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I’m Copperfield & Walk Time Charlie Dominate Aged Stallions On Saturday Night

It’s Saturday Night in Shelbyville at the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. It was a great show last evening as we got our first look at the Three-Year-Old Stallions and now everyone is eagerly awaiting what promises to be an outstanding championship on Thursday night. Tonight, we get the first look at the Aged Stallions that will be competing for the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship next Saturday night. It’s sure to be an exciting night.

The judges for the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Chris Bobo of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Brent Grider of Columbia, Ky. (Performance & Halter), Carol Smithson of Clarksville, Tenn. (Pleasure), Connie Waldo of Naples, Fla. (Pleasure), and Joel Weaver of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Performance & Halter).

As is Celebration tradition, the official flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar and World Grand Champion rider Bud Seaton, were waiting at the gate at 7 p.m., anxiously awaiting the opening ceremonies getting underway. The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Stephen Caine of First Presbyterian Church, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Wess Adams of Shelbyville, Tenn. Bobby Sands, the Celebration’s official evening announcer was unable to attend tonight due to a family wedding, so morning announcer Mark Farrar, Jr., capably handled the duties in his absence.

The first class on the evening’s schedule was class 72, Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Geldings. Sixteen of the 33 with reservations made the gate call to work for Judge Chris Bobo and his cohorts. Cashing in on Saturday night with a winning performance was The Royal Dollar and Lee McGartland up for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas. This win was preceded with 2012 wins at the Mississippi Charity Horse Show, the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration and the Germantown Charity Horse Show. Jazz Country and Patti Pollack were reserve in the class for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Bold Vengeance and Heather Beard were third for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn.

The professional trainers hit the track early tonight as class 73A featured the Three-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup). Nineteen of the 28 expected made their way down the hill to work as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits in the class. Topping the section was the team of Silver Fog and Dan Waddell up riding for Rachel Castaldi of Skillman, N.J. Justin Harris and Busted At Pebble Beach pulled into the second position for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Atlanta, Ga. I’m Fleur De Lis and Travis Craft rounded out the top three for Dowell and Smith of Powell, Ohio and Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Class 73B, Three-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup) brought 19 of the 29 on the official Lions Club program off the hill to work in this section as Judge Brent Grider served as Call Judge for the division. From a field of 19, the winning team impressed all five judges and won their title with a unanimous decision of the panel and taking the honors was Miss Ebony Rose and Ross Campbell riding for Sudie Reed of Jasper, Ala. Strokin’ At Sunrise and Herbert Derickson were reserve for McGee and Ingraham of Lenoir, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Jose’s The First Lady and Gary Edwards were third for Maisie and Mandie McSwain of Gainesville, Ga.

Young Trainers, 35 Years & Under, on Walking Horses, 15.2 & Under (Riders’ Cup), class 74, was up next on the program. Nine of the 20 programmed entries worked down to the historic big oval to show for Judge Joel Weaver and his panel. Riding to the win with a unanimous decision of the panel was I’m Packin’ A Pistol and Aaron Self up for Rick Compton of Tazewell, Va. I’m Packin’ A Pistol is a “Classic Horse,” meaning one that is 15 years of age or older. What a statement that a horse of that age is still able perform at a World Championship level. I’m Splashed and Tim Smith were reserve for Karla Landrum of Franklin, Tenn. Skywatch’s Masterpiece and Bill Callaway were third for Bill Hill of Knoxville, Tenn.

Now, during a break in the action, it was time to try to give away some money with the “Steppin’ Into Cash” promotion. Tonight, $1,000.00 was given away compliments of Deb and Rick Insell, Ben and Lana Craig and Tad and Teresa Craig. The winner tonight was Valerie Nelson of Lebanon, Tenn. If you read The Report’s nightly coverage last night, you’ll recall that last night’s winner, Hunter Henson of Gallatin, Tenn., was a guest of this reporter, and no, I have not seen a commission at this point. Well, Valerie Nelson and her family were guests of this reporter tonight. Who could imagine? Think this reporter will see a commission off of tonight’s winnings? On with the horse show!

It was time to get in a western frame of mind for class 75, Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years & Over. Six entries made the call to work in the section as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits. Headed back out west with top honors in the division with a unanimous decision of the panel was the “Classic Horse” Dragonfire and owner/exhibitor Jim Heiting of Riverside, Calif. Sky Full Of Gold and Patti Pollack pulled into the second spot for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Yao Ming and owner/exhibitor Nicole Coffey rounded out the top three in the class.

Class 76 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings with 12 of the 19 with reservations making the call to work for their chance at their very first Celebration blue tonight. Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. Riding right out of the Novice division tonight and winning their very first Celebration blue was Stemwinder and Koston McWaters riding for a very happy LaRue McWaters of Ashford, Ala. The Mississippi Hippie and WhitLei Green stay novices for another day and garner the red streamers. Absolute Bullet Proof and Jordan Dempsey were third for Charles and Joy Gleghorn of Fayetteville, Tenn.

