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Thorson Tops Equitation Championship

By Mark Davis

It’s Monday morning in Shelbyville!  It’s hard to believe that the 73rd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is half way complete and this is the final morning session of the 2011 Celebration.  After today, the floor of the Calsonic Arena turns into a shopper’s paradise known as the Celebration Trade Fair.

Fourteen classes make up the final morning performance schedule from the Weanling Halter, Trail Pleasure, Lite Shod, Park Pleasure, Show Pleasure and Equitation divisions, highlighted by the Equitation World Grand Championship.

The judges for the 73rd Celebration include Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Jamie Bradshaw of Union Grove, Ala., Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky., Ronnie Spears of Tullahoma, Tenn. & Jeff Willis of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Class 93 opened the final morning performance with Western Lite Shod Walking Horses with four of the eight on the official program working up from the warm up ring to work for Judge Ronnie Spears and his panel.  Riding away with the win and a unanimous decision of the panel was Red Sunday’s Best and owner/exhibitor Laurie Toone of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Confederate Jazz and Leigh Bennett were reserve for Anna Barreiro of Hendersonville, Tenn.  Generator’s Troubadour and Allison Smart were third for Keith & Cheryl Waid of Morris, Ala.

Lite Shod Walking Horses, Three and Four Years Old, class 94, was up next on the morning schedule with 15 of the 18 expected making the call as Judge Jeff Willis called the gaits in the class.  Walking away with the win in the class was A Mountain Jazz and Jeff Laughlin riding for Joe Laughlin of Waynesville, Mo.  Kick Start Jazz and Steve Sanders accepted the red streamers for Manis & Richardson of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.  Vindicated and Carrie Martin rounded out the top three in the class for Montverde Academy of Montverde, Fla.

Class 95E featured the Equitation, Riders 18 Years and Over (Canter) with four of the five riders expected working to the track to complete their rail work and pattern work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her panel.  Riding to the winner’s circle was Amy Nesius of Chapel Hill, Tenn.  Rachel Burch of College Grove, Tenn., was reserve with Carmen Lucas-Frank of Montpelier, Va., securing the third award.  It’s interesting to note that both Amy Nesius and Rachel Burch are past Youth Equitation World Grand Champion riders.

In the Novice division, class 96 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings.  Two of the three on the official Lions Club program made the call to work for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his cohorts.  Riding out of the Novice division this morning were Miss Armani and Carson Wells riding for Jim Wells, Humphrey & Benedict of Fruitland Park, Fla.  Evil Patty Gray and Ethan Graves were reserve for Koni Graves of Woodbury, Tenn.

Staying in the Novice division, class 97 featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Lite Shod Walking Horses.  Ten of the 17 programmed entries worked hard in the class for their first moment in the Celebration spotlight as Judge Jamie Hankins served as Call Judge in the class.  Making that once in a lifetime ride this morning were Carlan Cotton and Lil Wayne riding for Jeff Gillespie of Tazewell, Va.  Vindicated and Kasey Kesselring pulled into the second position for Montverde Academy of Montverde, Fla.  Major Randolph and Don Parmer were third for Deborah Parmer of Elizabethtown, Pa.

The Owner-Amateur Plantation Pleasure Walking Horses were up next on the Monday Morning schedule, class 97A, with three of the four programmed entries working up to the track to show for Judge Ronnie Spears and his panel.  Telling the competition goodbye as they rode away with the Celebration win in the division with a unanimous decision of the panel was Hello I’m Johnny Cash and Sherri Pollack riding for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. & Shelbyville, Tenn.  Tijuana Tex and John Gladney were reserve for Gladney Farms of Homer, La.  Gen’s Double Action and Rufus Dale were third taking the honor home to Canton, N.C.

The babies of the industry were up next for class 98, Walking Colts of 2011 Foal with eight of the 16 expected working their way to the ring to show off their winning moves and stylish looks for Judge Jeff Willis and his panel.  Jazz On My Mind and Robert Nelms walked their way to the winner’s circle with the approval of all five judges accepting honors for Carole Hargett of Shelbyville, Tenn.  This youngster already had one Celebration blue on his resume from Friday Morning in the Youth Weanling division with Ashley Shelton at the lead and had won previously with Nelms at the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show.  Oh Pancho Oh Cisco and Roger Richards, Jr. were reserve for Dr. Roger D. Richards of Hendersonville, Tenn.  Master of Motion and Chris Richards were third for Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Brantley of Wartrace, Tenn.

