The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration recently announced over a 10% increase in entries for the upcoming 84th Annual Celebration. As a result, The Celebration has made the decision to split 11 classes this year. Two of those classes, Open Two-Year-Old Stallions and Open Three-Year-Old stallions were split into A, B, and C divisions this year.

Those classes will also have all of the Futurity nominated colts in one of the sections making that class a dual purpose for those nominated entries.  It would be possible this year with the changes to the Futurity that a single entry could win a World Championship and Futurity Championship in the same class.

Although entries were up, the decline in aged stallions that canter and thus compete in The Celebration’s preliminary to the big stake on the first Saturday continued its downward trend. Only 12 entries entered the competition and some of those are also entered in other amateur and/or open classes.  

Earlier this year, the Celebration’s class sheet committee recommended eliminating the 15.2 & Under canter class and replacing it with an open canter class on the second Wednesday night of the Celebration. Of the 12 horses entered in the aged stallions preliminary, 9 (or 75%) of those are also entered in the open canter class on Wednesday night.

“Due to low entry numbers, the addition of the open canter class on Wednesday evening and the real possibility of having a split preliminary class with two to three horses in it, The Celebration has made the decision not to split the aged stallions on the first Saturday night. We have put a lot of thought into this for the last two years and I didn’t want to make a change my first year, but with the additional class this year on Wednesday night it tipped the scales for us to make this change in hopes of providing our fans with an exciting and thrilling preliminary on Saturday night. The Celebration is the pinnacle of the show season and if you want to be the World Grand Champion, you are expected to face strong competition on the industry’s biggest stage,” said Celebration CEO Warren Wells.

The following is a list of all classes that were split:

Class 38 – Two-Year-Old Walking Mares
Class 41 – Owner/Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallions
Class 52 – Owner/Amateur Novice Riders on Novice All Day Pleasure Horses
Class 65 – Owner/Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Mares & Geldings
Class 68 – Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions (A,B,C)
Class 86 – Three-Year-Old Walking Mares
Class 105 – Owner/Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares & Geldings
Class 123 – Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions (A,B,C)
Class 131 – Owner/Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares & Geldings
Class 133 – Owner/Amateur Four-Year-Old Mares & Geldings
Class 140 – Owner/Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallions