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    It seems that some people feel that the subject matter discussed and and the views expressed on these message boards aren't appropriate and that they could be used to threaten the sport of horsepulling. I find that unfortunate. I'd like to point out that I pulled several posts that I found inappropriate and issued a warning to posters about taking care in how they expressed their opinions. From my point of view things have appeared to calm down but apparently not to the extent that some wished. I'd also like to point out that my intent when adding the message board to the site was to add a feature that would keep peoples interest throughout the slow winter months. I've spent seven years maintaining this website in order to promote horsepulling to the best of my ability. So it is very disheartening to be told that the message boards on my site need to be removed because they threaten the future of horsepulling. So I have decided to not only remove the message boards but as of Monday February 2, 2009 I have decided to discontinue maintaining the website. I'm tired of fighting the fight. For those of you who read this post you will be the first to know. For any individual or club that has paid their 2009 dues I will see that you receive a full refund asap. Thanks to all of you who believed in me and my website and a special thanks to all those who contributed to its success.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:07 PM
Who is so important in Florida?

Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:25 PM
On Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM Herman wrote:
On Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:07 PM ramrod wrote:
Who is so important in Florida?

can,t be to hard to figure that one out. not many pullers in florida.

I know who your thinking of,but theres probably quite a few pullers down there right now with the first pull next week....

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM
Bill, We are saddened to hear of your decision to close your website. It has been the best source of results, news,pictures, etc. since it was started. It is unfortunate that a few people think they control the sport of horsepulling and they are the ones ruining and threatening the sport, not you. The message board could have been an excellent way for people to keep up with what is happening, not only in our own association but others. Please reconsider closing the site, we will all miss it !!!
Linda Smith

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM
First I would like to say that I have enjoyed reading the different views on this site. What I find hard to accept is that we have to "hide" parts of our sport in order to keep it going. Rather than attack the messenger, wouldn't it make more sence to clean up the areas of concern to make our sport stronger? You do not make a problem go away by not talking about it!! There are a few things that could be done that would clean it up. One would be to require each driver to hook his own horses. On a truck it would not work, but on boat pulls the horses would not be over trained ect. I feel bad that Bill has taken so much heat over just reporting what is going on. I would hope he will reconsider, I for one use the site and would miss it greatly. Don Darnell President, Michigan Horsepulling Boat Association.

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 03:49 PM has been a very informative and enjoyable website. The open messages sent by individuals is not the opinion of the Website creator. It is an open forum for all, and not edited by anyone. It would be sad to see this Website shut off to all who enjoy it because of the "Opinion" of one individual. Bill - We all hope you continue with this site...your time, work, and dedication is greatly appreciated by 100's of Horesepullers and and avid horse fans all over the country. Thank you for this Wonderful Website Ben & Lisa Reed Bear Lake, MI.

Friday, January 30, 2009 at 04:00 PM
I feel this website obviously is a great promotional tool and asset to all horsepullers. Bill, you have done a great job of maintaining this site - your work has brought unity to a previously splintered sport. I really hope you reconsider your decision. Mark

Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 07:59 AM
One must wonder how many actual pullers/spectators were represented by the person who made this phone call to Bill. This person and whomever they represent obviously believe correctly or incorrectly that their interpretation of the effect of the message board is a representation of their actions and will have an adverse effect on them and their future in the "sport" of horse pulling. Whoever these people are they did not have enough gumption to post a message stating their concerns but chose to make a phone call in an attempt to tell Bill how to manage the website he has worked so diligently on to promote the sport. Also, I wonder if this person or group has supported this website or what is it that makes them feel empowered to tell Bill what to do. I hope Bill will be shown enough support from the rest of us to have him reconsider discontinuing the website.

Florida Fan
Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 11:47 AM
Bill, your website is visited by people across the whole USA. There never has been or will be a website that can compare to it. Please don't give up. The number of people who support you is farrrrrr greater than those few who condem you. Keep up the GOOD WORK.
Dick and Janice Westfield MA

Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 09:11 AM
Freedom to choose the horsepulling type of your choice.
Freedom to choose the area you like to pull in. Freedom to voice opinions about anything in horsepulling. That is what this country is all about.

Responsibility to make the right decisions about your area and the rules that govern your style horsepulling.
Responsibility to change the rules as needed to keep the sport viable and of interest to the public. There is not a sport that does not change rules and cater to what is necessary to draw an audience if it hopes to survive. Responsibility to be an active participant, wherever you live, to help maintain a sport that is part of a "dying breed." Everyone's contribution is vital, whether you are a major contributor, sell raffle tickets, judge, pull, announce or just pay admission to watch and help justify the need for the event in the first place.

Message boards.
Every sport has them. Horsepulling is just one of the last to get them. Fortunately, message boards provide a forum to educate people in various opinions and provide insight into different aspects of a topic. If you have never been on a message board, prior to this one, I suggest that you check the message board for your particular team and see the messages that are posted there. If you check the Kentucky (UK) basketball message board you will see the fans in an uproar over the less than classy conduct of their coach on Saturday. Many times these message boards give insight to what changes need to be made to improve a particular sport or topic. Unfortunately, you cannot ask that "lining" not be mentioned any more than any of the other negatives of the sport. If the activity occurs and anyone can go into an area with a camera at anytime and film the activity and put it on the national news, then it is unreasonable to expect that it is not going to be mentioned on a message boards. Just as steroid usage, for one example, in sports is a constant topic, the few number of negative events that actually occur at a horsepull seem trivial. Horsepulls, especially with the associated fairs and activities, has to be one of the most family friendly events going.

