by Linda Scrivner


            FRANKLIN, Tenn. The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ held its annual award banquet on Friday evening, Nov. 30, at the Embassy Suites. Following a welcome, invocation and a delicious meal, Victor Gernt III served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

            The evening’s award began by honoring the 2007 World Grand Champion Master of Jazz. Gus King bred this great horse that was ridden and trained by Jimmy McConnell and owned by Lee Wall and Mike McGartland. All the National Futurity Champions and their owners were asked to stand to be recognized for their accomplishments.

The first individuals to be called to the stage to received awards were the Academy High Point winners. Olivia Hayes was honored for being the high point Youth 8 and Under Plantation and Equitation Youth 8 and Under champion. There was a tie between Devon Wells and Caroline Waller for the Youth 9-11 Performance and Equitation 9-11 Performance awards. Regan Monajjem won the Equitation Youth 9-11 Plantation award while Reed Todd won both the Youth 9-11 Plantation and Pattern Work Youth 11 and Under high point awards. The Youth 12-14 Plantation high point award went to Georiga Ralson, as well as the Pattern Work Open high point award. Georgia Ralson and Lindsey Colvin tied for the Equitation Youth 12-14 Plantation award. Macy Mitchell won both the Equitation Youth 15-17 and the Youth 15-17 Plantation divisions. They awarded the high point Open Walk Only award to Emma Simons. Angela Smotherman also claimed two divisions, the Adult Plantation and Equitation Adult Plantation. Victoria Purvis won the Equitation Adult Performance while Jane Kedlec won the Adult Performance. Sarah Purvis was awarded top honors in the Youth 15-17 Performane while Sharon Patton claimed the Open Plantation Canter division. Jordan Smith received the high point award for the Youth 8 and Under Performance division.

            The Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association High Point Awards were presented to Jesse York in the 11 and Under Performance. This team won also in 2006. Allison Thorson again won the 11 and Under Pleasure. Regan Monajjem won the 11 and Under Academy. Madie Jones won the 12-17 Pleasure, the 12-17 Performance and the 12-17 Equitation, making a clean sweep of her division. Sarah Purvis claimed the 12-17 Academy award.

TWHBEA recognized the outgoing TWHYA officers; President Mary Jo Williams, Vice President Blake Everett, Secretary Kelly Mendez, Treasurer Courtney Hicks and Parlimentarian Dava Reynold.

The Regional Futurity Premier Sire and Dam awards were presented next. The Premier Sire for the Bi-State Regional Futurity was a tie between Generator’s Sundrop and Hillbilly’s Bud Lite. The Premier Dam for the Bi-State Regional Futurity was Ride With Pride. The Premier Sire for the Midwest Regional Futurity was Generator’s Gold Edition and Ride With Pride received her second award of the evening as the Premier Dam for the Midwest Regional Futurity. Dr. Mike claimed the Premier Sire for the Upper Cumberland Regions Futurity while Iron Eagles’ Revelation won the Upper Cumberland Premier Dam for the third year.

The Regional Futurity Graduate Awards are for horses that have completed the entire Futurity Program of Weanling through Three-Year-Old competition. The Graduate Award for the Midwest Regional Futurity was earned by Paroled By An Angel. Alluring Attitude captured the Graduate Award for the Upper Cumberland Regional Futurity.

The Emerald Award of Excellence in Show Management was awarded to the best new horse show. The Walking Horse Association of Missouri Walking Horse Classic in Kansas City, Mo., was this year’s recipient. The Lifetime Instructor Achievement Award was next on the list and Diane Gueck, a mother of two, an accomplished trainer and a devoted instructor received this special award.

The Reese L. Smith, Jr. Distinguished Service Award was awarded posthumously to a man that devoted a large portion of his life serving the TWHBEA, Carroll Benedict. The Versatility High Point Awards were next on the agenda. The Youth Versatility Awards are based on horse and rider combinations. The Youth Promotional Award went to Natalie Wilbourne and Genius Country Rose. Miss Bomb Threat and Blair Morton won the Trail Pleasure while Some Inherited Gold and Leslie Ann Birk claimed the Barrel Racing. Sun’s Sirpirze Survivor, ridden by Leslie Ann Birk were the Water Glass Champions. Catherine Pittard and Beowolf won both the Showmanship and the Two-Gait Pleasure awards. The English Pleasure and the Equitatiohn winners were Gen Fizz and Elspeth Desrosiers. Silver Sheik and Chris Aitchisom walked away with both the Western Riding and the Pole Bending awards. The Reining went to Cherokee Renegade and Dava Reynolds. Rose’s Merry Spirit and Nicole Hirsekorn claimed the TWH Over Fences. The Western Pleasure was won by the team of Pride Of Vengeance and Rachel Csatari. Double D Windstorm DLS and Ashley Scott were the Model Champions. The Dressage was awarded to All About Cash and Jackie Dean. Donald Koester and Egyptian See Me Comin won the Obstacle Driving.

The Adult Versatility Awards were next. Best In Blue claimed the Adult Promotion while the Obstacle Driving went to Egyptian See Me Comin. Ima Bachelor claimed the Dressage Award, followed by the Western Riding won by Honey Bear. She Doubly Delighful won the English Pleasure, followed by BK’s Nite To Remember in the Two-Gait Pleasure. Fashions Ole Style won the Model division while Rebelation claimed three awards: the Water Glass, Pole Bending, Barrel Racing. Stablemate Traveling Time claimed the Trail and Reining awards.

National High Points Awards were next on the agenda. The High Point Mare of the Year was Traveling Time, The Gelding of the Year was Really Rare, the Stallion of the Year was Cody’s Wicked Pusher and the Halter Horse of the Year was Pat Head Summitt.

            Linda Starnes was awarded the Youth Ambassador for her outstanding service to youth. Joyce Moyer earned the Pleasure Horse Ambassador and Beverly McNeill was awarded the Performance Horse Ambassador.

            A new program, the Go! Super Gelding Award was implemented this year to honor those that were awarded the most points in their division. The winners were: Junior Horse, Pleasure Division, Five O’clock Somewhere; Senior Horse, Pleasure Division, The American Legend; the Versatility Division Junior Horse, Five O’clock Somewhere; the Senior Horse Versatility Divison, Rebelation. The Super Gelding of the Year was awarded to The American Legend, owned by Sandy Harris. Harris received $1000 for this award.

            The 2007 Executive Board were recognized and they were Member At Large/By Laws Vice President Sid Baucom, Horse Show Vice President Pat Stout, Marketing Vice President Marty Irby, Enforcement Vice President Jamie Hankins, Breeders Vice President Kathy Zeis, Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Vice President Charles Wharton, Owners/Exhibitors Vice President Jack Haefling, Performance Show Horse Vice President Bruce Vaughn, Pleasure Horse Vice President Darren Gray, Training Division Vice President Wayne Dean, Member at Large Youth Vice President Holly Reynolds, Senior Vice President Jane Meredith and President Jerrold Pedigo.

            The TWHBEA Dam of the Year by points was A June Finale. TWHBEA’S Dam of the Year by percentage was Travelin Victory Ann. TWHBEA Sire of the Year by points was awarded to Our American Eagle. Cash In My Stock received the TWHBEA Sire of the Year by percentage.

            The Sire Summary Sire of the Year Award is based on a 50% combination of actual points and percentage points. This year’s Sire Summary Award went to Gen’s Armed And Dangerous.

            The banquet ended with closing remarks by President Jerrold Pedigo. Following the banquet there was a party featuring the band, Burning Las Vegas.