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Judges Announced For 71st Celebration

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - Celebration CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows announced that the judging panel for the 71st Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has been selected.  The group includes Rollie Beard of
Lewisburg, TN., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, AL., Mike Carpenter of Franklin, TN., Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, TN., and Sam Sorrell of Flemingsburg, KY.

"We feel very honored that each has agreed to serve as a judge during our breed's championship event," stated Meadows.  "There is no doubt that this is a highly-qualified group," continued Meadows, who also serves as show manager for the world championship event.

The panel is well-experienced in adjudicating The Celebration, while one of the group will be making their first appearance in center ring in the big oval.

Carpenter is the most experienced judge in Celebration history as he makes his twelfth appearance on the panel.  His first appearance came in 1988 and was last in center ring in 2007.  Carpenter has been involved in the walking horse business his entire life.  His first show was at the ripe age of five. Mike and his father maintained a small band of broodmares for several years, and raised most notably, Pride's Final Edition, Ebony's Operator, Ebony's CC, Prides Velvet Lady and Prides Charming Lady.   Mike and his wife, Linda, are the proud parents of three lovely daughters, and four grandsons.

Sorrell joined Carpenter on the Celebration panel in 2007 following his first trip in the big oval in 2005.  This will be his third Celebration to judge.  Sorrell began showing Tennessee Walking Horses in 1964 and won his first ribbon at The Celebration in 1978.  Sorrell enjoys pointing out that his first horse was the offspring of his uncle's non-registered saddle mare to B. Major Wilson.  The stud fee was one of his uncle's famous country hams.

Beard was on the panel in 2008 and will be making his sixth appearance as a Celebration judge.  His other center ring appearances came in 1988, 1994, 2002, and 2005.  Taught to ride by his father, he began his training career leading foals under the direction of Buddy Musgraves. In 1983, he opened Rollie Beard Stables in Mobile, Alabama, where he trained for 15 years before relocating to Middle Tennessee. Entries from Rollie Beard Stables have been shown throughout the southeast earning many top ties, including six World Championships.

Jamie Bradshaw is returning to center ring after his initial appearance in 2006.   Bradshaw rode Jose's Intimidator to the 2005 Four Year Old World Grand Championship.  He has also gotten a floral horseshoe with Ritz' s Diamond Joe as a two-year-old.  Jamie grew up with horses, his parents owned a few and they attended many Friday and Saturday night horse shows.  Jamie recalls enjoying the horses and shows and decided to pursue training horses when he graduated high school.  In 1997 Jamie applied and received his trainer's license and has been pursuing his lifelong dream ever since.

Bingham will be the only "rookie" of the group, but has served The Celebration as one of the judges for the 2008 Spring Fun Show. She has been involved in the walking horse industry all of her life as her dad started her riding at an early age. She has enjoyed success on RWC Ebony's War Eagle, RWC Copy's Spirit Lady, Imperial Prince, WC Merry Windwalker in the Equitation division and most recently on WC Something Extra Special, Gunboat and Skyliner.

"The selection process of our judging panel entails a great deal of work and input from various individuals and organizations," added Meadows.  "The world championship of our breed, where the very best Tennessee Walking Horses compete, deserves to be judged by the best judges in our industry.  I believe that we have put together a panel that will work well together and evaluate each and every entry so that the best horse in each class will win."

The 71st Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration runs August 26th - September 5th at the Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville.  For further information on this year's show, call (931) 684 - 5915 or visit the Celebration's official website at

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