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TWHBEA Cancels St. Louis Show

LEWISBURG, Tenn. ­ Facing scheduling conflicts and unenthusiastic reaction to the new June show date, the TWHBEA Executive Committee reversed its decision from last month and decided to cancel the St. Louis Charity Horse Show. This decision was reached during the committee¹s scheduled monthly meeting on March 28.

Horse Show Division Vice President Jamie Hankins (KY) said the show would be going head-to-head with established shows throughout the Midwest and Southeast, a situation that seemed to be generating more negative reaction than the goodwill for which the show was intended. The executive committee agreed unanimously to abandon the show this year and begin work on a "showcase" show for next year, either in St. Louis or another location.

TWHBEA Executive Director Charles Hulsey updated the committee on the numbers from the registry department. First-time foal registrations were down 367 in February. For the year, registrations are down 1,031. Transfers have remained steady, showing an increase of six for the month and a decrease of 79 for the year. Lastly, memberships grew by 49 in February, and show an increase of 716 for the first three months of the fiscal year.

Charles Wharton (TN), vice president of the administrative/fiscal/audit division, said February revenues were $390,000, up $42,000 from last year¹s February total. Expenses in February totaled $367,000, or $74,000 greater than a year ago. For the month, net revenues over expenses were $22,000, compared to $54,000 last year.

Through three months of the fiscal year ending February 28, revenues were $1,082,000, up $42,000 from last year. Expenses were $1,095,000, up $105,000. The result is a three month loss of $12,700, compared to a $50,000 gain last year.

Returning to the business of the horse show division, Jamie Hankins reported that last month¹s meeting between the horse show committee and representatives from the TWHBEA Regional Futurities was well attended and quite productive. He commended committee member Larry Lowman (TN) for his proposed new plan aimed at revamping and strengthening the regional futurity system. Mr. Hankins said a similar meeting would again be held in May, with a possible recommendation regarding the 2006 regional futurities forthcoming.

Jane Meredith (GA), vice president of the performance show horse division, was not present at the meeting, but President Jerrold Pedigo (TN) presented her report to the committee. The first TWHBEA Youth Medallion Class was held recently in Andalusia, Ala., and drew four entries. The final Academy Winter Tournament, held recently at Belle Meadow Farm in Wartrace, Tenn., drew 116 entries. Mrs. Meredith's report said the winter tournaments have set the stage for the Academy Championships on April 2 at the National Trainers Show. Mrs. Meredith, as chairperson of the recently named high- point sub-committee, said she planned to submit a rough outline on a new high point program at next month¹s meeting.

On the promotional front, Marketing Vice President Larry Lowman (TN) reported that the $20,000 previously allocated by the executive committee for airing a commercial on RFD-TV¹s The Best of America By Horseback program has been negotiated down to $18,500. The program will air 13 half-hour episodes from July through September. Each episode will run a minimum of four times per week in a variety of time slots, one of which will be in prime time. The commercial will air approximately 54 times.

Continuing his report, Mr. Lowman said TWHBEA's Marketing Department recently participated in the Volunteer Horse Fair in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Association set up a promotional display and coordinated a number of breed exhibitions and demonstrations. He said the month of April is the second busiest month for trade fairs as 10 events across the nation will feature TWHBEA promotional displays.

On the international marketing front, Mr. Lowman said he was "thoroughly surprised" at the enthusiasm shown by TWHBEA's European members during his recent visit to Equitana in Essen, Germany. He called the experience "very positive" and feels the breed continues to have a bright future outside the United States.

The TWHBEA gift shop has a new name ­ The Gift Horse ­ and Mr. Lowman said it features an expanded new line of merchandise.

During old business, Mr. Lowman took the opportunity to add Donna Benefield (CA) to his committee.

Nicole Carswell (KY), vice president of the owners/exhibitors committee, said Connie Waldo recently performed a successful two-day clinic for the Minnesota Walking Horse Association. Mrs. Carswell is slated to conduct April clinics in Indiana (Hoosier Horse Fair), Mississippi and Illinois, while Bobby Richards' April calendar includes the Virginia Equine Extravaganza in Richmond.

Pleasure Horse Division Vice President Edie Wittenmyer (IL) gave a positive report on the recently held Illinois Horse Fair and said her committee is working to secure sponsors for the TWHBEA World Versatility Show.

David Landrum (TN), vice president of the training division, said the Trainers' Association is close to having plans finalized for its new 4,500 sq. ft. office building and an announcement would be forthcoming. He also presented a positive report on a recent breed exhibition he performed in Franklin, Tenn. on behalf of TWHBEA for a group of equine nutrition professionals.

Dee Dee Sale (TN), member-at-large/youth, was unable to attend the meeting, but her report was read by Mr. Pedigo. On March 15, the Youth Committee held its monthly conference call. The committee agreed to offer several year-end youth awards at the annual TWHBEA banquet.

Mrs. Sale's report stated that youth membership stood at 604 through the end of February, an increase of 125 from the end of January. The report also stated that the youth board held its monthly online meeting on March 22, with 22 youth members exchanging ideas and suggestions for upcoming events.

Under old business, the executive committee agreed to delay any decision to enter into formal agreements with the University of Tennessee and with Western Kentucky University student Daniel Starnes regarding their respective research proposals until members of the committee have had an opportunity to review each contract.

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