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A Window of Opportunity . . .



by David L. Howard

Copyright WHR 2006

     Just when you think you’ve seen and heard it all, along comes another bombshell!!

    If the TWHBEA’s decision to have a horse show to crown a World Grand Champion set off a firestorm of criticism, then the mishandling of the election of Tennessee directors qualifies as a house of fire.

     Their new show has been roundly criticized and the handling of this election has evoked charges of incompetence at best and dishonesty at worst.  Yes… the horse show was a hasty decision and the election mix-up defies explanation but an error made in haste does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.

   I believe these events provide the Breeders’ with an opportunity to begin bringing everyone back together.  No doubt their recent decisions have alienated many people but they now have a chance to stand tall - and nobody stands taller than those willing to reconsider a controversial decision and make it right.

   That opportunity will present itself Monday afternoon in an executive committee conference call.  This call represents a rare “window of opportunity” but only if they choose to open it.

   It's no secret there is a growing divergence of opinion on the executive committee about having a horse show.  The Celebration is on record as refusing to participate in any way and the other breed organizations have all voiced serious objections.

   I encourage the committee to reach out to the industry and reconsider having their show.  And just as importantly, provide a detailed explanation of the mistakes in the Tennessee balloting and work with the individuals affected to make it right.

   Yes, the critics are going to have a field day at the TWHBEA’s expense and any decision is going to be controversial.  But don’t be worried how the public “perceives” decisions – have the honesty and courage to do what you know is right and reach out.

   If the TWHBEA should cancel the show and come up with a plausible plan for the election, I would encourage those who have been offended by the Breeders’ recent decisions to reach out the hand of compromise and start pulling this breed back together.   You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist and its time all segments of the breed move forward hand in hand.

   Our horse is under attack on a national level and faces growing challenges in the months and years ahead.  We will not survive by continuing to cut each other’s throats.  Let’s all step back and work on what unites us and begin putting our house back in order.








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