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Copperfield Casts Spell On Junior Championship

By Mark Davis

Ah, yes. It’s Championship Friday in Shelbyville at the 73rd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Last night was a great night as we witnessed a performance for the ages in the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship by Honors and Larry Edwards and tonight promises to be just as great with 14 classes on the schedule, 11 being World Grand Championships, leading up to the highlight of the evening, the Junior World Grand Championship.

The judges for the 73rd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky., Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn. & Jeff Willis of Shelbyville, Tenn.

The invocation for the evening was given by Bro. Steve Murphree, pastor of the New Beginnings Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Bedford Express Quartet of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Opening the performance was class 150, Owner-Amateur Lady Drivers, Fine Harness. Due to the number of entries presented for inspection, the class was split prior to show time, so first we’ll get to take a look at A division with eight entries making the call to work as Judge Jamie Hankins served as Call Judge. Driving to the winner’s circle in the A division was West Side Willie and Tamara Gavin Kasser at the whip for Charles & Carol Ann Gavin of Wartrace, Tenn. With this win, coupled with a 2008 win with Pushover In Dixie, the Gavin’s retired the Ruby Ewing Challenge Trophy.
 I’m Medusa and owner/exhibitor Lynn Womack were reserve taking honors home to Murfreesboro, Tenn. Catalina Marie and Dr. Linda Jones drove in to accept the yellow streamers for Dr. Linda Jones & Hailey Lane of Bainbridge, Ga.

The B division of class 150,
Owner-Amateur Lady Drivers, Fine Harness, brought seven entries to the track to work as Judge Jamie Hankins called the gaits. Making the roll to the winner’s circle in the section was I’m Chesapeake Bay and Joyce Myers at the lines for Joyce Meadows & Joyce Myers of Atlanta, Ga. & Shelbyville, Tenn. Stretch Armstrong and Robbie Spiller were reserve for Spiller & Holt of Shelbyville, Tenn. A Bold Generator & owner/exhibitor Carolyn Rutner were third, carrying honors back to Northport, Ala.

Getting Championship competition underway, class 151 featured the Western Lite Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship with five of the six expected making the call to work as Judge Ronnie Spears served as Call Judge for the class. Riding away with the roses, just as they did in 2008, was the team of Red Sunday’s Best and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn. With this win, the team retired The Bruce Almeida Memorial Challenge Trophy and The Glen W. Bunch Memorial Challenge Trophy. Lil Wayne and Bobby Richards were in the second position riding for Jeff Gillespie of Tazewell, Va. Double Java and Beth Sims were third riding for the Mike Chiappari family & Shiloh Walkers of Santa Rosa, Calif.

The young riders were up for class 152, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship with 10 of the 15 on the program taking the rail to work for their spotlight moment as Judge Jeff Willis led the panel in the class. Making the spotlight ride all the way around the historic big oval, and picking up her second set of roses on the week was Allison Thorson riding Roll The Gold. This team topped the Youth 15-17 preliminary earlier this week and, of course, picked up that first set of roses in the Equitation Championship on Monday morning. Roll The Gold is owned and campaigned by ThorSport, Inc., of Sandusky, Ohio. Prime Poison and Lilly Waites, reserve winners of the Youth 15-17 preliminary, was reserve riding for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. ACC and Jaclyn
Compton were third, riding for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va.

The pleasure horses were back for class 153, Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship with 11 of the 14 expected making the call to work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her cohorts. Making the ride to the winner’s circle, even though he seemed a little spooked by the spotlight, was BB King’s Jazz and Jeannae Patterson carrying the honors home to Gulf Hammock, Fla. Expedited and Miles Irby were reserve for Ty Irby of Shelbyville, Tenn. King Dollar and Lisa Kessell were third for Kessell & Garrard of Moorefield, W.Va. & Shelbyville, Tenn.

Back in the performance division, class 154 featured the Susan Gordon Memorial Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Nine entries made the call to ride for the roses in the class as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits. Playing the winning tune in the division and making that memorable spotlight ride with a unanimous decision of the panel was Play Something Country and owner/exhibitor Jeff Smith taking the World Grand Championship acclaim home to Greer, S.C. Above The Line and Brad Spivey was reserve in the class riding for Patricia Spivey of Jefferson City, Tenn. Absolute Proof and Meg Callaway rounded out the top three riding for Ricky Young of Boaz, Ala.

Taking a quick break from Championship competition, class 155 brought the Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary Members on Walking Horses to the ring. Ten entries made the gate call to work for Judge Jamie Hankins and his panel. Making the World Championship ride in the division was Lethal Nightshade and Susan Coleman riding for Phyllis Langley of Sand Point, Idaho. Hydrostatic and Dru McCormick pulled into the second position for Ann Bailey of Blacksburg, Va. G.I. Joe and Maria Derickson were third riding for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga.

