By Mark McGee

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Owner-amateur riders owned the night as the 82nd Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration presented 14 classes Tuesday.

As usual the show started promptly at 7PM in Maverick Arena with Ron Adams of Emmanuel Church Pentecostal providing the invocation. A solid rendition of our National Anthem by Brittany McGilliard from Unionville, Tennessee, provided a patriotic moment with Ronnie Spears presenting the “Stars and Stripes” aboard White Diamond Dollar.

Eleven entries opened the competition in the Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Walking Horses, Section A. Jose’s Twist Of Gin and B.J. Richards made the unanimous world championship ride for S&P LLC of Saratoga, California. It was the fourth blue of the year, including the TWHBEA National Futurity and International Maiden class. Scarlett O’Hara TS was reserve with Alex Sinden aboard for Terri Smith. A Knight In Camelot and Jason Crawhorn picked up a yellow ribbon for owners Theresa and Mike Carter and Phyllis Langley. 

Section B of the Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure Walking Horses class also attracted 11 entries. Villanelle tied first with Hannah Myatt riding to the world championship for Kathy Anderson from College Grove, Tennessee. Who’s Your Daddy DH took home second with B.J. Richards in the stirrups for Dr. John Gladney. Laurie Toone rode Dixie Special to third for the partnership of Wendy Payton and Brandon Tate. 

The Chuck Cheek Memorial Challenge Trophy went home with rider Miles Irby and Country And Famous for owners Marla and Rick Lovett from Mobile, Alabama, as winners of the World Championship in the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, Canter class. Country And Famous also won the class for the Lovetts in 2019 and 2015. It was the fourth blue in 2020, the third with Irby riding. The Forty Niner and Annalisa Cooper walked to second. Jose’s Beyonce and Jackie Whatley earned a yellow streamer.

Fourteen entries answered the gate call from announcer Mark Farrar with 13 finishing the class. Sweepover’s Silver Lining unanimously took home the world championship silver with Rodney Koger in the stirrups for The Koger Family from Jamestown, Tennessee, in the A Section of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings class. It was their third blue of 2020. Love, Jose was directed to a red ribbon by Beth Lawwell for co-owner Terry Lowman. Our Girl Charlie and Tara Rhoades tied third. 

RBG, with Dalia Smith-Harr in the saddle for Molly Smith of Manchester, Kentucky, was the top selection over 12 other entries in Section B of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings class. It was third blue of the show season for RGB. Ryan Blackburn rode to the top honor on RGB in the TWBEA National Futurity Two-Year-Old Mares & Geldings class. Lady Elle and Kelly Manis carried home a red ribbon. She’s Limitless THF and Tina Graves received a yellow streamer for co-owner Travis Hale.

Five different entries received first place votes, but So Real prevailed with rider Patrick Thomas in the stirrups for the world championship ride in the 14-entry Park Performance Walking Horses class for owners Cynthia and Marian Wright of Jackson and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The duo is unbeaten in four shows in 2020. Always In Style walked to second for owner Nora Alexander with Mickey McCormick aboard. I’m A Proud American collected a third place with Casey Wright riding for Bill Williams. 

Gin Toddy, with Ty Irby in the irons for owner Sue Irby of Shelbyville, Tennessee, was the toast of the 10-entry Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, 15.2 & Under class. Nine Carat Diamond  and Dr. Brittany Baum sparkled in second for owner Jacob Baum. Thunderstruck In Dixie and Joyce Hofstee left the ring with a yellow ribbon.

Ten entries competed for the world championship in the Show Pleasure Walking Stallions class. Blaise Broccard and A Gin To Win rode away with the blue for Sherry Roberts from Van Buren, Missouri. It was the first blue of 2020 for Broccard aboard A Gin To Win. He’s Starbucks and John Allan Callaway brewed up a second place for owners Suzanne and Bud Moore. Entitlement took third with Philip Trimble for the partnership of Pittman and Bush.

The Elite Owner-Amateur Riders on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses brought six entries into the big oval. Luciano sang the right notes for Lindy Holt from Franklin, Tennessee, to earn the world championship. Luciano is undefeated with  three blues this season. Freda Dean directed A Rain Delay to second for the partnership of Martin, Dean and Trimble. Cazadores and Donna Hill tied third. 

The Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions, Section A had 12 entries compete in the first of three sections. I Am Big Enough proved to also be good enough for Beth Beasley from Athens, Alabama, on the way to a world championship. It was the third blue this year, the second with Beasley in the saddle. It’s Walk Time and Lisa Baum won a red streamer. Upper Manhattan was guided by Lilly Waites Mobley to third for the partnership of The Andrew Waites Family and Bob Hill. 

Warbird and Ryan Blackburn beat out nine other entries as the unanimous pick of the judges for the world championship for owner Ginger Williams from Reidsville, North Carolina, in the Young Trainers, 35 Years & Under, on Walking Stallions class. It was the second victory in the class for Williams as owner with Warbird winning in 2017. It was the duo’s second blue in as many shows this year. Von Miller tied second with Tyler Baucom in the irons for Robert Deutsch. BB Charlie Walker Red won third with R.M. Kellett on board for Donna Kay Head.

Fourteen entries competed for the world championship in Section B of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions class. A Ticket To Ride was a ticket to a blue ribbon for Rae Shumate Tyson who was riding for owner  Sandy Shumate from Athens, Georgia. It was their second blue of the season. Four different entries earned a first place vote. Woods Stock earned second place with Taylor Walters in the saddle for Kelsey Andrews. Cousin Bob and Carol Lackey left the ring with the third award for owner Jimmy Lackey.

The biggest class of the night was the Owner-Amateur Novice Gentlemen Riders on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings class with 21 entries. A second workout was needed with 12 entries returning to the track for final judging. Winning their first Celebration world championship were Denny Russell and Pushing JFK All Over. Dollar’s Silver Collector was second with Tom Ware riding. Kinfoke, with Derek Price aboard for Zenda Hill Farms, walked away with third.

Section C of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions class was the finale with 13 entries. Smoky Mountain Strong showed his strength in the ring with a world championship ride with Lexie Stinnett on board for co-owner Jimbo Conner. It was their second blue of 2020. Twisted With Honors won a red streamer for Howard Eastridge, while The Paddock Master clinched third Dalia Smith-Harr for Smith and Harr.