After new flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and rider Bud Seaton presented the national colors and Brad Martin gave a beautiful rendition of the national anthem the Wednesday evening session of the 2002 Celebration was ready to get underway.

The attendance on the breezy August night was 10,963.

The first class of the evening was the Owner Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings. Judge Ray Gilmer was the call judge in the large class of twenty-eight entries. With the amount of entries and talent, a workout was necessary. Seven were initially called to park in and eight were additionally making a total of fifteen remaining. The Skypatrol and Julie Grider were the top team in the tough class. They were awarded first place honors after a fine performance for the partnership of Gibson and Grider. Reserve honors were awarded to Sanman and Pam Russell for Larry Russell. The yellow ribbon was presented to Kennedy and Barbara Ann Pate.

The second division of Owner Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings was next to compete. This class was quite large with twenty nine entries. A workout was called for at the beginning of the class with Judge Irby officiating as call judge. Fifteen entries finished the class after the rest were excused, but only one would remain to make the victory pass. That one was Liz Claiborne with rider and owner Lucky Collins. Collins is from Fort Myers, Florida. They Call Me Sir and Bill Barnett received second in the class. Third place was awarded to Elegant Time and Gail Walling.

A strong class of Owner Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Geldings filled the ring next. Judge Don Milligan was the call judge in the class. The entertaining Fudpucker and Becky Coleman took the blue ribbon award in the class. Fudpucker proved throughout the season that he was a formidable competitor in different divisions as he won the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty with Coleman at Jackson and the championship stake at Summertown with trainer Mickey McCormick. The Onion and Brenda Bramlett took second. Third was presented to Rankin County and Kelly Sherman.

Some of the greatest riders in the industry participated in the Owner Amateur Riders 70 Years Old & Over class. Judge Whitehead called the fine class. A thundering applause greeted the winner of the class, Billie Sue Adkinson. Adkinson gracefully exhibited Rising Rhythm for the win. Wedding Bell Blues and C.L. Baird put on a good show for reserve. Johnny Caviness rode Rebel’s Knight for a third place tie.

The Park Pleasure Two-Year-Old class sported twenty-two entries. Beard had the job of calling the class. Major’s Royal Babe and Jennifer Hankins placed first in class. Bob and Deb Roberts are the owners from Greentown, Indiana. Ella Fitzgerald and Jeff Givens tied second for the Keith Johnson family. Mr. Rody and Wallace Brandon were third for Rhonda Martocci.

Eight fine Mares and their foals participated in the Mare & Foal class. Judge Ray Gilmer called the class. A dominate force in the Mare & Foal class, Pusher’s Walkin On received a unanimous tie to win the class with her latest offspring, Memories Of Rain. The talented foal is sired by the late Black Rain . Charles Gleghorn owns the winning entries and exhibits them with Jan Treat. Reserve honors went to Beam’s Miss Behavin and Obviously In Command with Jeremy Carlon and Cindi Jackson leading. Third was presented to Lust And Danger and I’m The Lady In Command with Bobby Richards and Lisa Teel at lead.

One of the most enjoyable classes of the night was the Retired Trainers 55 & Over class. Each of these talented riders still could put on quite a show! Judge Irby called the class. A bold horse and rider, Push Me Bold and the legendary Preach Fleming took home first in the exciting class. Preach was also the Retired Trainers class champion at the 2002 Trainers’ Show. Push Me Bold is owned by Donald and Gladys Stephens. Reserve award in the class was then presented to I’m Twice The Delight and Jimmy Holloway for Lloyd and Mary Touchton. Elvis Pusher and Judy Martin captured third for Meadow Brook Farm.

The amount off talent and skill posed by the next class of Owner Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions Five Years and Over, Over 15.2 was off the charts! Twenty five entries participated and a workout was called for. The honorable Don Milligan called the good class. It was a hard fought competition as seventeen were asked to remain for further participation in the class. A proud Lisa Marby and Silver Express cruised into first after rising above the tough competition. Marby is the owner from Atoka and Shelbyville, Tennessee. The Spring Fun Show’s Amateur champions, Pushover’s Cashflow and Larry Davis claimed reserve. Third in the class was given to Generator’s Champion and Caresse Mills.

The participating horses in the Owner Amateur Riders on Classic Horses 15 Years and Older are certainly a statement for the breed. The fine horses not only continue to show, but do so with such great skill. Thirteen classic horses competed as Judge Whitehead called the class. Coin’s Clown and Jimmy Smith were ecstatic when they heard their number called to receive the top award. Even though he’s a classic horse, Ebony’s Smokin’ Sun is still smokin’ after all these years as he and Dr. Linda Garard took reserve. Coin’s Signature Edition and Winston Way placed third.

Division A of the Fine Harness class rolled in with eleven entries. Judge Beard was the call judge. The crowd and judges’ favorite, Master’s Gunsmoke and Sam Caldwell took first. The David Broderick family owns the entry. Reserve went to On The Money and Scott Beaty for DoubleSprings Farm. Taking third was Cash’s Miss Star and David Polk for Carolyn Evans.

The next Fine Harness Division had seven talented entries. Judge Gilmer called the class. A first place tie and coveted blue ribbon from the class was awarded to Genius Gold Spirit and Ramsey Bullington. This is the second win for Genius Gold Spirit at the 2002 Celebration. The Robert Keenan family are the owners of the gifted Fine Harness Champion. Second place was presented to Sky King and Joe Martin for Gus King. Pusher’s Classified and Jeff Givens received third for Loughry and Hutson.

The Walking Geldings Five Years and Over, Over 15.2 wrapped up the Wednesday evening session. Eleven entries walked for a chance at the blue. Judge Irby was the final call judge of the evening. After completing the three gaits of the breed with style and perfection, Slick WIllie and Jackie McConnell took the first place award in the class. John East is the owner from Germantown, Tennessee. Reserve went to Barracuda and Jimmy McConnell for Mary Medina. Unforgettable Pusher and Brett Boyd took third for Charles Gleghorn.

A great Wednesday and a great show to keep the week going. Tomorrow night has the 15.2 and Under Walking Horse World Grand Championship on it’s schedule as well as the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship. It promises to be a night to remember.