Skip to content

Trainers Overwhelmingly Support Board's Decision

By Jeffrey Howard

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) met on Monday March 9, 2009 and voted to support the recommendation of its board of directors.  The WHTA board of directors had unanimously passed a motion on March 2, 2009 to recommend to the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) board of directors to remove their Horse Industry Organization (HIO) and ask SHOW, the HIO of the Celebration, Inc. to assume its function.

The meeting served as a forum for members of the WHTA to get clarity on the thoughts behind the board’s recommendation.  The vote today was taken in an effort for the membership to have its voice heard in the matter of trainer involvement in the HIO as it relates to compliance with inspections and judging. 

Other proposals were brought to the table.  Kim and Leigh Bennett made a proposal for the trainers to step down from the NHSC and ask members of SHOW to step in their place.  This proposal was discussed but in the end Joel Weaver summed up the board’s response with, “we need to remove ourselves from compliance and have a clean break from the NHSC in order for the new HIO to be successful.”

Although various opinions were expressed, the discussion centered on the best options to move the industry forward.  David Landrum stated, “We don’t need a fight and we don’t need a split.”  Kim Bennett agreed, “The trainers need to stick together.”  Landrum answered that in his opinion this would “bring the trainers together and make them stronger as an association.”

After over an hour of discussion both Layne Leverette and Dale Watts agreed that this type of decision was exactly why they had a board of directors and those were the guys they elected to make these types of decisions.  “You have been in the fire.  This vote we are about to take is us voting for you or against you and the confidence we have in you.  This is not a vote about what’s in black and white but a vote about blood and guts, the blood and guts of you guys on the board,” said Watts.

The motion was made and the vote to support the actions of the board was then taken and an overwhelming majority of those in attendance voted to support the recommendation of the board.  The meeting was standing room only and allowed a diverse group to unify in a decision to move forward.

In a separate action, the membership also discussed the operating plan and voted to recommend to the new HIO to opt out of the operating plan as it is currently written.

The stage is now set for the NHSC and Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) to vote on the continuation of the NHSC.  The Celebration board of directors met for an information session on Monday March 9, 2009 and will vote on the recommendation of the WHTA at a future meeting. 

More Stories

  • Meet the Celebration Judges

    The challenging task of selecting judges for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is one of the toughest jobs the Celebration Board faces each year. It’s a duty that’s taken seriously and done with great deliberation... Read More
  • Juarez’s replacement introduces herself; says inspection protocols will 'remain unchanged’

    The following letter is from Acting Deputy Administrator Betty Goldentyer. Dr. Goldentyer recently replaced outgoing Deputy Administrator Bernadette Juarez. The letter is an introduction to the industry as well as a preview of inspection protocols for The Celebration, which will remain unchanged... Read More
  • Latest Issue 8 19 19

    Read More
  • Celebration prayer meeting scheduled

    This year marks the third annual Celebration for Christ get together! One week from today starts the first evening performance of “the greatest show on earth”. Come join together on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 6:00 pm at the Champions Arena bleachers... Read More
  • Celebration Reels now available on ReporTV

    Get ready for this year's Celebration by enjoying the final three nights of the 2018 Celebration with Celebration Reels now available on ReporTV! Brought to you by The Walking Horse Report and Dean Johnson Video.  Read More
  • WHTA Board and General Membership Meeting coming up!

    The WHTA Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, August 20, at 4:30 pm. The General Membership meeting will follow at 6:00 pm. Lobbyist, Jeff Speaks, will attend and discuss all legal issues. All interested parties are invited to attend.  Read More
  • HSUS files lawsuit aiming to reinstate rule tabled by Trump

    The Humane Society of the United States filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, Aug. 14 against the United States Department of Agriculture in what the HSUS called an attempt to reinstate a final rule that was set aside by the Trump administration back in 2017 that would have banned action devices, pads and eliminated the Horse Industry Organization structure.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary – WGC Repeats Color Me In

    Raised by Kasey Kesselring, "Whitey" was a once in a lifetime mare that took many children to the Winners Circle safely, including Kailin Kesselring's first set of roses at the Spotted Championships. From a broodmare, to lesson horse at Montverde Academy in Florida, to a safe show ring mount for any level rider... Read More
  • Walking Horse Report’s daily papers and office hours

    The Celebration is the busiest time of year for Walking Horse Report. We strive to provide the best possible coverage of the industry’s world championship horse show. We will continue to post live results and judges’ cards. Read More
  • Obituary – Carl Johnson

    Mr. Carl M. Johnson, age 89, a resident of Columbia, passed away Saturday, August 10, 2019 at NHC-Maury Regional Transitional Care Center. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Heritage Funeral Home with Pastor Steve Swango officiating. Read More