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Nelms becomes first to win all three model titles




By Sadie Fowler

It didn’t take long for Robert Nelms to get noticed at this year’s Celebration. Right out of the gate he was busy leading his winning model entries into the Calsonic for both the morning classes of the show as well as the National Futurity, which serves as the first set of evening classes during Celebration week.

Not only did Nelms show a lot, but he showed well, capturing world championship honors for the mares, geldings and stallions in their respective model classes. It was the first time in history for one trainer to win all three during the same year. Adding icing on the cake, all three of those horses represented the same owner — Rushing Creek Walkers.

“It was a really big deal to us to be able to do that,” said Nelms, following the horse show as he reflected on the three wins. “It was a goal of ours for a while and I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to do it but everything just came together right and it worked out.”

The winning stallion of the trio was Promise Keeper, representing his bloodlines well. Walk Time Charlie is the sire of the new world champion stallion and his dam is That’s A Promise, by Broken Promises. “We’ve had years where we had won two of the classes, but we could never win the stallion class,” said Angela Rushing. “We put a lot of time into our horses and so does Robert as a trainer. We’ve been with Robert a long time and it’s quite a team effort. We’ve always said we wanted to win what we call the ‘Triple Crown’ of the model division. Robert works hard and this was a wonderful accomplishment for him as a trainer.”

Loose In The Outfield wore the world championship title out of Calsonic after winning the model class for the geldings. By Ted Williams, Loose In The Outfield is out of Loose Lady, by Pusher Busting Loose. The winning mare of the Rushing Creek bunch was Mystic Jazz, by Jazz King and out of Glamorous Crazy (by Cash’s Blackjack).

Nelms said having the support of Rushing Creek Walkers, including Angela and Ronnie, was very encouraging as they set out on their goals prior to the Celebration.

They’ve had a goal to win this Triple Crown for a long time. “We’d been working on building up their (Rushing Creek’s) stock for quite some time now,” Nelms said. “That is their thing; they are only interested in having their horses show in model, and their horses are like their babies.”

Nelms had an incredible Celebration, showing 24 times, earning a total of six blues and 13 reserves
throughout the Celebration and Futurity combined. Indeed, the Rushing Creek Walker entries added to that incredible tally from this year’s Celebration.

Promise Keeper began his career in 2007 with a youth rider showing him one time before the horse took a long absence from the showing ring. It wasn’t until this year that Promise Keeper was back in the ring as a model contender, where he and Nelms swept their classes at Christmas In July, the TWHBEA Versatility and Belfast before coming to the Celebration.

Loose In The Outfield, the winning gelding, came on the horizon in 2015 and has won at the Celebration every year since then and has been totally undefeated at all shows since 2017.

Starting out her career in 2015, where she finished reserve at the Celebration with Nelms, Mystic Jazz was also reserve at the Celebration in 2016. She and Nelms came back to win the mares class in 2017 and have been undefeated so far this year.

“We are still on cloud nine,” Angela said. “The Celebration is all about making memories, and this was one that we will never forget.”

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