by Mark Davis

It’s Monday night in Shelbyville and to the seasoned horse show veteran,  that means only one thing, Two-Year-Old Stallions.  This year, once again, we have three sections to display the overwhelming amount of young talent in our industry.  Of course, the Monday night schedule also includes the 15.2 & Under Stallion preliminary, which is always one of the highlights of the evening as well.

The judges for the 71st annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Mike Carpenter of Franklin, Tenn., and Sam Sorrell of Flemingsburg, Ky.

The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Charles Williams, pastor of Fair Haven Baptist Church, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Linda Furmanick of Lascassas, Tenn.

Getting the evening’s schedule underway was class 106, Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders, Fine Harness.  Five of the nine expected made that first trip of the evening down the hill to the historic Celebration Arena to show off their Fine Harness entries under the watch of Call Judge Rollie Beard and his panel.  Garnering that first blue ribbon round of applause for the evening was Gin And Juice and Marty Irby at the whip for Bo Dock Farm and Marty Irby of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Clutch’s Power Play and Ben Harrell drove in to pick up the red streamers for Double Springs Farm of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Pushover In Dixie and Gavin Kasser were third for Charles Gavin of Wartrace, Tenn.


Class 107A, Two-Year-Old Stallions were up next on the schedule with 17 of the 36 on the books working down from Calsonic Arena to compete for World Championship acclaim and for that spot in everyone’s mind as being one of the leading contenders for the Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship that will be crowned later this week.  Judge Jennifer Bingham called the gaits in the section.  Proving it was indeed their time, Bingo Time and Tim Gray topped the division, after picking up wins earlier in the season at the Moore County Horse Show and the Sumner County Fair Horse Show, with a stellar performance riding for Sandy Shumate of Atlanta, Ga.  Mac Benham and Major General’s Ritz were reserve in the section for Phyllis Langley of Sandpoint, Idaho.  Jose’s Knight and Joe Fleming  were third for Richard and Gail Greer of Lenoir, N.C., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

The Two-Year-Old Stallions were back once again for class 107B, which featured 21 of the 37 in the official Celebration program finding their spot on the rail and working hard for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his cohorts.  Riding to the top of this section with a magical performance were I’m Copperfield and Knox Blackburn in the irons for Bud Moore of Catherine, Ala.  Chrome Dollar and Charlie Green pulled into the second spot for Ben and Dr. Lynda Brogdon of Tallahassee, Fla.  Headed back Alabama way, Zhivago and Steve Beam picked up the yellow streamers for Garber and Beam of Arab, Ala.

Seventeen of the 35 with reservations beat the clock in class 107C, Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions.  Judge Mike Carpenter served as Call Judge for the section.  Topping the section was They Call Me Samson and Mickey McCormick sending the honors back to the Lone Star State for Bill and Karen Bean of Tomball, Texas.  Another Texas owned entry, He’s The Dark Knight , ridden by Jimmy McConnell were second for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.  Samsung and Bill Callaway were third for Don Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas.


Back in the Amateur division, class 108 featured the Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses with 13 of the 23 expected making their way down from Calsonic Arena to work as Judge Sam Sorrell called the gaits in the class.  On a cool night in Shelbyville, it was Be Cool and Spud Warr, 2009 champions at the Marshall County Horse Show, riding to the winner’s circle for Jeanette Warr of Phenix City, Ala.  Another Skywalk and owner/exhibitor Kenny Compton of North Tazewell, Va., rode into the second position.  I’m Joe Friday and Ed Breedlove rounded out the top three for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga.

During a quick break in the action, Rachel Burch, who was crowned the Equitation World Grand Champion during the Monday morning session, came into make an exhibition for the Monday evening crowd.

The professional trainers were back for class 109, Walking Stallions, 15.2 & Under (Canter) as nine of the 25 on the books worked to the track to show off for Judge Rollie Beard and his panel.  Riding to the win in the division was the perennial champion Private Charter and Knox Blackburn, 2009 champions at the Lady Azules Horse Show and the Columbia Spring Jubilee, riding for Eva Eddleman of Chattanooga, Tenn.  More Of The Major and John Allan Callaway were reserve for Jim Leek of Cedar Creek, Texas.  King Of The Jungle and Charlie Green were a popular third for Nestor Stewart of McMinnville, Tenn.

