Horses and horse shows
Local trainer continues history of excellence
Local horse trainer Dickie Gardner has racked up his 10th and 11th Trainer of the Year awards, which -- when combined with Crystal Deputy's Trainer of the Year honor in 2014 -- makes an even dozen for Dickie Gardner Stables. Gardner was named the Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders Exhibitors Association Trainer of the Year and the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association Trainer of the Year in 2015. ...
Walking Horse Museum receives $3,300 grant
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum has received a $3,300 state grant. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has awarded grants to 29 organizations, including the Wartrace museum, to preserve historical records and improve the facilities where those records are stored. In all, the State Library and Archives awarded more than $95,000 worth of archival development grants across the state...
Letter to the Editor, Jan. 14
Thank you Shelbyville, I would like to thank the citizens of our community who came to participate in the Celebration Christmas. Myself, the Celebration board, fellow employees, and volunteers that put the event on were amazed with the attendance of over 2,500 people. The concept of a quality, family oriented, holiday event, with a carnival-like feel has been a goal for a couple of years...
TOP STORIES 2015: Reading, riding...and a lot of words
The ongoing troubles in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, and the opening of a new library, are tied for fourth place in the Times-Gazette's annual countdown of the year's top stories. (46 points) The Tennessee Walking Horse industry continued to fight a public relations battle with the Humane Society of the United States -- although the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration saw some positive signs in 2015...
A Celebration Christmas
Crowds fill Calsonic Arena for the first Celebration Christmas on Saturday night. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/cel2015 (T-G Photo by David Melson)
Trainers give back
The Walking Horse Trainers Association delivered Christmas toys Monday to more than 300 children at Bedford County schools, Early Head Start and the Center for Family Development. The donations are part of the Give Back Program. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Letters to the Editor, Dec. 10
Dear Editor, I would like to applaud Rep. Scott DesJarlais for introducing legislation that goes to the heart of the problem in the regulation of Tennessee Walking Horses, an inspection system wrought with inconsistencies and fraud. His bill also addresses the continued government overreach that is harming industry and small business all across America...
Letters to the Editor, Dec. 3
To the editor: It's sad to see a bill from Rep. Scott DesJarlais that tries to turn lawbreakers into victims and the dutiful staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture into perpetrators. The Congressman's bill is built on false assumptions...
Bill's goal: 'Protect' horse industry
A bill has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that would "protect the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry," according to its author. Rep. Scott DesJarlais introduced the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2015 late last week "The Tennessee Walking Horse industry is a vital part of our nation's agricultural sector," DesJarlais said. ...
UT horsepower: Cascade senior rides at Rocky Top
KNOXVILLE -- A Cascade senior and her Tennessee walking horse walked into the spotlight last weekend at Neyland Stadium. Sarah Beth Thomas and Masquerading's Glo Girl were featured guests just prior to the start of the University of Tennessee's homecoming game Saturday, Nov. 14 against North Texas. They rode around the field prior to the start of the game...
Two men seen near vandalized Christmas lights
Several people may be responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damage to lights and displays at the Celebration Christmas decorations on Celebration Drive. A resident of a nearby apartment complex told Shelbyville police Friday afternoon she heard noises and saw two trucks, one a light-colored flatbed model, at the displays about 2 a.m. Friday...
Celebration to affiliate with new HIO
A new horse industry organization (HIO) has formed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the formation of the Walking Horse Equestrian Federation (WHEF), the group announced last week. The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will affiliate with WHEF once it becomes active, TWHNC CEO Mike Inman said. The Sound Horses, Honest Judging, Objective Inspections, Winning Fairly (SHOW) horse industry organization will become inactive once WHEF is up and running, he said...
Celebration Christmas debuts in December
The Celebration is gearing up for a new Christmas event and needs the support of local churches and schools to make it a success. The inaugural Celebration Christmas is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. inside Calsonic Arena on the grounds of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration...
