by Jennifer Styskal

For the first time in quite some time, an August morning in Middle Tennessee could be described as chilly. The reprieve from the heat had horses feeling good and riders performing at their best. Judges Sam Sorrell, Jennifer Bingham, Mike Carpenter, Jamie Bradshaw and Rollie Beard continued their analysis of the Celebration entries.

Kicking off a morning schedule of 12 classes, the equitation riders displayed their horsemanship skills and form as they rode for the Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Youth Division, Riders 6-11 Years World Championship. Three young ladies displayed their ringsmanship at its best when the judges asked each rider to address their reins and then perform a workout. All judges were in agreement when Kaitlyn Rippy rode to the winner’s circle. Rippy added this world championship to victories from Waterfall WHOA/TWHBEA Academy, Shelbyville WHOA/TWHBEA Academy Championship, Spring Pleasure Horse Jubilee, National Trainers’ Show and Money Tree Classic. Claire Hankins put in a tough ride to garner the reserve honors. The International Championship winner takes her reserve title back to Paris, Ky.

The youngest riders of the Celebration came in next for class 62, Lead Line Ponies, Riders 6 Years & Under. Fifteen entries with their ponies and matching handlers marched down the chute, all showing promising futures in the show ring. It was a tough decision for the judges to make, but when the cards were turned in, Mark Farrar called Storm Sims to the winner’s circle on his gray pony, Rascal Flats. Jeff Byrom was the handler of this well-put together pair. Wearing the blue ribbon that was almost as big as he, Sims added this victory to others from Fayetteville and Dickson County. The popular Shake’s Little Midnight has taken several young riders to the Celebration winner’s circle. This morning he carried Bailey Gleghorn to the reserve with grandfather Charles Gleghorn at the lead. The younger Gleghorn had previous 2009 wins from Moore County, Marshall County and Belfast Lions Club.

The youth of the industry remained in the spotlight on this Saturday morning. Twenty teams hit the ring for the Owner-Amateur Youth English Trail Pleasure, Riders 12-17 Years. Allison Thorson has seen her fair share of the winner’s circle this week, and she continued that trend by directing Suiza to the blue ribbon. This smooth striding mare preceded her world championship victory with 17 blues from Big D, WHOA Versatility Womack Stables, National Trainers’ Show, PWHAT Shelbyville, Indiana Celebration and the International Championship. Coming off a sweep in Friday morning’s youth in hand division, BJ Richards picked up the red ribbon with his Generator’s Sundevil. Glenda Levine is co-owner of this class’s former world champion, who has racked up 10 wins before arriving in Calsonic.

Switching from young riders to young horses, 12 yearlings strutted their stuff for the judges in the Owner-Amateur Yearlings, of 2008 Foal class. The World Grand Champion Weanling last year, Skyanide returned to capture the yearling title with Fred Benjamin on the lead for Fred and Vicki Benjamin. The Poison-sired colt has had an undefeated year with other victories from Columbia Spring Jubilee and Tony Rice. Roger Richards Jr. claimed the reserve title with Good Ole Rocky Top for owners Richards, Allen Curtis and Bobby Jones. Sired by Out On Parole and out of a mare by Pride’s Gold Coin, Rocky Top has collected numerous wins this year from Gallatin, Fayetteville, Dickson County and the International Championship, as well as a TWHBEA National Futurity title from only a few days ago.

Class 65, the Amateur Owned & Trained English Trail Pleasure, No Professional Training within 90 Days, brought in 16 teams to compete for the top prize. The blue ribbon went back to Doyline, La., when Lisa Weaver and Jose’s Sweet & Spicy made the victory pass. This team has had quite the year with preceding wins coming from Marshall Lions Club, Texas Spring Classic, Big D and the International Championship. Ashley Say had a large support of the crowd and couldn’t have been happier with Eagle’s Lady Sue reserve ribbon. This International Championship and Spring Hill champion is co-owned by the Womack family.

