MURFREESBORO, Tenn. The 2003 Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) Convention enjoyed the use of the Miller Foundation House for its annual meetings as well as including another large Awards Banquet which was held at the James Union Building on the MTSU campus. The meetings and banquet were held on Saturday, February 15, 2003.

Downpours of rain hampered those attending as well as slowing down progress on the John C. Miller Coliseum. Plans for Friday night had originally included an open house, chili supper and colt preview which had to be canceled due to the contractor needing a 30-day extension to complete construction of the facility. The cancellation proved to be a wise thing, especially due to the weather conditions. Convention goers had to be satisfied with a tour of the facilities during torrents of water deluging from the sky.

Tommy Hall, executive director, and his staff did their usual wonderful job organizing and planning the festivities and meetings.

Saturday Morning

The Saturday schedule included the Board Meeting at 9:00, followed by the General Membership Meeting at 10:00; and a tour of Miller Coliseum at 11:30. At 1:00 p.m the program included the Pleasure Committee Meeting and the Walking Horse Owners Youth Association (WHOYA) Annual Membership Meeting & Convention. All of these were held at the Miller Foundation Reception House, a truly lovely facility in a wooded setting amidst ponds of rain water and mud.

General Membership Meeting

President Frank Neal welcomed everyone to the general membership meeting and introduced the board of directors. Following approval of the minutes and financial report, there was a discussion of the International Pleasure Horse Show in August. Due to the fact that not all the 2002 classes had been sponsored and to give exhibitors more time to prepare for the Celebration, as well as the expense of staying for seven days, the decision had been made and approved by the board to change from seven days to five. The dates of this show will be from Sunday, August 3 to Thursday, August 7, 2003, and it will be held at the Miller Coliseum. A list of proposed classes set up by a committee was passed out with the suggestion that it be looked over and suggestions for changes to be made to the committee or Tommy Hall.

The number of classes had dropped from 190 to 140. Hall stated that the main reduction was in championship classes. Last season there were 35 championship classes at the Pleasure International with plans for 12-14 in 2003. There will be an Open Three-Gaited Championship and an Amateur Championship in each division. Since the trail pleasure classes are the largest, they have proposed both English and Western, canter and no-canter championships in these divisions. Hall also said that the stall prices at the Miller Coliseum will be the same.

Hall also relayed to everyone that Ralph Curry would give a tour of the Miller Coliseum at 11:30. He explained that there were 5000 seats and that 1800 were box seats. The coliseum has 500 stalls, almost under one roof. The warm up area will be enclosed and 150 camper hook ups will be available. He explained that there were separate entrances for trailers and cars to assist in speedy arrivals and departures during shows.

Hall said that in addition to the International Grand Championship Pleasure Walking Horse Show being held at the Miller Coliseum, they would hold the International Grand Championship Performance Walking Horse Show on October 2-4, the Walking for the Children Show on October 18, and the WHOA/ Kiwanis Club Horse Show on November 29 there.

Dates for the Versatility Shows were announced with one being held on April 5, 2003 in Webster, Florida and one in Jefferson, Wisconsin on August 16 with several more being held in Tennessee. Someone suggested having one in Tennessee in April and it will be looked into.

A report was made on the WHOYA and 2003 officers have been elected. Justin Miller will serve as president. Last year there were around 1400 members. The association had a dance and several pizza parties. They will again be assisting at the 54th Annual VA Horse Show to be held on May 14, in Murfreesboro. At the Celebration, the Trainers’ Youth Council and WHOYA had a quiz show about Walking Horses. Our youth won over the Trainers Youth Council.

Chris Hazelwood has been overseeing the youth activities. WHOYA will sell ads for the Bethesda Horse Show and they will get the profits from the show on July 4th.

The academy program was next on the agenda. This joint program with the TWHBEA has been a huge success. They have averaged about 68 exhibitors and about 200 spectators at each show. They have sold 52 academy cards. These have covered the cost of the ribbons. At the present time they are working on a corporate sponsor.

