Random Thoughts on Celebration 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007


By David L. Howard


The Weather

            In a few short hours on Friday evening, we went from clear skies, hot temperatures and no rain to the opposite . . . and it was frightening at times. The show was eventually called when storms returned after a brief lull and six classes had to be rescheduled.

            Many owners, trainers and exhibitors expressed their concerns about the safety of continuing the Youth Riders 6-11 Class that started the show as lightning flashed all around the arena. Fortunately, no one was hurt but it was a situation that should have been avoided.



Problems, Problems

            Bob Kilgore and Neal Holland have real problems, namely Dimaggio and The Coach. They own these two outstanding three-year-old stallions and both won on Friday night in the split of their class.

            Dimaggio was shown by Billy Young and Joe Cotten had the thrill of showing The Coach. This was the first appearance in the show ring for Dimaggio under his new ownership and he made it a memorable one.

            The Coach was shown twice as a two-year-old winning the TWHBEA Futurity and the Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship. He has been shown five times this year and is undefeated. These two horses should make for a very interesting Saturday night in the Championship.

            For the record, Dimaggio is named after the Hall of Fame New York Yankee slugger Joe Dimaggio, who was quite a horse himself. And, contrary to what the owners are telling people, The Coach is named after the legendary Tennessee Football Coach General Robert Neyland.


            May the best horse win!



Mark Farrar, Jr.

            Mark Farrar, Jr., is doing a splendid job announcing the morning classes at this year’s Celebration. Mark’s dad was a long-time ringmaster at the show prior to his death and his grandfather Bill Tune managed The Celebration for many years.

            Bill Tune hired me as a young man to handle the Fun Show magazine and The Blue Ribbon magazine for The Celebration years ago and played a key role in my career in horse show publishing. It is great to see a Tune back in the ring.



Celebration Diehards

            Kerry Huckaby has made it 41 straight years and Lewisburg newspaperman Tom Summers can count 53.


            Grey Barker V is attending his second Celebration as he enjoyed his first birthday on August 22, 2006, just in time for last year’s show.


            Jackson Jeffrey Howard is attending his first Celebration and is approximately nine months old. I don’t remember the exact date but some of my friends report it was at halftime of the Tennessee-LSU football game last November in Knoxville, a difficult loss I have vowed to forget.


            And NO, ladies, that is not my new son that I am walking around the grounds with . . . but I do appreciate the thought.



New Rules for 2007


            No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy offering me a towel and a mint just doesn’t suit the mood. I can’t even tell if he’s really supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. All I really want to do is go to the bathroom and wash my hands.