"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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NEWS - Press Release From the Industry Meeting

Here's the press release from the meeting.  I received this from multiple sources.


Tennessee Walking Horse Meeting
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
On Wednesday, November 30th the Board of Directors of these four groups met to discuss issues related to the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse in the show ring and to discuss unification within the performance horse division.

As a result of the meeting it was decided that a “Unity Committee” would be formed with 3 representatives from each group. Each group will have one week to discuss with their respective boards and appoint individuals to the committee. The Unity Committee will have no official decision making power and will gather information and then report back to the groups.

Goals & Objectives Established By The Four Groups:

1- To support one rulebook and judges list.
2- This group plans to implement a program to be inclusive of all aspects of the flat shod & padded performance Tennessee Walking Horse.
3- To market all facets of the breed.
4- Develop an organizational structure for the committee.
5- To create and implement a unified public relations effort.
6- To promote education in all aspects of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

In addition, the group also took a unified position of being against any reduction of pads and action devices and being opposed to the proposed USDA mandatory penalties.

Mr. Jackie Brown, who graciously offered his time to facilitate the meeting stated “the industry should be most grateful for all of their leaders who attended and offered their thoughts and ideas as related to ‘what is best for the horse, what is best for the industry.’”

44 people from the groups invited were in attendance at the meeting.


Now to break it down.

I definitely agree with number 1.  That issue is something that should have been addressed a long time ago.  One rulebook means that everyone will have the same level playing field as long as they agree to the mandated penalties.  Multiple HIOs are only necessary when there is a REAL goal to keep sore horses out of the ring.

As far as the rest, I doubt very seriously this will be a program that includes "all aspects of the flat shod and padded performance horse" when they are being selective as to which groups the committee members will be from.  If they were going to be all inclusive, then they would have invited ALL of the HIOs, not just a select few.  And the best way to deal with public relations will be to get rid of the stacked horse.  The public doesn't like it, and therefore if you were smart and wanted to relate to the public better, you'd stop the soring and get rid of the stacked horse.

And OR COURSE they don't want a reduction of pads or action vices and oppose the USDA mandated penalties!  We all already know that.  But what's really telling here is that WHOA signed the mandated penalties.  So does this mean they are going back on their agreement with the USDA?

They say they are working on "what is best for the horse."  NO, YOU'RE NOT.  You're working on what's best for your pocketbooks.  If they were working on what's best for the horse, then they would agree to the mandated penalties and agreed to a reduction in pads and getting rid of chains.  So that's just another one of their "man behind the curtain" ploys.

As always, more talk, more meetings, and more stalling.  USDA: PLEASE STOP THIS.  Please end soring and keep these people from continuing to break the law!


Anonymous said...

I'm very happy that they want one rulebook. That makes the most sense, rather than going to a show and showing in say, model. One rulebook says show halters are okay. One says bridle. It's confusing! Also, I agree that the other HIO's should have been invited as well. I prefer PRIDE over SHOW anyday. SHOW has to make money. They'll give a country pleasure horse a ticket to get money.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Yes, one rulebook would really make a huge difference. Plus I know there are shoeing differences from one HIO to the next. Including all HIOs is really important as well--it's clear to me that they are not serious about helping the industry, only themselves.

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