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Honors and I’m Innocent Top Three-Year-Old Stallions

By Mark Davis
It’s Friday Night in Shelbyville! There’s a nice breeze blowing as horse show fans mill around the historic big oval in anticipation for the evening’s events to get underway. Those 15 or 20 minutes before show time make for great time to check out what’s new at the favorite concession stands or catch up with the friends that haven’t been seen since last year’s show.

Of course, all horse show fans know that promptly at 7 p.m., official flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and World Grand Champion rider Bud Seaton will be entering the gate and the horse show will be underway. The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. David Adams of Bell Buckle United Methodist Church, Bell Buckle, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the Edgemont Baptist Church Quartet of Shelbyville, Tenn.

It was then time to call the first class of the evening to the ring, class 46, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Geldings. Ten of the 17 expected made their way down the hill to work for Celebration acclaim and the cheers of the Friday night crowd as Judge Jeff Willis called the gaits in the class. Making a great show in the class to ride away with the win was the team of A Cloudy Sky and Nathan Oliver riding for the Darrell Oliver family of Bowling Green, Ky. This win was preceded with wins at the Gallatin Lions Club Horse Show, the Spring Fun Show, the Liberty Lions Club Horse Show, the Money Tree Classic & the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show. Be Cool and Jaclyn Compton were reserve for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va. The Prime Suspect and Eli Davis were third for Shamrock Farms of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The trainers made their first appearance of the evening in class 47, Two-Year-Old Walking Geldings with 15 of the 21 on the official Lions Club Program working to the track to show their best for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her panel. Generating excitement from the crowd and approval from the judges was Generating The Command and Brent Grider making the victory ride for Tooley & Grider of Columbia, Ky. He’s A Superstar General and Chad Baucom pulled into the second position to take the honors back Carolina way for Anne & Robert Deutsch of Greensboro, N.C. The Sky Guy and Blake Sims were third for the Mike Chiappari family of Santa Rosa, Calif.

The Amateur riders were up next in class 48, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions with 19 of the 36 on the books making their way down from Calsonic Arena to work for the growing Friday Night crowd. Judge Jamie Bradshaw served as Call Judge for the class. Topping the outstanding and exciting class was the team of Sky Miles and Beth Sims, 2011 winners at the P.C. Splash Walking Horse Classic, riding for the Mike Chiappari family of Santa Rosa, Calif., and they did so with a unanimous decision of the judging panel. Play Something Country and Jeff Smith of Greer, S.C., were reserve in the class. The Who and Molly Walters rounded out the top three for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The pleasure horses made a Friday night appearance in class 49, Lite Shod Walking Horses. Ten of the 17 on the program made the call to work in the historic big oval as Judge Jamie Hankins called the gaits in the class. Riding away with the win was the team of Honor My Cash and Jamey Thompson riding for Roger & Rebecca Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif. The duo picked up the win with the approval of all five judges. Major Randolph and Patrick Thomas collected the red streamers for Deborah Parmer of Elizabethtown, Pa. Slammin Rammer and Bobby Richards were third for Dave & Joy Buck of Conroe, Texas.

Up next on the schedule, class 50A, the Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions with 12 of the 30 on the official Lions Club program working to the track to work for Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts. The Three-Year-Old Stallions were certainly one of the classes that everyone in attendance tonight was here to see. These young stallions and their trainers certainly did not disappoint anyone in the crowd, but only one of this very talented bunch could walk away with the World Championship honors. That honor, with all five judges in agreement, went to the team of Honors and Larry Edwards riding for Dan, Keith & Kelly McSwain of Duluth & Gainesville, Ga. This team captured top honors at the 2011 Red Carpet Horse Show in Pulaski, Tenn. With this win, coupled with the 2004 win with Image Of Ritz, the McSwain’s retire the Dave Spence Memorial Challenge Trophy, the Donald Paschal Memorial Challenge Trophy and the Leslie Seaton Memorial Challenge Trophy. Reserve honors went to Pro V 1 and Bill Callaway riding for Darrell W. Frazier of Jamestown, Tenn. Low On Gin and Jimmy McConnell rounded out the top three in this excellent class for Mike & Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.

Class 50B, brought another section of Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions down to the track with 17 entries making the call to work as Judge Jeff Willis called the gaits. But, will this class measure up to the excitement in the A division? We will see. Ah, yes … just as exciting indeed! But, again, only one could be named the champion and that team was I’m Innocent and Justin Harris riding for the Darrell Oliver family of Bowling Green, Ky. This win was preceded with 2011 wins at the Columbia Spring Jubilee, the Tony Rice Horse Show & the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show. It’s been a good night for Team Oliver as Nathan Oliver picked up the blue in the 11 and Under Gelding class earlier in the evening with A Cloudy Sky. Intensity and Steve Dunn pulled into the second position for the Arthur Gordon family/Stone Gait Farms of Orange, Calif. Headed back to West Tennessee, I’m Deuce and Casey Wright was third for Billy & Debbie Woods of Lexington, Tenn.

