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Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom: 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champions!

It’s Saturday Night in Shelbyville!  There’s just something different about Championship Saturday.  Over a hour prior to show time, there was a buzz all over Shelbyville that’s just not present most any other time.  The streets were full, the parking lots filling up quickly and people were making their way to their seats in time to get comfortable and catch up with old friends prior to show time.  A nice, cool breeze filled the late afternoon air and hopefully, the breeze would be all we would have and it wouldn’t be blowing in the rain and thunderstorms that covered the northern half of Middle Tennessee throughout the day.  Just let it remain dry for a few more hours and the rain can come tomorrow.

Last evening, the large crowd was brought to their feet by a very special horse, one named Honors, that wowed everyone on hand in route to winning the Junior World Grand Championship.  To add a little intrigue, Honors was entered in the final class tonight.  Would he show again?  Rumors say not, but no one will know for sure until the horses hit the track tonight.  Whether Honors is back or not, it promises to be one of the better championships in recent memory with reigning Junior WGC I'm Copperfield and Knox Blackburn, Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom, Puttin’ Cash On The Line and Tim Smith, Folsom Prison Blues and Steve Dunn, and Rowdy Rev and Brandon Stout being the leading contenders in most horse show fans minds.  Whoever your favorite happened to be, there promises to be plenty to cheer for, so hold on tight for a great night.  Fourteen classes, all World Grand Championship competition, made up the evening’s schedule, so there will plenty of action to keep the Saturday night crowd entertained until he final class.

The judges for the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter and Performance), Chris Bobo of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter and Performance), Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., (Pleasure, Halter and Performance), Brent Grider of Columbia, Ky. (Performance and Halter), Carol Smithson of Clarksville, Tenn. (Pleasure), Connie Waldo of Naples, Fla. (Pleasure), and Joel Weaver of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Performance and Halter).

The invocation for the evening was given by Bro. Steve Murphree of the New Beginnings Baptist Church of Shelbyville, Tenn., followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Pamela Greenway Hanes of Shelbyville, Tenn.  As has become tradition on the last Saturday night, the local Boy Scouts held a large flag the covered the North grass as a part of the opening ceremonies.

Opening up the evening’s program tonight was the Lead-Line Ponies, Riders 6 Years and Under World Grand Championship, class 164, which promised to be as exciting as any tonight, as all 16 of the expected teams made the gait call to show for the Saturday night crowd as Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge.  Of course, everyone had their favorite and was not shy about letting the panel know who they were.  There were cheers coming from every part of the historic big oval.  When the spotlight came on, it settled on the team of Rattle & Snap and Ashtyn Claire Brown, with mom Carla Brown at the lead as they made the memorable walk in the spotlight for Ashtyn Claire Brown of Columbia, Tenn.  This team was reserve in this class in 2011 and won in 2012 with a unanimous decision of the judging panel.  Rascal Flatts and Grace Wilhelm were reserve, with mom Kristen Wilhelm at the lead, for Byrom and Wilhelm of Bell Buckle and Shelbyville, Tenn.  Texas Pete and Julia Paige Callaway were third, with mom Jada Callaway a
t the lead for Julia Paige Callaway of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Class 165 featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies World Grand Championship.  All 11 of the expected duos made the gate call to work for Judge Brent Grider and his panel.  Making her third ride in the spotlight of the 2012 Celebration was Lilly Waites, this time with Prime Poison with a unanimous decision of the panel for The Andrew Waites Family of Hattiesburg, Tenn.  The Dixie Lineman and Gail Walling were reserve for Judy McDonald and Gail Walling of Tullahoma and Wartrace, Tenn.  Samsung and owner/exhibitor George Ann Pratt rounded out the top three and carried the yellow streamers back to Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Show Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Riders Cup), class 166, was up next bringing the professional trainers to the track for the first time of the night with seven of eight anticipated making their way down the hill to work for World Grand Championship acclaim as Judge Joel Weaver called the gaits in the class.  Riding away with the roses in the division was Turnbow and Lynn Womack up for Womack & Sims of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  A Line Dancer and Bill Callaway pulled into the second position for S & J Enterprises of Huntsville, Ala.  Coin’s Black Stroke, a Classic Horse, and John Puckett were third for Jean O’Brien of Bell Buckle, Tenn.

