By Mark McGee

The Davis Family approaches everything the same way. They go all out.

Mike and Beth Davis, along with their three children, Drew, Meghan and Eli, all share the love for the horse, but it is Mike and Meghan who have been a constant in the industry over the years. Going all out for this family is only natural when it comes to their love of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Mike admits there was a time when he realized he may have gone a little overboard with his Tennessee Walking Horses.

“When we owned Shamrock Farms I looked out and we had 35 horses,” Mike said.

The quantity of horses has been reduced, but the quality of horses owned by the Davis family continues to increase highlighted by Epic, an 11-year-old black stallion.

Meghan Hammond and Epic completed an undefeated season in 2021 with six blues. This included the Owner-Amateur Ladies Show Pleasure World Championship and the Owner-Amateur Show Pleasure World Grand Championship at The Celebration, making it the second year in a row the pair had made the sweep at The Celebration.

“We definitely have had our ups and downs too,” Meghan said. “Every horse is different. That is why some are more fun to ride than others.

“We have had Epic since he was two. I have been riding him a long time. We have had a lot of experiences together.”

Trainer Allan Callaway found Epic at Justin Jenne’s barn. Under the guidance of the Callaways, Meghan won the Owner-Amateur ThreeYear-Old Walking Stallions class and the Owner-Amateur Three-YearOld World Grand Championship at the Celebration in 2013 aboard Epic. Meghan made a flawless ride that year to capture both titles at the young age of 17.

While at the Callaways, Meghan would win back-to-back Owner-Amateur Mares & Geldings World Grand Championships in 2014 and 2015 with Jose’s Dulce.

Mike stresses that Meghan and Epic are the perfect team in so many ways.

"She sits a horse well," Mike said. “She has what we call quiet hands … soft hands. Her hands are natural. I do believe some people have a natural talent and innate ability to feel what a walking horse is doing. The great thing about a walking horse is you don’t have to have that to be successful, but if you do it makes it easier to be successful.

“Of all the horses we have had, the connection between Epic and Meghan is probably the best. With all due respect to our trainers, she probably rides him as well as any of them.”

The show string for the Davis family in 2021 included two-year-old Chaos SF, Epic and Back In Black SF. EquiKnox trains the talented trio, while Expeditious CTF is trained by Abernathy Stables.

“Four show horses is the smallest number we have had in a really long time,” Mike said. “But it was a fantastic year.”


Mike grew up in Ohio where his family owned a farm in Germantown. The family kept walking horses at a barn in Middletown, about 10 minutes away.

“I actually grew up in the walking horse business,” Mike said. “We had a farm from the time I was nine or 10-years-old. I showed every weekend in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky as a kid. I also did a lot of trail riding.”

He attended his first Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in 1975. He rode for the first time at The Celebration in a juvenile class in 1977, where he did not get a ribbon.

“It is a little more competitive here,” Mike said. “We used to set in the West Grandstand when I was a kid. I looked down there in the boxes and in that ring and thought how could I ever do that?

“I thought The Celebration was a great thing. I was kind of in awe of it as a kid.”

It would take a while for him to complete that thought as he drifted away from the walking horse breed on an active basis, though he never completely turned his back on it.

"Life happened, marriage happened, school happened and work happened," says Mike.


Like many in the walking horse industry Mike’s decision to return was due to Meghan’s interest in the breed. She had started her riding career with hunter-jumpers, but liked riding walking horses more.

She rode hunter-jumpers at a barn in Cincinnati, where she also boarded her walking horse.

“They didn’t know anything about them, but they liked them,” Meghan said of the barn staff. “We bought a horse before we bought Shamrock Farms.”

Meghan’s first ever show ring appearance was at the Kentucky Celebration where she finished sixth. Within a year Mike was looking for a training barn in the Shelbyville area.

He found what he wanted when he purchased Maple Leaf Farms and renamed it Shamrock Farms.

“We went on a lot of road trips,” Meghan said. “We came down here to visit and there happened to be a farm for sale.”

Beth remembers well what she was told about the trip.

“Meghan came back home and said ‘Mommie we were looking at horse farms in Shelbyville,’” Beth said. “I said ‘cool.’ Then we started getting emails from realtors.”

Beth admits she didn’t embrace with open arms Mike’s increasing interest in acquiring walking horses, but she has developed into a fan.

“Between myself and our two boys, Eli and Drew, we liked horses, but we didn’t know that much about them at the time,” Beth said. “But to be as passionate as Mike and Meghan are about them and being at the barn every day was not for me even though Eli rode a little.

“But once we got involved, I began to love the people, love the horses and to love the environment.”

While she has no plans to compete in the show ring, she does want to learn to ride.

“I would love just to learn how to ride,” Beth said. “Now that we are living here full-time, I would like to take lessons and do some trail riding.”

The Davis family has purchased a home in Shelbyville and has made the move a permanent one after so many years commuting from Ohio. They looked at a home in the Riverbend Country Club neighborhood and 24 hours later they owned it.

Mike remains involved in the insurance and investments business. To solidify their desire to be part of the community Beth is the director of external affairs for the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership under the direction of Shane Hooper who serves as President and CEO.


Mike returned to the show ring as a rider this year, but Meghan’s success is what drives him.

She is a natural in the saddle. She has never had a riding lesson, except when she rode hunter-jumpers.

Mike goes to colt previews and checks with his trainers about horses they may know about.

“I like to go shopping,” Mike said. “I like to be part of the process. I have only purchased one horse sight unseen and that wasn’t necessarily a great outcome.”

While willing to take advice from his trainers, his primary goal is to find the right horses for Meghan. After a show in Columbia, Tennessee, Meghan rode Chaos, a colt by Honors.

“They connected,” Mike said. “She just jumped up on him and took off on him.

“Chaos is very talented. But it was a process from the first time we saw him to when we bought him.”

Chaos was a perfect choice for the Davis family on many levels.

“We are usually looking for a younger horse, a two-year-old, if we can find the right one,” Mike said. “It is pretty cool to take a young horse and watch it turn into a horse like Epic.”


Mike stresses he is not just an owner of Tennessee Walking Horses. He is an advocate for the breed. His work in making the Tennessee Walking Horse one of the most respected horse breeds is equally as important to him as winning blue ribbons in the show ring.

“After we bought Shamrock, I just wanted to be involved in the horse business on the back side,” Mike said. “I have worked with those involved with regulations from lobbying in Washington. D.C. to helping raise money for legal fees.

“I have always been pretty passionate about getting this breed in the right place. It is such a great breed. It is the most inspected performance horse breed. This horse right now to me, from a breeding and compliance standpoint, is in really good shape right now.”

Everyone has certain talents and Mike’s were suited to helping the breed during some troublesome times.

“When we commit to something we just get a little passionate about it,” Mike said. “I am not even sure how my involvement happened.

“I was able to speak in front of crowds. There was the money raising aspect. And I was willing to help.”

Mike would like to become more active in the promotion of the Tennessee Walking Horse while Meghan and her husband, Straton, become more involved with the show ring efforts.

He has a passion for the breed that he admits is hard to explain.

“I love it,” Mike said. “I guess it was being around it as a kid. I never got completely away from it.

“It is the whole package. It starts with the people. The horses are great. We love the competition. There is always a mission. There is always something to do to promote the breed.”