By Mark Davis


            With temperatures still in the 70’s at the 9 am show time, things looked very promising for another comfortable day of competition as the second day of 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration got underway.

            Marking the cards for all sessions of this year’s event were Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Wink Groover of Longview, Texas, Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky., Huck Moss of Trenton, S.C., and Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn.

            Up first on the morning’s agenda, the Model Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings with 21 of the 22 with reservations making the gate call to show off for Judge Tommy Loid and his staff.  For the second consecutive day, the session got underway with a unanimous decision of the judging panel for the team of Generator’s Icy Hot and Jeff Givens at the lead for Jack G. Heffington of Murfreesboro, Tenn., repeating a win from earlier this year at the National Trainers’ Show. Picking up the red streamer in the first event of the day were Stormy’s Lightning and Tommy Howell for Summit Stallions of Shelbyville, Tenn.  AK 47 and owner/exhibitor Taylor Morgan of Shelbyville, Tenn., were third in the competitive division.

            Worthy of note from the model division, the attention of several in the audience was caught by an exhibitor presenting their entry from a wheelchair.  Without even having to look, this reporter knew that it had to be Amy Corrigan.  Indeed, it was and of course, she was at the lead of her classic horse and old friend, Reward’s Replica.  For those of you who might not remember, Amy has been around the Tennessee Walking Horse business her whole life, showing very successfully as a juvenile and adult rider in the pleasure, performance and equitation divisions on the West Coast and in Middle Tennessee with the guidance and support of her mother, Jo.  However, she was injured in an automobile accident several years ago in which she suffered injuries that prevented her from continuing to show.  I personally know that it must have taken a great deal of courage to reenter the ring, especially at The Celebration, but I was so very glad to see her back in the ring and hope to see her in the ring again, , ,very soon.

            Well, it was time to get in the western way as class 12A brought the Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders to the track with 30 of the 33 expected hitting the track to work as Judge Huck Moss called the gaits.  With such a crowded house, the panel made the decision that additional work would be necessary to tie the event and asked 14 of the original 30 to remain and continue to work for that coveted Celebration blue.  Topping the very competitive division was the team of Push N For Pleasure and Patti Pollack riding for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  This stylish duo preceded this win by taking top honors on the west coast at Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Carousel Charity Horse Show and Pomona, Calif.’s West Coast Trainers’ Show.  Repeating on a reserve performance in yesterday’s English Trail Pleasure event, Miss Jazzy and Barbara Civils were on the money once again for Barbara Civils and Adriene Helt of Petersburg, Tenn., and Inverness, Fla.  The Master General and Gloria Dixon rode to the third award for Randall and Gloria Dixon/Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga.

Cash For Keeps

            Class 12 B, Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders brought 29 of the 33 programmed entries through the chute to work for Call Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts.  Returning to the Lone Star state with a unanimous decision of the panel was Gen’s Legend In Black and owner/exhibitor Deborah Williams of Argyle, Texas.  This win was icing on the cake of what was already a good year with wins at Dallas, Texas Big D Horse Show and McMinnville, Tenn.’s Warren County Horse Show and a prestigious reserve at Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Spring Fun Show.  A little closer to home, Pitcher Of Gold and Dr. Judy Moore accepted the red streamers for Moore- Foust Farm of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Rounding out the top three, My Stormy Pride and Sara Womack were third in the extra large division for Womack Stables of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

            The performance horses were back to give the Thursday morning crowd a little variety with seven of the 13 on the sheets making their way to the ring to work in class 13, Amateur Owned and Trained Walking Horses, No Professional Training within 90 Days (Canter).  Judge Jamie Bradshaw served as call judge in the event.  Making the trek to the winner’s circle was the team of Gen’s Thundermaker and Newton Parks showing for the Bob Parks Family of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  This makes the third consecutive year that Parks has won this division, topping it in 2004 & 2005 with Beam’s Star Trek.  By the way, he took home this year’s title with a unanimous decision of the panel.  Gen’s Triple Pride and Kenny Compton were in the second position for Della Compton of North Tazewell, Va.  Headed back to the Magnolia state, Stormy’s Black Rain and Judy Keene were third for Summer Sullivan of Olive Branch, Miss.

