Copyright  WHR 2006

by Ashlea Wheelon

            SHELBYVILLE, Tenn.-On March 21, 2006, the Walking Horse Trainers Association was proud to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Trainers' building. Established in 1968 with 200 members, WHTA has now grown to over 800 members. With the increase of members, events and important issues, it was time for the Trainers’ to have a building to call their own.

The new location, off N. Main Street, is 3,800 square feet and is housed on 1.4 acres. This includes a board room, a meeting room large enough to hold 200 people, two offices, a kitchen area, two restrooms and a beautiful entry way.

 Bill Cantrell, Wayne Dean, Billy Gray, Benny Johnson and Billy Young are a part of the Building Committee who have been working on this project for ten years. Without the work of this team the dreams of the association would not have come true. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, refreshments were served and tours were given throughout the building.
            “For years we have searched for a nice place. This new facility is ideal to hold board and committee meetings, and is large enough for our membership meetings with 200 new chairs. We are located on one of the busiest streets in  town which will give us more exposure. We are so fortunate to find a place of its size, location and décor,” stated Walking Horse Trainers Association Executive Director Billy Thomas.

The Trainers’ would like to thank the following people, for without them this would not have been possible:

*The Celebration, Inc; Mr. Ron Thomas and the board members, for their generous donation of $25,000.

*The Auxiliary; Joyce Marie Green, President, and all their membership for donating over $12,000. This wonderful Group of ladies continues to support the Trainers’ year after year.

*The trainers who donated one month training fee, we thank you.

*The Youth Council; Maria Derickson, President, and members for their donation, especially the landscaping.

*Donations from Sand Creek Sales , Summit Stallions Breeding Facility, and Smoky Mountain Sales.

*Milly Player and Gail Bumgardner of TG Tile for donating the tile work and supplies for both restrooms.

*Sherry Oxford and Jennifer Pack, for their painting of the canopy.

*Mr. Charles Gleghorn, for making the financing of this property possible.

*Mr. Billy Thomas; Walking Horse Trainers Association Executive Director, for all his dedication and hard work.

*Ms. Marcia Allison, for helping coordinate this event and for all you do each day for the trainers and the walking horse world.


Bill Cantrell had the honors of cutting the ribbon.