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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.

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