by Bonnie Vannatta

Walking Horse Report interviewed a talented, younger generation of
trainers, including John Allan Callaway, Tim Smith, Chad Way, Philip
Trimble, Justin Jenne, Jamie Bradshaw, Charlie Green, Chad Williams,
and Tim Wheelon, and asked them two questions: What is your favorite
Celebration memory? Who has influenced you the most in the walking
horse business and why? Here are some of their answers.
John Allan Callaway, the son of veteran walking horse trainer Allan
Callaway, said his favorite Celebration memory is last year when he won
the Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship aboard PGA. Callaway also
fondly recalled winning the Open Four-Year-Old Mare class on the gray
horse I'm Causin Commotion. This mare also won the Amateur
Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class with Debbie Myers up. Adding to
a great Celebration 2004, Jazzed Up, also trained by John Allan
Callaway, won the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion World Championship
with Brenda Bramblett, a Shelbyville attorney, in the stirrups. All in
all, John Allan Callaway has won about 14 world championships.
“My father taught me everything that I know,” John Allan, 27, said.
The older Callaway won the 2001 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand
Championship aboard Pride's Jubilee Encore. John Allan, his brother
Bill, who is 21 and a MTSU student, and father all train at Allan
Callaway Stables, in Shelbyville, Tenn.
“He grew up in the barn. He's been by my side every since he could
walk,” the elder Callaway said of John Allan. “He would do things like
weed eating and mowing in the beginning. He loves to show. I'm real
proud of him. He's very competitive...He broke PGA from the ground up.
He's carried him all the way and we're proud of that.”
Tim Smith, 25, owns Tim Smith Stables at DanLon Farms in Shelbyville,
Tenn., and is currently building a new facility. He is best known for
his outstanding achievements with younger horses and the amateurs
riding them. His favorite Celebration memory is when he won
back-to-back world championships in 2004 with Rainbow of Colors, a bay
roan horse, and Dr. in Command, a sorrel horse with a flaxen mane and
Jamie “Red” Etheredge rode Rainbow of Colors in the 70-year-old and
over age bracket. It was Etheredge's first world championship.
Etheredge then turned around and won with Dr. In Command in the
Owner-Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class. Smith trained both
Smith said his dad, Tex Smith, trained horses and was his biggest
influence when he got started. Another favorite Celebration memory was
last year when his dad showed in the retired trainers class “on my
wife's horse Push To Start.” His dad placed reserve on the black
Although his father was a big influence in his early years, Tim Smith
said his wife, Sarah, who is an exhibitor, is also an influence. The
couple is expecting a child.
“I'm working on the third generation now,” he said with a laugh. It
will be their first child.
Chad Way, 34, has his stables in Shelbyville, Tenn. He has won 12
world championships and five world grand championships. He won 17
championships during the 1998 Celebration when he was a trainer at
David Landrum Stables in Franklin, Tenn. He believes it may be a record
for the number of championships won by any trainer at any Celebration.
He also set another record. He was 22-years-old when he won the 1993
Walking Horse World Grand Championship on The Touch. He is the youngest
trainer to have won the Celebration stake. The black stallion with
white on his forehead had won second and third places at the
Celebration as a four-year-old.
“We'd been working toward the Celebration. He [The Touch] was just a
five-year-old horse, and everything just came together for us,” he
said. “That was the first time I had ever ridden in the stake. He [The
Touch] was willing to learn, and I had plenty of time. It worked out
for us.”
Of course it did not hurt that Way had won the Three-Year-Old class
earlier in the week on the chestnut mare High Dollar Woman.
“She (High Dollar Woman) was special. My father had raised her,” Way
Another favorite Celebration memory he holds is that of Jose Jose.
Jose Jose has been shown at the Celebration four times, and all four
times he won blues unanimously.
“He's one heck of a horse,” Way said. “He never had a second-place
vote. I wish they all could be like him...He's like Michael Jordan.
That's the only way I can describe him. He's different. They're still
trying to replace Mike too,” Way said.
Who influenced Way the most in the walking horse industry? His answer
is trainer Ramsey Bullington, Franklin, Tenn. “I worked for him in
Murfreesboro. He has a good work ethic. He's real good with a horse,”
said Way.
Philip Trimble, 25, who owns Trimble Stables in Pulaski, Tenn., has
won two reserves at the Celebration, and those top finishes are his
favorite memories. In 2003, a black horse he trained called Gads of
Cash finished as the Reserve World Pony Champion. He was ridden by Clay
Sanderson in the 12-14 juvenile age group.
