By Mark McGee

A dozen classes were on the schedule Monday in Calsonic Arena with Owner-Amateur classes and the weanling competition featured in the last morning session of the 84th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. 

The first class was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Trail Pleasure Horses with seven of nine program entries in the ring. It was a three-peat for Machete and owner Susan Coleman from Unionville, Tennessee. Mr. Bentley was ridden to second by owner Ashley Wadsworth. Third went to My Novia with Karen Allen aboard for The Swallows Family. 

A Code Blue won another blue for handler Amanda Wright and The George Wright Family from Mount Juliet, Tennessee in the Weanling Colts class. This was their second Celebration blue. They also received a first-place ribbon as winner of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association’s National Futurity. Fire M’ Up Charlie was reserve with Claire Hankins leading for Bruce Vaughn. The Mark Of Zorro walked out with a yellow ribbon for owner-handler Michael Chandler. 

Nine of 17 entries made the gate call from morning ring announcer Travis Olinger. Banks with Emily Cortner aboard can forget the novice label after winning top honors as the unanimous selection of the five-judge panel in the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Lite-Shod Walking Horses. Sired by A Strong Dollar it was the second blue in six shows this year for Banks with various riders for the partnership of Rennie, Kail and Cortner. It’s Gametime walked away with a red ribbon for owner-rider Lori Fields. Sweet Country W placed third with Margo Urad. 

Olive or Twist was the blue-ribbon winner unanimously with rider Caroline Stanley in the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Novice Trail Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings class for co-owners The Ruth Ann Spinelli Family from Kansasville, Wisconsin. This was the third blue in 2022 for Olive Or Twist. Infidelity earned the reserve honor with Kara Brooke Adams in the saddle. M1 Blues and Claire Winstead rounded out the top three.

Robert Nelms led Charlene Darling to the winner’s circle for co-owners Teel and Washburn from Fayetteville, Tennessee in the Weanling Fillies class. This win marked the third blue of the 2022 Celebration for the team, including a TWHBEA National Futurity blue. Sired by Walk Time Charlie it was the fifth win in six classes this season for Charlene Darling. Jose’s Suga Mama and handler Jesse Dotson III were reserve for Jesse Dotson, Jr. Arm Candy CTF received a yellow ribbon with Hunter Fikes leading for John Fikes. 

Big Time Bandit and owner-rider Lisa Baum of Shelbyville, Tennessee captured the blue in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Lite-Shod Walking Horses class for the third straight year. This was Big Time Bandit’s second Celebration blue for 2022. Miss Dixie Flyer with Donna Byard tied second. The Master  Of Ceremonies was third with Terry Moran on board for owner Fount Darnell. 

Up next was the Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Country Pleasure Walking Horses. Sabotage received top honors with Andy Stooksberry in the irons for co-owners Stooksberry and Duvall of Shelbyville, Tennessee and Atwater, Ohio. Sabotage is unbeaten in three classes this show season and was sired by Jose’ Jose’. Bombay Sapphire PVK walked out with a red ribbon for owner-rider Kelly Querry. Scarlett O’Hara TS was third for owner-rider Terri Smith.  

Twenty-Four Carrots ML will get whatever snack it wants after a top finish with co-owner Maggie Moore in the saddle for co-owner Jim Leek from Christiana, Tennessee in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Five-Year-Old Country Pleasure Walking Horses, Optional Tack class. It was the fourth blue in four classes this year for Twenty-Four Carrots ML. BP’s Captain Jack Sparrow captured a red ribbon for owner-rider Sarah Beth Thomas. Knockin’ Boots and Kimberly Walden rode to third. 

Deep Down In Dixie was first with Joe Lester in the saddle for Chris and Wendy Payton from Portsmouth, Ohio in the Two and Three-Year-Old Country Pleasure Walking Horses. Sired by The Dixie Lineman this was the fourth blue in 2022 for Deep Down In Dixie. Margarita Cash was reserve with David Mast riding for Gary and Karen Doss. Big Booty Judy won a yellow award with Carrie Martin DeJarnatte aboard for Darren Gray. The class included Futurity nominated two-and-three-year-old country pleasure mares, geldings and stallions.
Into The Badlands rode to the winner’s circle with Chad Spencer in the saddle in the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses class to end their Celebration novice status. Nacho Business and Shana Hughes carried out a red ribbon for co-owners Phyllis Langley and Jason Hughes. They Call Him The Breeze was third with Cameron Wilford riding for co-owners Amanda Odom and Sydney Deal. Eighteen of 26 entries made the gate call for their chance at a world championship.

It was a repeat win from 2021 in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years and Under, Optional Tack class for Dixie’s Legacy and Sister Milligan from Panama City Beach, Florida in the saddle. This was the third blue for Dixie’s Legacy this season. Chrome Curb Appeal placed second with Ronnie Rushing riding for Rushing and Parks. Owner-rider Kim Leonard carried home a yellow ribbon aboard Just Jose’ It.

Allison Thorson Newman from Murfreesboro, Tennessee rode to the top award in the Equitation Riders 18 Years and Over, Canter class for the third year in a row. Brooklyn Fuss earned the reserve world championship in the class.