Percherons to lead the way in Veterans Day parade
"Laurel! Go!" The large Percheron horse, along with its stablemate Misty, obeys every command, whether by the voice of or the reins held by Lamar Mitchell. They're walking around a track Thursday afternoon at Southern View Farm in Shelbyville, where Mitchell and his wife Crystal raise Percherons...
He's Vida Blue dies of colic
At least two equine websites reported Wednesday that He's Vida Blue, the 2013 and 2015 reserve Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion, died early Tuesday in Murfreesboro from complications of colic. The horse was owned by Gayle Holcomb and Nick Masters of Marina Del Rey, Calif., and trained by Chad Williams at ThorSport Farms...
4-H horse show takes new approach
For about 20 years now, Bedford County's 4-H program has used an annual walking horse show as its primary fund-raiser. According to 4-H agent Jeffrey Hester, it takes $14,000 a year to run the 4-H program, which provides education and fun for local school children...
ThorSport Farm plays by the rules
ThorSport Farm is an equestrian haven for horse owners, their families, trainers and riders to fulfill their passion, enjoyment and love for horses. Daily, from before sunup to well after dark, ThorSport stables are filled with activity in the commitment to quality care -- families and trainers feeding, grooming horses, cleaning stalls and training side by side. ...
Howard appointed to Celebration board
Jeffrey Howard has been appointed to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration board of directors. He fills the vacant spot of Jim Allison, who recently lost his battle with cancer. Howard, publisher of the Walking Horse Report, has been active in the Walking Horse industry since his return to Dabora, Inc. in 1999. He has been married to his wife Mindee for 15 years and they have two children, Jax, 8, and Blake, 5...
NWHA show to salute veterans
The National Walking Horse Association, a flat-shod walking horse group which will hold its national show starting Monday at Calsonic Arena, has issued a special invitation to veterans and active military members to the final night of the show on Saturday, Sept. 26, when the group will be giving at least $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project...
Twenty-four members of Cascade FFA participated in the Celebration All Youth Horse Judging contest on August 29. The chapter collected 36 ribbons and three medallions. The highlight of the contest for Cascade was freshman FFA member Landon Parker receiving the high individual overall award in the senior non-reason division. Landon scored a near perfect score of 291 out of a possible 300 points. From left: Calli Gregory, Chayse Sanders, Sam Woodard, Wyatt Goolsby, Darwin Copp, Landon Parker, Jay Thompson, Jordan Hollis, Sara Cloud, Brigette Swafford, Chase McCormick and Breanna Stevens. (Submitted photo)
Brighter future may be ahead for Celebration?
Another Celebration's come and gone -- but, to use an old cliche, after this one we may be seeing the "light at the end of the tunnel." It appears this year saw a little more community support, a little more interest, and a few more seats filled compared to last year...
Triple play: I Am Jose earns third World Grand Championship
I Am Jose, Casey Wright up, was named Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion early Sunday morning, closing out the 77th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The entry, winning its third straight World Grand Championship, retired all four challenge trophies in the class and became only the second horse to win three years in a row, the first since Talk Of The Town in 1951, 1952 and 1953. The stallion is owned by Billy and Debbie Woods of Lexington...
Veterans honored by Celebration
The Celebration held Military Appreciation Night on Friday, with veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines given free tickets and recognized in the big arena during the show's opening ceremonies. Veterans marched into the ring behind a flag representing their branch of the service...
Six horses entered in TWHNC championship class
Six horses are entered in tonight's World Grand Championship class at the 77th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, including 2013 and 2014 World Grand Champion I Am Jose. The other five entries are all from the aged stallion division...
Inspecting the inspections
United States Department of Agriculture inspectors allowed a glimpse of access Thursday night of how they check horses at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Dr. Chester A. Gipson, Deputy Administrator, Animal Care Program for the agency, discussed the inspection process and addressed several topics of concern raised by the horse industry...
