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TWHBEA Reelects Officers

Copyright WHR 2006

By Christy Howard Parsons

            The annual meeting of the new National Board of Directors of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association saw the most contested election in recent TWHBEA history. Of the 14 Board positions, 9 were contested with nominations from the floor.

            When the ballots were counted, the senior officers of Jerrold Pedigo (President), Jane Hardy Meredith (Senior Vice President), and Charles Wharton (Vice President Admin/Fiscal) were reelected.

            Kathy Zeis (Breeders), Bruce Vaughn (Performance), Wayne Dean (Training), Sid Baucom (ByLaws) and Sharon Brandon (Secretary/Treasurer) were unopposed.

Pat Stout (Horse Show), Holly Reynolds (Youth), Pedigo, Meredith, Wharton and the unopposed candidates were all elected and had been on the slate that was presented by the nominating committee.

Winners who were nominated from the floor include Jamie Hankins (Enforcement), Marty Irby (Marketing), and Darren Gray (Pleasure).

Bob Ramsbottom won the election for the Owners/Exhibitors Vice President but was disqualified as there were already 5 Executive Committee members from the State of Tennessee and the bylaws only allow five members from any one state to be on the Executive Committee.

A runoff election between Jack Haefling and Ann Kuykendall resulted in Jack Haefling being elected.

Each candidate was allowed 3 minutes to present their positions to the Board of Directors prior to the election.

All the candidates gave passionate speeches about their involvement with and dedication to the Tennessee Walking Horse.

“I have never had an HPA violation,” said Pedigo. “I am committed to all aspects of the breed. I want to see the horse grown in all disciplines with new markets which brings increased value to all of our horses,” said Pedigo.

“I have supported change. Our public perception must be addressed. We cannot continue down the same path and expect different results,” said Pedigo. “If elected, I will put the horse and his welfare first.”

Tracy Boyd was nominated from the floor to run against Pedigo. Boyd expressed his great respect for the Association and talked of his experience in working for TWHBEA for 8 years. He dispelled the rumor that he was interested in seeking the Executive Director’s position, and clearly stated his vision for the Association.

“We have to stop forcing our way into a program that is wanted by few,” said Boyd. “We must stop imposing our will on the entire industry.”

Boyd concluded his high energy presentation, “This is not just my passion, it’s my life.”

Pedigo was elected with a vote count of 53 versus 46 for Tracy Boyd.

Robert Thomas ran against Jane Meredith for the position of Senior Vice President. He explained his past history on the TWHBEA Executive Committee and said he had decided to get back involved because “this is the most critical election in a lot of years for this Association.”

“Our Association is in trouble. We are embroiled in controversy,” said Thomas. “If we don’t talk a hold of this thing and turn it around, I don’t know where we’ll be a year from now.”

Jane Meredith began by talking about her 40 year involvement with the performance show horse and said she had been blessed to demonstrate her commitment to the horse. She discussed the accomplishments of the Board during her term including many new programs and greater fiscal responsibility.

“I am for long-term positive change. We all have to be forgiving of mistakes made on all our parts,” she explained. She too has never had an HPA violation.

Meredith won her election with a vote count of 60 versus 39 votes for Thomas.

Wharton won his election with the same margin defeating John Fikes of Alabama.

Jamie Hankins was nominated from the floor for the Enforcement Vice President. Hankins served on the Executive Committee last year as the Training Vice President, but was not on this year’s slate of nominees. His presentation included an impassioned promise “a vote for me is a voice for you.”

Hankins won by receiving 55 votes compared to Dan Holmes 44.

Pat Stout and Dee Dee Sale both agreed that Larry Lowman’s Regional Futurity proposal from 2005 should be implemented in 2007. Stout, who was honored last night as the Pleasure Horse Ambassador, won the Horse Show Vice President position with a vote count of 53 to Sale’s 46.

Marty Irby was nominated from the floor and was elected with 55 votes to Rhonda Martocci’s 44. Irby said “Our leadership has failed us. We need major changes. We need a new direction. We must stand up and fight for our horse and never be ashamed,” exclaimed Irby.