The Park Performance entries were up next for class 51, Park Performance Walking Horses, Four Years and Under with 14 of the 18 on the books making their way down the hill to work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her panel. Taking the win back out to the West Coast was It’s Chavez and Greg Bryant riding for David Lantis of Hesperia, Calif. Polo Ritz and Tim Smith were reserve for Cindy Bowman of Greeneville, Tenn. Antonio Banderas and Ryan Gannon picked up the yellow streamers for Jennifer & Glenda Hall of Smyrna, Tenn.

All 15 of the expected teams for class 52, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-14 on Walking Ponies, beat the clock and made their way down the hill to show off for the Friday Night crowd. Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the class. And, what a good class of young riders and ponies this turned out to be, enough so to bring the crowd to their feet and have everyone cheering for their favorite, which is all of the fun of coming to a horse show! Riding to the top of the class was ACC and Jaclyn Compton riding for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va. Eagle’s Finess and Cole Sims were reserve for the Mike Chiappari family of Santa Rosa, Calif. Silver Dollar Intimidator and Allie Blackburn were third for Amy Barker Blackburn of Arab, Ala.

A very special class was up next on the schedule, class 53, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, Classic Horses, 15 Years and Over. There’s not many breeds of horses that has the number of horses that are still being shown and being shown very competitively at 15 plus years of age. Ten of the 11 with reservations were on hand to show for Judge Jamie Hankins and his panel. I’m Packin’ A Pistol and owner/exhibitor Kenny Compton of North Tazewell, Va., strolled away with the win in the division. Heart Attack’s Fast Beat and owner/exhibitor Danielle Ricker of Greeneville, Tenn., rode to the reserve honors in the class. Matador and Tim Brooks were third for Tim & Terri Brooks of Hot Springs, Ark.

Class 54 featured the Elite Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings with 13 of the 20 expected making the gate call to work for Judge Ronnie Spears and his cohorts. Holding up the competition and walking away with the blue, after taking home the reserve in the division in 2010, was the team of High Jacked and Dr. Jim Baum in the irons for Lisa Baum of Shelbyville, Tenn. This win was preceded by 2011 wins at Petersburg, Tenn. & Bedford County 4-H Horse Shows. Headed back Florida way with reserve honors were I’m Stan The Man and Ben Brogdon up for Ben & Dr. Lynda Brogdon of Tallahassee, Fla. Trouble On The Line and Tom Morgan rounded out the top three for Hannah McCurdy of Piedmont, Ala.

The trainers were back for class 55, Four-Year-Old Walking Geldings (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) with seven of the 11 on the books showing all three gaits for Judge Jeff Willis and his panel. King Of Voltage and Justin Harris made the victory ride in the division, just as they did earlier this year at the O.K. Hege Memorial Horse Show and the Moore County Horse Show, for Kevin McNatt of Nashville, Tenn. Brad Davis and Country And Famous were reserve for Rick & Marla Lovett of Mobile, Ala. Ricardo Ricardo and Charlie Green were third for Bobby & Lisa Rogers of Owingsville, Ky.

The Park Pleasure entries were up next on the evening schedule, class 56, Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses. Ten of the 20 on the official Lions Club program worked down the hill to the historic big oval to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham called the gaits. Taking top honors back to Gulf Hammock, Fla., was BB King’s Jazz and owner/exhibitor Jeannae Patterson making the good show in the division. 2x The Magic and owner/exhibitor Jeff Duke of Bon Aqua, Tenn., pulled in to accept the red streamers. Marching Orders and Angela Jones were third for Ron Jones, RPC Farms of Greeneville, Tenn.

Class 57, brought the Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Mares down to the big oval with 14 of the 21 on the books making the call to work for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his staff. Repeating on their win in the same division in 2010, My First Dollar and George-Ann Pratt were back in the winner’s circle once again after making a great performance for Don Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas. With these back-to-back wins, the team retires the My Jackie O Memorial Challenge Trophy. A High Dollar Charge and Beverly Sherman were reserve in the class taking the honors home to Dallas, Texas. Rosetta Stone and Patty Marek rounded out the top three for Marek & Smith of Shelbyville, Tenn.

The final class of the evening, class 58, featured Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings (Riders’ Cup). Seventeen of the 34 with reservations came down the hill one final time for the Friday evening performance to work for Judge Jamie Hankins and his panel. Dancing their way down victory lane was A Line Dancer and Bill Callaway up for S & J Enterprises of Huntsville, Ala. Turnbow and Brad Davis were reserve for Lynn Womack of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Limestone Lucy and Knox Blackburn were third for Steve Heitmiller of Laguna Beach, Calif.

With Larry Bright playing his signature end of show song, “Just The Way You Are”, the Friday evening session of the 73rd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was complete and in the record books at 11:15 p.m. Make sure you’re back in Shelbyville tomorrow (Saturday) night as we’ll get our first look at those Aged Stallions and see who just might be crowned our next Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. It will be a great night that you won’t want to miss!

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