Skip to content

A Step Toward Unity

Below is an outline of a proposed unification plan circulated last year to industry organizations. The plan was presented on February 11, 2011, to the President and one additional representative of the Walking Horse Trainers Association, Walking Horse Owners Association, Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association. The basic outline of the structure was presented in a five-page outline.

At that meeting it was agreed that Frank Eichler would go meet with each of the group’s boards and hopefully move on from there. He first met with the Trainers board and they were in agreement to move forward. He met with TWHBEA on February 26, 2011, and they were not interested in participating in the structure. WHOA never set a meeting date and, since it was not moving forward, it was decided it was not necessary to meet with the Celebration.

Following their inclusion in the Unity Committee this year, the Celebration presented each member a copy of the plan as a starting point for discussion and consideration at a future meeting. The Celebration neither authored nor endorsed the plan but felt it was a good first step to get the unity movement moving forward.  Below is the outline of the plan:

Reasons for Unification
- One voice/one organization
- Need a new organization and structure because no one trusts any other organization or will allow
  WHAT, TWHBEA or WHOA to be “in control”.
- Fragmentation continues to allow dilution of best services, people, programs – example is show
- All organizations are struggling financially – duplication of costs
- Reduce or eliminate weekly, monthly, yearly attacks on and by each organization which only serves to
  weaken industry
- Eliminate “competition” for rulebook, judging, and shows that continue to create hatred/distrust within
  the industry
- Eliminate in-fighting
- Funding model would need to be developed to allow single unifieid entity to survive and thrive
- History and current examples are proof of need for unification
- Failure to unify will probably lead to demise of some/all organizations and possibly the Industry or some
  aspects of the Industry
- SHOW is NOT leading this effort – it is an HIO.
- Director/Committee structure is only for illustrative purpose. Goal would be to get small group from
  each organization to participate on an Industry Organization Committee to develop, propose and,
  hopefully, implement in next 6-12 months
- Independent Board – 7 members (4 independents and 1 each from Owners, Registry Trainers).
- Process for selecting independent members to be discussed and agreed
- CEO – to be approved by and reports to Independent Board
- Articles of Formation determine items that would require process for discussing and implementing:
          a) unanimous consent – Elimination of pads/chains, mandatory     penalties, others?
          b) supermajority vote – Current AAEP vet oversight of HIO  inspection, modification of DQP 
              program, hearing process, others?
         c) Clearly defined powers and responsibilities of all officers
     -    Concept is to mirror best-in-class structures of other horse breeds or  
           similar organizations

Key areas of possible oversight – to be determined by Industry Unification Committee
- Rulebook – legal or nonlegal
- Judging
- Show development
- Registry
- Training – owners, DQP, farriers, judging, trainers, other
- Marketing and promotion of TWH
- HIO – inspection, DQP program, penalties, hearing process
- USDA coordination and communication
- Support inspection documentation; create records, preshow, show and post show
- Industry initiatives – blood testing, chipping, other
- HPA initiatives – legal

More Stories

  • Latest Issue March 26 18

    Read More
  • Obituary – Bertram (Bert) Jones

    Bertram Philip (Bert) Jones, age 84 passed away peacefully at his daughter's home in Dunedin, Florida after a brief illness... Read More
  • Throwback Thursday

    Check out this week's Throwback on ReporTV featuring Walk Time Charlie and the late Chad Baucom from the 2012 Marshall County Horseman's Association Horse Show. Read More
  • Trainers meet before 50th anniversary show

    The general membership of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association gathered at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Blue Ribbon Circle on the grounds of the Celebration, a tradition that takes place each year before the National Trainers’ Show.  Read More
  • Youth Council Meeting Saturday, March 24

    If you are interested in joining the Youth Council please make plans to meet on the top concourse during the Trainers’ Show on Saturday, March 24 at 5:30 pm to fill out new membership forms. Read More
  • Equine Obituary - John F.K.'s Delight

    Multi-titled WGC and WC John F. K.’s Delight aka “Bingo” passed away on March 8 at McCarley Farms in Samantha, Alabama. Born Oct. 1, 1997, the 21 year old stallion was owned and loved by Linda McCarley in his final years.  Read More
  • National Trainers' Show Live Stream

    What A Horse will be handling the Live Streaming duties for the National Trainers' Show again this year. You must purchase the What A Horse Trainers' Show Live webcast to access the Live Stream. ReporTV will be posting highlight videos the following day of each session... Read More
  • Georgia Senator introduces resolution encouraging passage of the PAST Act

    Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson recently introduced a resolution in the Georgia Senate in support of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST Act). The summary on the Georgia Lobby website read... Read More
  • Cantrell: We do ‘it’ because we believe in our horse

    In celebrating our 50th Walking Horse Trainers Association Anniversary, this is a salute to all the dedicated professional trainers that have passed through these “gates” . . . and the ones yet to come... Read More
  • Trainers revamp Horse of the Year awards

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) will revamp the Horse of the Year awards program in 2018. Previously, the Horse of the Year was determined by a vote of the licensed members of the WHTA. The program has seen a decline in interest from voting members in recent years and the board of directors decided a change was needed. Read More