By Linda Scrivner

 MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association held its annual awards banquet on Friday evening, Dec. 6, 2013, at the Embassy Suites. Following a welcome by master of ceremonies Mark Farrar, Jr., the invocation by Wayne Dean and a delicious meal, the evening’s presentations began.
The evening began with the presentation of Gary Holt of Equestrian Legacy Radio. Distinguished guests were recognized and appreciation was expressed for the 2013 sponsors. 
The 2013 Executive Committee was recognized and included President and Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Vice President, Past President Loyd Hall Black, Jr, Secretary Dee Dee Miller, Breeders’ Vice Preisdent Mike Hicks, Enforcement Vice President Denise Bader-Keyser, Equine Welfare Vice President Dr. Linda Montgomery, Horse Shows Vice President Pat Stout, Marketing Vice President Joyce Moyer, Owner/Exhibitors/International Vice President Jason Bachert, Performance Horse Vice President Christy Lantis, Pleasure Horse Vice President Rick Wies, Training Vice President Way Dean, Member at Large Bylaws Vice President Dr. David Mullis, Jr., and Member at Large Youth Vice President Caroline Hoffman.
 The evening’s award began by honoring the 2013 World Grand Champion I Am Jose’, owned by Billy Max and Debbie Woods. He was bred by Robert W. Rollins and was ridden to the World Grand Championship by Casey Wright of Wright Stables. The I Am Jose’ family has been very generous in sharing this wonderful horse with his fans at shows and events throughout the southeast.I Am Jose’ has definitely proven himself to be a great breed ambassador. His official World Grand Championship portrait by P.J. Wamble was unveiled. The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association were thanked for their assistance in sponsoring this recognition. 
The next to be honored was the 2013 TWHBEA World Versatility Show Overall High Poijnt Champion, My Sophia. She is owned and exhibited by Jennifer Batts and she was bred by Bryan Keith Wilkerson. A Versatility Champion, My Sophia achieved her 2013 title by competing successfully in a variety of disciplines including Dressage, Over Fences, Obstacle Trail and Reining. 
The 2013 TWHBEA National Futurity Horizon Awards honorees showed at the National Futurity each year they were eligible and accumulated the best record at the show among all horses of their age that showed those year. The Weanling Horizon Award Champion was Don Diego’s Quarterback, owned by Jesse Dotson and Karl Thompson. The Yearling Horizon Award Champions were My Diamond Back, owned by Sylvester Skierkowski and She’s A Real Diamond, owned by Carole Hargett. The Two-Year-Old Horizon Award winner was Jazz On My Mind, owned by Carole Hargett. The National Futurity Graduate Award winner was Albert’s Homer, owned by Find Your Gait LLC.
The Regional Futurity Premier Sires and Dams of the Year awards were presented next. Knowledgeable breeders and savvy owners nominate their foals, thereby producing offspring of greater value and increasing the richness of champion bloodlines. 
The Premier Sire for the Ohio Regional Futurity is Rowdy Rev, owned by W.W. Harlin, Jr., and the Premier Dam for the Ohio Regional Futurity is A Triple Delight, owned by John Davis.
 The Premier Sire for the Upper Cumberland Regional Futurity is Delight Me First, owned by Danny and Wanda Reagan. The Premier Dan for the Upper Cumberland Regional Futurity is Card’s Black Ace, owned by Ella Kline.
The Premier Sire for the Western Internatinal Regional Futurity is Nite’s Design and the Premier Dam for the Western International Regional Futurity is A Jazzy Witch, both owned by Allan and Nancy Plunkett. The Western International Regional Futurity also has a Graduate Award winner this year, A Silver Sensation, owned by Susan Ritter.
The GO! Gelding Program is broken down into four disciplines and the winners are those that accumulate the most points in their discipline at year’s end.The winner of the GO! Gelding Super Gelding Awards were Performance Super Gelding Vegas Ritz, who also won in 2011 and 2012, owned by Julia Livingston and the Flat-Shod Super Gelding Rebelation, owned by Linda Starnes. 
This is the second year for the Motivated Mares Program. Mirroring the GO! Gelding Program, it is open to all registered TWHBEA mares. It has four disciplines; performance, pleasure, versatility and recreational trail. The Super Motivated Mare Awards are awarded to the flat-shod and performance mares who accumulate the most points overall during the year in their division. The Performance Super Mare is Lined Royal Cash, owned by Jack Kwok and the Flat-Shod Super Mare is Count On Spirit O’ Three, owned by Morgan Hodge. 
The Distance program is one of TWHBEA’s most popular offerings that reacognize horse and rider teams for the hours they spend on the trail. The Distance Horse and Rider of the Year Award went to Ebony’s Texas Sport and Brad Light. The Open Gaited Division Distance Horse and Rider of the Year honors go to Pride’s Tennessee Jack and Toni Light. 
TWHBEA recognized the Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association outgoing officers: President  Jordan Dean, D.J. Hasler, Kayla Artman, Dana White and Reagan Ross.
A few years ago an award was named in honor of the late Lizzie Umberger. The recipient of the Lizzie Umberger Sportsmanship Award was voted on by TWHYA members and was Jesse Laughlin. The TWHYA High Point Award is presented to the TWHYA member that accumulates the most points showing their horses throughout the year. This year’s overall winner, well-known and very accomplished in the show ring in virtually every division, Allison Thorson, has won this award multiple times. The TWHYA Outstanding Youth Member of the Year was Rachel Cowles. 