            After a quick drag of the track to smooth things out, it was time to call class 14 to the ring, Park Pleasure Driving, 2 or 4 Wheel Vehicle.  Seven of the 12 expected were at the lines and ready to work as Judge Wink Groover called the gaits.  Legendary trainer Wallace Brandon never could pass up a chance to show a good horse.  Even though he’s retired from the rigors of a training barn, he still likes to show a “good ‘un” when he gets the chance and today he did just that as he drove the big walking Santana’s Coin to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision, the fourth of the day, for Lindsey Landrum and John McNeely of Franklin, Tenn., and Blowing Rock, N.C.  Announcer Kathy Herrin pointed out that Wallace won his first Celebration blue in 1954, 52 years ago!  I wonder how many of those Celebrations since Wallace has gone home with a Celebration blue?  Far more than not, I guarantee.  Twenty Four Kt Cash and Jeff Givens drove to the reserve honors in the event for Ralph & Elaine Pinner of Senatobia, Miss.  Grandy Tuck and Movie Extra cruised to third for Jeri Anne Williams of Eden, N.C.

Push N For Pleasure

            Class 15 brought a large class to the ring for the Owner Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod with 21 of the 25 expected making the call to work for Judge Tommy Loid and his staff.  Topping this World Champion filled division was the multi-titled WC and WGC Pusher’s Beaming Pride and Jim Nichols repeating a 2005 win in the same division for Debbie and Jim Nichols of New Market, Tenn.  World Champion and stablemate C’Mon Turn Me Loose and Joe Dixon captured the reserve honors for Randall and Gloria Dixon’s Red Eagle Farm of Dacula, Ga.  Our Sunny Boy, a two-time 2006 World Champion on Wednesday morning, picked up the yellow streamer with Todd Child riding for Joni Child of Phoenix, Ariz.

            The Park Pleasure entries were back on the rail in class 16, Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Two and Three Years Old.  Eighteen of the 31 expected hit the track to work as Call Judge Huck Moss called the gaits in the division.  Riding to the top of this tough class with a stellar performance and another unanimous decision was Let’s Ritz and Roll and Bart Gilmer riding for Annie and Tommy Jowers of Leesburg, Ga.  They preceded this win by taking top honors at Panama City Beach, Fla.’s Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, Tupelo, Miss. Faith Haven Horse Show, McMinnville, Tenn.’s Warren County Horse Show and the Ripley, Tenn. Classic Horse Show.  Last year’s Two-Year-Old Park Pleasure World Champion, Santana’s Silver Streak and Steve Beam were reserve for Garber and Beam of Arab, Ala.  The striking palomino, Sky Full Of Gold and Patti Pollack were third for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Back in the western way once again, class 17 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod (Canter) to work with six of the eight on the list coming to show off for Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts.  Hammering the competition flat, B.J. Richards and Drop The Hammer put on a strong performance coming off numerous wins at Murfreesboro, Tenn.’s International Grand Championships to top the division for the second consecutive year for mom, Stacey Richards of Franklin, Tenn.  Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier took reserve honors home to the bluegrass state for The Carrier Family of Franklin, Ky.  JFK’s Royal Dreamer and Jimmy Laughlin were third for 4-J Land and Cattle Company of Waynesville, Mo.

            Class 18A brought the Owner-Amateur Novice Western Trail Pleasure, Novice Riders to the ring with 31 of the 34 expected making their way up the chute to work for that chance at their very first Celebration blue.  Judge Jamie Bradshaw served as Call Judge in the event.  The panel determined additional work would be needed to determine the champion in the division and from the original 31, asked 13 to remain to work for that chance to make that sentimental journey down victory lane.  Making that memorable trip out of the novice division was Lion King and Kristen Williams riding for Irby, Williams and Howell of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  I’m Clean and Sober and Dennis Pennington remains a novice for another day capturing the reserve honors in the division.  Threat’s Hooker and owner/exhibitor Jackie Osborne of Bowling Green, Ky., were third in the event.

