Random Thoughts on Celebration 2005

an editorial by David L. Howard

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 record number of classes -- (206) with splits. This year there were 37 two-way splits compared to 32 last year and 4 three-way splits versus 5 in 2004.

Horses and entries are down slightly but 2,505 horses and 4,649 entries is certainly something we can all take pride in. The numbers for last year were 2,610 and 4,824 entries. The record for entries was set in 2003 when 4,914 entered the ring.

It is still a 10 night show but there are 11 days of action since the morning classes start on Wednesday and the TWHBEA Futurity is that evening.

This will be the 67th 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!


Celebration Diehards

This will be my 41st 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.

From last year I know Bob Cherry will be at his 51st, Tommy Grider has missed one Celebration in 54 years and Wink Groover has been coming since 1947!!!


About My Health

I am still recovering from my second back surgery and am making slow but steady progress. I had surgery for spinal stenosis in October of last year and made a rapid and almost complete recovery. Unfortunately, I ruptured a disc in the same area of my back in June of this year and had to have a second surgery.

The surgeries were only eight months apart and in exactly the same spot, which has apparently made my recovery a little more challenging. I began a vigorous rehabilitation program two weeks ago at the Omni Center and work with Mary Leta Shavers, who I have known her entire life. She has all of the qualities you want in a therapist except mercy...and I will get even with her some day!

I have appreciated all of the calls, cards and gifts. I am anxious to see everyone again at the show but no slapping on the back or hugs from big, ugly men. (The ladies operate under a different set of rules which I will be more than happy to explain in person.)


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.”