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Gen On The Run and Justin Harris Win The Roses



 

By Mark Davis

 

It’s Thursday night in Shelbyville at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and that means it’s time for the action to really heat up as the Championship events get under way.  Nine sets of roses will be given out this evening, with one class left from last Friday’s performance to start the schedule.  It promises to be a truly exciting evening.

Marking the cards for the 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Wink Groover of Longview, Texas, Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky., Huck Moss of Trenton, S.C., and Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn.

As the traditional start time drew near, official flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and WGC rider Bud Seaton made their way down the chute awaiting the clock to strike 7pm when it would be Celebration Time In Shelbyville.  The invocation this evening was given by Rev. Mark F. Ashley, pastor of the Cannon Street United Methodist Church, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the performance of the national anthem on the violin and flute by Christian artists, Bruce and Lisa of College Grove, Tenn.

WGC Three-Year-Old Gen On The Run and Justin Harris


Up first on the evening’s schedule was class 54 from Friday night, Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses with seven entries expected to work as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the division.  Designing a blue ribbon win to start off the Thursday night show was Northstar By Design and Brandon Helms riding back to the land of the Tarheel for Linda Helms of Locust, N.C.  Gen’s Major Coin and Sherri Pollack were reserve for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Wham and Austin Gillentine picked up the yellow streamers for Jim and Austin Gillentine of Muncie, Ind.

Twelve of the 15 with reservations made their way down the chute to work for the first set of roses of the night in class 131, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Walking Ponies, World Grand Championship.  Judge Huck Moss led the panel in the event. When the work was complete, the spotlight turned on and passed back and forth over the entries looking for the newest Walking Pony World Grand Champion.  Finally, announcer called the team of Rudy Rudiger and Alexandria Holland, champions in the Youth 6-14 Preliminary on Sunday night, to the winner’s circle, with all five first place votes, riding for The Neal Holland Family of Decatur, Ala.  Miss Holland was one happy lady for sure as she made that historic victory pass, with the roses and tri-colors intact, with the cheers of the Thursday night crowd . . .ah, what a feeling.  Lighting up the night, Electrifying and Samantha Gaddy turned in a very nice performance to garner the red silks for Rina Gaddy of Kernersville, N.C.  In My Pocket and Dalia Smith were third for Annabelle Smith of Manchester, Ky.

Alexandria Holland is greeted by father, Neal Holland after the Pony World Grand Championship with Rudy Rudiger

The pleasure division was up next as 10 of the 11 signed in worked to the track to show their very best in class 132, Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, World Grand Championship (Canter) under the watchful eye of Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts.  Returning to the winner’s circle in the division was the multi-titled WC and World Championship duo of Pusher’s Beaming Pride and Howard Hamilton riding for Jim and Debbie Nichols of New Market, Tenn.  Last year’s WGC in this division, Double Java and Scott Benham were second in the championship event for Mike and Kathy Chiappari of Santa Rosa, Calif.  The spotted Calvin Klein’s Obsession and Jeff Givens were third for Donald Knight of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Back in the performance division, class 133 brought the Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship with 10 of the 13 with reservations giving it all they had hoping their performance would be rewarded by the judging panel, led in this event by Judge Jamie Bradshaw.  Making another extraordinary performance to ride away with the roses in this division for the third consecutive year was John FK’s Pusher and Robin MacDonald for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Atlanta, Ga., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Quite an accomplishment . . .quite a performance!  I’m Spiderman and Ed Breedlove were a striking reserve for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga.  Irrational Exuberance and Brett Jones, World Champions in the Elite Gentleman Riders on Mares or Geldings earlier this week, were a popular third for Brett & Lisa Jones of Tylertown, Miss.

Everyone’s favorites, the Youth 11 and Under riders were up next in championship competition with 23 of 24 expected for class 134, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship.  Judge Wink Groover had the very difficult task of leading the panel in the very competitive event.  Making that ride under the spotlight, with organist Larry Bright playing “Mr. Sandman Bring Me A Dream”, and having their dreams come true taking that ride of a lifetime was Sanman and Benjaman Bowen riding proudly for granddad, Larry Russell of Pontotoc, Miss.  The duo topped the Youth 11 and Under on Walking Geldings preliminary on Friday evening.  Former WGC Sunrise Que Sera Sera and Christina Butler were close behind accepting the red streamers for Glen and Virgie Crutchfield of Memphis, Tenn.  World Champions in the Mare preliminary, She’s Push In Command and Lindsay Hess were third for Connie Hess of Harrisonburg, Va.

