THETA, TN – Radar saddled up and went a gallivanting around Middle Tennessee Saturday night surveying the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.
The 108th Annual Wartrace Horse Show was held Saturday night in Bedford County, Tennessee. The show began in 1906. This was 29 years before the breed registry was founded in 1935 in Lewisburg, Tennessee.
And the Celebration followed in 1939.
Wartrace was the home of the famed “Strolling Jim”.
“Strolling Jim” was the Celebration’s first World Grand Champion.
The only problem is “Strolling Jim” wasn’t at Wartrace on Saturday night.
Strolling Jim’s progeny were all over the Tennessee Miller Coliseum for the WHOA International in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The future of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed was alive and well at Miller Coliseum.
In its showcase International Walking Horse Show, WHOA had a shopping 1,913 entries.
This is a 21% increase over the 2013 entry number 1,585.
During the International, the American Horse Council announced it was recognizing WHOA to speak for the Tennessee Walking Horse breed, The breed registry TWHBEA under President Steve Smith is “Persona Non Grata”, and the American Horse Council will not allow TWHBEA to be a member.
TWHBEA Tennessee Director and Executive Committee Member David Williams of Shelbyville abruptly resigned from the WHOA Board last week. Williams manages Rising Star Ranch owned by PSHA Board member and attorney Frank Eichler.
Meanwhile a short 34 miles away, the most historic show in the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse world was being held at the same time on Saturday night in Wartrace, Tennessee, the cradle of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
There was a tense air at Wartrace.
There were worries over inspection, both getting in and coming out.
It hung over everything.’
One long time observer asked, “Is it too late to get a couple of pads and a wedge in order to keep the show horse?
The person answering said that might have been possible two or three years ago, but it wasn’t possible now.
JANNIE CHAPMAN RAIL BANTER FROM WHTA SENIOR BOYZ BENNY JOHNSON
AMATEUR RIDERS ON AGED STALLIONS – CLASS
AMATEURS ON AGED STALLIONS – VICTORY PASS
AMATEURS ON AGED STALLIONS – POST SHOW INSPECTION
TWO MEMBERS OF TWHBEA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THE USDA – IN BLUE SHIRTS
Nephew Eugene says if you live long enough, sometimes things come full circe.
And with WHOA packing in close to 2,000 entries, Nephew Eugene says Jeffrey Howard is beginning to resemble Fibber McGee.
With the Walking Horse Trainers Association building up for sale, and the Big Lick gasping for air, it appears that Jeffrey Howard’s “line” about how the Tennessee Walking Horse breed will be destroyed by removing the pads and chains rings hollow at best.
1,913 WHOA International entries say otherwise.