Clint Adams of the Celebration’s Grounds Crew puts the final touches on the new street sign honoring 2008 World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse, Santana’s El Nino.  The street leading into the warmup area has been named for the big stake winner since 2004. (TWHNC Photo)

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse is honored each year by having a street at the Historic Celebration Grounds named in his honor.  The sign bearing the name “Santana’s El Nino Calle" went up this week.

All of the streets on The Grounds are named for individuals or horses of historic significance in the history of the world championship horse show.  This year the street name takes on the Spanish word for street, calle, in honor of the Spanish flair of the horse’s name.

The roadway bearing the World Grand Champion’s name is the short street between Celebration Plaza and Champions Arena.  The street leads into the warm-up and inspection area and was unnamed prior to 2004.

“This is a small, but very visible way to honor our World Grand Champion and the ambassador of the breed,” said Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows.  “As time goes along and other champions are crowned, this will continue to develop into something people will look forward to…much like the name of the new champion going up on the Gallery of World Grand Champions in the mall under the west grandstands.  Every horse that goes into either arena has to pass directly by this sign.”

“We feel very privileged to have Santana’s El Nino to be honored in this manner,” said trainer Link Webb of Lewisburg, Tenn.   “It certainly is something our entire team will long remember.”

Webb feels having your horse’s name on a street at The Celebration will be something anyone connected with future champions will cherish.

“It’s something they will really get a kick out of.  I know we and the Jones family are enjoying everything that has been part of El Nino winning the title.”

Michael and Ann Jones of Lafayette, GA own the seven-year-old black stallion.

The 71st Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is scheduled for August 26-September 5 at the Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, TN.  Whether or not Santana’s El Nino will keep his name on the street after Labor Day of 2009 is unknown.  What is known is that the only way it will stay there is if he comes back and becomes the first back-to-back winner since Go Boy’s Shadow in 1955 and ’56.