Skip to content

Weather, Government, Horses: That’s The Big D Story



by Ann Bullard

IRVING, Texas – Horse shows always present challenges. The 2009 version of Big D had more than normal with rain by the buckets-full, storms and tornadoes. The show was located just minutes from the Dallas Cowboys’s Training Complex that collapsed in 70 mph winds. Federal APHIS officials stayed from beginning to end. Yet the show went on, with 107 Tennessee Walking Horses going through the gate. A competitive contingent of American Saddlebreds, Racking Horses and Rocky Mountain Horses helped make it a successful horse show.

Show Manager Peter Fenton lauded trainers, exhibitors, volunteers and staff for the way they pulled together in exceptionally difficult circumstances. “It was an incredibly difficult week, between the weather, USDA and USEF [United States Equestrian Federation],” Fenton said, explaining that the Saddle Horse national governing body came in for the weekend. “As difficult and challenging as it was, the trainers stepped up in a big way.”

A number of horses were turned back and some tickets written. Two hundred and forty-five entries were inspected over the course of the show. The five tickets written up were for one pre-show scar rule, one post-show scar rule, one low chain and two conflict resolutions.

Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tenn., marked the cards for walking, country pleasure and racking horse classes. Janie Hamilton of Hixson, Tenn., handled the office duties. Mark Farrar of Shelbyville, Tenn., kept everyone informed of results as well as delays, with Billy Whitley, Raleigh, N.C., and Howard Schatzberg in center ring as ringmaster and photographer, respectively.

Tenn-Tex Farms and trainer Stan Urad fielded the largest and a most-competitive contingent of walking horses. Blues and tricolors included a half-dozen for Sippin Tennessee Gin, with Elysse Powell and Brandon Urad having several winning rides in lite-shod competition. Mary and Michael Kirton teamed up to win Amateur and Youth Park titles aboard The American President, while Urad’s assistant, Nick Plafean, picked up top ribbons aboard Star In Dixie and Dumas Son Of The South.

The trophy for most distance traveled went to Laurie Toone, who brought a group of horses from Bell Buckle, Tenn. Allison Thorson and Mackenzie Morgan won 10 blues and tricolors under Toone’s direction. The two shared top rides aboard Suiza and A Red Ruby in amateur and youth rider classes.

Dr. Martha Chapman was justifiably pleased with Ginny Chapman’s winning rides aboard Widow Maker All Over. Trainer Roger Ivans coached the team and showed fans willing to stay through the downpour just what a speed horse can be as he had Undertaker’s Widow Maker leaning into the turn while they racked around the ring.

Don Crum and Marco Suarez also had top ribbons hanging outside their soggy tack rooms.

Complete results may be viewed by clicking here.

More Stories

  • ReporTV Interview with Clay Sanderson

    In the interview that follows, Clay Sanderson shares his thoughts after winning the Show Pleasure Mares and Geldings class with He's Primetime on Friday evening... Read More
  • Latest Isssue 8 24 19

    Read More
  • ReporTV Interview with Gardner Family

    In the interview that follows, Dickie, Cheyanne and Dakoda Gardner share their thoughts after Score Diamond In The Ruff won his third world championship at the 81st annual Celebration... Read More
  • Swift-moving Saturday morning cools down while competition REMAINS HOT!

    A slightly overcast sky that cooled things down a bit was a welcomed part of the environment for Celebration show goers Saturday morning, Aug. 24 — and the grounds felt alive and well, as did the action inside the Calsonic Arena... Read More
  • Youth Spotlight: Landon Coffey

    The following Q&A took place between Landon Coffee and Walking Horse Report editorial director Sadie Fowler... Read More
  • ReporTV Interview with Emma Wright

    In the interview that follows, Emma Wright shares her thoughts following her World Championship acclaim with Extra Special Jose in the Youth 11 & Under Mare class for the second year in a row. Read More
  • Latest Issue 8 23 19

    Read More
  • Rowdy crowd really turns up the heat Friday morning

    Twelve classes showed in front Celebration spectators Friday morning, Aug. 23 and entertained a lively group of spectators. In fact, the heat inside the Calsonic Arena was hotter than it had been so far this week with a hearty group of fans cheering loudly class after class. Half of the morning’s classes were dedicated to the youth riders of the industry... Read More
  • Live action art … PHOTO OPS ENCOURAGED!

    There’s a new addition to this year’s Celebration grounds and anyone who likes taking photos or loves social media needs to check it out! The exciting new feature can be found hanging on the big brick wall outside the Celebration office and folks won’t miss it as they walk by, thanks to the eye-catching piece of art made by Crystal O’Neal, owner of Paint with Pizazz in Shelbyville, Tennessee... Read More
  • First Friday night match-ups keep crowd entertained

    Keeping with tradition while adding an extra special twist, the first Friday evening of the walking horse industry’s annual August tradition kicked off Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. in Maverick Arena with 13 classes prepared to show in front of the judging panel tasked with evaluating the 81st edition of the show... Read More