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The Golden Sovereign And Rowdy Rev Top Aged Stallions

by Mark Davis


            It’s Saturday night! The sun is out and there’s not a cloud in the sky. While it’s not as cool as it was on Thursday night, there’s a nice breeze blowing and it should be an absolutely perfect night for a horse show. Of course, what night’s not a perfect night for a horse show?

            Fourteen classes make up the evening’s schedule highlighted by the Two-Year-Old Mares and the Three-Year-Old Mares, and of course, the Aged Stallions, over 15.2. Yes, we get our first look at those horses interested in becoming the 2010 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. The first set of roses of the 2010 Celebration will be handed out tonight as well in the Yearling World Grand Championship.

            The judges for the 72nd Annual Celebration include Spencer Benedict of Glasgow, Ky., Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Mike Carpenter of Franklin, Tenn., Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., and Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky.

            As always, the opening ceremonies got underway promptly at 7 pm with The Celebration’s official flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton presenting the colors. The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Glenn Forsee of the First Assembly of God, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the national anthem by Jennifer Vannatta- Hall of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

            Up first on the evening’s schedule was class 76, Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Geldings. Thirteen of the 34 with reservations made their way down the hill to the historic big oval to work as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits in the class. Carrying the win back to West Tennessee and claiming the first blue of the Saturday Night performance was Olympic’s Godfather and Stephanie Carter riding for Barry Carter of Bartlett, Tenn. This team has had a strong 2010 season on the West Tennessee circuit securing wins at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, Humboldt, Tenn.’s West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Horse Show and the Germantown, Tenn. Horse Show. Bold Vengeance and Heather Beard pulled into the second position for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn. Bum In The Storm and Rhonda Stewart were third for Stewart’s Nursery of McMinnville, Tenn.

            The professional trainers made their first appearance of the night in class 77A, Three-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup). Thirteen of the 22 on the official Lions Club program made the gate call to work for Judge Tommy Loid and his staff. Making the blue ribbon ride in the division with a unanimous decision of the panel was the reigning Two-Year-Old Mare World Champion, Div. A, Miss Midnight Rider and Philip Trimble riding for Sheila Bullington of Franklin, Tenn. Savannah and Gary Edwards were reserve riding for Louis and Jean Hawkersmith of Tullahoma, Tenn. She’s Armed & Liberated and Jimmy McConnell pulled in to pick up the yellow streamers for Carney and Hammonds of Melber, Ky.

            Class 77B, brought another good section of Three-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup) down to the track with 15 of the 20 programmed entries making the call to work for Judge Spencer Benedict and his cohorts. Walking that blue ribbon line tonight was One Fine Line and Jimmy McConnell riding for Kimble and Madeline Tew of Waynesboro, Miss. A Bit Of Change and Michael Wright pulled in for second for Eddie and Tina Smith of Jackson, Tenn. Dance All Night and Tim Smith were third for Rita Hudgins of Franklin, Tenn.

            Young Trainers, 35 Years & Under, on Walking Horses, 15.2 & Under (Riders’ Cup), class 78, was up next on the evening’s program with 10 of the 23 with reservations working down the hill to show as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge. Topping the division was Don Julio and Brandon Stout riding for the Tim Napier family of Union, Ky. Sensational Premier and Michele Mercier were reserve riding for Renee Montgomery of Cammak, Ark. I’m Splashed and Tim Smith rounded out the top three for Hillview Promotions, LLC and Lindsey Landrum of Franklin, Tenn.

            It was time to get in a Western frame of mind for class 79, Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years & Over. Nine of the 14 on the entry sheets came down the hill to work for their moment in the winner’s circle tonight as Judge Mike Carpenter called the gaits in the class. When the work was complete, all five judges agreed that the champion in the event was Dragonfire and Jim Heiting taking the honors back out west to Riverside, Calif., just as they did in 2009. The team had an outstanding season in 2010 as well on the West Coast, picking up wins at the Desert Classic, the California Celebration and the California Summer Classic. Armed & Trigger Happy and Jim Nichols were second riding for Debbie and Jim Nichols of New Market, Tenn. Strega and Lynn Marchetti were third riding for Shirley Stuart of Bowling Green, Ky.

            Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings, class 80A, was up next on the schedule with 10 of the 18 with reservations taking the rail in the historic big oval to work for their chance to ride right out of the Novice division tonight and take home that very first Celebration blue. Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge for the class. Making that memorable ride was Santa Monica and owner/exhibitor Ryan Yokley of Ethridge, Tenn. Jose Caliente and Chris Elliott were reserve riding for Stephanie and Chris Elliott of Tuscumbia, Ala. Freak Design and Madeline Coleman collected the yellow streamers taking honors home to Greenwood, Miss.

            Class 80B, Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings brought 13 of the 18 young riders expected to the track to work for their first moment in the Celebration spotlight. Judge Tommy Loid called the gaits in the section. Sitting high in the saddle tonight on their very first Celebration blue ribbon ride was JFK’s Ten High and Annalisa Cooper, 2010 champions at Cookeville, Tenn.’s Upper Cumberland Horse Show and Sparta, Tenn.’s White County Classic, riding for Bill Torrance of Vernon Hills, Ill. Dollar’s Electroglide and Sydney Shortridge were second riding for Scott and Donna Shortridge of Shelbyville, Tenn. Straight Cash and owner/exhibitor Jordan Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo., were third.

