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Trainers' Elect 2017 Officers



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn.- The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) held its annual meeting on December 16, 2016, two weeks later than normal but still in conjunction with its Horse of the Year banquet.

After the meeting was called to order by President Bill Young, industry lobbyist Jeff Speaks was introduced to discuss the current legislative environment with regards to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and the effects of the recently completed election cycle. Speaks informed the membership that just because a new administration was coming, the issues facing the industry would not go away. Speaks did point out that a new Secretary of Agriculture could make communication and progress easier.

Next, Frank Eichler addressed the membership. Eichler, an owner, attorney and member of the Leadership Council, played an integral role in the filing of the industry’s response to the USDA’s proposed rule. Eichler updated the filing of the response and the movement of the rule to its final phase in front of the Office of Management and Budget. He detailed the potential next steps should a rule be published as final in the coming weeks. 

The WHTA membership plays an integral role in the fight to save the performance and pleasure Tennessee Walking Horse and Eichler pointed out the need for their cooperation and continued fundraising efforts to provide the necessary resources to effectively defend the horse from the current attacks.

New President of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA), David Williams addressed the trainers next and expressed his excitement for the Tennessee Walking Horse and wanted to unite with the trainers for the betterment of the industry. Williams emphasized the willingness of TWHBEA to work with the WHTA for the betterment of the entire industry.

Billy Morgan was next to the podium to discuss plans for the WHTA National Trainers’ Show in March at the Calsonic arena. The trainers were then given ballots  to vote on one of the judges for the Trainers’ Show.
One of the main items of business at this meeting is always to nominate new board members and officers for the new year. All of the officers will remain the same for the 2017 season.  

Bill Young will continue as President, with Bill Cantrell and Jamie Hankins as 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents. Four board members were up for re-election. Those four outgoing members were Jeff Green, Ross Campbell, Edgar Abernathy and Link Webb. Campbell, Abernathy and Webb will serve another term and Larry George will now join the group.

WHTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Bill Cantrell, 1st VP
Jamie Hankins, 2nd VP
Mickey McCormick
Brandye Mills
Laurie Toone
Larry George
Herbert Derickson
Edgar Abernathy
Ross Campbell
Derek Bonner
Scotty Beaty
Wayne Dean
Winky Groover 
Link Webb 
 

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