SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Western Park Pleasure classes will be part of the schedule at the 2008 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration following discussions with exhibitors and trainers.

After researching the past six years and seeing a dramatic decline in entries in that division, a total of four Western Park Pleasure classes were deleted from the initial 2008 class schedule.  That included two preliminary (canter) classes, one non-qualifying two-gaited class, and the Western Park Pleasure World Grand Championship (Canter) class.

The Celebration typically releases a tentative schedule in January to get feedback and input before finalizing the docket in the spring.  That was no different this year.  After initial phone calls and email requests to reinstate the classes, Celebration officials met with a group of trainers and exhibitors.  The result of those discussions was putting three preliminary classes and a championship class back on the schedule.  There were, however, some changes made to help bring the numbers up.

Two of the preliminary classes will be for Owner-Amateur Riders and will feature two gaits.  Those classes will be qualifying classes for the Owner-Amateur Western Park Pleasure Horses World Grand Championship.  There will be one open class that will require entries to canter, but will not be a qualifying class for any championship.

“This is an example of how our system should work,” said Celebration Entry Office Manager Mary Lynn Dickens.  “Our class schedule is a work in progress from year to year.  We add classes and championships where needed and delete them in areas that are not supported by entries.  Hopefully, this compromise will spur interest in this division and make for exciting classes for the fans to enjoy.”

The classes added back into the schedule are:

Owner-Amateur Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years and Under (two-gait)

Owner-Amateur Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses, Five Years and Over (two-gait)

Owner-Amateur Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses World Grand Championship  (two-gait)

Western Park Pleasure Walking Horses (Canter)

A completed final schedule for the 70th Annual Celebration will be released in the next few weeks.  Until then, the tentative schedule can be viewed on the official website of The Celebration (  The 2008 world championship horse show is slated for August 20-30 at the Historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, Tenn.