Editor’s Note:  The following letter was sent from Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association President Tracy Boyd after representatives from Missouri reached out to TWHBEA for help.  Several anti-performance horse groups had lobbied the Missouri State Fair Board and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to eliminate the performance horse from the Missouri State Fair Horse Show in 2013. The threat is that USEF remove the State Fair as one of its accredited shows if performance Tennessee Walking Horse are allowed to compete.

Dec. 6, 2012

Mark Wolfe, Director
Missouri State Fair
2503 W. 16th Street
Sedalia, Mo. 65301

Dear Mr. Wolfe:

In recent days, we have heard from several of our concerned Missouri members telling us the Missouri State Fair is considering elimination of the padded performance Tennessee Walking Horse from its annual show schedule. We understand that pressure from outside groups, coupled with the unfortunate events surrounding last year’s inspection process, have caused USEF to threaten to pull its rating from the show if padded walking horses are allowed to compete this year.

The padded performance Tennessee Walking horse remains an important part of our breed registry and a driving economic force for our breeders, owners and trainers across the country. For many years, Missouri has been among the leading states for TWHBEA membership. In addition, Missouri has a long and storied history of producing world-class walking horses, both padded and flat-shod. Today, trainers and exhibitors in many states are increasingly presenting horses in both divisions, and Missouri is no exception.

We at TWHBEA continue to support all disciplines and divisions within our breed, as long as the horses are trained and presented in a sound manner. We enthusiastically support our Missouri members who wish only to continue having the opportunity to showcase their talented performance horses at great venues like the Missouri State Fair.

We respectfully ask that you consider all these factors and allow the performance Tennessee Walking Horse to continue its rich history of showing at the Missouri State Fair. Thank you for your time and for your consideration of this request.


Tracy Boyd, President
Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association