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Allison Thorson Gets The Triple Blues On Saturday Morning



It’s Saturday Morning at the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  There was activity on the grounds prior to the 9 am start time as young people gathered for the annual Celebration Youth Horse Judging Contest that was taking place on the grounds today.  The schedule for the morning highlighted the Youth division once again with nine of the 13 classes coming from the Youth division.

The judges for the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N.C., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Allen Foreman of Thomson, Ga., and Leigh Stuart of Alvaton, Ky.

Promptly at 9 am, morning announcer Mark Farrar, Jr., called the first class of the morning, class 59, Owner-Amateur Yearlings of 2012 foal. Eleven of the 12 expected worked up from the warm up ring to show off their best walking ways for Leigh Stuart and her panel. Walking to the winner’s circle and collecting her second World Championship of the 2013 show was The Camp Town Lady, handled in this class by Kelly Richards, for Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.  The Camp Town Lady captured the Youth Yearling World Championship with Molly Vaughn at the lead on Friday Morning. My Diamond Back and Rayna Latham were reserve for Sylvester Skierkowski of Christiana, Tenn. Strollin’ Through The Grove and Amanda Nelms were third for Amanda and Robert Nelms of College Grove, Tenn.

Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Youth Division, Riders 6-11 Years was up next with three entries making the call to work under the watchful eye of Rollie Beard and the 75th Celebration judges.  For those that are not familiar, Equitation is the art of riding and is judged solely on the rider and not the performance of the horse. Once the initial rail work was complete, the young riders were each asked to complete a pattern that was posted earlier this morning.  When the work was complete, all five judges agreed that Jayden Jackson of Shelbyville would make that winning ride and capture the blue ribbon and medallion in the division.  Brooklyn Wheelon of Murfreesboro, Tenn. was reserve, while Avery Holman of Perryville, Ky. collected third.

The Yearlings were back on track for class 61, Yearling Fillies or Geldings, of 2012 Foal.  All 11 of the expected entries took to the rail to work as Derek Bonner served as call judge for the class. Making that winning walk to the winner’s circle in the class was Adorable Diamond and Beverly Lamp at the lead for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn.  This was this outstanding fillies 10th 2013 blue ribbon win. With this win, coupled with their win with Score’s Diamond Girl in 2011, the Rosbury’s retired the Dr. John R. Jones Memorial Challenge Trophy.  Reserve honors went to The Camp Town Lady and Kelly Richards leading for Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn. Miss Martini and Karen McGee were third for Howard and Beth Henderson of South Fulton, Tenn.

The young riders were up next for class 62, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Western Country Pleasure Walking Horses with 11 of the 16 with reservations making the call to show as Rollie Beard called the gaits. Making the winning walk in the class was I’m AK-47 and Ashley Gray riding for Darren Gray and Joe Lester of Clermont, Fla. and Shelbyville, Tenn. This duo came into the 2013 Celebration after winning a trio of blues at the International Grand Championships. The Ghost Walker and Katie Gerber collected the red streamers for Debbie Brown, Ty Irby and Katie Gerber of Lewisburg and Shelbyville, Tenn. Cowboy On Parole and Jessie Odell rounded out the top three for Dr. Jack Kwok and Jessie Odell of Delaware, Ohio and Fayetteville, Tenn.

Yearling Colts were up next, class 63 on the program, with 10 of the 13 expected taking the rail to work for Allen Forman and his panel. Walking to the winner’s circle once again was Beverly Lamp with OOPS Mr. Bentley owned by Harlinsdale Farm of College Grove, Tenn.  With this win, coupled with a 2010 win by Harlinsdale Farm in this division, they retire the Lloyd Hall Black Memorial Challenge Trophy. Nat King Cole and Chris Richards strolled into collect the red streamers for Roger Richards, Bobby Jones and Mann Nutt of Hendersonville, Manchester and Hohenwald, Tenn. Eyes On Me and Bobby Richards were third for Donny Headrick of Arrington, Tenn. Now, the stage was set for the Yearling World Grand Championship, which will be held tonight in the big oval.

