SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® has named 13 new members to the TWHNC Hall of Fame. These individuals will be inducted at a dinner in their honor on February 23, 2008 at Calsonic Arena at The Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, TN.

The Class of 2008 includes industry professionals and contributors to The World’s Greatest Horse Show. They join a select group previously inducted.

"We are very happy to honor this group for their participation and contributions to The Celebration®," said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. "Each one of these individuals is very deserving of the honor and we are proud to have them join our Hall of Fame."


The new members include one that will be honored posthumously; long-time owner/exhibitor Dr. Dan Bateman of Albany, Georgia

Other members of the Class of 2008 include:

Jean Baum, long-time owner/exhibitor of Ixonia, Wisconsin.

Larry Bright of Tylertown, Mississippi will be honored for his quarter-century of work as the official organist of The Celebration®.

Joe Dietz of New Castle, Indiana is a long-time owner of many successful horses, including 1981 World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse®, The Pusher.

Columbia, Kentucky-based owner Tommy Grider has been a leader in the walking horse industry in his home state. His family has owned numerous blue ribbon winners at The Celebration®.

Diane Gueck, a highly successful trainer from Sherwood, Oregon, has been a leader in the walking horse industry in the western United States for many years.

Dr. W.H. Hill of Powder Springs, Georgia has been a long-time owner and exhibitor within the industry. He also won a blue ribbon at the age of 90 at the 2007 Celebration.

Bob Kilgore of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been part of the ownership group of two different World Grand Champions®. They include 1997 World Grand Champion®, Generator’s Santana, and the 2005 titleholder, Main Power.

Celebration Director Bailey Little of Shelbyville will be honored for his years of service to the annual event.

Noted owners and exhibitors Floyd and Beverly Sherman of Dallas, Texas, have put quality horses in the show ring for many years. Mrs. Sherman has numerous World and World Grand Champion® titles to her credit as an owner-amateur rider.

Charles Terry of Morristown, Tennessee has been a long-time owner of outstanding walking horses, including part-ownership in 2001 World Grand Champion®, Pride’s Jubilee Encore.

Columbia, Tennessee’s Hoil Walker has been involved in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry for many years. The high point came in 1993 when his horse, The Touch, was crowned World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse®.

"This class of inductees comes from all areas of the industry and all areas of the country," said Thomas. "It just shows the diversity of individuals that mean so much to our wonderful event."


Tickets for the black-tie event will be on sale through The Celebration® office after the new year begins. They can be contacted at 931-684-5915 or