Skip to content

Sunday night stars



By Sadie Fowler

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Sunday offered a breath of fresh air with the first Celebration morning free of day classes, but the quality prevailed with the four-year-old stallions taking center stage in the final class among 16 for the evening. 

While anticipation was high for the last class early on Sunday evening, excitement also filled the atmosphere for the first class of the evening, the Lead Line World Grand Championship, which returned to the Sunday evening agenda after a trial run on the Saturday morning schedule last year, which proved to be less popular than the pageantry connected with having the class during the evening session. Eleven riders sporting a variety of disciplines delighted the crowd with smiles and styles and the conclusion of the class also came with smiles and cheers as Charleigh Goldman and Shake’s Little Midnight impressed all five judges across the board for the unanimous win with assistance from handler Beth Lawwell. Receiving their own due share of praise, Lexi Grace Cofer turned in a polished performance for the reserve in the first world grand championship of the evening. 

The Youth Mares and Geldings class came next Sunday evening with yet again 11 entries vying for a chance to make the prestigious pass down victory lane in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Counti Green expertly piloted Dixie Majorette for that coveted victory pass, making a huge jump in the ribbons compared to the horse’s finish last year, for Sister Milligan while Hot Dollar and Riley long were on the money for reserve. 

Numbers and depth of quality were the name of the game Sunday evening, with 21 entries emerging for the third class of the evening, the Amateur Western Country Pleasure, which required a mandatory workout. Seven of those 21 entries already had world grand championship titles going into the class, but when the workout was over and the cards turned in, Slingblade and Kyle Bush topped the fantastic class and wore the big smile and blue ribbon out of the ring for Sherrin Pittman. Diamond At The Ritz and Kimberly Walden shone bright for reserve. 

Seven entries made their way into Maverick Arena next for the Amateur Park Performance Walking Stallions with I’m A Proud American and Bill Williams earning the best prize. So Real and Marian Wright wrapped up the top two with reserve.

The English Trail Pleasure Four and Under featured five entries as the agenda hit mid-point on the relaxed Sunday evening. The evening was perfect weather-wise and the fans among the stands offered their support of the winners by waving “fans” in promotion of the winner, Blacklist, who bested the field of five while Justus Carter had José’s Walking Diva in good order for the reserve finish in the good class.

Last year’s winners Powerstroke’s Evening Star and Sherri Pollack made their presence known as they captured the title in the Amateur Ladies Walking Mares and Geldings class, ahead of reserve champions, An American Threat and Lynn Hickok, who pushed them for the reserve spot. 

The Amateur Novice Youth 6-11 Novice Mares and Geldings class had the stands cheering loudly and getting behind one of their favorites, and there were plenty from which to choose. Titlest’s Grand Slam and John Lawwell put on a show that knocked it out of the park and merited a huge crowd approval, including praise from grandfather Ronal Young who proudly cheered on the new champions. Jumpin’ The Border and Alex Luttrell stood out among the talented crowd of 14 for the reserve. 

The Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Show Pleasure class featured 18 serious contenders and an emotional finish as He’s A Jailbird J.A. and Sherry Bonner celebrated their first Celebration win after a hard-fought class with PGA Masters and Denise Maples keeping it in line for reserve. 

A Bit Of Change and Makena Dempsey shook up the competition in the seven-entry Amateur Youth 15-17 class as Ricky Ricardo and Will Cole maintained their reserve position from last year to exit with the red streamers. 

The evening reached one of its peaks with the Amateur Walking Stallions class, where 12 top teams paired up for their best show … and top they were as eight entries in the class carried with them previous Celebration world titles with riders that win blue ribbons all season long as the industry’s best shows. The class carried on quite a while after a time out was called, but in the end the pretty pair of Lilly Waites-Mobley and Uptight José showcased grace and stamina for the incredible victory while Lester H. Burns and Martin Cox earned the crowd’s approval for reserve in what has been Cox’s comeback season. 

