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Todd Claborn Claims First World Grand Championship



by Stephanie Morton

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - A warm breeze and sunshine welcomed spectators to the final Thursday evening of the 77th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National in beautiful Shelbyville, Tenn. Tonight kicked off the beginning of the World Grand Championship classes along with the exhibitions of Great Strides, 2014 WGC Racking Horse High Sword and Mule World Grand Champion Festus exhibition. The evening’s invocation was given by Herbert Derickson of Shelbyville, Tenn. Giving a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem was Leah Boyd of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Presiding over this evening’s grand championship classes were the judges Jennifer Bingham, Derek Bonner, David Landrum, David Sisk and Sam Sorrell.

Answering the gate call for the evening’s first class was the Owner-Amateur Novice Riders on Novice Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Optional Tack) class. Seven talented entries made the gate call. Judge Landrum served as the call judge. The sunset over the west grandstands as cooler temperatures moved in for the evening. Making the first unanimous world grand championship ride under the spotlight of the evening was the talented pair of Machete and owner Kyle Bush of Baxter, Tenn. This talented team added this to their earlier world championship title. Reserve world grand championship honors went to Kool Fortune and Shawntae Burton for Shawntae Burton and Harper Grider of Columbia, Ky. This talented horse has claimed world championship and reserve world championship honors earlier in the week. Rounding out top three was Magellan and owner Alex Johnson.

Up next were the all-impressive Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Thirteen entries answered the gate call. Judge Sisk served as call judge for this highly competitive class. It didn’t take the crowd long to let the judges know who their favorite pairs were.  Making the spotlight ride in this very impressive class was Biscayne Bay and Ben Brogdon for Ben and Dr. Lynda Brogdon of Tallahassee, Fla. This talented team claimed a world championship title in the Elite Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Stallions earlier in the week. Reserve honors went to Miss Ebony Rose and owner Sudie Reed of Jasper, Ala. This elegant pair also claimed a world championship title in the Elite Owner-Amateur 70 Year & Over division on Friday evening. Third place honors went to He’s Made In The USA and Sheryl Jordan for Roy Wierenga.



The Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship class answered the gate call next. Seven top entries made their way into the big oval all in hopes of taking home a world grand championship title. Judge Sorrell served as the call judge. Making a unanimous spotlight ride two years in a row was the winning team of Rise To Fame and Patrick Thomas for Steve and Pat Wilson of Stoneville, N.C. Rise To Fame and Thomas rose to fame earlier this week with world championship honors in the Western Park Pleasure class. Reserve honors went to Hello I’m Johnny Cash and Sherri Pollack for S&P LLC of Saratoga, Calif. This honor is added to the team’s three other reserve world championships for 2015. Rounding out the top three was Top Recruit and Brock Tillman for Bill and Darlene Harris.



Making a very special exhibition was a very special group from the Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program in Shelbyville, Tenn. The crowd enthusiastically welcomed the horses and riders into the big oval. This wonderful program helps children with many different types of therapy on horseback. They help participants improve social skills, innovation skills and problem solving skills. Each rider was led around the ring with a professional walking horse trainer as well as their coaches. This year the riders were given blue ribbons as they exited the ring. Great Strides is a non-profit organization that holds spring, summer and fall classes. This great program has been linked to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration for the last 20 years. The Trainers Give Back Program, as well as the WHTA Auxiliary are large promoters and supporters of the Great Strides program. 

The big oval awaited the entry of the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship contenders. Nine top youth competitors answered the gate call. Judge Bingham served as the call judge. Larry Bright played, “You Are My Sunshine” as these impressive youth riders went on the reverse. Making the spotlight ride to victory was the world grand championship pair of Willie Twilight and Luke Callicutt for John Callicutt of Seagrove, N.C. This highly talented young team claimed reserve world championship honors earlier this week in the Owner-Amateur Youth 6-11 Geldings class. Reserve honors in this class went to Gangster’s Hitman and Cohen Abernathy for Claudia Gribble of Byhalia, Miss. Gangster’s Hit Man claimed world championship honors in the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth 6-11 on Novice Mares or Geldings class at the 2014 Celebration. Rounding out the top three was Greyline and Chet Lowman for Evie Lowman.

Four talented teams answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Bonner served as the call judge. Winning the spotlight ride for the second year in a row was Fuego and owner Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio. This talented pair has also picked up world championship honors in the Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure and Owner-Amateur Youth 12-17 English Pleasure with Mackenzie Morgan earlier this week. Reserve honors went to Bel Air and Kathy Anderson for John and Kathy Anderson of Shelbyville. Bel Air claimed reserve world championship honors in the Elite Owner-Amateur Trail Pleasure division earlier last week. Rounding out the top three was Victoria’s Got A Secret and Dr. Jack Kwok for CCJK Enterprise.

Answering the gate call next was the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship contenders. Judge Landrum served as the call judge for this impressive class of youth riders and ponies. Taking home the tri-colored ribbon, bragging rights and unanimous world grand champion title was Rammer Jammer and owner Lily Catherine Holland of Decatur, Ala. This talented pair also claimed world championship honors in the Owner-Amateur Youth 6-14 Ponies class last week. Reserve honors went to Prime Poison and owner Addie Harris of Shelbyville, Tenn. Harris directed Prime Poison to the reserve world championship honors in the Owner-Amateur Youth 6-14 Ponies last week. Third award went to Defending The Title and Chris Elliott for Elliott & Myatt.



