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I Am Jose…Three-Peat




SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - It is the final Saturday evening of the 77th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. This is the evening that a new World Grand champion will be crowned. The question of the evening is will I Am Jose' take home the honors for a third year or will a new world grand champion rise to the top? It’s certainly an evening of suspense, excitement and hope. The sun shone bright on the east grand stand as spectators filled their seats. Soft James Taylor music filled the air and welcomed visitors to the greatest horse show on earth. At promptly 7 p.m. Counterfeit Dollar and Mr. Bud Seaton made their final 77th annual display of the nation’s colors. Giving the evening's invocation was Rev. Mark Ashley. The National Anthem was beautifully performed by Mr. Stephen Smith of Shelbyville, Tenn.

The first class of Saturday evening was the Lead Line Ponies, Riders 6 Years & Under World Grand Championship. Twelve young teams answered the gate call all in hopes of being the 2015 Lead Line World Grand Champions. Judge Bingham served as the call judge. The crowd quickly picked their favorite teams and cheered them on in blue ribbon style. Making the first spotlight ride of the evening was the talented team of Rattle & Snap with Aaleah Ann Bell, led by Amy Trimble for Aaleah Ann Bell of Winchester, Tenn. This young duo has enjoyed an undefeated season in 2015, claiming top honors at such impressive venues as Christmas In July and Cornersville Lions Club shows. Reserve honors in the class went to Rascal Flatts and Ella Brooke Callaway, led by Meghan Callaway for Ella Brooke Callaway of Shelbyville, Tenn. This lovely team made their debut performance in reserve world grand championship style. Picking up the third place honor was the team of Shake’s Little Midnight and Sterling Woodruff, led by proud mother Emily Woodruff for Charles Gleghorn.

Making their way into the big oval next was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship. Four entries answered the gate call. Judge Bonner served as the call judge. Claiming their place under the spotlight was Lined Walkin’ and Lilly Waites for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. This dazzling pair adds this win to their other world grand championship title earned in 2014 in the Owner-Amateur 15.2 & Under division. Reserve honors went to Samsung and owner George-Ann Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kan. Samsung claimed world championship and world grand championship honors in 2014 in the with Meg Callaway. Third place went to A Black Smoke and owner Glenda Nichols .



Five top contenders answered the gate call in the Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Landrum served as the call judge in this class. Cheers of approval filled the air as these talented contenders went on the reverse. While the judges completed their score cards, Bill Young and 2014 Trainer of the Year Charlie Green presented John Allan Callaway with the prestigious award of 2015 Trainer of the Year. Once the presentation had been made, the spotlight went in search of the class champion. The spotlight landed on the team of BB King’s Jazz and Mickey McCormick for the partnership of Stephens & Womack of Grayson, Ky. This talented horse has claimed three world championship titles and a reserve world grand championship title earlier this week with both owner Libby Stephens and McCormick. This makes for 11 total career world championship titles and nine world grand championship titles for this talented horse. Reserve honors went to Hello I’m Johnny Cash and Patrick Thomas for S&P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. This talented horse has claimed three reserve world championship titles during this year’s Celebration. Third award went to Dixie’s Pistol Annie and Jeff Laughlin for proud owner Jannie Chapman.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old & Under World Grand Championship made their way into the big oval next. Six talented teams answered the gate call for Call Judge Sisk and his cohorts. Making their spotlight unanimous world grand championship ride was the team of Etta James By TJB and Kathy Zeis for Steve Zeis of Wartrace, Tenn. This talented team is undefeated this season. During the 2015 TWHNC, this team has claimed three world championship titles. Reserve honors went to A Black Mamba and LaMar DePoyster for Gordon and LaMar DePoyster of Greenville, Ky. This talented horse claimed two world championship titles earlier in the week with both LaMar and trainer Hannah Pulvers. Rounding out the top three was Talkin’ Dirty To Me and Rachel Teague for Bo and Rachel Teague.

Up next was the Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Seven highly competitive teams answered the gate call. Judge Sorrell served as the call judge. It didn’t take the crowd long to pick their favorite teams. Cheers and whistles filled the air as this talented group of horses stepped up into the running walk. Unanimous top honors in this very impressive class went to He’s Starbucks and John Allan Callaway for Robert Moore of Franklin, Tenn. He’s Starbucks has claimed a world championship title earlier this week along with a reserve world grand championship with proud owner Suzanne Moore. Reserve honors went to Masq Of Jazz and Brock Tillman for Laura Lester of Gracey, Ky. Masq Of Jazz has claimed a blue ribbon victory pass at the Gulf Coast Charity earlier this season. The yellow streamer went to Turnbow and Russ Thompson for Roger Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif.



