by Mark Davis

   As the time approached 7 pm in Shelbyville, that meant it was time for the Sunday Evening edition of the 67th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  Threatening weather in the area didn't keep the horse show diehards from traveling to Shelbyville for the evening's events.  
   Many of these same stalwart fans were on hand right up to the after midnight finish last evening to see Private Charter and Main Power top the Aged Stallion divisions.  What surprises might we see tonight?  Well, with a full schedule of competition, highlighted by the Four-Year-Old Stallions and the Aged Mares, the evening promises to be exciting
   With that said, The Celebration's official flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar and rider Bud Seaton were at the gate and the evening's show was underway.  The invocation was given by The Rev. Lloyd Doyle, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, Shelbyville, Tenn.  Anna Reynolds of Franklin, Tenn. did a fabulous job with the national anthem.
   Starting off the evening's schedule, nine of the 21 with reservations made the call for class 81A, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-14 on Walking Mares or Geldings.  Judge Mike Sims led the panel in the event.  Capturing the win in the division for the second consecutive year was the striking duo of Ritz's Diamond Joe and Alexandria Holland riding for The Children of Neal & Sherry Holland of Decatur, Ala.  Joe and Alexandria preceded this championship with wins at the National Trainers' Show, Jackson, Miss.'s Mississippi State Charity Horse Show, The Celebration's Spring Fun Show and Shelbyville, Tenn's Tony Rice Horse Show.  With tonight's win, the team retired The Dandy Don Challenge Trophy. Reserve honors went to Gen's My Magic Marker and Elizabeth Lawrence for Lawrence and Duncan of Bell Buckle, Tenn.  She's A Jazz Thing and Kelsey Farese accepted the yellow streamer for Kelsey Farese and The Farese Family of Germantown, Tenn.
   Staying in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-14 on Walking Mares or Geldings division, Class 81B featured seven of 21 programmed making the gate to work for Call Judge Sam Sorrell and his cohorts.  While the class was in the ring, the rains began once again, but the diehards didn't mind.  They just pulled out their ponchos and enjoyed the show.  Riding to the top of the division, with a unanimous decision of the panel,  was the absolutely fabulous team of Absolutely Armed and Laura Lester for The Gary Lester Family of Gracey, Ky.  The Mexican and Haley Lane picked up the reserve for Dr. Linda Jones & Haley Lane of Bainbridge, Ga.  Doctor Liz and Tyler Adcock tied third in the event for The Mickey Adcock Family of McMinnville, Tenn.
   Nineteen of 37 worked down the hill for class 82 Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings.  Judge Rollie Beard served as call judge in the division.  Making the stellar performance, reigning Columbia, Tenn. Spring Jubilee, Lynchburg, Tenn.'s Moore County Horse Show and Lewisburg, Tenn.'s Marshall County Horse Show champion Pushin' That Jazz and Laura Brandon topped the division for Wallace and Laura Brandon of Franklin, Tenn.  On an interesting note, Brandon won her first Celebration blue 50 Celebration's ago.  She's won more than a few since under the direction of trainers of the like of Toby Green, Wallace Brandon and now, the David Landrum Stables.  Pusher's Blackhawk and Carolyn Joseph were an impressive reserve for The Anthony Joseph Family of Columbiana, Ala.  Debra Coleman and Sunrise At Midnight captured third for H.L. Coleman, Inc. of Clemmons, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn.
   The professional trainers were back in the action for class 83A, Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions. Twelve of the 24 expected hit the track to work as Judge Stephen Brown called the gaits in the event.  Stirring up trouble on Sunday night was the team of Rowdy Rev and Bill Bobo riding for Mr. Bill Harlin of Franklin, Tenn.  A product of the Harlinsdale Farm breeding program and sired by The Revelation, the duo picked up 2005 wins at Murfreesboro, Tenn's Exchange Club Horse Show and Pulaski, Tenn.'s Red Carpet Horse Show Of The South.  It's been a good Celebration for Harlinsdale Farms, as their yearling, Power Force topped the Yearling World Grand Championship on Saturday evening.  John Allan Callaway and Blue Blooded Bandit rode away with the reserve title for Raymond and Ethel Pedigo of Woodbury, Tenn.  Retro and Ramsey Bullington picked up the third award for Larry Davis and Debra Coleman of Charlottesville, Va. & Shelbyville, Tenn.
