TWHBEA Clarifies National Futurity Affiliation


In December, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) President Tracy Boyd, along with TWHBEA Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Vice President Rob Cornelius, attended a meeting that has since been described as a precursor to the Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA). In that meeting, one of the stated goals of the group was to not allow padded exhibitors to cross HIO lines. TWHBEA was opposed to that concept and cited it as one of the reasons it chose to decline the invitation to participate in the newly formed group.

On Tuesday, May 13, the Trainers' Board met and passed a motion to suspend for six months the licenses of Trainers who show padded entries outside the SHOW HIO banner. Nine days later, unaware of the official action taken by the Trainers, the TWHBEA Executive Committee met and discussed affiliating its National Futurity and World Versatility Show with the Walking Horse Owners Association (WHOA). TWHBEAs decision to affiliate with WHOA was a good faith effort to partner with an HIO that is both USDA-certified and USDA-compliant.

On May 22, the same day the TWHBEA Executive Committee was making its decision to partner with WHOA, the Trainers' Board was holding a simultaneous meeting where it officially informed its general membership of the six-month trainers license suspension rule for showing a padded horse outside the SHOW HIO banner.

Since all of this has come to light, TWHBEA has been trying to offer a solution so that exhibitors in its four National Futurity performance classes can show without penalty. TWHBEA reached out to the Trainers Association and asked for a waiver on the six-month suspension rule, but was denied. TWHBEA then reached out to the board members of PSHA and asked if they would allow SHOW to provide DQPs for the four National Futurity performance classes and allow the WHOA judges to officiate them with guest cards. TWHBEA was informed that this too was denied in a 6-5 vote of the PSHA board. TWHBEA recently reached out to the Celebration via Jeffrey Howard, asking if the four performances classes could be incorporated into the early part of the Celebrations schedule, thus allowing the trainers to show without penalty. This would be at no cost to the Celebration as TWHBEA would furnish all ribbons, prize money and awards.

Although there has been no response from the Celebration to that request, PSHA has since agreed to recommend to SHOW they affiliate those classes with the following motion: PSHA will recommend SHOW HIO affiliate the 4 TWHBEA performance padded classes on a one-time basis in order to fulfill the requests of those owners and breeders that previously nominated those horses if TWHBEA will agree to publicly reaffirm its position and previous action to not endorse the Whitfield amendment. That endorsement can be used in a letter from PSHA to members of Congress clarifying the industrys position on its collective endorsement on the elimination of soring but not the elimination of the performance show horse.

In May, within hours after the TWHBEA Executive Committee voted to endorse the Whitfield amendment, the TWHBEA International Board of Directors met and voted to not recognize the previous action of the executive committee. With that sequence of events, TWHBEA considers the matter closed and any revisiting of the motion unnecessary.

TWHBEA is disappointed that its committed breeders and faithful National Futurity supporters, through no fault of theirs, are being penalized because of the exclusive nature of a rule that prohibits performance exhibitors from crossing HIO lines. TWHBEA has made three separate overtures and exhausted every possible effort to allow these exhibitors to show without fear of penalty.

The TWHBEA National Futurity, which is celebrating its 75th Silver Anniversary, is scheduled for Sunday evening, July 28 at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The 27-class event is set to begin at 6:00 p.m.




For further details or information, please contact (931) 359-1574.

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