LEWISBURG, TN – On the first day of the year, TWHBEA Sr. Vice President Walt Chism called out and challenged Fran Cole and her California dissidents over the Christy Lantis removal matter.    Apparently confident in his position, VP Chism has issued a press statement on behalf of TWHBEA on how the Lantis matter will be handled.



Chism has taken the position that the California crowd will have to come to Lewisburg, TN and appear in person  to vote on the Lantis removal.  He has made it clear that there will be no secret written ballots used decide this matter.

TWHBEA President Steve Smith appeared briefly at the papal window last week to issue a brief letter addressing his subjects and lectured them on knocking off the squabble which is costing TWHBEA valuable resources,  and interfering with him uniting the breed and promoting it to new heights.


With the Lantis meeting in Lewisburg only 33 days away,   Fran Cole and her group has some decisions to make, and they must be made quickly.


“The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) will hold a special called meeting on February 3, 2014 in Lewisburg, Tenn., at the association headquarters.   The meeting is being held to address the potential recall of the vote to elect Christy Lantis, a TWHBEA director from Calilfornia.

Although Lantis won election 61-18, a group of California TWHBEA members led by former director Fran Cole has raised issues with Lantis and her unwillingness to support the PAST Act which would eliminate approximately 85% of the show divisions of the Tennessee Walking Horse.   The meeting is being called per the TWHBEA bylaws which state that 20% of the members from a particular region can request a special meeting.

Due to declining membership in the region, California lost its second director position this year leaving Lantis as the sole representative from California on the board of directors.   Lantis only has 10 months remaining on her term and is ineligible to run for re-election in 2014 due to her serving consecutive three year terms.

Although the TWHBEA bylaws don’t specifically address all of the  particulars of the recall, TWHBEA leadership is following the Tennessee Non-Profit Act and  all guidelines of the Tennessee law.   “We  have and will continue  to comply fully with the Tennessee law and our bylaws and have repeatedly confirmed the process with our legal counsel,” said Senior Vice-President Walt Chism.   “Our responsibility is to make sure both the party requesting the special meeting and the party they seek to recall have fair process under the Tennessee law,” concluded Chism.”

Fran Cole issued a press statement last week and an article appeared on Christmas eve in the Chattanooga Times Free Press newspaper:


“California Walking Horse Show Members Say They Are Being Forced To Travel To Tennessee To Vote On Ouster Of “Big Lick” Board Member

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
A group of California Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry members saying they are being told they must travel over 4,000 miles to Lewisburg, Tn., to vote in person on removing California Director Christy Lantis, who the group says opposes a bill in Congress to clamp down on “soring” of Tennessee Walking Horses.
Christy Lantis presently serves on the breed association’s Executive Committee as VP ““ Fiscal Affairs.

The group said, “Ms. Lantis was previously chairman of the Performance Horse Committee where she championed the Big Lick show horse,  which is subject to much controversy for being abused and exhibited in  pads and chains.

The meeting to remove Director Lantis was set    for  9 a.m. on  Monday, Feb. 3, 2014,  after over 25 percent of the California members petitioned the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) to remove Ms. Lantis under Tennessee law. Ten per cent iis required to  have a vote on the matter, the group said.
The group’s spokesperson, Fran Cole, an attorney and former  California director, accused THWBEA President Steve Smith and Sr. Vice President Walt Chism of “oppressing the California members” by forcing them to travel to Lewisburg,  Tn., to vote.”
Attorney Cole said the group was pursuing a plan  to charter a  “Stop The Soring – Free The Horses”  bus to transport the California members to Tennessee so they could vote.
Attorney Cole said, “I have an elderly friend in a wheelchair who is a California TWHBEA member and wishes to vote. However, she cannot physically get to Lewisburg due to her medical condition, much less afford the travel expense.    Shame on TWHBEA for treating a loyal member with physical disabilities this way.”
Attorney Cole said she “hoped a reporter from Los Angeles could accompany them and file reports along the way.”   She said the group would stop at television and radio stations to be interviewed regarding the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and Middle Tennessee “being the horse soring capitol of the United States.”
She also said that Tennessee media representatives along with music business celebrities would be invited to join the group on the bus in Nashville in order to show support, and then go with the group to Lewisburg to cover the meeting and the removal vote.    She said she expects fellow Sound Horse supporters to follow the bus and caravan to Lewisburg.
Attorney Cole said, “We plan to make it clear what this backward looking Big Lick leadership has put us through in order for us to do something that could have been handled by mail ““ all in the interest of attempting to protect someone who is against the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act from being removed from office.

She said directors’ elections are always handled by secret written ballots being mailed to the members, and the votes are always counted by a Certified Public Accountant

Attorney Cole said,    “Director Lantis was elected by written ballot and should be removed by written ballot. That’s the only right way to do it. No TWHBEA election in history has ever required members to travel to Tennessee to vote. It’s an international organization, after all. The only possible reason for denying us ballots is to disenfranchise members solely to protect an insider. We just want TWHBEA to follow the law and to act fairly towards its members.”
She said, “This is in no one’s best interest, and I should point out that directors of a non-profit corporation who act with willful misconduct or gross negligence risk personal liability in addition to the corporate liability imposed on TWHBEA.”

Note:   It is not clear if the mystical Purple Couch which belonged to former TWHBEA Sr. VP Rob Cornelius has been moved to the Walt Chism residence or not for the purpose of writing statements on behalf of the 8,000 member TWHBEA breed registry association.”


Nephew Eugene is checking into it, but it appears  that “Judge Judy” Walt Chism,  after presiding on “Internet Chatter” Court all last week, has decided to seek professional help.  Eugene says it’s 65% to 35% that Purple Strategies wrote Chism’s release over Phil Osborne, Lexington, Ky based flack guy.

Meanwhile the 63%  of the TWHBEA members who voted for the PAST Act passage


cannot be happy with the latest Steve Smith/Walt Chism,  Grumpy Old Men sore Big Lick shenanigans going on in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

We are off to a roaring start to 2014.