Keeping It Clean
Jonathan Miller, David Neese, Cory Biles and Keith Beck of the Celebration maintenance crew stack garbage cans in storage after emptying them early Wednesday morning at the Celebration. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Riding for the love of the horse
Some Tennessee walking horse owners can never get the love of the equine out of their blood. Dr. Leslie Perry Collins is one of those people. Collins first rode a Tennessee walking horse at age 10 when her parents bought an $800 mare. The family knew nothing about horses and did not know that was not a good matchup for a young rider, she said. They wanted to quiet her repeated "I want a horse" requests...
Community at the Celebration
Lydia Darnell's students from Community Middle School recently toured the Celebration grounds. Pictured in front of the Celebration sign (from left) are: Blysse McKee, Josie Chapman, Case Grizzle, Khari Pentecost, Billy Stallings, Martina Ramirez, Darnell, Tristan White, Nathan Bailiff, Jaqual Holman and Josue Juarez....
Barn rule lifted at Celebration
Horses do not have to stay on the Celebration grounds in advance of entering the ring, show officials said Wednesday. The Celebration lifted a rule that horses must stay on the grounds prior to showing in championship classes, CEO Mike Inman said...
USDA releases Celebration inspection results
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released these inspection and scratch results for the Celebration. Numbers are from the beginning of the show through Tuesday. Entries Inspected 94 Entries Scratched Prior to Inspection 17...
Excuses running out for USDA actions
The excuses given by the USDA for the increase in horses disqualified at the Celebration each year are being proven erroneous by facts and data readily available on the USDA-APHIS web site...
Frustrating times: Sudden rise in USDA scar rulings upsets trainers
Halfway into the Celebration, some in the walking horse industry are expressing frustration with what they say is a large number of disqualifications, and the possibility of a Congressional study is being raised. In the show's first two days, about 10 percent of inspected horses were disqualified for alleged scar rule violations, said Celebration CEO Mike Inman. That compares to 1 percent of horses being ruled as scarred during earlier shows throughout this past year, he said...
FCB Night at the Celebration
First Community Bank was Saturday night's Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration sponsor and awarded cash to several attendees.
Taking a close-up look
"Rail birds" watch a Celebration class at Calsonic Arena from ground level. The show continues through Saturday night. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Art for her room
Leslie Crum unwraps an item she bought at the Celebration that will go in her room in Lovelady, Texas. She has been showing horses for more than 25 years. Her mother, Tammy Crum, is at right. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Gen's Black Maverick, Border Run win stallion class divisions
Gen's Black Maverick won the A division of Stallions 5 Years and Over (Canter) while Border Run won the B division at Saturday night's performance of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration....
Stadium shines in the night
The action's on at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration each night this week, as the bright beams light up the Shelbyville sky. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Billy Coker of Olive Branch, Kentucky, sits beside his camper at the Celebration reading a walking horse magazine Wednesday morning. Coker used to show horses but is not at the present, and has been coming to the Celebration for over 40 years. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Jernigan family donates sign to Wartrace gathering place
The site of Bedford County's oldest horse show now has a new sign. Jernigan Field is the home of both the Wartrace Horse Show, which held its 109th annual event earlier this month, and the Wartrace MusicFest, which takes place the first weekend in June...
Video alleging horse abuse released
As opening classes of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration begin, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is investigating allegations of Tennessee walking horse abuse at a stable in Murfreesboro. No charges have been filed. The investigation was prompted by undercover videos the Humane Society of the United States says were taken at ThorSport Farm. They were released to the public on Tuesday...
Carnival midway being readied at Celebration
A carnival worker with Amusements of America sets up a ride Tuesday on the Celebration grounds. The carnival runs Thursday through Sunday. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
DesJarlais hits USDA actions
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais discussed issues ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry during a public appearance Wednesday afternoon in Shelbyville. DesJarlais said he's tried to be "a neutral moderator" between the horse industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in meetings USDA claimed it was interested in fair, objective screenings...
