Posted August 21, 2001

by David L. Howard

The numbers are in for Celebration entries and they are impressive, to say the least. If horses show back in the Championship classes comparable to last year, the 2001 Celebration will have a record setting 5,015 entries.

That will represent an increase of 422 entries over last years 4,593 or almost 10%. The all time record was set in 1997 with 4,613 entries. Entries in the 2001 program, which does not include championship entries, totaled and represented 2,457 horses.

Padded entries make up 59% of the total while the pleasure division represents 41%. Last year padded entries were 70% of the total while flat shod was 30%. Going back to 1984, the year Ron Thomas came to the Celebration, the padded horses represented 94% of the entries while the flat shod was only 6%.

The breakdown on entries by division is as follows:

Division Entries % of Total Entries
Padded 2,355 52%
Pleasure 988 22%
Novice 610 14%
Trail Pleasure 373 8%
Halter 293 7%

These figures are indicative of the attitude and enthusiasm of horse people on the eve of the most important show of the year. The Celebration is expecting record attendance and demand for boxes is at an all time high. There are approximately 2300 boxes and only 12 were not renewed this year.

The facilities continue to be upgraded and are in their best condition ever. Plans are already being discussed to continue the barn restoration project, which has proven to be immensely popular with exhibitors.

The slate of judges has received overwhelming acceptance and recent shows have reflected a very upbeat tone for the industry, despite the economic slowdown nationally. When you think about it, the horse business is like pizza - even when it's bad it's good.

Everything is in place to have one of the greatest Celebrations ever so lets all do our part to make it one to remember. Get out your S.H.O.W. buttons and commit to Sound horses, Honest judging, Objective inspections and Winning fairly.

A Point Of Personal Privilege
This has always been a special time of year for me and my family but none more so than this year. On August 16, we completed 30 years of publishing the Walking Horse Report, a true labor of love, and I am blessed to have all three of my children now working in our company.

But even more special is August 20 when Mary and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. She is the joy of my life and I could not do what I do without her doing what she does so very well. Her understanding of what is important in life has kept me from missing what is most important in our lives - our family and friends.