LAST DECEMBER, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) Awards Banquet highlighted the unveiling of Justified Honors’ official portrait by photographer Shane Shiflet. Earlier this year, the picture was presented to Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Charlie Hatcher. It is displayed at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at Ellington Center. Dr. Jim Baum and his wife, Lisa, own Justified Honors, and his trainer and rider is John Allen Callaway, all of whom were on hand for the portrait presentation. Also attending were Mark Farrar, executive director of TWHBEA; Warren Wells, Celebration CEO; and Jack Heffington, TWHBEA president.
The portrait hangs in six other locations throughout the state: the Tennessee Welcome Center in Portland, the Tennessee Welcome Center in Hartford, Agri-Center International in Memphis, Henry Horton State Park, the TWHBEA headquarters, and the Celebration main office.
Another photo opportunity took place on March 22, when Ag Day on the Hill was celebrated in Nashville. The event features a variety of events and exhibits.
According to the state’s website, “Governor Bill Lee kicked off the day with a proclamation for Ag Day, to recognize the abundance provided by agriculture. In Tennessee, ag-related industries employ 324,000 people and infuse $81 billion into our economy.”
Among those ag-related industries is our Tennessee walking horse. According to the TWHBEA, the Tennessee walking horse is responsible for 20,000 jobs and has an economic impact nationwide of $3.2 billion. Nationwide, it’s the second-fastest-growing and fifth largest equine breed. TWHBEA, which maintains the official breed registry and records the pedigrees of Tennessee walking horses worldwide, shows all 50 states and 29 foreign countries have registered the horses.
TWHBEA and the Celebration represented our state horse at the event. Justified Honors and his trainer/rider, Callaway, who spent four hours posing for photos with state legislators and fans, accompanied them. What a tremendous commitment to the industry! GN