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Allison Thorson Scores Three-Peat In Equitation Championship On Monday Morning



While it seems like it was only yesterday that the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration got underway, Monday morning, the final morning session of the show, had already come.  The morning schedule featured 12 classes from the Trail Pleasure, Lite-Shod, Park Pleasure, Show Pleasure, Halter, Equitation and Pleasure Driving divisions highlighted by the Equitation Championship.

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 a.m., morning announcer Mark Farrar, Jr., called class 95, Flat Shod Pleasure Driving, 2 or 4 Wheel Vehicle to the track with six of seven taking the rail to work as Leigh Stuart called the gaits in the first class of the morning performance. Driving to the winner’s circle in class was Santana’s Coin and Aaron Self at the lines for John McNeely and Lindsey Landrum of Blowing Rock, N.C.,and Franklin, Tenn. Jose’s Baby Doll and Jeff Laughlin were reserve for Doris Penick of Walterboro, S.C. Overpass and Patti Pollack were third for S & P Farms of Saratoga, Calif., and  Shelbyville, Tenn.



Adding a little variety to the morning session, class 96 featured the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings with seven of the 10 on the books making the call to work for Rollie Beard and his panel. Making the victory ride with a unanimous decision of the panel was Santana’s Renaissance Man and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson taking the win back to Huron, Ohio.  This was their fifth blue ribbon win of the 2013 season and repeated their 2012 win in this division. Bronco Billy and Jesse Laughlin picked up the red ribbon for Jo Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo. Starstruck Dollar and WhitLei Green rounded out the top three for Holly Thrasher and WhitLei Green of Bethpage and Shelbyville, Tenn.

Class 97, Western Lite-Shod Walking Horses (Riders' Cup) was up next with one of the five programmed entries making the call to make the exhibition as Derek Bonner called the gaits. When the work was complete, it was Lucky Daze and Patrick Thomas returning to the winner’s circle once again for Lisa Shockey Kessel of Moorefield, W.Va. This marked Lucky Daze’s third win of the 2013 Celebration.

Equitation, Riders 18 Years & Over (Canter), class 98, featured four entries making the call to show off the art of riding as Jamie Bradshaw led the panel in the class. After the initial rail work was completed, the panel requested each team complete an individual workout that was posted earlier in the day. Once all of the work was complete, it was Kelsey Irvine of Shelbyville, Tenn., making the victory ride. Denise Bader-Keyser of Wemding, Germany pulled into the second position. Carmen Franck of Amelia, Va., was third in the class.



Class 99, Four-Year-Old Park Pleasure Walking Horses (Riders' Cup) was up next with two of the four with reservations making the call to work as Allen Forman called the gaits. Riding to the winner’s circle in the class was Double Shot Of Cash and Laurie Toone up for Tamara Hader of Bainbridge, Ga. El Padre and Jeff Laughlin was reserve for Dr. Jack Kwok of Delaware, Ohio.

Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Lite-Shod Walking Horses, class 100, brought five of the nine on the official Lions Club program up to Calsonic Arena to work as Leigh Stuart served as call judge. Riding out of the Novice division and securing that very first coveted Celebration blue with a unanimous decision of the panel was Tijuana Jazz and Wendy Laughlin riding for Jimmy Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo. Dangerous Willy and owner/exhibitor Carole Hill of Murfreesboro, Tenn., pulled into the second position. No Way Jose’ and Rachel Allen were third for the Allen family of Pleasanton, Calif.

Class 101 highlighted the Weanling Colts, of 2013 foal with 10 of the 13 on the books walking their way up to Calsonic Arena to show off their walking ways for the Celebration Judging panel, led by Rollie Beard. It was a happy day as HPY2BME and Keith Reed made the winning walk for Rising Star Ranch of Shelbyville, Tenn. Let’s Get Rowdy and Robert Nelms were reserve for Dr. Donnie Headrick of Arrington, Tenn. Sweepaway Diego and Beverly Lamp were third for Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn.



The Novice riders were back for class 102, Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses with 17 entries beating the clock to work for their chance at their very first Celebration blue this morning as Derek Bonner led the panel. Riding out of the Novice division this morning was Tamara Hader and Cazadores taking the blue ribbon honors back to Bainbridge, Ga. Daddy’s Cash and owner/exhibitor Donnie Headrick of Arrington, Tenn., were reserve in the class. Shine Like A Diamond and owner/exhibitor Anne Frank of Christiana, Tenn., rounded out the top three in the large class.

It was time to get in the western way for class 103, Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses (Riders' Cup). Three of the seven expected took the rail to work as morning organist Brian Perry played “Happy Trails” to get everyone in the right frame of mind. Judge Jamie Bradshaw served as call judge. Making the winning pass for the second consecutive year with a unanimous decision of the panel was the stylish team of Armed & Trigger Happy and Patrick Thomas, the reigning Western Park Pleasure World Grand Champions, up for Cassique Plantation, Fred and Bernice Rowan of Bluemont, Va. Overpass and Patti Pollack were reserve for S & P Farms of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn. The Red Falcon and Jamey Thompson were third for Joyce Hofstee of Tipton, Calif.

Class 104 featured the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship (Canter) with five entries making the call to work for their chance at riding away with the roses today as Allen Forman led the panel in the class.  After the initial rail work, each rider completed individual pattern work of their own choosing for the judging panel. Capturing the roses and the medal for the third consecutive year was Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio.  Miss Thorson will be back on exhibition tonight in the big oval to show off her talents and her roses to the Monday evening crowd.  Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbrier, Tenn., was reserve in the class, while Allison Holt of Shelbyville, Tenn., received third.



Two-Year-Old Lite-Shod Walking Horses (Riders' Cup) was up next on the morning program, class 105 with 10 entries making the call to work for Leigh Stuart in the last under saddle class of the Monday Morning performance. Riding to the winner’s circle was Candy Crush and Jeff Laughlin up for Dr. Jack Kwok of Delaware, Ohio. Que No Para La Fiesta and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn., accepted the red streamers. Armed Secret and Debbie Wells were third for Heiden and Wells of Florence, S.C.

The final class of the Monday Morning performance, and the morning sessions of the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was class 106, Weanling Fillies, of 2013 foal. All six programmed entries made the gate call to work as Rollie Beard served as call judge. Making the winning stroll with a unanimous decision of the panel were Good Baby Majors and Karen McGee at the lead for Hidden Acres Farm of Nashville, Tenn.  This was this young filly’s second World Championship as she won the Youth Weanling division on Friday Morning with Hayley McGee at the lead.  Jazz On The Town and Beverly Lamp were reserve for Carol Hargett of Shelbyville, Tenn. Silver Lined China and Robert Nelms were third for Jim Welch of McMinnville, Tenn.

With that, the morning sessions of the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were complete and in the record books.  Additional vendors will be coming on Tuesday and Wednesday to take over the floor of Calsonic Arena as the Celebration Trade Fair gets into full swing.  As always, the evening sessions will continue each night at 7 p.m. in the historic big oval.  There’s still history to be made, so make plans to get to Shelbyville and don’t miss out.

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