Some owners in the walking horse business come and go as quickly as their horse’s career in the show ring. The Baum family, however, has been devoted to the Tennessee Walking Horse for three generations. Lisa and Jim Baum continue that legacy in both their professional and personal lives.

While Jim grew up around walking horses and loving ever minute of it, Lisa got her start with Arabians riding dressage and jumping, training and showing several to national titles. It wasn’t until the couple married that Lisa became immersed in the walking horse world and eventually made the “switch”.

Considered the most horse-crazy among his siblings, Jim had originally wanted to become a horse trainer. Friend and mentor Buddy Hugh quickly discouraged him from it and
instead Jim became an equine veterinarian. Together with his profession and love of walking horses, Jim has brought a unique view to the industry.

Several years after marrying, Jim and Lisa moved to the center of the walking horse world: Shelbyville, Tenn., where he set up another veterinary clinic the family currently operates. Instead of training horses, Jim has devoted his time to helping and caring for them by making farm calls, seeing patients and performing surgeries. Lisa assists by handling the anesthesia and the bookwork. Their two sons also help out wherever they are needed.

The Baums’ string of world champions began with Buddy and Bobby Hugh. Beam’s Temptation was the first to carry the blue from Celebration Arena for the family. A little later the Hughs found a broodmare, Cheer Up, for Jim to purchase. She eventually produced the Baums’ second world champion, Happy Our's Delight with Wallace Brandon making the Celebration victory pass. The Hughes also found World Champion Another Bum MC for the Baum family.

From there, Jim and Lisa became close friends with the late Sam Caldwell who, while assisting Jim at the clinic, also trained several other champions. The trainer took his only Celebration victory pass on Master’s Gunsmoke, a horse the Baums purchased later for their oldest son, Jacob, to show. Another champion attributed to the Baums’ fame is Network. Purchased after they moved to Shelbyville, Lisa rode him to numerous wins, including world championships in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Two of those wins the Baums earned on their own, with the Bobos coaching them to the 2004 win.

Carrying on their parents’ success, sons Jacob and Luke have also delved into the walking horse world. Jacob, now a freshman in college, enjoys the show ring, campaigning such horses this year as World Champion Master’s Gunsmoke, Dr. Dangerous, OMG, Gen’s Color Me In and All Time Favorite Dude.

Luke enjoys training and showing halter colts as well as going to the horse shows to support his family. He also helps his father at the clinic and with surgeries and talks about one day taking over the practice.

With horses currently in training with Barnes Stables, Bobo Farms, Hugh Stables, Webb Stables, as well as a few at home, the Baums continue to hold the spotlight in the show ring. Jim rode High Jacked, Command’s Special Sun, Control Freak, ADA2D, The Ultra Doc and The Duck to top ribbons throughout 2007. Lisa shared several horses with her son and husband. Some of her top rides were on World Grand Champion Late Night Jazz, The Sure Thing, This Generator’s A Lady, Gen’s Color Me In, High Jacked, A Hole In One and OMG. She also showed Tony Montana to a world championship this year in the Owner/Amateur on Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings.

The family’s devotion isn’t just limited to the show. On top of his contribution to the industry through his veterinary work, Jim brings a different view as a member of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association, as well as to center ring as a judge. Lisa does her part on the Celebration Advisory Board.

With these two generations still actively involved in the Tennessee Walking Horse and the industry, it is assured that the Baums will continued to be an influential force in the years to come. Because of this, the Year In Walking Horses has dedicated its owner section to the Baum family.