The judges for the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration include Jennifer Bingham of Shelbyville. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Chris Bobo of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Nathan Clark of Arab, Ala., (Pleasure, Halter & Performance), Brent Grider of Columbia, Ky. (Performance & Halter), Carol Smithson of Clarksville, Tenn. (Pleasure), Connie Waldo of Naples, Fla. (Pleasure), and Joel Weaver of Shelbyville, Tenn. (Performance & Halter).
As always, promptly at 7 p.m., official flag horse Counterfeit Dollar and Bud Seaton were at the gate and ready to present the colors and get the opening ceremonies underway. The invocation for the evening performance was given by the Rev. Glenn Forsee of the First Assembly Of God of Shelbyville, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Ashley Francis of Cookeville.
Up first on the evening schedule was class 118, Four-Year-Old Walking Mares (Canter)(Riders' Cup) with nine of the 10 with reservations making the call to work for Judge Joel Weaver and his cohorts. Riding to the winner's circle with a unanimous decision of the panel was Powerstroke's Evening Star and Herbert Derickson up for McGee and Ingraham of Lenoir, N.C. and Shelbyville, Tenn. The Sky Queen and Casey Wright were reserve for Bob & Jamie Gullic of Harrisburg, Ill. Jose Gun Powder And Lead and John Allan Callaway were third for Tommy Jowers of Leesburg, Ga.
Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, Five Years and Over (Canter), class 119, was up next on the program with nine of the 16 expected taking to the rail as Judge Jennifer Bingham called the gaits in the class. Making that World Championship ride for the second consecutive year was He's Wild Eyed & Wicked and Mike Walden in the irons, with a big smile on his face, riding for the Mike Walden family of Chattanooga. Cheatin' Danger and owner/exhibitor Trish Harrison Spivey of Morristown rode in to accept the red streamers. Black Cash Delight and Gail Walling were third for Mark and Gail Walling of Wartrace.
Class 120 brought the Owner-Amateur riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings to the big oval 25 strong to work as Judge Chris Bobo served as the Call Judge. Judge Bobo advised the entries from the outset that additional work would be required in the class. Once the initial work was complete, the panel asked 13 of the original 25 to remain on hand to work for the 10 honors in the class. When all the work was finally complete, it was the team of Conga Line and Courtney Luttrell, 2012 champions at the Columbia Spring Jubilee, dancing their way to the winner's circle for Stone Manor Farm of Alvaton, Ky. Twilight Fever and Tyler Baucom pulled into the second position for Abe Matthis of Morganton, N.C. High Society Ritz and David Sisk rounded out the top three in the class for Houston Manning and Kenny Smith of Hindman, Ky.
Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Ponies, Mares or Geldings, class 121, brought 13 of the 23 on the official Lions Club program to the historic Celebration Arena to show as Judge Nathan Clark served as Call Judge. Taking home the blue tonight was Sweet Sevens and owner/exhibitor Allison Thorson of Huron, Ohio. The Lady's Man and Maisie McSwain were reserve for Dan and Elaine McSwain of Gainesville, Ga. A Shady Character and Hayden Burks collected the golden streamers for Thrasher, Graves and Burks of Woodbury and Shelbyville.
The professional riders were back for class 122, Show Pleasure Walking Stallions (Riders' Cup) with 13 of the 18 expected working down the hill to show for top honors in the class as Judge Brent Grider served as Call Judge. Walking to the winner's circle was Iron Work's Tin Man, a classic horse, and trainer Chad Way up for Ray Jones Trucking of Greenville, Ky. Beau Jazz and Justin Harris were reserve for MacDonald and Oliver of Atlanta, Ga. and Bowling Green, Ky. Coin's Black Stroke, also a classic horse, and John Puckett were third for Reggie Pimental of Bell Buckle.
In the break between classes, it was time for "Steppin Into Cash" and tonight $500 was given away, sponsored by Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, to Iris Schumann of Shelbyville.
