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Understanding The Issues.... The HIO Committee

This is part of a series of articles examining TWHBEA’s HIO Sanctioning Plan including information obtained in interviews with Jerrold Pedigo. The first interview with Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association President Jerrold Pedigo ran in the April 10, 2006 issue of the Walking Horse Report and is available at entitled ‘United We Stand.’ Articles in the April 17, 2006 issue as well as subsequent articles will continue to study the details of TWHBEA’s HIO Sanctioning proposal.


TWHBEA's HIO Sanctioning Plan, Part 2

By Christy Howard Parsons


      This week, we continue to study the HIO Sanctioning Plan put forth by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association. TWHBEA has elected not to continue as a partner in the National Horse Show Commission, and instead has proposed their own plan to govern the industry. Last week, we asked TWHBEA President Jerrold Pedigo questions related to the plan’s Statement of Purpose and Intent. This week we are examining the HIO Committee in more detail.

      TWHBEA’s HIO Sanctioning Plan provides for the creation of an HIO Committee. This board would be the governing body of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. More simply stated, it would be responsible for making and enforcing all the rules, preventing the soring of horses, legally representing the industry, working with the USDA to ensure compliance with the Horse Protection Act, resolving any industry issues, and hiring and/or firing the Director of DQPs/Animal Welfare and the Director of Judges created within the plan.

      TWHBEA’s plan calls for all Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) to be sanctioned by this HIO Committee. In order to be sanctioned, an HIO must agree to use the TWH Rule Book, DQPs, and judges provided by this plan. The HIO agrees to pay $300 plus the greater of $2 per horse inspected or 50% of the amount charged by the HIO (except in special affiliations). The HIO ensures that all horses at their show are registered with TWHBEA and that all exhibitors possess TWHBEA show cards. The HIO must also agree to support the collective decisions of the HIO Committee which are achieved by a 70% majority vote.

      “Special affiliations would include, but not be limited to, exhibitions or previews, where organizers wanted the protection of being affiliated,” explained Pedigo.

        According to Pedigo, the TWHBEA show card would not replace current amateur cards issued by WHOA and other industry HIOs.

       “This is not an amateur card, and it will be less expensive.  The individual HIO amateur card programs could continue. The TWHBEA show card will help fund the HIO sanctioning program, the cost of keeping and maintaining high point/show records, and other benefits and services of the HIO sanctioning plan. It is proposed that a portion of each show card be paid to the HIO that the card holder designates as their home HIO program thus helping to fund the individual HIOs,” explained Pedigo.

        “If the WHTA and WHOA continue to work together and WHOA amateur cards are continued to be required at NHSC shows, WHOA will have no problem continuing to sell their amateur cards. There are benefits to being a WHOA  member, or any of the other Association memberships,” Pedigo said.

        “Many state and/or regional associations have high point programs, horse show affiliation programs, and membership programs for their respective organizations. These organizations provide benefits and services to their members. The sanctioning plan and show card program designated in the plan would not prevent or discourage organizations from having membership programs. Actually to the contrary, we would encourage their growth and development and TWHBEA should and shall be committed to assisting their growth,” furthered Pedigo.

        “Additionally TWHBEA shall make every effort to develop concrete relationships with these organizations that will benefit the growth and development of their organizations which in turn will provide support and growth to our entire industry,” said Pedigo.

        I asked Pedigo if the affiliation fees were negotiable or would be different for different organizations.

        “Originally, we just wanted to set it at $3, but some HIOs are currently charging only $4 [NHSC charged $6 per entry in 2005]. We decided to set it at the greater of $2 per horse or 50% of the amount the HIO is charging,” explained  Pedigo.

        I also asked Pedigo to elaborate on the requirement for the individual HIOs to support the collective decision of the HIO Committee.

        “This industry has to begin to speak with one voice,” said Pedigo. Currently there are several different HIOs speaking for the Tennessee Walking Horse industry with the USDA. When the Horse  Protection Act was enacted, there was one voice speaking for the industry, the National Horse Show Commission. The division within the industry began when FOSH, NWHA and HPC chose to go a different route from the mainstream show horse industry. Eventually regional preferences also fractionalized the industry as Heart of America, Western International and Kentucky chose to create their own organizations.
        “We [the TWHBEA Executive Committee] are truly concerned,” said Pedigo. “To grow this industry and bring new people in we must be united in our efforts to promote a positive image nationwide,” said Pedigo. “We must be committed and united in providing one rule book for the entire industry; trained, educated and accountable judges; and consistent, fair and equitable inspections that enforce the Horse Protection Act.”

        Once an HIO is sanctioned, they appoint one member (and one alternate) to serve on the HIO Committee. They also appoint one additional member (and one additional alternate) for each 100 events over the first 100 events affiliated by the HIO in the preceding calendar year. The HIOs number of votes is equal to their number of affiliated events in the preceding calendar year regardless of how many members serve on the HIO Committee.

        TWHBEA appoints a minimum of two members to the HIO Committee and receives a one third vote at a minimum, regardless of the number of events they affiliate.

        An individual cannot be a member of the HIO Committee if they have served a suspension greater than 60 days in the last 5 years, or at any time during their term.

        Assuming, for a moment, that the NHSC, Kentucky’s HIO, Heart of America and Western International all agreed to be sanctioned under this plan, then the HIO Committee would consist of 7 members [2 from TWHBEA, 2 from NHSC, 1 from KY, 1 from Heart of America and 1 from Western International].

