The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association met on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the Blue Ribbon Circle. During the meeting Celebration CEO Warren Wells welcomed the trainers to the Fun Show and thanked them for their support of the show. Jeffrey Howard gave an update on the recent developments in the rulemaking, which included the USDA’s recent filing before the court that they intend to withdraw the 2017 rulemaking and pursue new rulemaking.

Other highlights from the meeting included the treasurer’s report by Wayne Dean. The WHTA currently has just over $283,000, however $38,000 of that balance is in the Riders’ Cup account, which will continue to grow, but be paid out at the end of the year to the winning trainers. The net profit on the Trainers’ Show earlier this year in March was $50,935.

Keith Blackburn has stepped down from the board and Jerry Williams will fill the remaining time on Blackburn’s term. The WHTA recently moved into their new office on the showgrounds of The Celebration.  

One major change for this year is the WHTA will host their annual Horse of the Year awards and banquet February 2-3, 2024, at the Cool Spring Marriott in Franklin, Tennessee. They will still hold their elections and meeting December 1, 2023, via zoom. Voting will be done by computer ballot.