After earning the yellow streamers last year, Legend Of Zelda moved up a couple notches and rode out of the novice division and into the winner’s circle with BJ Campbell in the saddle for the memorable ride in the Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Western Trail Pleasure horses while Nite’s Destiny and Alex Sinden captured a great reserve finish.

The first of two splits in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Walking Mares and Geldings featured 12 entries who put on their serious game faces for one of several very entertaining classes on Sunday’s agenda with 11 finishing the class after one entry asked to be excused. Lisa Baum knows how to wear a smile and she did so comfortably after the A division of this class riding Hey Good Looking while Diana Cruse sailed into the reserve position aboard Molly Lou Melon.

Amateur Four-Year-Old Walking Mares and Geldings B division also featured 11 riders in what became another awesome class on the Sunday evening slate. Once again, any number of riders could have taken the blue in this same class at any show all summer long but on this night, Celebration honors went to Nip Of Gin and Detha Yoder who gave her beloved mount a huge hug among hearing her number announced and also learning the cards were unanimous. José’s Tomboy and Kelly Sherman put their best foot forward for a strong reserve finish among the excellent group of amateur pairs.

Honey Badger and LaMar DePoyster earned the winning nod among the fine field of seven in the Amateur Western Trail Pleasure class while Susan Coleman earned a great applause from the crowd for her solid finish aboard Machete, who mirrored the reserve performance from last year. 

Seven seasoned riders entered the ring with their partners for the Elite Amateur Gentleman Walking Mares and Geldings and there was nothing fake about Dr. Jim Baum’s winning ride with Unreal for the win — the win for the fifth year in a row and also in unanimous fashion. Five Star’s Jazzman and Henry Metcalf followed on the winners’ heels for the reserve.

The Sunday night finale featured the Four-Year-Old Stallions and there were four who showed up for the world championship title with Star Of Ritz and Casey Wright lighting up the midnight sky in unanimous fashion for Herb Murrath ahead of reserve champion My Shockwave, guided by the masterful direction of Jimmy McConnell for Bill Bean. 

More Stories

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Get the news…FAST

    What a wonderful show season we have had so far this year! The Walking Horse Industry has made the best of a bad situation and showed up and showed out! We have seen some fantastic horses and huge shows already this year... Read More
  • Latest Issue 8 17 20

    Read More
  • 42nd WHOA International Face Masks

    Previously, WHOA announced protocols for the wearing of face masks during the International. Masks are required per county, and MTSU regulations. Wearing a mask in the show ring is not required while mounted, and handlers of Weanlings, Yearlings, Model, In-Hand or, Showmanship in the show ring. Masks are required in the Warm-up arena. Read More
  • WHTA moves Trainers’ Show to October

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association has its National Trainers’ Show on the move again. In what can only be considered a crazy year, the National Trainers’ Show was supposed to be held March 19-21 at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville. And then the coronavirus came to wreck all sports including the Trainers’ Show... Read More
  • Obituary – James Wilkerson

    James C. Wilkerson, age 79 of Maryville, passed away Saturday, August 8, 2020. James was the owner and president of Serviceway Motor Freight Inc. for over 35 years. He was a member of the Jaycee’s and the Knoxville Motor Transport Association... Read More
  • Grace Baptist Church to conduct Celebration Worship Service

    The Celebration recently was contacted by Jeffrey McGee of Grace Baptist Church regarding the opportunity to continue the tradition of the Celebration worship service on Sunday morning of The Celebration. The opportunity became available after Pastor Steve Murphree decided not to conduct the service this year. Read More
  • North Carolina Championship canceled

    Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the North Carolina Championship Horse Show, scheduled for October 8-10, has been canceled for this year. The North Carolina Walking Horse Association is already beginning their planning for a better experience in 2021... Read More
  • Live from International Grand Championship

    ReporTV will provide live streaming coverage from the 42nd annual International Pleasure and Colt Grand Championship, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 4:00 pm each evening... Read More
  • Message from the President of the Alabama Walking Horse Ladies Auxiliary

    I hope everyone is planning to attend the 9th Annual AWHLA Horse Show. From the sound of things, it looks like we are going to have a great show... Read More