SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration held its Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday, May 22, 2002. This new date, immediately prior to the Spring Fun Show proved popular with a large turnout of around 300 persons.

At the 2002 banquet 18 new inductees were added to the 109 persons who have previously received this prestigious award. The Celebration Hall of Fame was established in 1981 as a means of honoring individuals who have made considerable contributions to the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.

The standards for this elite club include significant and outstanding contributions to the Walking Horse Industry and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Each person considered for this honor has to have fifteen or more years of active involvement in either training, exhibiting, breeding, or owning Tennessee Walking Horses, or for the same period of time had to be involved in show management, promotion and support of the breed.

Chip Walters welcomed guests to the banquet and later in the evening presented the new Hall of Fame inductees. Before the dinner began, everyone entered by walking through a line-up of plaques with raised portraits of the inductees. When guests were seated the inductees were presented one at a time and walked to their seat. The evening was taped with each inductee receiving a tape. After the invocation by Mark Ashley of Cannon United Methodist Church and dinner was served, Virgil Johnson, Chairman of the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration, made the opening remarks and recognized the dignitaries present. New Celebration announcer, Linda Walker recognized the present Hall of Fame members which were attending. The events of the evening were easily seen on a big screen above the podium. At the conclusion Pat Marsh, Vice President of the Celebration made the closing marks, which included the statement that they were very proud that the Celebration was included in the Top 20 events in the Southeast.

Read the Hall of Fame speeches in the June 3, 2002 issue of Walking Horse Report.