Chad Baucom Stables Earns 5 Blues on First Night

Thursday Night in Shelbyville! It’s the first night of the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in the historic big oval. Of course, The Celebration has been underway with day classes in Calsonic Arena on Wednesday and Thursday morning, but for most Celebration traditionalists, the show is really not underway until the action starts in the big oval. As the time nears 7 p.m., horse show fans have been gathering in their seats, catching up with friends and neighbors, some of which they might not have seen since last year’s show. It’s all a part of what makes The Celebration so great and makes people come back year after year.

The judges for the Diamond Anniversary Celebration include Rollie Beard of Lewisburg, Tenn., Derek Bonner of Mooresboro, N.C., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Allen Foreman of Thomson, Ga., and Leigh Stuart of Alvaton, Ky.

As always, promptly at 7 pm, the flag horse entered the gate to get the show underway. Unfortunately, Counterfeit Dollar was slightly injured prior to the show and was unable to carry the flag tonight. Fortunately, Ranger T Walker and Ernie Brubaker from the Bedford County Sherriff’s Department’s Mounted Patrol were able to step in and present the colors in fine fashion.

The invocation for the evening was given by Rev. Mark Ashley of New Hope Chapel of Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Ashley Francis of Cookeville, Tenn.

First up on the evening schedule was class 22, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares. Five of the six with reservations made the gate call to work for the enthusiastic Thursday night crowd. Riding away with the first blue of the evening was Jose’s Delightful Pusher and Lilly Riddley up for Alan Riddley of Shelby, N.C. This outstanding win was preceded by 2013 wins at Clemson, S.C., Dallas, N.C., the Foothills Jubilee and the Tony Rice Horse Show. Clementine By JFK and Counti Green were reserve in the class for Don and Lucky Collins and Counti Green of Bell Buckle and Shelbyville, Tenn. She’s Armed With Poison and Will Derickson were third for Thomas Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn.

Class 23 brought the Elite Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Walking Stallions down the hill to the track with seven of the 10 on the official Lions Club program taking the rail as Derek Bonner served as call judge for the second class of the night. Making the memorable victory pass was a familiar team, Kid Callahan and Ed Breedlove riding away with the blue for Genevieve Breedlove of Buford, Ga. This makes the fifth time that this team has ridden to the winner’s circle in this division, after winning in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. Heartline and owner/exhibitor Sam Sorrell of Lexington, Ky., was reserve in the class. More Of The Major and owner/exhibitor Ron Lawrence carried third back to Lenoir City, Tenn.

The professional trainers made their first appearance of the night in class 24, Three-Year-Old Walking Geldings (Riders’ Cup). Fifteen of the 22 expected worked down the hill to impress the crowd as Jamie Bradshaw led the panel in the class. There was certainly no crying go on regarding the performance of Cry Baby Cry and Tyler Baucom as they made the outstanding performance to top the large class for Dr. David Ranson of Charleston, W.Va. I’m Steely Dan and Charlie Green pulled in for the red streamers for Fred and Diann Brown of Covington, Va. He’s Guns-N-Roses and Brent Coburn picked up the yellow streamers for the Terry Dotson family of Kingston, Tenn.

Class 25A, Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions was up next on the program. Nine of the 17 expected made their way down to the big oval as the cool breezes finally started to blow through, bringing the temperature down to a little more pleasant level. Judge Allen Foreman called the gaits in the class. Headed back Carolina way with the blue, with a unanimous decision of the judging panel, was Mr. Country Gentleman and owner/exhibitor Robert Deutsch taking honors back to Greensboro, N.C. This duo added this win to a resume that already featured wins at Clemson, S.C. and Columbia, Tenn. Step In Line and Dr. Megan Green were reserve for Scott Green of Good Hope, Ga. I’m Pistol Pete and Josh Wright was third for Archie Brooks and Josh Wright of Erin and Reagan, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions, class 25B, featured 14 of the 18 on the program as Leigh Stuart led the panel in the class. Popcorn Sutton and David Sisk made the winning ride in the class with the approval of all five judges for Linda Sisk of Columbia, Tenn. This win was preceded with 2013 wins at the Money Tree Classic and Pulaski, Tenn.’s Red Carpet Horse Show of the South. Paroled From Hardtime and owner/exhibitor Sister Milligan picked up the red streamers to take home to Panama City Beach, Fla. Five Star’s Jazzman and Dr. David Brown rounded out the top three for Dr. David Brown of Sumter, S.C.

