By Mark Davis


            It’s Monday Morning and as an unusually cool breeze blows through the confines of Calsonic Arena, preparations are being made around the facility for the morning’s activities, which will mark the final session of morning classes for the 69th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

            Once again, the 13 class schedule is quite diverse featuring classes from the Weanling Halter, Equitation, Trail Pleasure Lite Shod and Park Pleasure divisions and will be concluded with World Grand Championship competition in the Equitation division.

            Leading off the morning’s agenda was class 90, Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod.  Twelve of the 19 with reservations made the call to show off their walking ways as Judge Allen Forman called the gaits.  Putting the slam down on the competition once again was Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo proudly riding to the winner’s circle for Waldo & Leek, LLC of Cedar Creek, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Making the good ride for reserve was Jose Quervo Gold and Miles Irby up for Means & Irby of Shelbyville, Tenn.   Red Sunday’s Best and Laurie Toone were third for Jared Carrier & Laurie Toone of Oakland, Tenn.

            Class 91 featured the Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old with six of the nine expected making their way up the chute to work as Judge Justin Jenne served as Call Judge in the section.  Topping all five judges cards, I’m Big Bad John and Howard Hamilton blew away the judges and the crowd to ride away with the win for Marty Irby of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Headed back to the Lone Star State, I’m Jeb Stewart and Don Crum pulled in for second for Kelly & Jennifer LeBlanc of Magnolia, Texas.  Rounding out the top three, Sky Full Of Gold and Patti Pollack accepted the golden streamers for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. & Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Back in the Lite Shod division,  fourteen of the 22 programmed entries beat the clock to work for World Championship acclaim in class 92, Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Three & Four Year Old, Lite Shod, under the watchful eye of Judge Sam Sorrell and staff.  When the work was complete, the order came in that Major Orders and Dickie Scrivner captured the World Championship title for the second consecutive year for Ron Fullerton of Inverness, Fla.  It’s been a great 2007 for this duo already picking up wins at Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Bedford County 4-H Show, Jackson, Mo.’s Mid America Spring Charity Show, Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Liberty Lions Club Horse Show, Lewisburg, Tenn.’s Marshall County Horse Show and Cookeville, Tenn.’s Putnam County Fair Horse Show.  Big Time Grand and Mike Klutz headed back Carolina way with the reserve honors for Linda & CB Daughtridge of Rocky Mount, N.C.  Bart Gilmer and The Armed Cashier were third for Sophia Borg of Ponte Vedra, Fla.

            Class 93E, Equitation, Riders 18 Years and Over (Canter) brought three of the four expected up to Calsonic Arena to show off the art of riding as Judge Ronnie Spears called the gaits.  When the rail work and required workouts were finished, all five judges agreed on each of the three placings.  Riding away with the World Championship was the former Youth Equitation WGC Alex Bumpus of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Sophia Fenchew of Hellertown, Pa., pulled in for the second placing, while Mikenzie Brown of Manchester, Tenn., were third.

            Ten young riders made their way to the track eager to work hard in class 94, Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings, hoping today might be the day they get to make their first Celebration victory ride.  Judge Mike Carpenter served as Call Judge in the section.  Making that once in a lifetime ride, Pusher’s Hot Cargo and Morgan Collins rode away with the blue for Jimmy Collins of Burlington, N.C.  Keeping things in the Carolinas, Color’s Clown and Whitney Varney picked up the red streamers for Lori Renn Abbott of Henderson, N.C.  Making it a sweep, Miss Silver Satin and Chris Williams were third for Wanda Helms & Nancy Elliott of Locust, N.C.

            Staying in the Novice division, Class 95 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod with 12 of the 23 on the entry sheets working the track for their very first chance to make that sentimental journey down victory lane.  Judge Allen Forman led the panel in the section.  Headed out of the Novice division, Nita’s Double Pride and Ginger Simpson riding to the top of the class for Jeannae Patterson & Ginger Simpson of Gulf Hammick, Fla. & Winchester, Tenn.  Slammin’ Rammer and Joy Buck accepted the red ribbon for Dave & Joy Buck of Conroe, Texas.  Aspen For Cash and Betty Laughlin rounded out the top three for 4-J Land & Cattle Co., of Waynesville, Mo.

