LEWISBURG, Tenn. - The TWHBEA Executive Committee met October 28, 2002, and the major item of business discussed was the proposed 2003 budget.

Charles Wharton, administrative/fiscal division vice president, reported that his committee had met recently with TWHBEA staff to finalize the proposed budget for 2003. Because of a projected shortfall, Mr. Wharton said his committee agreed to recommend a $10 increase in registration and transfer fees, and a $100 increase in the fee for duplicate registration certificates.

These fees have not been raised since 1990, and the proposed increases would generate more the $400,000 in additional revenue. Mr. Wharton said his committee considered the fee increases a better alternative to raising membership dues and/or eliminating the free registration.

The executive committee agreed with Mr. Wharton’s committee and will recommend the proposed budget, with the fee increases, to the national board at it’s December meeting.

The executive committee spent much of the meeting discussion the ongoing executive director search. Following a report from TWHBEA President, Robert Thomas, a member of the search committee, the executive committee said it plans to interview any candidates recommended by the search committee. These interviews will take place either November 25 or December 4. Mr. Thomas said the search committee plans to meet again in mid-November.

“This committee is moving as rapidly as possible,” said Mr. Thomas, “...but we won’t sacrifice thoroughness for speed.”

A motion to invite Dr. Chester Gipson, APHIS’ deputy administrator of animal care, to speak during the TWHBEA Annual Membership Meeting and Semi-Annual Board of Directors’ Meeting on December 7 was approved.

In other action, the executive committee ratified the board of directors’ election results. Sharon Brandon, TWHBEA secretary/treasurer, reported that ties in the voting has occurred among write-in candidates in Michigan and Region 2, neither of which had declared candidates. Because one candidate had declined to serve and another did not meet eligibility requirements, Mrs. Brandon reported that both ties had been resolved. Karyl Dunaway will serve the three-year term in Michigan and Ron Stodard will fill the three-year term in Region 2.

TWHBEA Executive Director Bob Cherry reported the year-to-date numbers in the registry department. First-time foal registrations are down 109, but registration revenue is up to $20,000. Transfers are up 865, and income from transfers is up $42,000. Mr. Cherry reported that new and renewed memberships are up 217, while the number of mares on stallion breeding reports has decreased 46 (up 139 since September). Total memberships are up 477 for an increase of $9,000.

Jane Hardy Meredith, vice president of the performance show horse division, reported that a printing bid for her division’s new brochure has been accepted. She said the brochure would be printed and available by the December board meeting.

Mrs. Meredith said one TWHBEA Youth Medallion class remains, and will be held during the Southern Championships, November 14-16 in Perry, Georgia. Her committee is revising the guidelines for the medallion program in 2003.

Continuing her report, Mrs. Meredith said a second Academy Certification Clinic was held during the International Grand Championships on October 5. Nine additional instructors earned certification. A schedule of winter tournaments has been approved, and only students of TWHBEA Certified Instructors will be eligible to show. The tournaments will take place January 11 and February 8 at Highland Stables, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and January 25 and February 22 at Midland Equestrian Center in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

In Larry Lowman’s absence, Robert Thomas delivered the report from the sales and promotion division. He said three of the five commemorative garden premier paves have been designed and ordered and should be installed prior to the December meeting.

Earlier this year, the executive committee approved $16,000 for advertising murals to be featured on ten tractor-trailers. The latest estimate for the ten truck murals is slightly more than $27,000. The executive committee agreed to proceed with the project, but stay within the budget by advertising on fewer trucks.

Under new business, Craig Evans presented his vision for enhancing and improving the way in which horse show entries and results are processed. He is calling for the purchase of 14 laptop computers and 14 wireless PDAs (personal digital assistants) and making them available to horse shows. Using a simple program, shows would input the entry data directly into a centralized database at the NHSC. He said the system would improve the speed and accuracy of show records and allow for a variety of high-point systems to be developed. The records could be shared and utilized by all three NHSC member organizations.

Mr. Evans recommends that TWHBEA purchase equipment and software, and lease it to the NHSC. The executive committee asked Evans to refine the cost estimates and present a written proposal outlining the project in more detail. If approved, Evans hopes to have the system in place for the 2003 show season.