Posted August 27, 2001

by Carole Hargett

It was hot and muggy during the afternoon hours. Storm clouds threatened to give some relief but no such luck, not in Shelbyville, in August, at the Celebration. Nevertheless, the stands filled with those hardy, loyal fans who have come to “enjoy the ride” as they support their favorites. The attendance for Monday night was 8,938.

Tradition is everything at the Celebration. Following tradition, Snow On The Mountain and rider Bud Seaton presented the colors. Tradition states that this presentation be made on a solid white Tennessee Walking horse and tonight the flag horse was a glistening white, never showing any indication of his age. (21)

The night was action packed as the gentlemen drivers opened the show. The Owner-Amateur Gentlemen Drivers, Fine Harness presented their entries with sparkling buggies and polished harnesses. It doesn’t take much to fill a ring when you have nine entries vying for the blue. Only one entry failed to show. Tuck directed the action. After displaying their way of going, the entries parked head to toe, each with a handler, as the judges made their review.

The Scott Edwards Memorial Challenge trophy was retired as Genius Gold Spirit and Bob Keenan drove to the blue ribbon. This team has won the class two years in a row. Hallelujah Its Time and Larry Stewart for Jeffcoat Stables moves up this year to reserve. They tied sixth last year. On The Money and Ben Harrell repeated their third place tie for the second year in a row.

Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years Old, Specialty, Amateur Riders entered the ring to the call of Carpenter. The riders guided their smooth walking horses around the arena as the judges made their selection. Dawn Bransfield and In Excess walked up to receive their first place award. They received a reserve tie earlier. This year they also posted wins at the California Celebration and the West Coast Trainer’s show. Armed Red Baron and Lauren Hamilton claimed their second place red ribbon and exited to the crowd’s cheers. Charles Lowe, from Paris, Tenn. owns the entry. Randall & Gloria Dixon own the third place horse, Fully Armed, Willie Cook Jr. up.

Twenty-eight riders and horses answered judge Hand’s call to enter for class 93, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Geldings, Specialty. Fifty-eight entries were originally listed. One round was made when a workout was announced. Six entries parked in and after several more rounds, nine additional numbers were asked to remain for further work in the class. Each rider pushed hard and their horses responded with legs waving and tails swishing from the driving back ends the walking horse is known for.

Patti Pollack rode Down Under to a blue ribbon. She rides for Silver Spur Ranch in Calif. Jubilee’s Star Wars and Daniel Groover made a stellar ride for second place and the red ribbon. Groover owned the entry. The Real Deal really made a good ride for the third tie. Keith Champion, his rider and owner comes from Forest City, NC.

Whoa now! The Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Specialty, World Grand Championship class was called by Hankins. Twenty-two entries previously qualified for the class. The riders and horses were spit-shined and polished as they rode hard for the title. This is the first time this championship has been offered.

Riding under the spotlight and receiving the floral horseshoe, the championship trophy and the 2000 Year in Walking Horses was To Die For! and Shayna Shaw. Their record is certainly something to die for. They were undefeated at the Celebration, claiming 5 first place ribbons. Janis Brown owns the entry. A Style File and Darwin James, also undefeated at the Celebration, receive the title of reserve world grand champion. Olympic Angel and Marilyn Friedman, rider and owner, received the yellow ribbon for third.

Having any doubts about the walking horses’ future? Calm your fears. The Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions, class 95, was alive and doing well. Well enough to be split into three-yes three-divisions. Total entries numbered 159, split 51, 53 and 55. Of that number, 83 showed.

The young stallions shown tonight were only two but many had started to make names for themselves. At Martin’s call, 29 horses threw their shoes into the ring for the competition. Sixteen horses were called for a workout. What is it about those walking stallions? They’re a thrill at any age! And thrill the crowd they did! Now take that deep seat and “Walk On”. The crowd cheered and the horses and riders worked even harder. It was only a preview of the competition in this class on the last Saturday night.

The judge’s nod went to Gen’s Major Josey Wales directed by Kenneth Lawrence for Floridians, Mr. & Mrs. Bernie Duncan. Allan Callaway returned to collect a red ribbon for Ritz N Rebel for Mr. & Mrs.. Frank Neal of Nashville. Sam Kite owns the third place tie. Mike Carter rode Vapor for that yellow ribbon. Two Memorial trophies were given in this class,the Judy Woodlee Memorial Challenge trophy and the Buddy Kirby Memorial Challenge trophy.