Entries in major class revealed
The 77th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has released the entries in the A and B division of Class 83, Walking Stallions, Five Years and Over (Canter). Although there are other classes which can qualify horses for the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship, the winners nearly always come through the aged stallion class, making it the most-watched preliminary class...
Wartrace plans town-wide yard sale
The town of Wartrace will hold its annual town-wide yard sale Aug. 28 and 29. An annual tradition in late August for middle Tennessee pickers and yard sale fans, the town's sale is open to out-of-town vendors and dealers as well as local residents. Buyers will find antiques, collectibles, flea market merchandise, hand made crafts, and the occasional oddball what-iz-it along the thoroughfares and off the beaten paths in town. ...
Veterans invited to special night at Celebration
Attention, all military personnel past and present: The Celebration wants to hear from you. The horse show is once again holding its Military Appreciation Night. This year's event is Friday, Sept. 4, said organizer Jeffrey McGee. The event is for all military personnel and veterans...
Golf tourney pairs locals, horse figures
Shelbyville & Bedford County Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Celebration to sponsor the second annual Celebration Shootout golf tournament Aug. 30 at Riverbend Country Club. This is the second year for the tournament but the first year for the Chamber to be involved...
CORRECTED: Midstate trustees gather; tax talk, horses on group's agenda
Trustees from across Middle Tennessee discussed the difficulties of collecting personal property tax from businesses, and saw a demonstration by a Tennessee walking horse, during a meeting Thursday on the Celebration grounds. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis is president of the Middle Tennessee Trustees Association. She hosted the group in Shelbyville for one of its quarterly meetings...
Deal paves way for expansion project at local industry
Shelbyville's Industrial Development Board gave its approval for a PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Tax) program with Century Mold for a 50,000 square foot expansion. The PILOT program is made available to economic development projects that encourage investment and job creation...
TWHNC medical regs explained
Walking horse owners and veterinarians had a chance to ask questions about The Celebration's medical regulations Monday. The Veterinary Advisory Council (VAC) is a committee that inspects horses at random during the show. Members of the council held a question and answer session Monday at The Blue Ribbon Circle...
'Hats off to the Celebration'
A group of walking horse supporters is adding a festive touch to this year's Celebration. Karen Inman, wife of Celebration CEO Mike Inman, is spearheading an effort to top off The Celebration -- literally. Inman wants every man, woman and child to wear a festive hat on Aug. 29, the first Saturday night of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The event will be called "Hats Off to The Celebration."...
Midstate trustees to see walking horses
County trustees from throughout Middle Tennessee will gather in Shelbyville on Thursday to talk about the issues -- and to watch a demonstration of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis, current president of the Middle Tennessee Trustees Association, scheduled the midday meeting on the Celebration grounds in Shelbyville. More than 30 of the region's 41 trustees are expected to attend, along with other dignitaries, vendors and guests...
Visitors deal with traffic
As Bedford County braces for its biggest tourist season of the year, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration says it may mention Shelbyville's street construction on its web site, but CEO Mike Inman doesn't expect it to be a problem. The widening of North Main Street (U.S. ...
Contestants in the Country Pleasure class line up for judging at the 16th annual Liberty Lions Club Horse Show, held Friday at Bedford County Agricultural Center. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Walking, driving and helping: Horsepower helps cancer victims
The Walking for Cancer Horse Show is adding a new method of transportation for spectators' enjoyment: new Ford vehicles to test drive. And every test drive will benefit local cancer patients. The show is one of two major fund-raisers held annually for the Bedford Cancer Foundation, a non-profit that gives assistance to cancer patients who live in Bedford County...
