Posted August 27, 2001

by Carole Hargett

It was an unusually hot evening as loyal fans slowly entered the stands. Sunday night is usually reserved for relaxing and putting your feet up. Have a snack, watch TV and go to bed. That’s the order of the day. But none of that mattered to the waiting crowd. They came to see the junior stallions and the aged mares. Making it four in a row, another attendance record fell. The gates registered 9,584 people at the show.

Snow On The Mountain and Bud Seaton carried on the tradition as they entered the ring and presented the colors again to begin the fifth day of the Celebration. The gleaming white horse that is synonymous with the Celebration is 21 years old. He wears his age well. There was a whole lotta walking and shaking going on in the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Three-Years-Old, Lite Shod, Specialty. Martin called for a workout after a few rounds. The competitive group included many horses who had winning records this season; some had already received Celebration ribbons. The class was narrowed to 14 of the best and they were off. Wendy Shaw pushed all the way to the winners circle on Push N For Pleasure. Bill Marzinzak owns this entry. Shaw and Marzinzak have racked up the ribbons this year. Local entry Emily Stinson and Majestic Colors put on a good show for reserve. Stinson showed for the Ted Lewis family of Shelbyville. Marks Bustin Loose and Jamey Thompson were marked for third place and collected their yellow ribbon.

The youth riders took the stage again as Owner-Amateur Youth Riders on Ponies 60” and Under, Specialty, Riders 15-17 Years began. The Billy Boyd Memorial Challenge trophy, the David Bledsoe, Sr. Memorial Challenge trophy, and the Master Plan Challenge trophy were presented to the winner as well as other awards. Pushing past the competition was Pushover’s Citation and Miles Irby for Irby and Corlew. Citations abounded for this team. They won Fayetteville, Money Tree Classic, Children’s Classic and the Alabama Ladies Auxiliary show. Olympic Power took the red ribbon back to California with Stephanie Gordon aboard. With their designs on third place, Silver Design and Thad Hayes wore that yellow ribbon as they exited the ring.

Twenty-two leg-waving horses entered for the Show Pleasure Walking Horses, Specialty, Division A. First time visitors to the Celebration may notice that this division wears built-up shoes but no tail set. The horses have more action but still maintain a smooth ride. Carpenter called the good class. The professional trainers turned up the pace and drove their horses on.

Coinmaker and Knox Blackburn took the honors. Coinmaker made this blue his third blue ribbon so far. World champion and world grand champion last year in this division, Coinmaker took one more step toward further world grand championship acclaim. Cashing in on second place was Fashioned By Cash and Bill Bobo. Tullahoma resident Judy McDonald owns the entry. Slippin Around And Scored slipped another red ribbon in the trophy case for Jim and Sheron Richmond of Crockett, Texas. Don Crum was in the irons.

Division B of class 74 had the crowd cheering as 23 of 30 listed entered the ring. Mirroring Division A, the class had many champions and competition was hot. There was some good head-shaking and leg waving going on. It was Andrew Johnson and John Allan Callaway giving a presidential showing for the blue. Callaway and Andrew Johnson previously won Belfast, the Money Tree Classic, and the Trainer’s Show. Ray Gilmer and The Great Escape didn’t let the reserve title escape them for new owner Paula Sanders. The Great Escape was last year’s reserve world grand champion. He added wins at White Oak, Germantown, Fred T. Fowler, and Dickson to name only a few. David Landrum and High Profile Generator claimed the third tie after a good ride.

The competition was stiff on Sunday night and the over 50 riders showed the crowd that they could still hang tough. Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Specialty, Amateur Riders 50 Years and Over was underway. Sixteen of 28 horses and riders walked through the entry gate ready to compete. As the class lined up, one entry asked for and received permission to leave. Senor Generator and Stuart Gibbs captured the blue for their first Celebration win. But they have claimed other blues at Murfreesboro Kiwanis, Gallatin, the Money Tree, Trainer’s Show and the Fun Show. Sandra Johnson directed her mount, WHAM, to reserve with a strong performance. Magic Illusionist and Californian, Cheryl Reidy, carried away the third place tie.