The equitation division returned to the ring with the Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Youth Division, Riders 12-14 Years (Canter). Four talented riders competed for the world championship blue. After each rider executed the workout, the judges announced their unanimous choice. Allison Thorson captured her third world championship of the week. She has enjoyed a stellar season in the equitation division with 18 wins to her credit. Maggie-Mae White beamed when her number was called for reserve. Winner of this class last year, she headed back to South Lyon, Mich., with preceding blues from Derby Classic, TWHBEA World Versatility and WHOA Summer Sensation.

The Owner-Amateur Youth English Trail Pleasure, Riders 6-11 Years came to a pause soon after entering the ring when one entry lost a shoe. It was quickly replaced and the 10 entries went back to working the rail. Kaitlyn Rippy headed down victory lane for the second time this morning. She directed She’s Pretty Jazzy to the mare’s third world championship this week. Always a crowd favorite, Rippy couldn’t have been prouder of her horse’s accomplishments, assisted by co-owner Paige Bennett. The sharp Bluegrass Bandit was another favorite of the audience this morning. Mackenzie Morgan rode her entry, co-owned by Wallace Carrier, to the second place honors. Wins from WHOA/PWHAK Franklin, Money Tree Classic and the International Championship rounded out this team’s season.

Another nice bunch of yearlings entertained the crowd in the Yearling Fillies or Geldings, of 2008 Foal. Eleven made the gate call. I Walk A Fine Line walked the line right to the winner’s circle with Brian Wright on the lead for Wright, Richards, Curtis and Barker. Less than thrilled to wear his blue ribbon, I Walk A Fine Line captured a title from the TWBHEA National Futurity as well as from Belfast and Woodbury. The Lined With Cash son is out of a He’s Puttin On The Ritz mare. A world champion the previous morning, My Cowgirl Dale Evans returned to claim the red streamers with Chris Richards on the lead. The He’s Puttin On The Ritz daughter continued to shine in the ring, lengthening her resume with another top ribbon.

In the final equitation class of the morning, five hard-riding young ladies entered the ring for the Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Senior Division, Riders 15-17 Years (Canter). Like the previous equitation classes, all riders were asked to perform an individual workout. All five judges marked Rachel Burch at the top of their cards. Burch made her 2009 equitation debut this morning after taking a year off from the division. Paige Bennett carried the reserve title back to Alvaton, Ky. Bennett continued her trend of taking top ribbons in the equitation division, winning prizes from Spring Pleasure Horse Jubilee, National Trainers’ Show and the International Championship.
Class 70 featured the Owner-Amateur Youth Western Trail Pleasure, Riders 12-17 Years. The gate closed with 18 teams vying for the blue ribbon and world championship title. Besting a large and competitive class, Allison Thorson and Suiza walked their way to the winner’s circle for the second time this morning. Dressed in a beautiful golden western outfit, Thorson beamed all the way down victory lane. Hallelujah In The Sky and Logan Hankins pulled in for reserve. This seasoned team made victory passes at MSU Spring, Spring Jubilee Charity, Derby Classic, North Middleton, KWHA Youth Auxiliary, Bourbon County Fair and Owen County Fair.

Wrapping up a session of primarily youth classes, the English or Western Country Pleasure, Youth Riders 6-17 Years class filled the ring with 17 teams. Capturing the first Youth Country Pleasure World Championship in Celebration history was A Red Ruby with Mackenzie Morgan in the saddle. This is A Red Ruby’s second world championship of the week, having won the adult section of this division with Liz Gassaway. A Royal Attraction and Nick Rippy took the reserve honors back to Bowling Green, Ky., and Greenbrier, Tenn. Co-owner Jackie Osbourne also earned a reserve ribbon with A Royal Attraction in the adult country pleasure division.

Winding down Saturday morning were 12 yearlings in the Yearling Colt, of 2008 Foal class. Twelve handlers led their colts around the ring both directions before lining up for conformation judging. After earning a reserve with Roger Richards, Good Ole Rocky Top returned to capture the world championship with Bobby Richards as the handler. It was a swapping of placings from the Owner-Amateur Yearlings class when Skyanide picked up the reserve title with Caryle Johnson on the lead for owners Fred and Vicki Benjamin.

Click here for complete results from Saturday mornings performance.