A group of Tennessee Walking Horse owners came together and had an idea of forming an independent association that supports the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. The “Articles of Incorporation of Wisconsin Walking Horse Association, Inc” were filed September 16, 1965. The papers were signed by Walter Pieper and Leo A. Baum, thus forming the WWHA. The original nine Board of Directors members were Walter Pieper, Thomas Van Keuren, Leo A. Baum, Sturg Taggert, Jr., George Mc Gilvra, Lewis Kranick, E.W. Losee, Clinton Loos, and Mrs. Paul Wolff. Since then there have been many different boards of directors, but the association still has the heart and values that the founding members instilled 47 years ago.
The mission of the WWHA is striving for the unity of purpose, educational development, promotion of the breed, and enjoyment by all.
Our unity of purpose is to embrace and promote all the aspects of our breed, provide quality education in equine management, riding, and training, sponsor fairly judged shows that exhibit the gaits of the TWH and pleasure events and activities, and provide enjoyable opportunities for social interaction with other horse enthusiasts. Our principles of our members are to treat all equine owners, trainers, breeders, visitors, and our horses with respect, dignity, professionalism, and integrity. Our values include: are open, honest communication; teamwork;and commitments to our mission. We value and promote the health, well-being, and quality of the TWH. We value and promote the participation of our members in our continuous journey to become better equine owners, riders, and trainers. We value new members, welcome diversity, promote education, and invite new ideas.
Being a member of the WWHA has many benefits. Our members enjoy an annual subscription (12 issues/year) of the WWHA newsletter, can attend the general membership meetings and WWHA sponsored shows each year, have the opportunity to show and earn points for year end awards which are given at the annual awards banquet, can earn hours and awards in our distance riding/driving award program, can attend our annual trail ride and camp out, can participate at the Midwest Horse Fair, and also attend educational seminars and clinics.
Over the years the WWHA has had some amazing members and horses, some of which are remembered by the nine perpetual traveling trophies awarded each year. Two of these trophies are the Playboy’s June Mist Memorial Versatility Trophies, which are awarded to the adult and youth high point versatility horse. The Ron Hillen Family donated these trophies in memory of their horse, Playboy’s June Mist. The Jeffrey Wilson Memorial trophy is given to the high point youth pleasure horse. John and Debra Wilson donated this trophy in the memory of their son, Jeff. The Larry Pickhardt Memorial Trophy is awarded to the English pleasure high point horse. It was donated by Carol Olp in memory of her good friend, Larry Pickhardt. The Boeing family donated the Go Boy Triple Threat Memorial trophy, which is awarded to the high point amateur trail pleasure horse, in memory of their stallion Go Boy Triple Threat, a multiple world champion performance horse. The Charles and Alice Sears Sportsmanship award is given to a member in recognition for active and cooperative participation. This award was donated by Dick and Nancy Baer in memory of Charles and Alice Sears. The WWHA has two awards donated by the club: the Club Appreciation Award, awarded to a member who the club feels has given an extra effort for the year, and the High Point Horse of the Year award, awarded to the horse who had earned the highest show points for that year in Wisconsin. The newest perpetual trophy is the Nancy Baer trophy, which is awarded to the high point country pleasure horse, donated by her loving husband, Dick. Every active member and their horses are eligible for these prestige awards. It is really an honor earning and accepting these memorial trophies.
If you are interested in joining the WWHA, a membership form can be found on our website www.wisconsinwalkinghorse.org. Annual dues are $25.00 (single or family) and apply for the calendar year. A regular membership includes all minor children in a family. An individual 17 years of age and under can apply for a youth membership, which has an annual due of $10. This also entitles the youth to qualify for a Year-End Youth Award. Any member can also apply for the distance riding/driving program, which has an annual due of $10 per horse or rider per division per year. There are two divisions in the riding/driving program.
The WWHA also gives a free membership to first-time TWH owners. If you are a first-time TWH owner, fill out a membership form, and send it in. If you are interested in joining the WWHA or have any questions regarding the club, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the board members or the association. Information can be found on our website www.wisconsinwalkinghorse.org or like us on Facebook.