The pleasure horses were back 22 strong in class 135, Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship all working for the approval of the judging panel, led in this event by Judge Tommy Loid.  Riding for the tri-colors in the event was The Lady Of The Ritz and Marty Irby, World Champions in the English Trail Pleasure preliminary, riding to the pinnacle of the division for Marty Irby and Waterfall Farms of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Enjoying their ride in the big oval, Push N For Pleasure and Patti Pollack were reserve for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif.  Papa’s Show Girl and Lauren Birmingham picked up the yellow ribbon for Lunan, DuBose, Birmingham and Way of Vernon & Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Smith Lake, Texas.

WGC 11 & Under Sanman and Benjaman Bowen


Nineteen of the 23 expected for class 136, Owner-Amateur Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horse World Grand Championship, were up next.  Judge Huck Moss  led the panel that was looking to find the very best in the division to bestow the title of World Grand Champion and make another riders wildest dreams a reality.  When Suzanne Littell and Coinmaker made their final pass with the roses in the Show Pleasure World Grand Championship in 2004, after winning the division for the fourth consecutive year, I bet she never dreamed she be back in the division’s winner’s circle once again, but tonight she was once again back in the ring with another big walking black horse, Zulu, wearing the roses for Moore and Littell of Catherine, Ala.  Very popular with the crowd, last year’s WGC Ironworks Tin Man and Grand Jones were in the second spot for SRJ Land & Cattle Company of Greenville, Ky.  Generator’s Top Dollar and owner/exhibitor Keith Johnson of Shelbyville, Tenn. was riding in style for third.

WGC Amateur Show Pleasure Zulu and Susanne Littell



Getting the large Thursday night crowd in the western frame of mind, class 137 brought all nine entries expected for the Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse, Lite Shod, World Grand Championship (Canter).  Judge Ronnie Spears called the gaits in the event which added a little variety to the evening’s schedule.  Making the spotlight ride as Organist Larry Bright played a little “Happy Trails” were Bobby Richards and Drop The Hammer walking down the happy trail for Stacey Richards of Franklin, Tenn.  Jose Quervo Gold and Miles Irby were reserve for Gene and Sandra Means of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Mr. Irresistible and Trish Wooten were third for Rowena Matteson of Clovis, Calif.

Class 138, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, 15.2 and Under, World Grand Championship found 12 of the 14 scheduled to attend finding their place on the rail to work for that cherished spotlight ride as Judge Jamie Bradshaw led the panel in the event.  While this class may not have been the largest of the evening it promised to one of the most exciting and competitive with at least half of the entries being past World or World Grand Champions.  Walking down the blue ribbon highway to the winner’s circle and bringing the crowd to their feet on their victory pass was former WGC Highway Robbery and Betty Corlew picking up the roses after a flawless performance for Betty Corlew of Adams, Tenn.  Former Novice WGC and RWC in the Stallion preliminary, The Phantom Menace and Thom Meek were an impressive reserve for Deerwood Manor of Brentwood, Tenn.  Doctor Perfect and Sandra Hodgeson were third for Roger and Sandra Hodgeson of Omak, Wash.

Finishing off an outstanding Thursday evening performance, class 139 brought the Three Year Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship with 15 of the 22 expected making their way down the hill to work for the approval of the judges and the crowd to take home that cherished title of World Grand Champion.  Judge Wink Groover served as Call Judge in the final event of the night.  Turning in a stellar performance and running away with the win was the Reigning Two-Year-Old WGC Gen On The Run and Justin Harris in the irons for Michael and Ty Hart of Corbin, Ky.  The duo topped the Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Div. B World Championship on Monday evening on the road to this ride for the roses.  He’s A Weekend Warrior and Sam Martin, Three-Year-Old Stallion, Div. A World Champions, walked to the reserve honors for Jones and McLaughlin of Dillon and Florence, S.C.  Holyfield and John Puckett rounded out the top three for Bob Hill of Albemarle, N.C.



WGC 15.2 & Under Highway Robbery and Betty Corlew

With one final pass from Harris and Gen On The Run, the first championship night of the 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was complete and in the record b

By Mark Davis

 

It’s Thursday night in Shelbyville at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and that means it’s time for the action to really heat up as the Championship events get under way.  Nine sets of roses will be given out this evening, with one class left from last Friday’s performance to start the schedule.  It promises to be a truly exciting evening.

