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Wednesday Evening Closes Out Preliminary Classes at the Celebration

by Sarah Smith


SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Wednesday evening performance of the 78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration began promptly at 7 p.m. with the opening ceremonies led by the official flag horse, Ranger T. Walker. Judges for the event are Chris Bobo, Nathan Clark, Ray Gilmer, Sam Sorrell, and Leigh Stuart.

Fine Harness horses with their professional trainers were the first entries to take the track. Continuing his winning ways and celebrating his second trip to victory lane at this year’s Celebration was In Ted’s Image and Bill Callaway for Ron Lawrence. I’m Ritz And Dangerous and Rollie Beard drove to the reserve title for Todd Fisher. Third in the class went to Master Jack Frost and Danny Burks for John Fikes.

The A Division of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings World Championship went to Hello Bombshell and Lucky Collins. The team was victorious at the Manchester Lions Club and Marshall County Horseman’s Association. Second in the large class of talent was She’s Busted In Tijuana and Madeline Tew for Kimble and Madeline Tew. The team had five wins to their credit before earning this title. She’s Busted In Tijuana was also reserve in the open division with Blaise Broccard. Rounding out the top three was She’s Salsarita and Courtney Luttrell. Tyler Baucom directed the filly to the TWHBEA National Futurity title last Wednesday night.

Miss Dixie Carter and Taylor Walters earned the approval of the judges in the B Division of the Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings. This win is added to their earlier season wins at the Gulf Coast Trainers’ Show, Alabama Ladies Auxiliary, Money Tree Classic, Parker’s Crossroads and Gallatin Memorial Horse Shows. Second in the class went to GI Gen and Lisa Baum. They were victorious at the Spring Fun Show and Liberty Lions Club before picking up this reserve world title. Third in the class went to Lined In Diamonds and Lindsay Hess. Chad Baucom rode the filly to top honors in the open division earlier in the show.

After wins at the FAST Spring Showcase, Lawrenceburg Lions Club and the Belfast-TWHBEA Horse Shows, Forty Niner and Bobby Hugh repeated their 2015 world championship performance in the Walking Geldings, Five Years & Over, Canter, Riders’ Cup class. With this win, owner Rose Anstett retired the Jerome B. and Francis Ryan Memorial Challenge Trophy. Reserve in the class went to Country And Famous and Mickey McCormick for Rick and Marla Lovett. Miles Irby rode Country And Famous to world championship acclaim in 2014. Sea Hawk and Tyler Baucom picked up the yellow streamer for Alan Riddley.

With wins at the National Trainers’ Show, Spring Fun Show and Christmas In July, Nino’s Category Five and John Allan Callaway added the Experienced Trainers, 36 Years & Older, on Walking Horses, Riders’ Cup World Championship to their lengthy resume. Reserve in the class went to Magic’s Pure Ritz and Jimmy McConnell for Dean Scott. Rounding out the top three was I’m Judge Roy Bean and Larry Edwards for Joe and Scott Cooper.

Next, Howard Hamilton delighted the crowd with his trick horses, Sundown and Batman. It will be a pleasure to see them again later in the week.

Hannity and Chad Adams made their way down victory Lane in the Amateur Owned & Trained Walking Horses, No Professional Training Within 90 Days. This was a debut performance for the duo. Second in the class went to Jammin For Keeps and Chet Mills who had previous wins at the Columbia Spring Jubilee and Northside Lions Club. Third in the talented class went to I’m A Jazz Player and Dalia Smith-Harr.

Next to the ring was the Young Trainers, 35 Years & Under on Walking Mares or Geldings, Riders’ Cup. Walking their way to the ultimate award was Busted At Pebble Beach and Justin Harris for Bruce MacDonald. This team went to the winner’s circle at the Mississippi Charity and Gulf Coast Trainers’ Show earlier in the season. Wired And Lined and Casey Wright were second in the class for Dustin Cooper. This was the second reserve title earned by Wired And Lined during the Celebration. Rounding out the top three was This Is Jazz and Bill Callaway for Lisa Baum. Lisa Baum rode the talent to a world championship earlier in the week.

Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions, Five & Over, Canter contenders were next to the ring. Led Zeppelin and Abby Fox earned top honors at the FAST Spring Showcase and Woodbury Lions Club before topping the competition at the Celebration. Reserve went to the team of Sky Miles and Beth Sims. The yellow streamer went to I’m Mayhem and Susan Coleman.

Taking the trip down victory lane in the Walking Mares or Geldings, Riders’ Cup was Nevermore and John Allan Callaway for Dr. Barbara Moersch. Bacardi And Me and Herbert Derickson earned the second place honors for Dr. David and Nanette McInnes. Rounding out the top three was Lightning In A Bottle and Chad Way for Stephanie Gordon Roy.

BB King’s Jazz earned his 24th world championship with Mickey McCormick riding in the Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years & Over, Riders’ Cup for the partnership of Stephens & Womack. Also a world champion at the 2016 Celebration, Top Recruit carried Justin Harris to the reserve honors for Bill and Darlene Harris. The yellow streamer went to Ritz’s Red Solo Cup and Patrick Thomas for Sherry Roberts.

The final class of the evening, Riders' Cup Walking Stallions, brought a large class of talents to the show ring. Making the trip to victory lane in unanimous fashion was Border Run and John Allan Callaway for Gayle Holcomb and Nick Masters. Second went to Jimmer Fredette and Dale Watts for Carole Baxter. Rounding out the top three was Absolute Proof and Bryan Barnhill for Greg Kiser. Absolute Proof carried Bill Callaway to the winners’ circle on Tuesday evening.

Championship competition will begin in the Celebration Oval Tomorrow night.

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