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Trainers gather for pre-Fun Show meeting




By Sadie Fowler

A light crowd of about 20 gathered for the annual pre-show meeting among members of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Blue Ribbon Circle on the Celebration grounds. The meeting served as the official opener of weekend events in conjunction of the Spring Fun Show. 

Bill Cantrell, president of the WHTA, welcomed the crowd, followed by a prayer led by Mickey McCormick and brief comments by Celebration CEO Mike Inman and later Jeffrey Howard. 

The majority of the meeting included comments by Howard, who updated trainers about recent proposed legislation introduced in Congress, some of which is for the horse and some of which is against it, including the PAST Act. 

“It’s not a time to panic, but it is a time to pay attention and be diligent about what we can do to prevent the PAST Act from going forward,” said Howard, reminding trainers it takes 290 sponsors to move the PAST Act ahead for a potential vote and it currently stands at 280.

Howard explained the key differences between the PAST Act in the current legislative session and the previous one where the bill lost steam around the time of President Donald Trump being elected. The main difference now versus then is the democratic-controlled House. 

Another difference between now and then, which works in favor of the horse, is that Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate and she is very much in support of the performance horse. Previously, this seat was filled by Bob Corker who took a neutral stance on the matter. 

“If you’re looking for what you can do … the main thing is that if you have customers that live in areas outside of Kentucky and Tennessee, remind them to pay attention to what their representatives are doing in Congress,” he said, explaining those are the areas that lack as much support that the industry has in areas like Kentucky and Tennessee. 

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