By Sadie Fowler

Twelve classes, dollar night and perfect weather marked the Tuesday night performance at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which kicked off with the Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure class with Habanero Picante and Bailey Momb mirroring the temperature of the evening by winning the first class for happy owners Bush/Pittman. Freebird TJB Hannah Myatt kept their position in the overall standing of good ribbons this season for John and Kathy Anderson, owners of the reserve champion.

Eleven showed up for the second class of the evening, the Amateur Mares and Geldings Five and Over (Canter), but Country And Famous and Miles Irby made headlines in this class for Lovett and Stevens. Pushing the competition and garnering the crowd’s and judges’ attention, Puttin It On The Line and the familiar face of Newton Parks were called out as the reserve champions, representing neighbors Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just down the road.

The third class of the night, the A division of the Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings featured 14. No one could out-walk Walktime Dolly, by Walk Time Charlie, dutifully directed by Lorie Riddley while another seasoned pair, Veintiuno and Lisa Baum, held their own as they walked away with the red streamers.  

The B division of the Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings was yet another really nice class filled with quality and no one felt that more than Linda Garnes, rider of the winning entry of 15 who smiled aboard Richlin’s Babe while riding down victory lane. Robert Deutsch has a focused mind this week with several winning entries thus far and his continued success continued to flourish with his reserve finish in this class with He’s Pure Poison for O’Callaghan and Deutsch.

Patrick Thomas made another mark on his consistent resumé for the winning ride aboard Do Right for the Steve Wilson Family in the Park Performance Five and Over class. I’m A Proud American and Michael Wright stood their ground for the strong reserve finish for Bill Williams.

Proving some people would prefer to trade in the pretty sand and beach for a winning place in place Shelbyville, Tennessee come August, the gorgeous Bouré, expertly piloted by Tam Brogdon, finished first in the eight-entry Amateur Mares and Geldings 15.2 and Under class. Nine Carat Diamond and Dr. Brittany Baum dazzled the crowd for their reserve finish.

Wake up Shelbyville! He’s Starbucks and John Allan Callaway wowed the crowd in the next class, the Show Pleasure Walking Stallions performance, where 10 entries made the gate call including reserve champions Entitlement and Clay Sanderson for Jordan Howell.

No strangers to the Shelbyville winning crowd is Etta James By TJB. With Kathy Zeis wearing a blue-ribbon smile just in time for her blue ribbon ride, the pair topped a fine crop of seven in the Elite Amateur Trail Pleasure class, ahead of reserve champions classy contenders Luciano and Lindy Holt.

Every single night has been about ideal at the 80th anniversary of the best show in the world for walking horse enthusiasts, and the A division of the Amateur Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions kept things rolling in perfect order with I Am Mighty José and Jason Myatt being called out as the mighty and well-deserving champs in this great class. Strong Stock and Benjamin Bowen gave a mature performance and were rewarded with respectable reserve honors for Larry and Pam Russell.

She came back like a true sport a few years ago, and she’s made her dominance known with nothing more evident than her winning ride in the B division of the Amateur Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions class. Sarah Coffee Burks rode Dobie Gray to a huge crowd-pleasing win for Burks’ first world championship in many years. No Mas Tequila and Lisa Baum took their place in the great class for reserve.

Nine of the industry’s best and youngest professionals took center stage in the Young Trainers 35 and Under on Walking Stallions class. Bill Callaway, who can compete against the best of the professionals regardless of the age bracket, was in the top spot in this class riding Samsung for George-Ann Pratt while Warbird and Ryan Blackburn turned in a reserve performance for Ginger Williams.

Riding to the winner’s circle for their very first Celebration blue, Tornado Alley and Kerry DeArmond earned the best prize in the largest class of the night, which also happened to be the last, in the Amateur Novice Gentleman Riders on Novice Mares or Geldings. Coach Neyland and Ronnie Grider rose to the occasion for the reserve finish.