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The Future Takes Center Stage At Futurity



By Mark Davis

As always, the first Wednesday evening of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration featured the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors Association’s National Futurity.  In the Futurity’s 70 year history, it has grown to become one of the largest and richest one night shows in the country featuring over $125,000 in prize money. 

       
Tyson helped dad Steve Dunn with the special stallion exhibition on 2002 WGC Out On Parole
 
The 2008 TWHBEA Futurity returned to the long time tradition of being judged and managed by The Celebration officials and the classes served as qualifiers for The Celebration’s championship events. 

The judges for the 2008 Futurity and Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration included Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky., Mack Motes of Eagleville, Tenn., and Tommy Howell of Shelbyville, Tenn.

The eighteen class schedule for the evening highlighted the talents of the young horses from every division including Weanlings and Yearlings under halter, Trail Pleasure, Lite Shod Pleasure, Park Pleasure and Performance truly demonstrating the versatility of our wonderful breed.

Promptly at 5:30 pm, the American flag was presented by former Trail Pleasure World Grand Champion and Breyer Model Horse, Bluegrass Bandit and Jared Carrier.  This outstanding horse is owned and presented by the Chip Carrier family of Franklin, Ky.  The invocation for the evening was given by TWHBEA Executive Director Stan Butt, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by David Roberts of Mount Pleasant, Tenn.

With that, it was time to call the first class, Two and Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings to the ring.  Six of the nine nominated entries made their way to the Calsonic Arena to work for Call Judge Rollie Beard and his panel.  Topping the division were My Cabana Boy, by Lined With Cash out of The Indigo Girl, and Jay Laughlin riding for 4-J Land and Cattle Co., of Waynesville, Mo.  The Black Night Shade sired I’m A Shady Character was reserve in the event for Jeff and Sara Heuer of Cape Girardeau, Mo.  Silver Dollar’s Crystal and Mag Ranft were third for Margaret Ranft of Groveport, Ohio.

The babies of the business were up for class 2, Weanling Fillies, with 19 of the 76 nominated walking their way to the track to work under the watchful eye of Call Judge Nathan Clark and his cohorts.  There’s nothing quite like a ring full of weanlings to see that our industry’s future is very bright.  Yes, they’re hollering for mama every once in a while, but walking hard every step and showing off their very best for the panel and the Futurity crowd.  Walking away with the roses in the division was CP3 and Chris Richards leading for James Washburn of Fayetteville, Tenn.  This young filly was sired by Gen’s Armed & Dangerous out of Gold Storm.  Charles Gleghorn and A Rainy Day Woman stopped in for the reserve honors for Charles Gleghorn of Fayetteville, Tenn.  She’s Full Of Fire and Nathan Mills picked up the golden streamers for Hoyte Eakes of Nashville, Tenn.

As the Weanlings were showing off for the judges, Tennessee’s political contingent was working the crowd on the Calsonic Arena concourse as we were honored by a visit from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, State Representative Curt Cobb and State Senator Jim Tracy.  State Senate candidate Jean Anne Rogers of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was also spotted in the Wednesday evening crowd.

Class 3 brought the Three-Year-Old Western Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings to the ring with four of the seven nominated showing off their best western ways as Judge Jamie Hankins called the gaits in the event.   Governor Bredesen was in center ring for the presentation in the division and presented the honors to the Ohio team of I’m Ritz and Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio.  Headed back to the Magnolia State, No Biz Like Show Biz and Karla Massey pulled into the second position for James Nichols of Oxford, Miss.  Color Your World and Jack Pirkle were third for Patti, Ashley & Jack Pirkle of Gainesville, Ga.

      
Allison Thorson and I'm Ritz, winners of the Three-Year-Old Western Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings


Class 4 featured the Two-Year-Old Park Performance Stallions, Mares and Geldings and brought one of the two nominated to the ring to show off for Call Judge Tommy Howell and his team.  Capturing the Futurity title in the event was Sweet Child Of Nine,  an offspring of 2003 WGC The Whole Nine Yards and Little Angel Face TM.  The entry is owned by Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.

The Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings were up next on the schedule for class 5 with 13 of the 33 nominated heading to the ring to show for that fabled TWHBEA National Futurity title under the watchful eye of Judge Mack Motes and his cohorts.  Topping the strong division of young mares was Herbert Derickson and May Jose owned by Sam Stockett of Jackson, Miss.  My Susan B. Anthony and Sam McLaughlin were reserve for Bob Adcock of Lititz, Pa.  Bill Bobo and She’s Our Amazing Grace picked up the yellow streamers for Jean Beech of Belfast, Tenn.

Back in the halter division,  class 6 brought the Yearling Fillies to the track with 17 of the 64 nominated working for Call Judge Rollie Beard and his skilled panel.  Walking to the winner’s circle for the second time tonight, Chris Richards teamed up with My Miss Melanie to garner top honors for Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.  This young filly has been shown all over the south in 2008 and has achieved great success picking up 10 blues along the way.  Out A My Way and Amanda Winters pulled into the second position for G. Russell Wright & Son of Old Hickory, Tenn.  Me and Mrs. Jones and Sylvester Skierkowski were third for Bobby Joe Jones of Manchester, Tenn.

The western entries were back for class 7, Two-Year-Old Western Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings with eight of the 12 nominated hitting the rail in their western best to show off as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits.  Picking up the roses in the division were Jared Carrier and Mr. Natural riding for The Carrier Family of Franklin, Ky.  Wicked’s Pride and Joy pulled in for the reserve honors for Sally Paulson of Sherwood, Oregon.  B.J. Richards and She’s All Cashed In accepted the yellow ribbons for Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.

Class 8 brought the Two-Year-Old Lite Shod Stallions, Mares and Geldings to the arena with 12 of the 16 expected working for the crowd.  Judge Jamie Hankins served as Call Judge for the event.  Topping the division with a unanimous decision of the panel and taking the honors home to the Show Me State was Promiscuous Girl and Jimmy Laughlin showing for Wendy M. Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo.  The Pit Boss was reserve for Connie Waldo of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Command’s Jackman Blue’s was third for Bobby and Deborah Goff of Fairview, Tenn.

The hollers were heard loud and clear, the crowd picking out their favorite and the colts looking for mama once again as class 9 featured the Weanling Colts.  Twenty-six of the 95 nominated made their way up to Calsonic Arena to show off their best loose moving ways under the watch of Judge Tommy Howell and his panel.  Walking away with the roses in the division was Bobby Richards and the handsome youngster Good Til The Last Drop for Ashley Womack Say and Patricia Hoffman of Fairview and Nashville, Tenn.  Skyanide and Carlyle Johnson accepted the red streamers for Fred Benjamin of Humboldt, Tenn.  Robert Nelms and Saturday Night Specialist took home the golden ribbon for Barry Reece of Clermont, Ga.

       
         Bobby Richards and Good Til The Last Drop

Under saddle once again, class 10 featured the Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings with six of the 15 programmed teams making the gate call to work as Judge Mack Motes called the gaits in the class.  A lot of talent, not luck took the team of Gin’s Pure Luck and Sonny Holt to the winner’s circle in the event with the approval of all five judges accepting the win for Hoyte Eakes of Nashville, Tenn.  Phillip Trimble and Lined With Blue were reserve for Molly Walker of Hayden, Ala.  Sister Jose and Herbert Derickson were third for Sam Stockett of Jackson, Miss.

Class 11 featured the Three-Year-Old Park Performance Stallions, Mares and Geldings with three of the four nominated making their way up from the warm up ring to work for Judge Rollie Beard and his staff.  Capturing the win with a unanimous decision of the judging panel were Cocoa Splash and Joe Cotten riding for David Landrum of Franklin, Tenn.  Headed back to the Bluegrass with reserve honors was Chicago Express owned by Bobby Jacobs of Wilmore, Ky.  Elmer’s Encore and Mike Janeway pulled in for the yellow streamers for Ella Kline of Robbins, Tenn.