Darren Gray from Florida defeated Marietta Gambrell with a vote count of 53 to 46. Holly Reynolds defeated Diane McMurtry in a very close election with 50 votes versus 48.

Jerrold Pedigo closed the meeting by announcing the dates of the next semiannual meeting – May 26, 2007. and pledged to meet with all the horse organizations in the next two weeks to reopen the dialog to find a solution to the industry’s current division.

Also in the Board of Director’s meeting, the 2007 proposed budget was approved, but not without incident. After Walt Chism had expressed concern in committee meetings about the profit being made on the conversion fee to DNA, he was told to address his concerns in the Board of Directors meeting. Charles Wharton in presenting the budget defended the $25 charge illustrating the internal costs absorbed by TWHBEA as part of the contract with the University of Kentucky. TWHBEA Acting Managing Director Kristi Lane assisted with slides demonstrating the true cost of conversion to be $18.06 per conversion. Upon Wharton completing his presentation, Donald Longest made a motion from the floor to accept the budget as it was presented. After a second was received, Chism addressed his concerns and attempted to make a motion that there be no profit charged to the breeder on the conversion cost. After much discussion, the parliamentarian and attorney John T. Bobo clarified that such a motion or amendment to an existing motion was not proper when there was already a motion on the floor, and when the amendment contradicted the original motion.

Also during the discussion, David Landrum attempted to question other line items in the budget but was asked to hold his comments until after the conversion issue was addressed.

However, the directors voted 67 to 34 to accept the budget as presented, which prevented any further line item questions.

[Editor’s Note: The Report requested a copy of the 2007 budget as approved and a copy of the 2006 financial statements which were passed out at the meeting, but had not received either at press time.]

President Pedigo did apologize to Landrum that he never received an opportunity to address his questions.

The 2007 budget projects a 14% increase in revenue, driven by the increased revenues from the DNA conversion, and projects a $33,000 profit.

The major initiatives funded by the 2007 budget include:

1. Focus will be on building and maintaining its customer base.

2. Research monies ($25,000) will be spent to develop a more complete understanding of TWHBEA members and their wants and needs of the Association.

3. Major focus on supporting and developing the state associations across the U.S.

4. Major focus on supporting and developing all five show division: Performance, Plantation, Versatility, Halter and Equitation.

5. Major focus on trail riding including working with America by Horseback, a weekly television show on RFD TV.

6. Internal processes will be streamlined through technical advancement including document imaging.

7. Website will be redesigned to be more user friends, with a higher level of interaction with the members.

8. $60,000 will be spent to develop identity guidelines to ensure a complementary image of TWHBEA across all segments. TWHBEA wants targeted, concise and consistent messages with clear communication in all mediums.

9. Expand Walk This Way Tour and Certified Riding Instructor program to provide more focus on education.

Jerrold Pedigo closed the meeting by announcing the dates of the next semiannual meeting – May 26, 2007. and pledged to meet with all the horse organizations in the next two weeks to reopen the dialog to find a solution to the industry’s current division.

2007 Executive Committee

President Jerrold Pedigo

Senior Vice President Jane Meredith

Vice President Admin/Fiscal Charles Wharton

Vice President Breeders Kathy Zeis

Vice President Enforcement Jamie Hankins

Vice President Horse Shows Pat Stout

Vice President Marketing Marty Irby

Vice President Owners/Exhibitors Jack Haefling

Vice President Performance Bruce Vaughn

Vice President Pleasure Darren Gray

Vice President Training Wayne Dean

Member At Large Bylaws Sidney Baucom

Member At Large Youth Holly Reynolds

Secretary/Treasurer Sharon Brandon

Vice President Marketing Marty Irby

Vice President Owners/Exhibitors Jack Haefling

Vice President Performance Bruce Vaughn

Vice President Pleasure Darren Gray

Vice President Training Wayne Dean

Member At Large Bylaws Sidney Baucom

Member At Large Youth Holly Reynolds

Secretary/Treasurer Sharon Brandon

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