With a record number in the actual attendance of 11,311, Sunday evening at the Celebration was off to a great start. The new flag horse, Counterfeit Dollar, and Bud Seaton kicked off the show with the red, white, and blue waving in the wind.

A large class of thirty-one entries participated in the opening class of the Sunday evening performance. Judge Milligan called the exciting class of Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings. The large number of entries prompted the judges to call for a workout. Five entries were immediately parked in with twelve more joining them. After the seventeen participants finished the final running walk and headed to the lineup, the final decision was made.

Extra Ebony and Aaron Bertrand would receive the first place tie in the class. The Bob Parks family of Murfreesboro own the talented black horse. The reserve award in the class went to Pride’s Sharp Dressed Man and Gavin Kasser for Carol Gavin. Third was presented to A Secret Agent and Celie Gandy.

The second class of the evening was called in next. The Plantation Pleasure Three-Year-Old Lite Shod Walking Horses were called by judge Paul Whitehead. Following a perfect performance the team of Doug Barnes and Jose Quervo Gold were called to take the blue. The partnership of Bob Lawrence and Carol Hutto Troy, Alabama own the entry. Gen’s Legend In Black and John Feltner Jr. were second for Steve and Trish Raley. Manuel Rodriquez rode Double Java to the third award.

The always competitive Walking Ponies Riders 15-17 class filled the Celebration oval with twenty-one entries. The call judge duties in the class went to judge Rollie Beard. Making their final appearance in the Pony division, Justin Harney and Royal’s Dark Bum went out in blue ribbon style as they claimed the first place award in the class. The John Harney family of Murfreesboro are the owners. The red ribbon was then presented to Silver Design and Thad Way for the J and R Partnership. Skywalk and Seth Stanfill finished out the top three with third for Billy Stanfill.

The Park Pleasure Walking Mares or Geldings with Riders 12-17 class boasted sixteen entries. The honorable Ray Gilmer called the class. After each entry made a good show the lineup was called. The decision of the judges was the read and the top honors were awarded to Jenna Hamilton and Royal’s China Doll. This talented team has already scored six wins during the 2002 show season at shows like the Gulf Coast Charity, Cotton Classic, and Germantown. Debbie and Jim Nichols are the owners from New Market. Reserve was awarded to Centennial Suprise and Jenny Earhart for Joe Guido. Third place was won by Generator’s Miss Trixie and Amanda Dye.

Division A of the Show Pleasure Walking Horses had twenty entries respond to the gate call. Judge Irby was the officiating judge in the class. A unanimous first place tie was awarded to none other than Coin Maker and Knox Blackburn. This is the second blue so far for Coin Maker at the 2002 Celebration. The first came when Susanne Littell directed the talented stallion to the first win in the Amateur Lady Riders on Show Pleasure Walking Horses. Littell owns the entry along with Bud Moore. Reserve honors were received by Storm Threat Too and legendary horseman Ronal Young. Dr. Rafael and Pat Rigual are the owners. Third went to Slippen Around And Scored and Don Crum for Jim and Sharon Richmond.

The second division of the Show PLeasure Walking Horses entered the ring promptly with eighteen entries. The honorable judge Don Milligan called the class. Andrew Johnson and John Allan Callaway gave a presidential performance to win the division. This win follows wins at World Cup, Lawrenceburg, and McMinnville. Owners of the fine property are Terry and Pedigo of Morristown and Murfreesboro. The judges’ pick for reserve was the team of Primed Time and Joe Cotten for Laura Brandon. Third was received by Major Player and Jeff Givens for the Denny Hastings family.

The next class on Sunday night’s schedule was the Park Pleasure Walking Horses with Riders 50 & Over. Calling the class was the honorable Whitey Whitehead. Two entries were excused in the class but there was still lots of talent left in there. Bob Lawrence was all smiles as the announcer called out his back number. Lawrence guided She’s Breathtaking to the victory in the class. This is the second blue ribbon winner of the night that belongs to the partnership of Lawrence and Hutto of Troy, Alabama. Judge’s Red Alert took reserve with Sue Maze. Skyline and Carrie Williams placed third in the fine class.