Hall reported that the WHOA office would be moving into the Miller Coliseum during the latter part of March and that it would be rent free. Hall also thanked Kathy Owen for her hard work in obtaining items and setting up the silent auction.

President Frank Neal gave a WHOA committees and commission update. The 2003 WHOA representatives to the commission are Frank Neal, Rhonda Martocci, and Kim Bennett with alternates George Greenup, David Pruett, Holly Liddell and Jaclyn Tillman. Rules Committee representative is David Pruett; WHOA Representatives on the Pleasure Rules Committee are Kathy Owen, Lynn Womack and Rhonda Martocci with alternates Mandy Dawn, Jean Baum, and Bob Medina. On the Performance rules Committee are George Greenup, Holly Liddell and Jaclyn Tillman with alternates Debbie Flack, David Pruett and Bonnie Barberot. John Harrison is on the Oversight Committee.

Frank Neal was elected chairperson for the commission at the last meeting. The appeals of four individuals have been pushed forward to February 24th, along with 2 more appeals. In 2002 NHSC, had 262 shows with 57,843 horses inspected and 527 violations of which most were technical violations. Neal reported that the representatives of the Celebration met with the commission. Ron Thomas, David Howard, and Attorney John Bobo gave them information on the investigation to check out allegations, if possible. At this point, no action has been taken.

Tour of Miller Coliseum

At 11:30 Ralph Curry took any interested parties to view the Miller Coliseum. The facility has a larger than Celebration size arena and warm up area.

In addition to viewing the seats, arena, warm up area, judges’ room, and a view of the barns and camper sites, the offices which will be WHOA’s were viewed. Selection of boxes are now available and all seats seem to be able to view the ring activities.

Pleasure Committee Meeting

The Pleasure Committee Meeting was called to order by Tommy Hall at 1:00 p.m. Saturday followed by roll call. Chairman Martha Child welcomed all present. The International was again discussed. Hall explained that in accordance with NHSC rules all four-year-old and junior classes must canter. He said that the NHSC had amended the rule concerning aged horses cantering. He said that in performance classes, show management could have one open specialty class per show. He also said that whether flat shod classes other than four-year-olds should canter again had been left up to show management.

Hall stated that if the membership wished, that in 2003 they could go back to the two banquets. He stated that he needed more help, that he needed more volunteers and more decisions would be made by committees.

A committee will work on the versatility classes, probably 20-25 at the shows. Florida and Wisconsin will make up their own schedules. WHOA will send them the ribbons for 25 classes. Hall stated that last year’s WHOA Versatility Fun Day-Game Show was a success and will be held on June 28, 2003.

At this year’s banquet, there will only be one high point in each division for the versatility. The National High Point awards stayed the same.

At the Pleasure International there will be versatility events on Sunday in the Animal Science Pavilion. Four or five classes for youth 11 and under will be added to the versatility classes. At the beginning of the show on Sunday, the showmanship classes will be held. On Monday Morning, August 4, 2003 there will be halter classes.

At the August International there will be no academy classes but the Academy Championships will be held at the October show.

Discussion of the International classes then ensued with suggestions concerning trail pleasure and western classes. Hall appointed three new members to the committee to look at the schedule. The three new appointees are Laura Brandon, Bruce Lovato, and Bob Lawrence. The plantation committee meeting will meet during March with the rules representatives there and make decisions and recommendations.

WHOYA Meeting

The youth also met in the basement of the Miller Foundation House. Their officers for 2003 include President Justin Miller, Vice President Sam Jamison, Treasurer Catherine Simpson and Secretary Jeren Guthrie.

During their meeting various committees worked on and reported on fund raising and their horse show, junior memberships, projects and promotions.

Following their meeting the group had a third anniversary cake, a garland with roses cake, and a birthday cake for Christy Mauney. This was also in appreciation to Kathy Owen and David Pruett for their work with WHOYA.

