SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration held its annual Appreciation Dinner on Monday night, November 12, at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club. Nearly 200 people were on hand for the festivities that honor full-time and seasonal employees and others who play a role during the world championship horse show.

"This night is all about you," said Celebration Vice-Chairman Charles McDonald. "You people are on the front line every night and are one of the biggest reasons people come back year after year. For that, we thank you!"

One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the Celebration Ambassador Award to Bud Seaton of Milton, Tenn. Seaton, a World Grand Champion® trainer and rider, has been the flag-bearer since 1996 and opens the show each night presenting the national colors aboard a solid white Tennessee Walking Horse. Celebration Director D.B. Nelson, Jr. made the presentation.

A nostalgic mood swept across the room when keynote speaker, Dr. Bob Womack, turned back the clock to the very first Celebration in 1939. Womack, of Murfreesboro and a TWHNCsm Hall of Fame member, was an exhibitor at the first show and authored the seminal history of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed, Echo of Hoofbeats. Dr. Womack has been on the faculty at Middle Tennessee State University for over fifty years and is a member of the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame.

Celebration chairman David L. Howard closed out the evening by, again, thanking all of the Celebration staff members for their efforts. Howard is in the middle of a two-year term as chairman of the Celebration Board of Directors.

The 70th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® is slated for August 20-30, 2008 at the Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, Tenn.