The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) held their semi-annual board meeting on Saturday, May 27, 2023. TWHBEA CEO Mark Farrar opened the meeting with a state of TWHBEA type address. Farrar spoke to the pivotal numbers at TWHBEA and compared those to 2021, as well as a five-year average of that same number.

Registrations in 2022 stood at 2,918 which was down 5.8% over 2021, however that figure is a 7% increase over the five-year average. Transfers at TWHBEA in 2022 were 4,347, which is a 3% decline over 2021, but a 6% increase over the five-year average.

In looking at membership, Farrar pointed out that TWHBEA’s membership lags behind other breeds for the number of registrations and transfers that the Tennessee Walking Horse has compared to those other breeds. In looking at April 2023 YTD, membership stands at 4,581, which is a 4% increase over YTD April 2022, a positive trend line for TWHBEA. It is no surprise that the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina and Texas are the five most populous Walking Horse states.

Farrar also announced the June retirement of Paulette Ewing, a significant loss for TWHBEA as Ewing has been an integral part of the Voice. Farrar also welcomed Paige Liggett who will head Marketing, which will include oversight of The Voice and Kerry Huckaby in accounting and payroll.

Admin/Fiscal Vice President Joyce Moyer has had a tough several weeks. TWHBEA had a corrupted file in its accounting system and lost significant data, which has had to be reinput. Moyer thanked several for their help with an emphasis on the hours put in by Nancy Lynn Green. In addition, TWHBEA switched its fiscal year to the calendar year, meaning TWHBEA filed both a November fiscal year-end report and a one-month December report.

The December one-month filing showed a loss of $141,075, however that figure includes the $100,000 commitment to the industry legal fund which TWHBEA took in its entirety in that one-month filing. TWHBEA’s Executive Committee has approved the payments of $75,000 of that $100,000 commitment.
In looking at TWHBEA’s January through April performance, the association has a profit of $18,067. Total revenue during that timeframe is $391,674. The majority of revenue at TWHBEA comes through the Membership and Registry category. That figure stands at $281,496 through April. Once the year-end December figures are out this year, the picture and performance of TWHBEA will become much clearer and start a clean comparison for the association.

During the meeting the board also approved unanimously industry talking points that will be distributed to members via the TWHBEA website when talking with elected officials, either in their state or federal delegations. Those same talking points have been approved by The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association, as well as FAST, the industry foundation supporting the show horse and currently raising money for the industry legal fund. The Celebration will address those talking points at its upcoming board meeting.

TWHBEA also made a couple of announcements of changes to their voting. The executive committee has voted to allow electronic voting for board members inside the continental US and has now mandated electronic voting for board members outside the continental US. President Jack Heffington clarified this voting will be for board members only, and that officer elections will continue in the same manner at the December as they have in the past.

TWHBEA also announced they would not have the TWHBEA Summer Sizzler as part of the Lewisburg and Pulaski weekend, but will have a new In-Hand only show on July 30th at the site of the first ever Celebration at the old Central High School football field.