Ten top entries answered the gate call for the Walking Weanling World Grand Championship. Judge Bingham served as the call judge. Larry Bright filled the air with, “Oh, What a beautiful baby!”, as this impressive class of weanlings made their way around the ring. Claiming their place under the spotlight was the team of Honey I’m Good and Karen McGee Harnden for Teel & Gleghorn of Fayetteville, Tenn. Reserve honors went to Yeti and Beverly Lamp for Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn. Yeti has claimed world championship honors earlier last week in the Youth 6-17 Weanling division and the Weanling colts division. Rounding out the top three was I Am Lolita and Sylvester Skierkowski for Bobby and Freda Jones.



Eleven contenders answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship. Judge Bonner served as the call judge. Claiming top honors in this impressive class of horses was the world grand championship team of Jose’s Dulce and Meghan Davis for Shamrock Farms of Cincinnati, Ohio. This talented team claims these honors for the second year in a row and also retires all of the challenge trophies. Reserve honors went to Powerstroke’s Evening Star and Sherri Pollack for S&P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. Powerstroke's Evening Star and Pollack claimed the Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Mares Reserve World Championship title on Friday evening. Third award in this impressive class was Gin Toddy and owner Sue Irby.



Up next was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Seven highly talented teams answered the gate call all in hopes of claiming the title of world grand championship. Judge Landrum served as the call judge. Making the spotlight ride as a newly crowned unanimous world grand champion was the team of Ted Who and Kenny Compton for Rick Compton of Tazewell, Va. Reserve honors in this class of top horses went to Time For Cash and Trista Brown for Brown & Brown of Science Hill, Ky. This dynamic pair also claimed reserve world championship acclaim in the Owner-Amateur Youth 6-17 Park Performance class last week. Rounding out the top three spots was We’re Jammin’ The Blues and owner George-Ann Pratt.

Making their way into the big oval was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Eleven top three-year-old contenders answered the gate call. Judge Sisk served as the call judge. Spectators picked their favorite teams and cheered them on in blue ribbon style. Taking home the tri-colored ribbon, floral horseshoe, title and bragging rights were The Land Shark and Benjamin Bowen for proud grandparents Larry and Pam Russell of Pontotoc, Miss. Reserve honors went to Color Coded and Eric Lackey for Eric and Diane Lackey of Thomasville, N.C. This world class team also claimed world championship honors in the A division of the Owner-Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares or Geldings earlier this week. Rounding out the top three was Annie’s Lined With Cash and Kenny Compton for Rick Compton.



Answering the gate call next was the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Nine top entries made their way into the show ring. Judge Sorrell served as the call judge. While the judge’s cards were being finalized, Ms. Connie Allen was recognized in the north turn. Allen has been the Director of Operations for the Celebration for the past 15 years and an integral part of the Celebration for 25 years. She is always contributing and helping others. Pat Marsh and Celebration CEO Mike Inman presented Allen with a beautiful silver platter in appreciation of her hard work and dedication. Making the unanimous spotlight ride was Honey Badger and owner Lily Catherine Holland of Decatur, Ala. This prestigious team has enjoyed an undefeated show season in 2015. Reserve honors went to I'm King Bee and WhitLei Green for Wayne and Jo Hanson and WhitLei Green of Peebles, Ohio and Shelbyville, Tenn. This beautiful team claimed two reserve world championship titles earlier last week. Rounding out the top three was Dark Picture Show and Alexas Compton for Rick Compton.

Next was the always impressive Two-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Eleven top two-year-old entries made their way into the show ring to the tune of “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” Judge Bingham served as the call judge. The crowd quickly picked out their favorite teams and cheered them on in championship fashion. The title of World Grand Champion Two-Year-Old went to the team of Shanghai MCF and John Allan Callaway for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury of Bell Buckle, Tenn. Shanghai claimed championship honors at the National Futurity earlier last week. Reserve honors went to Gin In Everything and Ryan Blackburn for Ronnie Corey of Gray, Ky. Gin In Everything claimed the world championship title earlier this week in the B division of the Two-Year-Old Stallions class. Rounding out the top three was Jose’s Thunderstruck and Herbert Derickson for Karmen Miller.

Twelve top competitors answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Lite-Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Bonner served as call judge for this highly competitive class. This class was filled with previous world and world grand champions. Making the unanimous spotlight ride in this impressive class of horses was the team of Roscoe Jenkins and owner Susan Coleman of Unionville, Tenn. This team has been undefeated this season. Trainer Jeff Laughlin rode to world grand championship acclaim Friday night in the open division. Reserve honors went to Kick Start Jazz and Amanda Manis for Justin and Amanda Manis of Shelbyville, Tenn. Rounding out the top three was Simple Lee Dangerous and owner Kara Graham.

