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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Young Celebration fans love their own special events

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Molly Vaughn and her little sister Natalie take Scope's Diamond for a walk on the grounds of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler) [Order this photo]
Activities outside the ring have paralleled the excitement inside the show ring for those who've attended the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

At any given time, horse enthusiasts can be seen visiting with each other in front of the barns, locals can be sighted picking up a dozen of the famous doughnuts and youths might be seen swapping stories about the latest world champion.

Last Saturday was the show's designated Youth Day.

"I have been showing since I was about 5, and I look forward to coming every year," said Molly Vaughn. "My favorite part is showing."

In addition to a lineup of classes in which they could compete, youths had the chance to take part in a judging contest.

The Celebration barbecue served as the perfect place for youths and their families to recharge.

"We've been coming out here for 16 or 17 years," said Gary Prater of Prater's Barbecue of Morristown, one of the restaurants featured at the barbecue. "I'm crazy about walking horses myself so I really enjoy coming out here."

Prater sticks around, setting up shop near the Celebration grounds through the duration of the show, serving up his prized ribs and pulled pork.

On Sunday, folks came out to watch the competition of another kind -- the dog show. The barn decorating contest also took place Sunday.

Today, Celebration fans can meet their idols up close and personal at an autograph signing from 1 to 3 p.m. at World Champion Horse Equipment, 730 Madison St. Walking horse trainers Vicki Self, Russ Thompson, Billy Gray, Larry and Gary Edwards will be the featured trainers.

Championships are kicking off Thursday night, with the 3-year-olds closing out the show. The 4-year-old come together for their championship Friday. The World Grand Championship will be the final class of the show Saturday night.

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