Skip to content

Former Celebration Show Manager Sam Gibbons Honored



Former Celebration Show Manager Sam Gibbons was honored Saturday night for his 37 years of service to the world's largest Tennessee Walking Horse show.  He was presented with a proclamation from the current Celebration Board of Directors by Directors Emeritus who were on the Board while Gibbons was Show Manager.

The text of the proclamation is as follows:

A RESOLUTION to honor Sam Gibbons on the occasion of the 65th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and the twentieth anniversary of his retirement.

WHEREAS, it is fitting that the Celebration recognizes those who in their years of work have performed their duties with extraordinary devotion and conscientiousness; and

WHEREAS, Sam Gibbons is clearly one such outstanding person who has served with enthusiasm and insight when he was selected as the Show Manager of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration ; and

WHEREAS, he began his career as Show Manager in 1949 and continued in that post for the next thirty-seven years, becoming one of two men who have held this most important post for a combined 57 of the 65 years the Celebration has been in existence; and

WHEREAS, during his tenure as Show Manager of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the world championship horse show of the breed grew in stature and respect throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, he is a man who added a level of Esprit de Corps to the Celebration and took great pride in starting each performance on time and having each class run with military precision; and

WHEREAS, his development of center ring policies and procedures for entries, judging, and logistics help ensure accuracy, fairness, and expedience on all levels; and

WHEREAS, upon his retirement from the Celebration, virtually all of the policies and procedures he developed, remain in place today, with no significant changes; and

WHEREAS, throughout his career as Show Manager, he worked with six different announcers, numerous ringmasters, and a myriad of judges; and

WHEREAS, he can be given a large amount of credit for the vast expansion of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed and the value of its animals; and

WHEREAS, in his final year in an official capacity with the Celebration, he worked as a consultant, guide, mentor and friend to the current Show Manager; and

WHEREAS, upon his retirement from The Celebration, he was inducted into the Celebration Hall of Fame in 1987; and

WHEREAS, he and his wife, Fern, continue to live in Athens, Alabama; and

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CELEBRATION, on August 23, 2003, that we extend to Sam Gibbons our best wishes for a happy and fulfilling life and continued success in future endeavors.

More Stories

  • Judges prepare and take tests at SHOW Clinic!

    Judges’ Committee Chairman Jennifer Bingham welcomed the SHOW HIO judges who attended the judges’ clinic held at the Franklin Marriott Conference Center. Bingham said, “We hope this will be an annual clinic to be held in conjunction with the Trainers’ Banquet.”  Read More
  • USDA Attends Trainers Meeting

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) held their general membership meeting at the Cool Springs Marriott on December 14th. Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture were in attendance and after introductions, President Bill Cantrell turned the floor over to APHIS Deputy Administrator Bernadette Juarez. Read More
  • Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary plans for 2019

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary met on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Cool Springs Marriott in conjunction with the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Convention... Read More
  • Trainers elect officers for 2019

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association held their annual election at their convention weekend at the Cool Springs Marriott... Read More
  • Riders' Cup showcased on Friday evening

    Since it’s inception in 2005, the Riders’ Cup program has grown to be a highly competitive and respected program. To date, over $900,000 has been paid out to dedicated trainers who continue to bring top horses to shows all across the country Read More
  • Celebration to require lease at time of entry

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will continue its tradition of requiring ownership to show in amateur classes during the world championship horse show. In recent years, leases have become more popular and The Celebration would like to clarify its policy on temporary ownership. Read More
  • Farm Bill passes

    The Farm Bill appeared in the headlines throughout 2018, including within the walking horse industry as an attempt was made earlier this year to include language in the bill that would have affected the walking horse industry... Read More
  • Check off the horse lovers on your list!

    Simply renew your subscription at regular price and order as many gifts at half price as you need to complete your holiday shopping in one simple step. Read More
  • Latest Issue December 10 18

    Read More
  • Obituary — Lester John Anderson, Jr.

    Lester John Anderson, Jr., 69, passed away Nov. 21at his home in Piney Flats, Tennessee. John’s career as a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer spanned many years. He thoroughly enjoyed working and showing these beautiful horses... Read More