by Mitzi Oxford

What is a Warbird? It depends on why you ask. For aviators and veterans, a warbird is any vintage military aircraft now operated by civilian organizations and individuals, or in some instances, by historic arms of military forces. Their motto is “Keep ‘em Flying.”

For a golfer, it’s a brand name from Callaway golf. A ball that goes long, straight and holds its own. Easy to launch and, for newer golfers, to get it airborne.

Looking up in the sky, vintage aircraft are a sight to behold. On the golf course, hitting the green off the tee or making a great putt is a thrill. In the Tennessee Walking Horse world, Warbird is all those memorable moments combined, after all he is sired by The Titleist.

Like top winners in any sport, Warbird has made a name for himself. In show rings across the south, he is a winner. He is the YIWH Performance Horse of the Year and his owner, Ginger Williams, couldn’t be prouder.




“I raised Warbird. His mother, Scream Walking, out of Gen’s Armed And Dangerous, was my baby. I bought her as a two-year-old for my daughter, Jerri Anne, to show,” said owner Ginger Williams.

The family of horses and riders proved to be winners. “At the time, Jerri Anne was showing Scream Walking in the Juvenile Park Pleasure division. She showed across North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.”

Both Ginger and Jerri Anne picked up wins in Park Pleasure and Plantation Pleasure classes. The next chapter would begin with Scream Walking’s offspring, Warbird.

As a veterinarian and owner of Central Animal Hospital in Eden, North Carolina, she understands nurturing animals, albeit smaller four-legged fur babies. But, Ginger is also in the know about bigger animal breeds
having had Tennessee Walking Horses all her life. Her first horse was for trail riding at the tender age of six months old. Through the years she bought broodmares and raised colts. Ginger has had high hopes for Warbird since he was a baby. She can spot a winner when she sees one. Apparently, she has the eye of a PGA golfer on moving day at the Masters.

When Warbird was just four days old, Ginger called her trainer, at the time Derek Monahan, and said, “He’s the one.”


He was “the one” then and still is. Derek started Warbird under saddle and first presented him in the ring as a three-year-old at a show in Clemson, South Carolina. Warbird made an impressive, unanimous win to start off his show career. 

He would become “the one” in shows across the south stacking up blue ribbons and championship performances at the Spring Fun Show, the North Carolina Championship, the National Trainer’s Show, the Money Tree Classic, the Columbia Spring Jubilee, the Derby Classic and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Derek took Warbird to his first world championship in the Young Trainers division in 2017.

The following year, Ginger turned to Ryan Blackburn to train Warbird. Cottonwood Farms in Corbin, Kentucky is owned by Martin Cox. He and Ryan’s dad, Keith built the farm. Working with his dad during summers, he started training horses right out of high school. Tennessee Walking Horses have been his life.

“I don’t think people realize how much natural ability Warbird has. He’s consistent, dependable and has a great disposition. I don’t think he has ever had a bad show,” Ryan said.

Ginger Williams describes Warbird as a sweet horse, but when its time to hit the show ring he is ready.”

Ryan would agree with that assessment. “For a big motor horse, his temperament and disposition are great. He’s pretty much a pushbutton horse, you get on him and he does his own thing.”

Ryan and Warbird won two world championships and two worlds grand championships at the Celebration. Ryan won two additional world championships in the Young Trainers division in 2020 and 2021, which retired the Challenge Cup trophy for that division. He has added two world grand championships in the Open Specialty division to his growing resume, the latest being this past year.


Warbird’s sire, The Titleist, has produced winning offspring for years. The lineup reads like the field of top PGA Champions on the Leaderboard at the Masters. The progeny includes world grand champions and world champions including Honors, A Titleist Masterpiece, Title Sweepstake, Pro V 1, It’s The Medalist, and of course, Warbird.

“I think he is an ambassador for the breed. I believe he is going to produce winners just as his sire has done. Some of Warbird’s colts are already looking great and will soon be gracing the show ring,” Ginger said.


Coming in to 2024, Warbird is 12 years old but shows no sign of slowing down. With many years ahead in the show ring, it’s likely he will continue to be in the winner’s circle.

“He is one of the best horses in our barn. It’s hard not to appreciate a winner,” said Ryan.

When Warbird hits the ring again, his family, Ginger, Jerri Anne and Ginger’s granddaughter Taylor will be there to cheer him on, as will his fans that “love him like we do!”

Lest we forget one of Ginger’s message during Warbird’s successful journey is “He is not for sale.”