            The trainers were back once again for class 81A, Two-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup). Ten of the 30 on the program made their way to the rail to entertain the Saturday Night crowd as Judge Spencer Benedict called the gaits in the split. Capturing the win was Dollar’s Misty Maid and Larry Edwards riding for Dr. Barbara Moersch of Jacksonville, Ala. She Has Status and John Allan Callaway was reserve riding for Joyce Meadows of Ashland City, Tenn. Hello Cutie and Philip Trimble were third for Jada Kail of Alamo, Tenn.

            Class 81B, Two-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup) brought 12 of the 28 who called ahead through the open gate to work the big track as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the section. Riding away with the blue and a unanimous decision of the panel was Powerstroke’s Evening Star and Ronnie Spears riding for McGee and Ingraham of Lenoir, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn. This young mare didn’t have a chance to be anything besides a World Champion as she is by the multi-titled World Champion and World Grand Champion Pushover’s Powerstroke and out of the great show mare Pusher’s Evening Star, shown to many Celebration blues by Susan Gordon. She’s Lady Antebellum and Wayne Dean were reserve riding for Robert & Anne Deutsch of Greensboro, N.C. Sheza Hole In One and Jimmy Evans were third for Ron Long of Carlisle, Ky.

            Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies, Stallions, class 82, was up next on the evening’s schedule with 12 of the 20 expected working hard for Judge Mike Carpenter and his cohorts. Riding to the win was Lined Walkin’ and Lilly Waites, 2010 champions at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, the FAST Showcase, and the Red Carpet Horse Show of the South, riding for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. I’m Packing A Pistol and Charlene Gibson rode into the second position for Gibson and Davis of Sykesville, Md. and Charlottesville, Va. Olympic Power and owner/exhibitor Stephanie Gordon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., rounded out the top three in the very competitive class.

            The first championship competition of the 2010 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was up next in class 83, Walking Yearling World Grand Championship. All nine of the expected entries made the gate call to work for the opportunity to walk in the spotlight with the roses tonight. Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge. Making that walk in the spotlight was General Sport and Chris Richards at the lead for Bill Harlin of College Grove, Tenn. This colt captured the Yearling Colt preliminary on Saturday morning. Miss USA Title, World Champion Yearling Filly and World Champion Owner/Amateur Yearling, with Roger Richards, Jr. was reserve for Bobby Jones and Roger Richards of Manchester and Hendersonville, Tenn. Livengood On Parole and Keith Reed were third for Allen Curtis of Hendersonville, Tenn.

            Class 84 brought the Owner-Amateur Novice Gentlemen Riders on Novice Walking Stallions down to the big oval with 16 of the 21 on the books beating the timer to have the opportunity to work for their first ever Celebration blue tonight as Judge Tommy Loid called the gaits. Making that first ever ride was Above the Line and Brad Spivey riding for Patricia Spivey of Jefferson City, Tenn. Night Listner and owner/exhibitor Bruce Vaughn of Valley City, Ohio was reserve. Smoke N Cash MM and Charles Stivers rounded out the top three for Glendon Stivers of Manchester, Ky.

            Finally, it was the time everyone had been waiting on all night, time to take a look at the Aged Stallions.

            Class 85A, Walking Stallions, Five Years & Over, Over 15.2 (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) brought nine of the 14 on the program to the ring as the crowd came to their feet to see just what the entries had to offer as organist Larry Bright welcomed the entries to the ring with his “Flat Walk Boogie”. Judge Spencer Benedict served as Call Judge for the class. When the work was complete it was the team of The Golden Sovereign and Tim Smith, 2010 champions at the Marshall County Horse Show, crowned as Aged Stallion, Div A World Champions for Evergreen Walking Horse Farm of Shelbyville, Tenn. Puttin’ Cash On The Line and Joe Fleming, champions at the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, the Spring Fun Show and the FAST Showcase, were reserve in the class riding for the Tommy Jowers family of Leesburg, Ga. Showboat By Skywatch and Charlie Green, 2010 champions at the East Tennessee Trainers’ Show, the Jack Keltner Memorial Horse Show, the WHOA Summer Fling and the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show, were third riding for Gordon & Angelyn Ezzell of Rocky Mount, N.C.

            Class 85B, Walking Stallions, Five Years & Over, Over 15.2 (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) brought nine of 12 expected down to the track to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. When the judges were reviewing the lineup, The Coach and Billy Gray were excused from the class by the judging panel. Topping this section for the third consecutive year was Rowdy Rev and Bill Bobo riding for Mr. Bill Harlin of College Grove, Tenn. More Of The Major and John Allan Callaway, 2010 champions at the Columbia Spring Jubliee and the Red Carpet Horse Show of the South, were reserve in the class for Jim and Judy Leek of Cedar Creek, Texas. Star and Chad Baucom, 2010 champions at the Money Tree Classic, were third for Wilsene Moody of Shelbyville, Tenn.

            With that final victory pass by Bill Bobo and Rowdy Rev, the first Saturday night performance of the 72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was complete at 11:50 p.m. After the Aged Stallion competition tonight, some questions regarding next Saturday night’s World Grand Championship competition were answered, some questions were revealed and some questions remain unanswered. We will have to gather back here next Saturday night to see what indeed will unfold.

            It was a great night of horse show competition and that competition will continue on Sunday evening as we get to take a look at the Junior Stallions and on Monday night as we will get to check out the Two-Year-Old Stallions. There’s still a lot of horse show action remaining, so make sure you don’t miss a moment of the 72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

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