"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

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEWS and ARTICLES - 2010 WGC Championship Was Under Question

Sorry I haven't been posting, folks--it's been a busy few months for me.

Well, it seems that this year's WGC, The Coach, did a very, very poor job in the ring for his class. Apparently he was "off" and stumbled several times. I've been told by several sources that the horse named Star should have won and that many were shocked when The Coach was announced as the winner.

Is this unusual? Not really, when championships are bought and paid for. When you have the kind of corporate and government backing the horse industry, no matter what discipline or breed, favortism runs rampant. No coporation wants their sponsorship money to go to waste. I have seen many horses win ribbons thats shouldn't have, all based on who the owner, trainer, exhibitor, or sponsor was. But I think what makes it worse for me with TWHs is that when championships are bought and paid for, then why are the horses continuing to suffer?

Of course, I don't know for sure if this is what has happened, but all the signs point to this being yet another form of the TWH industry's continued corruption. It also just seems there is no other explanation for what happened. If anyone else can think of anything, I'd be happy to know.

Below is the information from the Walking Horse Report about the WGC class judging and review of the videos. I honestly expected no other response than this. No one in any horse industry wants to be told they were wrong when they crown a championship horse.


SHOW Addresses Judging At The Celebration

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Walking Horse Report has interviewed both Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows and SHOW Director of Judges Rollie Beard regarding the judging at the 72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Both Meadows and Beard commented on the performance of the judging panel collectively as well as Beard commenting on the criticism received by the judging panel in the World Grand Championship class on Saturday night September 4, 2010.

SHOW Director of Judges Rollie Beard commented:

“I thought that the overall performance of the judges out of 202 classes was very good. They did not work them too long , they knew the rules, and placed the horses accordingly. I thought the last class could have went either to The Coach or to Star, however three judges placed Coach first and two of them placed him second. Star on the other hand got two first and three seconds. I felt the judges did their job. Judges can only place what they see in front of them.

As for the criticism of the tie of The Coach, from what I have seen from the videos of the class and as a witness to the class, it was evident that the Coach made a few mistakes but he did not quit (quit means to bring to end or to give up for good ). A horse can make a mistake and still win if he has outperformed the other horses. It is up to the judge to decide the severity of the mistake. Only in equitation do judges score the rider on mistakes.”

Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows commented:

“I think the judges did a great job. The panel got along extremely well throughout The Celebration®. The panel took on a unique cohesiveness and respect for each other’s ability to judge each class of horses. I have a tremendous amount of respect for each judge both personally and professionally. I assure you that it was not just another job or judging event for all the judges. If all the trainers, owners and fans could have worked with each member of this year’s judging panel during The Celebration®, they would come away from the show with a different perspective.

I am absolutely amazed about the number of people who can evaluate and criticize a judge when they have never judged the first horse. I would encourage those people to go through the years of training to become a AAA Judge and perhaps they would have more respect for the efforts of a horse show judge.

I thought the workout on Thursday night as well as the World Championship Class provided extra excitement to the fans. As a judging panel, they selected four (4) horses they felt could be the next World Grand Champion® for the final workout. The judges tied the horses in this class no differently than they had the previous 201 classes. The results, as one would expect, had a variation of the judges preference, position in the show ring and performance of the horse in front of each judge.


SHOW President Issues Statement Regarding Judging
Thursday, September 16, 2010

The following statement was issued by SHOW President Dr. Stephen L. Mullins.

I have extensively reviewed the tapes of the World Grand Championship class at the 72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration with SHOW Director of Judges Rollie Beard. It has been the policy of SHOW all year to video the classes and strategically place cameras to capture the view of our judges to allow SHOW the opportunity to review the performance of our judges. The cameras are placed where only that particular judges viewpoint is monitored. Mr. Beard has reviewed video all year from horse shows across the country and at times has met with judges to review their decisions.

After spending hours reviewing the performance of our judges during the Celebration and more specifically the World Grand Championship class, I have determined that no disciplinary action is necessary against any judge at The Celebration. Our Director of Judges has issued a statement after reviewing the tapes and SHOW supports his analysis of the judges performance.

Just like with the inspection process, I aim to continue to improve the judging process and will be working tirelessly over the next several months to prepare training, work with our judging committee and move the judging forward in 2011. I am not a professional judge, nor do I hold a license, but understand the importance of high integrity, honest judging and improving the overall perspective of our judging program. I would ask that all of our exhibitors, owners and trainers continue to practice patience as we move forward in 2011.

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