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Celebration Board Takes Action On Two Issues



SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration board of directors met via conference call on Thursday afternoon to specifically look at two issues stemming from Saturday night’s World Grand Championship class.

            The first issue involves the acknowledged offer by Mike Walden to pay each of the three approved entries for the World Grand Championship class $10,000.  While Mr. Walden’s motives may have been congruent with a published statement he made after the fact, the perception of his actions was not in the best interest of The Celebration or the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.  Because of that, the Celebration board has voted to suspend Mr. Walden from participating as an exhibitor or as an owner for a period of two years.  In addition, Mr. Walden will not be allowed to participate in The Celebration’s corporate sponsorship program during that period.

            The second issue involves the World Grand Championship class itself.  The Celebration stands by the information it received on Saturday night and feels the correct call was made with the best information available at the time.  Since that time, the three eligible trainers have made statements that they were ready and willing to show.  While the moment and exact circumstances can never be recaptured and the class cannot be held, the Celebration board has voted to award each of the three eligible entries for the class first-place prize money of $15,000 each.

            “These issues have been at the forefront since Saturday night,” said Celebration Chairman John T Bobo.  “While our overall evaluation of the show will continue, the board felt these two issues should be dealt with in a clear, decisive manner.”

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