Class 167 brought the Walking Weanling World Grand Championship down the hill with all 10 of the expected teams working down the hill from Calsonic Arena to show off for Judge Jennifer Bingham and her cohorts.  Making the memorable spotlight walk was Amanda Wright and I’m King Of  The Ring for The Andrew Waites Family and The George Wright Family of Hattiesburg, Miss. and Mt Juliet, Tenn.  Wright won in 2011 with the Waites & Wright Family owned Intimidator’s Cover Girl, so with this win, they retired the Dave Spence Memorial Challenge Trophy, the J. French Brantley Memorial Challenge Trophy and the KES Incorporated Challenge Trophy.  My Diamond Back and Sylvester Skierkowski were reserve for Bobby and Freda Jones of Manchester, Tenn.  Nat King Cole and Lynn Womack were third for Dr. Lorell Beattie of Crossville, Tenn.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings World Grand Championship, class 168, was up next with 15 entries taking the track to work for the opportunity to make the spotlight ride in the class as Judge Chris Bobo called the gaits.  Judge Bobo informed the teams early on that there would be additional work required in this division.  Entering the Amateur ranks in style, Victoria’s Secret and Maisie McSwain rode to the winner’s circle for Maisie and Mandi McSwain of Gainesville, Ga.  The Royal Dollar and Lee McGartland pulled into the second position for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.  Rosetta Stone and Patty Marek of Marek and Smith of Shelbyville, Tenn.

It was time again for Steppin’ Into Cash.  Tonight $3,000.00 was given away compliments of First Community Bank of Bedford County.  Tonight’s winner was Jennifer Zeller of Science Hill, Ky.  $10,000 was given away during the 2012 Celebration compliments of Shelbyville Area Merchants.  What a great addition this was to The Celebration.

Class 169, Park Performance Walking Horses World Grand Championship was up next on the schedule with all nine of the teams expected making the call to work as Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge.  Making that ultimate victory ride tonight with the approval of all five judges was The Moonshine Man and Phillip Trimble up for Bob Cunningham of Talladega, Ala.  Antonio Banderas and Ryan Gannon were reserve for Hall & Hall of Smyrna, Tenn.  San Juan and Tim Smith were third for Mr. and Mrs. Eric Lackey of Thomasville, N.C.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship featured 17 of the 20 with reservations making the trip down the big hill to take the rail in the historic big oval in hopes of riding away with the roses tonight.  Judge Brent Grider led the panel in the class.  Making that ride to the winner’s circle was Blue’s Master and Lee McGartland up for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.  With this win, coupled with a win in this class with He’s Slim Shady   in 2009, McGartland retired the I’m Causin’ Commotion Memorial Challenge Trophy, the Tom Jones Memorial Challenge Trophy, the Jeanne Gilmore Webb Memorial Challenge Trophy and the William D. Anderson Memorial Challenge Trophy.  Defending The Title and Jason Myatt accepted the reserve WGC title for Jerry Myatt of Alvaton, Ky.  Just Bet The Line and Libby Doub were third for David and Libby Doub of Estill Springs, Tenn.

Class 171, brought the Trail Pleasure entries to the big oval for the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship (Optional Tack).  Nine of the 11 on the official Lions Club program worked to the track to show for the large Saturday night crowd as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits in the class.  Picking up another set of roses, after winning the Equitation Championship on Monday Morning, Allison Thorson and Suiza make the winning ride in this division taking the honors home to Huron, Ohio.  Gi Gi’s Lunch Money and Claire Hankins were reserve for Jennifer Hankins and Linda Vaughn of Paris, Ky. and Valley City, Ohio.  Dark Picture Show and Jada Cassidy were third for Lloyd Cassidy of Mt. Sterling, Ky.

During a break in the action, the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association crowned the 2012 Trainer Of The Year to Tim Smith.

The Two-Year-Old Walking Horse World Grand Championship (Riders Cup), class 172, was up next and promised to be an outstanding class, as were all three of the preliminary classes, with 10 of the 13 on the books taking the rail to work and show their very best as Judge Joel Weaver called the gaits.  Riding to the winner’s circle with the approval of all five judges and the loud approval of the crowd was Nine Gold and Michael Wright up for Dr. Bill and Denise McMillian of Saltillo, Miss.  This duo was champions in the Two-Year-Old Stallions, Div B preliminary on Monday night.  Jimmer Fredette and Dale Watts pulled into the second spot for Deborah Williams of Argyle, Texas.  A Natural Nine and Todd Smith were third for Luttrell and Matthews of Alvaton, Ky. and Shelbyville, Tenn.

The Stars Of The Future exhibition was up next on the program where all of the World Grand Champions of the Youth Division came to the big oval to exhibit their horses.  Those exhibiting included Lilly Waites & Lined Walkin’, Youth Walking Pony World Grand Champions, who made her final ride as a Juvenile exhibitor tonight.  Next, was Allison Thorson riding her Equitation mount, Time To Strut and returned later to present her Trail Pleasure WGC, Suiza.  Jackson Stephens, who rode B B King’s Jazz to the Youth Park Pleasure WGC, was up next to exhibit.  Sellars Veazey and American General, Youth 11 and Under WGC, exhibited next and then Ashtyn Claire Brown and Rattle And Snap, Lead Line WGC’s made their way to the ring.  Lilly Waites returned with her second mount, Cadillac’s Bum, Youth 12-17 WGC.  What a great presentation and what a great display of talented horses and talented young riders!