Honors for honors: Spring Fun Show a success
If you consider the Spring Fun Show to be a preview of The Celebration, then August could be a great event, an official says. Celebration CEO Mike Inman said the 45th annual Spring Fun Show, held last Thursday to Saturday, had significantly higher participation and attendance, and quality competitors. With 401 entries from around the country, participation was up 45 percent from 2014, and attendance had about the same increase, he said...
TWHBEA leader thinks industry has turned the corner
he last decade has been difficult for the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, but the acting executive director of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association sees signs of hope. "We think we've seen the bottom," said Walter Chism, who has been serving as interim director of TWHBEA. Major (Ret.) Rory R. Williams was named Executive Director last week and will be working with Chism during a transitional phase into the role...
Makala Stevens loads horse feed Monday at Shelbyville Farm Center/Celebration Feeds. The Walking Horse Trainers Association donated two tons of feed to Volunteer Equine Advocates. The Gallatin group is one of three organizations caring for horses rescued recently from an alleged state of neglect in Giles County, said Jill Derickson, a representative of the trainers association. The donation is part of the association's Walking Horse Trainers Give Back Program. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)...
Trainers donate feed for horses
The Walking Horse Trainers Association Give Back Program and Celebration Feeds partnered together to donate feed to aid and assist in the rehabilitation of 55 horses rescued in Giles County. One ton of feed was donated by the WHTA and a second ton of feed was donated by Charlie Green Stables...
Strolling Jim portrait graces museum
A special color portrait of the first world grand champion now greets visitors to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. A portrait of Strolling Jim, the 1939 World Grand Champion, has been perpetually loaned to the museum by Middle Tennessee State University...
Riding program seeks volunteers
Great Strides therapeutic riding program is holding a meet-and-greet for returning and potential future volunteers. The event is Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. at Old Plank Stables, 330 Highway 82 East, Bell Buckle. It's ok to show up late. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is welcome. For more information, call 931-492-5104...
State provides funds for restoring old Celebration films
Bringing images of the past into the present is the purpose of a historic preservation grant given to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the museum with the $2,000 grant Friday...
Walking horse industry wins court fight, works to form new HIO
Stakeholders in the Tennessee walking horse industry are looking at what happens next now that a court threw out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's mandatory penalties for horses that were allegedly scarred. One of the next steps is the formation of a new horse industry organization (HIO)...
State grant will fund old TWHNC videos
A grant presentation will be held Friday at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will present the museum with a $2,000 grant at 1 p.m. The monies will be used for the restoration, preservation and digitization of past films of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, according to Philip D. Gentry, president of the museum...
Court rules in favor of walking horse industry
The Tennessee walking horse industry received news in its favor yesterday when a court reversed its opinion regarding penalties related to the Horse Protection Act. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with the district court in Texas relative to mandatory penalties, which would have impacted the industry greatly. The penalties would have given exhibitors lifetime suspensions if they received three violations...
Walking Horse Museum celebrates Black History Month
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum is celebrating Black History Month throughout the month of February. The Museum is inviting everyone to come see their exhibits during the Black History Tribute on Saturday, Feb. 21 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m....
Howard retires as Celebration chair
The Celebration's leadership underwent some changes following a Monday meeting. Chairman David Howard has retired from the Celebration board upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, but he plans to stay busy with Dabora Inc., the family business, his son Jeff Howard said...
Horse show proceeds go to charity
Proceeds from the Walking With Angels Craft Fair and Horse Show were used to purchase Christmas gifts for families in need throughout Bedford County. The names of the families were provided by Bedford County Schools. From left: Julie Lambert, Candy Green, Charlie Green, Russ Keyser and Robert Cortner drop off gifts at Eakin Elementary School. (Submitted photo)
Top stories of 2014, Number 3: Horses and a homecoming
Our countdown of the top 10 local news stories of 2014 continues with the second of two ties. There is no fourth place story because of a tie at third place. Two competing bills -- one favored by the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, another by the Humane Society of the United States -- continued to battle for congressional approval as the debate over walking horse training methods wore on...
