Posted August 27, 2001

by Carole Hargett

Day six and Monday. The Celebration began a new week and everyone knows about the Monday morning blues. But not in Shelbyville! After a refreshing rain overnight, the horses and riders came into the ring as if it were the first Wednesday. The quest for a Celebration blue keeps most people up and going.

The agenda for the final week is crowded with clinics, a hot dog eating contest, a golf tournament, and shopping! No time to be tired - it’s 9:00 am and it’s show time!

The crowd was sparse, but what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in enthusiasm. Several filed in with coffee and biscuits in hand and settled into a seat with anticipation. Twenty-six entries made Martin’s gate call for the Park Pleasure Three-Year-Old Amateur class. With barely one round completed, a workout was announced. A class of this size and talent was too tough to call. The final rounds were made by the fourteen remaining entries. Everyone gave it their all as the level of competition rose. There were no sleepers in the crowd either, they came alive and the shouting began. The loyal walking horse fans in attendance loved that good walkin’ and shakin’.

Riding to the winners circle was Gen’s Major Coin and Sherri Pollack for their second blue ribbon. The Beaming Skywatch and Stuart Gibbs rode for the reserve ribbon. Don Hancock and Captain of Command took the third place tie. The geographically dispersed states of California, Oklahoma, and Kentucky were represented in the top three.

Plantation and padded in the same class? It can only happen in the equitation classes. Equitation, Riders 18 Years and Over, the second class of the morning called in seven riders of the 11 listed. Tuck ordered the class to its gaits. The horses are not judged in this division. The rider is scrutinized on form, attire and control. It takes hard work and years of practice to compete at this level of competition. The flat walk, running walk and canter were completed and then each rider was asked to back four steps, step forward, drop their reins and gather them back , keeping eyes straight forward. Each rider performed these tasks to near perfection.

Jacklyn Harney of Murfreesboro, Tenn., winner of many blues in equitation classes, picked up a another win for her efforts. Kentuckian, Elizabeth Whitton claimed second place. Theresa Carpinito repeated last year’s tie to capture third place.

A good class of novice riders were presented in class 83 of the Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings, Specialty, Amateur Novice Youth Riders 17 Years and Under. Thirteen of 16 entries came through the gate to answer Carpenter’s call. One horse and rider took a spill, but after some loving pats to his horse, Scott Czywczwaski remounted to the clapping of the fans. Pushing Your Luck and Katie Schneider rode to the blue. That made two ribbons for them so far. Stuart Gibbs picked up another reserve ribbon with Push My Score. Generator’s Miss Trixie and Amanda Dye made a good ride for third. This pair had a third place tie last year.

Novice lite shod entries were up this year and the numbers required a split in the Novice Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, Specialty, Amateur Riders class. Hand called 12 entries to Division A. Eleven riders did not show. A short time out was called after one round but the class quickly resumed. There were many familiar faces in this tough class. The judges gave top honors to Jose Quervo Gold and Bob Lawrence. This makes two blues and a reserve for this team. New Millenium Generator and owner/rider Wendell Kirkpatrick picked up another ribbon as they garnered second place. Kim Dean and Doc's Last Advice carried the yellow ribbon home to Tullahoma, Tenn.

Seventeen riders answered the gate call for Division B at Hankins call. Five listed entries did not show. Pusher’s Beaming Pride CK and Jim Nichols proudly accepted the blue ribbon for their performance. The entry is owned by Jim and Debbie Nichols from New Market, Tenn. Cash In After Dark and Laura Berringer cashed in with a red ribbon. Close behind was Theresa Carpinito for their second third place tie.

Twenty-five babies entered the next class as little high-pitched whinnies and neighs announced their arrival. The Weanling Colts class was called by Martin. Thirty-six entries were listed. Each one was just as pretty as they could be. Handlers matched every stride with their colts. At the line up, each one had the colts parked out with attention to every detail. As in previous classes, the judges found this call too difficult to determine without a workout. Fifteen walking, striding babies made the final rounds. A Tennessee Gen and Keith Reed won another blue with the Robbie Biggs entry. It’s Law & Justice, hot off a win at the International, justified a reserve tie in this good class. Jessie Dotson owns and shows the entry. Pushing into third was The Major Push with Chris Richards handling the entry for Nancy Lavato of Utah.

