Friday evening mirrored the previous night in terms of picturesque … just about everything was ideal, with the weather being perfect for spectators and riders alike and the show running about as smooth as anyone could ask for at any horse show.

The amateur ladies fine harness class kicked off the evening’s festivities and with nine showing up the class had to be divided into two sections. Bobby Hugh received recognition for his skillful ways as the winning trainer of both sections, with Wilsene Moody-Kwok and Lined Royal Cash in the first group and Sandy Shumate and Bingo Time in the second. Danielle Ricker drove Masati and Robbie Spiller guided Dollar Dance to reserve, respectively.

Carrying on the sentiment of the morning and perhaps the show thus far, the judges remained consistent with one another with several unanimous ties — eight to be exact on this Friday night. Other highlights: 12 entries in a class designated for riders over 70. This class always seems to be well-filled and a good reminder of the breed’s versatility. The classic horses, older than 15, showed up in numbers as well, with 15 showing in the amateur classic class.

“I don’t know if I know of any other breed where as many classic horses show, or even a breed where they can make a class of their own with classic horses, but we sure can in Shelbyville, Tennessee,” said announcer Mark Farrar when naming the winner of this class. Kathy Zeis and Texas Joe Black carried away a big victory here wearing an even bigger smile. 

The three-year-old stallion world championship was one of the popular anticipations of the night, and it didn’t disappoint either with one of the two splits resulting in a unanimous finish and the other wrapping up with a lady rider on board — not the norm in the professionally male-dominated sport. 

Moments and memories continued to generate for spectators and exhibitors alike, just ask Diana Cruse who won her second victory in as many nights, Lisa Baum who has already been connected to the most win’s of the show, John Allan Callaway or Casey Wright — both won twice Friday night. 

Second in the evening’s line up of classes proved to be equally impressive as well as unanimous, with riders between ages 6-11 showing their geldings. Announcer Mark Farrar made an interesting observation when he pointed out to the crowd two of the class’s nine entries were classic horses, meaning older than 15 years old. 
“This means these two horses are at least twice as old as their riders,” Farrar said, which points to the breed’s appeal to those of all ages as well as diversity. 

Walking to the cool breeze all the way down victory lane, Harper Grider rode Be Cool to the world championship with Colton Trimble, hot off the heels of a Friday morning win, riding home with reserve aboard Jazz Eclipse. 

Two-Year-Old Walking Geldings followed and in this class at the Celebration all the focus was on Five Of Hearts and John Allan Callaway for Bruce Butler. 

Just Getting’ Started with Rico Bravo up for Duke Ingram finished as the reserve champions in the field of 11 for owner Duke Ingram. 

José It Ain’t So and Pam Russell topped the 12-entry class for riders 70 and more wise, with Sudie Reed guiding Miss Ebony Rose like a seasoned pro to reserve.

La Patrona starred for the second time this week, this time as the lone entry — a unique designation of it’s own Friday night — in the lite-shod class with Joe Lester presenting for Dale Steinmetz. 

Three-year-old stallions held their own as the stars of the show with two splits. Casey Wright secured his first of two wins of the night with Pocket Time for Billy and Debbie Woods with Dazed By Black Gin and Josh Watts in reserve in the first round for Ann and Chris Mills. The B division didn’t fall in the shadows of the first group with dutiful attention being paid to Blaise Broccard and Sherry Robert’s strong contender, A Gin To Win, with Another Mad Money and Keith Blackburn in reserve for Lee Properties, LLC.

Fifteen entries filled one of the most entertaining of the night, the amateur classic horse world championship featuring horses over 15 years old, with two long-standing supporters of the breed capturing the top two spots. Kathy Zeis had an emotional smile on her face as Texas Joe Black was called out as winner. Six of the 16 in the class carried with them world grand championship titles and 14 had world championships under their belts, so it was a big honor to get reserve in this good class as well, which Gayle Holcomb appreciated on board the tried and true The Golden Sovereign.

The fifth unanimous tie of the night and 12th of the day came when Do Right did it right with Patrick Thomas enjoying it all the way through the end of victory lane in the four and under park performance class for Steve and Pat Wilson. Clay Sanderson presented reserve world champion Dulcinea to a poised reserve finish for Edwin and Chris Hutchinson, representing the Midwest and state of Idaho. 

Fourteen novice ladies and novice stallions performed in the 11th class of Friday night and Diana Cruse had already had her winning path broken in because she won Thursday night as well. On Friday night, she bested a field of 14 with A Capital One. Siege and Tina Graves followed in the ranks for the reserve finish for Allred & Graves. 

Casey Wright enjoyed his second special victory pass of the night when he road Extra Special José to the win for Sammy and Gayle Cagle in the four-year-old walking mares and geldings class with Chad Way masterfully presenting the reserve winner, Master’s Stormy Jazz, for Duke Ingram and Kasie Caldwell. 

Amateur Park Pleasure featured eight entries and Lisa Baum is no stranger to this particular class’s spotlight as she and Lined Up At The Ritz captured their third Celebration win in a row (the horse won it four years ago as well with a Jim Nichols) in unanimous fashion with BB King’s Jazz and Mikki Eldridge playing to the tune in perfect harmony for the reserve finish for Stephen & Womack.

Statistics prevailed in the second to last class of the night once again, this time with six of the eight entries carrying world championship titles with them into the ring. The top two were world grand champions before showing in this impressive slate, the amateur lady walking mares class, and the reserve finisher won the class last year. This year, however, She’s Limitless and Molly Walters busted through boundaries to carry home the world championship for Kelsey Andrews. Last year’s winner José Miss Dolly and Lorie Riddley settled for the still-impressive reserve streamers. 

The show closed out Friday evening with the show pleasure mares and geldings taking center stage. Eight entries made their way to the ring at 11 p.m. Twice in one night, John Allan Callaway was up for the last walk around the Big Oval on board Lipstick And Lead for Lisa Buam with Brubaker and Link Webb earning their respected recognition for reserve for Tim and Laura Cochran. 

Where were you in 1987? That’s 30 years ago … and when Farrar asked the crowd that question many sat back and pondered. If it’s too far back for you to remember, the organist played the then-popular song Walk Like An Egyptian while sharing a bit of walking horse trivia. This was the year The Celebration announced plans to build an “indoor” arena, now known as the Calsonic; it was the first year of the Trade Fair, and also the first year the judges’ cards were calculated with computers in center ring.