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TWHBEA Recommends Upholding Scarbrough Penalty



Copyright Walking Horse Report. The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association Executive Committee voted to recommend that its NHSC representatives vote to uphold the 2003 suspension of Toby Scarbrough. The Commission is expected to consider Scarbrough's request that his penalty be reduced to time served at their January 2005 meeting.

According to sources, Scarbrough sent a letter to the Commission requesting his penalty be reduced to time served at their December meeting but consideration of the letter was postponed until the January meeting.

The TWHBEA will hold their regular monthly meeting the morning of the NHSC afternoon meeting and will name their four appointees to the Commission for 2005 but the current representatives will vote on the Scarbrough request.

Charges were brought against Scarbrough in January 2003 based on a sworn complaint by Craig Evans, a former chairman of the NHSC. Scarbrough allegedly offered 1997 Celebration judge Jeff Hatcher $500 to tie his horse, Royal's China Doll, in the Plantation Pleasure Specialty Championship for Amateur Riders.

Evans filed the complaint after hearing an audio tape where Scarbrough allegedly made the offer. Evans stated that he was "angered and frustrated" after hearing the tape and called Scarbrough to tell him he was filing an official complaint with the NHSC.

Based upon the complaint, the Commission's Lonnie Messick conducted an investigation and informed Scarbrough of his findings and the penalty on March 14, 2003. Messick imposed the following suspension: Scarbrough's privilege of obtaining or holding a NHSC judges license was revoked for life; his privilege to serve at the NHSC or hold or exercise an office was revoked for life; he was ordered to pay a $5000 fine; and for a period of ten years he was suspended from participating either directly or indirectly in any NHSC affiliated or sanctioned event which includes but is not limited to the showing, exhibiting or selling of a horse owned in whole or in part by him or in which he has a financial interest or owned in whole or in part by an entity in which he has ownership or financial interest.

There were certain conditions if Scarbrough abided by that six of the ten years of the suspension would be lifted. Scarbrough appealed his suspension immediately and was allowed to continue showing until his appeals ran their course. His initial appeal to the NHSC Independent Hearing Committee on June 18 was postponed when Scarbrough filed a Temporary Restraining Order.

At the direction of Judge Lee Russell, a hearing was set for Sept. 17-19 but it was again postponed. On November 4, the Independent Hearing Committee conducted a hearing calling a number of witnesses and listening to the tape. The committee ruled unanimously to uphold the penalty levied by Messick and Scarbrough immeditately appealed to the full Board of Directors of the NHSC.

The full board finally met in early January 2004 and voted to uphold the original penalty issued by the NHSC and upheld by the Independent Hearing Committee. After this final appeal, Scarbrough's suspension went into effect.

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