SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The tulips are in bloom…the spring sun is shining…and there’s excitement in the air. It can only mean the 2008 horse show season is about to get into full swing. The 40th Annual National Walking Horse Trainers’ Show opens on Wednesday night at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, TN for a four-night run.

The event is considered one of the top early-season shows in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

“We are extremely proud to have the Trainers’ Show at our facility,” said new Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows. “We’ve had a very good working relationship with the Trainers’ Association for quite some time and wish them the very best for a great show.”

Meadows, in his first official week as chief executive officer, sees this as an opportunity to do some serious networking.

“I plan on being on site for the entire show,” added Meadows. “I look forward to meeting and talking with as many people in the industry as I can.”

The National Trainers’ Show has been a springboard for many future World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horses, including the champions from 2003 (The Whole Nine Yards), 2004 (The Black Night Shade), 2005 (Main Power), and 2007 (Master of Jazz). In all, thirteen horses that have captured the National Trainers’ Show Championship have gone on to win the big stake at The Celebration.

A total of 79 classes make up this year’s event, culminating with the W.H.T.A. Championship Walking Horse Stake on Saturday night.

Show times are 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Tickets are available at the Calsonic Arena box office.