by Mark Davis

It’s Tuesday evening in Shelbyville! The weather was still nice and cool and the action should be hot as 12 classes take center stage this evening. Again, this evening there is a division split three ways, class 107, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, due to the large number of entries. This division has been one of the very best all year and competition promises to be hot tonight.

For several of last night’s winners, it was deja vu all over again as four of the evenings winners were able to defend their victories from a year ago.

It began in the very first class of the night when Bob Keenan drove Genius’ Gold Spirit to a blue in the Owner/Amateur Drivers with Fine Harness division. Erin Graf of South Portsmouth, Ky. rode Silverado Spirit to a win in the Owner/Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings class. Next, came Insomnia and Keith Johnson in the Show Pleasure class for Amateur Gentlemen Riders. Capping off this night of instant replays was the same exact 1-2 finish from a year ago in the Walking Stallions, 15.2 and Under class. Just as in 2003, Knox Blackburn guided Private Charter to the Blue Ribbon Circle while Sammy Day and Gen’s Johnny Walker Red finished second.

As the clock approached 7 pm, Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton made the turn to head down the chute to present the colors for the evening. Brother Ron Chilton of Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Southside Baptist Church gave the invocation and Gary Hale, also of Shelbyville, sang a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

The first class on the evening’s schedule was class 103, Four-Year-Old Walking Mares (canter). Tommy Loid called the gaits in the division where nine of the 24 entered hit the track. Causing a commotion in the division was the team of I’m Causin Commotion and John Allan Callaway riding for Jim and Debbie Myers of Flat Creek, Tenn. This outstanding mare already captured World Championship honors in the amateur division with owner Debbie Myers on Sunday evening. Reserve in the division,which was deep on quality if not quantity, went to Altima and Jimmy McConnell for Ed and Carol Sims of Anaheim Hills, Calif. You Better Be Good and Rodney Dick claimed third for Rodger Willis of Wartrace, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, Five Years and Over (Canter), class 104, was up next on the agenda with 16 of the 36 programmed entries making the call. Huck Moss served as call judge in the division. When the work was complete, it was the reigning Open Amateur WGC and classic horse,Jubliee’s Star Wars and owner/exhibitor Daniel Groover of Brentwood, Tenn. taking home the win for the third consecutive year. With the win, they retired the Pat Kimbrough Memorial Challenge Trophy. Down Under and Patti Pollack rode to the red streamer for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. I’m Miss Congeniality and owner/exhibitor Christen Altman of Monticello, Ga. and Shelbyville, Tenn. accepted third.

The amateur riders hit the track once again for class 105A, Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings. Thirty of the 54 with reservations made the call to work for Wayne Abee and his cohorts. It was determined that additional work would be needed to determine the champion in the division and 13 of the original 30 were asked to remain to work for honors in the division. Everyone screamed OLE’ as the tough team of Hey Hey Ole’ and Bob Medina made the victory pass in the division for Bob and Mary Medina of Skillman, NJ. Hey Hey Ole and trainer Jimmy McConnell took home third in class 68A, Two-Year-Old Mares on Saturday evening. We all feel sorry for Jimmy, because knowing Bob, he may never let Jimmy forget ! Reserve went to Carla’s Power and Callie Stuckey for Stuckey and Dekle of Shelbyville, Tenn. Miss Bernadette and Beverly Burgess Wood rode to the third award.

Class 105B, Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings, was just as deep as the A division with 29 of 56 hitting the track as Bob Cherry called the gaits in the division. Again, it was determined that a workout would be needed and 16 were asked to remain to work for that illustrious Celebration blue.

Commanding the blue in the division was the talented team of Dr In Command and Jamie “Red” Etheredge for Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Etheredge of Collinsville, Ala. The duo preceded this win with championships at the National Trainers’ Show, Tuscaloosa, Ala.’s West Alabama Horse Show, Lawrenceburg, Tenn’s Crossroads of Dixie Horse Show and Shelbyville, Tenn.’s Liberty Lions Club Show. With a magical performance, Jose Magical Lady and Heidi McWilliams accepted reserve for Mc Williams Realty of Cookeville, Tenn. Stolen Gem and James Vernon took the third award for James and Peggy Vernon of Booneville, Miss.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Geldings, 15.2 and Under made the gate call next with 29 of the 58 working for honors in the division. Joe Fleming called the gaits in the division. For the third consecutive class, the panel asked for additional work and asked 14 to remain. Proving again their color was blue and repeating their 2003 win, the team of Gen’s Color Me In and Kim Trumble, always a crowd favorite, captured the honors in the division for the G.R. Trumble family of Walton, Ky. Trainer Rodney Dick already captured a World title with “Colors” at the 2004 Celebration in the Walking Geldings, 15.2 and Under on Thursday night. He’s Wired and Jaclyn Tillman rode to the reserve honors for Jaclyn and Tinsley Tillman of Shelbyville, Tenn. Armed To Show, another 2004 World Champion, accepted the yellow streamer with rider Keith McSwain for the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga.

