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Nancy Groover Has The Winning Touch On Tuesday Night




by Mark Davis

   It's Tuesday night, there's a cool breeze blowing, courtesy of the remains of Hurricane Katrina, but it was dry.  Members of The Celebration maintanence staff worked throughout the day to get the track ready for the evening and it appeared to be in perfect condition.  Ole' Katrina was actually very kind to Shelbyville and Middle Tennessee, only knocking down a few limbs and causing limited power outages, much less that what was first predicted.
   As always, when 7 pm came, it was time for Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton to head down the hill to present our nation's colors.  The invocation for the evening was given by Bro. Bobby McGee, pastor of Edgemont Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Tenn. and the Men's Quartet from Edgemont did an outstanding job with the National Anthem.
   Up first on the evening's schedule, class 114, Four-Year-Old Mares.  Judge Mike Sims served as call judge in the division with featured 17 of the 25 with reservations.  Jose's Miss Copy and Jason Day suffered misfortune the second way by casting a shoe.  After consultation with official Celebration farrier Louie Staton, Day asked to be excused from the division.  On a cloudy night in Shelbyville, Larry Edwards thought he could light up the night.  He did just that with an stunning performance with multi-titled TWHBEA National Futurity and World Champion, Neon Bright, champions at Panama City, Fla.'s Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, Edison, Ga.'s Billie Lane Memorial Horse Show and McMinnville, Tenn.'s Warren County Horse Show, for Dr. & Mrs. W.H. Hill of Powder Springs, Ga.  By the way, the duo topped the division with a unanimous decision of the judging panel!  
   The always colorful team of Magenta and Allan Callaway scored the reserve title for Michael Hart of Corbin, Ky.  Foolish Dollar and Jackie McConnell were third for Opal Moody of Batesville, Ark.
   The Amateur riders were up next as 10 of the 30 scheduled made the call to work in class 115, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, Five Years and Over, (Canter).  Sam Sorrell led the panel in the event.  Walking their way to the top of the division for the second consecutive year was the pair of the Classic Horse, Jubilee's Star Wars and owner/exhibitor Daniel Groover of Brentwood, Tenn.  Decisions Decisions and owner/exhibitor Jeff Smith added a reserve title to their resume' while Watch For Glory and Erica Derickson rode to third for Erica and Maria Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn.
    Class 116A, brought 20 of 45 to the track for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings.  Judge Rollie Beard called the gaits in the division.  Topping the strong division was the duo of By Reservation Only and Ed Breedlove, champions at Carrollton, Ga.'s Oak Mountain Classic, Shelbyville. Tenn.'s Central High School Band Boosters Horse Show and Shelbyville, Tenn.'s Walking To Make A Difference Show, riding for Keith Breedlove of Buford, Ga.  The Magic Line and Caresse Mills cast their spell on the panel to pick up the reserve for Tommy & Nancy Mills of Eads, Tenn.  Bruce Vaughn and Pushover's Jazzy Lady accepted the yellow streamer for Bruce & Linda Vaughn of Valley City, Ohio.
   The B division of class 116, Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Mares or Geldings found 22 of the 45 working for World Championship acclaim as Judge Stephen Brown served as call judge.  We might have had Hurricane Katrina in the house last night, but tonight it was Hurricane Lili and owner/exhibitor Kay Dennis and Encore's Hurricane Lili picked up the World Championship acclaim. This outstanding young mare picked up the first under saddle World Championship for 2001 World Grand Champion Pride's Jubilee Encore.  Lisa Bryan and Flirtin' At The Ritz showed off for the panel to capture the reserve honors for The Paul Bryan Family of Thomasville, Ga.  Hawk's True Love and Jaclyn Smith were third for Steve and Carrell Mullins of Shelbyville, Tenn.
   Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Geldings, 15.2 and Under, class 117 on the program, highlighted the schedule with 21 of the 47 signed in making the track to work for Judge Mack Motes and staff.  Topping the division was the 11 time World Champion and World Grand Champion, Gen's Color Me In and Kim Sisk riding for The G.R. Trumble Family of Walton, Ky.  The Prime Suspect and owner/exhibitor Candra Shular of Dandridge, Tenn.  Former Junior World Grand Champion Pusher Busting Loose and Sandra Johnson were third for William B. & Sandra Johnson & James Campbell of Atlanta, Ga., Shelbyville & Murfreesboro, Tenn.  
   Sixteen of 31 on the sheets made the track to work in class 118, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies, Mares or Geldings.  Mike Sims led the panel in the event.  After picking up the 15.2 and Under Walking Mare World Championship last night with trainer Mickey McCormick, Skywatch's Dark and Stormy was back in winning form once again, this time with owner/exhibitor Patricia Timmons of Ridgeville, S.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Karen Inman and Generator's Cashin' In
cashed in on the reserve for Mime and Karen Inman of Hoover, Ala.  He's A Half Dollar and Wes Hendrick captured third for The Kenny Hendrick Family of Bowling Green, Ky.
   The Show Pleasure division provided change of pace on the evening with 13 of 31 trainers making the call for class 119, Show Pleasure Walking Stallions.  Judge Sam Sorrell called the gaits in the event.  Picking up his second World title of the week, Ironworks Tin Man proved he had a heart of gold as he walked to the top of the division with trainer Chad Way for Ray Jones Trucking of Greenville, Ky.  Stewart Little and Brandon Stout rode to the red streamer for Red & Dot Strickland of Olive Branch, Miss.  Jack Way and I'm Armed and Lethal accepted third for Dr. & Mrs. Rosser Wall of Raymond, Miss.