Class 173 featured the Owner-Amateur Riders on Lite Shod Walking Horses World Grand Championship.  Ten of the 11 with reservations worked to the track to show for their chance at a spotlight ride tonight as Judge Carol Smithson called the gaits in the class.  Capturing the roses and the silver in the division was Kick Start Jazz and Justin Manis riding for Justin Manis and Charlene Richardson of Mt Juliet, Tenn.  2X The Magic and owner/exhibitor Susan Coleman of Unionville, Tenn., were reserve in the class.  Lil’ Wayne and Carlan Cotton were third for Jeff Gillespie of Tazewell, Va.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Horses World Grand Championship, class 174, was up next on the program.  Eight of the 10 expected made their way to the historic big oval to work as Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class.  Riding down victory lane with a unanimous decision of the judging panel was the reigning Three-Year-Old Amateur WGC, I’m Pushin’ In Line and Janice Fostek up for Joe Fostek of Roanoke, Va.  She’s A Shady Sister and Lee McGartland were reserve for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas.  Prime Country and Ann Callicutt rounded out the top of the class for John Callicutt of Seagrove, N.C.

Class 175, the Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship featured five of the nine on the books as Judge Connie Waldo called the gaits in the class.  Riding to the winner’s circle for the second consecutive year, and this time with a unanimous decision of the judging panel, was B.B. King’s Jazz and Brock Tillman up for Stephens and Womack of Grayson, Ky.  Traveling Dr. Williams and Steve Sanders were reserve in the class for Sonny and Debbie Sanders of Brownsboro, Ala.  Caper’s Shakes & Shadows and owner/exhibitor Don Woodson of Shelbyville, Tenn., collected the yellow streamers in the class.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship, class 176, was up next, and of course that meant only one more class remained, the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship, but first there were 10 outstanding teams showing for the roses in this division that showcased all three gaits that makes our Tennessee Walking Horse famous.  Judge Chris Bobo served as lead judge for this event.  Walking down that winning line was On The Line and Suzanne Moore riding for Bud Moore of Catherine, Ala.  Moore was so excited about her win that she went the wrong way out of the line-up and had to turn around to go all the way back around in the spotlight.  Ah, that spotlight ride was so nice that she thought she’d do it twice!  This team also won the Amateur Stallion preliminary on Wednesday night.  The Games We Play and Clay Mills were second in the class riding for Corbin Mills of Mt. Airy, N.C.  El Zorro Star and Kenny Compton were third for Rick Compton of Tazewell, Va.

In a break in the action, The Celebration took an opportunity to honor retiring CEO, Dr. Doyle Meadows.

It was finally the time that everyone has waited on all year, class 177, The Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship.  After a quick drag of the track by the big orange Kubota tractor, official organist Larry Bright started his signature “Flat Walk Boogie” and it was time to call the entries to the big oval.  All 12 entries presented to inspection answered the gate call for the class and Judge Nathan Clark was the Call Judge for what promised to be an outstanding class.  Judge Clark advised the entries early on that additional work would be required to tie the class and to anticipate a workout.  Once the initial work was complete, it was time to line up the entries, six on east side and six on the west side and remove the saddles for the conformation judging.  Once this was complete, the saddles were back on and the riders back up.  Five entries were asked to pull in for a workout, Walk Time Charlie, Ozone’s Cut Above All, Folsom Prison Blues, I’m Copperfield and Puttin’ Cash On The Line.  All the others were asked to take the rail first for their additional work.  Then, these entries were asked to park in and the entries mentioned above were asked to take the track and see which one would be the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion.  Once that work was complete, all of the entries were asked to line up on the grass on the south turn to await the judge’s final decision.  Capturing the title of 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion with a unanimous decision of the judging panel was the team of Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom up for Holland, Kilgore and Callicutt of Decatur, Ala., Seagrove, N.C. & Shelbyville, Tenn.  With this win, the Monroe, N.C. native, Chad Baucom captures his first Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship.  He’s  Copperfield and Knox Blackburn were reserve World Grand Champions riding for The Mike Walden Family of Chattanooga, Tenn.  Folsom Prison Blues and Steve Dunn rounded out the top three for The Jimmy Smith Family of Oliver Springs, Tenn.

Once the owner’s photo was taken it was time to take one more look at the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champions, Walk Time Charlie and Chad Baucom and then, the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was in the history books.  What a great Celebration it was!  In a year with so much uncertainty and doubt, all we had in Shelbyville was one great Celebration, proving once again, that the world’s greatest show horse always comes through.  Make plans now to be back in Shelbyville next year for the 75th Annual “Diamond Anniversary” Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

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