Saturday evening . . .
Register of Merit, Versatility High Point, & National High Point Award Banquet

The highlight of the convention was the celebration of the 2002 WHOA Register of Merit, Versatility and National High Point Awards on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m at the James Union Building. Following the welcome by President Frank Neal, during which he acknowledged WHOA founder and past president Dr. Bob Womack, and the invocation, a meal was enjoyed by all. Appreciation awards, ceramic horseheads were given to Kathy Owen for gathering the silent auction items that went for premium prices, to Rhonda Martocci for having the Sponsors’ party and to Frank Neal for accepting the Presidency again.

Out On Parole was honored for being the 2002 World Grand Champion and an award was presented to owners Randall and Sadie Baskin.

Presentations were then made to the 2002 International Diamond Sponsors. Moving on to the high point awards, Mark Farrar announced this year’s winners while Jack Greene captured the moments on film. Beautiful awards and ribbons were presented to the owners who came from all over the nation to commemorate their win.

The Versatility High Point Awards were given first. The Academy 11 and Under was a tie between Hailey Douglas and Sydney Shortridge with Sarah Driver winning reserve. In the Academy 12-17, No Canter the winner was Audrey Whitmer with Mikenzie Brown picking up the reserve streamer.

Lisa Pritchett proudly accepted the Academy 17 & Over high point award. Lauren Lockard claimed reserve. In the Academy 3 Gait Margaret Trundrumg claimed the trophy with B.J. Richards coming in reserve.

Sarah Womack and Kristian McElroy tied for first in the Showmanship and Equitation high point while Jeren Gurthrie won the red. High Point Model Champion was Sonata’s Gypsy Rose and Marilynne Reed with Power and Glory and Carol Smithson claiming the reserve spot.

Dangerous Beauty and Kathy Owen were the high point winners in the Country Pleasure with reserve going to the team of Pearl Jam and Cindy Womack. Doc’s Last Advice for Jeff and Kim Dean were Lite Shod High Point Champions. Tying for reserve were Get N Grander for Roger & Laura Mauney and Sunfire’s Solar Eclipse for Martha Child.

Christie Scrivner’s Gen’s Final Masterpiece claimed the Park Pleasure Champions while Extra Curricular and Rachel Pulley were reserve champions. Lacy Cash and Kathy Owen claimed the Trail Pleasure high point award with Martha Child’s A Twist of Banner earning the reserve position.

The Versatility Classes High Point was won by Travelin Time and Dan Starnes. Reggie McElroy claimed reserve with Rebelation.

Two horses received the 2002 Certificate of Merit: Rebelation and Kristian McElroy, Youth; and Doctor Lori and Cathy Stoops, Adult. Bullet’s Surefire Shaker and Mary Beth Pruett earned the Adult Register of Merit Championship.

There were ten horses recognized in the 2002 Certificate of Achievement in the Youth Division and 13 in the adult division.

These were followed by the National High Point Awards. Dangerous Diva was the first to receive a National High Point Award as she captured the Weanling Fillies division for Dr. Roger Richards. Reserve went to I’m The Lady In Command and Lisa Teel. Dr. Roger Richards also received the award for the Weanling Colt champion, Bluz La Dae while the reserve place went to Mucho Grande and Lindy Holt.

The Two-Year-Old Fillies award went South Carolina-way as Skywatch’s Dark And Stormy was awarded the championship for owner Tricia Timmons. Donnie Taylor‘s Miss Sweepstakes USA was reserve. A Strong Dollar was the Two-Year-Old Stallions & Geldings Champion for Bob and Curtice McCloy. Paul and Vickie Garland owned the reserve champion, Contaminated.

In the Two & Three-Year-Old Lite Shod Plantation division, Double Java was first for Mark and Marcy Drummond followed by New Millennium Generator for Bruce and Nancy Lovato. Becky Barnes carried home the Two & Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure title with Si Si Senor while He’s Got Night Moves and Ted Nelms earned the reserve placing.

The Two-Year-Old Amateur was won by Highway Robbery and James and Betty Corlew. Texas Salsa earned the reserve title for Texas and Wink and Nancy Groover. Three-Year-Old Mares was won by Dangerously Dazzling for John and Julie Alford. Anita Blue earned the reserve spot for owners Wayne and Anita George.