Class 123A was up next on the program, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions. Fifteen of the 23 entries with reservations made the call to work for their moment in the winner's circle tonight as Judge Joel Weaver called the gaits for the section. Making the winning pass in the class was Roethlisberger and Debbie McGill up for Al Morgan and Debbie McGill of New Market and Knoxville. Gin Rio and Becky Coleman picked up the red ribbon to take home to Greenwood, Miss. Street Jazz and Bob Medina were third for Rachel Castaldi of Skillman, N.J.
Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallion, Class 123B, was up next with 14 of the 21 on the books taking the rail in the historic big oval to work for their chance at World Championship acclaim on this Tuesday night. Judge Jennifer Bingham served as Call Judge for the class. Capturing the title was the team of Defending The Title and Jason Myatt riding for Jerry Myatt of Alvaton, Ky. This duo had 2012 wins at the Walking For Cancer Horse Show, the Spring Fun Show, the Woodbury Lions Club Horse Show and picked up two strong reserves at the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration. Blue's Master and Lee McGartland were reserve for Mike and Lee McGartland of Ft. Worth, Texas. Command On Parole and Sheryl Crawford were third for Metcalf and Crawford of Bainbridge and Carrollton, Ga.
Class 124 brought the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Mares or Geldings, 15.2 and Under down the hill with 13 of the 28 on the official Lions Club program to work for Judge Chris Bobo and his panel. Making her second victory ride of the night was Courtney Luttrell and this time she was aboard the good mare She's Caliente making the winning pass for Stone Manor Farm of Alvaton, Ky. Luttrell was in the winner's circle earlier in the night in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare & Gelding class with Conga Line. Jose's Vengeance and Rae Shumate-Tysor were reserve taking the honors home to Cummings, Ga. Bella Sera At The Ritz and Patti Pollack collected the yellow ribbon for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch of Saratoga, Calif. and Shelbyville.
Park Pleasure Mares or Geldings, Four-Years and Over (Riders' Cup), class 125, came next with five of the 15 on the program working hard for blue ribbon acclaim in the class as Judge Chris Bobo called the gaits in the class. B B King's Jazz and Brock Tillman, the reigning Park Pleasure World Grand Champions, rode to the winner's circle with the approval of all five judges for Stephens and Womack of Grayson, Ky. Heat Index and Jamey Thompson picked up the red ribbon for Mike and Lisa Baker of Valley Springs, Calif. Jose's Baby Doll and Jeff Laughlin were third for Doris Penick of Walterboro, S.C.
The Young Trainers, 35 Years and Under, on Walking Stallions (Riders' Cup), class 126 on the official Lions Club program, brought eight entries to the track to work as Judge Nathan Clark called the gaits in the class. Proving they were the real champions in the division, Absolute Proof and Bill Callaway, made the victory pass in the division for Ricky Young of Boaz, Ala. The classic horse, I'm Packin' A Pistol and Aaron Self pulled into the second position for Rick Compton of Tazewell, Va. Jose's Star Attraction and Justin Jenne' rounded out the top of the class for Willard and Linda Townson of Woodville, Ala.
Class 127, Owner-Amateur Novice Gentleman Riders on Novice Mares and Geldings, rounded out the Tuesday evening performance with 11 of the 17 on the books making the call for their chance to pick up their very first Celebration blue in the very last class of the Tuesday night performance. Judge Brent Grider served as Call Judge in the class. Picking up their first ever Celebration blue and taking it back home to West Tennessee was the duo of Jose's Centerfold and owner/exhibitor Bill Williams taking the title back home to Ripley, Tenn. By the way, they secured that first blue with a unanimous decision of the judging panel. Headed back Carolina way with reserve honors was Tarheel's Intimidator and owner/exhibitor Cliff Rivers of Chesterfield, S.C. A Kentuckian rounded out the top three as West Point and owner/exhibitor David Bullock took the third award back to Mt Vernon, Ky.
With a final victory pass from Bill Williams and Jose's Centerfold, the Tuesday night performance was complete at a quite early 10:20 p.m. Only one night of preliminary competition remains and there will be some quality classes including Fine Harness, Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings, Aged Geldings and Open Amateur Stallions (Canter) just to name a few. Make sure you're back with us and gear up for Thursday night when the roses start getting handed out once again and all the action will lead up to the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship. Don't miss out!