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The Bourne Legacy And Bill Callaway Dominate Three-Year-Old Championship

It’s Thursday Night in Shelbyville! That means it’s the first night of World Grand Championship competition of the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The evening program featured 13 classes of championship action highlighted by the final class, the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship.
The judges for the Diamond Anniversary Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N.C., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Allen Forman of Thomson, Ga., and Leigh Stuart of Alvaton, Ky.

Promptly at 7 p.m., official flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton made their way down the hill to present the flag for the opening ceremonies. The invocation for the evening was given by Bro. Bobby McGee of Edgemont Baptist Church of Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Mark Hulsey of Atlanta, Ga.

Up first on the evening’s schedule was class 141, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship. Four entries made the gate call to work for their chance for a moment in the spotlight tonight as Rollie Beard called the gaits in the class. Riding under the spotlight for the second consecutive year with a unanimous decision of the panel was BB King’s Jazz and Jackson Stephens up for Womack and Stephens of Grayson, Ky. Rev’s Flashback and Jesse Laughlin were reserve for Jo Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo. Evil Patty Gray and Meghan Davis were third for Truman Volkart and Shamrock Farm, Inc/Mike and Beth Davis of Tipton, Mo., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

Staying the pleasure division, class 142 brought the Novice Riders on Novice Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Optional Tack) to the historic big oval with all nine of the expected teams making the call to work for Derek Bonner and his panel. Walking with the roses, with another unanimous decision, was Honey Badger and James Abernathy, winners in the Owner Amateur Novice Western Trail Pleasure Novice Riders on Sunday Evening, riding for Jordan Howell and James Abernathy of Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, Tenn. Cazadores and owner exhibitor Tamara Hader were reserve taking honors back to Bainbridge, Ga. Daddy’s Cash and owner/exhibitor Donnie Headrick of Arrington, Tenn., rounded out the top three in the class.

Class 143 featured the Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship with 10 of the 13 on the program making the call to work as Jamie Bradshaw served as call judge for the class. Busting out of the lineup and making the winning escape to the winner’s circle were Escape From Alcatraz and Pam Russell riding for Larry and Pam Russell of Pontotoc, Miss. This duo topped the Elite Owner Amateur Lady Riders on Mares & Geldings preliminary on Sunday night. Puttin Cash On The Line and Molly Walters pulled into the second position riding for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Kid Callahan and Ed Breedlove were third for Genevieve Breedlove of Buford, Ga.

It was time to get in the western way for class 144, Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Riders’ Cup). Five of the six expected worked down from their warm-up position in Calsonic Arena to show off their very best for Allen Forman and his panel of judges. Riding with the roses for the second consecutive year with the approval of all five judges was the 2012 WGC Armed & Trigger Happy and Patrick Thomas up for Cassique Plantation/Fred and Bernice Rowan of Bluemont, Va. Double Shot Of Cash and Laurie Toone were reserve for Tamara Hader of Bainbridge, Ga. Hello I’m Johnny Cash and Sherri Pollack collected the golden streamers for S & P Farms of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

The young riders were up next for class 145, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship. Twelve of the 13 expected made their appearance in the class as Leigh Stuart served as call judge. Repeating their 2011 win in the division was the team of A Cloudy Sky and Nathan Oliver up, winners of the Youth 11 & Under Gelding preliminary, for Darrell Oliver of Bowling Green, Ky. With this win, the team retired the Cross Creek Farm Challenge Trophy and the Hometown Favorite Challenge Trophy. Jose’s Delightful Pusher and Lilly Riddley, winners of the Youth 11 & Under Mare preliminary, were reserve for Alan Riddley of Shelby, N.C. The American General and owner/exhibitor Sellars Veazey were third taking the yellow streamers back to Tifton, Ga.

During a break in the action, the parade of Queens made their way to the track, these were ladies that were former Celebration Queens over the years. Each one made a pass around the ring in their convertible cars, then they made the parade all together prior to exiting the ring.

Class 146 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship with eight entries making the call to work as Rollie Beard called the gaits. Riding in the spotlight in the division was Bel Air and owner/exhibitor Kathy Anderson, champions in the 50 & Over Trail Pleasure division, of Shelbyville, Tenn. Jose’s Firecracker and owner/exhibitor Wayne Westbrook of Shelbyville, Tenn., pulled into the second position. Confederate Jazz and Kasey Kesselring were third for the Kesselring family of Montverde, Fla.

