Copyright 2009 WHR

By Jeffrey Howard

A recent conference call meeting of the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation has caused concern among the board members of the foundation.  The meeting was called to vote upon the creation of the Standard of Good Practice Fund, which would provide aid to protect the Tennessee Walking Horse. 

This proposed fund had been researched since October to ensure that TWHF non-profit standards were met. This fund could benefit all qualified HIOs and the welfare of all disciplines of the Tennessee Walking Horse. A majority is required for a motion to pass and two board members abstained from voting while another two voted against the creation of the Fund. This foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. 

The TWHF Mission is as follows: "The mission of the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation, Inc. is to encourage support of, and funding for charitable, scientific, and educational projects for the welfare of the Tennessee Walking Horse while serving the needs of both the donor and the recipient."

The Standard of Good Practice Fund would allow donations received to be used for several purposes including:
A. Ensuring the preservation of the unique gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse
B. Ensuring humane practices in the development of this unique gait
C. Provide financial assistance to qualified Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) to assist in the implementation of initiatives set forth by the AAEP White Paper of 2008. Qualified HIOs could seek grant funding from the TWHF with a strict guideline ensuring funds would be used for the purpose intended in accordance with the HPA and TWHF standards.
D. Research and Development studies related to the Tennessee Walking Horse .

With the implementation of initiatives set forth by the AAEP white paper, as being considered by various HIOs, it is inevitable that such initiatives will require an increase in operational cost. In an effort provide some relief to the industry as a result of the rising costs, the TWHF through the Standards Of Good Practice Fund was seeking to raise resources to assist in this effort thus reducing the financial impact on all facets of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. 

Voting for the motion were Janice Fostek, Kasey Kesselring, Christy Lantis and Kathy Zeis, President of the TWHF.  Abstaining from the vote were Dee Dee Sale and David Pruett, President of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association.  Voting against the motion were Jack Heffington and Debra Jack.
The Report has learned that three members of the foundation board that voted for the measure along with Executive Director, Mark Taylor have since resigned from the TWHF.