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TWHBEA International board meets

By Sadie Fowler

LEWISBURG, Tenn. — The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association met for its International Board of Directors meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the TWHBEA headquarters in Lewisburg.

Committee reports served as the prime focus of the meeting, which followed the TWHBEA programs award ceremony. 

The 2016 yearly audit review was approved, with Nancy Lynn Greene sharing the year fiscal year ended for TWHBEA with $1.4 million in assets, of which $48,000 remains in reserves for future futurities.
The TWHBEA experienced a small net loss of $1560.00. 

“We’re having a good year,” said TWHBEA president David Williams. “We’re having a quiet year … and that usually means things are going well.”

Year to date, cash is at $72,000, which Greene said is up as a result of memberships and increased foal registrations. As of April 30, membership is at 4469, ahead of where Greene said they’d expect to be this time of year. 

In addition to Greene’s audit report, standing committee reports were giving by Keegan Meadows (owners/exhibitors/international division), Rob Webb (bylaws/enforcement), Ashley Wadsworth (marketing), Carrie Benedict (breeders’), Allison Thorson (youth), Ford Gates (performance), Margo Urad (pleasure horse), and Stephen Smith (training/equine welfare). 

Keegan Meadows reported the European Championships will be held in Germany. 

Robin Webb encouraged members to notify the bylaws/enforcement committee of any issues that arise in any particular state.

“You all are our boots on the ground and if there are bylaws changes that need to take place we’ll do it,” Webb said. 

Ashley Wadsworth shared about marketing efforts of her committee and shared highlights of TWHBEA’s new website that recently launched. Carrie Benedict further said members can expect to see improvements as they navigate through iPeds on the new website.

Members can now search for horses in the state they are in, as well as online stallion and breeding reports being available. Benedict also said they hope to add additional features with sorting to clarify some issues on the registration process. 

Allison Thorson expressed the passion the youth committee has for the horse and their outreach efforts. She has an array of activities and events planned to hopefully draw in new members and enthusiasm for the breed. 

“I’ve been trying to become more involved with schools such as their FFA programs,” she said. “This is us reaching out to some who might not be familiar with the breed. 

One new thing her committee is doing during the Celebration to increase membership and raise funds is holding a raffle where people can enter, for $100, a chance to win a yearling.

“It must be a quality yearling so it’s attractive and the funds go to the association,” she said. 
She’s also studying other breeds’ academy programs in hopes to bring one back to the walking horse industry. This is ideal for those who may not be able to afford a traditional style of showing horses. 

“Allison is doing a great job,” Williams said. “A lot of times people feel like they can’t afford to be in horses … That’s not true. If there’s a youth in your area who wants to be involved we want to help them.”

Ford Gates said officials are mostly line up for the Belfast Show, and he encouraged members to encourage others to bring their horses and show up. Sponsors are needed and box seats are for said. 

Gates also spoke of efforts to clean up iPeds so data is more accurate and all transfers are up to date, which is especially important when designated points for things such as the International High Point Program. 
Margo Urad spoke of updates to the versatility handbook and said helmets are now mandatory for youth ages 6 to 11. The World Versatility Show is moving to Shelbyville’s Calsonic Arena from Miller and is slated for July 19-21. 

Steve Smith said he felt optimistic about his division’s goal to achieve predictable pre-show inspections. 


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