Dr. Jim and Kay Green were proud once more of their Main Power as he captured the Three-Year-Old Stallions and Geldings while I’m Mr. Threat was reserve for Hoyte and Jane Eakes. Sanman for Larry and Pam Russell won the Three-Year-Old Amateur championship. Main Power won the red streamer for Dr. Jim and Kay Green.

Magic Illusionist earned the most points in the Junior Lite Shod for Mike and Cheryl Reidy with Armed Lady From Dixie and Robert and Wayne Westbrook receiving reserve. Regal’s Delight Lady and Burl Dale captured the Junior Park Pleasure title while Countdown’s Cordell Walker earned reserve for Guylene Ozlanski.

The award for the Junior Mares went to Mississippi with Rare Cash and Dr. and Mrs. Rosser Wall. Armed Lady made Carolyn Thomas proud with reserve. The Snowatch took the Junior Stallions & Geldings title home for owners Anthony Joseph Family, Alabama way. Cheatin’ Danger for owner Judith Burgess claimed reserve.

The Four-Year-Old Amateur Champion was Pushin That Jazz for Sarah Dunn, followed by The Snowatch for the Anthony Joseph Family. Winning the most points in the Trail Obstacle was Traveling Time for Dan Starnes while Tina Singleton’s Mr. Pacesetter was reserve.

The Lite Shod Youth 17 & Under title went to Trashadeous for Jimmy Civils. Get N Grander won reserve for Roger and Christy Mauney. Caprice’s Lady Gen won another for Jimmy Civils i n the Park Pleasure Youth 17 & Under chalking up another victory for Texas with Paris Rain claiming reserve for Shell Creek Farm of Oklahoma.

Capturing the Youth 11 and Under was Flashy Cash for the Mike Wall Family while reserve went to Heart Failure and the Vernon Smith Family. Earning the most points nationwide in the Youth 12-17 was Slick Willie for the Bobby East Family with a tie for reserve. Reserve champions were I'm Cruella DeVille for Joel Johnson and Hytone’s Buster Brown for the Tim Herndon Family.

A Wind Storm earned the most points for Dr. Roger Richards in the Yearling Fillies while Larry and Susan Wood’s Kodachrome’s Annie Oakley won the reserve championship. Yearling Colts Champion was Olympic Titan for Rhonda Martocci and Dr. Roger Richards and the reserve championship went to Major Surgeon General and Dr. Roger Richards.

Final Keeper was crowned Walking Pony Champion for the Gary Legate Family while Catherine Simpson was proud of reserve champion Special Alert. A Style File won the Lite Shod Western for Darwin and Linda James and Mama’s Hands and Janis Brown were in the running to win reserve.

Double Your Money and the Dwight Ottman Family were thrilled to win the Park Pleasure Western title with reserve awarded to Bad News Cold Hard Cash for Nadea Watt. The gray Mirabella claimed the Show Pleasure championship for Susie Lavendar with reserve placing awarded to Coin Maker and Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell.

It’s Up in Arms and Gladney Farm had the most point in the Owner-Amateur Trained Flat Shod division followed by Armed Lady From Dixie and Robert and Wayne Westbrook, all hailing from Texas. Stormy’s Black Rain earned the Owner-Amateur Trained championship for the Jim Sullivan Family with reserve heading to Ebony’s Coin Dream for Bob and Marilyn Scott.

The Ladies Amateur title went to Backfield In Motion and Rusty Hyneman and Caresse Mills with the red streamer going to Jubilee’s Chime Belle and Teresa Creech. Amateur Lite Shod Plantation Champions were Jose Quervo Gold for Bob Lawrence and Carroll Hutto while Genius’ Dixie Chick and Sheila Mack Kyle won the reserve spot.