Making a special presentation was the Stars of the Future. This special exhibition highlights the World Grand Champion youth riders of the 2015 Celebration. Entering the ring first was Auxiliary Equitation World Grand Champion Kaitlyn Rippy. Luke Callicutt and Willie Twilight entered the big oval next. Callicutt is the reigning Owner-Amateur Youth 6-11 World Grand Champion. Thomas Derickson and Hot Texas Salsa entered the ring as the current Owner-Amateur Youth 12-17 World Grand Champions. Aaleah Ann Bell with Rattle & Snap, led by Amy Trimble answered the gate call as the World Grand Champion Lead Line team. Last, and certainly not least, was Lily Catherine Holland and Honey Badger. This dynamic team claimed the title of Owner-Amateur Youth Trail Pleasure World Grand Champion.

The Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship was called to the ring next. Four highly competitive teams answered the gate call. Judge Landrum served as the call judge. Making their place in history was Mr. Country Gentleman and owner Robert Deutsch of Greensboro, N.C. This talented team has earned world grand championship acclaim in 2013, 2014 and now 2015 in their respective age divisions. Reserve honors went to Five Star's Jazzman and Henry Metcalf for Henry and Peggy Metcalf of Bainbridge, Ga. Five Star's Jazzman and Metcalf claimed a reserve world championship title earlier in the week in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Stallions. Picked up the yellow streamer was the team of Popcorn Sutton and Lorraine Rosbury for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury.

Up next was the newly added class,Amateur-Amateur Riders on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses. Nine talented horses and 18 talented riders answered the gate call. Judge Sisk served as the call judge. In this class, one amateur rides the horse the first way. When the reverse is called, riders switch places and another amateur exhibits the horse the second way of the ring. Making the championship ride was Suiza with owner Allison Thorson and Rachel Teague. Suiza also took home a world championship title in the Trail Pleasure Amateur Owned & Trained division earlier last week. Reserve honors went to Cazadores with Ashley Wadsworth and owner Tamara Hader of Bainbridge, Ga. Cazadores claimed two reserve world championship titles in the Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure division earlier in the week. Third award was claimed by the team of Contemporary Jazz with owner Anne Evans and Dustin Cooper.

Six talented teams answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Canter). Judge Sorrell served as the call judge for this impressive class of horses. Claiming their position under the spotlight was the talented team of She’s Limitless and Taylor Walters for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif. This talented team claimed top honors earlier this season at the Woodbury Lions Club show.  Reserve honors went to Lord Stanley and owner Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio. Lord Stanley and Thorson claimed a world championship title earlier on in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Mares or Geldings Five-Years-Old & Over class. Third award went to I’m Redeemed and Kenny Compton for the partnership of Compton & Maples.

As the 77th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration comes to a close on Saturday evening, the track was prepared for the best of the best. The last class of the evening is the all prestigious Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship (Canter), which crowns “The Champion Walking Horse of the World.” Spectators took to their feet as each entry was called to the ring individually. Larry Bright tuned the organ and called the world grand championship contenders to the ring with the National Anthem of the Walking Horse world, the “Flatwalk Boogie.” Claps, whistles and cheers welcomed these top contenders to the ring. Five talented teams answered the gate call and Judge Bingham served as the call judge. During this particular class, judges not only look at the horses natural ability and gait, they also make their decisions based upon the horses overall confirmation. After the horses are worked both ways of the ring, the saddles are removed and the horses are then judged solely upon physical confirmation. As the class went on its final reverse, all spectators in attendance were on their feet and graciously cheering on their favorite teams. Taking home the tri-colored ribbon, floral horseshoe, honor, glory, bragging rights and most of all the title of the 77th annual Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion was the team of I Am Jose' and Casey Wright for proud owners Billy and Debbie Woods of Lexington, Tenn. This team has the crowd on their feet throughout the entire class. This prestigious win makes I Am Jose' only the second horse to ever win the World Grand Championship three years in a row. With this win, they also retire all of the challenge trophies offered tonight. With great applause from the audience, the reserve world grand championship honors went to He’s Vida Blue and Chad Williams for Gayle Holcomb of Marina Del Rey, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn. This powerhouse team claimed the reserve world championship title earlier in the week in the A division of the Aged Stallions. Picking up the yellow streamer in this prestigious class was Gen’s Black Maverick and Bill Callaway for Keith and Lorraine Rosbury. With a final historic victory lap, another year is in the books for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

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