SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The first night of Championship classes got underway right on time with the presentation of the Nation’s colors by Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton. The Celebration and spectators paid respect and appreciation to the veterans. Judging the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were Rollie Beard, Jennifer Bingham, David Landrum, Paul Robbins and David Sisk.

The first of 13 classes scheduled for the night was the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings. Making the victory pass adorned with the Celebration tricolor ribbon and floral horseshoe and the approval of all five judges was B.B. King’s Jazz and Jackson Stephens for Stephens & Womack. This was the third World Grand Championship for the duo who won the same title in 2012 and 2013 before winning the 2014 title unanimously. B.B. King’s Jazz and Jackson Stephens also won the World Championship in their qualifying class on the first Wednesday morning. Reserve went to I Can’t Imagine and Jesse O’Dell and for Carole Hargett and Jesse O’Dell. This team took home the reserve title in their preliminary class on Sunday evening. A Pushover For Cash and Jessica Lawwell walked away with the yellow streamer for Jessica Lawwell and Charlotte Williams.

A Black Mamba and LaMar DePoyster rode out of the Novice division with the roses and a unanimous tie from the judges as the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Champions. With this win, A Black Mamba remains undefeated this season with a National Futurity title, two World Championships and now a World Grand Championship. Two-Time 2014 Reserve World Champion Kool Fortune and Shawntae Burton picked up the reserve award in the class. I’m Hank Williams and Jessica Bailey rounded out the top three in the class.

Next to take the track was the Elite Owner-Amateur Riders World Grand Championship. As announcer Mark Farrar, Jr. said, “It was a show down!” All of the World Champions from the qualifying preliminaries as well as four other top competitors answered the gate call to vie for the ultimate honor of World Grand Champion. After working both ways of the ring, the four World Champions from the preliminaries took the track for a workout. They included Play Something Country and Jeff Smith, I’m P. Diddy and Sherri Pollack, Unreal and Dr. Jim Baum and Gin Toddy and Sue Irby. Riding under the spotlight was Gin Toddy and Sue Irby. This team adds this title to their trophy case with their World Grand Championship won in 2013 in the inaugural Owner-Amateur Five-Year-Old World Grand Championship. Reserve went to I’m P. Diddy and Sherri Pollack. Carrying out the yellow award was Play Something Country and Jeff Smith.

After winning his preliminary on Monday morning, Rise To Fame and Patrick Thomas made the winning ride in unanimous fashion to earn the title of World Grand Champion Western Park Pleasure Walking Horse for owners Steve and Pat Wilson. Reserve went to The Red Falcon and Jamey Thompson for Joyce Hofstee. Hofstee qualified the reserve champion on Saturday night and won the World Championship. Third went to Stone Cold Bandit and Howard Hamilton for Kim Leonard. Also a 2014 World Champion earlier in the show, Stone Cold Bandit was bred and raised by his owner Kim Leonard.

Returning to the winner’s circle after their preliminary win on Friday night was A Cloudy Sky and Nathan Oliver in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship. This was the third set of roses for the team in this division having won before in 2011, 2013 and now 2014. I’m Redeemed and Summer Compton carried out the red streamer for the Maples & Compton ownership. I’m Redeemed won three times prior to the Celebration and was a World Champion in 2013. Third went to the Novice 6-11 World Champions, Gangster’s Hit Man and Cohen Abernathy.

Claiming all five first place votes from the judges and carrying the roses down victory lane in the Owner-Amateur Riders on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship was Fuego and Allison Thorson. Fuego won earlier in the year at the Wartrace show and was reserve in their qualifying class earlier in the week. Fuego was a World Champion in 2012 and a Reserve World Grand Champion in 2013. A Two-Time World Champions last year and Two-Time Reserve World Champions at this year’s Celebration, Jose’s Firecracker and Wayne Westbrook carried out the red streamer. Third went to 2013 World Grand Champion, Bel Air and Kathy Anderson. Together they pair won a World Championship earlier in the week.

