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Friday, May 6, 2016

Just say Whoa! TWH stars in positive behavior campaign

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Desiree Campbell, Linda Starnes and Ernie Brewbaker show off the Just Say Whoa activity book, which stars the real-life Ranger T. Walker.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
Ranger Tennessee Walker has arrived in Shelbyville, and he has a message for children and teens: "Just say Whoa."

Last fall the Bedford County Sheriff's office acquired a Tennessee Walking Horse for their mounted patrol unit. Renamed Ranger, the horse is striking in appearance with a grey coat and a blue right eye.

Trained and ready

Ranger and Brewbaker promote the Just Say Whoa program on the Shelbyville square.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
Under the care of Ernie Brewbaker, Ranger has received formal law-enforcement training as a mounted patrol officer. He's also become the real-life hero of his own activity book along with friends Danger Dog (the drug-sniffing shepherd) and Chicken Wing.

Still in its infancy, Just Say Whoa is a new program which is taking flight this summer with the assistance of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association.

"This is the perfect time to reach out to youth with a program using horses to help them Just Say Whoa to negative influences," said Linda Starnes, a member of TWHBEA's executive committee. Starnes has historically worked with other youth-focused equine programs including 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

Perfect nature

"The Tennessee Walking Horse is ideal for this program because of their basic nature - they were bred to be a family horse and they enjoy working with humans."

Linda Starnes and Margie Simmons show off the new activity book and Starnes' creation, the Tennessee Mopping Horse.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
The program is targeted at youth groups and schools, and will be featured this year during a clinic at the Celebration at All-Youth Day.

The activity book features drawings by Larry Lowman and graphic design by Desiree Campbell of Voice.

Now in print

The first 5,000 copies of the activity book have been printed with contributions from the sheriff's office, TWHBEA, the Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association and the Franklin (Tenn.) Police Department.

"How much better can it get than to help youth learn to say 'Just Say Whoa' to drinking, drugs and bad decisions -- using Tennessee Walking Horses as a tool to create this awareness," said Starnes.

To download a copy of the activity book, visit www.twhbea.com

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