Class schedules for the 2006 Celebration and Spring Fun Show have been released with several changes geared toward streamlining the world championship show and a return to the traditional format for the spring showcase.

Following an interesting and somewhat successful experiment with the Fun Show schedule in 2005, the Celebration Board of Directors has chosen to return to the traditional schedule of classes for the 36th annual show.

"Having the pleasure, amateurs, and professionals on three different nights was good in theory," said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. "We had good crowds and great excitement on Friday and Saturday night. However, those good things could not overcome the (financial) hit that was taken on Thursday night with the pleasure and halter classes."

The schedule for the 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is down five classes from a year ago to 161. Here is a summary of the changes and the reasons they were made:

Class 37, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Plantation Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings, Lite Shod – This class has been changed to a two-gait class for 2006.

Class 92, Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Three and Four Years Old, Lite Shod – The three and four year old, lite shod horses have been combined because entries have been in low in 2003, 2004 and 2005 with only 9,6 and 8 respectively, in the class.

Class 106, Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions – The elite gentlemen and ladies stallion classes have been combined because of the low numbers in the ladies class for the past several years, 10 in 2003, 14 in 2004, and 7 in 2005.

Class 14, Amateur Owned and Trained Walking Horses, No Professional Training within 90 Days (Canter) – This class is now scheduled in a morning performance and was swapped with the two-gait class.

Class 97, Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Two Years Old – This class is now scheduled in a morning performance because the low number of entries is not supporting itself to stay in an evening performance. In 2004, there were 9 entries and 6 in 2005.

Elimination of all Park Pleasure (Canter) classes. For the last three years, these classes have decreased significantly. The Park Pleasure (Canter) Championship has shown 11 entries in 2003, 8 entries in 2004, and only 4 entries in 2005.

Class 154, 15.2 and Under Walking Horse World Grand Championship (Canter) – This class has been moved from Thursday evening to Saturday evening’s performance. Both 15.2 and Under championship classes have been scheduled on the same night for quite some time, but it was brought to our attention they may need to be separated, to allow those horses an opportunity to show more than once.

Class 88, Owner-Amateur Riders 70 Years and Over on Walking Horses – This class was moved from Wednesday evening to Sunday because it is a qualifying class for the Elite Championship. With this class scheduled on Wednesday, the entry deadline had already passed for the championship. Now, those showing in this class will be able to qualify and show in the Elite Championship.

Class 80, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings – This class was moved from Friday evening because another youth, 6-11 years, class was already being offered. This will allow these youth exhibitors to show in both classes.

"We strive each year to put together a schedule of classes that people want to watch and exhibitors support with their entries," explained Thomas. "The classes we added last year were because of the public’s support and they were dynamite. Classes dropped or combined come about because of lack of support."

The full schedules are available for review on the Celebration’s website at and comments on the changes will be welcomed by the Celebration Entry Office or by emailing

The Spring Fun Show will be held Memorial Day Weekend while The Celebration always occurs in late August with the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse being crowned on the Saturday night before Labor Day.