Copyright WHR 2006

by Sadie Fowler

The TWHBEA Executive Committee met in Lewisburg, Tenn., Monday, Jan. 16 to discuss topics including the NHSC contract, as well as TWHBEA Executive Director Charles Hulsey’s future role in the organization. Speculations had surfaced prior to Monday’s meeting that Hulsey had been involved in improper conduct relating to registration papers.

Approximately 30 minutes into the meeting, a member of the executive committee asked, “Should we go into executive session?”. While TWHBEA Executive Committee President Jerrold Pedigo said he had no problem keeping the meeting open, a motion made by Edie Wittenmyer and seconded by Trainers’ representative Jamie Hankins passed and the TWHBEA closed their meeting, excusing the Walking Horse Report Editorial Director Sadie Fowler. Shortly thereafter, the executive committee issued the following statement:

A motion made by Charles Wharton, seconded by Jane Meredith, and approved unanimously by the committee states: While no longer a member of the National Horse Show Commission, TWHBEA will continue to solicit the input of and negotiate with the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association and the Walking Horse Owners Association in regards to HIO and other industry issues.

Further motion made by Charles Wharton, seconded by Ann Kuykendall, and approved unanimously by the committee states: That the appearance of a conflict created by TWHBEA Board Members and Executive Committee members serving as NHSC Judges and DQP’s is waived for the calendar year of 2006.

Despite numerous attempts made by the Report to clarify this statement, TWHBEA remained quiet about their meeting, leaving many to assume the TWHBEA had simply maintained its original stance regarding the commission. The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association had urged TWHBEA late in 2005 to rejoin the commission for one more year, until a new operating plan is in place.

TWHBEA also disclosed little information about the Charles Hulsey situation. Later on Tuesday, Jan. 17, it was reported that Hulsey had been reprimanded for his misconduct when the TWHBEA issued the following statement:

Recent rumors related to Executive Director Charles Hulsey, surrounding a possible breach of the TWHBEA Registry have been investigated fully by the personnel committee and the executive committee. After a thorough investigation, the executive committee concluded that there were no horses that have been registered or transferred to a wrongful owner. The investigation did reveal a breach in the transfer procedure of two horses. The executive committee has taken appropriate measures to correct the procedural breach and has taken further measures to protect against any future breach.

After another ambiguous statement made by TWHBEA, the question remained, ‘What did Hulsey actually do wrong?’. The Report contacted Hulsey regarding this matter and he refused to comment, however he did say that the rumors that had surfaced regarding the incident were much worse than the actual truth. Nonetheless, Hulsey and other TWHBEA officials chose to remain quiet about Hulsey, begging the question, “If rumors were so much worse than the ‘truth,’ then why not set the record straight?”

The Report will continue to follow these stories and will update our readers as soon as any information becomes available.