Class 77A brought the Two-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup) to the historic Celebration Arena with 16 of the 23 on the books answering the call to have the chance to work for the judging panel, led by Judge Chris Bobo, and the Saturday night crowd. Riding away with the win was Jane’s Silver Lining and Herbert Derickson up for McGee and Ingraham of Lenoir, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn. This win, coupled with McGee and Ingraham’s 2010 win with Powerstroke’s Evening Star, retired the Leon and Clara Jean Forrester Challenge Trophy and the Maude C. McDonald Memorial Challenge Trophy. This team had 2012 wins at the Walking With Eagle Pride Horse Show, the Liberty Lions Club Horse Show and Pulaski, Tenn.’s Red Carpet Show of the South. Atonement and Scotty Brooks were reserve for Gene Davis of Wadley, Ga. Jazzmine Lady and Winky Groover were third for Jo Ann Dowell of Powell, Ohio.

Two-Year-Old Walking Mares (Riders’ Cup) class 77B, was up next on the program with 15 of the 22 expected working down the hill to show for Judge Nathan Clark and his cohorts. It was another very good, very entertaining class, but there could only be one champion and that honor would go to the team of Cash Date and Brent Coburn riding for the Terry Dotson family of Kingston, Tenn. Accepting the red ribbon was Wicked Walking Witch and Casey Wright up for JoAnn Dempsey of Tupelo, Miss. Coach’s First Lady and Chad Williams rounded out the top of the class for Hixon and Barnes of Anniston, Ala. and Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies, Stallions were up next, class 78, with 12 of the 22 on the official Lions Club program answering the call to work as Judge Brent Grider called the gaits in the class. Walking the line to the winner’s circle in this division for the second consecutive year was the reigning WGC Amateur Pony, The Dixie Lineman and Gail Walling up for Judy McDonald and Gail Walling of Tullahoma and Wartrace, Tenn. This duo scored 2012 wins at the Spring Fun Show, the Money Tree Classic and the Marshall County Horse Show. Prime Poison and Lilly Waites were a popular reserve riding for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. Samsung and owner/exhibitor George-Ann Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas was third in the class.
Up next, it was time to hand out the first set of roses in the Walking Yearling World Grand Championship. Eleven entries made the call to work for that opportunity to walk in the spotlight tonight as Judge Joel Weaver served as Call Judge. Making that memorable walk in the spotlight with the approval of all five judges was Coachin’ And Preachin’ and Beverly Lamp, winners of the Yearling Colt preliminary earlier today, for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn. Reserve honors went to Oh Pancho Oh Cisco and Roger Richards, Jr., at the lead for Dr. Roger Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn. Intimidator’s Cover Girl and Amanda Wright, winners of the Yearling Filly and Amateur Yearling preliminaries, were third for the Andrew Waites and George Wright families of Hattiesburg, Miss. and Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

Class 80 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Gentleman Riders on Novice Walking Stallions with 18 teams hoping to ride right out of the Novice division tonight and win their very first Celebration blue. Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. Riding out of the Novice division tonight was Cougar and owner/exhibitor Dr. Tommy Vinson of Columbus, Miss. Remaining a Novice for another day was Crooked Line and Benny Gray up for the Benny Gray family of Odenville, Ala. Smoke N Cash MM and Charles Stivers rounded out the top three for Glendon Stivers of Manchester, Ky.

It was finally time for the classes that all the Celebration fans have been waiting on all night, the Aged Stallions. Yes, our first opportunity to take a look at the horses that will be working to be our 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion just one week from tonight!

Class 81A, Walking Stallions, Five Years & Over, Over 15.2 (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) were up first and the Saturday night crowd came to their feet eagerly awaiting the entries as organist Larry Bright played his “Flat Walk Boogie.” Five of the 15 expected made the gate call to work as Judge Chris Bobo called the gaits. When all the work was complete, it was the magical team of I’m Copperfield and Knox Blackburn, 2012 champions at the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration and the Spring Fun Show, riding for the Mike Walden family of Chattanooga, Tenn. This team captured their honors with a unanimous decision of the judging panel and the overwhelming approval of the crowd. Ozone’s Cut Above All and John Allan Callaway were reserve riding for George-Ann Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He’s My Main Man and Winky Groover was third for Rising Star Ranch of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Prior to calling class 81B, announcer Mark Farrar, Jr., made note of a couple of “feel good” items. He noted that tonight’s attendance was up over 2011 and the number of horses shown thus far was up as well. Two very positive notes indeed.

Class 81B, Walking Stallions, Five Years & Over, Over 15.2 (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) brought eight of the 14 on the entry book to the track to show their very best for Judge Nathan Clark and his panel. When the work was complete, it was the team of Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom walking to the winner’s circle with an unanimous decision of the panel for Holland, Kilgore and Callicutt of Decatur, Ala. Puttin’ Cash On The Line and Tim Smith were reserve in the class for the Tommy Jowers family of Leesburg, Ga. Folsom Prison Blues and Steve Dunn were third for the Jimmy Smith family of Oliver Springs, Tenn.

The stage is set for the showdown next Saturday night and it looks like it will be one exciting World Grand Championship class indeed. Don’t think that all of the excitement is done, however, the Sunday night performance promises to be just as exciting with the Youth Riders 12-14, Youth Riders on Walking Ponies Riders 15-17 and the Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions. Make plans to be back in Shelbyville and don’t miss a moment!

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