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Allison Thorson Repeats In Equitation Championship on Monday Morning

It’s Monday morning in Shelbyville and that means it’s the final morning performance of the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  The morning schedule features 13 classes from the Trail Pleasure, Lite-Shod, Plantation Pleasure, Park Pleasure, Show Pleasure, Equitation and Halter divisions highlighted by the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship (Canter).

The judges for the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Chris Bobo of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Brent Grider of Columbia, Ky. (Performance & Halter), Carol Smithson of Clarksville, Tenn. (Pleasure), Connie Waldo of Naples, Fla. (Pleasure), and Joel Weaver of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Performance & Halter).
Up first on the morning schedule was class 94, Flat Shod Pleasure Driving, 2 or 4 Wheel Vehicle.  Eight of the ten expected drove up to Calsonic Arena to work as Judge Chris Bobo called the gaits in the first class of the morning.  Making the winning drive was Overpass and Patti Pollack at the lines for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Jose’s Baby Doll and Jeff Laughlin were reserve for Doris Penick of Walterboro, S.C. Score’s Heartbreaker and owner/exhibitor Kathy Owen of Murfreesboro, Tenn., rounded out the top three in the class.
It was time to get in the western way for class 95, Western Lite-Shod Walking Horses (Riders Cup) with four of the seven with reservations made their way to the rail to show as Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge for the class.  Walking their way down victory lane with the approval of all five judges was Catastrophic and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn.  This makes Catastrophic’s third 2012 Celebration win as Mackenzie Morgan captured a blue on Friday morning and Toone was in the saddle on Friday night winning the blue.  Leigh Stuart and Gigi’s Jamaican Generator were reserve for Leigh Stuart of Alvaton, Ky.  Major Orders and Evan Morgan were third for Westmark Farms of Somerville, Tenn.
Equitation Riders 18 and over (Canter) was up next in class 96E with 2 of the 3 expected making the gate call to show for Judge Brent Grider and his panel.  Once the rail work was complete, individual pattern work was required.  When all of the work was complete, it was Rachel Burch of College Grove, Tenn., a past Youth Equitation WGC, riding to the winner’s circle this morning.  Carmen Franck of Montpelier, Wa., was reserve in the class.

 The Park Pleasure entries were up next for class 97, Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 6-17 on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings.  Three of the four on the official Lions Club program made their way up from the warm up ring to work for their chance at their very first Celebration blue.  Judge Carol Smithson served as Call Judge for the class.  Riding out of the Novice division this morning was Tyler Diamond Pollack and Overpass for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. This was Overpass’ second win of the morning as Patti Pollack drove to the win in the Pleasure Driving class. The Grizzly and Mackenzie Niston were reserve for David Mesimer of Statesville, N.C.  Stolen Gem and Brooke Morris collected the yellow streamers for Jim, Jason and Brooke Morris of Perryville, Mo.

Staying in the Novice division, class 98 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Lite-Shod Walking Horses with 11 of the 17 on the program making the call to work for their chance at that coveted Celebration blue as Judge Connie Waldo called the gaits in the class. Heading out of the Novice division this morning were Absolut Skyy and Jana Anderson up for Pulvers, Howell and Anderson of Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Kick Start Jazz and Justin Manis were reserve for Justin Manis and Charlene Richardson of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.  Caterpillar and Frank Mosley were third for Westmark Farm, Hunter Morgan and Frank Mosley of Somerville and Shelbyville, Tenn.

Class 99 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses to the ring with two entries making the call to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham called the gaits for the event.  Riding to the winner’s circle for the second time for the 2012 Celebration was Hello I’m Johnny Cash and Sherri Pollack riding for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Gen’s Double Action and owner/exhibitor Rufus Dale of Canton, N.C. were reserve.

The babies of the industry, the weanlings, were up next in class 100, Weanling Colts, of 2012 Foal.  Seventeen of the 18 on the official Lions Club program walked their way up to Calsonic Arena to show off their best looks and moves for Judge Joel Weaver and his panel.  Taking control of the competition and making that victory walk was I’m King Of The Ring and Amanda Wright at the lead for The George Wright Family of Mt. Juliet, Tenn. The Illuminati and Karen McGee walked into the second position for Debbie Davis of Shelbyville, Tenn.  My Diamond Back and Sylvester Skierkowski picked up the golden streamers for Bobby and Freda Jones of Manchester, Tenn.

