The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association held its annual Trainers’ Show general membership meeting Tuesday afternoon, March 15, 2022. President Bill Young welcomed those in attendance and invited guests to address the membership. First, Tim Hatfield from the SHOW HIO addressed inspections and some of the changes instituted by USDA earlier this year.

Hatfield also had on display new measuring tools that SHOW DQPs will use in 2022 to simplify much of the measuring process during inspections. No rules have changed, but these devices will be used in place of tape measures in many cases.

Mark Farrar from TWHBEA also addressed the membership and spoke to the partnership the Breeders’ have worked on with The Celebration to make changes to The Futurity. Celebration CEO Warren Wells also spoke to this when he spoke. The Futurity will be integrated throughout the class schedule of The Celebration. Exact details are still being looked at and the schedule as a whole is in front of The Celebration’s committee for review before going out for industry comment. Farrar assured the trainers that a class will exist under saddle for every two and three-year-old nominated.

Wells welcomed the trainers and their show to The Celebration grounds and spoke to some of the continued improvements on the grounds including new electrical outlets in all the stalls. Carlyle Johnson gave the horse show report and proudly announced that the horse show committee had set a goal of raising $70,000 for the show but actually achieved $86,000 in advance of the horse show. Johnson also spoke to the move to four nights instead of three without the addition of more classes to reduce the length of the show and make it more
spectator friendly. The horse show will not only benefit the WHTA scholarship fund, but also will benefit the Center for Family Development, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building Forever Families.

Young then spoke about the potential need for funding to help formulate an industry response to the new rulemaking that could come in 2022. No rule has been issued nor has any rule entered the comment phase, but industry groups have begun preparations should a rule similar to the one issued in 2016 be issued again in 2022 or beyond. The WHTA membership in attendance voted unanimously to set aside funds should the need occur in the coming months.