by Debbie Graham

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. - The first annual Germantown Fall Classic was held Oct. 15, 2005 at the famed Germantown Charity Horse Show grounds on Poplar Pike. Tennessee Walking horse trainers, exhibitors and enthusiasts were thrilled with the addition of this new show to West Tennessee's fall show schedule. Exhibitors welcomed another opportunity to showcase the Tennessee Walking Horse in the legendary Germantown arena.

Funds from the event were designated to benefit Ryan's Hope Therapeutic Riding Program. Ryan's Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support, relief, and recreation to families with special needs. Ryan's Ranch is part of the organization which features unique therapies and a special recreational facility. The ranch provides therapeutic horseback programs and many other activities as a retreat for entire families.

Beautiful fall weather with mild temperatures provided the perfect setting for a successful event. A large gallery of spectators attended and were entertained by some of the industry's finest contenders. There were 177 entries. Jimmy Chancellor served as show chairman and Shelby County Mayor A. C. Wharton gave the invocation in the opening ceremonies. Leigh Bennett judged the 32 classes and Diane Beaver entertained the crowd with her talents on the keyboard. Walter Foster handled the duties of ringmaster. Mike Umberger provided farrier services, Sid Abernathy was the official photographer and Dr. Mark Akin was veterinarian for the show.

Falcon Ridge Farm led the blue ribbon tally for the evening with seven Germantown Fall Classic blues. Formac Stables and Stanfill Stables received four. Whitter Stables, Southern Serenity Ranch, and James Nichols earned three Germantown Classic titles. Dual blues were awarded to Swinging' Gates Stables and Woods Stables. Single title recipients were Gayla Kail, Kristopher Ausburn, and Cindy Sartain.

In the final class of the evening, the Walking Horse Stake class, The Key To My Heart and Chris Zahnd were crowned Germantown Fall Classic Grand Champions, receiving the tricolor ribbon for owner John Furline.

The Germantown Fall Classic show committee was pleased with the success of the premier show and the participation from walking horse enthusiasts. They look forward to the 2006 edition. Complete results follow and they may be viewed, printed, and searched at