Skip to content

Allen honored with Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award




(Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by announcer Mark Farrar Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018 at the 80th Annual Celebration.)

Ladies and gentlemen, The Celebration in conjunction with the family of the late Evan Lloyd Adamson, is proud to present our most prestigious award, the Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award. This award is named in honor of Mr. Adamson, who was a very supportive of The Celebration and recognized The Celebration’s significant importance to the vitality of Shelbyville and Bedford County. He served as a Celebration board director, was a former ringmaster during The Celebration, and was a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Association.

This award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated “outstanding service and commitment” to The Celebration. The person honored must be a Celebration and community volunteer, Celebration staff member, or staff member of an organization supportive of The Celebration.

The award recipient will receive a cash honorarium and will have their name inscribed on a plaque alongside the names of all previous recipients. This plaque hangs in the main lobby of The Celebration office.

The Celebration and the Adamson family are proud to announce the 2018 winner of this award, Connie Allen, director of office operations for The Celebration.

Connie Allen was born and raised in Wartrace, Tennessee. While her parents were never involved in the horse industry, Connie, like so many residents of Shelbyville and Bedford County, began attending The Celebration as a child. Connie began her 28-year career at The Celebration in 1990 as an administrative assistant.

Today Connie is the “go to” person for Celebration employees and board members, trainers, owners and exhibitors, vendors and contractors as well as box seat and general admission ticket holders. Connie is affectionately referred to as “the face of the Celebration.” Connie credits the late Dr. Nathan Thomas, board member and board chairman for guidance and encouragement early in her career with The Celebration and Virgil Johnson, Charles McDonald, and the late David Howard for their positive influence and support in more recent years. To quote Celebration CEO Mike Inman, “Connie’s experience and dedication to The Celebration combined with her longtime relationship with our sponsors, supporters, and patrons speak to the true asset she is to our organization and the walking horse industry as a whole.”

Celebration Board Chairman Charles McDonald says of Connie, “Few people realize how well Connie Allen is able to multi-task and take care of all the responsibilities shuffled her way from board of directors, the CEO, other staff members and patrons of The Celebration.”

While Connie Allen does not own, ride or train a Tennessee Walking Horse and could never imagine herself being in front of “all those people” in the big oval, she works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that all Celebration sponsored events, including the Tunica Fall Classic, but especially the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, run smoothly and are enjoyable experiences for all who attend these events.

Connie is very involved in the community, she serves on the board of directors of the Bedford County Cancer Society and as president of the Bedford County Cancer Foundation. She is a member of the Shelbyville Woman’s Club. In 2006 she was inducted into the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association’s Friendship Club for her many contributions to the walking horse industry. In 2011, she was named Bedford County Secretary of the Year for going above and beyond the stereotypical role of secretary and handling a variety of situations and people with professionalism and compassion.

Connie is married to Ralph Allen who owns a State Farm insurance agency in Shelbyville. Together they are faithful members of the Fairlane Church of Christ. Ralph is very supportive of Connie in her many Celebration related activities.

Ralph along with colleagues and friends Janice Fostek, Dr. Brittany Baum and Virgil Johnson join Connie tonight “in the big oval” as she accepts her award; an award unknown to her before this moment.

Making the presentation on behalf of the Adamson family is John Adamson from Memphis, Tennessee, son of the late Evan Lloyd Adamson, along with Celebration Board Chairman Charles McDonald.

Ladies and gentlemen, Connie Allen represents one of many individuals who consistently go above and beyond what is asked of them to make The Celebration special. Please join me as we applaud our 2018 Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award recipient, Connie Allen.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 1 31

    Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More