            The babies were up next for Class 96, Weanling Colts, of 2007 Foal, with 26 of the 34 expected walking to show of their long walking ways for Judge Justin Jenne’ and his panel.  Rolling away with World Championship acclaim was One Bodacious Stone and Robert Nelms at the lead for Brian & Katherine Velasquez of Lafayette, Ind.  Ike Turner, World Champion in the Youth Weanling division earlier in the week, pulled in to the second position with handler Chris Hazelwood at the lead for Jacoby Farms of Columbia, Tenn.  Ca-Ching and Carlyle Johnson picked up the yellow streamer for Debbie Miller of Shelbyville, Tenn.

            The Trail Pleasure entries were back for class 97A, Owner-Amateur Novice English Trail Pleasure, Novice Riders with 28 of the 35 with reservations hit the track to try to work their way out of the Novice division as Judge Sam Sorrell called the gaits.  Powering their way to the top of the event were Go Go Power and Belinda Mendenhall picking up the win for Dr. Jana Anderson of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Victoria’s Got A Secret and Darren Gray were reserve for Darren Gray & Dee Dee Sale of Monteverde, Fla. & Lewisburg, Tenn.  I’m Rose Walker and Jackie McKnight picked up the yellow streamers for Sims & Jackie McKnight of Mason, Tenn.

            Twenty eight more Trail Pleasure teams were on deck for class 97B, Owner-Amateur Novice English Trail Pleasure, Novice Riders.  Judge Ronnie Spears served as Call Judge in the section.  A novice no more, owner/exhibitor Darren Gray and Delight Silver Design carry the blue back to their Sunshine State home of Clermont, Fla.  I’m Just Jessie and Ruth Tudor were proud to pull in for second in the event for Larry & Ruth Tudor of Ten Mile, Tenn.  Headed out west, Wishes Of Cash and owner/exhibitor David Green of Hillsboro, Ore., picked up third.

            Class 98 brought the Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses to the track with seventeen of the 31 programmed entries beating the clock to take the rail in Calsonic Arena working under the watchful eye of Judge Mike Carpenter and staff.  Riding away with the gold in the event was Hermano Gold and Jamey Thompson riding for Roger & Rebecca Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif.  Go Boy’s Dark Spirit and Jennifer Pendleton were reserve for Huckaby & Pendleton of Columbia & Shelbyville, Tenn.  Two Times The Magic and Ty Irby rode away with the golden streamers for Irby Farms of Mobile, Ala. & Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Owner-Amateur Riders on Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod (Canter) featured five of the 11 expected working the track as Judge Allen Forman called the gaits.  Putting the hammer down once again, for the second time this morning, Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo made the victory pass for Waldo & Leek, LLC of Cedar Creek, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn.  This win brought Hammer’s 2007 Celebration win count to five, pretty impressive indeed!  Nita’s Double Pride and Ginger Simpson picked up the red streamers in the event for Jeannae Patterson and Ginger Simpson of Gulf Hammock, Fla. & Winchester, Tenn.  The classic horse, Aspen Gold and Jeff Laughlin were third for 4-J Land & Cattle Co. of Waynesville, Mo.

            Class 100E featured the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship (Canter) to the ring, meaning it was time to hand out some roses!  Judge Justin Jenne’ served as Call Judge for the class which featured six young ladies showing off their very best riding abilities in hopes of riding away with the roses and appearing back in the big ring tonight to make a victory exhibition in front of the Monday night crowd.  Making the ride with the roses was Stephanie Smith of Murfreesboro, Tenn., champions of the Senior preliminary on Saturday morning.  Rachel Burch of College Grove, Tenn., were reserve with Maddie Jones of Little Elm, Texas accepting third.

            The final class on the Monday Morning schedule was class 101, Weanling Fillies, of 2007 Foal.  Thirteen of the 19 with reservations worked their way up the chute to show off their moves for Call Judge Sam Sorrell and his panel.  Topping the division was Bambini and Carlyle Johnson leading for Jack Heffington of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Sheza Thunder Storm and Nathan Mills were reserve for Nathan Mills of Nashville, Tenn.  I’m A Philadelphia Philly and Robert Nelms were third for Lisa Washburn of Fayetteville, Tenn.