            The B division of class 18, Owner-Amateur Novice Western Trail Pleasure, Novice Riders found 27 of the 33 scheduled making it to the ring to work for their first trip to The Celebration winner’s circle as Judge Wink Groover called the gaits.  Riding out of the Novice division was the duo of The Wicked Master and owner/exhibitor Sheryl Volkman  of Livermore, Calif.  Generator’s Miss Blaze and Sandra Means accepted the reserve title in the division for Irby, Barnes and Means of Murfreesboro, Wartrace and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Heading back to Utah, Highway Patrol and Dennis Pennington were third for Dennis and Becca Pennington of Bluffdale, Utah.

            More novice riders hoping for Celebration dreams to come true in class 19, Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings.  Fifteen of the 18 with reservations made their way to the rail to work for Judge Tommy Loid and his staff.  Well, Dr. John Gladney could not be outdone by his brother, Darden, who had captured a 2006 Celebration win with It’s Up In Arms on Wednesday morning, so he just decided to get a blue of his own.  He did just that with an outstanding performance with Tijuana Tex to ride right out of the Novice division for Gladney Farms of Homer, La. This duo had a strong resume coming into Shelbyville with wins at Marshall, Texas, West Monroe, La.’s Louisiana Jubilee and Dallas, Texas’ Big D Charity Horse Show and prestigious reserves from Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Spring Fun Show and Murfreesboro, Tenn.’s Bethesda Horse Show.  The striking grey Extra Cash’s Grey Eagle and Martha Gandy took the reserve honors back across the Mississippi River for Gandy and Lubin of Forest City, Ark., and Memphis, Tenn.  Headed back Alabama way, Armed & Dangerous Regal Prince and Cynthia Bush of Boaz, Ala., were third.

            Class 20 brought 17 of the 28 expected to the ring to work in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years and Under, Lite Shod.  Judge Huck Moss served as Call Judge in the division.  Topping the division was the attractive palomino Pure White Irish and Christy Coon–Lantis, champions on the West Coast at Indio, Calif.’s Desert Classic, West Coast Trainers Show, the Pro/Am Show and California Celebration, riding for Stan & Fran Jones and Christy Coon-Lantis of Bell Canyon & Hesperia, California.  TWHBEA National Futurity Champion Muchacha Grande and Kelly Sherman were reserve in the division for Kelly Sherman of Dallas, Texas.  Outlined With Silver and Wayne Westbrooks were third for Robert Westbrooks of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Pure White Irish

            The final class of the morning performance was class 21, Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Canter.  Eleven of the 19 with reservations arrived on time to work for World Championship honors in the event as Judge Ronnie Spears called the gaits in the event.  Well, in the final class of the day, history was made as 2000 World Grand Champion Cash For Keeps returned in the Lite Shod Division with trainer Ray Gilmer for Andrew Morrison of Hattiesburg, Miss. While it’s not unprecedented for former World Grand Champions to return to the show ring, a past World Grand Champion has never returned to show in a flat-shod division . . .until now.  Reserve honors in the deep division went to 2005 Lite Shod World Grand Champion Double Java and Scott Benham riding for Mike and Kathy Chiappari of Santa Rosa, Calif.  A champion from earlier today, Pusher’s Beaming Pride returned with trainer Howard Hamilton for Debbie and Jim Nichols of New Market, Tenn.

Lion King

            As Keeps and Ray made one final pass, the second session of day classes were down in the record books and once again were complete by 1 pm.  Be back with us on Friday evening in the big oval, promptly at 7 pm, as the evening schedule will be highlighted by the Youth Riders 11 and Under on Walking Geldings, Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions and Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions.      

            Celebration excitement . . .it’s for real . . .don’t miss a minute!