Skip to content

Trainers Meet to Ready for Fall Competition

Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

Wink Groover called a general membership meeting of the Walking Horse Trainers Association on Thursday, September 27, 2007, in an attempt to avoid the complacency that sometimes follows the furor of the Celebration.

Groover praised the trainers for their performance at the Celebration and the condition of the horses that were presented for inspection at the show.

“We got through the Celebration great because of everyone working together,” said Groover. The trainers did a great job of putting good quality horses in the ring. The credit belongs to everyone. To the Celebration. To the National Horse Show Commission. It was a real joint effort,” he said.

Link Webb provided more specific praise. “We had 127 less tickets than last year and there were only two bilateral sore violations in the entire show.”

Groover was disappointed in the comments Keith Dane of the Humane Society of the United States has made publicly following the Celebration. “It burns me up. The Celebration worked hard to comply with what Keith Dane asked them to do. This industry tried to comply with the changes made by the Celebration related to his requests. Yet Keith Dane wrote this letter, and there’s not a positive comment in the whole letter. We’ve tried working with him, but we’ve got nothing but grief from it,” expressed Groover.

All in all, however, Groover was pleased. “We can build on what we did this year,” said Groover. “Please don’t tear down what we’ve accomplished during these fall shows. We proved one thing – we’ve got the horse – but we’ve got to keep proving it,” stressed Groover.

He also complimented the USDA and specifically Dr. Chester Gipson. According to Bill Hawks, Groover said, Dr. Gipson made a statement at the recent HIO meeting indicating that the Walking Horse industry had made “more progress in the last eight months than in the last ten years.”

Groover attributes much of the success of the relationship with the USDA to Bill Hawks. The WHTA has contracted with Hawks to work five major fall shows – the International, Asheville, Decatur, Perry, and Tunica – for $50,000. The WHTA had previously paid Hawks $30,000 for his work at the Celebration, Fayetteville, Belfast and Wartrace.

In an effort to raise funds for the $50,000 contract, the Walking Horse Trainers Association is holding a 50/50 raffle, the Cash N Carry. Professional trainers will be selling one thousand tickets at $100 each. The drawing will be held on Saturday, December 1, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, and will be conducted by the Shelbyville, Tenn., CPA firm, Winnett Associates. Winnett Associates is also conducting the end of the year WHTA election.

The winner will receive half of the proceeds of the raffle, which could be $50,000, if all tickets are sold. The other half of the proceeds will go towards paying Hawks.

Trainers who sell ten tickets will receive one ticket to the drawing at no charge.

Tickets can be purchased from any professional trainer, from the WHTA Office at 931-684-5866, or at the Walking Horse Report at 931-684-8123.

Obviously, continued involvement in 2008 by Hawks will call for more fundraisers. It is estimated that $100,000 may be needed for 2008. Groover compared this to the $60,000 per year that was paid to Niels Holch (which was split by the WHTA, WHOA and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association).

“When you start splitting the bill, you lose the ability to determine what gets done,” explained Groover in asking the WHTA to step forward to pay the full cost of Hawks contract.

“We should be the ones that direct the mechanics of this industry,” said Groover. He illustrated a possible option of increased dues to the WHTA of $50 per month. “We need to run this Association like a business,” explained Groover. He suggested that even if trainers added $5 per month to their training bill, that they could cover the additional expense and could then be invested in the decisions being made by the Association.

“We need to find a way to fund this Association so that it can be a large enough organization to truly run the Walking Horse business. We need to get together with the Breeders. We need to stay connected with the Owners. But in the end, we need to make this a larger, more professional organization,” said Groover.

The reception to Groover’s suggestions were positive from the small group of trainers that were represented at the meeting.

More Stories

  • Equine Obituary – Watch It Now

    It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Watch It Now due to complications from colic... Read More
  • South Central Kentucky Walking Horse Association cancels banquet

    The South Central Kentucky Walking Horse Association has canceled their annual banquet for 2021. The association hopes to host their banquet in 2022. For more information, contact Frankie Jo Bradley at 270-6460-7957. Read More
  • APHIS posts 2020 enforcement activity summary

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has posted their fiscal year 2020 enforcement activity summary... Read More
  • Museum to receive 1946 copy of Blue Ribbon magazine

    The Walking Horse Report recently received a copy of a 1946 Blue Ribbon magazine.  The copy was sent by a Report subscriber Robert Smith in Elma, Wash... Read More
  • NAS makes recommendations regarding inspections

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) released their report, “A Review of Methods for Detecting Soreness in Horses,” earlier today. The committee has been working on the report for over a year with their first meeting happening in October 2019... Read More
  • USDA to host virtual training for HIOs

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services has informed the industry’s Horse Industry Organizations that it will host a virtual training this year due to ongoing conditions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.  Read More
  • Kentucky HIO makes plans for 2021

    The Kentucky HIO recently announced updates for the 2021 show season. The HIO will lower horse show affiliation fee to $50 and maintain the $6 inspection fee per horse this year... Read More
  • Get the news…FAST

    It has been a year! The Walking Horse Industry remains strong and our supporters continue to dedicate their time and efforts to ensuring our future. Sales have seen record-high numbers and barns continue to bustle with the talk of the “next great one.”  Read More
  • WHTA seeks new office manager

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) has posted an opening for its office manager position. The WHTA will begin taking applications immediately.  Interested applicants should send their resume to the WHTA at PO Box 61, Shelbyville, Tenn. 37162. Read More
  • Obituary – Dr. Gordon DePoyster

    Harold "Gordon" DePoyster, 78, of Greenville, died Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 3:00PM at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. Dr. DePoyster was born October 5, 1942, in Muhlenberg County. He was a dentist and a member of First Christian Church in Greenville... Read More