   The B division of class 83, Four-Year-Old Walking Stallions brought 10 of the 24 programmed entries to the ring as Judge Mack Motes led the panel in the division.  Prior to the reverse, the rains came again, and boy did they come.  However, that didn't intimidate the team of Jamie Bradshaw and Jose's Intimidator as they topped the split for Randal and Martha Ferguson of Union Grove, Ala.  The reigning World Champion Three Year Old Stallion captured 2005 wins at the South Alabama Charity, National Trainers, Gallatin, Germantown, Woodbury, and Arab Park horse shows. Riding to the reserve honors were Santana's El Nino and Link Webb up for Michael and Ann Jones of LaFayette, Ga.  Cash Mark and Bill Callaway tied third for LeBlanc Enterprises, LLC of Brentwood, Tenn.
   By the time Jamie Bradshaw and Jose's Intimidator were making their victory pass, The Celebration track looked less like the clean, pristine show surface that we are used to and more like Percy Priest Lake, but that didn't stop the show.
   Class 84, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 15-17 Years on Walking Ponies as 16 of the 33 expected came to show their best, even though the conditions were less than the best.  Judge Mike Sims donned the official Celebration yellow rain poncho to call the gaits in the division.  When the work was complete, it was the team of Andy Adkins and Key West, champions at Philadelphia, Miss.'s Neshoba County Classic and Pulaski, Tenn.'s Red Carpet Of The South Horse Show,  making the victory lap for Angie Ezell of Etheridge, Tenn.  With the conditions as they were, Andy and his talented pony were most likely wishing the sunshine of the real Key West was shining down on them here.  Reserve in the event were M.C. Main Motown and Clay Sanderson riding for Fann & Sanderson of Anderson, Ala.  Titan Up and Daniel Potter were third for Tom Potter of Robinson Creek, Ky.
   As class 85, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings took the track, the rains started to subside and organist Larry Bright was able to head back to the keyboard, opening up with the ever fitting, "Raindrops Falling On My Head".  Eleven of the 16 with reservations hit the rain soaked track to work for that coveted Celebration blue under the watchful eye of Judge Sam Sorrell and staff.
   Proving they had the right connections, The Lady Has Connections and Danielle Collier, champions at Murfreesboro, Tenn's Bethesda Horse Show and Cookeville, Tenn.'s Putnam County Fair Horse Show, topped the division for proud grandparents, Jim and Heidi McWilliams of Cookeville, Tenn.  Keep The Roses and owner/exhibitor Sophia Borg took the reserve title back to Ponte Verdra, Fla.  Stop On A Dime and Denise Bader were presented with the third award for Tim Vance of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
   The trainers were back on the track for class 86, Walking Mares, Five-Years and Over, Over 15.2 (Canter).  Eight of the 31 programmed came to work as Judge Rollie Beard served as call judge.  Just when everyone thought the rains had subsided, back they came again . . .with a vengeance.  This time the winds had to be traveling at speeds of 25 plus miles an hour, blowing chairs around the arena.  When the work was complete, I'm Causin' A Commotion and John Allan Callaway, champions at McMinnville, Tenn's Warren County Horse Show, still made an impressive performance to top the event for Jim and Debbie Myers of Flat Creek, Tenn. with an unanimous decision of the panel.  Dangerously Dazzling and Jimmy McConnell rode to the reserve title for John Alford of Buffalo, Mo.  Main Majorette and Jeff Willis placed third for Salt Lick Farms of Salt Lick, Ky.
   As the rains came down, announcer Chip Walters called class 87, Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings to the track.  Nineteen of the 44 expected made the call to work for Judge Stephen Brown and his cohorts.  On a rainy, rainy night, another horse with a tropical name captured top honors, San Juan and trainer Joe Cotten captured the win for Mr. & Mrs. Eric Lackey of High Point, NC.  Music In The Sky and Charlie Green rode to the reserve title for John Eldridge and WhitLei Green of Chattanooga and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Jackie McConnell and The Great Escape picked up the third award for Camille Akin of Collierville, Tenn.
