in this unnecessary war.


Since moving to Tennessee last October, I have been intrigued by the history of this state and its position in the Civil War.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to Murfreesboro to visit the Stones River battlefield.  We both stood with tears streaming down our faces as we listened to accounts of a battle that claimed over 23,500 American lives.  This war which was intended to forever unite the country, succeeded in dividing it in a way that no amount of political maneuvering could ever undo.  To this day there is an unspoken division between the north and the south.  You will not see a sports team named the Yankees in any state that was one a Confederate state.  You don’t have to drive very far into the south to find the confederate flag being waved proudly beside or even above the US flag.  Also, you will not see horses, dogs or cats named Rebel outside of the once confederate states.  You won’t hear the beautiful songs of the Dixie Land played north of the Mason-Dixon line.  This great and noble nation has been eternally crippled by a war that should have never been fought.


In my opinion, the TWHBEA sponsored Sanctioning Plan will ultimately have the same effect on the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.  I’m not saying that the plan is bad.  In fact, I would say that most of the plan is good.  However, at this point in time, this Plan has become the single most polarizing issue I have seen in my 43 years in this industry.  It has succeeded in dividing friendships and even caused division among families.  How is this promoting unity within the industry?


I would beseech the leaders of the TWHBEA to consider the far-reaching effects of their actions in the current promotion of the Sanctioning Plan.  I would as that they consider tabling the Plan until there is more harmony within the industry.


Just as slavery would have probably been eliminated within the same years in which 970,000 Americans were sacrificed, this Sanctioning Plan will become the appropriate tool for unification.  However, now is NOT the time for a power struggle in which only disunity can result.  It has been said that good negotiation is achieved when both parties leave the table disappointed.  In other words, both sides have to give up something that they would rather not give up.


If tabling this one issue will bring about greater unity, for the greater good of the industry as a whole, it should be considered.


Joey Manos