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TWHBEA HIO Sanctioning Plan



Editor’s Note:

            The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association has been developing the details behind its HIO Sanctioning Plan. While it is a work in progress, the Walking Horse Report has obtained a draft of TWHBEA’s Sanctioning Plan. That draft follows:

THE FOLLOWING IS ONLY A DRAFT.  SINCE TWHBEA’S FORMER PARTNERS, WHTA AND WHOA, HAVE CHOSEN TO CONTINUE THE NHSC AND THUS HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE CREATION OF THIS DRAFT, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THIS PLAN CONTAINS MAJOR OR FATAL FLAWS.  TWHBEA’S COMMITTEE HOPES THAT IT WILL DISCOVER THOSE FLAWS BY PRESENTING THIS RAFT TO AS MANY INDUSTRY GROUPS AS MIGHT BE WILLING TO REVIEW IT AND APPRECIATES THE INPUT OF ALL.

 

PROLOGUE

            “Without risk, there’s no discover, there’s no new knowledge, there’s no bold adventure.  The greatest risk is to take no risk.”

            Challenger Astronaut Dick Scobee’s widow, June Scobee Rodgers

            “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”

            Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

The leadership of TWHBEA believes that the industry must seek to establish a new means to insure its future even if the search entails risk, and whatever means might be selected, it must work for the entire industry or it will not work for anyone.
TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE BREEDERS AND EXHIBITORS ASSOCIATION

HIO SANCTIONING PLAN

 
1.STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND INTENT

 

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA”) is convinced that the Tennessee Walking Horse industry’s future is limited only by its regional fractionalization and its lack of unified cohesive standards.  In an effort to facilitate assuaging all factions of Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiasts and to encourage the creation and adoption of national standards for one uniform rulebook, one uniform inspection procedure, and one uniform judging criteria, TWHBEA hereby establishes this HIO sanctioning plan.  TWHBEA recognizes that the prospect of this change may create anxiety and distrust.  But, TWHBEA is confident that the collective wisdom of the industry focused upon the stated goals, in time, will effectuate positive transitional steps into the limitless future of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

To do otherwise, to undertake no effort, is to attempt to maintain an increasingly vulnerable status quo in a world of ever accelerating change and ever evolving standards of conduct until other considerations dictate the future, such as government intervention, a loss of public support, a competitor breed, or a competitor sport.  TWHBEA finds no fault with and does not criticize those who have tirelessly endeavored to raise the industry from its infancy to its current status.  Instead, TWHBEA congratulates and thanks all of those individuals and organizations, and solicits their continued efforts, advice, and support for the industry.  TWHBEA does not believe that it has all of the right answers or has even considered all of the right questions, but does believe that continuing on the same path in the same manner in today’s environment is to ignore reality, to invite destruction and is counterproductive.  TWHBEA’s unequivocal intent is to be inclusive, not exclusive, providing services and benefits to all eighteen thousand of its members, and TWHBEA actively solicits the input of all.

II.                HIO SANCTIONING PLAN

A.  HIO COMMITTEE

TWHBEA hereby establishes an HIO Committee for the purposes of (i) promulgating, administering and executing rules, regulations and sanctions concerning the conduct and activities of owners, exhibitors, trainers, DQP’s, judges and other horse show, sale and exhibition officials with respect to their conduct and activities related to sanctioned HIO horse shows, sales and exhibitions; (ii) creating, maintaining and enhancing the methodology for teaching and fostering the prevention of the soring of and cruelty to horses being shown, sold or exhibited; (iii) facilitating the taking of lawful available action for the enforcement of laws and regulations relating to or in any way affecting horses being shown, sold or exhibited; (iv) working to achieve compliance with and enforcement of the Horse Protection Acts (hereafter “HPA”), the HPA Regulations, and industry rules and regulations; (v) providing a meaningful forum for the discussion and resolution of issues related to horse shows, sales and exhibitions; (vi) selecting a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare and a Director of Judges upon the affirmative vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee and in the absence of such a majority then consulting with TWHBEA in TWHBEA’s selection of a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare and a Director of Judges; and (vii) terminating the services of a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare or the Director of Judges when deemed necessary and prudent by an affirmative vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee.