The Beaming Skywatch and Stuart and Pam Gibbs won the Amateur Park Pleasure championship with She’s Breathtaking winning reserve for Bob Lawrence and Carroll Hutto. The Amateur 50 and Over championship was headed for Mississippi as Dr. Jim and Kay Green collected the award for Pride’s Sundance Star. Pushover and Lookout for Don and Lucky Collins sent the reserve award to Florida.

Major Splish Splash took the Amateur Specialty title for Frank and Rita Hudgens while James and Peggy Vernon’s Pusher’s Special Design carried home the reserve to Mississippi. Bill Marzinzik and Pay At The Pump received the Trail Pleasure High Point with reserve going to I’m Cordell Walker for the Joe Dickerson Family.

The 15.2 & Under Champion was London Rain for Charles Clark with reserve to Pusher’s American Patriot for the Mike Chiappari Family. Capone has taken the Amateur 15.2 and Under title home for Mike and Mitzi Hooper. All American Cash and Backward S Ranch earned reserve in this division for the Lone Star state.

Friday Nite Mercedes won the Flat Shod Driving for R.D. and Connie Waldo while Fashions Ole Style and Noble Stout earned reserve. Genius Gold Spirit won the Fine Harness for Robert Keenan followed by On The Money for Double Springs Farm. Royal Prince Charlie earned the Trail Pleasure Specialty for Jenny Earhart while Louisianians Blond Ambition and Fred and Lisa Weaver earned the reserve spot. Youth Equitation honors went to Alex Bumpus. Sara Womack won the reserve title.

Megan Allen claimed the Adult Equitation High Point while Susan Shemwell earned reserve. Fred and Lisa Weaver's second award was won by Copy’s Dark Stranger in the Country Pleasure. Reserve went to Hallelujah’s Touch for Laura Taylor and Bruce Hallmark, Flat Shod-Favorite Gait champion Pride’s Cantata continues to win for Jaimee Lewis while reserve position was Rusty Spur for Lisa Fields. Spring’s Starmaker and Samantha Green wowed them in the Ladies Auxiliary with James and Betty Corlew picking up reserve for He Keeps On Giving.

Generator’s Champion earned the Open Amateur Championship for Rusty Hyneman and Caresse Mills. Gen’s Major Motion and the Mike Chiappari Family were reserve in this division. Royal’s Vanity Fair won the Lite Shod Specialty for Darwin and Linda James while Cicero earned reserve for Bob Medina.

Paris Rain won the Park Pleasure Specialty for Darwin and Linda James while Regal’s Delight Lady claimed the reserve title for Burl Dale. Gen’s Burning Rage thrilled the Dan McSwain Family with the Aged Mares title. Magic Sweet Victory earned reserve for Charles and Julie Wharton.

Barracuda earned the Aged Stallions and Geldings title for Mary Medina while Slick Willie and the Bobby East Family earned the reserve spot. Lite Shod Championship honors went to Trashadeous for Jimmy Civils. Randall and Gloria Dixon’s Star Struck By JFK captured the reserve title.

Gen’s Sundancer won the Park Pleasure Championship for Pinner and Hastings while reserve went to Jimmy Civils’ Caprice’s Lady Gen. The Championship Stake winners were Irrational Exuberance and Backward S Ranch. New York New York earned the reserve championship for Terry Mann.

The awards concluded with three coveted awards. The 2002 Overall Horse High Point Awards were given in three categories. The High Point Halter Overall was won by Dangerous Diva and Dr. Roger Richards; the Overall High Point Pleasure was won by Royal Prince Charlie and Jenny Earhart; and the Overall High Point Performance winners were Flashy Cash and the Mike Wall Family.

Following the awards, the silent auction was concluded and a 50/50 drawing closed the evening. The cash giveaway drawing kept everyone on the edge of their seat, hoping that they would not hear their name called out since the last ticket would claim the cash. The final five decided to split the $5000 giving each $1000, even though Joe Cotten kept upping his bid for all of the final five tickets. The final five were Chuck Cheek for Meadowbrook, LLC, Rae Martin, Shirley Neal for Jessica Bauguess, Wendy Shaw and Wayne Schumann.