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Celebration 2015 Kicks Off In Calsonic Arena

by Stephanie Morton

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - As the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration kicks off it's 77th Annual show, crowds were gathering around to support their favorite riders and horses in the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. The sun was shining and a gentle breeze was blowing as the first class was called to the arena. Presiding over the show were judges Jennifer Bingham, Derek Bonner, David Landrum, David Sisk and Sam Sorrel.

Five entries filled the arena for the Model Pleasure Walking Mares class to kick off the show. Taking home the first championship acclaim and top honors in the class was Hot Silk and Karen McGee Harnden for Teel & Butler of Andalusia, Ala. Earlier this season, Hot Silk and Karen claimed reserve champion honors at the Spring Fun Show and Woodbury Lions Club shows. Claiming the Reserve World Championship honors was Mystic Jazz and Robert Nelms for Rushing Creek Walkers. This dynamic pair claimed top honors this season at the Gulf Coast Charity along with top honors at the WHOA Pleasure Jamboree. Rounding out the top three was Fifteen Stars Behind Me and Lynn Womack, also for Rushing Creek Walkers. 

Answering the gate call next was 16 top contenders for the Owner-Amateur Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Optional Tack. Making the blue ribbon ride was Kasey Kesselring for Christmas Creek Farm of Montverde, Fla.,  aboard Tarheel’s Design By Jose. Earlier this season, Tarheel’s Design By Jose finished reserve at one of the PWHAT shows with Shelli Mehaffey. Claiming reserve honors in this class was N-V and Lorrie Gordon for Marty and Lorrie Gordon.  Rounding out the impressive top three in this class was The Kraken and Erica Heaster for Chad and Erica Heaster of Crawley, W.Va.  

Eight top entries answered the call for the Amateur Owned & Trained Lite-Shod Walking Horses, No Professional Training Within 90 days. Claiming the unanimous title of world champion is the team of Kick Start Jazz and Amanda Manis for Justin and Amanda Manis of Shelbyville. This world champion pair repeated this same win from last year. Earlier this year they claimed top honors at the Manchester Lions Club show. Reserve World Championship honors went to Tijuana Jazz and Jimmy Laughlin for Jimmy Laughlin. Rounding out the top three in this class was Do U Twitter and Jake Politte for Roberts & Politte .

Making a unanimous blue ribbon ride in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 on Park Pleasure Walking Mares & Geldings was once again BB King’s Jazz and Jackson Stephens for Stephens & Womack of Grayson, Ky. This win is added to their previous wins in this same division in 2014, 2013 and 2012. Other top honors for BB King’s Jazz include victories at the Gulf Coast Charity, Christmas In July and Liberty Lions Club shows. Taking home the reserve world championship title was I’m Johnny Dollar and Lake Weaver for owners Vickie Penick and Lake Weaver. 

Taking home the title of world champion Owner-Amateur Riders on Two & Three-Year-Old Country Pleasure Walking Horses was Please Don’t Tell and Rachel Teague for Teague, Howell & Kaminski of Holly Springs, N.C., and Shelbyville. Please Don’t Tell has claimed reserve honors at the Cumberland County Horse Show, Liberty Lions and WHAA Summer Classic. Claiming reserve honors was Diamond At The Ritz and Kimberly Coult. This bright pair has claimed top honors at top shows such as the Marshall Lions Club, WHOA Versatility and Columbia Spring Jubilee. Taking the third place honors was Tarheel’s Lady Pro and Kasey Kesselring, a champion already this morning.

Making the victory lap in the Owner-Amateur Riders on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses and claiming her first world championship title was the unforgettable pair of Fuego and Allison Thorson for MacKenzie Morgan and Allison Thorson of Athens, Ala., and Murfreesboro. This team is the reigning Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship. Earlier this season top honors have been earned at the Mississippi Charity  Gulf Coast Charity and Spring Fun Shows. Taking reserve honors was Bel Air and Kathy Anderson for John and Kathy Anderson. Bel Air and Kathy have claimed top titles at the National Trainers Show, WHOA Pleasure Jamboree and the Columbia Spring Jubilee this season. Taking home the third place ribbon in this impressive class was Victoria’s Got A Secret and Jack Kwok for Dr. Jack Kwok.

