By Mark Davis

The Model Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings division got the show under way with 17 of the 18 in the program making the gate call to make their presentation before call judge Wayne Abee and his colleagues. In the Model division, presentation is everything and it was obvious that several handlers had very early wake up calls this morning to get their entries prepared and in tiptop shape for world championship competition here at The Celebration. When the cards were in, the announcer called AK-47 and Jeff Givens to the winner’s circle. This win repeats the team’s win in the same division in 2003 for owner Guylene Ozlanzki of Woodbury, Tenn. The Executive Decision and Robert Nelms claimed reserve for Leslie Callaway of Dawsonville, Ga. Last year’s reserve champion, The Gangster, with handler Chris Richards captured third for Jim and Bonnie Moon of Lewisburg, Tenn.

The cowboys made their return to Calsonic Arena next as the Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Riders 18 and Over took the ring. Again, the decision was made shortly prior to show time that there were enough entries to split the division. Bob Cherry served as call judge for the 21 entries in the A split. Well, Kid Rock has hit town for Celebration 2004. No ladies, not the singer . . .the Horse! The Kid Rock and Charlie Howard captured the blue for Sue and Jayme Dean of Bell Buckle, Tenn. This makes The Kid Rock’s second 2004 Celebration win, with owner Sue Dean riding to the blue in English Trail Pleasure division yesterday. Tried and True has proven to be just that for owner/exhibitor Bill Marzinzik of Saugus, Calif., as they accepted reserve in the division after taking home the yellow streamer yesterday. Doc’s Taking Charge and owner/exhibitor Rhonda Martocci of Franklin, Tenn. rode to third-place honors.

Twenty-one entries again took center stage in the Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Riders 18 and Over, B division. Judge Cherry again served as call judge for this split. Royal’s Sparkling Gen and Jan Treat made an outstanding performance to capture the World Championship in the division for Doug Toone of Spangle, Wa. Reserve honors in the split went to A Sun Drop’s Cover Girl and Carol Baker for Carl Duncan and Carol Baker of Union, Ky. He’s A Wrangler and Maggie Moore accepted third for Harvey and Maggie Moore of Orange, Calif.

All eight of the scheduled entries took the ring for the Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old (canter) division. Judge Joe Fleming handled the duties of calling the gaits in the class. It might have been hot outside, but a chill came over the Calsonic Arena as Chill and Doug Barnes were called to the winner’s circle for Danielle Reid of Shelbyville, Tenn. Reserve in the division that was deep on talent, if not numbers went to A Night Mare and Craig Swaggerty for Joshua Backus of Heber City, Utah. Gold Danger and Ray Gilmer were solid gold as they captured third for Rusty and Beverly Greer of El Dorado, Ark.

The Performance horses hit the ring for one of the few times during the morning sessions as the Amateur Owned and Trained Walking Horses, No Professional Training within 90 Days took center stage. Thirty of the 42 scheduled made the gate call to work for call judge Tommy Loid and his cohorts. The panel determined that additional work would be needed to determine who would ride away with the Celebration title in the division, and 15 of the original 30 were asked to remain for that workout. When the work was complete, the team of Extra Ebony and Clay Mills of Mount Airy, N.C., made their season complete with a Celebration 2004 victory pass. Suspicious Mind and Donald Todd had a very nice ride to accept the reserve honors for daughter, Brandi Todd of Richmond, Ky. Freedom’s Threat and Jim Woodburn captured third for Christine Lyon-Woodburn of Sacramento, Ky.

Nineteen of the 27 entered made the gate call for the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod division. There may have been larger classes today, but none with more talent than this division. Just by looking around the ring, one could count no less than seven current or past World Champions competing for the blue in this division. Call judge Wayne Abee and his staff certainly had their work cut out for them. Only one of these successful duos could ride away with the win today, and judges determined that team would be the many time World Champion and World Grand Championship duo of Pusher’s Beaming Pride and Jim Nichols captured the win for Jim and Debbie Nichols of New Market, Tenn. Steel Watch and Patti Pollack took home the reserve honors for Joseph Manos of Santa Rosa, Calif. All Night rode to third in the competitive division for Rhonda Martocci of Franklin, Tenn.

Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Three-Years-Old were next on the day’s schedule with 17 of the 21 entries making the gate call. Cherry served as call judge. Forever Spirit and Doug Barnes rode to the winner’s circle in the division with a unanimous decision of the panel for Sue Maze of Murphy, Texas. The duo claimed the National Futurity title on Wednesday evening with a unanimous decision as well! Jeff Givens and A Mystery Man made a strong performance in the tough division to capture the reserve title for Joe and Rina Daniel of Nixa, Mo. Third went to Twenty Four Kt. Cash and Howard Hamilton for Randall and Gloria Dixon’s Red Eagle Farm of Dacula, Ga.

It was cowboy and cowgirl time again as the Western Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, Amateur Riders (Canter) division hit the track. Nine of the 13 scheduled entries made the ring as Judge Joe Fleming called the gaits. Jackie McKnight was one happy lady as she and Calvin Klein’s Mystery rode to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision of the panel. The entry is proudly owned by Sims and Jackie McKnight of Mason, Tenn. Our Mr Hollywood and Patti Pollack had the support of the crowd as they rode to the reserve in the division for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo took home third for R.D. and Connie Waldo of Shelbyville, Tenn.

There was an extra large turnout for class 19A, Novice Amateur Western Trail Pleasure Riders on Novice Walking Horses with 29 of the 33 scheduled making the call to work for call Judge Tommy Loid and staff. After the initial gaits were worked, it was determined that additional work would be needed to determine the World Champion in the division. Thirteen were asked to remain to work for the privilege of riding out of the Novice division. Brett’s Mystery Man and Harvey Moore captured that honor as they rode for Harvey and Maggie Moore of Orange, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn. The bad news for Harvey is that now that he can’t show novice anymore, he’ll probably go back to just being Maggie’s #1 groom. Shimmer and Stacy Avery accepted reserve for Willow Wood, LP/Carlos and Jan Treat of Springdale, Ark. Night Winds Bum and owner/exhibitor Sarena Westenhaver took third all the way back to Arlington, Wash.

Twenty-Four of the 31 scheduled entries made the call for the B division of Novice Amateur Western Trail Pleasure Riders on Novice Walking Horses. Judge Huck Moss served as call judge for the division. Mr. Jessie James and owner/exhibitor Ann Jameson stole the show and captured the Celebration blue back to Union, WV. Reserve honors went to Hannah Pulvers and Iced Sundrop for Jana Anderson of Jefferson, Ore. Third in the division went to The Texas Lexus and Jerry Laughlin for $-J Land and Cattle Co. of Waynesville, Mo. West Virginia, Oregon and Missouri took the top three ties in the division proving again that The Celebration truly is a National show.

Twenty-Nine entries made the call for class 20 on the program Novice Park Pleasure Walking Stallions or Geldings, Amateur Novice Riders. Again, folks were riding hard trying to capture that very first Celebration blue. Only one could have that priviledge, and that honor went to the current Marshall County Horse Show champion, A Neon Knight and Beth Taylor for Jimmy Taylor of Nettleton, Miss. Reserve honors went to Masquerading’s Big Easy and Angel Coburn for Grant Holt of Lexington, Ky Santana’s Coin and Brita Andercheck accepted the third award for the Ed Andercheck family of Franklin, Tenn.

Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years and Under, Lite Shod, Amateur Rider was next on the schedule with 23 of the 35 entered making the call as Judge Bob Cherry called the gaits. Claiming the victory in the division was the team of C’mon Turn Me Loose and Joe Dixon for the Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga. This team captured the title with a unanimous decision of the panel. Spun’s Gold Threat and Don Hancock had a strong ride to take the reserve title home to Princeton, Ky. JFK’s Royal Dream and Jim Laughlin accepted third for 4-J Land and Cattle Co. of Waynesville, Mo.

The final class of the morning session found 15 of the 17 entries making the call for the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Lite Shod, Riders 18 and Over (Canter). Judge Joe Fleming served as call judge for the division. Reigning Lite Shod WGC Double Java and trainer Scott Benham proved they were ready to contend for it all again as they took top honors in the division for Mike and Kathy Chiappari of Santa Rosa, Calif. Pusher’s Beaming Pride returned with trainer Howard Hamilton to capture reserve honors. “Beeper” had already captured one World title today with owner Jim Nichols. Putting a little color in the ring, Calvin Kleins Obsession and Jeff Givens captured third for Ralph & Elaine Pinner of Senatobia, Miss.

And with that, the morning session is brought to a close. Classes will continue in Calsonic Arena through Monday. Come and be part of the action.