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I Am Jose' Makes History...AGAIN

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The final performance of the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration got underway promptly at 6:30 p.m. The rain set in on the area, but that didn’t stop horse show fans from participating in the crowning of World Grand Champions. Judges for the 11 day event were Rollie Beard, Jennifer Bingham, David Landrum, Paul Robbins and David Sisk.

Eleven entries answered the gate call for the Lea Line Ponies World Grand Championship. Making the trip down victory lane with the approval of the entire judges panel was Rattle & Snap with BiBi Beasley riding and Kasie Caldwell at the lead. This was the third win in a row for Rattle & Snap and with this win, he retired two challenge trophies with his riders. Reserve went to Rascal Flatts and Maxine Beasley. Third was Booka Booka and Colton Dunn.

Next to the ring was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship. Following their win in the preliminary class, Samsung and Meg Callaway make a unanimous spotlight ride to claim all the honors. Reserve went to Roll The Gold and Allison Thorson. Rounding out the top three was He’s Hot As Fire and Caleb Kilburn.

The riders in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses Four Years & Under World Grand Championship didn’t let the pouring rain stop them. Riding from the lineup and under the spotlight was Habanero and Jordan Howell for Holland & Howell. This was the second win for the team at the Celebration. Habanero also carried Lily Catherine Holland to a World Championship last Friday morning. Talkin’ Dirty To Me and Rachel Teague picked up the reserve title. This team was also crowned World Champions earlier in the show. My Black Cadillac and Allison Thorson rounded out the top three.

Six entries answered the gate call for the Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Winning the World Championship in the Show Pleasure Mares & Geldings preliminary in 2013 and again last week, Turnbow and Russ Thompson are now World Grand Champions for Roger Emerick. This is the second World Grand Championship for Turnbow. Reserve went to the Show Pleasure Stallions World Champion and Novice Show Pleasure Reserve World Champion, Masq Of Jazz and Brock Tillman for Lester & Tillman. Hello Hello and Jonathan Watts picked up the yellow award for Deborah Williams.

All 10 of the Weanling World Grand Championship contenders answered the call to the ring and showed off their walking talents despite the pouring rain. Making the stroll under the spotlight with the approval of all five judges was GiGi’s Ember and Jennifer Hankins for Bruce and Linda Vaughn. GiGi’s Ember topped both the Youth Weanlings and Weanling Fillies World Championships. National Futurity Champion and Weanling Colts World Champion, Emmitt Smith 22 and Lynn Womack picked up the reserve title for Dr. Roger Richards. Rounding out the top three was Double Martini and Beverly Lamp for Charles Gleghorn. Double Martini helped his dam pick up the Mare & Foal World Championship last Saturday morning.

With all five first place votes, the tricolor ribbon and roses, Jose’s Dulce and Meghan Davis are now the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares & Geldings World Grand Champion. Second went to A Private Benjamin and Dee Broome Yoder. The yellow award went to PGA and Lisa Baum.

The Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship was next. Making the winning ride with the unanimous choice of the judges was Dirty Sexy Money and Jannie Chapman. Dirty Sexy Money won both his preliminary classes with Jannie Chapman and Jeff Laughlin riding making him a four-time World Champion. Reserve went to Drop A Line and Carrie Benedict for Benedict, Teel & Butler. Drop A Line also earned World Championship honors earlier in the week. Third went to Time For Cash and Thad Way. Time For Cash won the Youth World Championship on Friday morning with Trista Brown riding.

Continuing their undefeated season and adding a World Grand Championship to their trophy case with their World Championship won earlier in the show, Mr. Country Gentleman and Robert Deutsch picked up the tricolor ribbon and roses in unanimous fashion. Reserve went to O Glory At The Ritz and Maisie McSwain. The yellow award went to Appalachian Outlaw and Larry McLaughlin.

The World Grand Champions in the Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Optional Tack was Honey Badger and Lily Catherine Holland. This team paired up last fall and have remained undefeated in 2014 including a World Championship in their qualifying class. Two-time World Champions, I’m King Bee and WhitLei Green walked away with the reserve honors. Third went to International champions, A Red Ruby and Raine Sims.

With it still pouring rain, the crowd got loud and cheered for their favorite entry in the Two-Year-Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship. Riding from a field of 10 and into the winners circle as the 2014 Two-Year-Old World Grand Champion was Tennessee State Line and John Allan Callaway for Lisa Baum. The duo won their preliminary earlier in the show. Stretch Your Dollar and Michael Wright earned the reserve honors for Bill and Debbie Woods. Third went to Gen A Mighty and Mike Hannah for McCrory & Floyd.

Continuing his undefeated Celebration and earning his second World Grand Championship with a unanimous vote from the judges was Simple Lee Dangerous with Kara Graham aboard to top the competition in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Lite-Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Reserve honors went to A Mountain Jazz and Jim Nichols. Third went to the Amateur Owned & Trained Lite-Shod World Champions, Kick Start Jazz and Amanda Dickerson.

The Celebration recognized all the Youth Divisions World Grand Champions with the Stars of the Future Showcase before calling the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship to the track. Nine entries took to the track to vie for top honors. Making the spotlight ride with a unanimous vote from the judges was I’m Mayhem and Susan Coleman for Jo Ann Dowell and Susan Coleman. I’m A Title One and Jason Myatt carried out the reserve title. World Champions Greenspan and Mary Morrison picked up the third tie in the good class.

Next up was the Park Pleasure World Grand Championship. Lined Up At The Ritz and Patrick Thomas repeated their 2013 win as a unanimous choice from the judges for Rowan & Nichols; who also retired the two challenge trophies in the class. Reserve went to Disturbia and Joe Lester for Maureen Kesselring. Third was I’m Johnny Dollar and Jeff Laughlin for Vickie Penick.

Charlie Green was honored with the Trainer of the Year Award from the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association for the third time. He also claimed the title in 2007, 2013 and again this year.

The Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, Canter World Grand Championship took the track next. Riding to top honors from a field of four was I’m Copperfield and Kenny Compton with a unanimous tie from the judges. With this win and the win in their qualifying class, Kenny and I’m Copperfield repeated their wins from Celebration 2013.  The duo retires all three of the challenge trophies in the class. Reserve honors went to Lord Stanley and Allison Thorson. Strolling Thru The Ritz and Brian Reece were third.

With the “Flat Walk Boogie” blaring from the organ of Mr. Larry Bright, horse show fans on their feet and the rain finally subsided, Announcer Mark Farrar, Jr. called the final class of the show to the Celebration Oval one at a time. Taking the track to compete for the ultimate honor of World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse was Mr. Heisman and Brandye Mills, A Division Aged Stallions World Champions, Gen’s Black Maverick and Bill Callaway, B Division Aged Stallion World Champions and I Am Jose’ with Casey Wright aboard, the 2013 World Grand Champion. All three contenders put on a great final performance for the crowd that stayed through the rain.

Making the winning ride and claiming the tricolor ribbon, floral horseshoe and the prestigious title of World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse for the second year in a row was I Am Jose’ and Casey Wright for Billy and Debbie Woods. I Am Jose' joins an elite group of only 6 others who have claimed the top honor more than once.  Walking their way to the reserve title was Gen’s Black Maverick and Bill Callaway for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury. Rounding out the top three in the fantastic class was Mr. Heisman and Brandye Mills for Randall and Sadie Baskin with a stellar performance.

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