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The Future's Looking Bright



The Future's Looking Bright

By Melissa R. Stevens

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The first Saturday morning's classes of the 65th annual Celebration were again filled with talented youth riders and young horses, proving that the Tennessee Walking Horse industry is alive and kicking and will be for years to come.

First up this morning was the Auxiliary Equitation Medal class for riders 11 and under. Eight of the 11 entries listed in the program chose to show in this class. Paul Watlington was the call judge. Paige Bennett of Alvaton, Ky., was awarded the first place honors. Second in the class went to Lindsey Landrum of Franklin, Tenn. Landrum also placed third last night aboard This Is It in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders on Walking Geldings class for riders ages 11 and under. Andrew Rhoads of Shelbyville, Tenn., went home with the yellow streamer in this morning's first class.

The Lead Line Ponies class for riders age six and under featured 19 tiny riders and their handlers. Laura Brandon was the call judge. Rolex and Evan and Stacy Blackburn were called for the first place tie for owners Tyler and Kayla Baucom of Monroe, N.C. Second place went to Ink Spot and Samuel Norris and Angela Schweppe for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn. Ink Spot brought his own cheering section. A large group of screaming fans armed with signs shouted and cheered for the team. It sounded more like a basketball game than a horse show! Shaker's Little Midnight and Jordan Dempsey and Charles Gleghorn were third for Charles and Joy Gleghorn of Fayetteville, Tenn.

The Amateur Owned and Trained English Trail Pleasure class for teams with no professional training within the last 90 days was split into two sections. Mike Carpenter was the call judge for Section A, which featured 20 entries. She's Legal Tender, ridden by Charlene Cook for Central Georgia Equine Services, Inc., of Ft. Valley, Ga., was the unanimous choice of the judges for the first place tie. Mr. Reach and Darren Gray took the reserve spot for Darren and Rachel Gray of Clermont, Fla. Friday Night Mercedes and Connie Waldo finished in third place for R.D. and Connie Waldo of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Section B of the class featured 20 more talented entries. Gene Carswell was the call judge for this section. Copy's Dark Stranger with Lisa Weaver up for Fred and Lisa Weaver of Doyline, La., took the first place honors in this section. Doc's Taking Charge and Sherry Bilbo were reserve for Bob and Sherry Bilbo of Seymour, Tenn. The third place tie went to Lucky's Dynamo and Connie Waldo for R.D. and Connie Waldo of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Only two riders registered for the Auxiliary Equitation Medal class for riders 12-14 years of age. Jamie Hankins was the call judge for this class. Alex Bumpus of Rockvale, Tenn., won the judges over in this class. Emily Prentice of Alvaton, Ky., gave a good performance for the reserve tie.

Twenty-three Yearling Fillies and Geldings packed the ring. Paul Watlington was the call judge for the class. The team of Encore's Magic Lady and Nathan Mills was the judges' unanimous pick for the first place tie. Hoyte Eakes of Nashville, Tenn., is the proud owner of this talented entry. Cotton's Power Pusher and Kathy Potter were chosen for the reserve honors for Dillon Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn. Third in the class went to Keeping Promises and Brian Wright for G. Russell Wright and Son of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

The senior division of the Auxiliary Equitation Medal class for riders 15-17 years of age was next on the schedule. Seven of the nine entries listed in the program chose to compete for the blue in this class. Laura Brandon was the call judge. Erica Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn., was chosen unanimously to make the victory pass in this class. Jeren Guthrie of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was reserve. Guthrie placed first in the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders on Novice Walking Mares and Geldings class aboard Ali Ali last night after enduring the storm that took over the show grounds just as her class began. Sarah Nichols of Shelbyville, Tenn., finished third in the Auxiliary Equitation Medal class for riders 15-17.

The Youth English Trail Pleasure class for riders 17 and under was split into two sections. Twenty-two of the 27 entries listed in the program made the gate call for Section A of the class. Mike Carpenter was the call judge for the first section. In a unanimous tie, Pride's Smart Alex and Bethany Martocci were called to make the victory pass for owners Rhonda and Bethany Martocci of Franklin, Tenn. The team took the reserve honors in the Youth Western Trail Pleasure class for riders 17 and under Friday morning. My Finders Keepers and Jenna Hamilton took the reserve honors in the English Trail Pleasure class for Marilyn Staley Friedman of Hidden Hills, Calif. Tried & True with Shayna Shaw up for Bill Marzinzik finished third in Section A of the class.

Section B of the Youth English Trail Pleasure class for riders 17 and under featured 18 entries. Gene Carswell was the call judge for this section. Gem Sweep and Anna Hamilton received the first place ribbon for Pamela Schoenster of Oakland, Tenn. This talented team gets better every time they show. Hamilton and Gem Sweep took the third place spot in the Youth Western Trail Pleasure class for riders 17 and under on Friday morning. Amanda Rodriguez and Hit & Run finished reserve for the Tony Rodriguez family of La Canada, Calif. Hit & Run also finished second in the Amateur English Trail Pleasure Canter class for riders 18 and over with Donna Rodriguez aboard on Wednesday morning. Major Alibi and Margaret Trudrung were third in Section B of the Youth English Trail Pleasure class for riders 17 and under. Delores Gibbany of Harrison, Ala., owns this entry.

The Owner-Amateur Yearlings class was also split into two sections. Section A of the class featured 18 entries. Jamie Hankins was the call judge for this section. Keeping Promises and Brian Wright took the first place honors for G. Russell Wright and son of Mt. Juliet, Tenn. This entry was third in the Yearling Fillies and Geldings class earlier in the day. Mahhhvelous Poison and Lindsey Smith finished with reserve for Mary Ann Hughes and David and Shirley Smith of Hickory Valley, Tenn., and Somerville, Tenn. The third place tie went to Reba's Black Angel and Amanda Nelms for J.T. and Martha Nelms of College Grove, Tenn.

Section B of the class featured 17 entries. Paul Watlington was the call judge. Only one of the entries listed in the program chose not to show. The first place tie in this section of the class went to Kathy Potter and Cotton's Power Pusher for Dillon Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn. This team finished reserve in the Yearling Fillies and Geldings class earlier in the day. Dangerous Diva and owner/exhibitor Allen Curtis of Hendersonville, Tenn., were reserve in Section B of the Owner-Amateur Yearlings class followed by Mask Kentucky Girl and Chris Proctor for Chris and Tammy Proctor and Quintessential Farm of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

In the final class of the day, 21 Yearling Colts of 2002 Foal entered the ring. Laura Brandon was the call judge. High Altitude and Chris Richards took the blue ribbon home to owner Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn. Silver Performance and Valton Rummage were reserve in the class for Steve Clark and Tommy Stewart of Arab, Ala. The third place award went to Monsieur Ritz and Carlyle Johnson for James and Peggy Vernon of Booneville, Miss.

The day classes have ended for this week. Worship services will be held tomorrow at 7:40 a.m. at Calsonic Arena for any one who wishes to attend. There will also be a dog show at 1:00 p.m. in the arena. Evening classes will continue tonight at 7:00 p.m. and will include the first championship class of this year's Celebration, the Walking Yearling World Grand Championship.

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