by Sara Engel

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The International Grand Championship Pleasure and Colt show hosted their 30th “pearl” anniversary from July 27–Aug. 2. Once again, the weeklong show was held in the beautiful Miller Coliseum on the Middle Tennessee State University grounds.

Trainers, owners, exhibitors and spectators traveled from all across the country to participate in nine days of events. Starting in 2007, the Youth and Amateur Extravaganza Charity Horse Show once again opened the festivities on Saturday night by hosting a fun, casual show. Later in the week, on Friday and Saturday morning, the TWHBEA World Show was in full swing as well. Rounding out the shows for the week was the Pleasure Walking Horse Association of Tennessee (PWHAT) Celebration.

This year’s event consisted of 162 classes, offering a wide variety for everyone to find something they wanted to compete in. ??? of those classes were decided as unanimous decisions of the judging panel.

Judges for this year’s event started off with Chris Bobo, Jennifer Davis and Tommy Howell, all of Shelbyville, Tenn. Due to a rule infraction, Jennifer Davis was subsequently removed from the panel and was replaced by Larry Martin who finished out the remainder of the show.

“We were pleased with the International Pleasure and Colt Show for 2008. Stall and camper space rentals were up tremendously this year. With the addition of the TWHBEA World Show and PWHAT Celebration to the week’s events, we expected numbers to be down slightly from previous years due to exhibitors not showing as often at each individual show, but with 1,623 entries competing at the International, we came in very close to last year’s numbers. We appreciate all the sponsors and exhibitors for the overwhelming support of the International each and every year,” said WHOA Sales and Marketing Director Mark Taylor.

The crowd was treated to two separate exhibitions during the event. The first came with Diane Gueck and A Beam Come True “Trudy” performed their amazing “Dancing for Life Program”. Together, this pair, all decked out in a beautiful pink costume, appears at horse shows and rodeos throughout the country to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program. Recently, the team represented the Wrangler Pro-Rodeo’s Tough Enough To Wear Pink Campaign at the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco, Calif. Over $8 million has been raised so far.

The second exhibition of the show was by the World Grand Champion pair Bluegrass Bandit and Jared Carrier. Performing to music, Carrier directed his beautiful grey mare to a flawless performance simply using a rope tied around her neck and leg pressure.

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