The performance horses made an appearance on the Monday morning schedule for class 99, Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Show Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings with seven of the 12 expected showing their very best as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class.  Scoring the win in the class was Alex Blackburn and The Gin Was Poisoned By Gin riding for Louise Lyons of Obion, Tenn.  This team preceded this win with a win at the Dickson County Horse Show and reserves at the Chester County Horse Show, Parker’s Crossroads, Tenn., & the Mid South Horse Show.  Jazz In Dixie and Megan Davis collected the red streamers for Shamrock Farms of Shelbyville, Tenn.  Santana’s Renaissance Man and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson were third taking honors home to Huron, Ohio.

Back in the Novice division, Class 100A featured the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses with 12 of the 16 expected looking for their way out of the Novice division today by securing that first Celebration blue as Judge Jamie Bradshaw called the gaits in the section.  Oh Buddy and owner/exhibitor Jackie Osborne were novices no more as they topped the division taking honors home to Bowling Green,Ky.  Headed back Louisiana way with reserve were Pushin’ Major Cane and Donald Gallion riding for Donald M. Gallion, LeCourt, LLC of Shreveport, La. Just Doin’ My Time and Jim Leek were third for Jim Leek & Maggie Moore of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Class 100B, Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses brought 13 of the 16 expected to the rail to work for Judge Jamie Hankins and his panel.  Taking the win in the division back out west it was Pushing For Jazz and Van Barnes riding for Van Barnes and Miles Irby of Sandy, Ore.  Contemporary Jazz and Kasey Kesselring were reserve for Christmas Creek Farm, LLC of Montverde, Fla. & Shelbyville, Tenn.  Pusher’s Secret Rose and Phyllis Langley were third for Langley, Coleman, Cole & Moore of Sandpoint, Idaho.

It was time to get in the Western way for class 101, Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses (Canter) with two of the four expected making the gate call to work all three gaits that make the Tennessee Walking Horse famous as Judge Ronnie Spears called the gaits in the class.  Capturing the win was Hermano Gold and Jamey Thompson riding for Roger & Rebecca Emerick of Hillsborough, Calif.  Strega and Leigh Bennett were reserve for Shirley Stuart of Bowling Green, Ky.

Class 102E, featured the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth Medal Championship with six riders making the gate call to work for the medal and roses in the division.  Judge Jeff Willis served as call judge for the World Grand Championship event.  Riding away with all the distinctions of a World Grand Champion after making a flawless performance was Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio.  Thorson will be in the big oval tonight after class 109 to make their exhibition for the Monday Night crowd.  Meme Anderson of Bishopville, S.C. was reserve, while Allison Holt of Shelbyville, Tenn., was third.

Lite Shod Walking Horses, Two-Years-Old, were up next on the program, class 103 with 11 of the 15 expected making the call to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham handled the duties as Call Judge for the class.  Topping the division with a unanimous decision of the panel and securing his second win of the morning was Lil Wayne and trainer Bobby Richards in the irons riding for Jeff Gillespie of Tazewell, Va.  Tijuanna Jazz and Jimmy Laughlin were in the second position for 4-J Land & Cattle Company of Waynesville, Mo.  GiGi’s Jamaican Generator and Leigh Bennett were third for Kaitlyn Rippy of Greenbrier, Tenn.

The final class of the Monday morning performance, and of the day sessions of the 73rd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was class 104, Weanling Fillies, of 2011 foal.  Nine of the 11 on the official Lions Club program worked up to the track to show for Judge Jamie Bradshaw and his staff.  Walking away with the win & a unanimous decision of the judging panel were Intimidator’s Cover Girl and Amanda Wright, who captured the same title at the TWHBEA National Futurity on Wednesday night, leading for the Andrew Waites Family of Hattiesburg, Miss. & the George Wright Family of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.  Snookie Majors and Nathan Mills were reserve for Hidden Acres Farm of Nashville, Tenn.  She’s Cashed In and Robert Nelms were third for David Lewis of Manchester, Tenn.

That competed the morning sessions of the 73rd Annual Celebration.  Now, all the action moves to the historic big oval each evening at 7:00 p.m. and Calsonic Arena turns into the home of the Celebration Trade Fair, starting on Wednesday.  Hope to see you here!


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