Skip to content

Obituary - Sonny Holt




Albert Price “Sonny” Holt, Jr., age 72, of Shelbyville, died Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in a motor vehicle accident, following a horse show in Cullman, Alabama.

He was born June 23, 1945, in Athens, Alabama, to the late Albert Price and Katherine Bradford Holt. He was a faithful member of The New Beginnings Baptist Church.

Sonny’s love for the Tennessee Walking Horse came at an early age when he attended his first Celebration in 1950. He began training walking horses at age 14 and devoted more than 50 years to the industry. Sonny served as co-chairman of the National Trainers’ Show in 1982 and WHTA vice president in 1989. 

He additionally served on the WHTA Board of Directors for several years and on the Board of the National Horse Show commission from 1986 until 1990. He was inducted into the Celebration Hall Of Fame in 2002. 

Sonny was known for his kindness, generosity, compassionate nature, wicked sense of humor and most especially for his heartfelt pride in his beloved family.

“Sonny always made sure all his customers and friends had a great time,” according to an article written by Sarah Burks in a 2002 edition of the Walking Horse Report. “He was a very special kind of friend one can go years without seeing, then pick up where you left off, as if you’d just seen him the day before. ‘Welcome’ could easily have been his middle name…for that is how he always made you feel.”

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death his brother, Bill Hargraves and his life-long friend and business partner Dr. Robert “Bob” Stringfellow.

Survivors include his wife, Janice Dennis Holt, of Shelbyville; a daughter, Megan Holt Seeman and her husband Jay Seeman; sons, Mike Cass, Greg Cass and his wife Francy Miranda Cass; grandchildren, Aeriella Seeman, Logan Cass, Reed Cass, Santi Cass, and Adrian Cass; an aunt, Bobi Potter, a brother, Steve Holt, a sister, Pat Hargraves Hill, and a niece, Jamie Walter.

Memorials may be made to the Tennessee Walking Hoses Trainers Association. Funeral services will begin at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at Feldhaus Memorial Chapel. Brother Steve Murphree will officiate. The family will receive visitors 4:00-6:00 pm Wednesday at the funeral home.

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