Want to see more? Well, Division B entered with more exciting stallions. Tuck called a large contingent of 30 horses to the gate. One entry asked to be excused before a selection was made for the workout. Numbers called to park in were given a breather as the riders dismounted. Six numbers were added to the original six and the remaining horses were excused. The action was underway as the crowd screamed out for their favorite. Three riders asked for and received permission to leave prior to the workout.

Impressing the judges to advance to the winners circle was The Super Bowl and Joe Cotton for Mr. & Mrs. R. Rigual. Look for this colt; he won Woodbury, Belfast and Jackson, Ms. Quite a record for a two-year-old. Tim Gray and I’m Wired 220 carried away the reserve tie with an electrifying ride. Black Danger and Jimmy McConnell made a strong third.

It’s not over yet! The crowd was warmed up now for the C Division. Carpenter assumed call judge duties as he directed the entries into the ring. Twenty-four walked in and readied themselves for judging. Immediately a workout was announced as notice to “show your horses”. Sixteen numbers were selected to compete. The crowd was again treated to some good action from those high-stepping stallions. “Take that deep seat and let them walk on” was the phrase that set the crowd afire.

Armed To Show and Jerry Reid walked away with the honors for Waterfall Farms. Zorba was second with Jimmy McConnell. Armorall and Allan Callaway claimed the third tie for John Ying of Mo.

Thirty-six ladies entered the ring for the Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Stallions, Specialty. Sixteen entries remained for the workout as Larry Bright played, “Hey Good Lookin”. The class really kept things going and drew the crowd into the action.

Doing some good riding that earned them the blue ribbon honors was Beth Sims and Gen’s Major Motion. The team won the Trainer’s Show, Moore County, and Belfast on their was to the Celebration honors. They made their exit from the novice ranks tonight. The Mike Chiappari family of California own the entry. Cut The Smoke and Barbara Ann Pate were smokin’ on the way to pick up their red ribbon. Betty Corlew rode Ebony’s Bad Bubba to a strong third. Corlew rides for Bowtie Stables.

Gentlemen, it’s your time to shine. The ladies are a hard act to follow! Show Pleasure Walking Horses, Specialty, Amateur Gentlemen Riders arrived in the big oval with 26 entries participating. Thirty-four numbers were listed. Hankins called for the workout as soon as the gate closed. To the original eight, seven more numbers were called to vie for the title. What a great field of horses. All three first place winners are world champions. The Great Escape and Richard Davis for Richard and Susan Davis claimed the blue. The Great Escape was last year’s reserve world grand champion and picked up a reserve title a few nights ago. Andrew Johnson and Bill Callaway displayed their skill when they picked up a second ribbon as they tied for reserve. Mr. & Mrs. Charles Terry own the entry. Slippin Around and Scored and Jim Richmond made their ribbon count four as they captured third. With records like that, each entry had bragging rights.

The call is now for class 98, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walkng Mares, Specialty. Judge Martin was now at the helm as he made the calls for 17 entries rounding the track. Oh those mares. They have their own style of sitting back and strutting. And boy, they did! The mare with the flair tonight was Gen’s Burning Rage and Jeff Mitchell, owner/rider of Lynnville, Tenn. Beverly Sherman brings the reserve red ribbon back to Texas with Generator’s Flirtin. She rides for Floyd Sherman. Charles Wharton and C-Me Pushin pushed past the competition for their third place award.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better...those walkin’, shakin’, 15.2 stallions arrive for the final class. Considered by many to be one of the great classes of the Celebration, 14 stallions entered the ring. Tuck called the action as the riders turned it on. Instead of leaving the stands early, the crowd stayed to cheer them on and they returned the compliment by reving it up. The more the crowd cheered the harder the rode; the harder they rode the more they cheered. Hey! Is this Saturday night? Hearing the whooping and hollering going on you might think so! The final running walk is called and off they go. It doesn’t get any better than this. The Bud Dunn Memorial Challenge trophy and other awards went to Cash In My Stock and Brent Boyd capture the blue for Charles Gleghorn. Juke Walkin’ and Knox Blackburn carried away the reserve. The Randall Baskin family owns the entry. Pushers American Patriot and Blake Sims was third for the Mike Chiappari family.

The four-year-old mares lead off Tuesday night as we count down to the last Saturday night of the Celebration. Check out the clinics and the Walking Horse Museum in Lynchburg. See you Tuesday night!