by Mark Davis


            It’s Monday Night in Shelbyville! As of this moment, the 72nd Annual Celebration is over half complete. All of the day sessions have been completed and two World Grand Champions have already been crowned, General Sport and Chris Richards in the Yearling division on Saturday night and Paige Bennett in the Equitation division this morning. But, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of great horse show competition remaining.

            The Monday evening schedule includes 14 classes highlighted by three big sections of Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions and the 15.2 & Under Walking Stallions, so it should certainly be an exciting night.

            The judges for the 72nd Annual Celebration include Spencer Benedict of Glasgow, Ky., Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn., Mike Carpenter of Franklin, Tenn., Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., and Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky.

            As always, promptly at 7 p.m., The Celebration’s official flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton make their way down the hill and through the historic gates to present the American Flag and get the evening underway. The invocation for the evening was given by Bro. Jeff Smith of Southside Church of Christ, Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Micah Doak-Wilson of Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Class 112 was up first on the evening’s schedule, Owner-Amateur Gentleman Drivers, Fine Harness. Four of the six on the official Lions Club program made the drive down the hill to work for Call Judge Jennifer Bingham and her cohorts. Driving away with the win in the class, just as they did at the International Grand Championships earlier this month, was Jose’s Mucho Lucho and owner/exhibitor Thomas Holton of Murfeesboro, Tenn. The team captured their win with the approval of all five judges. Pushover In Dixie and Gavin Kasser were reserve for Charles E. Gavin of Wartrace, Tenn. Clutch’s Power Play and Ben Harrell were third for Double Springs Farm of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

            Class Park Pleasure Walking Horses, class 113 on the schedule, was up next with 12 of the 16 expected making the gate call to work for top honors in the division as Judge Mike Carpenter called the gaits. Riding away with the divisional win were Girl’s Rule and Patrick Thomas riding for Lauren Hamilton of Cedar Grove, Tenn. Tex R Us and Jimmy Norris pulled into the second position for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Sunfire’s Phoenix and owner/exhibitor Dr. Morna Conway of Shelbyville, Tenn. rounded out the top three.

            Ah, one of the classes we’ve been waiting for, the Two-Year-Old Stallions. This year, once again, there were so many entries that the class had to be split three ways.

            Class 114A, featured 20 of the 34 expected making their way down the hill to work for the good Monday night crowd on hand. Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge for the section. Garnering the votes of all five judges and taking top honors in the section was Pro V 1 and Jimmy McConnell, 2010 champions at the Tony Rice Horse Show, riding for Waterfall Farms of Shelbyville, Tenn. I’m Ritz And Dangerous and Jack Way were reserve riding for Beard and Allred of Troy, Ala. and Jamestown, Tenn. Alchemy and Chad Williams were third in the excellent class for Hixon and Hall of Clarksville, Ga. and New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

            Two-Year-Old Stallions, class 114B, was up next on the schedule with 11 of the 34 on the books working to the rail to show their stuff for Judge Tommy Loid and his panel. Making that victory pass in the section was Dirty Sexy Money and Tim Smith riding for Laura Brandon of Franklin, Tenn. This duo picked up a 2010 win at Baileyton, Ala.’s Alabama Classic and was a strong reserve at the Wartrace, Tenn. Horse Show. Tango Whisky and Knox Blackburn pulled into the second position for Dr. Allan Lowman of Decatur, Ala. He’s Lonestar and Jimmy McConnell rounded out the top three riding for Jimmy and Edith Dilday of Dresden, Tenn.

            Sixteen of the 35 registered beat the clock to have the opportunity to work for Celebration acclaim in class 114C, Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions. Judge Spencer Benedict served as Call Judge for the section. Back in the blue again in this division was Tim Smith, this time with He’s Busting The Gin, riding for Annabelle Smith of Manchester, Ky. The Shut Out and Jimmy McConnell were reserve for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Gin’s Who Dat? and Jerry Woodlee were third for Carol Canerday of Singer, La.

            What a great bunch of Two-Year-Old Stallions! Now, everyone just has to come back on Saturday night to see which of the bunch will walk away with the roses in the division.

            Class 115, Owner-Amateur Riders 50 & Over on Park Pleasure Walking Horses was up next on the program with six of the 18 expected making the gate call to work for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her staff. Pulling out of the line up and heading to the winner’s circle was Sandra Johnson and Lined Up At The Ritz taking the win, with a unanimous decision of the panel, back to Atlanta, Ga. 2x The Magic and Ty Irby accepted the red streamers for Marty Irby of Clarksville, Tenn. Dave Coffey and The Red Falcon were a popular third riding for the Berry Coffey Estate of Petersburg, Tenn.

            Owner-Amateur Gentlemen Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses, Class 116, was up next on the evening’s schedule with nine of the 23 on the program making the gate call to work for top billing in the division. Judge Mike Carpenter served as Call Judge for the class. Taking the blue back over the mountains to the land of the Carolina blue was I’m A Evil Rebel and Tyler Baucom riding for Lucille Matthis of Morganton, N.C. Jose’s Sweet Pepper and Bob Adcock were reserve for the Stables at Alpha Place/Deborah Adcock of Lititz, Pa. Another Sky Walk and Kenny Compton were third riding for Rick Compton of North Tazewell, Va.

