By Linda Scrivner

LEWISBURG, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) Annual Membership Meeting was held Friday morning, December 3, 2010. President David Pruett called the meeting to order, welcoming all in attendance. The agenda was approved, as were the minutes of the December 4, 2009 Annual Membership Meeting. Executive Director Stan Butt gave his report and stated that TWHBEA was $80,000 to the good this year.

The TWHBEA headquarters now has a completely new roof due to hail damage and leaks. They will receive an insurance claim of approximately $113,000 for repair on the building. $69,978.75 has already been paid to the association as non-recurring income to be depreciated over 20 years. The remaining balance will be paid in December 2010, the first period of TWHBEA’s new fiscal year. That balance is included in the budget summary in December for $47,050.

Butt was very pleased also that new foal registrations and transfers are up over their expectations. He mentioned several positive events that happened in 2010 including TWHBEA’s 75th Anniversary, the breed’s participation in the World Equestrian Games and that FAST contributed to the Youth Program and the TWHBEA/WHOA Youth Challenge Program were also touched on.

Other items of interest included the new lease registration forms and that 60 leases had been filed this year. Additionally, Marketing and Chris Coffey had produced a 2011 calendar that would be sold for $5.00. He announced that the association had reached a milestone of registering their 500,000th horse, Miss Penny that belongs to Dr. Ginger Williams. Butt concluded by saying that they would have to make additional cuts to the budget in order to have money to promote the horse.

Committee Reports were next on the agenda. Rob Cornelius made the report for the Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Division. He reported a budget meeting was held yesterday and TWHBEA had received revenue from their book about the Tennessee Walking Horse that went on sale this year.
On the budget report the Cash On Hand as of 11/30/10 was $76,700.04. The operating account at First Farmers 250 was $37,313.86, the Commemorative Garden Fund was $14,250.00, the Futurity 260 Fund was $68,113.96, the First Farmers 270 (credit card) was $25,136.18, the mutual fund at Morgan Keegan 1400 was $308,608.40 and Heritage CD for $100,000.00.

A chart was shown for Cash from 2006 – 2010. This showed that in September 2006 TWHBEA had $1,305,248 cash which went downward until September 2007 where it was lowest at $227,637. In ’08, ’09 and ’10 they have had a steady handle on the cash and on November 10, 2010, they had $553,422.40 cash which reflected a $68,113.96 Futurity Balance and $14,250 Commemorative Garden balance, both of which are locked accounts and can’t be used for operations.

Bruce Vaughn’s report for the Horse Show Committee included information on the new challenges faced by show management with the mandatory HIO penalties. He said that the Amateur cards were possibly being re-instated for WHOA, pending an agreement with SHOW HIO. They also had discussion concerning the Futurity moving dates and having a multi-day show with championships, as well as various ways to get more foals nominated. He reported a total of 260 nominated.

Vaughn also discussed ways to fund shows. A person can donate to the TWHBEA Foundation or to FAST, specifying the money go to shows and thus will be tax deductible. Shows can request this money. FAST helped the Ohio Fall Show this year. Funds for the academy program can also be donated through these programs. Vaughn stated that the end of the year shows were fantastic. He felt that the Tunica Show was the best show of talent that he’d ever seen at a show.

On Marty Irby’s Marketing Report he said that the new membership had increased again due to the membership drive and the events attended. In 2010 there were 1936 new members, in 2009-485, in 2008-393 and in 2007-384. Sponsorships have helped in various programs, such as Manna Pro Sponsorship of $10,000. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture sponsored part of TWHBEA’s participation in the 2010 International Equestrian Festival for $10,000, L & M Awards sponsored the ribbons for the TWHBEA/WHTA Youth Challenge and Tucker Saddles will be involved in the 2011 trails program and the World Versatility Supreme Trail class.

Additionally, $40,000 was given by the federal government for the International Funding program which is a 100% reimbursement for international events which promote our breed. The marketing department is also using Facebook and has gained 1747 members in the first year and has updated news, gift shop promotions and book ads. There are still 5500 of the books left on the Tennessee Walking Horse. They have made $36,500 from the books so far.

The TWHBEA World Versatility Show held in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in July was the most successful show monetarily to date with 361 entries. There were 18 entries in the Manna Pro Reining Jackpot and the show had increased crowds and enthusiasm. The Go! Gelding Program had 151 entries in 2010 compared to 61 in 2009 and 42 in 2008 and paid out $5,000.

Ty Irby in his Performance Horse Report said that there were 64 performance horses in the Go! Gelding program. Forty-nine were in the senior aged division with 15 in the junior age geldings. He said that the TWHBEA/WHTA Youth Challenge class was in over 25 shows and that the All Youth Day at the Celebration had over 300 youth participating with their performance horses.