SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The 66th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will be one of the largest ever, with 4,824 entries being made for the 11-day show.

This year’s total is 90 less than last year’s record mark of 4,914.  Nearly 100 percent of the drop can be found in the Trail Pleasure Division.

Entry fees and prize money for that division were raised this year to match all other divisions.

“It is extremely gratifying to post such a good number of entries,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. “The credit for that goes to all of the owners, trainers, and exhibitors from across the country that have helped make the Celebration exactly what it is, the World’s Greatest Horse Show.”

For the first time in Celebration history, five different classes have been split into three different divisions due to the number of entries.  They include Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders on Walking Geldings-Riders 11 and Under, Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Stallions, and Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings.

“This speaks to the overall health of the industry,” said Thomas. “Instead of one particular area, the growth seems to be across the board in overall numbers.”

“We are extremely happy to see continued growth in the youth division, especially,” reported Thomas.  “These are the horsemen and horsewomen of the future that will grow the breed and the industry. Of all the areas we’ve seen growth this year, this is by far the most encouraging.”

Stall requests are also up this year meaning the Historic Celebration Grounds will be bursting at the seams with the world’s greatest show horses.

The Celebration is the longest continually running event in the state of Tennessee and the 2004 edition kicks off with morning classes on Wednesday, August, 25th 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 26th.

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