Q - How long have you been involved in the TWH industry?
A - The Tennessee Walking Horse is truly the biggest aspect of my life, and my roots run deep in our magnificent breed. I have been blessed with the opportunity and privilege to grow up in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. I am a fourth-generation Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiast. Both of my grandparents, Jack Heffington and Nancy Elliott, showed, trained, and bred Tennessee Walking horses, and my grandad, Jack Heffington, is the current TWHBEA President. My parents, Chad and Jacquelyn Way, are a Hall of Fame trainer and an exhibitor who also runs The Scoop Walking Horse Publication
Q - What is your industry involvement? (breeder, exhibitor, owner, etc.)
A - My entire life has revolved around the importance of our Tennessee Walking Horse. I made my first show ring debut in the lead line division at the age of 2 years old, and then I went on to make my first show as a juvenile rider at the fresh age of 6, where I won my first World Championship. Not only am I an exhibitor, but I have participated in all aspects of the breed. I compete in and enjoy every division that our wonderful breed offers, including Performance, Flat Shod, Halter, Equitation, Trail Riding, and have recently developed a love for the breeding aspect of our breed. Competing in all of these divisions has given me a great deal of knowledge and understanding of our breed. It has also made me realize that without all of these different aspects, our Tennessee Walking Horse would not be the greatest horse on Earth.
Q - What is your current occupation?
A - I am a full-time student at Middle Tennessee State University, where I am majoring in Business Administration and Criminal Justice with a minor in Journalism. When I'm not at school, I work at The Scoop Walking Horse paper as a sales representative, writer, and social media manager.
Q - Anything else you'd like people to know?
A - I am an Autism Speaks Ambassador, and since then, I have spent time advocating for those with Autism at local, statewide, and nationwide levels. One of my favorite memories was reporting to them that my little brother, Wylder Way, who is diagnosed with Autism, had won his first World Grand Championship and is now showing on his own. I recently received training and was selected to be a volunteer at Horseplay Therapeutic Riding. This passion for therapeutic riding was sparked after witnessing what the Tennessee Walking Horse has personally done for our family. I compete in pageants at the state level, and I never fail to mention that my competitiveness stems from showing Tennessee Walking Horses. I love being able to introduce our breed to those who aren't familiar with it. My resume runs deep, providing me with the opportunity to constantly network with others. My favorite part of this networking is promoting our breed and inviting these people to shows. I don’t mention these accomplishments to boast about what I've achieved, but rather to demonstrate the breadth of my experience and my commitment to accomplishing even more for TWHBEA.