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Stinnett featured in local newspaper




(Editor's Note: the following article is being reprinted from The Mountaineer Newspaper)

Canton native Lexie Stinnett and her horse, Smoky Mountain Strong, won a two-year-old World Grand Championship in Shelbyville, Tennessee in August. It was the latest chapter in the team’s remarkable story.

The story behind the name that is so special and unique is the type of story that will have its place in your memory forever. Smoky Mountain Strong was born near the same time the devastating fires took place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Smoky is sired by I Am Jose and out of World Champion mare Lorena Ochoa; this colt was destined to be special. Everything was hashtag Smoky Mountain Strong and they knew this was the most fitting name for this colt and how perfect it turned out to be.

The team of Smoky Mountain Strong and Lexie Stinnett began their journey at the 2019 Walking Horse trainers show claiming the 2-year-old Amateur stallions win, then went on to have wins at the upper Cumberland show and Fayetteville blue ribbon show.

Then it would be on to the celebration to be named a World Champion in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallions, Division B. That Thursday night in August, Smoky would not only win his first World Championship but Lexie’s, as well.

It was a story lined with many emotions. By the time this team made their grand entrance to the big oval, many had heard about their story as the pair had already won their qualifier earlier in the show.

On that Friday night, Aug. 30 the story unfolded when Smoky Mountain Strong carried Lexie to her first set of roses in the Amateur Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship for owner Jimbo Conner.

This was also Jimbo’s first World Grand Championship. Like the people of Gatlinburg rising above the challenge, demonstrating strength and, true grit, so did this special horse.

The Celebration finished a very special chapter in this team’s life that was filled with unbelievable memories and success. The wonderful team of Snappwood Farms, owner Jimbo Conner and trainers Chris Helton and Brandon Ailshie led this pair to an unforgettable memory making it possible for Lexie’s Dream of riding a horse she loves under the ultimate spotlight come true.

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