   Class 120, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Stallions was one of the divisions with such a large number of entries that a three-way-split was required.
   The A division found 19 of the 36 with spots hitting the track to work for Judge Rollie Beard and staff.  Taking the honors back to the Lone Star state, Gotti and Nancy Groover put a hit out on the competition to pick up the honors for Wink & Nancy Groover of Longview, Texas.  They preceeded this win with championships at Panama City, Fla.'s Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, The Celebration's Spring Fun Show and the Woodbury, Tenn. Lions Club Horse Show.  Jose Beam and Robby Biggs scored the second award in the deep division for The Robby Biggs Family of Cottontown, Tenn.  Armed With An Alibi and owner/exhibitor Judy Young tied third.
   Eighteen of 34 with reservations found their place on the rail to work for that Celebration blue under the watchful eye of Judge Stephen Brown.   Putting it all "on the line" with hopes of cashing in big, were the exciting team of On The Line and Suzanne Littell riding for R. Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell of Catherine, Ala.  This duo picked up 2005 wins at Columbia, Tenn.'s Spring Jubilee and McMinnville, Tenn.'s Warren County Horse Show.  A Sensational Dumas and Lucky Collins were a very popular reserve for Don and Lucky Collins of Ft. Myers, Fla., and Shelbyville, Tenn.  George Ann Pratt and Abel picked up the yellow streamer for Don Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas.
   Class 120C, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, brought 21 of the 34 expected to the big oval to work as Judge Mack Motes called the gaits.  Putting the SHOCK in the the big oval, Becky Coleman and Shock Jock, reigning World Champion Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion, rode down victory lane for Michael & Becky Coleman of Money, Miss. The team's 2005 wins include Jackson, Miss.'s Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, Murfreesboro, Tenn.'s Kiwanis Club Horse Show and Dickson, Tenn.'s Dickson County Horse Show.  With this win, and Michael's 2004 win with Mama's Almighty Dollar, the Coleman's retired The Bruce Phillips Memorial Challenge Trophy.  Royal Masque and Ed Breedlove chalked up the second award for Melissa Breedlove of Buford, Ga.  Carolyn Miller and A Flash Of Lightning tied in the third position for C. & E. Miller Farms of Elberton, Ga.
   The amateur riders were back for class 121, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares, 15.2 and Under.  Thirteen of the 27 on the schedule hit the rail to work for the honor of Celebration champion under the watchful eye of Call Judge Mike Sims and staff.  Nancy Groover must have made sure she had her lucky rabbit's foot before she headed to the grounds tonight as she and her three-time World Champion mare, Texas Salsa put on a phenomnal performance to top the division with a unanimous decision of the panel and Nancy's second win of the night.  Of course, Texas Salsa's sire is Nancy's beloved Hard Texas Cash making her wins even more special.  Texas Salsa is owned by Wink and Nancy Groover of Longview, Texas.  Another great mare, Pusher's Delightful Star, teamed up with Meg Chiappari to garner reserve honors for The Mike Chiappari Family of Santa Rosa, Calif.  Sunrise At Midnight and Debra Coleman picked up her second third of the week for H.L. Coleman Inc of Clemmons, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn.
   Adding a little variety to the night, class 122 brought the Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure, Adult Riders (Canter) to the big oval.  Eighteen of the 28 with reservations made the call to work for Judge Sam Sorrell and his cohorts. Taking the blue out of the big oval was the team of Push N For Pleasure and Patti Pollack up for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Doc's Takin' Charge and Victoria Martocci scored in the reserve position for Rhonda Martocci of Franklin, Tenn.  Ann Jameson and Mr. Jessie James accepted third for Dr. Kent & Ann Jameson of Union, WV.
   The final class of the Tuesday evening session was class 123, Owner-Amateur Novice Gentleman Riders on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings. Judge Rollie Beard called the last division of the night.  Riding to the top of the division and out of the novice division was A Command For Cash and Greg Moore riding for Mitchell & Moore of Tullahoma, Tenn.  Freak Design and David Olsen designed the reserve performance for The Tim Olsen Family of Woodbury, Tenn.  Quattro and Paul Bryan picked up the yellow streamer for The Paul Bryan Family of Thomasville, Ga.
   The Wednesday evening performance will mark the final night of preliminary competition for the 67th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  It will also highlight some classes that have become fan favorites like Owner-Amateur Riders on Classic Horses (Horses over 15 years of age), Owner-Amateur Riders 70 and Over, Trainers 60 Years and Over on Walking Horses, Mare & Foal and Fine Harness.
   And, of course, that means Championship competition will get underway on Thursday evening handing out the roses in the Walking Pony, Open 15.2 And Under, Youth Riders 11 And Under and Three-Year-Old Open divisions, just to name a few.  Make plans to take part in the excitement that can only be found at The Celebration.

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