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TWHBEA Looking for Strong Second Half of 2016



LEWISBURG, Tenn. - The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association held their International Board of Directors’ meeting on May 28, 2016 at their headquarters.  The meeting began with the recognition of award winners in the Motivated Mares Program, GO! Geldings Program and Versatility Program.

In addition to the program awards, TWHBEA recognized service to the association and honored Barbara McAdams for 20 years of service and Paulette Ewing for 25 years of service.  Marilyn Walker was recognized for 45 years of service and Annette Rodgers for an amazing 50 years of service to TWHBEA.

Winnett Associates, PLLC recently conducted a review of TWHBEA’s fiscal year 2015 financials with no major findings.  A full audit will occur in 2016.  The cash position of TWHBEA improved by over $38,000 in fiscal year 2015 and the association produced a net income of $92,860.  TWHBEA’s revenue in 2015 was just over $1.2M.

The first half of 2016 has seen a slight decrease in revenue however expenses are higher in the first half of the year and historically revenue increases in the second half of the year.  Through April 30, registry revenue is down $45,000 and membership revenue is down $17,000 year over year.  

The number of registrations through April 30 this year is 809 versus 1,181 at this point last year.  However, with the policy of removing the free registration with a membership, TWHBEA has increased the average fee for a registration received from $54.56 in 2015 to $62.16 in 2016.  There have been 229 less transfers thus far this year as well compared to last year.

The membership numbers at TWHBEA continue to be a concern and as of April 30, TWHBEA has 4,992 members.  Nancy Lynn Greene did inform the directors that the number of members is now close to 5,300.

TWHBEA has currently lost $76,000 through five months but President Steve Smith informed the directors that by the end of the year the association would be close to breakeven.  Greene pointed out changes in the Voice magazine that have made the magazine profitable through a change in the outsourcing of production, a reduction in technology expense, auditorium rental income and increased registrations and memberships will help offset the loss.

The majority of the work of the performance horse committee and Ford Gates centers around the Belfast Horse Show.  The show this year will be held August 5, 2016 and will again be in a joint effort with the Belfast Lions Club.  The performance horse committee is committed to the canter class and the Belfast show will have four canter classes, one each in pleasure, youth, amateur and open competition.

Gates also highlighted the new TWHBEA International High Point Program. The program will only award points to horses that are registered, with an owner that is a member and also the rider must be a member.  In open classes, the trainer must be a member of TWHBEA for the horse to gain points.

Margo Urad, VP Pleasure Horse, updated the directors on the new TWHBEA World Series program.  Several regional shows have affiliated with the program and the World Series Versatility Championship will be held July 21-22nd at Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro.  The TWHBEA World Series Championship show will be held August 20th in Calsonic Arena.  The National Futurity will be held on August 24th in Calsonic Arena in conjunction with the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration which begins that same day.

David Williams highlighted his breeders’ report with two items that are a focus of his committee.  TWHBEA will soon begin work on a new web site and as part of the new site, it will feature online registration.  In addition, Williams has been working with online polling organizations to offer real-time, fan voting as part of horse shows.  The goal is to conduct a trial at the 4th of July shows and have the system in place for the National Futurity.

In new business, President Smith informed the directors of the filing for a 501(c)3 Foundation for the TWHBEA.  The paperwork has been completed and the IRS has everything need to issue the certification.  Smith indicated it could be up to a six-month approval process.

The next International Board of Directors meeting will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016.  The banquet that coincides with the meeting will be moved back to Franklin and be held at the Cool Springs Marriott.

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