Adding a little variety to the Monday Morning schedule, class 101 brought the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings to Calsonic Arena with six of the 18 with reservations taking the rail to work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her cohorts.  Santana’s Renaissance Man and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio, rode away with the win in the division. This marked their sixth win as a team during the 2012 show season. Bronco Billy and Jessie Laughin accepted the red ribbon for Joe Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo.  Perfection of Jazz and Hailey Puckett were third for King and Way of Shelbyville, Tenn.
 Back in the Trail Pleasure division, class 102 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses.  Fifteen of the 21 expected came to work for their shot at that very first Celebration blue as Judge Chris Bobo led the panel in the class.  Riding out of the Novice division this morning was the team of Contemporary Jazz and Kasey Kesselring riding proudly for Kesselring and Gray of Montverde, Fla.  Wicked Endeavor and Jana Anderson were reserve for Allen, Irby and Anderson of Pleasanton, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Gi Gi’s Lunch Money and Bruce Vaughn were third for Jennifer Hankins and Linda Vaughn of Paris, Ky. and Valley City, Ohio.
Three of the eight expected beat the clock to work in class 103, Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses (Riders Cup). Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge in the class.  Happy to walk to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision of the panel was the team of Armed & Trigger Happy and Patrick Thomas riding for Cassique Plantation and Fred and Bernie Rowan of Bluemont, Va.  Dark Spirit’s Mack Daddy and Leigh Stuart were reserve for Shirley Stuart of Bowling Green, Ky.  Lights On Cody and Jeff Byrom rounded out the class for Larry and Joe Allman of Shelbyville, Tenn.
It was time to hand out some roses in Calsonic Arena as class 104E brought the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship (Canter) to the ring with seven entries on hand to work for championship acclaim.  Of course, Equitation is the art of riding a horse and is judged solely on the rider and not the horse.  Once the rail work was complete, it was time to line up for the individual inspections and pattern work.  When the work was complete, announcer Mark Farrar, Jr., called Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio, champions in 2011 as well, to the winner’s circle and advised she had won the title with a unanimous decision of the judging panel.  With this win, Thorson retired the Alice Eve Klein Equitation Challenge Trophy.  She will be back in the big oval this evening after class 110C to make her exhibition for the Monday night crowd.  Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbrier, Tenn., was reserve in the class, while Allison Lane Holt of Shelbyville, Tenn., was third.

Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Two Years Old (Riders Cup), class 105, was up next with 10 of the 12 on the program beating the clock to work as Judge Carol Smithson called the gaits in the next to the last class of the Monday Morning performance. Making that victory ride in the division was I’m Magic Mike and Allison Smart up for Phyllis Langley of Sandpoint, Id. This duo had already picked up a win in the same division at the International Grand Championships.  Pusher’s Arc and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn., pulled into the reserve position.  A Major Gold Strike and Jeff Laughlin rounded out the top of the class for Doris Penick of Walterboro, S.C.

Class 106, Weanling Fillies, of 2012 Foal, rounded out the Monday morning performance with all 12 of the expected teams walking their way to Calsonic Arena to show off for Judge Nathan Clark and his panel. She’s A Real Diamond and Robert Nelms made that walk to the winner’s circle this morning for Carol Hargett of Shelbyville, Tenn. Adorable Diamond and Beverly Lamp pulled in to accept the red streamers for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn.  Miss Martini and Karen McGee were third for Howard and Beth Henderson of South Fulton, Tenn.
With that final victory pass, the morning sessions of the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were complete and in the record books at 12:30 p.m.  But, don’t worry, there will still be plenty of great horse show action every night in the big oval.  In the meantime, Calsonic Arena will be transformed into a shopper’s paradise as the Celebration Trade Fair expands to the arena floor starting on Wednesday. Make sure to come by and see the transformation.

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