Earlier this year, several meetings were held across the industry preparing for the release of the proposed rule. During those meetings it was made clear that the industry must comment on the proposed rule and be ready and able to challenge any final rule that does not take into account the industry’s concerns. The industry has retained Ellis George Cipollone, LLP to prepare comments and potentially challenge a final rule.

The fundraising goal began at $1.5 million, but discussions have also taken place on what to do specifically about the scar rule and its enforcement. That could potentially drive the fundraising upward and exceed $2 million. The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) had $200,000 remaining from the previous fundraising on the challenge of the 2017 rule. In addition to that $200,000, an additional $850,000 has been pledged with close to $500,000 already collected.

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Walking Horse Trainers’ Association and Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association have each given or pledged $100,000. The Racking Horse Breeders’ Association has also pledged $50,000. The Alabama Walking Horse Association, North Carolina Walking Horse Association and Maury County Horsemen’s Association are also contributing $10,000 each. The remaining amounts raised have come from individual contributions.

The WHTA, THWNC, TWHBEA and FAST recently came together to host the horse show in Tunica, Mississippi, held in November. Proceeds from this horse show are going directly to the legal fund at FAST. Preliminary figures conservatively put the amount raised at $80,000, with the potential for this figure to approach close to $100,000.

The industry can’t slow down its fundraising efforts. The time is now for everyone, of all levels, to contribute to ensure our Tennessee Walking Show Horse is preserved and maintained for future generations.