"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, December 5, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLES - Meadows Retires; Industry Meetings Updates; USDA HPA Search Database

I have three things to talk about in this post, so here we go!

Doyle Meadows retires from TWHNC

The following was from The Horse.com.  Click here for the article.


Doyle Meadows, PhD, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) Celebration, has announced he will retire from the position in October 2012.

The TWH Celebration is a high profile horse show event at which Tennessee Walking Horse breed world champions are chosen. The event became the subject of controversy in 2006 when federal inspectors temporarily shut the show down after finding high incidences of Horse Protection Act noncompliance. The Act prohibits "soring," the deliberate injury of a horse's feet and legs to achieve a high-stepping gait. When several top competitors declined to participate, no World Champion was crowned that year.

Meadows assumed the Celebration's CEO post in February 2008. During his tenure he oversaw the removal of the National Horse Show Commission as the horse industry organization (HIO) that managed the Celebration, and the formation and funding of the Sound horses, Honest judging, Objective inspections, Winning fairly (SHOW)--the HIO that replaced it.

During its Dec. 1 planning meeting Meadows informed The Celebration board of directors that he would retire from the position on Oct. 31, after the 2012 Celebration takes place.

In his letter to the board Meadows thanked Celebration directors for their support during his tenure.

"I truly appreciate all those people that have helped me as we continue to have the world's greatest horse show in Bedford County (Tenn.)," Meadows said. "I have a tremendous amount of pride for The Celebration and what it means to the Walking Horse industry and our community."

Meadows, 64, said he originally assumed the post under the provision that his tenure would be limited.

"When I came in (to this position), I said that I would be here for no more than five years," Meadows said.

Meadows said he has no immediate post-retirement plans.

No one from the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association was available for comment on Meadow's retirement.

Teresa Bippen, vice president of Friends of Sound Horses, an equine welfare advocacy organization that also operates a sanctioned gaited horse show circuit and a judging program, declined comment.

The 2012 National Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration is slated to take place Aug. 22 through Sept. 1, 2012.


I'm sure his salary was plentiful.  Since 2009 was the most sore horses found at the Celebration to date, it's not like he did anything to improve the situation.  Closing NHSC and opening SHOW, which contained at the time the same judges and DQPs...whoop-dee-doo.

Maybe we'll see someone get in there who is truly against soring and will help stop it...and monkeys might fly out of my butt.  (Thumbs up if you get the reference!)

Industry Meetings

So here's what I've learned about the industry meetings, and quite frankly, I'm very confused.

The HIOs/groups that are involved are the WHTA, SHOW, TWHBEA, and the Celebration (TWHNC).  They have made their end goal to go with one HIO, that one being SHOW, and one rulebook.  Now I'm in agreement with this--I am all for one HIO and one rulebook because then it would encourage a level playing field for everyone.  (I would hope, anyway--we all know how this industry plays favorites to those who bring in the most money.)  I'd prefer there to be no HIOs anymore, that the USDA be the inspectors at all TWH shows, and that the rulebook either be in the hands of the registry or the USEF, just like every other breed out there.  But if we can at least get down to one each, then that's more along the lines of progress.

However, I'm extremely confused.  Does this mean that the other 10 HIOs will be shut down?  What does PRIDE, KWHA, etc. have to say about this?  I'm sure they're not happy at all--I know I wouldn't be.  And what happens to FOSH, IWHA, and NWHA, who consistently have 100 percent sound shows?  Overall, unless the USDA changes the qualifications for HIOs, then I would imagine that other HIOs are still going to exist.  I think this is probably up to the USDA in the end.

USDA HPA Suspensions Online Search

Here's a great little tool that a friend found that the USDA has on the APHIS website.

USDA HPA Suspensions Online Search

From what I can tell, it seems this database is updated frequently when they receive HIO reports from shows.  So this should be a great tool for people to learn everything about a suspension, which includes length, fines paid (if any), dates, etc.  This is also a great place to look up any trainers or sellers you run across to see if they have HPA violations in the past if you wish to avoid buying from them.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Meadows actually does not own WH's. He owns QH's. He's not extremely knowledgable about WH's, and was hired because of his business knowledge, and because he helped the TN 4-H put on shows for many years. As far as the HIO's, I believe they want to combine them all, judges list and all, into one. Which would be great. However, I hope it isn't into SHOW. I hope they choose a different one, because SHOW is really only trying to make money. A friend of mine (AOT mind you) was given a ticket on his Trail Pleasure horse. Because she spooked. DQP was in a tent, the horse was coming 4 years old. The wind was blowing, and the tent flaps scared her. Yeah, I'd spook too. And SHOW gave them a ticket. Come on now people. Get the ones who actually sore. Not the ones who just want to have fun. Okay, off my soap box.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

I agree with you. I hear stories like that all the time. DQPs are either going too far or they don't do enough. Plus we can all tell that SHOW protects the big trainers and only gives out tickets to people who aren't putting a lot of money into the system. But unfortunately, I think that SHOW has already become the industry's choice. However, it's up to the USDA overall, I think. I don't think that this small group of people can determine the fate of the entire industry, sound or sore. They can't force FOSH, NWHA or the IWHA to shut down if the USDA says that it's okay for them to continue to be HIOs.

Anonymous said...

No, I don't believe they will shut them down. As far as people deciding it will be SHOW, we must know different kinds of people. lol Because all I hear is people complaining about them, and how they want (insert basically another other HIO). But, I think mainly the big trainers want to keep SHOW. But, with as much debt as they (SHOW) have, I don't think they will be protecting anyone much longer. They have no way to make money except off those tickets.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Well, I got that information about the decision to use SHOW from someone who has been getting regular email updates from the committee. I would think SHOW is the choice because they are the HIO of the Celebration and the Celebration is involved. But I have also heard the same thing, that lots of people don't like SHOW. And yes, you're right--their debt is pretty bad, especially seeing as how they were formed in 2008. That will be a problem in the long run.

Anonymous said...


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