SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Russell Humphreys, a member of The Celebration security team, has been honored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a Certificate of Merit.

The USDA’s Security Branch made the commendation following the 2008 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  They said Mr. Humphreys’ demeanor in dealing with all parties in the inspection area has made for a professional working atmosphere.

Humphreys came on board as a member of the security team in 2007 after a 33-year career with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He retired holding the rank of Master Trooper.

“I was tickled to death and did not expect it,” said Humphreys.  “It’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.”

USDA officials went on to say that Humphreys has worked closely with them during the last two years and has treated inspectors, trainers, owners, and exhibitors in the inspection area fairly and respectfully.

Members of USDA Horse Protection added that Humphreys was a great liaison between the VMO’s and DQP’s and trainers, exhibitors and the media.

“This is a wonderful honor for Russell,” said Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows.  “We’re very fortunate to have so many individuals that put that type of professionalism into the work they do here.  It’s very satisfying to know that other people are noticing.”

The 71st Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is scheduled for August 26-September 5, 2009.  A schedule of all events at The Celebration can be found at