1962-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1962 November Voice - Page 22

20 November , 1962
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In The Tennessee Walking Horse World

Founded May , 1935 with one major goal : “ Perpetuate the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed ”
Despile its resurgence to popularity during the early 1930 ' s , the Tennessee Walking Horse laced many hazards as a breed . Its hold on the people was tenuous and subject to snapping . It had become " just a pleasure horse ” to most people . The time was at hand when anything that could not be called “ esential ” was destined to fade from the scene unless constantly promoted .
That happened to certain brands of cigarets , to certain types of jewelry ' and clothing , to various makes of automobiles and to almost anything else that bore the “ can do without it ” label and lacked promotion .
Faced with the new dictum of America , “ advertise or die ,” the Tennessee Walking Horse developed a friend when it most needed a friend . That friend was and is the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders ’ Association of America ( re-named in 1960 to become known as the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors ’ Association of America ).
Historically speaking , organization of this association in 1935 is easily the most essential thing to happen in favor of the Tennessee Walking Horse during the last 50 years . Everything else that resulted later , including establishment of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration at Shelbyville , would have been virtually impossible if the Breeders ’ Association had not been formed . It helped pay premiums for all Walking Classes in the first 15 Celebrations . The Breeders ’ Association came along at just the right time to start promotion work to popularize this breed , to start a registration program for the Tennessee Walking Horse , and to do things then and now essential in perpetuating this breed which has things precious and different from all other breeds of horses . Above all things — the most important is to “ perpetuate the breed .”
Many dedicated persons have given of their time , energy and circumstance ( money that is ) to the work of this Breeders ' Association . It has achieved many things : won a 15-year fight for recognition of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed by the Federal Government ( in 1950 ) ; took action on several steps held necessary to perpetuation of the breed ; helped advertise the Tennessee Walking Horse throughout the nation and in most of the world at large ; chose 114 Foundation Sires and Dams prior to Federal recognition ; and established a registry that now numbers some 60,000 horses in its files .
All of this and much more too , started with a street corner conversation between two men . Once again we quote the official record . Former Governor Jim Nance McCord of Lewisburg told how the Breeders Association began and grew — in an article published in Blue Ribbon No . 15 prior to the National Celebration of 1953 . He said :
“ Through the years there had been developed a wonderful horse here in Tennessee . A horse that filled every requirement that an all-purpose horse could fill . But as history unfolded itself in the horse world , he was the neglected animal until it was discovered that in addition to his utility purpose , he was the greatest pleasure horse in the world . No family tree to give him the glory of aristocracy . No plaudits from the grandstand . He was just a horse . Oftentimes it had been suggested that there should be organized a breed association , but the years passed with nothing being done about it .
“ One day by chance the writer ( Mc­ Cord ) and Mr . Burt Hunter , an admirer and breeder of this horse , met on a corner of the Public Square in Lewisburg , and reached the conclusion that something should be done about organizing a breed association and the time was then . They walked into the office of the Marshall Gazette
( a weekly newspaper and had notices printed to the effect that a public meeting would be held in May , 1935 , for the purpose of organization of a breed association .
“ These notices were sent throughout the state and into other states . The result was that there was a splendid outpouring of fanciers of the Walking Horse and an organization was perfected on that date . It was decided at that meeting that the home of the breed would be in Lewisburg and in conforming to such a program , a state charter was granted for the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders ’ Association of America in Lewisburg .
“ To write a complete history of the romance of this breed would require more space than is allowed for this article . Suffice it to say that the idea of making the Walking Horse popular grew rapidly and within a few years this horse ’ s place in history was assured . Assured because of the wonderful animal he is and because of the unselfish purpose of the breed promoters .
“ It was only a short time until an office building was erected in Lewisburg with a splendid office staff , the promotion of the breed was advanced and is still advancing far beyond the dreams of the original promoters .
“ Just to establish a breed association and sit back would amount to very little . But to make the horse appreciated , the American people must be educated to his fine qualities . Many shows were being held where owners and trainers would parade this pleasure animal and all added to his popularity but there was more to be done at this critical moment .
“ This spirit of true sportsmanship manifests itself in the hearts of men and they dedicate themselves to the promotion of a great plan where people from throughout the United States might come and see this magnificent animal at his best so the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration came into being at Shelbyville . . . . It is not only a great show but from an educational standpoint has been of inestimable value . The contribution