   Class 88A brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings with 23 of the 32 donned their water wings to take to the track to work for the approval of Judge Mack Motes and the panel.  Topping the division was the team of It's Taboo and Robin MacDonald riding for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Atlanta, Ga.  & Shelbyville, Tenn.  Jose's Illusion and owner/exhibitor Karen Callaway of Shelbyville, Tenn. claimed the reserve title.  Foolish Dollar and WIlsene Moody captured third for Opal Moody of Batesville, Ark.
   The B division of class 88, Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings brought 20 of the 40 in the program to work the big oval as Judge Mike Sims served as call judge. Riding with a vengeance, Jose's Vengeance and Jimmy Smith made an outstanding performance to capture top honors, coming off wins at Lynchburg, Tenn.'s Moore County Horse Show and the Wartrace, Tenn. Horse Show, for The Jimmy Smith Family of Oliver Springs, Tenn.  Cash My Lady and Rhonda Sutherland rode to reserve for Stewart's Nursery and Farm of McMinnville, Tenn. Kattin' Around and Jaqueline Elliott accepted third for Jack Heffington of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
   Class 89A brought 12 of the 27 with reservations to the track for Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Stallions.  Judge Sam Sorrell served as call judge for the division.  It was a "BIG" night for Big Dog Dumas and Sarah Hastings as they picked up their first Celebration blue in the event for Shane Hastings/Shadowhawk Farm of Shelbyville, Tenn.  They preceded this title with wins at Shelbyville, Tenn.'s Central High School Band Boosters Show, Hohenwald, Tenn.'s J.M. Adcox Memorial Horse Show and Lewisburg, Tenn.'s Marshall County Horse Show.  Taking the reserve back to the Magnolia state, Look Of Masquerading and Margaret Thomas had a strong performance for Margaret & Robert Thomas of Philadelphia, Miss.  Going to the Bluegrass state, Wasted Wages and Shane Cox accepted third for John & Shane Cox of Flemingsburg, Ky.
   Eleven of 27 made the call for class 89B, Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Stallions, as Judge Rollie Beard called the gaits for the division.  With a "BOLD" performance, Bold Vengeance and Heather Walling captured their first Celebration victory for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn.  Reserve honors in the division went to Crackerjack Edge and Carolyn Joseph for The Anthony Joseph Family of Columbiana, Ala.  Stormin' Through Dixie and Kim Butler picked up the third award for Kermit Tyree of Elkview, W.V.
   Class 90 brought 11 of the 18 expected in the Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses, Three Years Old, Lite Shod to the ring.  Judge Stephen Brown served as call judge in the event.  2004 & 2005 TWHBEA National Futurity Champion, Rev's Super Speed and Howard Hamilton once again dominate the division for Duane Ripple of Keosaugua, Iowa.  The team picked up the honor with a unanimous decision of the panel.  The Cash Keeper and  Doug Barnes accepted the reserve title for Shelbourne Farms of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Joey Manos and Generatin' A Trail Of Fire took home third for The Joey Manos Family of Santa Rosa, Calif.
   The final class of the evening found 10 of the 30 with reservations making the gate call for class 91, Owner-Amateur Riders 50 and Over on Park Pleasure Walking Horses.  Judge Mack Motes called the gaits in the division.  Topping the class was the team of Hermano Gold and Bob Lawrence for Land's End/Lawrence & Hutto of Thomasville, Ga.  Gold Danger and owner/exhibitor Susannah Borg carried the reserve home to Ponte Verdra, Fla.  Judge's Red Alert and Elaine Pinner were third for Ralph and Elaine Pinner of Senatobia, Miss.
   And with that, one of the rainiest nights seen in several years at The Celebration was complete shortly after 11 pm.  
   Make sure you're back in Shelbyville on Monday evening for the Two-Year-Old Stallions and Walking Stallions, 15.2 and Under and Tuesday evening highlights include the Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Stallions and Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Mares or Geldings.  And, remember, The Celebration Trade Fair expands to the floor of Calsonic Arena on Wednesday offering even more shopping for horse show fans.  Action to see and places to be, The Celebration. . .don't miss it.