By Mark McGee 

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Youth, both riders and horses, were showcased Saturday morning at Calsonic Arena with a 13-class schedule for the 82nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

When announcer Dallas Eubanks gave the order to open the entry gate 12 entries responded for the Owner-Amateur Yearlings class. Catherine Zeta Jones was the crowd’s popular star for handler Kelly Richards Ward for owners Dr. Roger Richards of Bell Buckle, Tennessee and Bobby Joe Jones from Manchester, Tennessee. Catherine Zeta Jones is undefeated in 2020 with six blues including the TWHBEA National Futurity. Walkin’ The Wild Side was guided to reserve by Amanda Wright for the partnership of Jim Leek, Maggie Moore and the George Wright Family. Jose’s Bandida Criada Jaron Dotson received third for the Dotson Brothers and Sam Moss.

A Wicked Bond and Ava Anderson made the world championship ride in the 12-entry Owner-Amateur Youth Riders, 6-11 Years on All Day Pleasure Walking Horses for the Callaway and Anderson partnership. A previous season win for A Wicked Bond came with Julia Callaway at the Alabama Ladies Auxiliary show. Jazz Line and Zane Bullock rode to second, while the yellow ribbon was presented to He’s Black Pepper with Raigan Gardner for the partnership of Gray, Gardner and Trimble.

Seven entries competed in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders, 6-11 Years on Trail Pleasure Walking Horses class. A Rain Delay and Lainey Sisk rode the world championship for Martin and Dean of Lewisburg, Tennessee. Pistol’s Senorita received a red ribbon with co-owner Jocelyn Laughlin in the saddle for co-owner Vickie Penick. Talkin’ Dirty To Me carried Caroline Stanley to a yellow streamer for Stanley and Swinford. 

First Night Out was the favorite of the crowd entering the ring and also earned the favor of the five-judge panel with a unanimous world champion for owner Brad Gregory from Franklin, Tennessee. The win came in the Owner-Amateur Novice Youth Riders, 6-17 on Novice Country Pleasure Walking Horses class with Riley Gregory besting the field of 13. She’s X’s And O’s made the play to earn reserve honors with Summer Compton for Rick Compton. Coolest Girl In Town received a yellow ribbon with Campbell Johnson guiding for Betsy and Kevin Johnson.

Catherine Zeta Jones was once again a crowd favorite as she earned her second world championship of morning. Robert Nelms exhibiting the stunning filly for Dr. Roger Richards of Bell Buckle, Tennessee and Bobby Joe Jones of Manchester, Tennessee, with the win coming in the Yearling Fillies or Geldings class. Another Jones and Richards owned entry, I Am Princess Margaret, earned the reserve streamers with Chris Richards at the lead. Jose’s Bandida Criada was third with Jaron Dotson guiding for the Dotson Brothers and Sam Moss.

Twelve entries were featured in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-11 Years on Country Pleasure Walking Horses class. A popular winner was Peligro Dinero ridden to the world championship by Lexi Smith from Shelbyville, Tennessee. It was the fourth blue this season for Peligro Dinero which is co-owned by Phyllis Langley from Scottsdale, Arizona. Coolest Girl In Town and Campbell Johnson walked to second for Kevin Johnson. Jose’s Grand Muchacha earned the yellow with Sydney Klein aboard.

Cheers around the ring were heard for Checkpoint Charlie SF and Harper Grider as they made their world championship victory lap in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on Western Trail Pleasure Walking Horses. It was the second blue of the Celebration for Checkpoint Charlie SF who remains undefeated  in five shows in 2020 for owners Tamara Hader of Bainbridge, Georgia, Harper Grider of Columbia, Kentucky and Ashley Say from Christiana, Tennessee. Labeled A Parolee won the red ribbon for Eliza Dekleyn. Third went to Dark Picture Show and Alexa Compton for owner Rick Compton.


Eight entries accepted the challenge in the Yearling Colts class. Robert Nelms picked up his second world championship of the morning as the handler of Everybody Call’s Me Sir for Lisa Teel of Fayetteville, Tennessee. It was fourth blue of 2020 for the team including the TWHBEA National Futurity. Collusion and Chris Richards were reserve for Jones and Richards, while Miracle Daddy and Marty Warren earned a third for owners Denise and Steve Smith.

The Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 Years on English Country Pleasure  Walking Horses also drew eight entries. Crowd favorite, I’m Big Bad John KW won the world championship with Jayden Jackson riding for Jacquelyn Way of Shelbyville, Tennessee. Score Diamond In The Ruff won the red streamer with Cheyanne Gardner up for Carey and Terry Hughes. She’s X’s And O’s was third with Summer Compton riding for Rick Compton.

A Rain Delay earned rousing vocal approval for the world championship in the nine-entry Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 12-17 on English Trail Pleasure Walking Horses class. A Rain Delay earned his second victory pass of the morning, this time with Colton Trimble, for the partnership of Martin and Dean from Lewisburg, Tennessee. The Blackout L.D. captured second place honors with Jayden Jackson in the irons. Ample Cash Down received third for co-owner Taylor Harvey. 

Nine entries came into the ring for the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders 6-17 Years on Park Performance Walking Horses class. Dirty Sexy Money and Jocelyn Laughlin of Shelbyville, Tennessee, earned the admiration of both fans and judges as she made the unanimous world championship ride for co-owner Jannie Chapman from Owens Cross Roads, Alabama. Paroled In Tennessee and Autum Scott tied second for owner Cheryl Adkins. Crimson Coach and Jamen Smith were third.

Next, the judges put six entries through their paces in the Auxiliary Equitation Medal Class, Canter, Riders 12-14 Years. Kate Cowan from Bowling Green, Kentucky rode to the world championship. It was her fourth win of 2020 in equitation. Marley Doyle tied second and Corbin Parker was third. 

The Auxiliary Equitation Medal Class, Riders 15-17 Years Old  ended the morning session with three entries. Jayden Jackson from Wartrace, Tennessee won the top title in unanimous fashion, her fourth equitation victory in an unbeaten year. It was also Jackson’s second blue ribbon of the morning session. Mia Thomas was second followed with Jacie Booth in third.