The Trail Pleasure entries made their way down the hill for class 156, Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure Walking Horse World Grand Championship. All 13 of the expected teams worked down the hill from Calsonic Arena for their memorable moment in the spotlight at the 2011 Celebration. Judge Ronnie Spears served as Call Judge for the class. Picking up the second set of roses for the week, A Wicked Bond was back in the winner’s circle again, this time with Miles Irby riding for Krysta Allen & Miles Irby of Salem, Ore. & Shelbyville, Tenn. Krysta Allen picked up a set of roses last night in the Novice Trail Pleasure Championship. GiGi’s Majestic and Jordan Howell pulled into the second position for Janet Howell of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Victoria’s Got A Secret and Liz Gassaway picked up the yellow streamers for Sandra Dennis & Liz Gassaway of Marion, Ohio & Shelbyville, Tenn.


Class 157 brought the Park Performance Walking Horse World Grand Championship to the track fifteen strong to work for Judge Jeff Willis and his staff in hopes of earning that coveted title and treasured roses in the division. Taking the honors back out California way with an across the board decision of the panel was the duo of The Concealed Weapon and Patti Pollack making the spotlight ride for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. All American Ritz and Howard Hamilton were reserve riding for Cynthia Wright of Jackson, Tenn. The Moonshine Man and Philip Trimble were third riding for Robert Cunningham of Talladega, Ala.

Seventeen of the 22 expected for class 158, Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Walking Horses World Grand Championship, worked to the historic big oval hoping for their first ever set of roses this Friday night before Labor Day. Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. Capturing that first ever set of roses was the hard working, hard walking team of Boure’ and owner/exhibitor Tam Brogdon of Panama City Beach, Fla., making the victory ride with the approval of the Thursday evening crowd. Paroled From San Quenton and Dr. Ann Rea were second in the class, and remain novices for another day, riding for Dr. Ann Rea of Summit, Miss. Ritz On The Corner and owner/exhibitor Ginger Hartlein rounded out the top three carrying honors home to Shelbyville, Tenn.


The young riders were on track for class 159, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship. Sixteen of the 17 expected made the gate call to work as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the class. The winner was no secret, as it was Victoria’s Secret and Masie McSwain riding out with the roses for Masie & Mandi McSwain of Duluth, Ga. Cadillac’s Bum and Lilly Waites was reserve in the extra good class riding for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. Jose’s Dulce and Megan Davis rounded out the top of the class taking the yellow streamers home for Shamrock Farms of Cincinnati, Ohio.


The professional trainers were back once again for class 160, 15.2 and Under Walking Horse World Grand Championship with four of the five expected taking the rail to work hard for that championship acclaim as Judge Jamie Hankins led his cohorts in the class. Walking to the winner’s circle, just as they did in the 15.2 and Under Stallion preliminary on Monday Night, was Lined Walkin’ and Justin Harris in the irons for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. More Of The Major and John Allan Callaway were reserve riding for Judy Leek of Cedar Creek, Texas. Nine Dangerous Yards and Joe Cotten were third for Dr. Rosser Wall of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Back in the amateur division, 12 of 16 made the gate call for class 161, the Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Ronnie Spears led the panel in the class. Riding away with the win was Command On Parole and Sheryl Crawford riding for Metcalf & Crawford of Bainbridge, Ga. This marked Crawford’s second set of roses as she topped the Elite Championship last night with Command & Control. Gin Rio and Becky Coleman pulled into the second position riding for Madeleine Coleman of Greenwood, Miss. He’s Drawin Attention did just that with Pam Russell aboard securing the third award for Larry & Pam Russell of Pontotoc, Miss.


With that, it was time to call the final class of the evening, class 162, the Four-Year-Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship. After the outstanding class we all witnessed on Sunday night, the crowd was on the edge of their seats waiting what would enter the gait for this evening’s performance. After a quick drag of the track, it was time to call the class. Ah, and of course, Larry Bright had the "Flat Walk Boogie" ready to bring in the contenders. Six entries made the gate call to work in the highlight class of the night as Judge Jeff Willis called the gaits in the class. Making the final spotlight ride of the night, with a unanimous decision of the panel, was the team of Copperfield and Knox Blackburn riding for the Mike Walden family of Chattanooga, Tenn. This team topped the Four-Year-Old Stallion preliminary on Sunday night. Mr. Heisman and Brandye Mills moved into the reserve position riding for Randall & Sadie Baskin of Franklin, Tenn. The LA Ritz and Joe Cotten were third in the class riding for Charlotte Taylor of Rock Island, Tenn.


It’s been another exciting night of competition in Shelbyville, and only one more night remains, and it promises to be one of the very best with Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship & the granddaddy of them all, the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship highlighting the schedule. Just who will we see in the final class tomorrow night, you’ll have to be here to see, so make sure you are here to take place in the magic that can only be found at The Celebration!



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