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TWHBEA Grapples with Celebration Issues


Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

The Executive Committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association met at 8 am preceding the semi-annual meeting of the International Board of Directors. Jack Haefling participated via conference call as he is recovering from emergency surgery. Kathy Zeis was unaware of the 8 am meeting and arrived late in anticipation of the 9 am meeting of the full board of directors.

There was a brief executive session so that the committee could approve the minutes from previous Executive Sessions.

In old business Bruce Vaughn made the motion to change the location of the TWHBEA Annual Awards Banquet to the Embassy Suites in Franklin due to time and space limitations. The motion was seconded by Pat Stout and passed unanimously.

Pat Stout made a statement for the record that last night at the horse show, Wink Groover denied that he had ever brought charges against Donna Benefield to the TWHBEA Enforcement Committee. Craig Evans made a recommendation to the Committee not to discuss the issue any further.

Holly Reynolds made a motion to change the dates that qualify a youth for membership to allow members to be considered youth members throughout the calendar year of their senior year of high school. The motion was seconded by Jane Meredith and passed unanimously.

Pat Stout brought an issue from her committee meeting on Friday to the Executive Committee. She indicated her committee felt it was important to set the date and time and location for the National Futurity in a timely manner and not to wait until the Celebration was required to announce their affiliation (30 days prior to the show).

“ It’s our horse show. They [TWHBEA members] want us to decide now what we are going to do with it. Last year was a dilemma waiting until 30 days before the show,” explained Stout. She then made a motion which received several friendly amendments. The motion eventually was that by June 8, 2007, TWHBEA staff in conjunction with Pat Stout and her committee find a suitable venue to hold the National Futurity in the first few days before the Celebration geographically convenient to those attending the Celebration.” The motion passed unanimously.

In the discussion Sid Baucom asked, “This is not excluding our ability to have it as part of the Celebration, is it?”

“My latest conversation with David Howard and The Celebration was Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. I believe it will work out to hold the Futurity on that Wednesday at the Celebration. Obviously there is not a concrete decision. There are factors to be worked out on both sides. But I do believe that we will be able to work it out. As Jamie always says, there has been communication, communication, communication…And I do think we will be successful.”

Craig Evans concurred, “ I share your optimism. Clearly the Celebration would like to work that out as well.”

Chuck Cadle asked the question “if you set a date of June 8, are you going to force yourself to make a decision before you know what the Celebration wants to do?”

“Yes, that may happen, but this committee has been clear and the industry has been clear that they want a decision. Certainly by June 8, if we feel like there are negotiations going on that we feel like we should beg a few extra days, we can do that,” answered Pedigo.

“There are two pieces of information I want to remind everyone of. These have been widely reported, not something said in confidence,“ said Craig Evans. “They are considering the option of forming their own HIO and affiliating their own events. They are also considering entering into an agreement with the NHSC. Either way there would be a board which would have the authority to make those kind of decisions. These are just among their options, there are many more,” continued Evans.

Holly Reynolds added “I would like the staff while they are pursuing a ring and a date, to include in the negotiations with the Celebration, a negotiation of the fee. I believe $15,000 is astronomical for a four hour show.

Chuck Cadle corrected Reynolds and explained that the cost for the horse show was $9500.

Marty Irby attempted to make an amendment to Stout’s motion that the Executive Committee have the final decision on the location of the Futurity. Stout did not accept the amendment, so Irby made the motion independently.

It passed with Marty Irby, Jane Meredith, Darren Gray, Wayne Dean, Bruce Vaughn, Jamie Hankins and Kathy Zeis voting for the motion.

In new business Irby questioned Chuck Cadle as to the status of TWHBEA’s sponsorship of the Celebration.

“We have budgeted the sponsorship of the Celebration, that’s where we are with that. We are in limbo obviously because they have not determined who they are affiliating their show with at this point. We have agreed to support sanctioned events in the sanctioning plan. So that’s where we are,” explained Cadle.

Wayne Dean clarified, “So, if they don’t affiliate with TWHBEA, they won’t get the sponsorship?”

Sid Baucom objected “There were no conditions on the budget for the sponsorship of the Celebration.”

“We are either supporting the Sanctioning Plan or we’re not,“ answered Cadle.

“We are supporting the sanctioning plan, but we are supporting the industry,” insisted Baucom.

“I’m in conflict over this,”Cadle explained. “ If we pay this money to a horse show that doesn’t follow the sanctioning plan, then we are going against the sanctioning plan.”

“That money is budgeted. That money is there…There’s no reason to believe that we won’t sponsor the Celebration,” said Pedigo.

Charles Wharton added “If we get closer to time and we are running behind, then we can review any item on the budget, to be prudent. I don’t anticipate that is going to be the situation, but at the end of the day, our first obligation is to this Association and anything is fair game on our discretionary items.”

“There is all kind of reason to do business with the Celebration. But this organization made the decision to sponsor the sanctioning plan. Either you support it or not. It is against the objectives of the sanctioning plan to sponsor a horse show that is a non-sanctioned show. This is a leadership challenge for this organization. To back the decisions we have made,” argued Cadle.

“Chuck, I have to say that our effort here is to support this horse and this industry and the fact that we have a sanctioning plan is not at the exclusion of all else. We have HIOs all over the country and we support these shows all over the country that aren’t in the sanctioning plan,” responded Baucom.

The controversy relative to the Celebration sponsorship stemmed from an email correspondence between Ron Thomas and Chuck Cadle.

The hour time slot for the Executive Committee was running out, and the meeting adjourned to the meeting of the International Board of Directors.



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