Making the blue ribbon ride this morning in the Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years & Under Riders' Cup class with the unanimous decision from the judging panel was Title Bout and Patrick Thomas for S&P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. Leading up to the Celebration, this talented team have been called to victory lane at the Petersburg Lions Club, Christmas In July and MSHSA Charity shows. Reserve honors went to Rooster Cogburn Is  Armed and Jeff Laughlin for Kimberly Coult. Third award went to Top Recruit and Brock Tillman for Bill and Darlene Harris of Chapel Hill.

Taking his first victory pass of the 2015 Celebration was Little Toy Gunn and Joe Lester for Kasey Kesselring of Montverde, Fla. This pair earned the unanimous victory pass in the Western Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Four Years & Under Riders' Cup class. An earlier season win was earned by this pair at the Putnam County Fair. Taking reserve honors was Candy Crush and Jeff Laughlin for CCJK Enterprises.  This pair crushed the competition at the 2014 Celebration taking home world championship honors in this same class. The third place tie went to Jose’s Cash Doctor and B.J. Richards for Dr. John Gladney and Rhonda Martocci.

Thirteen entries answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on English Country Pleasure Walking Horses. Taking home the blue ribbon and title of world champion was the pair of Designer Champagne and Kimberly Coult for Kimberly Coult of Magnolia, Texas and Shelbyville. Designer Champagne is no stranger to the winner's circle as this talented contender has claimed world champion titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Reserve honors went to Cowboy On Parole and Wilsene Moody-Kwok for Dr. Jack Kwok. This dynamic duo has also won top titles at the Gulf Coast Charity, NSSHA Spring Show and Cornersville Lions Club. Rounding out the top three in this impressive class was I’m Manhatten and Tamara Hader. I’m Manhatten has claimed blues this year at the Mississippi Charity show as well as the Spring Fun Show.

An impressive six entries filled the ring vying for the world championship title in the Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Three & Four-Year-Old Riders' Cup class. This was a repeat win from last year for this team who also went on to wear the roses in the Lite-Shod Four & Under class last season. Making the reserve ride was I’m Majestic and Bobby Hugh for Dr. Karen and Jean Baum of Huddleston, Va. This top notch horse has claimed top honors at the Columbia Spring Jubilee, Christmas In July and Liberty Lions Club shows earlier this season. Taking home the third place tie was Jose’s Cash Doctor and B.J. Richards for Dr. John Gladney and Rhonda Martocci.

There were eight entries that answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses. Taking home a unanimous world championship title was Etta James By TJB and Kathy Zeis for Steve Zeis of Wartrace. This talented pair adds this win to their previous world championship win last year. This pair has taken home numerous blue ribbons earlier this season at Petersburg Lions Club, Walking For Cancer and Fayetteville Blue Ribbon shows. Making the reserve world championship ride was Machete and Kyle Bush for Kyle Bush of Baxter. Machete and Kyle have won top honors at the Money Tree Classic, Cumberland County and Manchester Lions Club shows. Taking home the third place ribbon in this impressive class was American Hustle and Kathy Anderson for Kathy and John Anderson.

An impressive line up of eight top contenders answered the gate call in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Country Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years & Under, Optional Tack. Walking away with the world champion title and blue streamer was I’m Orion and Tamra Steinbrecher for Wallace and Tami Steinbrecher from Jesup, Ga. Claiming the reserve title was Classic Country Star and Liz Gassaway for Mackenzie Morgan and Liz Gassaway. Earlier this season this pair has claimed blue ribbons at the Cumberland County, Christmas In July and Belfast shows. Taking home the third place ribbon was Juneau and Haley Lane for Dr. Linda Jones and Haley Lane.

As I'm Orion and Tamra Steinbrecher exit the ring with their blue ribbon flowing, the first session of the 77th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was in the books.

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