“I was surprised,” Trimble said. “He had won some shows, including
Pulaski, in the pony class, but I didn't know that he'd win at the
Celebration. We were tickled to death about it. That was the first
reserve world champion that we'd ever won,” Trimble said.
He got another red ribbon in 2004 at the Celebration in the Amateur
Gentlemen Riders Show Pleasure category, with the gray horse Ironworks
Tinman. Grant Jones rode.
His father, Stan Trimble, was a trainer at one time, and influenced
Phillip’s career as a trainer. Trimble said Wayne Dean, of Lewisburg,
Tenn., was also a strong influence.
Justin Jenne’, 28, is another promising young trainer. His favorite
Celebration memory came in 1995 when he won the world grand
championship for walking ponies aboard Peddler's Hero. Jenne’ said he
was taken by surprise.
“He was a dark horse. He had placed fourth in the preliminary, but he
came back and won the championship,” Jenne’ said. “Riding in the
spotlight…that's what everybody dreams of. There was a lot of
excitement.” Jenne said Peddler's Hero was eight years old when he won.
Jenne’ said that Allan Callaway was a big influence in his career.
Jenne’ is originally from North Carolina. He worked for Allan Callaway
in Shelbyville for two and a half years, and was the first person
Jenne' worked for when he came to Tennessee.
Jamie Bradshaw, 28, of Union Grove, Ala., is also a well-known
trainer. His favorite Celebration memory came when he won a blue ribbon
last year in the Three-Year-Old Stallion Class aboard Jose's
Intimidator. The black horse was Three-Year-Old Stallion Division A
World Champion and Three-Year-Old Reserve World Grand Champion.
Bradshaw is the trainer at Wolf Creek Stables at Ferguson Farms in
Union Grove, Ala. He lives and trains on the farm owned by Randall and
Martha Ferguson.
Bradshaw has another favorite Celebration memory that goes back to
2002, when he and Ritz's Diamond Joe won the Two-Year-Old Stallion
class. This horse last year was the World Champion Owner/Amateur Youth
Riders 12-14, Division A winner, with Alexandria Holland in the saddle.
“I broke them both from colts,” Bradshaw said. “Both horses were born
and raised on the farm. I got them from the pasture to where they are
now,” he said.
Jose's Intimidator has shown seven times this year and is undefeated
in the four-year-old stallion division. Bradshaw has shown him all
seven times, and will be showing him also at this year's Celebration.
The person who has influenced him the most in the industry is Allan
Callaway, he said.
“He's really helped me a lot. He has introduced me to people. I'm real
good friends with John Allan. Allan has always encouraged me.”
Bradshaw is married to wife Chrissy, and they have a two-year-old son,
After training at his own facility for five years, Tim Wheelon, 29,
was recently given the opportunity to train at Knox Blackburn Stables
in Franklin, Tenn. He is another rising star. He said his favorite
Celebration memory is when he showed Cash Me In in the1998 Aged
Stallion class.
Coming off a successful season including the Belfast Walking Horse
Stake Championship, Wheelon and the Silver brothers' horse finished a
strong top three finish behind respectable trainers. At such a young
age, Cash Me In provided Wheelon with a memory that will last a
“The 1998 Celebration is also the same year I started dating my wife,”
Wheelon said.
Wheelon is married to wife Ashlea, who works at the Walking Horse
Report. They have a 17-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, and live in
Shelbyville, Tenn.
Who has influenced you the most in the industry and why? His answers
are his father Larry Wheelon and his grandfather the late Paul Wheelon.
“Having a father who has a training barn and growing up in the
business is different than starting out at an older age. It's just what
you do. They showed me that you can have a career doing something you
Chad Williams, 32, of Chad Williams Stables in Shelbyville, Tenn.,
started in the training business at 14 when he worked for trainer David
Mason. Williams was 24 when he showed in the big stake at the
Celebration in 1996. He rode the black stallion Out Of The Storm and
placed seventh. This is his favorite Celebration memory. Who has
influenced him the most in the industry? His answer is successful
walking horse trainer Bill Bobo.
“He's an honest man and a family man, and a good representative for
our industry,” Williams said. He worked for Bobo for four or five years
in Shelbyville.
Williams has 33 horses entered at this year's Celebration.
On a more personal note, Williams is engaged to Jaclyn Harney, who's
won several world championships herself. They will marry on Nov. 26.
Her father was also a trainer.