SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will make stables available to equine displaced by Hurricane Ike.

“We have been in contact with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) to let them know we are available as a point of refuge,” said Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows.  “It’s important for horse owners to know there’s somewhere to turn at a time like this.”

TDA coordinates with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to get the word out to their counterparts in states that could be affected by the impending hurricane.

The Celebration also made space available for victims of Hurricane Gustav once the 70th Celebration came to a close.  In 2005, several animals were housed on the Celebration Grounds following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“Animal health and safety is a top priority for us,” added Meadows.  “While we may not expect any refugees, we certainly wanted to make that option available to those who might need it.”

The 71st Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is scheduled for August 26-September 5, 2009.  A schedule of all events at The Celebration can be found at