Making her Celebration debut and earning two world titles and now the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship was Addie Harris aboard Prime Poison. The duo thrilled the crowd with their win in their preliminary class earlier in the week and did the same in this class. Reserve was A.C.C. and Jaclyn Compton who were also reserve in the qualifier. Rounding out the top three was He’s Primetime and Robert Cortner. This duo earned the world title in the Youth 15-17 Ponies on Sunday night.
 The Celebration crowd was given the joy of watching a salute to our United States Flag next. Jeff Green aboard Pearl Gunn and Herbert Derickson aboard Master Class carried “Old Glory” around the Celebration Oval under the spotlight as Shelby Lee Lowe and Bob Hunnicut saluted the flag. It was quite the sight to see.

Ten entries answered the gate call in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. After winning the reserve honors, I’m King James and Laura Beth Comley impressed the judges and earned the crown to capture the World Grand Championship. The duo made an emotional ride down victory lane to carry the tricolor ribbon and roses back to Kentucky. Reserve honors went to the Novice Show Pleasure World Champions, I Am The Rock Jr. and Jannie Chapman. The yellow award went to the Ladies Show Pleasure World Champions, Godfather By Ultra Copy and Courtney Luttrell.

Four top entries performed for the crowd and the judging panel in hopes of being crowned Owner-Amateur Riders on 15.2 & Under Walking Horses World Grand Champions. Riding from the line up under the spotlight was Lined Walkin’ and Lilly Waites. World and World Grand Champions in 2012 in the Youth Ponies division, Lined Walkin’ and Waites came to this year’s Celebration with two wins earlier in the season. Reserve honors went to I’m Pushin’ N Line and Janice Fostek. The duo topped their preliminary class earlier in the week. Third went to Boure’ and Tam Brogdon.

Next up was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Country Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Nine entries answered the call to the ring. Emerging for the lineup and remaining undefeated this season was Eye On The Title and Krysta Allen. Eye On The Title came to the Celebration in the Novice division and has amassed two world titles and now a set of roses. Reserve was Bustline and Claire Hankins. This duo earned a World Championship on Saturday morning. Closing out the top three was Designer Champagne and Kimberly Coult, also 2014 World Champions.

The Trimble Stables banner claimed both the World and Reserve World Grand Championship in the Park Performance World Grand Championship. Making the spotlight ride was Ain’t He Grande and Clay Sanderson for Phyllis Heppenstall. This team was named the Four & Under Park Performance World Championship on Friday night. Philip Trimble directed Moonshine Man to the reserve title for Bob Cunningham. Picking up the yellow streamer was Reflection In Gin and John Allan Callaway for George-Ann Pratt.

Claiming his fourth Celebration blue as the unanimous choice of the judges in the Lite-Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship was Simple Lee Dangerous and Chris Helton for Graham & MacLeod. A Mountain Jazz and Patrick Thomas were reserve for Jim and Debbie Nichols. Third went to La Patrona and Joe Lester for Lester & Kesselring.

The final call of the evening went to the Three-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Seven of the eight entries listed took to the track in hopes of the title. All seven entries were asked to take the rail a second time for a workout. The 2014 Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship went to Jose’s Starstruck and Charlie Green for Donnie and Charlotte Taylor. They were winners of the Three-Year-Old Stallions Division A preliminary and remain undefeated for the year. Winners of the Division B Three-Year-Old Stallions preliminary, Jose’s Power Broker and Keith Blackburn earned the reserve honor. Third went to the TWHBEA National Futurity Three-Year-Old Stallions champion The Midnight Sky and Casey Wright.

With the first night of World Grand Champions crowned, the Celebration fans still have two more nights of excitement to enjoy before this year’s event is in the books. Shelby Lee Lowe is performing live inside Calsonic Arena after the show and guest judges will take to center ring on Friday night.