by Jeffrey Howard

The Tennessee Walking Horse took center stage Friday night, July 18, 2008, in an effort to raise money for the Avery County Humane Society. The event, a demonstration of the versatility and natural ability of the Tennessee Walking Horse, was held at Diamond Creek, a world-class golf club in Banner Elk, N.C.

John and Sharon McNeely hosted the demonstration, dinner and auction in an effort to raise additional funds for the Avery County Humane Society’s new animal shelter. The event raised over $100,000 for the new shelter.
The new shelter will include more space for animals, quarantine rooms, adoption/meeting rooms, offices for the executive director, shelter manager, business manager, education director, an education center, an adoption center and air-conditioning. Future plans include employing a veterinarian with a wellness program for the public and dog walking/hiking trails.

The walking horse exhibition was made possible by David Landrum and Bobby Richards. Both men brought horses and oversaw the exhibition. Landrum and Richards gave the crowd an explanation of the heritage of the Tennessee Walking Horse as well as all the disciplines associated with the breed. Landrum and Richard’s children rode many of the horses during the exhibition and allowed the crowd to enjoy the wonderful ride of a Tennessee Walking Horse.

The fundraiser was needed by the local humane society of Avery County as no money raised by the Humane Society of the United States is allocated to help build the animal shelter of Avery County.