Three-Year-Old English Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings, class 12 on the evening’s program, was up next with nine of the 11 expected making the gate call to work as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits.  Topping the event with another unanimous decision was Rolling Commander owned by Pat and Ashley Womack of Nashville, Tenn.  Stroke My Whoopi, owned by Linda D. Thompson of Lexington, Ohio, accepted reserve honors, while Grandy Andy was third for Laura and Roger Mauney of Gastonia, N.C.

Back to the halter division once again, class 13 featured the Yearling Colts with 20 of the 83 nominated taking to the track in hopes of making all of their hard work pay off with a TWHBEA National Futurity blue.  Judge Jamie Hankins served as Call Judge for the event.  Chris Richards was back in the winner’s circle once again, for the third time tonight, this time with Devious Don, taking the honors for Lisa Bowman Anderson of Greeneville, Tenn.  Ritz’s Diamond Broker and Keith Reed were in the second position for Allen Curtis of Hendersonville, Tenn.  Center Of The Storm and Robert Nelms accepted the yellow streamers for R.L. Neal and Carole Hargett of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Class 14 brought the Three-Year-Old Lite Shod Stallions, Mares and Geldings to the big ring of Calsonic Arena with four of the six expected beating the clock to work for National Futurity acclaim under the watch of Judge Tommy Howell and his staff.  Capturing the win, with yet another unanimous decision, were Powers Goldilocks and Sherrie Szucs riding for W.W. Harlin, Jr. of Nashville, Tenn.  Gold Portrait and Jim Potter were second in the event for Tracy Weier of Mansfield, Ohio.  Captive Moment was third for Pat Stout of Cookeville, Tenn.

The performance horses were back for class 15, Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions with eight of the 27 nominated making the gate call to work for acclaim in the division.  Judge Mack Motes called the gaits in the event.  Making the big splash to ride away with the National Futurity honors was The Splash Patrol and Joe Cotten up for Keith and Sandy Baker of Columbia, Tenn.  Riding to a popular reserve were Get Ready and Justin Harris in the irons for G. Russell Wright & Son of Old Hickory, Tenn.  The Ninth Wonder and Bill Bobo rode in for the yellow streamers with the approval of the crowd for Carla Hurley of Hendersonville, Tenn.

Back in the pleasure division, class 16 featured the Two-Year-Old English Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings with the two nominated entries making their way to the track to work for Judge Rollie Beard and his panel.  Taking the roses back to the Magnolia State, Karla Massey and Sweep’s Custom Made topped the event for James Nichols of Oxford, Miss.  Copper’s Morning Glory and Chip Carrier were second for Wallace H. Carrier, Jr. of Franklin, Ky.

      
Sweeps Custom Maid won the Two-Year-Old English Trail Pleasure Stallions, Mares and Geldings for owner James Nichols.

The final halter class of the evening was a new event on the schedule, Yearling In-Hand Extended Gait. The class was added to highlight the four beat gait that made the Tennessee Walking Horse famous above all other breeds.  Seventeen entries made the gait call to work in this new event.  Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge in the division.
Topping this new division was My Miss Melody and owner/exhibitor Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.  Center Of The Storm and Robert Nelms picked up the red streamers for R.L. Neal and Carole Hargett of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Pride of Stonecutter and Chris Richards were third for Mr. & Mrs. Charles Brantley of Wartrace, Tenn.

The final class of the evening, class 18, featured the Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions.  Six of the ten entries nominated made their way to the ring to work as Judge Jamie Hankins called the gaits for the final time of the evening.  Riding to the winner’s circle with the approval of all five judges after putting on a stellar performance were Naples Ritz and Tim Gray garnering top honors for Waterfall Farms of Atlanta, Ga.  I  Command Applause and Winky Groover pulled in for reserve for Sheryl Crawford of Carrollton, Ga.  Johnny Ritz was third in the final event for Floyd Sherman of Dallas, Texas.

      

Three-Year-Old Walking Stallion champion was Naples Ritz and Tim Gray for Waterfall Farms.

And with one final victory pass, the 70h Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Futurity was in the record books with 181 entries passing through the gate in 18 classes of competition.  If this event is any indication, the future of our industry is bright . . .very bright!

Complete show results may be viewed by clicking here.

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