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I Am Jose And Casey Wright Crowned 2013 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champions



It almost doesn’t seem possible that the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has come to the final night, but it indeed is here.  Tonight, we will have 15 classes of World Grand Championship competition highlighted by the Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship and the ultimate title, the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship.

The judges for the Diamond Anniversary Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N.C., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Allen Foreman of Thomson, Ga. and Leigh Stuart of Alvaton, Ky.

Promptly at 7 pm, the gate swung open and the official flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar and World Grand Champion rider Bud Seaton made their way into the historic big oval with the nation’s colors. The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Stephen Caine of First Presbyterian Church of Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Stephen Smith of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

First up on the evening‘s schedule was a crowd favorite, class 168, Lead Line Ponies, Rides 6 and Under, World Grand Championship. All seven of the expected teams made the walk down from Calsonic Arena to show for the Saturday evening crowd, who each seemed to have their favorite.  Judge Allen Forman had the formidable task of serving as call judge for the very competitive class. Riding to the winner’s circle with the approval of the crowd, of course who couldn’t approve of one of these cute teams winning, was Rattle & Snap with Maxine Beasley up and Beth Beasley at the lead for Maxine Beasley and Ashtyn Claire Brown of Venice, Calif., Shelbyville, Tenn. and Columbia, Tenn. Booka Booka and Colton Dunn with Kelly Dunn at the lead for Cannon Ridge Farms of Castalian Springs, Tenn. Diamond Sky Pusher and Laci Matthews with Rachel Teague at the lead were third for Laci Matthews of Clarksville, Tenn.

Class 169 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship to the track with five of the six expected making the call to work for Leigh Stuart and her panel. Making the ride with the roses, just as they did in the same class in 2011,were The Dixie Lineman and Gail Walling up for McDonald and Walling of Wartrace, Tenn. With this win, the team retired the B.J. Duncan Memorial Challenge Trophy, the C.A. Bobo Memorial Challenge Trophy and the Floyd & Beverly Sherman Challenge Trophy. Samsung and George Ann Pratt were reserve taking the honors back to Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Inception and Detha Broom-Yoder were third taking their honors back to Ooltewah, Tenn.



During a break in the action, announcer Bobby Sands recognized all of the riders who made their first ever appearance at the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. It was quite a list and they were certainly to be commended for their efforts.  There were a total of 38 first time riders recognized.

The Trail Pleasure exhibitors were on the track for class 170, Owner-Amateur Riders on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years and Under World Grand Championship. Seven of the nine with reservations made their way down to the track to work as Rollie Beard served as call judge. Making the ride under the spotlight was Honey Badger and Jordan Howell up for Jordan Howell and James Abernathy of Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, Tenn. This made Honey Badger’s second set of roses as James Abernathy rode under the spotlight on Thursday night in the Novice Trail Pleasure Championship. Fuego and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio and Murfreesboro, Tenn., were reserve in the class. Juan Carlos and owner/exhibitor Lisa Weaver of Doyline, La. rounded out the top three in the class.



Class 171 brought the professional trainers down the hill for the Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Eleven of the 13 on the books made the gate call to work for their spotlight moment tonight as Derek Bonner called the gaits. Making that winning ride was King Of The Jungle and Charlie Green, winners of the Show Pleasure Stallions preliminary on Tuesday Night, riding for Nester Stewart of McMinnville, Tenn. He’s Starbucks and John Allan Callaway was reserve for Bud Moore of Catherine, Ala. Turnbow and Russ Thompson was third for Roger Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif.



Walking Weaning World Grand Championship, class 172, was up next on the schedule with all 11 of the anticipated teams working to the rail to show their best walking ways, with a spotlight walk in mind, as Jamie Bradshaw called the class. Making that winning walk was Good Baby Majors and Karen McGee at the lead for Hidden Acres Farm of Nashville, Tenn. This team captured the win in the Weanling Filly preliminary on Monday Morning.  Hpy2BME and Keith Reed pulled in for the red streamers handling for Rising Star Ranch of Shelbyville, Tenn. Jazz Moves and Chris Richards were third for Doss Farms and Don James of Cullman, Ala.



Class 173 brought the extra-large class of Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship to the track with 20 of the 22 expected making their way to the big oval to show for World Grand Championship acclaim as Allen Forman called the gaits in the class. Making that once in a lifetime ride with a unanimous decision of the panel was Jose’ Centerfold and owner/exhibitor Bill Williams of Ripley, Tenn. Jazz’s Master and owner/exhibitor Kelly Mills of Birmingham, Ala., pulled in for the reserve honors. She’s A Shady Sister and Lee McGartland rounded out the top three in the large class for Mike & Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.

Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Riders Cup), class 174, featured five of the six on the official Lions Club program to work as Leigh Stuart called the gaits. Hello Dollar and Link Webb made that victory pass in the division riding for D.R. Mozeley of Charlotte, N.C. The Moonshine Man and Clay Sanderson were reserve riding for Robert Cunningham of Talladega, Ala. Favorite Son Of JFK and Patrick Thomas were third for Jeff Duke of Bon Aqua, Tenn.

Class 175 featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship with 15 entries taking to the track to work for Rollie Beard and his panel.  Judge Beard let everyone know early on that he would be calling for a workout in this class. When the additional work was complete, it was the team of Epic and Megan Davis making the spotlight ride for Shamrock Farms, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio. This team topped the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Div. A,  class on Tuesday evening. Seeking The Title and Harold Malone was reserve riding for Malone and Irby of Tuscumbia, Ala. and Shelbyville, Tenn. I’m Skyy Black and Courtney Luttrell rounded out the top three for Stone Manor Farm of Alvaton, Ky.



Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Optional Tack), class 176,  brought 14 of the 15 expected down the hill to work as Derek Bonner called the gaits in the class. Making the victory ride in the class with a unanimous decision of the panel was Suiza and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio and Murfreesboro, Tenn.  This makes Thorson’s third set of roses from the 2013 Celebration after winning the Equitation Championship on Monday Morning and the Walking Pony Championship on Thursday night. Red Sunday’s Best and MacKenzie Morgan were reserve for Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn. Gigi’s Majestic and Elysse Bradford was third riding for Kathleen Bradford and Jordan Howell of Dallas, Texas and Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Class 177 featured the Two-Year-Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship with 12 of the 13 expected making the call to work for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his panel. Making the victory ride with an outstanding performance was A Master Sky High and Charlie Green up for Don and Lucky Collins of Bell Buckle, Tenn.   This team captured the title with a unanimous decision of the panel.  The Anonymous Ace and Jimmy McConnell were reserve in the class riding for Bill and Karen Bean of Tomball, Texas. Country Gentleman and Tyler Baucom were third riding for Robert Deutsch of Greensboro, N.C.

During a break in the action, Charlie Green and Casey Wright were honored as Trainer Of The Year by the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association.  This was the first time that two individuals have been honored with this award. This was Green’s second time to be honored as Trainer Of The Year with his previous win coming in 2007.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Lite Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship, class 178, brought all eight of the anticipated teams down the hill to work for World Grand Championship acclaim as Allan Foreman called the gaits. Making the ride down victory lane with the roses was 2X The Magic and owner/exhibitor Susan Coleman of Unionville, Tenn. A Mountain Jazz and Jim Nichols were in the second position riding for Jim and Debbie Nichols of New Market, Tenn. Kick Start Jazz and Amanda Dickerson were third riding for Justin and Shelia Manis of Lebanon, Tenn.



The Stars Of The Future presentation was up next on the schedule.  This was a tradition started several years ago and gives all of the Youth World Grand Champions the opportunity to come back in the ring on Saturday night and exhibit for the Saturday Night crowd.

Class 179 featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship. All 16 of the expected teams made their way down the hill to show as Leigh Stuart led the panel in the class. Riding out of the lineup in the big class to follow the spotlight around to the winner’s circle was Command On Parole and Sheryl Crawford riding for Crawford Colts of Carrollton, Ga. This duo topped the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Stallions preliminary on Thursday night. Miss Ebony Rose and Sudie Reed accepted the red streamers taking them back to Jasper, Ala. She’s Limitless and Molly Walters were third for The Molly Walters Family of Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Class 180 highlighted the Park Pleasure Walking Horse World Grand Championship with five of the seven registered making their way down to the historic big oval to work for Rollie Beard and his panel. Topping the class with a unanimous decision of the panel was Lined Up At The Ritz and Patrick Thomas up for Rowan and Nichols of Bluemont, Va. and New Market, Tenn. Sam Whiskey and Jamey Thompson were reserve riding for Jim and Carolyn Landers of Lincoln, Calif. Caper’s Shakes and Shadows and owner/exhibitor Don Woodson were third of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Canter), class 181, was up next with six of the seven with reservations coming to work for their winning moment as Derek Bonner served as call judge for the class. Making the winning ride, just as they did in the Open Amateur Stallions preliminary on Wednesday night, was I’m Copperfield and Kenny Compton riding for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va. They captured this title with the approval of all five judges. Strolling Thru The Ritz and Brian Reece were reserve riding for The Jimmy Reece Family of Pikeville, Tenn. Out On Bond and Maria Bobo were third riding for Thomas Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn.



Finally, it was time for what everyone had waited on all night, it was time for the big orange Kubota Tractor to come in and prepare the track for the final class of the 75thAnnual show, the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship.

Class 182 did present the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship to the Saturday evening crowd to crown the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. As organist Larry Bright played the “Flat Walk Boogie” the Saturday Night crowd clapped the entries into the ring.

Eight entries made the call to work for the ultimate acclaim as Jamie Bradshaw served as call judge for the final class of the show. Once the initial work at all three gaits was complete, it was time to line the entries up for conformation judging. Four entries were lined up on the east side and four on the west side so the judges could get a good look. Once the conformation judging was complete, the entries were advised to replace the saddles and await further instruction. Finally, the riders were given the instruction to remount and asked to take the rail at a flat walk for further work. When the work was complete, after more than a little showmanship headed to the lineup, the class was complete.  The only question that remained at this point, is who would ride away with the roses and the title of 2013 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion.

That honor went to I Am Jose and Casey Wright, who was just crowned Trainer Of The Year earlier in the evening,  riding for Billy & Debbie Woods of Lexington, Tenn.  This team was the winner of the Four-Year-Old Stallion preliminary on Sunday night and elected to pass on the Junior Championship last evening to come back for the World Grand Championship tonight.  An interesting note, since it was after midnight when they were crowned, it actually took place on Wright’s birthday, September 1st.  A pretty good birthday present indeed.  They scored this win with the approval of all five judges. Reserve honors went to He’s Vida Blue and Chad Williams riding for Dr. Jim & Kay Green of Meridian, Miss.  Mr. Heisman and Brandye Mills were third in the class riding for Randall & Sadie Baskin of Franklin, Tenn.

With the owner’s picture taken, it was time for that final victory pass by I Am Jose and Casey Wright bringing the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration to a close.  What a great show it has been and it will certainly bring us all back to Shelbyville once again in 2014 for the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

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