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Inman shares mid-week recap



By Sadie Fowler

Celebration CEO Mike Inman sat down mid-week to share his thoughts about this week’s 80th edition of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. With championships just around the corner, Inman answered several questions prior to Wednesday evening’s session.

WHR: Can you send me your thoughts on how show is going-as a mid-week recap? Any surprises or unexpected challenges from this year that you’ve had to deal with/overcome? 

Inman: Having a large facility with some years on it will pose challenges when use intensifies. Electrical and water supply line in the campgrounds and barns are particularly stressed. Early in the show we experienced some of these issues in the early morning hours. The maintenance and security teams did a great job of getting our customers back to normal as quickly as possible. Sometimes this work requires assistance from Shelbyville Power and the Shelbyville Water Department who both have been fantastic in how they respond.

WHR: On flip side, have there been any pleasant surprises? 

Inman: The unseasonably pleasant and cool weather the first few days was truly unexpected and welcomed.  

WHR: What have been your personal favorite stand-outs of the show thus far?

Inman: As for the show itself, what stands out the most is the extremely upbeat attitude of everyone at the show. There is a truly positive electricity once you get on the grounds. Of course, the new LED lights in Maverick Arena are outstanding and difference makers. The spotlight rides will be awesome because of them. I simply can’t wait to see how things will go this year on that front.  

WHR: What are some of your favorite personal highlights regarding the flow of this year’s show? 

Inman: As to the flow of the show one of the most positive comments I hear is on the upbeat music played multiple times each evening between classes. These songs help to get people moving, guessing the title and artist, and provides the accompaniment for “dancing for dinner” each night. These additions provide a great accent to pair with the “King of Horse Show Music”, Larry Bright.

WHR: Tell me your thoughts on the depth of quality at this year’s show. Any favorite moments in that regard?

Inman: No doubt the depth of top quality is the strength of this years’ Celebration. What a compliment to the trainers, exhibitors, and most of all this great horse. Class after class continues to impress. One of the real standouts, and it is hard to single out just one, was the Owner Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions Sunday night. With entries in the double digits and including seven World Grand Champions and two World Champions the spectators were on their feet. That quality and number of the industry’s top stallions posed a tremendous challenge for our judges and a tremendous thrill for our crowd. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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