SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - 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 National Trainers’ Show in a big way.
            Walking Horse Trainers Association Director Benny Johnson joined Celebration CEO Ron Thomas and Shelbyville City Manager Ed Craig on the Celebration Grounds recently to accept a sponsorship check totaling $30,000 from The Celebrationsm and the City of Shelbyville for their sponsorship of the event.
            “Every show needs corporate sponsorship,” related Johnson.  “We’re very fortunate to have The Celebrationsm 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 board and staff) have done a great job cultivating relationships with the business community throughout the years,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas.  “We’re proud 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 $30,000.”
            “The Celebrationsm staff makes our job easy to put on a great show,” said Johnson.  “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 Celebrationsm 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 former Celebration Chairman John T 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. 
            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 Thomas. “The trainers are the ones who continue to develop great show horses and help make our show (The Celebrationsm) the world’s greatest horse show.”