A group of California-based Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) members contend that the association is forcing them to travel across the country in order to remove a board of directors member, a step they believe they shouldn’t have to take. Meanwhile, TWHBEA leadership is standing by the organization’s decision.

Fran Cole, a former TWHBEA director and the California group’s representative, said the group of TWHBEA members is seeking to remove a California-based board of directors member on grounds that she does not represent their interests, specifically regarding the use of pads, chains, and other action devices sometimes used on Tennessee Walking Horses.

Under the Tennessee Nonprofits Corporations Act, Cole said, 10% of the California membership is required to vote on such matters. She said the group petitioned TWHBEA to remove the director without requiring group members to travel to the TWHBEA headquarters in Tennessee because more than 25% of the California members petitioned for the removal. Also under the act, Cole said, the California group could remove—with or without cause—the directors that they elected.

“It’s the first time in history TWHBEA has required members to travel to its corporate offices for this purpose,” Cole said.

However, in a written statement, TWHBEA Executive Director Tracy Boyd said that since no special place is designated for special meetings under the act, those events must take place in Lewisburg, Tenn., home of the TWHBEA headquarters.

“As far as we can tell, this portion (cited by the California group) of the