Inspection data for Celebration released
The USDA inspection numbers for The Celebration show 52 percent of swab tests were positive. A total of 125 swab samples were taken, with 65 showing positive for foreign substances, USDA data shows. Not every horse is inspected. For blood tests, five of 103 horses tested positive, according to USDA data...
Local draft horses shown in Louisville
The North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., which continues through Friday, held its Draft Horse Show last week. Crystal and Lamar Mitchell, owners of Southern View Farm in Shelbyville, brought six of their eight draft horses. The couple has been showing for 10 years, purely because of their love for draft horses. Crystal praised them for their gentle nature and also mentioned their fun personalities which were showcased throughout the show...
The scar rule and disturbing information
During the 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, one thing was evident; the scar rule was being interpreted differently by the United States Department of Agriculture and the SHOW HIO. And since the show ended, media have reported that violations doubled and soring is still rampant in the Walking Horse industry. It's time to look at some facts...
CORRECTED: Spotted saddle horses' versatility will be on display
Shelbyville-based Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association will open its 30th annual fall show Wednesday in Calsonic Arena. This week's show is a traditional gaited horse show, but as SSHBEA looks to the future it is looking to the breed's versatility and relying on a mix of horse shows, trail events and sport horse events to carry the organization forward...
Ups, downs mark 2014 Celebration
There were both high points and low points in the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, according to Celebration CEO Mike Inman. Rainy weather on both Saturday nights of the show hurt attendance, and there were about 200 fewer horses showing this year than last year. ...
Celebration lauds Smith with humanitarian award
Local scoutmaster, former assistant Shelbyville fire chief, and active Rotarian Franklin Smith was honored during the first Saturday night of the Celebration with the show's annual Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award. "It was a big surprise," said Smith. "Everybody knew it but me."...
Let the children walk on, too
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration isn't the only horse show that occurs in Shelbyville during the last week of August. The kids at Mrs. Judie Pope's Daycare have a horse show of their own. Mrs. Judie Pope, a lifelong Shelbyville resident, has owned Mrs. Judie's Daycare for 44 years. Pope has always had a love for children, but she as many Shelbyville-natives do, also has a love for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration...
I Am José becomes first repeat grand champion since 1956
I Am José was named Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion on a soggy Saturday night, becoming the first horse to repeat as champion since Go Boy's Shadow in 1955 and 1956. Casey Wright rode the entry for Billy and Debbie Woods of Lexington. Traditionally, the owners of the previous year's World Grand Champion donate a trophy for the new winner, and this year, the Woods were both the donors of that trophy and the recipients...
Letter to the editor, Aug. 29, 2014
To the editor: You all going to the show tonight? A familiar question this time of year. The show, of course, being the Celebration. The pagentry and competition notwithstanding, I ask myself every year why I still go. It's been a repeat eavery year since I watched Ebony Masterpiece wear the floral horseshoe...
Plenty to do on a hot Celebration day
Some Celebration-goers braved Thursday's mid-day heat to cook doughnuts, check out their horses and just hang out. Carl Patrick of Ohio was buying doughnuts from the Optimist booth around lunch time. A crew of volunteers led by Mark Hall stayed busy frying, glazing and boxing the tasty treats. The volunteers included Ryan House and Conner Hintze of Boy Scouts Troop 390...
Governor attends TWHNC; veterans honored
State Rep. Pat Marsh uses a Celebration usher's smartphone to take a photo of her with Gov. Bill Haslam. Haslam attended the show Thursday night and was honored at center ring. Thursday was also Veterans' Night, with special patriotic ceremonies. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/twhnc-8-28-14. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
On the day shift: The grounds are alive long before the show starts
Before the lights come on and the spectators arrive each night at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, there's a lot of preparation going on at the Celebration grounds during the day. Starting with the food... At the VFW food "booth" -- actually an entire building, and one of two food outlets open the full day -- customers were already chowing down at mid-morning Thursday. Inside, workers were braving the heat; air conditioning is only a dream here. But no one was complaining...
