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WHTA Hosts Annual Spring Fun Show Meeting

The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association met Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at the Blue Ribbon Circle in Shelbyville, Tenn. President Billy Young called the meeting to order at 5:00PM. First on the agenda was an address by Celebration Chief Executive Mike Inman who discussed the changes in the Spring Fun Show class schedule and explained to the trainers’ how the class schedule would affect them.

WHTA President Billy Young

Also Inman informed them that horses will be required to stable on the Celebration show grounds 48 hours prior to championship classes for the 2015 Celebration. This is the same protocol as last year. Also, Inman addressed as more shows go with HIOs that don’t pay the fee to help pay for the industry lobbying efforts that those efforts are in jeopardy of not continuing. Currently SHOW is the only HIO that collects the $15 fee per entry to pay for the two lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Inman stated, “A couple of individuals have stepped up over the last couple years and donated funds to pay the lobbyist during the winter months. It is evident that the money collected by SHOW HIO is making a positive impact and we need to figure out how to get the other HIO’s on board to do the same.” Inman encouraged the trainers to reach out in their area and ask those HIOs to support the efforts being made to save the performance horse and defeat the PAST Act.

Celebration CEO Mike Inman

Inman said if any HIO wants to collect the money and not send it to PSHA then they can send it directly to the lobbying firms. The members of WHTA present talked about other ways to try and get all HIOs on board and will look at those further.

Association President Billy Young then spoke about the recent Trainers’ Show, held in Decatur, Ala., and informed the membership of the success of the show, which profited over $50,000 to the association. The Trainers’ board voted earlier in the day at their meeting that the Trainers’ Show would go back to their original date of March 17-19 in 2016.

The location has not been decided, but several recommendations have been made. The board will send out proposals and the general membership will then vote in their August meeting on the location. Young stated the membership was up to 308 members and the financial condition of the association was better than it had been in previous years.

The membership also discussed the possibility of hosting a fall show. The general consensus was supportive of WHTA hosting a fall show. One of the major issues facing the WHTA and industry is the lack of shows and the recent loss of some of the industry’s most historic venues. Herbert Derickson then spoke about the Trainers’ Give Back Program and some of the different projects the initiative had participated in. He encouraged others to get involved with the program. They passed the bucket and collected over $200 to help purchase kids’ activity items such as stick horses and a feed trough for the Wartrace Museum.

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