SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - Representatives from the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO) met with members of the PRIDE Horse Industry Organization, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA), Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC), Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) and Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) on Saturday December 15, 2012.  The purpose of the meeting was to invite each organization to participate in an industry organization that would institute an HIO for performance and pleasure horses with a goal of eliminating soring.

The mission of the organization will be to protect the wellbeing of the horse, save the sport and focus on being an action-oriented and objective reform based entity for the Tennessee Walking Show Horse.  The organization’s number one goal would be to eliminate soring through an aggressive reform agenda with a focus on objective measures in addition to the current subjective measures.  The move would also result in one rulebook, penalty structure, and judging program.

The oversight will initially begin with two members from TWSHO, TWHBEA, WHOA, TWHNC, WHTA and independent veterinarians.  The agenda will be developed by the board through a committee structure that includes an emphasis on independent, expert input. 

As part of the committee structure, enforcement will be independent of active owner, trainer or breeder majority and will be based on independent veterinarian oversight.  Each group in attendance was asked to provide an answer from their respective boards of directors by Friday December 21, 2012.

All decisions regarding the implementation of the plan will be at the direction of the newly formed board of directors.  As a result, all material presented at the meeting was in draft form and a suggested plan of action.