After a break in the action for an exhibition of champions from The Great Celebration Mule & Donkey Show, class 147 was called to the track, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship. Nine of the 10 expected worked to the rail to show for Derek Bonner and the judging staff. Riding to the winner’s circle, just as they did in 2011, were the winners of the Youth Riders 15-17 on Walking Ponies preliminary, Roll The Gold and Allison Thorson up for ThorSport, Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio. They secured this win with a unanimous decision of the judging panel. Tommy Lee Jones and owner/exhibitor Benjamin Bowen were a popular reserve taking honors home to Pontotoc, Miss. The Jazz Player and Alex Blackburn were third for Dilday and Blackburn of Dresden, Tenn.

Between classes, it was time to retire the back number of 2012 WGC rider Chad Baucom. That number, #432, will always belong to Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom.

Class 148 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship to the big oval with 11 entries coming to work for their chance to ride out with the roses as Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits. Making the unforgettable walk to the winner’s circle was Godfather By Ultra Copy and Courtney Luttrell up for Courtney and Alex Luttrell of Alvaton, Ky., and Shelbyville, Tenn. This made their third WGC win, after winning in 2010 and 2012. El Zorro’s Star and Kenny Compton were reserve for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va. Spooky Dollar and Stephanie Elliott was third for Stephanie Elliott and Danny Gattis of Tuscumbia, Ala.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, 15.2 & Under World Grand Championship, class 149, was up next with all six of the expected teams beating the clock to work to capture their set of roses tonight. Judge Allen Forman served as call judge for the class. After a great performance, the crowd was left saying “hooray” as it was Boure’ and owner/exhibitor Tam Brogdon of Panama City Beach, Fla., wearing the roses. I’m P. Diddy and Sherri Pollack were reserve for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. Texas Joe Black and Kathy Zeis rounded out the top three for Steve and Kathy Zeis of Douglasville, Ga. It’s worthy of note that all three of these outstanding horses are some version of gray, this was noted earlier in the week, but worthy of note once again.

Class 150, Country Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship came next with all 13 programmed entries making their way down the hill to work as Leigh Stuart called the gaits. Making the spotlight ride to the winner’s circle with the approval of all five judges was Maggie Moore and Designer Champagne for Maggie Moore and Jim Leek of Murfreesboro, Tenn. This team topped the English and Western Country Pleasure preliminaries during the Celebration morning sessions. I’m Manhatten and Tamara Hader was reserve, taking honors back to Bainbridge, Ga. I’m AK-47 and Darren Gray was third for Darren Gray and Joe Lester of Clermont, Fla., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship, class 151, was up next and brought 10 of the 13 expected down the hill to work for their spotlight moment as Rollie Beard served as call judge. Making the winning ride was Ted Who and Kenny Compton up for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va. The Concealed Weapon and Patti Pollack pulled into the second position for S & P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. Jammin The Blues and Yvonna Matthis rounded out the top three for Abe Matthis of Morganton, N.C.

Three entries made the call for class 152, Lite-Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Riders’ Cup). Judge Derek Bonner served as call judge for the class. Riding away with the roses was Honor My Cash and Jamey Thompson up for Rebecca Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif. A Mountain Jazz and Patrick Thomas were reserve for Jim and Debbie Nichols of New Market, Tenn. Kick Start Jazz and Steve Sanders were third for Justin and Shelia Manis of Lebanon, Tenn.

The final class of the Thursday evening performance, as always, was the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship, class 153. Organist Larry Bright got the “Flat Walk Boogie” going as the entries worked their way down the hill to the delight of the Thursday evening crowd, that held on good as the time approached 10:35 p.m. Eight of the 10 with reservations answered the call to work for Jamie Bradshaw and his panel. Making that final spotlight ride of the night was The Bourne Legacy and Bill Callaway riding for Trish Harrison Spivey of Morristown, Tenn. Gretzky and Chad Williams was reserve riding for ThorSport, Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio. Gin’s Black Magic and Gary Edwards rounded out the top of the class riding for Herb Murrath of Stone Mountain, Ga.

After a final victory pass by The Bourne Legacy and Bill Callaway, Championship Thursday was complete. Friday night will be another great night as we’ll see the Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship and also get to be a part of the retirement of 2002 World Grand Champion, Out On Parole. It promises to be a memorable night! See you in Shelbyville!

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