The easy riding trail pleasure horses were back. Eighteen answered the call for the Novice Amateur Western Trail Pleasure Riders on Novice Walking Horses, Specialty, class 86A. Twelve entries did not arrive to show. With cowboy hats on and western gear shining, the riders waited for the judges decision. A Style File and Darwin James accepted their second blue for Darwin and Linda James of Broken Arrow, Okla. Another horse adding to the treasure trove was Olympic Angel and Jenna Hamilton for Marilyn Friedman. The ribbon total now came to five for this horse. In from Montana was Piper’s Lady Slipper and Kathy Warden to pick up the third tie.

Carpenter called Division B to be judged; 26 of 30 listed entries answered his call. Gliding around the track in the smooth trail gait, the riders demonstrated what easy riding is all about; long days in the saddle over hills and valleys. What does one do when there are so many good entries? Why a work-out, of course. The judges pulled in eight numbers and took another look at the remaining class. A selection of 7 more entries expanded the field to 15 for the final decision. One entry asked to be excused. Nodding and striding to pick up their first place award was Lynn Marchetti on Peacock’s Mr. Delight. Hot Dixie Knight and Kala Massey was the hot pick for reserve. Royal’s High Society added another ribbon to her stash; a yellow one this time. She was the International grand champion trail pleasure horse this year. Scott Nelson was in the irons.

Amateurs love their horses and many spend hours training their mounts. It develops a special bond between the two. The Amateur Owned and Trained class exemplifies this relationship. Fifteen teams came to Hand’s call. Lots of high-stepping action got the audience going. A time out was called for a cast shoe after the first round. The entry had to be excused. The action and the shouting resumed. Half way through the canter, a time out was called for a groom - it was another cast shoe! While that task was being taken care of, there was a call for another groom. All this on the first way of the ring! Connie Dunlap worked overtime to keep everyone entertained with her organ music.

All the way from Georgia, Threat’s Bay Mack and a thrilled Jimmy Sheets enjoyed their victory ride. Two Kentucky entries sewed up second and third ties, Final Design and Kenny Smith followed by My Favorite Dance and Jim Boyd.

Hankins was next at the helm for the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, Amateur Riders. He was looking for 13 of the 20 entries listed to show. There’s a little more action in this class, but the horses still maintain that “glide ride” that the Tennessee Walking horse is famous for. For the third time at this year's Celebration, Genius Dixie Chick carried away a blue. Owner Sheila Mack-Kyle was again the smiling rider. . This is also the fourth ribbon for them. Stripper’s Finale and Sherri Pollack took away the reserve red ribbon. Hit and Run and Lauren Shaw claim the yellow for third. The top three horses have plenty to brag about as all are world champions.

All 13 entered riders heeded the Tuck's gate call for the Auxiliary Equitation Youth Medal Championship. Two groups of riders qualified for a shot at the ultimate title of world grand champion. Well turned-out riders on both flat and padded entries were seen competiting, each one hopeful of attaining the floral horseshoe. The Alice Eve Klein-Senator’s Big Glory Challenge trophy was awarded. A $500 scholarship also accompanied the other awards.

The judges reviewed each entry as they performed maneuvers indicated by cones in the track. At the judges cue, they flat walked to the second cone, made a circle and cantered from the second cone to the third cone. You could almost hear a pin drop as each rider took their turn. The crowd was very cognicent of the concentration required to complete this part of the class. Becky Brooks was the recipient of all the awards and was crowned the champion. Brooks hails from Aliso Viejo, Calif. A close second was Rachel Jernigan from Flemingsburg, Ky. Third award went to Catherine Simpson of Crossville, Tenn. In a class such as this, the difference between the awards can very close and every rider can boast of their fine performance.

The babies returned to ring with the familiar little whinnies and neighs. Weanling Fillies, of 2001 Foal, Class 90 opened the gate to 17 of the 28 fillies entered. Tuck called the final class of the morning. The handlers took the same care of their charges, and attended to every detail. The winner in this fine class went to Xtreme Command and Kim Bailey in an across the board unanimous decision. Reserve went to Margarita Sunrise and Keith Reed. This team won an earlier class. The entry is owned by Thomas and Paula Gatlin. Third place went to Miss Carryover and Bobby Richards for Floyd Manis of Church Hill, Tenn.

The Monday morning performance was the final day session of the 2001 Celebration. The vendors of the trade have now taken over the Calsonic Arena for the balance of the week. Horse fans will now fill the seats in the Celebration's famous outdoor oval each evening at 7:00 p.m.