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Obituary - WGC The Phantom Menace



The Phantom Menace, a legendary Tennessee Walking Horse owned by Thom Meek, sadly passed away Feb. 24. He would have turned 20 next month.
Sired by Masquerading and out of Black Cotton (by Hytone Energizer), The Phantom Menace began taking the walking horse world by storm in 2002 when he made his show ring debut in winning fashion with trainer Knox Blackburn in the three-year-old stallion division. At the time, he was owned by Dee Dee Sale and upon that debut, The Phantom Menace became a horse no one would soon forget, especially his next beloved owner, Thom Meek.
It wasn’t long after that show ring debut at the Moore County Horse Show that Meek purchased The Phantom Menace. Meek considered the horse his best friend; he loved him unequivocally for the remainder of his life, including his final years, months and days where The Phantom Menace enjoyed his life as a beloved pet. It was during his retirement years, back at the barn near Meek’s home, that The Phantom Menace even sired several colts.
But The Phantom Menace will long and most lovingly be remembered for his dynamic partnership with Meek in the show ring, where they had many stellar moments together. Over the years, they created a lifetime of memories and thrilled their many fans wherever they went.
Back to the beginning, The Phantom Menace’s debut season also included wins at the Bedford County Harvest Festival and the North American Dixie Jubilee.
The following year, Meek made his first appearance with The Phantom Menace in 2003 at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, when they won the Amateur Four-Year-Old Grand Championship among many other blues that season. In fact, two of their wins that year came at the Celebration, where Meek directed his favorite companion and equine partner to a win in the amateur novice gentlemen’s preliminary as well as the world grand championship in the amateur novice division.
In 2004, Meek and The Phantom Menace found their new stride in the amateur 15.2 and under division, capturing early season wins at Gulf Coast, the Spring Fun Show and Pulaski as well as closing out the season with a win at the International. Several wins followed in 2005.
A similar pattern of winning moments continued for this amazing pair in 2006, only this year they stepped up their game a notch and left the Celebration as reserve world and reserve world grand champions in the 15.2 and under amateur stallions division. Also that year, Stacy Blackburn directed the special black stallion to a reserve world championship in the Trainers’ Auxiliary class.
Things got even better in 2007, when Meek and The Phantom Menace won both their world and world grand championship. Another reserve world championship and another reserve world grand championship followed in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
In 2011, The Phantom Menace slowed down a big and moved into the show pleasure division, but ended his show ring career in 2012 doing what he loved best — again turning heads and wowing crowds in the 15.2 and under class.
As an impressive summary, The Phantom Menace had a total of 50 show ring career blues highlighted by two world grand championships, two world championships and several other reserve world and world grand championships. 
The gorgeous black super star will long be remembered for his power and grace as well as his wonderful spirit and gentle temperament. The Report extends its deepest sympathies to Meek and all who loved this special horse. 
 

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