The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association held its annual meeting and election in conjunction with its weekend of meetings and awards banquets. The meeting was held on December 10th and marked the end of a successful year for the association.

In Wayne Dean’s budget report, he reported the association had $15,000 in its operating account, $191,000 in its horse show account and $48,000 in its sale account. The Riders’ Cup account will be emptied in payouts this weekend, but collected over $110,000 through sponsorships, affiliation fees and entry fees. Hankins did report that the building where the WHTA office is located has been sold but he hopes the trainers will be able to continue to stay in 2022 with no rent increase.

Thom Meek attended the meeting and spoke to the printing of the new trainers directory which was delivered and handed out at the meeting and will be available moving forward. The joint venture between WHTA and the Breeders’ Association raised money through advertising, mainly from vendors in the industry, and the proceeds will be used to start a new one-day horse show.

Meek also informed the trainers of the request from TWHBEA pleasure horse VP Amanda Wright and Meek to add a Two and Three-Year-Old Country Pleasure Riders’ Cup category, which the WHTA committee granted and will be sponsored by Dale Steinmetz in 2022. Meek also urged the trainers to work with David Sisk who will be tasked with working on the Futurity for TWHBEA in 2022. Sisk and TWHBEA are looking at the class sheets and considering ways to improve the Futurity in 2022.

Aaron Self was chair of the nominating committee and presented the slate of officers and board members for 2022. After the election was concluded the following officers and board members will serve in 2022:

President – Bill Young
1st Vice President – Bill Cantrell
2nd Vice President – Dickie Gardner

Board members – Herbert Derickson, Rodney Dick, Scott Beaty, Spencer Benedict and Wayne Dean, who will serve out the two years remaining on Brent Coburn’s term

Dee Cantrell gave reports on the Fall Classic and Yearling Sale. The trainers profited just over $21,000 on their sale and loaned $16,000 to the Fall Classic so as not to have to solicit sponsorships so late in the year. If all monies are collected at the Fall Classic the show will profit the association just under $2,000.

Carlyle Johnson gave a report on the annual awards voting. The association, in conjunction with help from Walking Horse Report, launched an online voting portal which resulted in a 66% increase in the number of trainers who voted in 2021. Those awards, which include the Horse of the Year awards will be announced and presented at the banquet on Saturday evening.

The 2022 National Trainers’ Show will be held March 17-19, 2022 at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn.