Each year The Year in Walking Horses is dedicated to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Walking Horse industry. The selections are made from nominations in each of three categories - a trainer, an owner and a horse (both performance and pleasure) - sent in by readers.

Bill Young
This year, we are pleased to recognize Backward S Ranch trainer, Bill Young, for the 2002 volume of The Year In Walking Horses.

Two back to back World Grand Championships at this year's Celebration proved to be yet another stroke of genius on the part of Bill Young. His 22 year success as trainer with the Sherman's Backward S Ranch has propelled Young to the trainers? dedication for the 2002 Year in Walking Horses.

780 blue ribbons, 378 reserves and 60 yellow streamers have been attained by Young for Backward S Ranch. The numbers tell the story. Young began at the Sherman's ranch in 1982. Since then he has accumulated 14 world championships and four world grand championships for the Sherman family.

2002 had to be the most successful year for Bill Young. Beverly Sherman and Papa's Smokin Pusher took the newly added Elite Amateur World Grand Championship, Beverly's first ride under the Celebration spotlight. In the next class, Young put the team of Kelly and All American Cash in to claim the 15.2 and Under Amateur World Grand Championship. This proved to be another history making night for Young and the Shermans.

Young has also given back to the industry, serving as the Walking Horse Trainers Association President from 2001 to 2002. Young continues to support and be an avid part of the industry.

Floyd and Beverly Sherman
We are pleased to dedicate the 2002 Year in Walking Horses to Floyd and Beverly Sherman.

The Floyd Sherman family name has been long associated with the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Floyd and Beverly?s love of the Walking Horse extends from their daughter Kelly and their late son Edward. The history making family, unpretentious and grateful for their accomplishments, sets a standard for others to follow.

Their farm, Backward S Ranch, located in Murchison, Texas, runs under the guidance of trainer Bill Young. The Shermans have also had horses in training with Jackie McConnell resulting in many world championships.

The Shermans made history in 2002 with both mother and daughter winning back to back world grand championships.

The Shermans became corporate sponsors of the Celebration in the late eighties. Beverly has served on the TWHBEA Board of Directors, Celebration Owners Committee, and the Walking Horse Foundation as well as being very involved in the industry in their home state. The Sherman family is truly a patron of the breed. This family builds its success on strong family ties and the love of great horses.

Gen's Sundance Lady
She's big and beautiful, a three time World Grand Champion and a multi-titled World Champion. She is also the only horse in history to store the World Grand Championships titles from all three youth divisions under her belt. Gen's Sundance Lady has been named as the performance horse dedication for the 2002 edition of The Year in Walking Horses.

Her most recent success was under the ownership of the Dan McSwain family, when Gen's Sundance Lady topped the 2002 Juvenile 11 & Under World Grand Championship with Maisie McSwain in the irons.

Jennifer Vining carried away the roses twice aboard Gen?s Sundance Lady. Vining made the spotlight ride in the 1988 Walking Pony World Grand Championship. The pair returned to the big oval in 1999 to become the Juvenile 12-17 World Grand Champions.

The Dan McSwain family purchased the champion in April of 2000. Maisie took the reins in 2001 as they scored together a reserve World Championship in the 11 & Under Class.

Now 11 years old, the mare continues to bring success to little Maisie McSwain and the Dan McSwain family as well as to the Carl Edwards and Sons Stables banner.

Jose Quervo Gold
This young talent has managed in his career to score three world championship titles in two years. The gelding has not only proved himself to his owners, but has proved himself as a sure fire blue ribbon winner from Tennessee to Florida. His many blue ribbon honors have earned him the dedication of the pleasure horse division for the 2002 Year in Walking Horses.

As a two-year-old in 2001, Doug Barnes directed him to the Plantation Pleasure Two-Year-Old Lite Shod World Championship. Bob Lawrence showed the gelding to the Novice Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Amateur title, Lawrence?s first time showing at the Celebration in 33 years!

After wins in 2002 at the National Trainers Show, the Gulf Coast Charity, the Moneytree Classic, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Bedford County FFA, Bethesda and Belfast, Jose Quervo Gold went on to claim yet another World Championship at the 2002 edition of the Celebration. Trainer, Doug Barnes, guided the gelding to the Plantation Pleasure Three-Year-Old Lite Shod World Championship. He followed up in the fall with Lite Shod victories at the Alabama Jubilee and the Southern Championships.

In 2003, the Fox Ridge Farm owners are hoping for another successful year. Appreciative of his talent, owners Bob Lawrence and Carroll Hutto are retiring the gelding to Fox Ridge Farm after his completion of the 2003 season.

How fitting then to recognize his accomplishments now with a dedication of the pleasure horse award for the 2002 Year in Walking Horses.

Copies of the tenth anniversary issue of the annual Year in Walking Horses as well as past year's editions are available now for purchase at World Champion Horse Equipment.