SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Friday morning at the 82nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration put a strong emphasis on young competitors, the lifeblood of the future of the breed.

Announcer Dallas Eubanks called for the Owner-Amateur Weanlings, the first of 12 classes in the session, with nine entries answering the call. He’s Bruno Mars earned the blue, his second in three shows in 2020, with Dr. David Bullock guiding for owner Davany Bullock of Mount Vernon, Kentucky. Reserve went to Country Roads and Amanda Wright for the George Wright Family, while I Am Prada and Jason Dotson walked to the yellow ribbon for the Dotson Brothers.

The Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders on Novice Trail Pleasure Walking Mares & Geldings drew 11 entries. The first and second place winners both awakened the crowd with cheers for both. Ample Cash Down won the world championship and a first Celebration blue for Taylor Harvey. Kelli Harvey is the co-owner from Franklin, Kentucky for the horse which had one previous blue this season. Knockin’ Boots stepped to second with Riley Gregory in the stirrups for owners Phyllis Langley and the Brad Gregory Family. Pistol’s Senorita was third with Jocelyn Laughlin riding. Vickie  Penick is the co-owner.

Josie And The Pussycats sang a winning song for handler Emery Sims and owners Jones and Richards from Manchester and Bell Buckle, Tennessee in the Youth Weanlings, Handlers 6-17 Years class featuring 13 entries. That makes seven blues for Josie And The Pussycats in 2020. Sideways and Jayden Jackson walked to second for the George Wright Family. Lady Z and handler Peyton Nelms took third for owner Lisa Teel.
Six entries competed for the world championship in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses class. Armed But Kid’N and Jason Joseph were called to victory lane for owner Sister Milligan of Panama City, Florida. It was the second blue ribbon of the Celebration for Armed But Kid’N. The red ribbon went to A Titleist Masterpiece with Blake Cammack in the saddle for Champion Stables. The golfing theme continued with Dr. Golf earning third with Jennifer Bingham for the Bingham and Hill partnership.

A highly competitive nine entries competed for an enthusiastically loud crowd in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders, 6-11 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Horses Mares & Geldings class. The world championship ride, the unanimous choice of the five-judge panel, was made by Benelli and Jackson Cammack for Champion Stables from Longview, Texas. This win brought Benelli’s 2020 total to three victories. Maci Ware and Blues For Santana were reserve for owner Tom Ware, while I’m RG3 was third with Jackson Laughlin aboard for Sister Milligan.

Six entries answered the call in the Amateur Owned & Trained Western Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, No Professional Training within 90 Days class. Called to take a world championship ride, for an amazing 25th time was the dominant team of Suiza and Allison Thorson. This win was the 122nd career blue ribbon for the “Classic” horse. The Red Light District and Ashlyn Avent placed reserve, with Martinis At Seven and Jenny Earhart riding to third for co-owner Maggie Moore. 

A dozen entries entered the ring for the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Western Country Pleasure Walking Horses class. Hashtag was awarded the World championship with Counti Green riding for sister WhitLei Green of Shelbyville, Tennessee. The red ribbon was award to Diamond At The Ritz, co-owned by rider Abi Smith and Kimberly Walden. I’m Big Bad John KW and Jayden Jackson carried off the yellow streamer for owner Jacquelyn Way.

The Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on All Day Pleasure Walking Horses class brought in 11 entries. Making a quick equine swap, Abi Smith was back with Jose’ Is All I Have To Say to top the competition and capture the world championship for co-owner Jack Rader from Gassaway, West Virginia. The Girl’s Knight Out was reserve with Jayden Jackson for the partnership of Burgett, Jackson and Wright. He’s Black Pepper claimed the third spot with Colton Trimble in the saddle for the partnership of Gray, Gardner and Trimble.

Eight entries competed in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years & Under with the first two place winner sired by none other than Jose’ Jose’. I Walk The Walk and Carol Missildine, of Smithfield, North Carolina, walked all the way to the winner’s circle earning the top title. It was the second blue of 2020 for the winner. Papacito and Karen Bean were a popular second, with Dixie’s Legacy and Sister Milligan accepting the yellow streamers.
In the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Trail Pleasure Walking  Horses, Five Years & Under class, Habanero Picante and Kimberly Walden of Shelbyville, Tennessee rode to their second word championship at this year’s Celebration and their fourth blue of the season. Stapleton and Maggie Moore received the red ribbon, while Mr. Bentley took a drive to third with Ashley Wadsworth.

Six entries competed for the Lite-Shod Walking Horses, Five Years & Under World Championship. Miss Dixie Flyer picked up the top honor with a unanimous decision from the judging panel with Jeff Laughlin riding for Donna Byard of Alvaton, Kentucky. All About That Bass and Ryan Gannon earned reserve for Rushing Creek Walkers. Baymax B was third with Brandon Ailshie on board for owners Graham and Jones.

The Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years & Under class closed out the morning session with five entries. It was a popular class with the crowd cheering on their favorites. Jose’ Phina and Caroline Sells were called from the line up to take the coveted ride. This vitory came as a unanimous decision for the John Sells Family of Pikeville, Tennessee. Jazz & Everything finished second with Shane Smith riding for Darrell Collins. Chiquito placed third with Zane Bullock riding for the David Bullock Family.

Carrying on the as in years past, Jose’ Jose’ continues to dominate the pleasure division with his offspring. This session was no different with six of the 12 champions carrying on his bloodline.  

Friday night classes in Maverick Arena begin at 7PM. A positive for the show…through the first three sessions 377 horses have been entered, marking an increase of 31 over the same time last year.