The HIO Committee will consist of representatives from all sanctioned HIO’s.  Sanctioned HIO’s will be those approved HIO’s that desire to be sanctioned by TWHBEA and that annually:  (i) complete and submit a sanctioning form which, in part, requires the written assent to the terms of this plan as amended; (ii) pay TWEBEA a fee of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00); (iii) agree to pay TWEBEA a per horse inspection fee of Two Dollars ($2.00) or fifty percent (50%) of the amount charged by the HIO, whichever is greater, except for special affiliations which will be at a negotiated fee; (iv) agree to exclusively employ HIO Committee certified DQP’s; (v) agree to exclusively employ HIO Committee licensed judges; (vi) agree to conduct events in accordance with the TWH Rule Book, which requires, among other things, that all exhibitors possess a TWHBEA Show Card or TWHBEA Guest Show Card and that all Tennessee Walking Horses shown be duly and properly registered with TWHBEA, and that a violation of any rule, regulation or Operating Plan that requires a hearing will be heard by a local independent Hearing Committee to be provided by TWHBEA at a location to be determined by each HIO as set forth herein, upon written notice of appeal directed to the HIO and the tender of payment in the amount of Three Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($350.00) to TWHBEA; and (vii) agree not to take a materially adverse position from the collective wisdom of greater than seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee in HIO/USDA meetings, conferences, consultations or negotiations.

Each sanctioned HIO will be entitled to one member and one alternate on the HIO Committee.  Each sanctioned HIO will be entitled to one additional member and one additional alternate for each one hundred events over the first one hundred events affiliated in the preceding calendar year.  (For the year 2006, the successor in interest to the NHSC will be entitled to as many members and alternates as the number of NHSC affiliated events in 2005 would allow.)  At a minimum, TWHBEA will be entitled to two members and two alternates on the HIO Committee, irrespective of the number of TWHBEA affiliated events.  This HIO members(s), or alternate(s) serving in a member’s stead, will be entitled to cast as many votes on any matter before the HIO Committee as their respective HIO had affiliated events in the preceding calendar year.  (For the year 2006, the successor in interest to the NHSC will be entitled cast as many votes as the NHSC had affiliated events in 2005.)  At a minimum, TWHBEA members or alternates serving in a member’s stead will be entitled to cast one-third of the total HIO Committee votes, irrespective of the number of TWHBEA affiliated events.

Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, no individual may serve on the HIO Committee as a member or an alternate if that individual is suffering, or at any time during the last five (5) years prior to the appointment suffered, a TWHBEA HIO, TWHBEA sanctioned HIO, or USDA Horse Protection Act (HPA”) continuous suspension of more than sixty (60) days.  No previously appointed individual may continue to act as a Committee member or alternate if that individual suffers a TWHBEA HIO, TWHBEA sanctioned HIO, or USDA HPA continuous suspension of sixty (60) days.  Upon receipt of notice of such a previously appointed individual’s suspension, the appropriate HIO will immediately replace that individual.

The HIO Committee will meet monthly at TWHBEA headquarters, unless the Committee unanimously concludes that a meeting is not necessary.  TWHBEA will provide appropriate space for the meetings, and will provide a staff member to prepare meeting agenda, notices and minutes.  Seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee must be present to constitute a quorum.  Any vote, in order to prevail, must command a seventy percent (70%) majority of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire HIO Committee.

TWHBEA’s own sanctioned HIO will not solicit the events of other TWHBEA sanctioned HIO’s.  However, TWHBEA will use its HIO to affiliate its own events, to affiliate events when TWHBEA sanctioned HIO’s will not reasonably affiliate them, and to affiliate events in emergency situations.  Furthermore, TWHBEA will use its HIO to solicit the affiliation of events of non TWHBEA sanctioned HIO’s and unaffiliated events in its continuing commitment to create an infrastructure that will encourage uniform cohesive standards for the benefit of all Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiasts.

 

B.     TWH RULE BOOK

 

The “TWH Rule Book” is hereby established as the official rulebook of all TWHBEA sanctioned HIO’s.  It will contain all of the rules and regulations affecting TWHBEA sanctioned HIO shows, sales and exhibitions.  The initial rulebook will be adopted in full upon its completion, subject to modification as a result of any written agreement with the USDA, or upon addition, deletion or modification by a seventy percent (70%) affirmative vote of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire HIO Committee.  Any addition, deletion or modification will become effective on the first day of January next following its adoption and it will remain inviolate for a period of two years.  However, if the HIO Committee finds that an immediate rule addition, deletion or modification to be of paramount importance, upon an affirmative vote of more than eighty-five percent (85%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire HIO Committee, the Committee may take such action as it deems appropriate.