Taking to the big oval next was 2014 Racking World Grand Champion and Racking Horse of the Year High Sword. High Sword is owned by Kimberly Coult of Magnolia, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn. Trainer Jamie Lawrence brought the talented stallion to the ring. After being presented with a tri-color ribbon, Coult took to the irons to direct High Sword around the big oval one last time.

Nine top entries answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Sisk served as the call judge for this highly competitive class. Making the spotlight ride for the fourth time in their career was Godfather By Ultra Copy and Courtney Luttrell for Alex Luttrell of Alvaton, Ky. This impressive team has claimed world grand championship honors in this class in 2010, 2012, 2013 and now 2015. Reserve honors went to He’s Starbucks and Suzanne Moore for Robert Moore of Franklin, Tenn. This impressive horse claimed a world championship title last week in the Show Pleasure Stallions class with trainer John Allan Callaway. Picking up the yellow streamer was the team of I Am The Rock Jr. and owner Jannie Chapman.

Five entries answered the gate call for the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, 15.2 & Under World Grand Championship. Judge Sorrell served as the call judge. Unanimous top honors in this impressive class went to Pro V 1 and Abby Fox for Linda Fox of Cookeville, Tenn. This talented team claimed top honors earlier this season at the Derby Classic. Reserve honors went to The Sportster and Dee Broom Yoder of Ooltewah, Tenn. This title was added to their world championship honors claimed last week in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Mares or Geldings 15.2 & Under. Rounding out the top three was Boure’ and owner Tam Brogdon.

Answering the gate call next were the top contenders of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Western Country Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship. This is the inaugural year for this class. Twelve entries answered the gate call to compete for Call Judge Bingham and her cohorts. Making the spotlight ride in this impressive class was Designer Champagne and owner Kimberly Coult of Magnolia, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn. This talented duo adds this to their previous world championship honors last week in the Owner-Amateur English Country Pleasure division. Reserve honors went to Eye On The Title and Lisa Baum for Dr. Jim and Lisa Baum of Shelbyville, Tenn. Eye On The Title claimed the world championship title last week in the Owner-Amateur Western Country Pleasure division. Third place went to Bustline and Claire Hankins for Vaughn & Hankins of Valley City, Ohio and Paris, Ky.

Four entries answer the gate call for the Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship. Judge Bonner served as the call judge. Cheers and whistles filled the air on the Celebration grounds while this impressive class of top park performance horses showed in the running walk gait. Taking home the honor, glory, title and bragging rights was the team of Moonshine Man and Philip Trimble for Bob Cunningham of Talladega, Ala. This talented team claimed top honors earlier this season at the Alabama Ladies Auxiliary and Lawrenceburg Lions Clubs shows. Reserve honors went to Dirty Sexy Money and Jeff Laughlin for Jannie Chapman of Owens Cross Roads, Ala. This gorgeous horse has claimed two other reserve world championship titles earlier in the week with both Chapman and Laughlin in the irons. Claiming the third place award was Wee Wee Man and Link Webb for LD and Tammy Austin.

Bringing something a little different to the ring was the 2015 World Grand Champion Walking Mule Festus and Kimberly Coult. Festus is trained by Jamie Lawrence Stables of Vinemont, Ala., and owned by Kimberly Coult of Magnolia, Texas and Shelbyville, Tenn. Festus is a three-gaited mule that also enjoys trail rides. He has many fans both in the show ring and outside. Coult proudly exhibited Festus one last time as they took a victory pass around the big oval with a tri-colored ribbon.

Up next was the Lite-Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship class. Six top entries answered the gate call. Judge Landrum served as the call judge. Making the spotlight ride was the impressive team of Simple Lee Dangerous and Chris Helton for Kara Graham of Niota, Tenn. This talented horse has claimed three previous world championship honors earlier this week in the amateur, juvenile and open divisions. Reserve honors went to Lucky Daze and Patrick Thomas for Lisa Shockey-Kessel of Moorefield, W.Va. Lucky Daze also claimed a reserve world championship title earlier on in the Owner-Amateur Western Lite-Shod class. Rounding out the top three was Lil Wayne and Jeff Laughlin for Jeff Gillespie.

Closing out the evening were 12 impressive entries in the Three-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship gate call. Judge Sisk served as the call judge. The crowd cheered on this impressive class of young horses as they went on the reverse. As the evening comes to a close, Larry Bright serenaded the crowd with, “I Love You Just the Way You Are.” Claiming the title of the 2015 World Grand Champion Three-Year-Old was the impressive pair of Really Coach and Todd Claborn for Fred Allred of Jamestown, Tenn. This was a very special night for Todd Claborn, as this was his very first World Grand Championship title. Really Coach claimed a reserve world championship earlier this week in the A division of the Three-Year-Old Stallions class. Reserve honors went to Uptight Jose and Josh Watts for Don and Lucky Collins of Shelbyville, Tenn. Uptight Jose claimed world championship honors earlier this week in the A division of the Three-Year-Old Stallions class. Rounding out the top three in this impressive class was Gen A’ Mighty and Charlie Green for Mike Floyd and Donnie and Charlotte.

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