Marking the cards for the 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Wink Groover of Longview, Texas, Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky., Huck Moss of Trenton, S.C., and Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn.

As the traditional start time drew near, official flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and WGC rider Bud Seaton made their way down the chute awaiting the clock to strike 7pm when it would be Celebration Time In Shelbyville.  The invocation this evening was given by Rev. Mark F. Ashley, pastor of the Cannon Street United Methodist Church, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the performance of the national anthem on the violin and flute by Christian artists, Bruce and Lisa of College Grove, Tenn.

WGC Three-Year-Old Gen On The Run and Justin Harris

Up first on the evening’s schedule was class 54 from Friday night, Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses with seven entries expected to work as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the division.  Designing a blue ribbon win to start off the Thursday night show was Northstar By Design and Brandon Helms riding back to the land of the Tarheel for Linda Helms of Locust, N.C.  Gen’s Major Coin and Sherri Pollack were reserve for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Wham and Austin Gillentine picked up the yellow streamers for Jim and Austin Gillentine of Muncie, Ind.

Twelve of the 15 with reservations made their way down the chute to work for the first set of roses of the night in class 131, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Walking Ponies, World Grand Championship.  Judge Huck Moss led the panel in the event. When the work was complete, the spotlight turned on and passed back and forth over the entries looking for the newest Walking Pony World Grand Champion.  Finally, announcer called the team of Rudy Rudiger and Alexandria Holland, champions in the Youth 6-14 Preliminary on Sunday night, to the winner’s circle, with all five first place votes, riding for The Neal Holland Family of Decatur, Ala.  Miss Holland was one happy lady for sure as she made that historic victory pass, with the roses and tri-colors intact, with the cheers of the Thursday night crowd . . .ah, what a feeling.  Lighting up the night, Electrifying and Samantha Gaddy turned in a very nice performance to garner the red silks for Rina Gaddy of Kernersville, N.C.  In My Pocket and Dalia Smith were third for Annabelle Smith of Manchester, Ky.

Alexandria Holland is greeted by father, Neal Holland after the Pony World Grand Championship with Rudy Rudiger

The pleasure division was up next as 10 of the 11 signed in worked to the track to show their very best in class 132, Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, World Grand Championship (Canter) under the watchful eye of Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts.  Returning to the winner’s circle in the division was the multi-titled WC and World Championship duo of Pusher’s Beaming Pride and Howard Hamilton riding for Jim and Debbie Nichols of New Market, Tenn.  Last year’s WGC in this division, Double Java and Scott Benham were second in the championship event for Mike and Kathy Chiappari of Santa Rosa, Calif.  The spotted Calvin Klein’s Obsession and Jeff Givens were third for Donald Knight of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Back in the performance division, class 133 brought the Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship with 10 of the 13 with reservations giving it all they had hoping their performance would be rewarded by the judging panel, led in this event by Judge Jamie Bradshaw.  Making another extraordinary performance to ride away with the roses in this division for the third consecutive year was John FK’s Pusher and Robin MacDonald for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Atlanta, Ga., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Quite an accomplishment . . .quite a performance!  I’m Spiderman and Ed Breedlove were a striking reserve for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga.  Irrational Exuberance and Brett Jones, World Champions in the Elite Gentleman Riders on Mares or Geldings earlier this week, were a popular third for Brett & Lisa Jones of Tylertown, Miss.

Everyone’s favorites, the Youth 11 and Under riders were up next in championship competition with 23 of 24 expected for class 134, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship.  Judge Wink Groover had the very difficult task of leading the panel in the very competitive event.  Making that ride under the spotlight, with organist Larry Bright playing “Mr. Sandman Bring Me A Dream”, and having their dreams come true taking that ride of a lifetime was Sanman and Benjaman Bowen riding proudly for granddad, Larry Russell of Pontotoc, Miss.  The duo topped the Youth 11 and Under on Walking Geldings preliminary on Friday evening.  Former WGC Sunrise Que Sera Sera and Christina Butler were close behind accepting the red streamers for Glen and Virgie Crutchfield of Memphis, Tenn.  World Champions in the Mare preliminary, She’s Push In Command and Lindsay Hess were third for Connie Hess of Harrisonburg, Va.

