"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, September 5, 2008

ARTICLE - For those of you who want positive info for the sore horse....

Celebration sees positive numbers for 2008

I do have some comments, though. OF COURSE! :) What kind of blog would this be without comments? Mostly they're just thoughts from horse show experience--things that run through my head when I read an article like this. So I've quoted some lines and put in the comments below.

The horses are the drawing card for Tennessee’s oldest continually running event and when the entry deadline passed on August 5th, 4,222 entries had been made prior to the show.

“We were extremely pleased to see an increase in pre-entries,” said Celebration CEO and Show Chairman Dr. Doyle Meadows. “Seeing an increase was important because it reversed a five-year period of declining entry numbers.”

The total number of entries increases after the show’s preliminary classes are completed and championship entries are made. 2,188 different horses made a total of 4,689 entries, including championship entries. That represents a decrease of 55 over the total in 2007, less than one-third of an entry per class. The 2,188 different horses entered are 36 more than last year. Out of the total number of entries, 2,907 were actually presented in the showring, which is slightly less than showed in 2007, but still one of the highest percentages (62%) in recent years.

These are good numbers--they aren't hiding the number of horses behind the number of entries. I appreciate that information.

“To me, that is one of the most telling statistics about our entries,” continued Meadows. “It’s very gratifying to see the number of horses that come through that entry gate…even though the total number of entries may be down a bit."

This MIGHT be because of disqualifications. Let's hope so! But sometimes horses are scratched from being entered because they're not feeling good, the rider gets hurt, things like that. So I can give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. From the numbers side, the difference is 719 horses. That's 25% of horses from the total entries that didn't show.

The Celebration® added several new measures to the event in 2007 designed to ensure the health and safety of the horses on the Grounds, the integrity of the show, and the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act. Those measures were strengthened further in 2008.

And I am glad they did it. Checking horses that were on the show grounds in general (pulling them from barns, etc.) is very important and a task that was always overlooked before.

The success of the 2008 Celebration has not gone unnoticed by officials in state government.

“I feel the industry has made tremendous strides (since 2006),” said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, during an appearance at the TWHBEA National Futurity. “There is a much better feeling. I really feel good about it. It’s such an important industry to our state, a signature industry. It may not be as big as Dolly Parton or Elvis, but it’s big.”

Huh? What does that mean? That's a weird comment.

Bredesen, while not an owner, has been a proud rider on numerous occasions.

“In most parades I go to, I ride a Tennessee Walking Horse. I take great pride in this breed.”

My first thought here is of course you ride a TWH--it's because your backers are sore horse trainers and that's where you get your campaign money from.

While no attendance records were broken in 2008, the numbers were still very encouraging to Celebration officials. A total of 139,695 fans streamed through the historic gates of the Celebration Grounds. The paid-attendance was also large with 215,096 tickets being sold for the 10 nights of competition.

My thought here is that at pretty much any large horse show, trainers and owners will buy box seats, which is usually a group of seats in one section together that are roped off and only available to those that the buyer designates can sit there. They get X number of seats for X amount of dollars. I've bought boxes at shows before. So that could be part of why the amount of paid seats is so much higher than the amount of people who actually came.

Also, I'm sure these numbers are from the total 11 days, not just one or two days. But it is important to know that that's 139,695 people that are continuing to support the sore horse, whether they know it or not.

“Our board, our staff, and I can’t thank the fans enough who came in large numbers this year. It tells us that the product we’re presenting is what the public wants to see…beautiful and talented horses, great riders, and a terrific overall atmosphere.” Said by Celebration CEO and Show Chairman Dr. Doyle Meadows.

Well, nothing's beautiful about the BL, and the riders look like cockroaches sitting on top of those poor animals.... Whatever. But if I remember correctly, Meadows is the one who headed the changes in the inspection process this year, so hopefully he is serious about making changes.

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