By Mark Davis
It’s Monday morning in Shelbyville!  The rain showers that stayed in the area during the day on Sunday returned after the horse show on Sunday night and early Monday morning leaving a very cool breeze blowing through Calsonic Arena as the time approaches 9 am.  This marks the final session of morning classes for the 70th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  After today, the arena will be transformed into a horse person’s shopping mall by Wednesday morning for the expanded version of the Celebration Trade Fair.

The morning’s session features 13 classes highlighting the Trail Pleasure, Lite Shod Pleasure, Park Pleasure, Show Pleasure, Weanling and Equitation divisions and will hand out the second set of roses of the 2008 Celebration in class 101E, the Youth Equitation Championship.

The judges for the 70th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky., Tommy Howell of Shelbyville, Tenn., and Mack Motes of Eagleville, Tenn.  Officiating the Equitation division were Terri Mosley of Mt. Airy, N.C., Dee Dee Sale of Lewisburg, Tenn., and Bill Stricklend of Joppa, Ala.

Up first on the morning’s program was class 90, Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod with 11 of the 18 expected making the gate call to work as Judge Tommy Howell called the gaits in the section.  Putting the hammer down on the competition once again, Connie Waldo and Drop The Hammer rode to the win in the event for Waldo & Leek, LLC of Cedar Creek, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Confederate Jazz and Hannah Pulvers were reserve for Jana Anderson of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Red Sunday Best and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Bell Buckle, Tenn., were third.

Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old were featured next in class 91 with eight of the 11 with reservations working up to Calsonic Arena to work as Judge Mack Motes led the panel.  Capturing the win with a unanimous decision of the panel was B.B. King’s Jazz and Jennae Patterson riding for Clark, Kusuta, Patterson and Simpson of Ocala and Gulf Hammock, Fla., and Belvidere, Tenn.  Evil Patty Gray and Sally Reiley pulled into the second position for Dick and Sally Reiley of Lewisburg, Tenn.  Headed back to North Carolina with the yellow ribbon was I’m Mr. Kleen and Grandy Tuck up for Ginger Williams of Reidsville, N.C.

Class 92 brought the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Three and Four Years Old, Lite Shod to Calsonic Arena with 14 of the 18 programmed entries beating the clock to work for their chance at World Championship acclaim under the watchful eye of Judge Rollie Beard and his cohorts.  Picking up her fourth World Championship of the 2008 Celebration was the outstanding mare Armed’s Scarlett O’Hara and Jeff Laughlin riding for Kerri Laughlin of Shelbyville, Tenn.  The Armed Cashier and Bart Gilmer rode in for the red streamers for Susannah Borg of Quitman, Ga.  Rounding out the top three was Aspen Jewel and Betty Laughlin in the irons for 4-J Land & Cattle Co. of Waynesville, Mo.

Equitation, Riders 18 and Over (Canter) was up next on the book with five of the six entered making the gate to work for the Equitation judging panel, led by Call Judge Terri Mosley.  Riding to the win in the event with a unanimous decision of the panel was Alex Bumpus of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Leslie Perry of Salt Lick, Ky., rode into the second position, while Rachel Jernigan of Crossville, Tenn. was third in the division.

The young riders were up for class 94, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 years on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings with all seven of the registered entries making the call to work for their chance to ride out of the Novice division today and pick up their very first Celebration win.  Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge for the class.  Pushing all the right buttons to ride away with the silver in the event was Busted Buttons and Whitney Varney taking the honors back Carolina way for Terry Butler and Angela Klutz of Mocksville, N.C.  The Grizzly and Kayleigh Mesimer accepted reserve for David Mesimer of Concord, N.C.  Shake’s Eagle Eye and Dillon Sain were third for Jamie Gardner of Harrisonburg, Va.

Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, class 95, was up next on the program with 16 of the 28 on the books working to the track as Judge Jamie Hankins called the gaits for the section.  Topping the section with the approval of all five judges were Honor My Cash and Debbie Parmer riding for Debbie and Don Parmer of Elizabethtown, Pa.  Caterpillar and Jim Roberts rode into the second spot for Warner and Linda Speakman of Oakland, Tenn.  A Red Ball Jet and Lisa Weiler accepted the golden streamers for Herbert Weiler of Vandelia, Ohio.

