Walking Horse Report Copyright 2005

     The Walking Horse Owners' Association released the following statement
to Walking Horse Report Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005:

    The Walking Horse Owners' Association (WHOA) is discouraged by the
recent decision of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors'
Association Executive Committee to abandon the National Horse Show
Commission. WHOA has always felt that a unified voice is best for our
industry. Almost 15 years ago we relinquished our show affiliation and
Inspection Program (that encompassed more than 250 shows) to join the
Commission with the Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA) and the
TWHBEA. At that time we felt strongly that our industry would benefit when
all three organizations were together under one umbrella, the Commission. We
still believe this today.
    Since the inception of the Commission, WHOA, WHTA and TWHBEA have all
had an equal voice in the governing of our industry. Under the Commission
umbrella, no single organization has had absolute power. With an equal voice
came an equal share of the financial responsibilities related to the
Commission. The WHTA, TWHBEA and WHOA have all shared the expenses fairly
and equally.
    "Although the TWHBEA has a much larger membership than us, we have never
believed it fair to ask them to contribute more than the rest," said Tommy
Hall, WHOA executive director. "When we come together at the Commission, we
are all on equal footing. We have the same number of votes and the same
financial obligations." Hall is also quick to point out that WHOA has always
paid 100% of their financial obligation to the Commission. "The Commission
is where the owner's voice is the strongest. We feel the Commission should
continue with all segments of the industry represented. This is a very
important issue.
    Hall said the TWHBEA's decision to leave the Commission is
"unfortunate," but WHOA remains committed to a unified industry. "We will
definitely be entering discussion with the WHTA and hopefully the TWHBEA will revisit this issue and choose to join those discussions with us."