The A division of class 107, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions brought 19 of the 37 entered to the ring to work as Tommy Loid called the gaits in the split. When the work was complete, the team of JFK’s Monopoly proved they weren’t playing around as they topped the very competitive division for William B. and Sandra Johnson of Atlanta, Ga. and Shelbyville, Tenn. With the win, combined with a win for the Johnson’s in the division in 2001, they retire the Crowley Farms, Inc. Challenge Trophy and the Tom Bohl Memorial Challenge Trophy. Reserve in the division was reigning World Champion Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion, The Sky Command and Julie Grider for the Tommy Grider family of Columbia, Ky. Peyton Manning and Gail Walling were supported by the crowd as they rode to third for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn.

Class 107B, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, brought 24 of the 36 with reservations to the track. Huck Moss served as call judge for the division. You can bet mama would be proud of reigning Gallatin, Tenn. Lions Club Horse Show and Murfreesboro, Tenn. Exchange Club Horse Show champions, Mama’s Almighty Dollar and Michael Coleman as they made a mighty good performance to top the split for Michael and Becky Coleman of Money, Miss. After mother Gail took home third in the previous split, Heather Walling came to do one better with Bold Vengeance for Judy McDonald of Tullahoma, Tenn. Willie B Strokin and Brenda Bramlett accepted the yellow streamer for Randall and Gloria Dixon and Brenda Bramlett of Dacula, Ga. and Shelbyville, Tenn.

The C division brought 28 of the 37 programmed to the ring to work as Wayne Abee and staff reviewed the division. Jazzed Up and Brenda Bramlett put on an extraordinary performance to capture the blue with an across the board decision of the panel for Brenda Bramlett and Kelly Wilson of Shelbyville, Tenn. The dynamic duo preceded this championship with wins at Columbia, Tenn.’s Moneytree Classic and Bethesda, Tenn. Liz Underwood and Show Me Something did just that to take home reserve honors for Roger and Patty Hanier of West Logan, WV. Walking For Dollars and Patti Pollack accepted third for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif.

The amateur division continued to take center stage in class 108, Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares, 15.2 and Under. Twenty-three of the 36 expected worked for Celebration acclaim. Bob Cherry served as call judge in the division. Jazz In Dixie and Sue Harrington made a stunning performance in the event to ride to the winner’s circle for Legacy Walkers of Coto De Casa, Calif. Prior to this win, the team took home top honors on the west coast at Indio, Calif.’s Desert Classic, Pomona, Calif.’s West Coast Trainers’ Show and the California All Amateur Show. This win marked the second of the week for the Legacy Walkers ownership with Pat Harrington and Walking On Thin Ice topping the Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings on Sunday evening. Another entry from the Golden state, Pusher’s Delightful Star and Meg Chiappari rode for the red streamers for the Mike Chiappari family of Santa Rosa, Calif. Third in the division went to the Bluegrass state with Pushing Miss Jenny and Brent Jones for the Edward Jones family of Russell Springs, Ky.

The pleasure division took the spotlight in class 109, Amateur English Trail Pleasure, Riders 18 and Over (Canter). Thirteen of the 22 entered made the gate call as Joe Fleming called the gaits in the division. Capturing her second blue of the week, Papa’s Showgirl and Karla Massey took home World Championship honors in the division for James Nichols of Oxford, Miss. This duo accepted top honors last night in the Amateur Western Trail Pleasure, Riders 18 and Over (Canter). By the way, this team took the win tonight with a unanimous decision. Nite Winds Bum and owner/exhibitor Sarena Westenhaver of Arlington, Wa. accepted reserve honors.Third went to Mr. Reach and Lynn Marchetti for Wheatley and Marchetti of Tell City, Ind. and Cottontown, Tenn.

Staying in the pleasure division, 12 of the 13 expected made the call for class 110, Park Pleasure Driving. Tommy Loid served as call judge in the event Driving to the winner’s circle in the division was the many-time WC Fully Armed and trainer Howard Hamilton for Randall And Gloria Dixon/Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga. Reserve honors went to My Montego Bay and Jamey Thompson for 4-J Land and Cattle Co. of Waynesville, Mo. International Champion She’s A Double Major and Dickie Scrivner captured third for Double Springs Farm of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The final class of the evening, class 111, Owner-Amateur Novice Gentleman Riders on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings took the ring with 26 of the 55 entries taking the track. Huck Moss served as call judge in the division. Well, when Woody Woodruff had his chance to ride out of the Novice division, he just went and did it! Woodruff and Gone and Done It made a strong performance in his Celebration debut to take home the win in the event for his mother, Becky Woodruff of Shelbyville, Tenn. Freak Design and David Olsen put on a stellar performance to capture the reserve honors for the Jim Olsen family of Woodbury, Tenn. Major Dealer and Robert Findley accepted third for Guy And Murline Findley of Buford, Ga.

An outstanding night of competition tonight brings very near the end of the preliminary events of the 2004 Celebration. Starting on Thursday evening, the championships will begin and over the final three nights of the show 29 more World Grand Champions will be crowned in different divisions, culminating with the crowning of the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse in the final class on Saturday night. It’s definitely been an exciting show thus far, and from the looks of things, the excitement’s just beginning!