While the Performance Horse side of the Walking Horses is down on it's knees, there's probably still plenty of money left inside that 1% of Owners that will go for the glory and chest pounding, until the somebody can get the judges to stop playing politics.
Instead of staying away from the Celebration, I think everyone contributing to this thread, should show up on Friday and Saturday night, together, wearing that "Stop the Dirty Lick" t-shirt. Back your mouths with your butts.
In the meantime, Google Dr. Bob Womack's "History of the Tennessee Walking Horse" It is good arm chair reading and speaks to how this package thing came into being.
Also, I am very fortunate to have some Walking Horse video taken in the 40's - 50's --- way before Super 8, for those old enough to know what Super 8 was.
They were bought in a tack store and there may be some re-makes around for anyone interested in viewing some of the old greats and learing the real difference between a dog walk and running walk.
As for "getting back to breeding for proper gait". For the record, there ARE (or were) four breeders I know that recently bred or are still in the business of breeding Plantation style/Pleasure Walking horses.
I think the lady that bred my 18 yr old has since retired but those of you that are convinced there 's nothing but that lousy pacey show blood out there, Google Heritage Walkers and see what you come up with.
For the record, two of my TWH's didn't "make" as Performance horses. One does do an eloquently smooth stepping pace, the other a running walk all of you would die for. They are fearless and willing trail horses.
Don't get me wrong, I am against the Performance classes as much as the next person. I just get sick and tired of all the whining from behind the keyboard, yet I don't see anyone forming a grass roots opposition to stop it. If there is one out there, please provide the link so all these enthusiastic folks can actually get involved