When the WCHA was formed

June 4, 2007
Focus Turns to Conformation Horse as Group Forms
Think Tank Explores Issues and Concerns Facing Halter Horse Industry

(Fort Worth, Texas) – More than 40 concerned halter horse owners, breeders and trainers from nine states gathered in Tioga, Tex., May 29-30 for a think tank strategy meeting to discuss issues facing the halter horse industry and methods for response, including the forming of an organization to address industry matters.

“Our industry is to the point where we have to think beyond the next horse show or breeding season,” said Peter Cofrancesco, III, of Sparta, N.J., one of the organizers of the event. “This group did a lot of hard work over 24 hours and I believe this meeting will be remembered as an historical day in the horse industry when a foundation segment of the horse industry got together and pro-actively addressed its issues, taking ownership over what it needs to do to see things improve.”

Facilitated by Julie Bryant, president of Latigo Associates of Fort Worth, Tex., and featuring Ohio Quarter Horse Association Executive Vice President Denny Hales of Richwood, Ohio, attendees worked through a series of exercises to examine its issues and develop a mission statement, along with a vision statement and values for the fledgling organization.

“The group determined that its purpose is not to promote the halter horse segment, but to bring back the value of good conformation to the horse, regardless of the discipline it might be involved in,” Cofrancesco added. “As we move forward, you will begin to hear more about the conformation horse from this group.”

Named as committee chairmen during the meeting were governance committee chair Jodi Sullivan, Maumee, Ohio; finance committee chairman Dick Donnelly, LaPorte City, Iowa; membership and development committee chair Dorn Parkinson, Prescott, Ariz., and Candace Jussen, marketing committee chair of Pilot Point, Tex.

Committees are currently working to develop articles of incorporation, by-laws, a permanent name for the group, which is now being referred to as the Conformation Horse Alliance, member fees and benefits and a logo.

The group plans to officially launch the organization on October 17 during the All American Quarter Horse Congress, although Cofrancesco indicated information would be available before that date.

“We are currently exploring the feasibility of holding regional meetings to be able to share what work we’ve done and get more feedback from the industry,” he said.