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Thursday, May 5, 2016

History lives at Wartrace Horse Show

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's one of the last shows before the Celebration -- and one of the oldest shows in Tennessee. Come Saturday to Wartrace, and you'll see history walking, running walking, and cantering around the ring at the horse show grounds.

"It should be a good show this year," said Heather Beard, secretary for the horse show committee. "All of our classes are sponsored -- there's 25 -- and trainers' response has been real good."

The Wartrace Horse Show may take place in a small town, but it draws big names in the walking horse world, such as Jimmy McConnell, seen here winning the stakes class in 2008 on Busting Special. This year's show will be Saturday, Aug. 6.
(T-G File Photo by Mary Reeves)
It is the 105th annual Wartrace Horse Show, an event that's actually been around since before the walking horse was established as a breed. Wartrace's history is interwoven closely with the evolution of the breed -- the first World Grand Champion, Strolling Jim, is buried nearby, and the town calls itself "The Cradle of the Tennessee Walking Horse."

Now, the history of the breed will truly take residence in Wartrace since the new site of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum is in the process of relocating there.

"We'll have a special presentation about the museum at the show," said Beard.

The show will also feature members of the award-winning Cascade band, who will perform the national anthem.

Of the 25 classes, six are Riders Cup classes. Sam Sorrell of Lexington, Ky., will be the judge and Roy Ferguson returns as show manager.

"The most valuable support our community can provide is by actually attending the show, by bringing your families, having supper with us at the concession stand and helping us continue this long-standing tradition as a community," Ferguson said.

The Wartrace Horse Show is a joint community volunteer effort of the East Bedford Civic Club and the Cascade Parent Teachers Organization. Once a year the two groups join to form the "Civic Enterprises of Wartrace" and sponsor the horse show.

East Bedford Civic Club, which focuses its contributions primarily to community youth activities, is the largest contributor and supporter of Cascade School, donating more than $10,000 each year to school projects and activities for the county's youth. The Wartrace Horse Show and the popcorn stand at the Celebration are the two primary sources of revenue for the community projects.

Wartrace is a very traditional one-night show with deep community roots and history in the horse industry. Families from the horse industry with deep ties to the early horse history in the area are still key supporters of the show including the Dement and Brantley families along with many others. The show has become a homecoming celebration for these families, the horse community and the local community.

The show begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and children under 12 are free. For box seats call Debbi Mills at 389-6973.

For more information, call Ferguson at (931) 580-1534 or Beard at 684-0010.