Random Thoughts on Celebration 2008

Welcome to Shelbyville and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration – we’re glad you’re here!

It’s going to be a big one and a long one – a total of 191 classes with splits. Pre-entries totaled 4,222 and total entries are expected to climb over 4,500 with championship class entries. The record for entries was set in 2003 when 4,914 entered the ring.

It is still a ten-night show but there are eleven days of action since the morning classes started on Wednesday and the TWHBEA Futurity was that evening.

This will be the 70th renewal of this great championship horse show that pumps 40 million dollars into the Middle Tennessee economy and brings friends and strangers together for one of the most enjoyable events in the country.

Have a great time and do your part to make this a Celebration to remember!
USDA Arrives

Dr. Chester Gipson and Dr. Rachel Cezar and their crew of Veterinary Medical Officers arrived Thursday morning to begin their work. First on the agenda was a meeting between the USDA group, David Finger and Lonnie Messick of the National Horse Show Commission, and Celebration representatives Doyle Meadows, Charles McDonald and David Howard.

Attitudes, communication and cooperation were excellent as the procedures were reviewed and lines of communication were established.
Riverbend Country Club

Riverbend Country Club is making their facilities available to horse show visitors again this year. The members-only club offers an excellent 18-hole golf course that is in excellent condition with brand new putting greens opened just weeks ago.

The club also offers swimming, tennis with lunch and dinner available every day except Monday, when the club is closed. Out of town visitors are welcome, and while reciprocals are preferred, they are not required.

For tee times contact Tom Nixon at 684-4894 – for other club services call Kim Martin at 684-7300. 

Celebration Worship Service

The Celebration will host a non-denominational worship service in the Outdoor Stadium Sunday morning at 7:45 a.m. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

Many of the local churches make changes in their services to accommodate out of town visitors so be sure and check with the church of your choice. 

Corporate Sponsor Party

This year’s Corporate Sponsor Party will again be held off the showgrounds. Last year the party was held at director John T. Bobo’s home and Janice did all the work and John T. and the board took all the credit.

This year the party will be held at the home of Chairman David Howard and you can rest assured Mary and daughter Christy will be doing all the work.

Actually, I appointed a wonderful committee headed by director Henry Hulan and they have planned a wonderful event that you are sure to enjoy. It will be held Sunday afternoon, August 24 at 4:30 P.M. at our home at 334 Riverbend Country Club Road.

Celebration Diehards

This will be my 44th Celebration and I am a newcomer compared to some. Drop me a note or see me at the show and let me know how many Celebrations you’ve attended. And remember, there is a direct correlation between the number of years you have attended the show and your age.

About My Health

Reports of my imminent death are premature, I hope. I am facing several challenges and I appreciate the many calls and comments the last few months.

During my annual physical last September, I was diagnosed with Compensated Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia ( a non malignant condition), resulting in a low red blood cell count. I went through several different treatments and was finally given chemotherapy for four weeks, with the last treatment being three weeks ago.

The results of the chemotherapy will be known in 6 to 8 weeks but I actually feel wonderful and am back working like I need to be. I’m not sure the office is happy about that but I know Mary is.

As far as my back is concerned, I wish you had asked last week. I was doing wonderful, exercising and getting ready to pick up the golf clubs again after the Celebration. Last Sunday I began to feel tingling in my leg and numbness in my right foot.

I rapidly got worse and went back to my surgeon on Wednesday and it seems I have more disc problems. Xrays confirmed a problem but an MRI is needed for a full diagnosis. Realizing the time of year, Dr. Michael McNamara gave me a steroid shot, a prescription for Prednison (a steroid), and some pain medication to carry me through the show. My goal is to avoid surgery – I have already had three and have enough metal in my back for an erector set.

The steroids and pain medications seem to be helping but I am restricting some of my activities, mostly work, but only because of Doctor’s orders.

T Shirts and Bumper Stickers
“Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.”

“The worst thing about accidents in the kitchen is you have to eat them.”

“Definition of a teenager? God’s punishment for having sex.”