Class 64 featured the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Western Trail Pleasure Walking Horses. Ten of the 13 on the official Lions Club program worked the rail as Leigh Stuart called the gaits in the class. Suiza and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson made the winning ride in the class taking the honor back to Huron, Ohio and Murfreesboro, Tenn. This marked this team’s 24th blue of 2013 won from at least five different states.  Impressive indeed! Red  Sunday’s Best and MacKenzie Morgan were reserve for Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn. Dark Picture Show and Jada Cassidy was third for Lloyd Cassidy of Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Amateur Owned and Trained English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, No Professional Training within 90 days, class 65, was up next on the schedule with eight of the 14 expected making the call to work as Rollie Beard served as call judge. Capturing their second 2013 World Championship this morning, this time with the approval of all five judges, was Jose’s Firecracker and owner/exhibitor Wayne Westbrook of Shelbyville, Tenn.  This team already secured top honors in the Amateur Owned and Trained Western Trail Pleasure on Friday morning. A Jazz Fest and owner/exhibitor Kyle Elliott of Enumclaw, Wa., pulled in for reserve honors. I’m Sergio Garcia and owner/exhibitor Amanda Dickerson rounded out the top three and carried her yellow streamers back to Fuquay Varina, N.C.

In the Equitation division, class 66 brought the Auxiliary Equitation Medal Class, Youth Division, Riders 12-14 Years (Canter) to the track with three entries working in the event for Derek Bonner and his colleagues. Once again, each rider worked an individual pattern after the initial work was complete. Once all of the judging was complete, morning announcer Mark Farrar, Jr. called Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbrier, Tenn. to the winner’s circle. This makes her third consecutive win in this class. Claire Hankins of Paris, Ky. was reserve, while Allison Holt of Shelbyville, Tenn. was third.

Class 67 brought the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Optional Tack to the track with five of the six expected beating the clock to work for Jamie Bradshaw and his panel.  As happens many times in these youth classes, each rider seemed to have their own fan club and received their share of cheers as they rode by. Designing the win in the class was Delight Silver Design and Jackson Stephens riding for The Van Stephens Family of Grayson, Ky. This was the second Celebration blue of 2013 for Jackson Stephens as she scored the win in the Youth Park Pleasure 11 and Under division on Wednesday morning. Another Kentucky team, Kool Fortune and Harper Grider were reserve in the class riding for Shawntae Burton and Harper Grider of Columbia, Ky. A Red Ruby and owner/exhibitor Raine Sims of Bell Buckle, Tenn. was third in the class.

Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Senior Division, Riders 15-17 (Canter), class 68, featured two entries making the gate call to work as Allen Forman led the panel in the class. Riding down victory lane in the class was the reigning Equitation WGC Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio. Morgan Murphy of Scott Depot, W.V. pulled into the second position.  The Equitation entries will return on Monday Morning for the Equitation Championship.

Class 69 featured the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on English Country Pleasure Walking Horses. Ten of the 13 with reservations worked up from the warm up ring to show as Leigh Stuart called the gaits for the class. Back in the winner’s circle again, after winning the Western division of this class earlier today, was I’m AK 47 and Ashley Gray up for Darren Gray and Joe Lester of Clermont, Fla. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Out Til Midnight and Mackenzie Morgan secured the red streamers for Holly Reynolds & Mackenzie Morgan of Canby, Or. and Shelbyville, Tenn. The Ghost Walker and Katie Gerber were third for Debbie Brown, Ty Irby and Katie Gerber of Lewisburg and Shelbyville, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, class 70 on the morning program, brought 14 of the 16 with reservations up to Calsonic Arena to work as Rollie Beard served as call judge for the next to the last class of the morning session. Securing their second blue of the morning as a team, Suiza and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson picked up with win with an unanimous decision of the panel taking the honors back to Huron, Ohio and Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Thorson secured a third blue in the Equitation division this morning. GiGi’s Majestic and Elysse Bradford were reserve in the class for Kathleen Bradford and Jordan Howell of Dallas, Texas and Murfreesboro, Tenn. Justifiable and Mackenzie Morgan were third for John and Amanda Odom and Mackenzie Morgan of Rincon, Ga. and Shelbyville, Tenn.

The final class of the morning performance, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Lite Shod Walking Mares or Geldings, class 71, brought nine of the 12 on the program to work as Derek Bonner called the gaits.  Riding to the winner’s circle was Vindicated and Whit Lei Green up for Jason Myatt, Jennifer Bingham and Whit Lei Green of Bowling Green, Ky. and Shelbyville, Tenn. This has already been a good show for Miss Green as this makes her second blue of the show and she won a good reserve last night. GiGi’s Jamaican Generator and owner/exhibitor Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbrier, Tenn. pulled in for the reserve honors. Simple Lee Dangerous and Allison Hopkins were third for The Graham Family of Niota, Tenn.

With the final class complete at 12:40 pm, another morning session was complete and only one remained in the 2013 Celebration, on Monday Morning.  While there’s no morning session on Sunday, there will be plenty of activity on the grounds with the Celebration Worship Service at 7:45 am in the big oval, the Celebration Dog Show at 12:30 pm in the Calsonic Arena and the evening session of the 75th Annual Celebration at 7 pm in the historic big oval.  It promises to be a full day that should not be missed.

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