        Based on the number of events affiliated by each of the HIOs in 2005, according to numbers provided by Dr. Todd Behre of the United States Department of Agriculture, the NHSC would receive 280 votes, Kentucky would receive 113 votes, Heart of America would receive 22 votes and Western International would receive 9 votes. TWHBEA would receive 212 votes, as the minimum one third of the votes provided in the plan.

        Thus as a percentage of the total vote, NHSC would have a 44% vote, TWHBEA would have a 33.3% vote, Kentucky 17.75%, Heart of America 3.45%, and Western International 1.5%. Assuming the NHSC and Kentucky would vote similarly, they would control 61.75% of the vote.

        Essentially this vote percentage would remain the same over time, as long as the number of affiliated shows did not change significantly. There are minimum standards being developed to ensure that organizations cannot misrepresent their number of affiliated events, and that affiliated events would represent the collective show horse industry.

        If FOSH, NWHA, and HPC also chose to be sanctioned, their collective total votes would amount to 85 shows, which would give them 11% of the vote between the three and reduce every other organization’s vote by 11% on a pro rata basis. For example, the NHSC and Kentucky’s vote would then be 52%, if every organization joined.

        In order to prevail, a motion would have to pass with 70% of the vote. The HIO Committee would meet monthly unless there was a unanimous decision that it was not necessary to meet. They would meet at TWHBEA headquarters, with TWHBEA staff available for agendas and other preparatory work.

        “We think the current rule book is strong. We wanted to make it difficult to change a rule. In 2005 at the NHSC, it effectively took 88% (8 out of 9 members) of the vote to make an immediate rule change. We dropped that requirement to 70%,” said Pedigo.

        “I have heard it said that trainers cannot have a voice if we are to clean up the industry, but I believe that they absolutely should,” said Pedigo. “Any group, in any location within this industry, should have the ability to fall under this sanctioning plan and thus have a voice in directing the future of our show horse industry. We want to be inclusive, not exclusive. We want to insure that everyone in every group has a voice in the overall decisions that affect this industry.”

        “TWHBEA’s own sanctioned HIO will not solicit the events of other TWHBEA sanctioned HIOs.  However, TWHBEA will use its HIO to affiliate its own events, to affiliate events when TWHBEA sanctioned HIOs will not reasonably affiliate them, and to affiliate events in emergency situations.  Furthermore, TWHBEA will use its HIO to solicit the affiliation of events of non TWHBEA sanctioned HIOs and unaffiliated events in its continuing ommitment to create an infrastructure that will encourage uniform cohesive standards for the benefit of all Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiasts,” according to the plan.

        “If this plan was to provide for unity within the Walking Horse industry, it had to have some teeth,” explains Jerrold Pedigo.

The unity of the Walking Horse business began to erode several years ago as individuals broke off and began forming the various HIOs. When the NHSC was formed, it was the only HIO.

        “Throughout the years and for various reasons, individuals obviously felt they needed an HIO to have a voice. This plan allows them to have their HIO, to have a voice and be part of a unified industry,” explains Pedigo.

        Pedigo says he wants to rectify this disunity and to bring together all of the organizations who can agree on their goals for the show horse industry, admittedly a difficult task. But he also desires to eliminate the dissent within the industry by targeting those groups who do not agree with the goals of promoting a performance and pleasure show horse.

        “If that is the goal of this industry, then we have to be willing to challenge any group that is not willing to comply,” explained Pedigo.

        “Our goal is to promote and implement this sanctioning plan, to sanction HIOs, and to assist and support the various HIOs in affiliating horse shows.”

        Pedigo has asked other industry organizations to share with him their concerns about the details of the HIO Sanctioning Plan. Look for continued articles detailing what the specifics of the plan in upcoming issues of the Walking Horse Report. Next week’s article examines the TWH Rule Book and the positions created under the Sanctioning Plan, the Director of Judges and the Director of DQPs/Animal Welfare.


Excerpts from the







TWHBEA hereby establishes an HIO Committee for the purposes of (i) promulgating, administering and executing rules, regulations and sanctions concerning the conduct and activities of owners, exhibitors, trainers, DQP’s, judges and other horse show, sale and exhibition officials with respect to their conduct and activities related to sanctioned HIO horse shows, sales and exhibitions; (ii) creating, maintaining and enhancing the methodology for teaching and fostering the prevention of the soring of and cruelty to horses being shown, sold or exhibited; (iii) facilitating the taking of lawful available action for the enforcement of laws and regulations relating to or in any way affecting horses being shown, sold or exhibited; (iv) working to achieve compliance with and enforcement of the Horse Protection Acts (hereafter “HPA”), the HPA Regulations, and industry rules and regulations; (v) providing a meaningful forum for the discussion and resolution of issues related to horse shows, sales and exhibitions; (vi) selecting a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare and a Director of Judges upon the affirmative vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee and in the absence of such a majority then consulting with TWHBEA in TWHBEA’s selection of a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare and a Director of Judges; and (vii) terminating the services of a Director of DQP/Animal Welfare or the Director of Judges when deemed necessary and prudent by an affirmative vote of seventy percent (70%) of the total authorized votes held by the members of the entire Committee.

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