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Trainers Board Takes Action



Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

Prior to the general membership meeting of the Walking Horse Trainers Association (see separate story Trainers Endorse Groover Proposals), the Board of the organization met for three hours.

Much of the meeting consisted of Groover laying out his proposal for changes in the WHTA and NHSC which he laid out for the general membership.

In addition, this proactive group also took action on a number of other items.

After a successful convention and banquet that yielded a $9,500 profit, plans were made to renew the contract with Marriott in Franklin, Tennessee for two additional years. The contract would have expired at the end of 2007. There was also discussion about changes in the format of next year’s convention to include more clinics and educational forums.

The board also voted unanimously to return the judging format at the 2007 National Trainers Show to the old format where judges are drawn for each class as opposed to a set panel for the show. A licensed AA or AAA judge can submit their name for any classes they would be willing to judge. They must be a paid member in good standing as of March 15 and have a judges’ license. No one person will judge more than two classes in a night. Persons who plan on judging should be properly attired in a riding suit or sports coat. Only AAA judges who have submitted their name and have judged another class earlier in the show may judge the stake class. Three judges will be drawn for each class in the class immediately prior.

The board also voted to enforce the entry deadline of 12:00 noon. Late entries will pay one and a half times the entry fee.

The board plans to promote their scholarship program in 2007. After TWHBEA made the decision to pull their $5000 contribution to the WHTA scholarship program, WHTA officials solicited donations to make up that $5000 deficit. After successfully obtaining that commitment, they plan to pursue looking for other donations to increase the number of scholarships they can offer.

Wink Groover proposed a new bumper sticker campaign to promote the proper care of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Wording will be left up to a public relations firm, but Groover wants to make sure that the WHTA investigates complaints of any abuse of a Tennessee Walking Horse and that all claims are verified.

The board also voted unanimously to eliminate the $250 charge for A and AA licensed members to reapply for AAA status when they become eligible. Licenses are already coming in, but they have been slower than usual. Marcia Allison reminded the board that members must be paid before March 15 in order to be allowed to vote in the December election.

Benny Johnson also made a recommendation to the new licensing committee that professional trainers carry a professional license card with a picture.

Wink Groover, in his characteristic straightforward manner, addressed the rumor that he was “firing” Marcia Allison. “I am not firing Marcia. She is essential,” said Groover.

He did however propose hiring Rene Atwood Hall, a former staffer at the Walking Horse Report, to help part-time with correspondence, write newsletters and assist Marcia as needed. This motion also passed unanimously.

There was some discussion about the executive director job, but it was concluded that there weren’t sufficient funds for the position at this time.

A need was identified to update the WHTA website and Groover asked Spencer Benedict (who was not present) to ask Keith Johnson to review the current website and make recommendations for an update.

Rider’s Cup sponsors have been obtained in all divisions although Bumpus Harley Davidson is waiting to make a firm commitment until their budget has been finalized. Additional sponsors have asked to participate. It was discussed that some show managers are asking for more support from trainers to continue the classes at their shows. Date problems were discussed and Marcia Allison is keeping a date calendar in her office to help avoid conflicts.

The WHTA Advisory Committee submitted recommendations after their last meeting to the WHTA Board. Look for these recommendations and the new committee appointments for the WHTA in upcoming stories at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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