An exciting group of 15.2 and Under Mares took the ring next. This class is required to canter and Judge Beard had the responsibility of call judge. Lady’s Ebony Ace and Jimmy McConnell were the pick for first in the class. Lady’s Ebony Ace is owned by Donna Beltz of Energy, Florida. Reserve was presented to Cash’s Luck Be A Lady and Allan Callaway for C & E Farms of Elberton, Georgia. Third award was given to Immortal Generator and Joe Cotten for Keith and Sandy Baker.

One of the new classes added to the Celebration lineup was the Elite Owner-Amateur Lady Riders on Mares and Geldings. The talented ladies put on a good show for the crowd as judge Gilmer called the class. Despite how great the class was only one entry could receive first and that was Mozambique and Jeanine Gullett. Gullet is the owner and comes to the Celebration all the way from Duluth, Georgia. Reserve honors were then presented to Silverado Spirit and Beverly Sherman. Rounding out the top three with third was the team of Pusher’s Clementine and Debbie Flack.

The A Division of the Four-Year-Old Stallions was welcomed to the show ring by a cheering crowd. Judge Irby called the class and seventeen entries participated. At the very beginning of the class the crowd picked out their favorites and let them know it with their applause. After a win at Belfast the team of Gen’s Johnny Walker Red and Sammy Day showed the judges and spectators what it takes to be a world champion. The team brings the blue home to thrilled owners Gary and John LeGate of Orlando, Florida and Shelbyville, Tennessee. Fighting their way into a reserve position, the team of The American General and Larry Edwards for the Dan McSwain family . One of last year’s Three-Year-Old World Champions, The Black Nightshade, received third with Jimmy McConnell.

The second half of the Four-Year-Old Stallions came in next. It was the honorable judge Milligan’s turn to call the class. Eighteen entries shot through the gate to contend for the top honors in the class. The first in the ring was the last to leave. Sporting the back number nine, Bill Bobo and The Whole Nine Yards were unanimously picked as the winners of the Division B Junior World Championship and given a standing ovation as they made an impressive victory pass. The exciting team achieved victories at the Trainers’ Show, Fun Show, and Pulaski as they headed toward top honors tonight. Bob and Luanne Sigman are the proud owners of the popular horse and are from Canal Winchester, Ohio. Reserve went to Silver Dollar Make Me Hollar and Knox Blackburn for Abby Graves. The solid white Snowatch and rider Dick Peebles place third for Ashley Joseph.

The Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Mares or Geldings was split into two divisions. The first division was called by Judge Whitehead. Summer Passion and Pam Ingraham were called in to fill the first place slot. Ingraham Management owns the entry. Reserve honors in the class went to Pushin’ That Jazz and Sarah Dunn. Third was given to Lock And Load and Stacy Blackburn for Mr. and Mrs. Odell McConnell.

Division B quickly followed with twenty-five entries answering the gate call. Judge Beard was the officiating judge in the class. A unanimous decision was in order for the team of Miracle At The Ritz and Sandra Johnson as they were awarded first in the class. Reserve was presented to Dangerous Mist and Guylene Ozlanski after a good ride. Mr. Fitzgerald received third with owner Carol Rose in the irons.

The Walking Mares Five Years and Over, Over 15.2 class ended the night with a bang. Judge Gilmer called the class of fifteen entries. Shout and Rodney Dick took first place after the judges awarded them a unanimous tie. Keith and Sandy Baker are the owners of the big gray mare and have been campaigning her for the 2002 World Grand Championship. Last year’s World Grand Champion Aged Mare, Gen’s Burning Rage put on a good show for reserve with Larry Edwards. The Dan McSwain family owns the entry. The 2001 Aged Mare World Champion, Magic’s Sweet Victory gave a fine performance with Ronnie Spears for third in the class. Charles and Julie Wharton are the owners.

The final morning classes start Monday off at the Celebration at nine o’ clock. After seeing the three-year-old, four-year-old, and aged stallions, a big night is expected tomorrow night as the two-year-olds are presented. This year there will be four divisions with an expected one-hundred and seventy eight entries! Monday night certainly promises to be quite a night.