The Ambassador awards honor those whose respective levels of dedication make them role models as they work for the betterment of our breed. Jason Bachert was awarded the 2013 TWHBEA Youth Ambassador Award for his contributions to the youth in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. As a Vice President with Manna Pro, Bachert has time and again provided valuable sponsorship support for TWHBEA’s youth program and has also generously donated his time and effort at a number of youth events over the past year.
This year’s Performance Horse Ambassador Award went to Sheryl Crawford. A lifelong horse enthusiast since the 1960’s, Crawford has competed in nearly every division and is a successful breeder of show quality Tennessee Walking Horses. She has been an industry leader for many years, has served multiple terms as a director and officer for TWHBEA.   In support of the performance horse she has advocated for our breed at USDA Listening Sessions, founded and organized the Tennessee Walking Horses of Today Conference and produced a video of her beloved Command & Control that continues to be used by organizations and individuals to help promote and educate others about the performance horse.
 The 2013 TWHBEA Pleasure Horse Ambassador is Gary Holt, a walking horse owner since he was a teenager and has participated in virtually every aspect of our breed. He is an avid trail rider, a successful breed and exhibitor and a master promoter and advocate for the breed. Through his Equestrian Legacy Group and Equestrian Legacy Radio Show, he has promoted and educate the public about the Tennessee Walkikng Horse.  He is an active member of the Pleasure Horse Committee and Trails Subcommittee who has worked hard to develop new and exciting trail events throughout the country. 
This year’s TWHBEA Friendship Award is sponsored by Jo Ann and Sue Ann Dowell in loving memory of this year’s recipient, Jeff Givens. Givens tragically lost his life in a wreck while hauling home from this year’s Ohio Celebration. Givens was a lifelong lover of the Tennessee Walking Horse and will be greatly missed by everyone in s award to wour community. His legacy will live on through his family, the horses he bred and trained and through our memories. In addition to awarding this award to Givens, this award will be renamed in his memory and will be know as the Jeff Givens TWHBEA Friendship Award.
 TWHBEA Member of the Year was awarded to Larry Starnes who has provided extremely valuable service to the association. Starnes comes from a long line of Tennessee Walkikng Horse enthusiasts and genuinely loves the breed and has always been there for TWHBEA. He has been a valuable and dedicated volunteer at the TWHBEA World Versatility  Show since its inception. He has helped out at countless other TWHBEA events including All Youth Day, clinics and trade fairs. He and his family promote the Tennessee Walking Horse and TWHBEA wherever they go. 
The TWHBEA Master Breeder Award, the highest and most prestigious recognition given to a breeder, recognizes those breeders whose work over an extended period of time has had a significant and long-lasting impact on the breed. This year the Master Breeder Award was bestowed to S.P. ‘Pete’ Anderson. Anderson was a native of Winchester, Tenn., and first became involved in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry in the early 1950s. His passion was breeding top-quality Tennessee Walking Horses and his philosophy was simple – breed good mares to good stallions. His broodmare band was renowned with such names as Miss May Lady, Piddley’s Business, Eldorado’s Threat, Bummin’ Belinda, Qtr. Back’s Majorette, Sun’s Bay Girl and Lady Supreme A.   He crossed these mares with the best stallions and produced numerous winning show horses, successful broodmares and breeding stallions. Among his greatest success was the 1979 Sire of the YearWorld Grand Champion Threat’s Supreme A, who was out of Miss May Lady and by 1965 World Grand Champion Triple Threat. Other products of his breeding program include Eb’s Black Charger, sire of 1998 World Grand Champion Masquerading, Eb’s Black Diamond, multi-titled 15.2 & Under champion and the current popular stallion Black Diamond Ritz, sire of 2013 World Grand Champion Yearling Adorable Diamond. 
The TWHBEA Dam of the Year by actual points and by percentage points was Spirit’s Delightful Dream, owned by Jennifer Batts of Rocky Mount, N.C. and bred by Rebecca Singleton of Apex, N.C. She has produced six offspring including this year’s TWHBEA Motivated  Mare Flat-Shod Super Mare Count On Spirit O’ Three. 
The Sire of the Year based on total points was once again two-time World Champion and two-time World Grand Champion Jose’ Jose’, owned by Five Star Stallions. His offspring include 2013 World Grand Champio I Am Jose’, and 2013 World Grand Champions Suiza, Jose’s Centerfold, Jose’s High Society, Roll The Gold, Bel Air and Honey Badger. Jose’ Jose’ was bred by Dr. and Mrs. Rafael Rigual of Oklahoma City, Okla. 
The Top Sire of the Year by Percentage was Allen All Around, owned by Leland G. Ritter of North Fort Myers, Fla. This multi-time International and National Grand Champion’s offspring include Internatinal and National Champion Allen Gottaround, TWBEA World Versatility and National Champion All Around Midnight and top contenders Allen’s Heart Throb and All Around Masterpiece. 
The Outstanding Sire of the Year went to Lined With Cash, owned by Five Star Stallions of Wartrace, Tenn. This award is based on 50 percent combination of actual points and percentage points as well as several other statistical catergories presented each year in TWHBEA’s Sire Summary. By Coin’s Hard Cash and out of Gen’s Silver Lining, he was bred by Crowley Farms of Waverly Hill, Ga., and his offspring include 2013 World Grand Champions Boure’, The Dixie Lineman, Lined Up At The Ritz and Line Item Veto. 
Outgoing  Presient Rob Cornelius was recognized and presented a Boston Rocker and a blanket crocheted by Christy Lantis for his leadership, hard work and dedication. With closing remarks, the banquet was concluded.