C.  EMPLOYEES

1.  Director of DQP/Animal Welfare.  The position of Director of DQP/Animal Welfare is hereby established.  In hiring a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare, preference will be given to a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine or a minimum of five (5) years of similar experience.  The Director of DQP/Animal Welfare will be selected upon the affirmative vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by members of the entire HIO Committee, and in the absence of such a majority within a reasonable time, then TWHBEA, in consultation with the HIO Committee, will make the selection.  The Director of DQP/Animal Welfare may be terminated by seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by members of the entire HIO Committee, or by the terms of a written employment contract.

The Director of DQP/Animal Welfare (i) will have the usual customary duties of an executive officer of a corporation; (ii) will be responsible for testing, training, reporting, replacing when deemed necessary, and certifying DQP’s; (iii) will be responsible for the drafting and proposing of rules and procedures in regard to animal welfare and DQP’s; (iv) will be responsible for presenting evidence to a Hearing Committee or an HIO in regard to DQP’s; (v) will be responsible for working in conjunction with the USDA to achieve compliance and enforcement of the HPA and HPA Regulations; and (vi) will have such other duties as may be directed by the HIO Committee.  As part of the process of certifying DQP’s, initial and renewals, the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare will conduct a consent criminal record exam, a specific knowledge and skill exam, and may conduct a polygraph examination related solely to activities as a DQP.  All of the results will be considered in the decision making process.

The Director of DQP/Animal Welfare’s decision as to whether or not a DQP’s certification will be granted to an applicant or whether or not a DQP’s certification will be renewed, will be that Director’s alone, and the decision will be final unless the applicant or DQP appeals to the HIO Committee.  In order to perfect an appeal, the applicant or DQP must file with TWHBEA’s Secretary-Treasurer a written request for an appeal review and post a Four Hundred and Fifty Dollar ($450.00) non-refundable administrative fee within twenty  (20) days of the written decision of the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare.  Upon compliance with the foregoing, the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare’s decision will be stayed until the HIO Committee reviews the applicant or DQP’s file.  The Committee will review the file and render a decision within sixty (60) days of the proper filing of the appeal.  The HIO Committee may reverse the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare’s decision upon the finding of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by members of the entire HIO Committee that the file lacks substantial evidence to support the decision of the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare.

The Director of DQP/Animal Welfare will be responsible for the selection of independent Hearing Committee members.  This Committee will be chosen by the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare, or his designee, on a random basis from a master list of individuals qualified and expressing a willingness to serve in response to an open invitation, in accordance with adopted rules and procedures, and may change from one hearing to another at the discretion of the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare.  In addition, the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare will, at TWHBEA’s expense, select a competent lawyer to prosecute the matters on behalf of the sanctioned HIO, as well as a competent Hearing Officer, at rates commensurate with the locale.  The prosecutor and Hearing Officer may be local or may be the same for all HIO’s in the sole discretion of the Director of DQP/Animal Welfare.

1.                  Director of Judges.  The position of Director of Judges is hereby established.  In hiring the Director of Judges, preference will be given to a Bachelor’s Degree or a minimum of five (5) years of requisite experience.  The Director of Judges will be selected upon affirmation vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by members of the entire HIO Committee, and in the absence of such a majority within a reasonable time, then TWHBEA, in consultation with the HIO Committee, will make the selection.  The Director of Judges may be terminated by seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by members of the entire HIO Committee, or by the terms of a written employment contract.

 

The Director of Judges (Director for the remainder of this paragraph) (i) will have the usual customary duties of an executive officer of a corporation; (ii) will be responsible for investigating, testing, training, licensing and disciplining applicants and judges; (iii) will be responsible for the drafting and proposing of rules, procedures, and guidelines to the HIO Committee in regard to training, appointing, licensing and disciplining of judges; (iv) will be responsible for a Standards of Conduct, Code of Ethics, and Oath of Office for judges; (v) will be responsible for maintaining a procedure to monitor the performance of judges, to include a short Director’s administrative suspension for a perceived violation or shortcoming, not to exceed ninety (90) days, which will not be subject to review; will be responsible for maintaining an apprentice program; (vi) will be responsible for instituting a Special Judge’s program as set forth herein; (vii) will be responsible for presenting evidence in the licensing or disciplining of judges to the Hearing Committee or HIO Committee; and (viii) will have such other duties as may be directed.  As part of the process of testing, appointing, training and licensing judges, the Director will conduct a consent criminal record exam, a specific knowledge and skill exam, and may conduct a polygraph examination related solely to activities as a judge.  All of the results will be considered in the decision making process.

