SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The 68th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is sure to be one of the most exciting ever, with 4,570 entries being made for the 11-day show.

This year's total is 79 less than the 2005 total. The record mark for entreis is 4,914. That number was set in 2003. The total number of horses is slightly down from last year; 2,505 to 2,402.

“We expected a slight drop in total numbers, but it is extremely gratifying to post such a good number of entries,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. “The credit for the continued success of our entries goes to all the owners, trainers, and exhibitors from across the country have have helped make The Celebration exactly what it is, the World Greatest Horse Show. We are delighted and humbled by the number of entries. It is truly a vote of confidence for our breed and its world championship horse show.”

The number of classes that were split into two divisions is down slightly from one year ago. There will be 29 A-B splits this year, as opposed to 37 last year. There are no three-way splits this year.

“We always want to grow our numbers,” said Thomas. “However, the numbers are exciting to me when you take into account the issues our industry has faced this year.”

One of the additions to the schedule in 2006 will be the Park Pleasure World Grand Championship for the professional trainers. A slate of qualifying classes were also added.

“We are extremely happy to see the strong support we have received for the new classes added to the program over the last few years,” reported Thomas. “We made some changes and additions in the Park Pleasure Division that seem to be getting a good response.”

The Celebration is the longest continually running event in the state of Tennessee and the 2006 edition kicks off with morning classes on Wednesday, August 23rd, and the TWHBEA National Futurity that night in Calsonic Arena. The initial night performance in the outdoor Celebration Arena will be on Thursday night, August 24th.

Ticket purchases can be made by calling 931-684-5915. More Celebration information can be found at