Story by Taylor Walters & Chrystal Abernathy

If you have attended a show in recent years, chances are you have seen the talents of “The Big Bay Mare” as she has walked her way to numerous winning titles since beginning her show career in 2012.

She’s Limitless was bred and raised by the Tommy Grider family of Columbia, Kentucky and started by Brent Grider. Sired by The Sky Command and out of Ms. Emma Brooks, the mare was destined to be a champion.

In July of 2012, her deep bay color and unique talent caught the eye of trainer Jimmy McConnell. He had been looking for a younger mount for a special customer, Molly Walters. Brent brought Limitless to Formac in Shelbyville for the Walters family to look at and the rest was history. Covering more ground and walking the old school way, Limitless was to the talk of the town around Formac for days to come.

“Once she steps off its like riding a machine. Everything moves and shakes at the right time. There’s not many people who get to experience that feeling on a horse and it is truly remarkable” said Molly.

Molly, known for her California roots and love for performance walking horses, has been showing and loving Tennessee Walking Horses for more than 35 years. After a short break from the show circuit to focus on family, she decided to return to the ring and reunited with trainer McConnell to rebuild her show string. And, that’s exactly what they did. Her first major success back in the show ring was the 2009 Amateur Novice World Grand Championship title with equine partner The Who.

She’s Limitless was originally purchased as a juvenile mount for son, Blake Walters. He showed her twice and then turned the reins over to his mom to show everyone how things were really done.

After only a couple of shows, Molly and Limitless claimed the 2012 Amateur ThreeYear-Old Mares & Geldings Reserve World Championship at The Celebration. This win was just the beginning of a successful career.

You could say Limitless lets her walking do her talking. The talent of the slow walking, big bay mare has always spoken for itself. Affectionately known as “Minnie” to the Walters family, her massive size and deep red color have always made her a standout in the ring. Limitless’ way of moving is so unique, some people often comment how she just does everything right and reminds you of a classic walking horse. 

The quality that most may not see in the ring is her fiery attitude. She is always with eyes wide open and ready to make the next move. “When you get on her back before a class you can just feel the pure electricity coming from her every muscle into your own. It’s an experience like no other,” said Molly. Limitless and Molly won their first world championship in 2013 after an undefeated show season. That year was a turning point for this talented team letting competitors know they were a force to be reckoned with whenever they entered the ring. Molly continued showing Limitless and her other talented mounts during this time.

Molly has passed her love of horses to her daughter Taylor Walters. They are the main competitors in their family and they do so at the highest level. Both having success in the industry on other horses you may know such as Coin’s Adonis, The Who, Dark N’ Shady, Busting Special, Puttin’ Cash On The Line, Manning, Miss Dixie Carter and the late Mr. Trump. When asked, they agree that Limitless is simply different than the rest.

In 2015 after another successful show season the Walters came to Shelbyville a couple of days before the beginning of The Celebration, like normal. While chatting with McConnell, he casually brought up the idea that he wanted to put She’s Limitless in the Amateur Canter class for The Celebration. With Molly riding for top honors with Puttin’ Cash On The Line that year, she decided to give that opportunity to Taylor as she had been showing in the canter class for a couple of years.

With only a few days to practice the sometimes difficult third gate, which Limitless hadn’t ever been shown at, tensions were high. The talent of both the young rider and mare were insurmountable, but they were having trouble getting on the same page.

Taylor remembers she couldn’t get Limitless to canter the first step for at least two days, but McConnell would just get on and ask her and she would do it. After several days of hard work and tears, the new team finally got the canter down both ways at the barn, just in time to head to the preliminary class.

“It was a disaster; I have never felt so sick and nervous in my whole show career. I never want to let Jimmy down and I knew I had to get it together and pull this off after a week of feeling like we just couldn’t do it,” remembers Taylor.

With both horse and rider feeling the nerves after a rough practice week, they managed to get through the preliminary somewhat smoothly earning fifth place in the Amateur Five & Over Mares & Geldings Canter class.

Then came the decision as to whether or not to show back in the championship class. Of course, being at Formac Stables, that was a yes and that last Saturday night they went for it.

“I’ll never forget I was standing at the chaincart doing my preshow rituals,” recalls Taylor. “Jimmy called me out the side door of the warm up and smiled at me and said ‘You can do this. I know you can. All you have to do is canter.’ And he smiled and winked and gave me a big hug.”

The team went in and cantered both ways flawlessly earning the Amateur Canter WorldGrand Championship title unanimously. Limitless was the first mare in many years to achieve this goal. From 1997-2020 She’s Limitless has been the only mare to earn that top title.

Following that tremendous win, Molly and Taylor met at the gate in tears with “Minnie” still ready to go! For a family that is so close and shares such a deep love of the horse there was no better way to celebrate than giving her carrots and petting her on the bricks with her roses.

After that amazing night, Limitless has always been a front runner in the ring, carrying both Molly and Taylor to numerous wins. In fact, Molly and Limitless have won the Amateur Ladies on Mares Specialty World Championship three out of the last four years and in 2020 earned the Amateur Mares & Geldings Reserve World Grand Championship!

Limitless is now a world grand champion, reserve world grand champion, five-time world champion and three-time reserve world champion. But, when it comes to being an equine member of the Walters family, blue ribbons and trophies are just an added bonus to the experience. The competitive nature of the Walters speaks for itself, but never before their love of the horse.

“As soon as she lands in Nashville its straight to the store for carrots and off to the barn to ‘pet a horsey’,” says Taylor about her mother.

Living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for five years now, Taylor has been a big part of the walking horse business lately, but she says she only truly gets to enjoy shows when her mother is able to attend.

While Limitless has been dominating in the ring most of her career and claiming many titles, the Walters family is excited to announce that she will be claiming a new title in 2021 of broodmare!

With her competitiveness still rising in the ring and the inability to find a replacement for a mare like her, Molly has decided to continue to show and enjoy her favorite bay mare. She has bred her twice with two embryo transplants due in 2021. The first baby is due in spring and is sired by World Grand Champion Gen A’Mighty. The second will arrive in fall and is sired by World Grand Champion Jose’ Jose’.

The Walters family and McConnell are thrilled about the arrival of these babies and can’t wait to see what this special mare can produce!

Not many owners get the privilege of owning such a fantastic animal who has been competing at the highest level her entire career and continues to do so. With her show records speaking for themselves, it is only fitting that the Year In Walking Horses be dedicated to a horse that has walked her way into the history books of the performance Tennessee Walking Horse.