Skip to content

Walking Horse Meeting Proves Fruitful

By U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon 
Posted March 1, 2002
I have worked closely over the years with owners, trainers, and participants, as well as officials in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help find a balanced approach at sustaining a vibrant Tennessee walking horse industry.  

In fact I recently met with newly appointed Agriculture Undersecretary William Hawks to discuss regulatory issues concerning the walking horse industry. We made substantial progress on many fronts during the meeting. 

Also present at the meeting were Craig Evans of the National Horse Show Commission; Bill Young of the Walking Horse Trainers Association; Ron Thomas of the Tennessee Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association; Bobby Acord, associate administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; and Ron DeHaven, assistant deputy administrator of the Inspection Service’s Animal Care division. 

Last year, working closely with these people and others, a three-year regulatory agreement was finally reached. This operating plan represents years of hard work involving officials from all aspects of the industry, including horse owners, trainers and show participants. Its completion gives me great confidence in the future viability of the walking horse industry. 

Some issues of contention still remain. During the meeting with the newly appointed undersecretary, regulatory issues concerning the equitable testing of horses, the implementation of appropriate training and qualification standards for all inspectors, and the fair administration of rules and violations were addressed. I have confidence in Mr. Hawks’ willingness to work with the industry and his desire to see these issues resolved. 

But to ensure the equitable resolution of these matters and the success of the new operating plan, the application of regulations must be fair. There must be a mutual trust between industry and USDA inspectors. Undersecretary Hawks shares my desire to see all department inspectors held to the highest standards of conduct. I look forward to working with Mr. Hawks on finding mutually acceptable regulatory solutions and ensuring that individual inspectors do not jeopardize the quality of our walking horse shows. 

Some of my fondest childhood memories, after all, are from the walking horse shows I attended in Middle Tennessee. These shows, while important to family and community, also provide an important outlet for charities and civic organizations. I will continue to work toward a consensus on the remaining unresolved regulatory issues and other matters so the walking horse industry will continue to thrive.  

More Stories

  • Obituary – Mary Ella Burke

    Mary Ella Burke of Wildersville, Tennessee, passed away Friday, June 4, 2021, at the age of 82. She is preceded in death by her husband, Earnest F. Burke, her mother Beaulah Johnson and father Ray Johnson... Read More
  • Walking Horse Owners Association presents the Charles B. Howard Memorial Fund Scholarship

    The Walking Horse Owners Association is honored to announce the Charles B. Howard Scholarship program for the year 2021-2022. Affectionately known as “Charlie”, he would want to help a career minded student to reach their potential and proudly present these first awards... Read More
  • Live from Liberty Lions Club

    ReporTV will provide live streaming coverage from the Liberty Lions Club Horse Show, Friday, June 18, beginning at 6:00 pm... Read More
  • The Money Tree Classic never disappoints!

    The WHTA Auxiliary has exciting news to announce! The MTC is proud to announce the addition of the Billy Gray Two Year Old Challenge, sponsored by David Williams... Read More
  • WHOA Cookeville Summer Classic horse show

    The Cookeville Summer Classic Horse Show will be held at the Hyder-Burk indoor arena on Saturday June 19 at 2390 Gainesboro Grade, Cookeville, TN. Casual show attire of a shirt with collar, long pants and boots is required... Read More
  • Obituary - H. Cloyd Philpott

    H. Cloyd Philpott, Jr. 84, of Lexington, NC passed away on Tuesday, June 8. A Memorial Service for Mr. Philpott will be held on Thursday, June 17th at 2pm at the First Presbyterian Church which is located at 15 West 3rd Ave, Lexington, NC... Read More
  • Christmas In July announces added money for Extravaganza classes!

    The Christmas In July Show to be held June 29-July 1, at the Bedford County Agricultural Center in Shelbyville will offer additional prize money in its extravaganza classes featuring two-year-olds and two other classes ending nightly sessions. In total, four classes will be paying $1000 first place money... Read More
  • Obituary – Mike Janeway

    Mike Edwin Janeway was born on August 1, 1944, in Maryville, TN. He was the son of Oscar Wiley Janeway and Mildred Montgomery Janeway. Mike’s involvement with horses began when he was an infant, because his grandfather, James Calvin Montgomery, always had horses... Read More
  • Cornersville Lions Club selects Byard

    Cornersville Lions Club Horse Show, scheduled for July 16, 2021, has selected Dean Byard to mark the cards for this year’s event. The show will be held at the Lions Club Show Grounds in Cornersville, Tennessee... Read More
  • Walking For Hope releases class schedule

    Walking For Hope, scheduled for Saturday, June 19, has released their class schedule. The show will be held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Stanford, Kentucky. Chad Adams will mark the cards for the event... Read More