Skip to content

A Great Day for the Tennessee Walking Horse



An Editiorial by David Howard

Earlier this year, I reported about some challenges to the continuation of the exhibition of a Tennessee Walking Horse at the University of Tennessee Homecoming game. This has been a tradition for over 25 years and has provided our horse with his greatest positive promotion.

Fortunately, after meeting with UT officials and with the support and cooperation of the Veterinary School and the Athletic Department, everything was worked out for 2011 World Grand Champion Game World and Gary Edwards to exhibit at Homecoming.

But things are never that simple. Homecoming was scheduled later in the year than normal and conflicted with the Southern Championship Horse Show in Perry, Ga.  Virtually all of the Edwards’ customers were coming to the show and Gary asked if we could make a change so that he would be there for his customers.

Ironically, Roll The Gold was scheduled to exhibit several years ago but after going through a practice session the day before, he was not allowed to exhibit due to a severe thunderstorm prior to kickoff.  UT officials joined me in inviting Roll The Gold and Chad Williams back for Homecoming if a World Grand Champion in the future was unable to exhibit.

We immediately contacted Chad and the Thorson’s and they graciously changed their plans and agreed to have Roll The Gold and daughter Allison do the honors. 

But not so fast... the horse is typically housed at the UT Vet School but there is a massive construction project going on and they could not stable the horse overnight. We made one call to Terry Dotson and trainer Brent Coburn and they agreed to provide stabling for the horse at their beautiful Winding Creek Stables in Kingston, Tenn.

Saturday afternoon just prior to the game things were going smoothly and Chad brought the horse onto the field a few minutes before his exhibition. Unfortunately, the Middle Tennessee State University band was seated close to Roll The Gold and decided to strike up their fight song. I don’t know if he didn’t like the song or it shocked him but he proved beyond a doubt he was ready to compete in jumping events. UT officials stopped the band and everything returned to normal.

On cue, the announcer introduced Roll the Gold and Allison to the crowd and the response was immediate. She made two passes around the field and the cheering increased with every step.  It was one of the most impressive and best-received exhibitions we have ever had and the Thorson family and Chad are to be commended for stepping in at the last minute and upholding this great tradition.

The Thorson family went above and beyond in adopting Tennessee orange on their trailer, Allison’s wardrobe and an orange shaker that Allison waved at the crowd and drew a tremendous response.  Allison is sixteen years old and became the first youth rider ever to exhibit at UT Homecoming…and she handled it like the pro she is. 

Frankly, it was one of the best receptions we have ever received from the fans in attendance and the media attention was very positive. We all owe the University of Tennessee a debt of gratitude for allowing us to exhibit our horse and expose him to such a large segment of the population, both in person and in the media.
  

 

 

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 1 31

    Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More