By Christy Howard Parsons


Copyright WHR 2007


            The Report has learned that two members of the Nominating Committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association have resigned. Rick Chovan and Dr. Donald Longest have each submitted their written resignation from the committee that is charged with presenting the slate of International Directors for election to the 2008 Executive Committee.

            The Executive Committee is the steering committee of the Association and effectively guides all actions of the Association. Throughout 2006 and 2007 there has been marked division among two opposing forces on the committee – those in support of the HIO Sanctioning Plan and those is opposition to it. On several occasions, the infighting among committee members has been vicious, including personal attacks.

            At their September meeting the Executive Committee elected five people to the nominating committee to present the slate of International Board members that would run for the 2008 Executive Committee. The five members elected to the nominating committee were Rick Chovan, Donald Longest, Kathy Zeis, Wayne Dean and Ronnie Vincent. John Martin and Mick Salm were elected as alternates.

            The election for the 2008 Executive Committee will take place at the Annual Board of Directors meeting on Saturday, December 1, 2007 in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

            Rick Chovan has released his written resignation to the Walking Horse Report as follows:



I've thought a lot about my decision to be part of the Nominating Committee for the Executive Board, and have concluded that I can not, in good conscious, serve. The Nominating Committee, as it now stands, gives the clear appearance of bias towards those who advocate the positions endorsed by Free the Breeders. When I agreed to serve, it was with the understanding that the committee would be non-partisan. As things stand now, it looks to me like only those who endorse the positions favored by Free the Breeders will be will be on the slate. There may be a few token sound horse people on the slate but I believe that the slate will be such that the FTB people will hold the majority. My personal integrity will not allow me to be part of a sham.

By copy of this email to Chuck Cadle, I am tendering my resignation. I will follow this up with a phone call tomorrow morning.




Dr. Donald Longest responded to the Report’s call by saying, “I learned three things from my father – honesty, integrity and reality. I think it is self-explanatory why I declined to serve on this committee.” Dr. Longest went further to say, “We’d better get smart enough to get this industry going in a unified direction before it’s too late.”