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National Walking Horse Association Moves National Headquarters to Kentucky Horse Park

LEXINGTON, KY (February 5, 2007) “Zero tolerance for soring and abuse” is the clarion call of the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA), which has recently moved its headquarters from Texas to the Kentucky Horse Park’s National Horse Center.

The NWHA, which joins more than 30 other national and regional equine organizations headquartered at the National Horse Center, is an alliance of people who are committed to preserving and fostering the natural abilities and welfare of the Walking Horse. The NWHA was established to promote the naturally gaited Walking Horse. Its excellent record of compliance with the USDA Horse Protection Act is not only a mission, but a matter of pride within the organization. It improves the lives of horses and people by encouraging responsibility and sportsmanship. It promotes educational and recreational activities, while preserving the unique qualities of the Walking Horse.

According to the NWHA, for five decades the controversial training and showing practices of some gaited horse breeds stunted their acceptance and growth. As the artificial gait changed the direction of the breed, the true gaits, which originally made the breed popular, were almost lost. Thus a nationwide group of committed Walking Horse owners, breeders, trainers, and enthusiasts united to form the National Walking Horse Association.

John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park stated, “We gladly welcome the NWHA as a new tenant in our National Horse Center because the welfare of Walking Horses is their top priority. Their noble efforts to preserve and protect naturally-gaited horses are laudable, and we are proud to have them join the Kentucky Horse Park family.”

NWHA provides an equitable horse show affiliation program for Walking Horses to be exhibited, judged and showcased in full compliance with the Federal Horse Protection Act. This is accomplished through: 1) rules that are enforced fairly and consistently, 2) a horse inspection (DQP) program with thorough and fair inspections, and 3) judges that are committed to fair judging with an understanding of the true gaits of the Walking Horse.

For more information on the NWHA, email the Interim Executive director, Patricia Donohue, at execdir@nwha.com or click on http://www.nwha.com.

Park Hours and Rates: From November 1-March 14, the park is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12. Children six and under are always admitted free of charge. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse – a Smithsonian Affiliate - and the American Saddlebred Museum.

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted nearly 900,000 visitors and 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2006. The park is located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington. The place to get close to horses, the park is open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.


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