by Sarah Smith


SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association hosted their 78th Annual National Futurity inside Calsonic Arena on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The event got underway just after 6 o’clock in the evening with the presentation of our Nation’s colors by Line Item Veto and Rachel Teague and our Tennessee Flag by Vigor’s Dixie Chick and Allison Thorson. Leah Boyd did a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.

Judges for the event were Chris Bobo, Nathan Clark, Ray Gilmer, Sam Sorrell and Leigh Stuart. Announcer Dallas Eubanks kept the classes moving while Brian Peery dazzled the crowd with his talents on the organ. Official Photographer Shane Shiflet caught all the night’s precious moments through his camera. Spectators were invited to pick a favorite and vote online for the “fan favorite” in each class.

The Darrah Weanling class for Futurity Nominated Weanlings of Unique Color was the first to take the track and work for the judging panel. From a field of six entries, Singin’ The Blues CF and Karen Harnden walked their way to the winners’ circle for Ronnie Green. The youngster is sired by The Confederate Blue and out of Sheza Fantasy and made its debut show and win last Saturday at the TWHBEA World Series Championship. Reserve honors went to The Night Bandit for Hollis Kelly and Stephanie Richardson. Third was Jose’ Lady Wolf for Kyle Bush. Jose’ Lady Wolf is the only spotted foal sired by reigning World Grand Champion I Am Jose’ and is out of Bay Wolf.

The Two-Year-Old Country Pleasure Stallions, Mares & Geldings were up next. Taking home the honor of Futurity Champion was Abirene and Dr. Jack Kwok for CCJK Enterprises. Sired by Gen’s Armed And Dangerous and out of Dark Spirit’s Irene, Abirene has enjoyed previous wins at the WHOA Jamboree, Lawrenceburg Lions Club, PWHAT Jamboree and the PWHAT Fun Show already this season. Picking up the reserve award for Harold Roberts was Lunazul and Kyndra Myers. This was the young talent’s second trip to the show ring. Lunazul is sired by Jose’ Jose’ and is out of a Coin’s Hard Cash mare.

Six exciting Two-Year-Old Performance Mares & Geldings made the gate call to impress the judges. Taking home top honors was Hey Good Looking and Ernest Upton for Freda and Bobby Jones and Roger Richards. Hey Good Looking was the 2015 Yearling World Grand Champion and has topped the competition three previous times this season and remains undefeated in her two years in the show ring. Reserve honors went to She’s City Lights and Bill Callaway for Lisa Baum. She’s City Lights is sired by Lined With Cash and out of Splashed At The Ritz. Danny Burks rode A Jazzy Gen to the third place award for Bobby Jones. This was the first outing for A Jazzy Gen in 2016 who is sired by World Grand Champion Master Of Jazz and out of former Futurity Champion Gen’s Genessa.

The Weanling Fillies and Colts Foaled October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016 brought eight sharp competitors to the ring. Claiming the top award was Up Town Funk THF and Robert Nelms for LaRue McWaters. Jose’ Jose’ sired the champion and the dam is Anita Blue. Reserve in the class was Hey Gerlfriend and owner Lynn Womack. Hey Gerlfriend has celebrated victories at the WHOA Kick Off Versatility, PWHAT Fun Show, WHOA Pleasure Jamboree, Money Tree Classic, Mid-Summer World Series Qualifier and the International. I’m King Of The Ritz walked to the third place award for Kevin Guess. I’m King Of The Ritz has won two previous times this season.

The 2015 TWHBEA Yearling Champion, What’s Up Brother earned his second Futurity title by winning the Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares & Geldings class with Lake Weaver aboard for owner Jesse Reed. What’s Up Brother has claimed blues three other times this season. Starjet and Wilsene Moody-Kwok carried out the reserve title. Starjet is sired by Gen’s Black Gin and is out of A Starlette By Jose’. Starjet has won eight other times before this show ring appearance. Orphant Annie and Allison Thorson rounded out the top three. Orphant Annie was sired by Thorson’s beloved Roll The Gold and out of Dazzline.

Weanling Fillies Foaled April 1, 2016 through August 1, 2016 strutted their way around the ring next. Claiming the title of National Futurity Champion went to Miss Belle Star W. and Amanda Wright for George Wright. Miss Belle Star W. is sired by Master Of Jazz and out of I Walk A Fine Line. The duo won previously won at the Wartrace Horse Show. I Walk A Fine Line was also a two-time TWHBEA National Futurity champion. Reserve in the class went to Home Free and Robert Nelms for Nick Rippy. Home Free is by Jose’ Jose’ and out of an Out On Parole mare. Charlie’s Major Miracle and Marty Warren took home the yellow streamer for Denise Smith.

Sunny Foolish Dollar and Wilsene Moody-Kwok earned the Two & Three-Year-Old Futurity title for CCJK Enterprises. Sunny Foolish Dollar is by He’s A Special Dollar and out of Light Me Up.

