Tennessee Walking Horse with Stacks and Chains. Google image.

New Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration CEO is who?

In an OpEd published by The Chattanoogan on July 31, 2012, Roy Exum writes:

ROY EXUM. Source image.
ROY EXUM. Source image.

When it was learned that the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has just hired a new CEO to replace the departing Doyle Meadows over the weekend, there was an audible gasp from those seeking to reform the badly-battered Shelbyville-based industry. U.S. Department of Agriculture records reveal that Mike Inman, who will formally be named this week, and his wife have been cited for violating the federal Horse Protection Act four times in the past.

Mr. Inman, who lives in Bessemer, Ala., but is deeply-rooted within the seamy Shelbyville hierarchy, will take the helm of the now-rattled Celebration after the 11-day event is held in late August. This year’s organizers are clearly worried that a devastating tape of horse abuse seen by millions, the first-ever guilty pleas to violations of the Horse Protection Act in Federal Court, and seemingly endless rash of abysmal blunders this summer has cast the Walking Horse industry in the worst light ever.

The word around the barns is that Mr. Inman and his wife show in most amateur events, but sources say the three trainers they prefer all have recent histories of violating the Horse Protection Act. Steve Dunn, a Hall of Fame inductee, has had at least eight violations, the most recent resulting in an eight-month suspension last year, while Justin Harris, the Trainer of the Year in 2009, has had nine violations in the past, including one earlier this year. The other is Brandye Mills, who has had eight previous violations.

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10 thoughts on “New Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration CEO is who?”

  1. Seeing some of these videos, I have to ask if anyone knows anyone who works with the natural gaits who is worth checking out. If in fact this is a gait achieved by humane training, I would like to find out more about it. My background is Quarter Horses and Thorobreds only. Thanks for any refs or advice.


    1. Tennessee Walkers have a beautifully natural high-stepping gait. All the training they require is to learn how to “show”, or parade. Nothing else. Except a lot of loving care. Man need not interfere with the perfection of God’s creation.


      1. What are the originating bloodlines on these horses? Are they solely an American breed? When would a registry have started for them? Is there a useful, accurate reference or text recommended for learning about this breed? I have noticed a similarity to the gaits of the Missouri Fox Trotter. Is this a related breed to the TWH?


  2. I do not have a background in Walking Horses but I have seen some videos on You Tube for All Natural TN Walking Horses. I can now see why these beautiful horses were so useful, especially in rural settings. The gait now makes sense to me. Honestly, these are some of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen. As to the training involved, it would have to be extensive, I would guess.


  3. Such torture is correct, every day of their lives, it makes me sick, all for thr love of money. Thank God for those people that do love and adore their horses and other animals, they will pay one day. In the meantime i try to do resue, and pray for those horses, it keeps me upset


  4. If you finished reading this article a trainer by the name of Barney Davis summed it up…
    The natural gait fo the Walking Horse is not what they call the “Big Lick” that is oly achieved from a horse being sored and abused…..The Tn. Walking Horse has a beautiful gait that was meant for the plantaion owner to has a smooth ride not to have a horse tortured and abused so Rednecks and the lowlife owners have a Grand Champion……As fas as I’m concerned all horses are “CHAMPIONS” to the people that love them…I pray every night that these scum of human beings that should not even be able to waste the oxygen supply here on earth get the maximum punishment….They all know who they are and it is truly every Walking Horse trainers that is out there in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama,Georgia,Florida,Arkansas anywhere they train and show the Walking horse I’ve seen it everywhere and these poo creatures of God that have the best nature and hearts are tortured everyday……..Let’s make an example of the scum Jackie McConnell and his low life assistants and take a stand to STOP this horrific torture to these animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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