SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The longtime head of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has left the post.
The event's board of directors said in a news release that Ron Thomas is no longer its chief executive officer. The release did not say why he's no longer in the position, which he had held since 1984.
Board chairman David L. Howard said Thomas "helped sharpen the celebration's identity and bring it into the 21st century."
The celebration, held in Shelbyville each August and early September, crowns the world champion Tennessee Walking Horse. It dates back to 1939.
In 2006, several horses were disqualified at the show on grounds they had been sored -- abused to produce a high-stepping gait favored by judges. The show ended in controversy because of a dispute between federal inspectors and trainers.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)