Local artist specializes in horse paintings
Many area residents and horse enthusiasts know Larry Lowman for his photography talents, but the local business man his also a talented painter, seen here with several of his pieces on hand for this year's Celebration goers. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Beating the heat with A.M. work
With overcast skies and a temperature of 73 degrees, Tuesday morning was the perfect time for Tennessee walking horses to get out and stretch their legs. Hunter Morgan of Circle T. Stables had been on the Celebration grounds since 5 a.m. and said they like to work the horses during the morning instead of the typical sweltering August afternoon heat...
What scar? Industry responds to turndowns
Tennessee Walking Horses that were rejected by federal inspectors at the Celebration were shown to the media and to a representative of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais' office on Tuesday, as the horse industry fights to preserve its image and premier event of the year...
Around and around a ring of his own
Bill Jenne' has put together a "labor of love" for the Celebration this year, and it will be on display for all to see at his son's stables A master woodworker, Bill has designed and built a gorgeous miniature carousel, featuring 20 walking horses and 2 carts -- illuminated with over 200 miniature lights...
Mr. Heisman only entry in "A" division of stallion class; Gen's Black Maverick wins "B" division
Only one horse, Mr. Heisman, showed in the "A" division of Walking Stallions, 5 Years and Over during Saturday night's performance of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Gen's Black Maverick won the "B" division from among five entries...
Stepping to a start
Mark Farrar, in his first evening as the official announcer of evening classes at the Celebration, told the crowd that he noticed attendance had doubled between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., which he attributed to the show's change in start times. "It caught some folks here off guard," said Farrar, and he was probably correct in that assumption...
USDA urged to inspect horses at Celebration
Fifty-nine Congressional sponsors of the PAST Act are renewing their call to the USDA to actively inspect horses at The Celebration. The representatives sent a letter on Aug. 7 to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. They repeated that call on Thursday in a press release to the media by Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Kentucky, and Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, two of the main sponsors of the PAST Act...
VAC will report findings: Leader
A new equine group inspecting horses at The Celebration will report "the good, the bad and the ugly," the lead veterinarian says, although some walking horse industry observers have expressed reservations about the testing. Dr. Jerry Johnson made his pledge to report his findings earlier this week when talking about the Veterinary Advisory Council (VAC). ...
Explaining VAC: Who they are, what they do
The new Veterinary Advisory Council (VAC) will inspect horses at this year's Celebration. But some are asking what is the VAC. The VAC consists of Drs. Jerry H. Johnson, Dallas O. Goble and Phillip D. Hammock. The VAC will test at random after horses have shown in the ring and been through any official post-show inspection, said Tom Blankenship, an Indiana attorney who serves as the council's spokesman. The group works separately from USDA and industry inspectors...
Vet group talks inspections
The Celebration's third-party veterinary inspection of horses kicked off following Wednesday morning classes, halting briefly for a press conference to show how the process works. Earlier this summer, The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration announced the creation of a third-party group, the Veterinary Advisory Council (VAC)...
From the Horse's Mouth: New, yet familiar, voice
Mark Farrar Jr. had already been announcing morning classes for the Celebration but this year will move to the big arena as the announcer for evening classes...
Corrections training possible in old school
Tennessee Department of Corrections wants to use the old Harris Middle School / Central High School building on Elm Street for training exercises. The request was presented to Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee and to the courthouse and property committee on Tuesday night. The courthouse and property committee must approve all such requests on a case-by-case basis; the request was presented to the law enforcement committee as a courtesy...
Destinations & Diversions: It's Celebration time in Shelbyville
Tonight's the night, as evening classes in the 76th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration kick off in the big arena. There's a new start time, 6:30 p.m., so don't be late. The Celebration Trade Fair will be held beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing into the evening in an open area behind the Kiwanis food booth at the south end. Show admission is required to access the trade fair...
