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National Walking Horse Association names Champions at 2008 National Championship

Lexington, Ky. (October 7, 2008) – For five days last week during the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA)’s 2008 National Championship Horse Show in Murfreesboro, Tenn., 339 sound naturally gaited Tennessee Walking Horses—more than at any previous NWHA National Show—showcased the versatility, athleticism and natural gaits that distinguish the breed, earning their way into the final day’s championship rounds. More than 1,600 entries competed in 153 classes ranging from Rail, Driving and Dressage, to Western Riding, Water Glass and Trail Obstacle seeking the title of National Champions.

“Every year seems to be better than the one before and this Show did not disappoint,” said Don Vizi, executive director, NWHA. “We were very pleased by the caliber of the horses and riders, and we are proud to say that our anti-soring policy was strictly enforced throughout the duration of the show

To demonstrate its commitment to preserving and fostering the natural abilities and welfare of the Walking Horse, NWHA extended invitations to executive members of ASPCA, the United States Humane Society and the USDA. Keith Dane of the United States Humane Society and the Tennessee State Director of the United States Humane Society accepted and were in attendance at the show.

"The Humane Society of the United States appreciated NWHA's invitation for HSUS representatives to observe the Horse Protection inspection process at its National show, without access limitations or restrictions.” said Dane. “The offer represented a refreshing example of transparency from one segment of the Tennessee Walking horse industry.”

Focus on Youth

NWHA strives to foster a family-friendly atmosphere at its shows and encourages participation by youth exhibitors. This year’s National Show hosted 202 entries in the 17 and under division, and in honor of NWHA’s 10th anniversary, members of the Girl Scout equestrian program and the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee were invited to participate in the festivities. More than 45 scouts and their families participated in a behind the scenes tour, helped award ribbons and received a sneak peek at all the stalls during the stall decorating competition. Other special guests included the students of the award-winning Oakland High School choir who performed during the opening ceremony.

The NWHA 2008 National Championship Show marked the conclusion of the 2008 competitive show season. The 2009 season will begin in March, 2009.

About the National Walking Horse Association

The National Walking Horse Association was founded 10 years ago to advocate the unique qualities, natural abilities and versatility of the Tennessee Walking Horse. The non-profit organization promotes educational and recreational activities while encouraging responsible care and the positive welfare of the breed. For more information, visit http://www.nwha.com



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