SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® Grounds will be an emergency evacuation site for large animals, according to an agreement reached between the world championship horse show and Bedford County government.


The request for the agreement originated with the Law Enforcement Committee of the Bedford County Commission and included input from Bedford County Animal Control, Bedford County Emergency Management Agency, Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Association, the University of Tennessee Extension Service, and The Celebration®.


Under the agreement, large animals involved in emergency situations of neglect or abuse could be stabled on The Grounds under the supervision of Bedford County Animal Control.


“This is something we’re grateful to have at our disposal, but hope we never have to use,” said Michael Gregory, Director of Bedford County Animal Control.  “The Celebration Grounds provides a safe environment for large animals in need of emergency protection.”


In 2005, The Celebration® made its barns available, through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, for horses evacuated from the hurricane-ravaged gulf coast.  Several animals were housed on The Grounds until they were able to return home safely.


“The Celebration® has been a leader in protecting the health and safety of horses at our show and this is an extension of how important we feel this is,” said Celebration Interim CEO Virgil Johnson.  “Making our barns available for this effort is simply another way we can better serve our hometown.”