Tennessee Walking Horse could figure in ranger training; promotion of recreational horsemanship


LEWISBURG, Tenn. (November 29, 2007) – The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ AssociationSM today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with the National Park Service.


An agreement between the organizations will initiate efforts to work together on projects to enhance training of park rangers in horsemanship and educate recreational trail riders of all ages.


The partnership may lead to enhanced training and development of the NPS staff in the practical use of horses for resource management and protection activities and in the maintenance of park facilities, where horse use is ideal for certain park conditions. 


In addition, the organizations envision jointly providing educational events in parks and on trails in the National Trails System to increase awareness of sustainable horse use, best practices and environmental ethics.  The partnership may also find ways to link the organizations’ youth programs, such as the Junior Ranger program of the NPS and the TWHBEA Youth Academy program.


“A majority of our membership at the TWHBEA is made up of horse enthusiasts who ride their Tennessee Walking Horses for pleasure, not for show,” said Chuck Cadle, executive director of the TWHBEA. “It’s important that our organization support causes that are important to all of our members, and this partnership is just one of many steps we are taking to serve them better.”


Horses have a long history in the national park system, including extensive use by mounted park rangers, and use in the construction and maintenance of backcountry trails and other park facilities.


“It is part of our mission to preserve and protect not only the natural and cultural resources within America’s parks, but also the heritage of an agency that has been a model for the world,” said Rick Potts, Chief of the Conservation & Outdoor Recreation Division of the National Park Service.  “We are very excited to find ways be able to rekindle the connection between horses and our nation’s parks and backcountry through this partnership with the TWHBEA.”  This is the first formal partnership of its kind between the National Park Service and a breed organization, and other equine organizations are welcomed to also become involved.


“The relationship between horse and rider is fundamental, and exists across the entire spectrum of breeds and disciplines,” said Potts. “We are pleased to recognize the heritage of horsemanship in our agency, and we encourage other breed and industry organizations to join us in the cause.”


 “We encourage riders who enjoy our nation’s trails and backcountry to try a Tennessee Walking Horse,” said Darren Gray, chairman of the TWHBEA’s pleasure horse committee, “And if you’re already enjoying the comfort of a Tennessee Walker on the trails, we encourage you to get involved with the TWHBEA and enjoy the various projects initiated by this partnership with the NPS and those already offered by the organization.”


The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' AssociationSM (TWHBEASM), headquartered in Lewisburg, Tenn., is the oldest and most prestigious organization devoted to the promotion and protection of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. Founded in 1935, the breed registry was established to record the pedigrees of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Its goal is to maintain the purity of the breed, to promote greater awareness of the Tennessee Walking Horse and its qualities, to encourage expansion of the breed and to help assure its general welfare. The updated Sanctioning Plan may be viewed on the TWHBEA website at www.twhbea.com.


The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.  For more information about the NPS visit http://www.nps.gov.