LEWISBURG, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association held its annual awards banquet on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, at the TWHBEA Headquarters. Following a welcoming, the invocation and a delicious meal, the evening’s presentations began.

Distinguished guests were recognized and appreciation was expressed for the 2015 sponsors. 

The 2015 Executive Committee was recognized for their service and it includes: President Steve Smith, Past President Rob Cornelius, Senior Vice-President Charles Gleghorn, Secretary Loren Sanderson, Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Vice President Nancy Lynn Greene, Breeders Vice-President David Williams, Marketing Vice-President Ashley Wadsworth, Owner/Exhibitors/International Vice–President Dr. Bradley Woodruff, Performance Horse Vice-President Ford Gates, Pleasure Horse Vice-President Margo Urad, Member at Large Bylaws/Enforcement Vice-President Jeff Smith and Youth Vice-President Ginger Evans. 

TWHBEA recognized the Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association outgoing officers: President Dana White, Vice-President Hunter Gaenslen, Parliamentarian Kyle Majors, Secretary Andy Hill and Treasurer Madison Drew.

The 2015 TWHBEA National Futurity Horizon Awards honorees showed at the National Futurity each year they were eligible. They accumulated the best record at the show among all horses of their age group that showed those years. The Weanling Horizon Award Champions were I Am Lolita, owned and bred by Bobby Joe Jones and I’m Divergent, owned by Dr. Roger Richards and bred by Carrie and Spencer Benedict. The Yearling Horizon Award Champion is A Jazzy Gen, owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Brantley. The Two-Year-Old Horizon Award winner was He’s Game, owned and bred by Charles Gleghorn.

The next to be honored was the 2015 TWHBEA World Versatility Show Overall High Point Champion, Count On Spirit O’ Three. Count On Spirit O’ Three is owned and exhibited by Morgan Hodge and she was bred by Jennifer Batts. 

The TWHBEA Hall of Fame members were introduced next with their breeders. They are Allen F-1, bred by E.D. Herr; Midnight Sun, bred by J.A. Hendrixson; Merry Go Boy, bred by Archie Wiser; Black Angel, bred by R.F. Ellis; Roan Allen F-38; Strolling Jim, bred by Dermot Shemwell & Son; Wilson’s Allen, bred by B.F. Wilson; Midnight Mack K., bred by Larry & Clint Jr. Gribble & Morrison Lowe; Allen’s Gold Zephyr (Trigger, jr.), bred by P.K. Fisher and Merry Boy, bred by J.L. McMichael. 

The TWHBEA Dam of the Year by total points repeated her win of last year; Spirit’s Delightful Dream, owned by Jennifer Batts of Rocky Mount, N.C. 

The Dam of the Year by Percentage was Travlin Victory Ann, owner by Linda A. Starnes of Brownsville, Ky.

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, 2014 and 2015 World Grand Champion I Am Jose’. Jose’ was bred by Dr. and Mrs. Rafael Rigual of Oklahoma City, Okla. 
The Top Sire of the Year by Percentage was A Greater Generator, owned by Leo R. and Mary Martin of Eldon, Mo.

The Outstanding Sire of the Year went to Wicked Gold, owned by Jana Anderson. This award is based on 50 percent combination of actual points and percentage points as well as several other statistical categories presented each year in TWHBEA’s Sire Summary. 

At this time, they honored the 2015 World Grand Champion I Am Jose’, owned by Billy Max and Debbie Woods. He made history by winning the World Grand Championship in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 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. 

The TWHYA Outstanding Youth Member of the Year was Dana White. Several 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 Hunter Gaenslen.

The Ambassador awards honor those whose respective levels of dedication make them role models as they work for the betterment of our breed. Ella Kline was awarded the 2015 TWHBEA Youth Ambassador Award for her contributions to the youth in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.

The 2015 TWHBEA Pleasure Horse Ambassador is Mary Helen Martin. This year’s Performance Horse Ambassador Award went to Denise Rowland. 

This year’s TWHBEA Friendship Award is Philip Gentry, curator of the Wartrace Walking Horse Museum. The TWHBEA Member of the Year Award went to a group of people who brought back a show that had not been put on for the past few years, the Belfast Horse Show Committee. Ford Gates was the Chairman and the Committee Members were Margo Urad, Ginger Evans, Ashley Wadsworth, Denise Rowland and David Williams.

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. The awards went to two deceased breeders: Dr. William R. Gaw and Robert A. Keenan. Awards were also presented to Stephen B. Smith, Joe Martin and Billy Hale. 

The Reese L. Smith, Jr. Distinguished Service Award was presented to Senator Jim. Tracy. With closing remarks, the banquet was concluded. 

2015 TWHBEA Honors

National Futurity Horizon & Graduate Awards
Two-Year-Old – He’s Game, owned & bred by Charles Gleghorn

Yearling – A Jazzy Gen, owned & bred by Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Brantley

Weanling – I Am Lolita’, owned & bred by Bobby Joe Jones
Weanling – I’m Divergent, owned by Dr. Rogers Richards, bred by Carrie & Spencer Benedict 

TWHBEA World Versatility Show Overall High Point Champion - Count On Spirit O’ Three, owner & exhibitor Morgan Hodge, bred by Jennifer Batts

TWHBEA Tennessee Walking Horse Hall of Fame
Allen F-1, Reg. #1, bred by E.D. Herr
Midnight Sun, Reg. #410751, bred bySam Ramsey, Viola, Tenn.
Merry Go Boy, Reg. #431336, bred by Archie Wiser
Black Angel, Reg. #391118, bred by Mrs. Fannie Bramlett, Wartrace, Tenn.
Roan Allen F-38, Reg. #38 bred by James R. Brantley, Noah, Tenn.
Strolling Jim, Reg. #410315, bred by Edd Gilliam, Viola, Tenn.
Wilson’s Allen, Reg. #350075, bred by Bud Messick, Beech Grove, Tenn.
Midnight Mack K., Reg. #490450, bred by Knial Kisse, Springfield, Mo.
Allen’s Gold Zephyr (Trigger, jr.). Reg. #431975, bred by C.O. Barker, Readyville, Tenn.
Merry Boy, Reg. #350189, bred by A.M. Dement, Wartrace, Tenn.

Sire & Dam of the Year:
Dam by Total Points – Spirit’s Delightful Dream, Jennifer Batts
Dam by Percentage Points – Travlin Victory Ann, Linda A. Starnes
Sire by Percentage Points – A Greater Generator, Leo R. & Mary Martin
Sire by Total Points – José José, Five Star Stallions

TWHBEA Outstanding Sire of the Year – Wicked Gold, Jana Anderson

World Grand Champion – I Am José
Owners: Billy Max & Debbie Woods
Trainer: Wright Stables
Breeder: Robert W. Rollins

Outstanding Youth Member of the Year – Dana White

Lizzie Umberger Sportsmanship Award – Hunter Gaenslen

Youth Ambassador – Ella Kline

Pleasure Horse Ambassador – Mary Helen Martin

Performance Horse Ambassador – Denise Rowland

TWHBEA Friendship Award – Philip Gentry

Member of the Year – Belfast Horse Show Committee – Ford Gates, Chairman
Committee Members: Margo Urad, Ginger Evans, Ashley Wadsworth, Denise Rowland, David Williams

Master Breeder Award – Deceased 
Dr. William R. Gaw
Robert A Keenan

Master Breeder Award – Living
Stephen B. Smith
Joe Martin
Billy Hale

Reese L. Smith, Jr. Distinguished Service Award
Senator Jim Tracy