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A Statement from Mike Walden

First, I want to apologize for my actions last night in the warm up ring of the Celebration. 

In a very heated and emotional atmosphere, my actions, however unintentional, have

embarrassed my family, my friends and the Walking Horse industry that I love so very

much.  I am sincerely and genuinely sorry to everyone that was hurt by my actions.

However, I do feel that I need to state the facts as I remember them occurring.

Upon learning that Private Charter, the horse that I co-own, was being held in the DQP inspection area, I went to check on my horse.  I found that Private Charter was being turned down as had Master of Jazz, I’m Unarmed, WC Billy the Kid and WC NYPD.  While still in the area, I learned that 3 out of the 9 had gotten in.  As several trainers gathered around stating that they should all boycott the show as they did the previous Friday night, a trainer said the owners should put up the winnings (money) so the 3 trainers that got in would not lose anything by not showing.  I asked how much that was and a number of $10,000.00 was given.  My understanding was the trainers did not want to show and wanted to stand united.  I spoke to the 3 trainers and told them I would  replace the money; all 3 declined. 

I shook everyone’s hand and wished them well.  Until that point, I believed they did not want to show.  I told them I did not blame them for wanting to show.  I made that offer because I was led to believe by several trainers, they did not want to show, not to stop them from showing.  I, at no time told anyone they could not show or should not show.  I was only attempting to stand by the trainers against unfair subjective treatment by the inspectors.

My actions were wrong and I am truly sorry.  My actions did not cause the class to be cancelled.  My horse was one of five not allowed to show.  How and why the class was cancelled I do not know.  I am sorry this misinterpreted gesture of support for the trainers has been misunderstood, misstated, misquoted or misrepresented.

Please accept my apology.  I never intended to cause a problem and draw attention away from our industry's real issues in our breed.

Mike Walden

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