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Breed registry examines ideas on horse museum

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association is taking steps toward establishing its own museum on the unique breed of horse and a Nashville-based display company is on the cusp of being hired to report what might be done.

"We're just studying if it's practical, feasible and affordable to have the museum exhibits at our national headquarters," TWHBEA Executive Director Ron Thomas said Tuesday when asked about his report to the TWHBEA Executive Committee early this month.

Thomas and "Past President David Pruett had met with 1220 Exhibits to discuss possible exhibit spaces," according to information released from the committee meeting regarding "a potential museum at association headquarters."

This exploratory step comes on the heels of the removal of exhibits from a building in Lynchburg that had been made available by Jack Daniels' Distillery for the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum with exhibits owned by the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, headquartered in Shelbyville. TWHBA headquarters are here in Lewisburg on North Ellington Parkway.

A call to Celebration offices confirmed Thomas' impression that the Celebration has its museum exhibits in storage now.

Discussion among Lewisburg planning commissioners and others at City Hall in recent months has indicated some officials' interest in having the museum in Lynchburg moved to Lewisburg, but no definitive step has been taken.

Now, what TWHBEA leaders are considering "would be totally different from the other" museum, Thomas said.

Thomas "worked with 1220 Exhibits 15 years ago when they developed a display at the Celebration," the TWHBEA executive said, noting the business has a variety of high-profile clients including The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, The National Civil Rights Museum and Bridgestone-Firestone.

The exhibit business was created in 1972 by Jerry Carden and John Cherry, two award-winning advertisers and creators of the international advertising phenomena Ernest P. Worrell, perhaps best recognized by his phrase, "KnowwhatImean, Vern?"

"They've done many impressive venues," Thomas said.

"They're in Nashville. Their work has been extensive."

TWHBEA's Executive Committee anticipates appropriating $3,800 for the work 1220 Exhibits is to conduct, perhaps starting next month with a report to be delivered to association leaders this summer, Thomas said. He anticipates initial drawing and the creation of model exhibits to scale so TWHBEA leaders could see how they might fit in the building.

Where the exhibits might be placed in the building "has not been determined," the executive said.

Meanwhile, it remained unclear whether the Celebration's museum would be reopened and if so when or where.