The young riders were back for class 26, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 15-17 on Walking Mares or Geldings. Thirteen of the 15 expected worked to the track as the rains started to fall lightly on the Thursday evening crowd. Judge Rollie Beard served as call judge for the class. Pushin’ their way to the winner’s circle one more time, after topping the same class at the 2012 Celebration, was the team of Pushin’ That Jazz and owner/exhibitor Robert Cortner taking honors back to Winchester, Tenn. This win marked their sixth for the 2013 season. Lord Stanley and Allison Thorson were reserve riding for ThorSport, Inc. of Sandusky, Ohio. Powerstroke’s Evening Star and Meghan Davis were third for Shamrock Farms/Mike and Beth Davis of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Class 27 featured the Park Performance division with the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Mares or Geldings. Nineteen of the 20 programmed entries made the call to work for the poncho covered crowd that remained on hand as the rains seemed to have subsided for the moment. Judge Derek Bonner served as call judge for the class. Riding to the blue in the class were Jammin’ The Blues and Yvonna Mathis riding for Abe Mathis of Morganton, N.C. Another Carolina entry, San Juan and owner/exhibitor Eric Lackey of Thomasville, N.C., rode to the red streamers in the class. Diamond Rio and Kent Lawrence rounded out the top three in the large class for Kent and Mamie Lawrence of Decatur, Ala.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions, 15.2 & Under were up next, class 28 on the evening’s schedule. Ten of the 13 who called ahead made their appearance right on time to show for the Thursday evening crowd and the judging panel, led in this class by Jamie Bradshaw. When the work was complete, the crowd said “Hooray!” because it was Boure’ and owner/exhibitor Tam Brogdon of Panama City Beach, Fla., making the winning performance with the approval of the crowd. This duo put together quite the impressive resume coming into The Celebration with wins at Jackson, Miss., the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, the Columbia Spring Jubilee and Pulaski, Tenn.’s Red Carpet Horse Show of the South. I’m P. Diddy and Sherri Pollack pulled into the second position for S & P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. Lined Walkin’ and Lilly Waites were third for the Andrew Waites family of Hattiesburg, Miss. It’s interesting to note that the top four entries in this class were all some version of gray. That certainly wouldn’t have happened back at the first Celebration. The horses then were much like Model T Fords, you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black. How times do change!

The Novice riders were ready and waiting to take the track for class 29, Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings. It was a nice large class of Novice riders hoping to make that very first ride to the Celebration winner’s circle with 24 of the 32 expected making the call to work for Allen Foreman and his colleagues. Riding out of the Novice division tonight was Jose’ Miss Dolly and Lorie Riddley up for Alan Riddley of Shelby, N.C. This certainly made the night a great one for the Riddley family as daughter Lilly Riddley topped the Youth 11 & Under class at the start of the night. Headed back Kentucky way, Unreal and owner/exhibitor Polly Ware stay novices for another day taking reserve honors back to Cynthiana, Ky. Wired For Cash and Leslie Dotson picked up the yellow ribbon for the Terry Dotson family of Kingston, Tenn.

Class 30 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions down the hill with 19 of the 24 entered working down the hill as Leigh Stuart called the gaits for the class. Taking command of the large class was the team of Command On Parole and Sheryl Crawford riding for Crawford Colts of Carrollton, Ga. Memphis Mafia and Gail Walling accepted the reserve honors riding for McDonald and Walling of Wartrace, Tenn. Heza War Horse and Ed Breedlove rounded out the top of the class for Ed Breedlove and Bob Kilgore of Buford, Ga., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The professional trainers made one final trek down the hill for the night for class 31, Walking Geldings, 15.2 & Under (Canter) (Riders’ Cup). Seven entries made the call to work for Rollie Beard and his panel. Topping the division was An American Threat and Bill Callaway up for proud dad, Allan Callaway, of Shelbyville, Tenn. Getting’ Out On Parole and Brad Beard pulled in for a popular reserve riding for the J.W. Morgan family of Unionville, Tenn. I’m Into Cash and Larry Edwards were third riding for Chuck and Sharon Tolhurst of Palmetto, Fla.

The final class of the Thursday evening performance was class 32, Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses. Seven of the 14 expected worked to the big oval for one last time on Thursday night with hopes of taking home that coveted Celebration blue as Derek Bonner served as call judge. Making that final winning ride of the night and winning this class for the fourth consecutive year, was Godfather By Ultra Copy and Courtney Luttrell up for Courtney and Alex Luttrell of Alvaton, Ky., and Shelbyville, Tenn. Spooky Dollar and Stephanie Elliot were reserve riding for Stephanie Elliott and Danny Gattis of Tuscumbia, Ala. The American Choice and Dr. Linda Garrard were third for Dr. Linda Garrard of Humboldt, Tenn.

There might have been a little rain, but spirits were certainly not dampened. It was still one great night of horse show action to get the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration underway, and it was complete at an early hour as well, 10:40 p.m. It’s worthy to note that one barn, Baucom Stables of Monroe, N.C., had a particularly good Thursday night winning a total of five blues. Make plans now to be back in Shelbyville as the action continues in Calsonic Arena through Monday Morning, with a break on Sunday, and each evening through next Saturday in the historic big oval promptly at 7 p.m. The action will certainly get hotter as the week moves along and you don’t want to miss a moment!