The babies were next on the program for class 96, Weanling Colts, of 2008 foal with 24 of the 33 with reservations making the walk up to show off their very best, even though a few were hollering for mama along the way, as Judge Tommy Howell served as Call Judge for the class.  Writing up the winning prescription in the section was Skyanide and Carlyle Johnson at the lead for Fred & Vicki Benjamin of Humboldt, Tenn.  This marks Skyanide’s second Celebration win as he teamed with Natalie Johnson to capture the win in the TWHBEA Youth Weanling class on Friday morning,  Good Til The Last Drop and Bobby Richards walking their way to the red streamers for The Womack and Say Families of Fairview, Tenn.  NV-ME and Karen McGee were third for Washburn and McGee of Fayetteville, Tenn.

The performance horses were up on the Calsonic Arena track for class 97, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings with 15 of the 25 horses expected beating the clock to work for Judge Mack Motes and his panel.  Walking away with the win for the second consecutive year in excellent class was She’s One Hot Tamale and Amy Nesius riding for McNeill and Nesius of Andalusia, Ala. and Chapel Hill, Tenn.  The Hotline and Lilly Waites pulled in for the reserve honors for Andrew Waites of Hattiesburg, Miss.  Jose’s Sweet Pepper and Dillon Sain accepted the yellow streamers for The Stables At Alpha Place of Lititz, Pa.

The trail pleasure entries were back in force for class 98, Owner-Amateur Novice English Trial Pleasure, Novice Adult Riders with 33 of the 40 entries on the program making the call to work for World Championship acclaim in the event.  Judge Rollie Beard served as Call Judge for the large class and determined that a workout would be necessary in order to properly tie the class.  From a field of 33, it was She’s Pretty Jazzy and Paige Bennett riding away with the win for Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbriar, Tenn.  Ms. Streetwalker and Elaine Pinner rode to the second award for Ralph Pinner, Doug Toone and Ashley Wall of Senatobia, Miss., Spangle, Wash., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Heading back to the Upper Cumberland with third was Generator’s Sundevil and Glenda Levine riding for Glenda Levine and B.J. Richards of Jamestown and Franklin, Tenn.

It was time to get in the western way for class 99, Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five and Over with 16 of the 21with reservations working to the rail and showing off their very best as Judge Nathan Clark worked the gaits in the section.  Holding up the competition and riding away with the win was Armed Red Baron and owner/exhibitor Joe Dixon of Dacula, Ga.  Headed way out west, Dragonfire and owner/exhibitor Jim Heiting of Riverside, Calif., were reserve.  Jim Nichols and Armed And Trigger Happy accepted third for Debbie and Jim Nichols of New Market, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod (Canter), class 100 on the schedule, was up next with three of the eight on the books making the call to work as Judge Jamie Hankins served as Call Judge for the section.  Riding away with the win were Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo riding for Waldo & Leek LLC of Cedar Creek, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Nita’s Double Pride and Ginger Simpson accepted the red streamers for Jeannae Patterson and Ginger Simpson of Gulf Hammock, Fla. & Winchester, Tenn.  An Olympic Dream and Katie Anderson picked up the yellow ribbon for Katie Anderson of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.

It was time to hand out some roses as class 101E featured the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship (Canter) with nine entries making the call to work for their chance at World Grand Championship acclaim as Judge Dee Dee Sale called the class.  Riding away with the roses was Amy Nesius of Chapel Hill, Tenn.  With this win, coupled with a win in 2006, the team retired The Alice Eve Klein-Senator’s Big Glory Challenge Trophy.  Stephanie Smith of Murfreesboro, Tenn., rode into the second position, while Niki Leggett of Murfreesboro, Tenn., scored third.

The final class of the Monday morning schedule featured the Weanling Fillies, of 2008 foal with 10 of the 16 with reservations making the call to work the track as Judge Tommy Howell led the panel in the event.  Walking to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision of the panel was CP3 and Chris Richards at the lead for James and Nancy Washburn of Fayetteville, Tenn.  With this win, coupled with a win in 2004, the Washburn’s retired the Jim & Jane Vickers Memorial Challenge Trophy.  Miss Cover Girl and Karen McGee were second for Larry Messimer of Concord, N.C., while A Rainy Day Woman and Christen Lovvorn were third for Charles and Joy Gleghorn of Fayetteville, Tenn.

As that final picture was made, the morning sessions of the 2008 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were complete and in the record books.  Come back on Wednesday and see Calsonic Arena transformed into a shopper’s paradise.  Don’t forget, the excitement will continue each evening at 7 pm with preliminary classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening and championship competition getting under way on Thursday night.