By Kasie Sanderson | Photos by Barr Studios 

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders football team faced off against Western Kentucky University. As the kickoff neared, The Jake Jacobs Family, Spencer Benedict Stables, family, friends, fans and reigning 2022 Four-Year-Old World Grand Champion, Mr. True Blue were welcomed by MTSU. Mr. True Blue and R.M. Kellett proudly presented the game ball for those in attendance to see the beauty of our breed.

True Blue, as he’s known, is sired by multi-World Grand Champion I Am Jose’ and out of I’m Lindsey Vonn. He was raised by Jimbo Conner and purchased by The Eastridge Family as a yearling. In the spring of his
two-year-old year, he went into training under the Spencer Benedict Stables banner. During the winter of his
upcoming three-year-old year, True Blue caught the eye of Jake Jacobs and became Jake’s new mount. This is when he became Mr. True Blue, being named in honor of both Jake and Amanda Jacobs’ alma mater, MTSU. The new team of Mr. True Blue and Jake captured wins at the FAST Showcase and Cornersville Lions Club Show.

As fate would have it, Spencer and Carrie Benedict also attended MTSU. In the summer of Mr. True Blue’s three-year-old year, it was a welcome homecoming for Mr. True Blue to return to Spencer Benedict Stables once again, under the direction of trainer R.M. Kellett. It only seemed fitting for this talented stallion to be welcomed onto the field by the crowd and fans on Saturday!

As Kellett and True Blue carried the game ball across the field and delivered it at the 50-yard line, the
following speech was shared over the loud speaker.

“With his four-year-old year approaching, the decision was made for R.M. to campaign True Blue in the
open division. They began with a strong win at the FAST Showcase, followed by a big win at the Columbia Spring Jubilee and The Money Tree Classic. This team continued to prepare for what was anticipated to be an extremely competitive four-year-old class on Sunday night at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. After a flawless exhibition in the Big Oval, the team of R.M. Kellett and Mr. True Blue both captured their first world titles being named the Four-Year-Old World Champion Stallions. But, the job was not complete! True Blue and R.M. captured the heart and support of the crowd, and once again returned to the ring the following Friday night to compete in the Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship. With the entire Spencer Benedict Stables team, fans and the Jacobs Family all sporting, “MTSU I AM TRUE BLUE” wrist bands, they headed down the chute into the Big Oval. True Blue, once again, gave it his all, the lights went out and the spotlight began its search. As we all waited with bated breath, the announcer said, ‘Winning the Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship is MR. TRUE BLUE and R.M. Kellett!’ Who knows what the future holds for this dynamic team, but right now we know dreams do come true and we all can say I AM TRUE BLUE!”

As seen at The University of Tennessee Knoxville, it was a pleasure to see a performance Tennessee Walking Horse stride across the MTSU Blue Raider’s football field and welcomed so graciously. MTSU has held ties with the horse industry for many years and have an excellent equine science program. Classes for the program are held at the Tennessee Miller Colliseum, where several Tennessee Walking Horse shows are held throughout the year. Just across the parking lot from Floyd Stadium is also the MTSU Tennessee Livestock Center, where horse shows are still held and many Tennessee Walking Horse shows were held here prior to the Tennessee Miller Colliseum being built.

The Walking Horse Report congratulates the Jacobs family, once again, on Mr. True Blue’s world grand championship, and also for seeking a positive representation of the Tennessee Walking Horse at MTSU. We hope these ways are continued!