The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration released the entry totals for preliminary classes for the 73rd Annual Celebration today.  The Celebration will be held August 24-September 3 culminating in the crowning of the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion.

Preliminary class entries total 2,874 with 1,525 unique horses making up those entries.  These compare to 3,216 entries in 2010 and 1,720 unique horses, an approximate 10% decline.  “Although we are never happy with a decline in our entries, we feel that these entry numbers signal a positive direction given where we stand with our industry and economy,” said Celebration Chief Executive Officer Dr. Doyle Meadows.

The total number of horses could increase as entries in the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association National Futurity qualify to show in championship classes at The Celebration.  “We feel strongly that we will make up some of our decline in preliminary entries with higher participation in our championship classes versus previous years,” added Meadows.  He continued, “We are also confident that our fans will be treated to the industry’s best horses and very exciting classes with a higher percentage of our entries in the show ring.”

The 73rd Annual Celebration will feature 18 split classes with the Two-Year-Old Stallion class being the only class split three ways.  In 2010, 20 classes were split with the Two-Year-Old Stallions being split three ways.

On the first Saturday night of The Celebration the Aged Stallions will take to the ring in two splits as is tradition.  “We are looking forward to two very competitive classes the first Saturday night that will treat our fans to the industry’s best aged horses,” concluded Meadows.

Aged stallions in the A division will be Golden Gait Ritz, Puttin’ Cash On The Line, Made Over All Over, Magic’s Pure Ritz, Ted Williams, Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Ritz, Dumas Dandy, Rowdy Rev, One More Dollar, and Up For Parole.

Competing in the B division will be My Kinda Luck, Jose’s All Pro, More Of The Major, Absolute Proof, Lethal Nightshade, Moody Star, Game World, He’s Top Priority, Dark & Shady, Swing Batter Batter Swing, and The Golden Sovereign.