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It's Official!



It’s one of those little things that people see and say, “ I guess that makes it official.”

That’s the case with the Gallery of Champions sign underneath the west grandstands at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. Once it gets updated with the name of the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse, then it seems official

“That sign, or a version of it, has been updated every year since the show moved to this site,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. “And it’s a big day when the new champion’s name goes up on it.”

The Black Night Shade had his nameplate added to the 65 previous champions by Cascade Screen Display, a sign company from nearby Wartrace that updates that and many other signs on the Celebration grounds every year.

‘It’s almost like the jockey’s colors being painted on the weather vane at the Preakness,” added Thomas. “It’s just one more piece of tradition we’re very proud of here at the Celebration.”

Actually, two plates are added to the sign each year: one with the new champion and next year’s plate with an imposing question mark, asking the question “Who will replace the ‘?’ in 2005?” We’ll have to wait until Sept. 3 to find out.

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