The Director of Judges’ decision as to whether or not a judge’s license will be granted to an applicant or whether or not a judge’s license will be renewed, will be that Director’s alone, and the decision will be final unless the applicant or judge appeals to the HIO Committee.  In order to perfect an appeal, the applicant or judge must file a written request for an appeal review and post a Four Hundred and Fifty ($450.00) non-refundable administrative fee, within twenty (20) days of the written decision of the Director of Judges.  Upon compliance with the foregoing, the Director of Judges’ decision will be stayed until the HIO Committee reviews the applicant or judge’s file.  The Committee will review the file within sixty (60) days of the proper filing of the appeal.  The HIO Committee may reverse the Director of Judges’ decision upon the finding by seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee that the file lacks substantial evidence to support the decision of the Director of Judges.

The Director of Judges (Director for the remainder of this paragraph) will investigate complaints or violations relating to HIO Committee judges, including bu7t not limited to, their conflicts, conduct, methods, ability or integrity.  After concluding the investigation of any complaint or violation, if the Director finds insufficient evidence to support the complaint or violation, the Director will issue a written finding and so notify the complaining individual or entity.  After concluding the investigation of any complaint or violation, if the Director finds sufficient evidence to believe the complaint or violation to be substantiated, the Director will issue a written finding and penalty, if any, in accordance with the TWH Rule book.  The written finding and penalty of the Director will become final unless the individual or entity aggrieved by the decision appeals to the Hearing Committee.  In order to perfect an appeal, the aggrieved individual or entity must file a written request for an appeal hearing and post a Three Hundred and Fifty Dollar (4350.00) non-refundable administrative fee within twenty (20) days of the written decision of the Director.  If the aggrieved party is the HIO Committee or an agent thereof, the fee will be waived.  Upon compliance with the foregoing, the Director’s decision will be stayed until the Hearing Committee rules on the matter.  Complaints or violations believed by the Director to be substantiated, but that are without specified penalties in the TWH Rule Book, will have appropriate penalties determined in the sole discretion of the Director subject to a determination by the Hearing Committee.

            (i).  Special Judges.  A special Judges program will be instituted whereby the Director of Judges, each year, will actively solicit individuals who have not, nor any member of their immediate family (parents, spouse, brother(s), sister(s), spouse’s parents, children spouse’s children, children’s spouses, children’s children), owned, trained, exhibited, or shod Tennessee Walking Horses, and have not, nor any member of their immediate family (parents, brother(s), sister(s), spouse, spouse’s parents, children, spouse’s children, children’s spouses, children’s children), been a DQP, a Tennessee Walking Horse Judge, or a Tennessee Walking Horse show official, within the last ten (10) years, for the purposes of training those individuals to be Special Judges.  The Director of Judges will solicit individuals from the various university and college judging programs throughout the nation.  Those individuals who respond affirmatively will be trained, schooled, and tested in the same fashion as all other Judges applicants.  The top ten (10) applicants each year will be granted a Special Judge’s License.  Each will be required to apprentice at least three (3) Tennessee Walking Horse shows, per year, attend all Judges’ seminars or clinics, and continue, together with all immediate family members, to refrain from owning, training, shoeing, or exhibiting Tennessee Walking Horses, or acting as a Tennessee Walking Horse show official in any capacity other than Special Judge, in order to maintain their status.  The apprenticing Special Judge’s cards will be published together with the licensed Judge’s card for public comparison in any trade publication that is willing to do so without charge.

           

Upon apprenticing at six (6) Tennessee Walking Horse shows, Special Judges will be made available to judge Tennessee Walking Horse shows with the same privileges and responsibilities as a regularly licensed Judge.  That Special Judge will continue in that capacity, subject to disciplinary action, so long as he or she maintains currency requirements, attends all Judges’ seminars and/or clinics, and continues, together with all immediate family members, to refrain from owning, training, or exhibiting Tennessee Walking Horses, or acting as a Tennessee Walking Horse show official in any capacity other than Special Judge.

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