By Mark Davis

Saturday night certainly was exciting at The Celebration with the crowd in attendance getting the first look at the Aged Stallions that will be contending for the 2010 World Grand Championship on Saturday night, but tonight will certainly not be a let down. Fourteen classes of competition make up the Sunday evening class list, which is highlighted by the Aged Mares and the Junior Stallions. It should be a great night!
            The judges for the 72nd Celebration include Spencer Benedict of Glasgow, Ky., Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Mike Carpenter of Franklin, Tenn., Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., and Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky.    

           The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Bryan Elliott, pastor of the First Christian Church of Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Haley Sorrells of Murfreesboro, Tenn.           

            The young riders were up for the first class of the evening, class 86, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-14 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings. Seventeen of 33 made the walk down the hill to work for Judge Mike Carpenter and his staff as official organist Larry Bright started off the Sunday night performance with “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”. An excellent selection indeed! Riding to the winner’s circle with an outstanding performance was Jose’s Vengeance and Rae Shumate-Tysor riding for Rae Shumate-Tysor of Cummings, Ga. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Headed back Carolina way, Fear Or No Fear and Jordan Dean were reserve for Proctor Dean of Cary, N.C. Jose’s Delightful Pusher and Stratton Weaver were third for Sherman and Weaver of Lewisburg, Tenn.

            Owner-Amateur Classic Park Pleasure Walking Horses, class 87, was up next on the program with nine of the 18 expected taking the rail to work as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits in the class. Making that ride down victory lane in the division was Ebony’s Big Ticket 7HF and Luke Carswell riding for Gene Carswell of Morehead, Ky. This team has already had a strong 2010 show season picking up wins at Jackson, Ohio, Grayson, Ky., Broadhead, Ky., Liberty, Ky., and the International Grand Championships. Tex R Us and Ashley Diamond Pollack pulled into the second spot for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Sunfire's Phoenix and owner/exhibitor Dr. Morna Conway of Shelbyville, Tenn., roaded out the top three.

            Class 88 brought the Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings to the ring with nine of the 31 entered making the call to work for Judge Tommy Loid and his panel. Taking the blue back to the Lone Star state with a unanimous decision of the panel was Terror On The Border and owner/exhibitor Nancy Groover of Longview, Texas. This duo captured top honors earlier this year at the Money Tree Classic, and were 2009 World Champions in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Mare & Gelding class. Of course, Terror On The Border is by Groover's beloved stallion, Hard Texas Cash. Hickory's Sinatra and owner/exhibitor Laura Brandon of Franklin, Tenn., rode into the second position. Bo's Shania Rose and Brenda Carlon were third for Harv Carlon of Lowell, Mi.

            The youth riders were back for class 89, Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings with 11 of the 26 coming to work for their very first Celebration blue as Judge Spencer Benedict called the gaits. Riding out of Novice division tonight with a unanimous decision was General’s Show Stopper and Buie Williams riding for Brenda Little and Buie Williams of Spring Grove, Pa. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Papa’s Dark Shadow and Brant Collier were close behind in reserve riding for Melanie Collier of Rogersville, Ala. Command At Sunrise and Ashlyn Avent pulled in for the yellow ribbon taking the honors home to Lewisburg, Tenn.

            Staying in the Youth division, class 90 featured the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 15-17 Years on Walking Ponies to the track with eight of the 14 on the official Lions Club program making the trip down the hill to work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her cohorts. Proving they were primed and ready for Celebration competition, Lilly Waites and Prime Poison put on a stellar performance to impress all five judges and ride away with the win for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. This team preceded this win with 2010 wins at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show and the FAST Showcase. Diamond Ritz and Whitney Morris garnered the red ribbon for Randall Ferguson of Union Grove, Ala. Frankie Blue Eyes and Samantha Bell were third riding for Jerry Bell of Parsons, Tenn.

            Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, Riders 70 & Over, class 91 on the program, was up next on the schedule. Sixteen of the 24 on the program worked to the track to show their very best for Judge Mike Carpenter and his panel. Making the victory ride in the class was the team of Rocky Mountain Sky and Lucky Collins, 2010 champions at the Bedford County 4-H Horse Show and the Petersburg, Tenn. Lions Club Horse Show, riding for Don Collins of Bell Buckle, Tenn. Taking reserve back out to the west coast was It’s Billy The Kid and Roger Emerick riding for Roger and Rebecca Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif. A Final Command and Jim Woodburn were third riding for Christine Woodburn of Sacramento, Ky.

            Four of the 10 with reservations made the call for class 92, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings. Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge for the class. Taking the win back to East Tennessee, it was In The Heat Of The Night, a Classic horse, and rider Anne Evans making the winning ride with all five judges approval for Anne Evans of Farragut, Tenn. Shakes Eagle Eye and Carson Wells were reserve for Jim Wells of Kissimmee, Fla. Santana’s Coin and Lindsey Landrum were third riding for John McNeely and Lindsey Landrum of Franklin, Tenn.