Appreciation for all the hard work and contributions made by the Yoders and all of the associations and individuals nationwide cannot and should not be ignored. Appreciation for the fans and fairs that make these events possible. Appreciation for the fact that the pullers need to realize that they are having an event for an audience and hopefully interest the audience enough to return. However, we would barely know of the other areas of the nation without this website. Bill's hardwork and dedication has been unsurpassed. We learn of areas and styles of pulling through the results and pictures posted on his site as well as find out how to buy videos and products needed for the sport.

Enthusiasm for a sport that falls off the map for long periods of the year. Enthusiasm for a message board that has people checking the site several times per day to see the people brave enough to post. For the number of posts that have occurred there have been thousands of hits on this site to "see what was happening" that would not have occurred this time of year. We need all of the stimulation we can get in this sport. Pullers that would never use a computer are coming in from work and asking their wife or significant other "what is on the message board today." We desperately need this.

In appreciation of the freedom to pull horses, we need to be responsible to stage professional events that draw the enthusiasm of the crowd and our much needed sponsors. The message board is part of this cycle and I would hate to see it taken down.

Thanks to all who promote horsepulling in any way.

JoJo Duvall

Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM
I just wanted to show my support for Bill and this website. We all know our fan base is getting older. As we lose our older fans the younger generation is not replacing them. The same goes for the pullers themselves. That’s why I consider this site so important for the future of our sport. Presently, the predominant form of communication is the internet. We need this website and all of Bill's hard work to promote the longevity of horsepulling. I hope Bill; you could suspend thoughts of shutting down Monday, take some time off and then re-evaluate your decision. Thank you for your dedication. Bill Fisher

Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 06:07 PM
I guess the last few days have been pretty crazy. I have to admit I was overwhelmed with the show of support shown me by the dozens of message board posts, emails and phone calls I received. It gave me reason to pause and reconsider my decision to shut down the site. I would like to confirm that Terry Yoder never asked me to shut down the website. That decision was strictly mine. It may have been a possible overreaction to criticism over the message boards and the content of those boards. I love the fact that those boards have been so active and I have heard from people who told me that they visit the site each day just to check in on the boards. I still truly believe the message boards will prove to be a very positive addition to the website. Having a forum available to exchange ideas and thoughts is a good thing.

So I’ve decided to keep the website active. I’d like to thank everyone for their support. I’d like to mention three people who were instrumental in helping persuade me to continue. The first person is Wayne Dodge. His message on the board where he posted, “This website has brought horsepullers together from one end of the country to the other. It has introduced me to pulling associations and horsepullers I have never heard of”. I think Wayne hit the nail right on the head. Secondly I need to acknowledge my good friend JoJo who called not once but twice to talk some sense into me. She can be quite persistent. Lastly I need to mention an email I received from my good friends the Pickering’s from New Hampshire last night. I refer to them as my proofreaders because they scour the pages of my website and email me to inform me of the occasional error I make so that I can fix it. Sandy told me in her email last night that today is Austin’s birthday and all he wants for his birthday is his website back. So how can I say no to that birthday wish? Happy Birthday Austin.

So now everyone can relax and we can get on with enjoying the sport we all love. As I previously mentioned the message boards will remain. Let me once again remind people to possibly give some extra thought when choosing the words you use to express your thoughts. Those of us that make up the horsepulling community may be scattered all over the States and Canada and we may come from diverse backgrounds and we no doubt have differing opinions but one thing we share is a passion for the sport. So I’m sure none of us want to be responsible for posting anything potentially harmful. I certainly believe in freedom of speech and having a forum where we can all take a moment to express an opinion is a good thing but if I find anything to be of questionable content I will no doubt delete it.

Bill Torrey

Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 08:29 PM
I was pleased to see a message from Terry Yoder and most eager to see what he had to say. I believe that his concerns with PETA are well founded. They are not an organization to be taken lightly. But, I would be surprised if they are monitoring the message boards on this site looking for ammunition to use in arguments against competitive horse pulling, I think most of that research would be done in person rather than from a message board stating very subjective opinions. I believe that the message boards are a positive addition to this site that has and hopefully will continue to stimulate dialogue in the horse pulling community. Apparently, early on, there were a few posts with questionable content but Bill took appropriate action by removing the posts in question and issuing a warning for future posts and being too graphic when stating their opinions.

I must comment on the lines that Terry used in finishing his message. The line in question was: “What they do at other pulls is what they want for their area. If I go to their area I will abide by their rules and in no way condemn them”. I have to believe that he is referring to the New England style of pulling as that has been the major point of contention on the boards. If PETA was looking at this site, I have to believe that would be the one area that they could use as ammunition towards their end. It seems to me you can’t have it both ways. Terry suggests that the use of common sense and the possibility of making changes to the methods we use is a better option then having horse pulling abolished. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for responding Terry now we all understand
and can make our comments. I am with everyone else and don’t want this site gone.

Florida Fan
Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 08:35 PM
Yaaaaaa !!! I don't know what i would do without Dick asking most nights for me to bring up your website to see what is new. Though we did not check the message board until recently, we love the site thanks Jan

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