            Up next, was an exhibition from Paige Bennett and her mount, All Time Favorite Dude, who were crowned Equitation World Grand Champions earlier today during the Monday morning performance. She was presented with her tri-colored ribbon, roses and medal once again and got to make a victory pass before the Monday evening crowd.

            Eleven of the 29 with reservations worked down the hill for class 117, Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Walking Stallions. Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge in the class. Taking the blue back to Carrollton, Ga., was Sheryl Crawford and Command & Control riding high in the saddle for Crawford Colts, LLC. This win was preceded with 2010 wins at the National Trainers’ Show, the Walking For Cancer Horse Show, McMinnville, Tenn.’s Warren County Horse Show, and Lynchburg, Tenn.’s Moore County Horse Show. The Who and Molly Walters were reserve riding for the Molly Walters family of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Headed back to the land of the Razorback, Sensational Premier and owner/exhibitor Renee Montgomery of Cammack, Ark., were third.

            Class 118 featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Performance Walking Stallions with nine of the 16 expected making the call to work for Judge Tommy Loid and his cohorts. Holding up the competition and riding away with the win with all five judges approval was The Concealed Weapon and Patti Pollack, 2010 champions at the National Trainers’ Show, the FAST Showcase, Pulaski, Tenn.’s Red Carpet Horse Show of the South, and the International Grand Championships, riding for Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville, Tenn. Kody’s High Roller and owner/exhibitor Joe Dixon of Monroe, Ga., accepted the red ribbons. Jazz Cruiser and owner/exhibitor Angela Tuck of Reidsville, N.C., rounded out the top three.

            The professional trainers were back for class 119, Walking Mares 15.2 & Under (Canter) (Riders’ Cup). Ten of the 13 who called ahead made their way down the hill to show all three gaits our Tennessee Walking Horse is famous for to the good Monday Night crowd still on hand at 10:00 p.m. Judge Spencer Benedict called the gaits for the class. Making the victory pass was the team of Dale Watts and Miss Hosanna riding proudly for Deborah Williams of Argyle, Texas. This duo rode to the winner’s circle earlier this year at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show and Dickson, Tenn.’s Dickson County Horse Show. Jose’s Ritzy Doll and John Allan Callaway were reserve riding for C & C Stables/Dr. Ray Caughman and Nancy Cain of Lawrenceville, Ga. Major G’s Hard Cash Girl and Dick Peebles were third for Heather Roberts of Brandon, Miss.

            It was time to get in the Western way for class 120, Owner-Amateur Western Trail Pleasure (Canter) with 11 of the 14 programmed entries making the gate call to again show off all three gaits as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. Taking the win back to the Bluegrass was the team of Santa Emelia and owner/exhibitor Jared Carrier of Franklin, Ky. Cha Cha Cha SF and Miles Irby were second in the class riding for Howell and Irby of Murfreesboro, Tenn. She’s Designed to Push and Kyle Elliott pulled in for the yellow streamers for Kyle Elliott and Miles Irby of Enumclaw, Wa. and Clarksville, Tenn.

            Class 121 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings to the track with 11 of the 52 in the official Lions Club program working down to the historic big oval with World Championship aspirations in mind as Judge Mike Carpenter called the gaits for the class. Another Kentuckian made their way to the winner’s circle in this division, Main Majorette and Caleb Kilburn riding for the Salt Lick Farm of Salt Lick, Ky. Foolish Dollar and owner/exhibitor Wilsene Moody of Shelbyville, Tenn., pulled in for reserve honors in the class. John F. K.’s Diamond Delight and Joe Dixon were third riding for Gloria Dixon of Monroe, Ga.

            Owner-Amateur Riders on Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four-Years-Old, class 122, drew three of the eight on the program to show for top honors as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits. Riding down victory lane in the division was Hello I’m Johnny Cash and owner/exhibitor Jacob Baum of Shelbyville, Tenn. Another Miss Scored and owner/exhibitor Angela Tuck of Reidsville, N.C. were reserve, with Colors of North Star and Laurie Coats taking third for Chris and Laurie Coats of Gilbert. S.C.

            The final class of the evening, class 123, Walking Stallions, 15.2 & Under (Canter) (Riders’ Cup) brought 12 of the 23 with reservations down to the track to entertain the Celebration die hards still on hand with a great final class of the night. Judge Tommy Loid served as Call Judge for the final class of the evening. Riding to the win in the outstanding class was Ozone’s Cut Above All and John Allan Callaway riding for Don Pratt of Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Private Charter and Knox Blackburn were close behind in the reserve position riding for Eva Eddleman of Chattanooga, Tenn. Power Force and Chris Bobo were third riding for Jim and Judy Leek of Albany, Ga.

            With one final victory pass by Ozone’s Cut Above All and John Allan Callaway, the Monday evening performance of the 72nd Annual Celebration was complete and in the record books at 11:15 p.m. Make sure to be back with us as preliminary competition wraps up on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and then, the Championship action will get underway in full force on Thursday evening. It’s been one great Celebration thus far, so make sure you don’t miss a moment!