            The professional trainers were on the track for class 93, Walking Mares, Five Years & Over, Over 15.2 (Canter) (Riders’ Cup). Seven of the 14 expected beat the time clock to work for top honors as Judge Tommy Loid called the gaits in the class. Making the victory lap in the event was JFK’s Irish Dream and Tim Smith riding for Connie Frazier of Shelbyville, Tenn. This duo picked up 2010 wins in Stake competition at Baileyton, Ala.'s Alabama Classic and at Fayetteville, Tenn. Blue Ribbon Horse Show. Jimmy McConnell and A Major In Business stopped by for the red streamers for Leon Forrester of Martin, Tenn. Out On Bond and Jerry Collier were third in the class, riding for Harold Malone Tuscumbia, Ala

            Class 94A featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings. An extra-large class with 21 of the 33 with reservations taking the rail in the historic big oval to work for their moment in the spotlight as Judge Spencer Benedict served as Call Judge. Capturing the win in the section was Paroled In Texas and Holly Coggin riding for the Gerald Coggin and Merv Whittenburg families of Murfreesboro, Tenn. This win was preceded by 2010 wins at the National Trainers’ Show, the Bedford County 4-H Spring Show, the Spring Fun Show, and the Woodbury Lions Club Horse Show. She’s Our Amazing Grace and owner/exhibitor Margaret Anne Beech Alias of Oxford, Miss., was reserve. A Beeline and owner/exhibitor Molly Walker carried the yellow ribbon back to her hometown of Hayden, Ala.

            Another big class of 21 was on hand for class 94B, Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings. Judge Jennifer Bingham called the gaits in this split. Walking to the top of this section was the talented team of Rosetta Stone and Patty Marek, 2010 champions at the Walking For Cancer Horse Show, the Lady Azules Horse Show, the Columbia Spring Jubilee, the Tony Rice Horse Show and the Marshall County Horse Show, making the winning ride for Marek and Smith of Shelbyville, Tenn. Jose’s Miss Dolly and Jean O’ Brien were reserve in the class riding for McLaughlin and O’ Brien of Florence, S.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Miss Natalie and Sue Ann Dowell were third for JoAnn Dowell of Powell, Ohio.

            The novice riders were on track for class 95, Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Stallions with 17 of the 33 expected working down the hill to get their shot at their very first Celebration blue tonight. Judge Mike Carpenter led the panel in the class. Riding out of the Novice division and taking the blue back to the Bluegrass state was the team of Ricardo Ricardo and Emily Woodruff riding for Bobby and Lisa Rogers of Owingsville, Ky. Pride Of Willie and Tamara Gavin-Kasser were reserve riding for Carol Ann Gavin of Wartrace, Tenn. Another Kentuckian, Shana Hughes rounded out the top three with a good ride with her horse, Sandbagger, taking honors back to Russell Springs, Ky.

            Class 96 was one most Sunday night fans on hand had been waiting on all night, the Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions (Canter) (Riders’ Cup). Thirteen entries made the gate call to show off for the Sunday night crowd as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits. The crowd was certain not let down as the Junior Stallions put on an outstanding show, to say the very least. Topping the great class was the reigning Three-Year-Old World Grand Champion, Folsom Prison Blues and Rodney Dick riding for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn. This win was preceded with 2010 wins at the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, the Columbia Spring Jubilee and the Red Carpet Horse Show of the South at Pulaski, Tenn. Dark & Shady and Jimmy McConnell, 2010 champions at the National Trainers’ Show, the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, the Germantown Horse Show and the Money Tree Classic, pulled into the second position for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Jail Time and Casey Wright, 2010 champions at Nettleton, Miss., the Spring Fun Show and Parker’s Crossroads, Tenn., were a popular third for Eddie and Tina Smith of Jackson, Tenn.

            Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Show Pleasure Walking Horses, class 97A, was up next with seven of the 17 on the books working to the track to show for Judge Tommy Loid and his cohorts. Making that ride out of the Novice division tonight and taking the honors back to the Show Me State, was A Cadillac By Jazz and Gary Hill riding for Dr. Gary and Donna Hill of Troy, Mo. Spooky Dollar and Stephanie Elliott were reserve riding for Danny Gattis and Stephanie Elliott of Pontotoc, Miss. and Tuscumbia, Ala. Cutter’s Jewel and owner/exhibitor Mike Moody of Readyville, Tenn., was third.

            The final class of the Sunday evening performance was class 97B, Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Show Pleasure Walking Horses with 14 of the 17 expected making the final call of the night to work for Judge Spencer Benedict and his panel. Riding out of the Novice division and taking the honors back Carolina way was Chillin’ The Most and owner/exhibitor Steve Mozeley of Charlotte, N.C. I’m Joe Friday and Whitney Breedlove were reserve riding for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga. My Blackeyed Susan and Rose Anstett picked up the yellow streamers for Popp, Anstett and Lambert of Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Coming to a close at 11:05 p.m., a great Sunday night of horse show competition it certainly has been! Monday night promises to be just as exciting as we will get our first look at three big sections of Two-Year-Old Stallions and the 15.2 & Under Stallions, so make sure your back in Shelbyville to be a part of the 72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.