Adding a little variety to the evening, Owner-Amateur Riders 50 & Over on Park Pleasure Walking Horses brought 11 of the 20 expected to the ring to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham led the panel in the section.  Capturing the blue was Tijuana Tex and Darden Gladney up for Gladney Farms of Homer, La.  Santana’s Coin and John McNeely rode into the second spot for McNeely and Landrum of Blowing Rock, N.C., and Franklin, Tenn.  JFK’s Fancy Lady Leslie and Betty Laughlin picked up the golden streamers for 4-J Land and Cattle Cattle Company of Waynesville, Mo.


The lady riders were in the ring for class 111, Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Stallions with nine of the 34 on the program found their spots on the rail to work hard for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his cohorts.  Making the starring performance and impressing the Monday Night crowd was Star and Wilsene Moody making the winning pass in impressive style for Cyndi McConnell of Collierville, Tenn.  Palm Beach Ritz and owner/exhibitor Sandra Johnson of Atlanta, Ga., and Shelbyville, Tenn., pulled into the second position.  Command & Control and Sheryl Crawford were third for Crawford Colts of Carrollton, Ga.

Class 112 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Stallions down to the track with five of the 12 on the sheets beating the clock to work for their chance to make that sentimental journey down victory lane.  Judge Mike Carpenter served as Call Judge for the class.  Capturing the gold in the division with a unanimous decision of the panel was Gold Danger and owner/exhibitor Becky Gilmer of Toone, Tenn.  Jazz Cruiser and owner/exhibitor Angela Tuck of Reidsville, N.C., were reserve, while Olympic’s Supergizer and owner/exhibitor Susan Coleman of Unionville, Tenn., rounded out the top three in the class.


The trainers were back for class 113, Walking Mares, 15.2 & Under with four of the 11 on the books making the call to work as Judge Sam Sorrell led the judging panel in the division.  Riding to the top of the class with a unanimous decision of the panel was Hosanna and Larry Edwards riding for Louis Hawkersmith of Tullahoma, Tenn.  This team captured blues this season at the Arab Park and Recreation Horse Show and the Warren County Horse Show.  Bella Sera At The Ritz and Knox Blackburn were in the second spot for the Anthony Joseph family of Columbiana, Ala.  Miss Bernadette and Justin Harris were third for Brian Anderton of Moulton, Ala.

It was time to get in the western way as nine of the 15 expected made the call for class 114, Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders (Canter) as Judge Rollie Beard called the gaits in the class.   Walking to the winner’s circle in the class was Ms. Street Walker and Miles Irby in the saddle for Ralph Pinner and Marty Irby of Senatobia, Miss., and Murfreesboro, Tenn.  This win was preceded with wins at the PC Splash Horse Show and the International Grand Championships for this duo.  Lion King and Judy Leek were the good reserve for Jim and Judy Leek of Cedar Creek, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Eagle’s Lady Sue and Ashley Say pulled in for the golden streamers for the Womack and Say families of Nashville, Tenn.

The amateur riders were out on the track once again for class 115, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings with six entries making the gate call to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class.  Riding to her second blue of the night, Wilsene Moody had a great night picking up the win in this class with Foolish Dollar for O and W Moody Ltd. of Batesville, Ark.  Ms. Jose’ Walks and owner/exhibitor Sister Milligan were reserve taking honors home to Panama City, Fla.  Headed out California way, owner/exhibitor Jim Heiting and Unfaithful were third, taking honors home to Riverside, Calif.


The final class on the evening’s schedule, class 116, featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old.  Six of the ten entries on the program came to work as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the event.  Taking the win in the division back to Henderson County, Tenn., was Carthel Smith and Pusher’s Wicked Dreamer riding for Mr. and Mrs. Carthel Smith of Lexington, Tenn.  My Cabana Boy and Jay Laughlin were in the second position for 4 –J Land and Cattle Co., of Waynesville, Mo.  Overpass and Patti Pollack were third for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif., and Shelbyville, Tenn.

With that final victory pass, one more night of preliminary competition is down in the books and now only Tuesday and Wednesday remain before Championship competition gets under way on Thursday night.  The time for the roses will be here before we know it!