The Weanling Colts Foaled April 1, 2016 through August 1, 2016 brought a talent packed bunch of youngsters to the ring. Walking to the winners’ circle to claim all the honors was I Am Who I Am and Robert Nelms for Boyd Melton. I Am Who I Am is sired by I Am Jose’ and is out of Jazz Serenade. Rocky Top Lineman and Bobby Richards carried the reserve award out for Howard and Beth Henderson. Third place went to Charlie Miracle and Marty Warren for Denise Smith.

Eight exciting entries filled the show ring for the Two-Year-Old Performance Stallions class. Roy G. Biv and Ryan Blackburn topped the competition for Linda Sisk. Sired by the Sisk Family’s I’m N.R.A. and out of A Black-Eyed Susan, Roy G. Biv claimed top honors at the Come-Unity Cooperative Care Horse Show earlier this season. Second in the class went to Bonus Attraction and Casey Wright for Billy Max and Debbie Woods. Bonus Attraction is by Jose’ Jose’ and out of A Jazz Attraction. Tying third was Titleist Rippin’ Stitches and Herbert Derickson for Dale and Wanda Barnes.

Three-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares & Geldings were next to take the tack with five entries answering the gate call. It was Slingblade and Debbie Marby taking the victory pass for Debbie and Chester Marbry. Slingblade has garnered previous wins at the National Trainers’ Show, Petersburg Lions Club, Christmas In July and the Belfast-TWHBEA Lions Club. Reserve in the class went to A Genius On Parole and Ann Jameson. A Genius On Parole earned wins at the Mississippi Charity and Walking For Cancer Horse Shows earlier in the year. Disaronno and owner Kimberly Coult-Walden walked away with the third award. Disaronno topped the competition at the Putman County Fair.

Color filled the ring for the Darrah Yearling class for Futurity Nominated Yearlings of Unique Color. The crowd enjoyed the competition in the class. Claiming all the honors was Ritz’s Playboy and Robert Nelms. Ritz’s Playboy is sired by Ritz’s Gold Coin and out of Sugar Coated Trouble. Reserve in the class went to Without A Warning and Leighanne Tibbs. Blue Mamba and Karen Harnden earned the yellow award.

Next on the schedule was the Yearling Fillies. The Lisa Teel and Charles Gleghorn owned entry, Honey I’m Good led by Robert Nelms won the class. Honey I’m Good was the 2015 Weanling World Grand Champion and won earlier this year at both the Arab Park & Recreation and Wartrace shows. Reserve went to I Like Pina Coladas and Lynn Womack for Roger Richards. I Like Pina Coladas has made her way down victory lane nine times this season. Chris Richards led I Am Lolita to the third award for Bobby Jones.

Up next was the Three-Year-Old Performance Mares & Geldings. Topping the field of six and leaving the ring with the honor of Futurity Champion was the reigning Two-Year-Old Open and Amateur mare, She’s Salsarita and Tyler Baucom for Deloris Griffith. Reserve went to Carolina Ginger Bread and Bill Callaway for Don and George-Ann Pratt. Third was Insanity and Michael Wright for Great Oaks Farm. The top three horses in this class were all sired by World Grand Champion Jose’ Jose’.

Sweet As Strawberry Wine and Kailin Kesselring earned the blue ribbon and floral horseshoe in the Three-Year-Old Country Pleasure Stallions, Mares & Geldings class. Ashley Wadsworth and Dirty Pearl picked up the red streamer. Kathy Anderson rode Belle Canto to the third tie.

Yearling Colts hit the ring next for their chance at a Futurity title. Walking away with all the honors was Marcus Mariota with Chris Richards at the lead for Bobby Jones and Roger Richards. The colt is sired by Jose’ Jose’ and out of Edge’s Pure Delight. Receiving reserve honors was I Walk The Walk and Kelly Richards for Bobby Jones and Roger Richards. Third place honors went to Cisco Friend Of Mine and Bobby Richards for Bobby Jones and Roger Richards. Once again, Jose’ Jose’ sired talents swept the top of the field.

Jeff Laughlin directed Shadow Of Shadow to the win in the Two & Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Stallions, Mares & Geldings class for CCJK Enterprises. Shadow Of Shadow is sired by Chromed By Hytone and out of The Town Genius.

Closing out the TWHBEA National Futurity was the Three-Year-Old Performance Stallions. Receiving all the honors from the field of seven talented entries was Shanghai MCF and John Allan Callaway for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury. The duo topped the Two-Year-Old Stallions at the 2015 Futurity and went on to be the Two-Year-Old World Grand Champions. He’s A Chip Shot and Casey Wright were second in the class for G. Russell Wright and Son.

For complete results and judges’ cards click here.

Competition will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning with the second session of the 78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.