Class 76, Walking Mares, 15.2 and Under received seven of 13 entries at Martin’s call. The class was small but mighty. The 15.2 mares proved that you don’t have to be big to walk big! The horses performed the beautiful rocking chair canter and finished with a rousing running walk. The stands steadily filled as the much anticipated four-year-old and aged mare class approached. But first, it was time for crown Gen’s Sundance Lady to receive her honors for first place. Larry Edwards rode the entry. Celebration goers remember her world grand championship win in the Youth 12-17 division in 1999. She came back in 2000 to claim two ribbons, one a blue in the Trainers Auxiliary class. Sundance Lady is owned by the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga. Pusher’s Delightful Star and Greg Bryant carried that red ribbon back to California for Shiloh Walkers. Multi world champion, Immortal Generator and Tim Gray generated some excitement with their yellow ribbon.

If you thought the 50 and Over class was good then you would have loved the 60 and over class. The Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, Specialty, Riders 60 Years and Over, had 24 entries of 46 pass through the gate at Tuck’s call. The fire hasn’t left these folks! They rode hard and put on a show for the crowd. The sounds of cheering fans acknowledged their efforts. Walking All Over and Bob Medina retired the David Bledsoe Memorial Trophy for winning this class two years in a row. William Johnson and Push To Start made another good ride to capture reserve honors. Pushover and Lookout proved it wasn’t just luck as he and rider, Lucky Collins, received their yellow ribbon for third place tie.

The crowd awaited the entry of the Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions. The ring was filled with 25 entries ready for the task ahead. The stands erupted when Out On Parole came through the gate. Thirteen did not make the gate call. Those who did were advised that there would be a workout. Fifteen entries were asked to remain for further work in the class. The air was filled with the shouts and cheers of the excited fans as call judge Carpenter asked for a final running walk. Three challenge trophies were presented to the winner of the class. They were the Ned Delk Memorial Challenge trophy, the Filey E. Patterson, Jr. Memorial Challenge trophy and the Charlie Weddington Memorial Challenge trophy. This class is the preliminary to the junior world grand championship class.

The audience again exploded with resounding applause for Out On Parole and Steve Dunn as they made the victory ride. The Randall Baskin family owns this champion. Out On Parole was the reserve world grand champion three-year-old last year. Larry Edwards and Private Charter captured the red ribbon honors for R. Bud Moore of Catherine, Ala. Dr. Perfect was marked for third place honors with Bill Bobo up. Dr. Perfect is owned by Sandra Hodgson. By the sounds of things, Friday night should “raise the roof”. Tying in this class was quite a feat and all the ribbon winners have reason to boast.

The next class was split into A and B Division. The first half of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings, Specialty welcomed 30 of 41 entries. The judges brought six entries to the grass and selected eight more for the final round. After three entries asked to be excused, a class of 11 lined up for the judge’s decision. Mozambique and Jeanine Gullett made the trip to the winners circle for Jim Gullett of Duluth, Ga. Mozambique had quite a show season, winning Woodbury, Belfast, Manchester, the Fun Show and the Liberty Charity show. Californian Susan Gordon directed Jazz In Dixie to the reserve tie. Bringing the yellow ribbon to Florida was Judge’s Spice Girl and Beth Collins for Mr. & Mrs. Neil Tesone.

Division B was ready to make an entrance as Hankins called in 28 entries. Fourteen entries listed did not show. The class was too tough to call so a workout was in order. One of the six entries called to the grass was excused; seven additional entries joined the original five. Three more entries asked for and received permission to leave. The horses and riders worked for all they were worth.

Finishing her good ride with a trip to the winners circle was Stopwatch and owner/rider Brenda Bramlett of Shelbyville. Figgy Puddin’ and Suzanne Littell added a reserve ribbon to their trophy case. Silverado’s Spirit and Beverly Sherman eres close behind for their third place ribbon.

It’s no were here to see what they expected to be an unforgettable performance of the aged mares. Some very classy ladies entered the ring as the crowd rose to their feet to cheer on their favorites. The Walking Mares, Five Years and Over, Over 15.2, class 80 began as Martin called the class. A visibly missing entry was Shout. She will show in the junior mare class on Tuesday night. A gasp eminated from the crowd as Gary Hollin and Cash Anniversary took a spill. They recovered and continued the class. A time out was called shortly thereafter for a groom. Fifteen of 31 entries strutted their stuff. The High Dollar Woman Memorial Challenge trophy was presented to the winner. In the final talley, the judges awarded a sweet victory to Ronnie Spears and Magic Sweet Victory for Poplar Creek Farm of California. Sunrise Que Sera Sera and Jackie McConnell made a good performance in capturing the red ribbon. Gen’s Burning Rage, winner of last year’s class, claimed third with David Landrum aboard.

The show ended early on Sunday night. This time it was 11:30 p.m. Fans now have some idea of the action and thrills to come as the Celebration begins it's final week.