TWHBEA Hosts Successful Semi-Annual Meetings

Lewisburg, TN - Over what turned out to be an informative and successful weekend, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association hosted a series of productive committee meetings and the Semi-Annual International Board of Directors meeting. As is tradition, the meetings where held just prior to Memorial Day, May 24 -26, 2012, at Association headquarters in Lewisburg, Tennessee. TWHBEA directors and members travelled from across the globe to express their thoughts regarding the future of our great breed and the Association. It was a time for serious discussion and debate as well as friendship and enjoyment.


The first actions of the weekend were taken in the Executive Committee meeting held May 24. At that meeting several motions were passed. As a direct result of the video shown on Nightline and posted on the internet, which captured the appalling training tactics used by Jackie McConnell. A motion was passed that bars both McConnell, who has pled guilty to felony charges related to the Horse Protection Act, and Barney Davis, who has been convicted of felony charges related to the Horse Protection Act, and any entities of which they are a part, from registering or transferring any horses into their names. Also related to the McConnell and Davis situations, a motion was passed to have By Laws Vice President Attorney Loyd Hall ‘Buster’ Black, Jr., pursue suggesting to the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that when there’s a guilty plea or conviction in felony Horse Protection Act cases that, as part of the sentence, the guilty party be prohibited from owning Tennessee Walking Horses. Other motions passed at the Executive Committee meeting included ones to approve the financials for April, 2012, to recommend approval of the annual audit to the International Board of Directors, to approve the minutes from the April 21, 2012 Executive Committee meeting, to revert to the 1995 directors oath of office and to designate the next 12-months ‘The Year Of Midnight Sun’ in honor of the final year of the 10-year contract that brought the beautiful Midnight Sun statue to TWHBEA’s Commemorative Garden. In addition to the motions passed announcements were made regarding a new Service Horse Program that’s in the works and online registration, which it was announced, would go live on May 29. Online registration has been priority for the Breeders Committee for some time and TWHBEA is extremely proud of the hard work that has been done to make this a reality. Member services are a top priority for the Association, and online registration will improve these services by increasing convenience and efficiency.


Following the individual operating committee meetings held on May 25, the International Board of Directors met May 26. Motions passed by the International Board of Directors included approval of the 2010-2011 yearly audit, approval of the minutes from the December 3, 2011, International Board of Directors Meeting with an amendment, and to designate May 26, 2012, Andy Adkins Day and rename the Training Education Fund the Wink Groover / Buddy Payne / Andy Adkins Training Education Fund in honor of the young trainer that recently and tragically lost his life in an auto accident. Other topics covered at the meeting included TWHBEA’s continuing commitment to the eradication of soring and the Association’s intent to act only in the best interest of the horse, the need for better communication and the need for the Executive Committee to be able to act when necessary, the freedom of board members to disagree and the freedom, per the by laws, of members in various states and regions to elect directors of their choosing, the ongoing work by the Enforcement Committee on the rulebook, online registration, options regarding the Midnight Sun statue, the Wounded Warrior, Field Trial and Service Horse programs, the National Futurity and World Versatility Show, which is still in need of sponsors, TTEC, the Association’s international efforts and the need to re-write the by laws.



All in all it was a very successful and informative weekend devoted to the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse and TWHBEA. Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated.




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