The pleasure horses were back 22 strong in class 135, Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship all working for the approval of the judging panel, led in this event by Judge Tommy Loid.  Riding for the tri-colors in the event was The Lady Of The Ritz and Marty Irby, World Champions in the English Trail Pleasure preliminary, riding to the pinnacle of the division for Marty Irby and Waterfall Farms of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Enjoying their ride in the big oval, Push N For Pleasure and Patti Pollack were reserve for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif.  Papa’s Show Girl and Lauren Birmingham picked up the yellow ribbon for Lunan, DuBose, Birmingham and Way of Vernon & Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Smith Lake, Texas.

WGC 11 & Under Sanman and Benjaman Bowen

Nineteen of the 23 expected for class 136, Owner-Amateur Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horse World Grand Championship, were up next.  Judge Huck Moss  led the panel that was looking to find the very best in the division to bestow the title of World Grand Champion and make another riders wildest dreams a reality.  When Suzanne Littell and Coinmaker made their final pass with the roses in the Show Pleasure World Grand Championship in 2004, after winning the division for the fourth consecutive year, I bet she never dreamed she be back in the division’s winner’s circle once again, but tonight she was once again back in the ring with another big walking black horse, Zulu, wearing the roses for Moore and Littell of Catherine, Ala.  Very popular with the crowd, last year’s WGC Ironworks Tin Man and Grand Jones were in the second spot for SRJ Land & Cattle Company of Greenville, Ky.  Generator’s Top Dollar and owner/exhibitor Keith Johnson of Shelbyville, Tenn. was riding in style for third.

WGC Amateur Show Pleasure Zulu and Susanne Littell

Getting the large Thursday night crowd in the western frame of mind, class 137 brought all nine entries expected for the Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse, Lite Shod, World Grand Championship (Canter).  Judge Ronnie Spears called the gaits in the event which added a little variety to the evening’s schedule.  Making the spotlight ride as Organist Larry Bright played a little “Happy Trails” were Bobby Richards and Drop The Hammer walking down the happy trail for Stacey Richards of Franklin, Tenn.  Jose Quervo Gold and Miles Irby were reserve for Gene and Sandra Means of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Mr. Irresistible and Trish Wooten were third for Rowena Matteson of Clovis, Calif.

Class 138, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, 15.2 and Under, World Grand Championship found 12 of the 14 scheduled to attend finding their place on the rail to work for that cherished spotlight ride as Judge Jamie Bradshaw led the panel in the event.  While this class may not have been the largest of the evening it promised to one of the most exciting and competitive with at least half of the entries being past World or World Grand Champions.  Walking down the blue ribbon highway to the winner’s circle and bringing the crowd to their feet on their victory pass was former WGC Highway Robbery and Betty Corlew picking up the roses after a flawless performance for Betty Corlew of Adams, Tenn.  Former Novice WGC and RWC in the Stallion preliminary, The Phantom Menace and Thom Meek were an impressive reserve for Deerwood Manor of Brentwood, Tenn.  Doctor Perfect and Sandra Hodgeson were third for Roger and Sandra Hodgeson of Omak, Wash.

Finishing off an outstanding Thursday evening performance, class 139 brought the Three Year Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship with 15 of the 22 expected making their way down the hill to work for the approval of the judges and the crowd to take home that cherished title of World Grand Champion.  Judge Wink Groover served as Call Judge in the final event of the night.  Turning in a stellar performance and running away with the win was the Reigning Two-Year-Old WGC Gen On The Run and Justin Harris in the irons for Michael and Ty Hart of Corbin, Ky.  The duo topped the Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Div. B World Championship on Monday evening on the road to this ride for the roses.  He’s A Weekend Warrior and Sam Martin, Three-Year-Old Stallion, Div. A World Champions, walked to the reserve honors for Jones and McLaughlin of Dillon and Florence, S.C.  Holyfield and John Puckett rounded out the top three for Bob Hill of Albemarle, N.C.

WGC 15.2 & Under Highway Robbery and Betty Corlew

With one final pass from Harris and Gen On The Run, the first championship night of the 68th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was complete and in the record books.  Make sure you’re back Friday evening for Ladies night when the 40th anniversary of Betty Sain’s 1966 win on Shaker’s Shocker, the 30th anniversary of Judy Martin’s 1976 win on Shades Of Carbon and the 15th anniversary of Vicki Self’s 1991 win on Flashy Pride.  There will be a great night of championship competition tomorrow night featuring the Youth 12-17 World Grand Championship, Owner-Amateur World Grand Championship and Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship.  History will be made in Shelbyville, be here for the action!

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