Random Thoughts on Celebration 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007


By David L. Howard



AAEP At Celebration

            Dr. Doug Corey, President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, was a guest of the Celebration on Friday and Saturday. He attended the show both nights and spent the day Saturday visiting area training stables.

            I escorted Dr. Corey into the inspection and warm-up areas on both nights and he had discussions with both NHSC officials and USDA officials. He came away impressed with the entire process and offered several suggestions for improvements in 2008.

            Dr. Corey had previously agreed to serve on the board of the Celebration’s Horse Industry Organization that is in the process of being formed. The purpose of his visit was to become more familiar with the breed and the Celebration and he was most complimentary in his remarks to me during his visit.

            I appreciate everyone’s cordial reception and cooperation with Dr. Corey and it will pay dividends down the road.



Positive Press

            The Nashville Tennessean newspaper has done a fine job covering this year’s Celebration and there was a wonderful article about inspection in the Wednesday issue. The headline “Celebration inspections show 97 percent passing” on the second page of the sports section sends a strong positive message to Tennessean readers.

            They quoted DQP Director David Finger “The trainers have done a great job in presenting compliant horses. At the same time, the measures that we have taken just ensure the integrity of the process we already had in place.” He went on to say “We’re just trying to be in compliance with the Horse Protection Act and please the horse loving public, and we’re doing a great job so far.”




            On an overall basis, most of the comments being made to me reflect positively on the work of this year’s Celebration judges and I share in that opinion. The major criticism has been the placing of the horses by two of the judges in the Aged Stallion classes.

            This is a most difficult and demanding job and the judges should be critiqued on their overall performance. Unfortunately, the aged competition and the crowning of the World Grand Champion horse get the majority of attention by fans.

            Besides that, the best time to assess the judges’ performance is after the show is over and I have no doubt there will be plenty of opinions.



Celebration Streaming Video

            The Celebration video streaming paid service for the show has been a disaster and they will be making appropriate refunds. The service is provided by Charter Communications, a corporate sponsor, and they have performed remarkably in previous years.

            A portion of the problem is related to the thunderstorm and lightning earlier in the show, but there were problems before that and Charter has been unable to get it corrected.

            Next year those of you using that service should just come to the show and be assured of seeing all the action.



A Lighter Note

            It has been so dry in Middle Tennessee that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling, the Methodists are giving out wet-wipes, the Presbyterians are giving out rain-checks and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.

            Yes, I am a Catholic but I’m sticking with the wine.