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Claire Hankins Crowned Youth Equitation World Grand Champion on Monday Morning

by Sarah Smith

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – On Monday, August 29, 2016 the final morning performance of the 78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration began at 9 a.m. inside Calsonic Arena with a welcome from announcer Dallas Eubanks. Judges for the event are Chris Bobo, Nathan Clark, Ray Gilmer, Sam Sorrell and Leigh Stuart.

Repeating their win from 2015 with the approval of all five judges, Patti Pollack drove Title Bout to the winner’s circle in the Flat-Shod Pleasure Driving, 2 or 4 Wheel Vehicle. Title Bout pulled Patrick Thomas to the blue at the Woodbury Lions Club Horse Show in July. Reserve honors went to I’m Johnny Dollar and Jeff Laughlin for Vickie Penick. Third went to Ritz’s Red Solo Cup and Harold Roberts.

Belfast-TWHBEA Youth Show Pleasure Champions Admission Is A Dollar and WhitLei Green are now World Champions. The duo found themselves heading down victory lane in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings. Dr. Pam Hendrickson and WhitLei Green own the champion. Bronco Billy and Jesse Laughlin are carrying the reserve title back to Waynesville, Mo. for Jo Laughlin. The team was victorious in the class in 2014. Rounding out the top three in the nine-horse field was He’s Guns-N-Roses and Thomas Derickson for Dotson and Derickson.

Western Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Riders’ Cup were next on the schedule with their professional riders. Picking up his second world title this week was Lil Wayne. Jeff Laughlin directed Lil Wayne to the win for Jeff Gillespie. Emily Cotten enjoyed a win on Lil Wayne earlier in the week. Second in the class went to Double Shot Of Cash and Laurie Toone for Tamara Hader who found herself in the winner’s circle with Double Shot Of Cash on Friday morning. Third was Kick Start Jazz and Joe Lester for Justin and Amanda Manis. Kick Start Jazz and Justin Manis were crowned World Champions on Wednesday morning.

It is always a delight to see the Mare and Foal class take the ring. Pusher’s Jr. Miss and Give Me A Triple with Karen Harnden and Haley McGee at the leads for Howard and Beth Henderson. Reserve World Champions were The Bingo Queen and Diplomatic Immunity for Jackie Rader. Third went the A Rainy Day Woman and The Gin Mine for Charles Gleghorn.

Riding to her third consecutive Adult Equitation, Riders 18 and Over, Canter World Championship was Allison Thorson. Thorson earned the title in unanimous fashion. Reserve went to Carmen Franck Vaughn and third was Morgan Murphy.

Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Two and Three-Year-Old, Riders’ Cup saw He’s A Dixieland Delight and Bobby Hugh to the winner’s circle. Vickie Penick proudly owns the talent. He’s A Dixieland Delight had previous wins at The Money Tree Classic and Cumberland County. Olympic Aftershock and Jamey Thompson earned the Reserve World Championship. This was the second reserve title earned by the youngster. Rounding out the top three was Grits In Dixie with Jeff Laughlin riding. Grits In Dixie and Darrin Sisk were World Champions on Friday Morning.

Continuing the family tradition and riding out of the Novice Division in unanimous fashion was Karen Baum aboard I’m Majestic in the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Optional Tack. Second was I’m On The Check and Dustin Cooper.

Weanling Colts of 2016 Foal were next to impress the judges. Mr. Right Now lead by Bobby Richards were called to victory lane for Richards, Jones and Fikes. Hunter Fikes led the youngster to a win earlier in the show. Second place awards went to I’m King Of The Ritz and Lynn Womack for Kevin Guess & Co. Third went to
Habanero Picante and Karen Harnden for Kasey Kesselring.

Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses was packed with talent. Riding out of the lineup and no longer a novice was Donna Byard and Pushin’ Some Black Jazz for Shelli MeHaffey. The reserve title went to Magellan and Alex Johnson. Rounding out the top three was The Kraken and Erica Hester.

Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Riders’ Cup took the track next. Earning bragging rights as World Champions was The Red Falcon and Jamey Thompson. Owner Joyce Hofstee earned championship acclaim aboard The Red Falcon on Friday morning. Reserve in the class went to the multi-titled Rise To Fame and Patrick Thomas for Steve and Pat Wilson. Third went to Overpass and Patti Pollack.

Taking the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship, Canter World Grand Championship back to Paris, Ky., was Claire Hankins. Hankins is a three-time Equitation World Champion and was second in the qualifier on Saturday morning. Reserve awards went to the 2015 Youth Equitation World Grand Champion Kaitlyn Rippy. Anna Rosati who became a World Champion Equitation rider on Saturday morning rounded out the top three in the field of six spectacular riders.

Jannie Chapman’s Ritz Final Affair with trainer Jeff Laughlin riding was the Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Two-Year-Old Riders Cup World Champion.

The final class of the morning brought nine Weanling Fillies of 2016 Foal to the ring vying for top honors. Earning the unanimous World Championship was Miss Belle Starr W. and Amanda Wright for the Dr. George Wright family. This team also topped the competition at the TWHBEA National Futurity. Reserve acclaim went to Singin’ The Blues CF and Karen Harnden for Ronnie Green. This team was aslo victorious at the TWHBEA National Futurity. Third went to Diplomatic Immunity for Jackie Rader.

Dollar Night at the Celebration will begin at 7 p.m. inside the big oval.

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