Skip to content

Successful Academy Championship

The WHOA/TWHBEA Academy Championship

The Culmination of a Very Successful Season



by Mark Taylor

photos by Linda Scrivner


            SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The 2008 WHOA/TWHBEA Academy Championship Show was held at the Calsonic Arena on Saturday, March 22. One hundred eighty-five entries answered the gate call, which is a record number of entries. The show brought to conclusion a very successful academy program season that was made up of shows across Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. Participation for 2008 has been phenomenal with many shows having over double the entries from previous years. What a testament to this program and to the unity within the industry.

            The championship show began at 10 a.m. with Steve Barbour singing the national anthem. Mark Farrar was the announcer and Brian Peery and his magic fingers provided the music. Shane Shiflet captured memories with his camera. The daunting job of judging these fine riders went to the three-judge panel of Bob Cherry, Connie Waldo and Kathy Zeis. Mary Helen Martin also served as an apprentice judge. Cherry, Waldo, and Zeis donated their judging fees to the TWHBEA, which was much appreciated.

            WHOA and TWHBEA want to thank the sponsors of the 2008 Academy Program: Diamond Sponsor- Deborah L. Williams Architecture, LP, Silver Sponsors- WHOA and TWHBEA, Bronze Sponsors- Waterfall Farms, S&S Buggies and Midland Farms. The 2008 Academy ribbon sponsors were Backward S Ranch and Floyd and Beverly Sherman.

            TWHBEA and WHOA send a very special thank you to those who helped at the Calsonic Arena with the championship show: Tommy Hall and Mark Taylor with WHOA; Lori Pucket with TWHBEA; Harolene Willis, WHOA Academy Chairperson; David Pruett, Patsy Newberry, Denise Rowland, Diane McMurtrey, Brenda Skelton, Gwen Skelton Williams and Adam Hensley. They also send out a special thank you to the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association for hosting the Academy Championships each year.

            A lot of hard work by the instructors and their students made this a banner year for the Academy Program. The enthusiasm and love of the Tennessee Walking Horse is evident in every smile and step they take. THWBEA and WHOA look forward to 2009 being even more successful as they all work together toward the common goal of promoting the greatest horse in the world, the Tennessee Walking Horse!

            For more information on the Academy Program go to or

More Stories

  • Obituary – Raymond Huey "Buddy" Wilhelm Jr.

    Raymond Huey “Buddy” Wilhelm Jr., age 70, of Petersburg TN, passed from this life Monday, June 21, 2021, at Maury Regional Medical Center... Read More
  • Obituary – Sandra Hall

    Sandra Elaine Wallace Hall, age 69, entered into rest on Thursday, June 17, 2021, with her family by her side. Funeral services will be 4:00 PM Friday, July 2, 2021, at Zoar United Methodist Church (2842 Zoar Road, Cheraw, SC 29520) by Pastor Billy Jack Johnson, with remarks by family friend, Mark Farrar... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Gen's Black Gin

    It is with great sadness to share that Gen’s Black Gin was peacefully laid to rest Sunday, June 20, just five days short of his 22nd birthday. Having extended health issues his breeding was ended this year and he was kept as comfortable as possible... Read More
  • Christmas In July class name change

    Class 27 for the Christmas In July Horse Show, originally listed as Western Trail Pleasure (Riders' Cup) will be Trail Pleasure, Optional Tack (Riders' Cup). Unless specifically designated, all pleasure classes will be optional tack... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Himself

    On Monday, June 14, 2021, the Smith Family said goodbye to their beloved Himself. The big roan gentle giant was sired by Pusher’s Big Score and was out of Generator’s Golden Child... Read More
  • Arab Summer Classic postponed

    The Arab Summer Classic scheduled for tonight, June 19, has been postponed due to weather. The show is rescheduled for Saturday, July 17. Read More
  • Latest Issue 6 21 21

    Read More
  • Be mindful of leadline participants

    The Tennessee Walking Horse industry is fortunate to have participants that range from small children to those that have experienced a full life. Many of our participants first introduction to the Tennessee Walking Horse is through our leadline classes... Read More
  • Obituary – Mary Ella Burke

    Mary Ella Burke of Wildersville, Tennessee, passed away Friday, June 4, 2021, at the age of 82. She is preceded in death by her husband, Earnest F. Burke, her mother Beaulah Johnson and father Ray Johnson... Read More
  • Walking Horse Owners Association presents the Charles B. Howard Memorial Fund Scholarship

    The Walking Horse Owners Association is honored to announce the Charles B. Howard Scholarship program for the year 2021-2022. Affectionately known as “Charlie”, he would want to help a career minded student to reach their potential and proudly present these first awards... Read More