By Mark McGee

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – With food trucks setting up at the Farmers’ Market Pavilion near Calsonic Arena for the post show crowd to eat lunch a dozen classes competed Friday morning  with youth, both the riders and the horses, and the versatility of the breed on display. 

During the show Jan Phillips, Shelbyville’s Police Chief was recognized and commended  for his service. Dallas Eubanks declared it to be an exciting day the 83rd annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. When the gate opened promptly at 9 and 10 of the 12 listed entries in  the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings class entered the ring. It was certainly exciting for Jackson Cammack who rode Benelli for the first World Championship of the day for Liz Vaughn and Jackson Cammack of Longview, Texas. It was the third blue in a row and the fourth of the season for the duo. Annie’s Lined With Cash was reserve for owner-rider Khloe Aymett McSwain. The Night Crawler was third with co-owner  Jocelyn Laughlin aboard for co-owners Sister Milligan and Jason Joseph.

Five of six scheduled entries presented themselves for judging in the Model Pleasure Walking Geldings class. Carolina Chrome shined brightly under the arena lights for the World Championship for handler Laurie Toone and owner Sophia Borg of Shelbyville. It was the fifth blue in 2021 for the team. I’m Modelo took reserve with Leighanne Tibbs serving as the handler for The Great Adventure Equestrian, Inc. The King’s Way and handler Robert Nelms walked out with a yellow streamer for Darleen Buckner and Millie Player.

In the Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, 12 out of the 15 official entries competed. The Maiden won the World Championship for owner-rider Dale Steinmetz from Louisville, Kentucky. Tiago earned reserve honors with co-owner Whitlei Green riding for co-owner Lee Sinden. The Tiger Lily placed third with co-owner Jordan Howell in the saddle for Southridge Farm.

Perfect Timing BC and Cooper Moore captured top honors in the Owner-Amateur Novice 6-17 Country Pleasure; making this the second World Championship at this year’s Celebration for Perfect Timing BC for the partnership of Sensat and Moore of Lynnville, Tennessee. Hey Charlene received a red streamer with Laci Matthews in the saddle for Manis, Holt and Matthews. The Big Bang PL made noise in third place with Kylie Duvall on board for Christy Duvall.

The Yearling Fillies or Geldings class attracted eight of the 10 program entries. She’s Walkin’ On Fire was hot on the way to the World Championship with Claire Hankins handling the entry for Bruce Vaughn of Valley City, Ohio. The team is undefeated in four shows this season. My Miranda Lambert and Roger Richards, Jr. were reserve for Bobby Jones and Roger Richards. Charlie’s Stylish Miss took home third with Robbert Nelms handling for Ashbrook and Keyser.

The Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice All Day Pleasure Walking Horses class featured 20 of 21 original entries, the largest class of the morning. N.V and owner-rider Cindy Long from Perrysville, Ohio won their first ever Celebration World Championship and their first blue ribbon in a row for 2021. John Wick was reserve with co-owner Renee Stasiewicz in the saddle for co-owner Scott Stasiewicz. Blurred Lines CDK took third with Freda Dean riding for Dean, Lewis and Martin.

Three of four entries were in the ring for the Yearling Colts class. Marty Warren guided Cash Kid to the World  Championship for Steve and Denise Smith of Brentwood, Tennessee and Gary and Karen Doss from Minford, Ohio. It was the only unanimous win of the session. Cash Kid and Warren are  undefeated in eight shows in 2021 including a National Futurity win Wednesday night. Black Gin Desperado and handler Robert Nelms walked  away with second for Travis Hale and Ricky Atnip. Dixie Montana and handler Chase Williams received a yellow streamer for owner Char Johnson.

The Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Western Country Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings class presented 12 of the 13 original entries. Diamond At The Ritz and co-owner Abi Smith won the World Championship for co-owner Kimberly Walden repeating their World Championship performance in the class in 2020. Both are from Shelbyville. First Knight Out captured reserve with Riley Gregory in the irons for The Brad Gregory Family. Bella Belle  was ridden to a yellow ribbon by Cooper Moore for Jason Moore. 

She’s Walkin’ on Fire was hot again winning her second World Championship of the morning with a top finish in the Youth Yearling Fillies or Geldings, Handlers 12-17 Years class. Jacie Booth was the handler this time for owner Bruce Vaughn of Valley City, Ohio. Lemon Drop Martini was guided to second by Georgia Hazelwood for owner Deb Sims. Third went to Jose’s Balenciaga and handler Isaac Witherspoon for owner Dotson Bros. Five of the six program entries competed.

Luciano was more talented than lucky with the World Championship win in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Western Trail Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings. Caroline Sells was aboard for The John Sells Family and Lindy Holt, all from Franklin, Tennessee. It was the fifth blue in six shows for Luciano in 2021 and the second in a row with Sells riding. Jazz & Everything received reserve honors with Shane Smith in the saddle for Darrell Collins. Labeled A Parolee and owner-rider Eliza Dekleyn walked out with a yellow streamer. Six of the seven entries answered the gate call.

The Owner-Amateur Yearlings had six of the nine original entries in the ring. My Miranda Lambert sang a World Champion song with Kelly Richards  Ward guiding for Bobby Jones of Manchester, Tennessee and Roger Richards  from Bell Buckle, Tennessee.  My Miranda Lambert has five blues this season under various handlers. Lemon Drop Martini was awarded her second reserve of the morning for owner-handler Deb Sims. Charlie’s Sweetheart took home a yellow ribbon with Jaron Dotson handling for Dotson and Hicks.

The Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on All Day Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings class closed out the morning with only one of the 15 entries not in the ring. IB Smokin’ Joe smoked the competition for the World Championship with co-owner Tucker Johnson riding  for co-owner Tanner Johnson, all of Shelbyville. It was the second World Championship of the Celebration this week for IB Smokin’ Joe who is eight-for-eight in first place finishes in 2021 with various riders. Dixie Serenade and Addie Harris took home a red ribbon for owners Hatch, Harris and Rippy. Peligro Dinero and co-owner Taylor Harvey were third for co-owners Lexi Smith and Phyllis Langley.

Time to check out those food trucks!