Walking Horse group names CEO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Doyle Meadows has been named the new chief executive officer of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

The organization announced Thursday that Meadows will replace Ron Thomas, who was asked to resign by the board in November.

Meadows recently retired from a 20-year career with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Service.

The event, which attracts thousands to Shelbyville each summer, has come under scrutiny in recent years for its treatment of horses.

In some cases, trainers used chemicals or hoof devices to make horses raise their forelegs higher, creating the "big lick" gait for which the breed is known.

And in 2006, the Celebration's final champion class was halted before a world grand champion was named because a majority of the horses were disqualified in an inspection.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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