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The Celebration And Shelbyville Support The Trainers' Show



            The industry that has made the city of Shelbyville, TN known worldwide as the “Walking Horse Capital of the World” announced that the city of Shelbyville has shown it’s support for the recently-completed Trainers’ Show in a big way.

            Walking Horse Trainers Association Executive Director Billy Thomas was on the Celebration Grounds recently to accept a sponsorship check for $25,000 from The Celebration and the City of Shelbyville for their sponsorship of the event.

            “Every show needs corporate sponsorship,” related Thomas.  “We’re very fortunate to have The Celebration and the City Shelbyville step forward and support the trainers.”

            The relationship between all the parties involved is a healthy one.  The Celebration has been happy to take the lead in organizing the sponsors for the Trainers’ Show.

            “Our people (Celebration staff) have done a great job cultivating relationships with the business community throughout the years,” said John T Bobo, chairman of the Celebration Board of Directors.  “It’s good to know that we were in a position to bring several entities to the table to help the Trainers’ Show be the early-season success that it is, and put together a sponsorship package totaling $25,000.”

            “The Celebration staff makes our job easy to put on a great show,” said Thomas.  “Assisting us in lining up corporate sponsorships is invaluable.  They have the clout to go in and ask for the sponsorship on our behalf.  It certainly proves to me that the Celebration has a commitment to the trainers in this industry.”

            In a 1995 article in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, then-mayor Henry Feldhaus said, “The first year they were here the sales tax collections jumped $18,000 for the month.  That was the only event of show we could attribute it to.”  Since then, The National Trainers’ Show has continued to provide a boost to the local economy.

            The same article had comments from Chairman Bobo that still ring true today.  “We do think of it as an investment as opposed to a donation.  There are a couple of reasons for that, including the growing economic impact as well as the boost in the local sales tax revenue.”

            The Trainers’ Show has been held at Calsonic Arena since 1990 and has an agreement to remain there through the 2008 show.  This year’s show featured 758 entries over four nights.

            At the time the multi-year agreement was negotiated, there was competition for the show from Murfreesboro and Atlanta, GA.  Several other facilities have gone online since that time and the competition to host the show may become even more intense in the years to come.

            “We are proud to host the W.H.T.A. and the Trainers’ Show each year,” said Bobo. “The trainers are the ones who continue to develop great show horses and help make our show (The Celebration) the world’s greatest horse show.”

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