Walk on...it may be faster
With visitors to the Celebration arriving this week, traffic on North Main Street is expected to pick up rapidly. Work on Shelbyville's main thoroughfare will continue during the 10 days of the National Walking Horse Celebration, according to Heather Jensen, TDOT community relations officer for Region 3...
Trade fair shifts locations, hours
The Celebration Trade Fair is moving outdoors, and becoming a part of the big show. The Trade Fair is an annual event featuring a variety of vendors selling everything from equine equipment to fine jewelry to T-shirts. In the past, it's been held during the day, inside Calsonic Arena on the horse show grounds. It closed just as the Celebration's evening performances were getting underway...
Eakin celebrates Celebration
Eakin Elementary School is celebrating The Celebration in a special way this week. The school cafeteria dressed out its food serving line with Tennessee walking horse items, including show ribbons, trophies, toy horses and a walking horse platter...
Futurity returns to Shelbyville
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is celebrating the return of the National Futurity show to Shelbyville. The Futurity -- which showcases younger animals in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry -- will be held at Calsonic Arena tonight...
Breaths of truth: Horse whisperer's actions carry deeper message
Paul Daily has been a Christian and a horse lover his entire life. However, it was not until he combined those two loves that he felt he was actually doing what God had called him to do. Daily gave his first demonstration as a "horse whisperer" on Feb. 22, 1997, at his home in Louisiana for his wife Joana's Sunday school class. Since then, he has committed his life to "training" untamed horses by communicating with them through the word of God...
Tradition continues: Wartrace Horse Show's 108th year
The 108th annual Wartrace Horse Show featured large classes, quality entries and a large crowd, according to industry representatives. Winky Groover won the stake with MP2 for Debbie Eichler of Rising Star Ranch. (Submitted photo)
Wartrace tradition steps on
Not many local events can claim more than a century of tradition, but the Wartrace Horse Show just keeps on going, bringing life to the town's tagline, "Cradle of the Tennessee Walking Horse." The 108th annual show starts at 6 p.m. Saturday on the horse show grounds in Wartrace, and show secretary Heather Beard said preparations are moving right along...
Celebration makes several rules changes
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has announced new rules changes. Among the new rules going into effect are: l Any horse competing in a championship class must be continuously stalled on the show grounds for no less than 48 consecutive hours prior to the scheduled start time of the performance in which the championship class is to be held...
Celebration names advisory group
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has announced a three-member veterinary advisory committee that will be in charge of rules and regulations pertaining to the safety and well-being of the Tennessee Walking Horse. The panel consists of Drs. Jerry H. Johnson, D.V.M, Dallas O. Goble, D.V.M, and Phillip D. Hammock, D.V.M...
Colorful ribbons to show, urge Celebration support
Even as lawmakers in Congress grapple over competing bills to regulate walking horses, industry backers are preparing for the 76th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Virginia Stewart is urging Bedford County residents and businesses to deck the community in blue, red and yellow tri-color ribbons to welcome Celebration visitors. Each color represents a prize in the show: blue for first, red for second and yellow for third...
FCB partners with horse show
First Community Bank CEO Scott Coconaugher, right, joins Celebration CEO Mike Inman after the announcement was made that FCB is a new premier sponsor of the Celebration. The first Saturday night of the horse show has been designated as "First community Bank of Bedford County" night. (Submitted photo)
FCB is new sponsor of Celebration
First Community Bank of Bedford County has agreed to become the premier sponsor for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration from Aug. 20-30. The first Saturday night of the 2014 event will be First Community Bank of Bedford County Night, according to a press release...
Yee haw! Mule show underway at Celebration Grounds
The 23rd annual Great Celebration Mule & Donkey Show started Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Celebration grounds. (T-G Photos by Jason Reynolds)
Summer to become busier at Celebration grounds
Activity will be heating up soon at the Celebration grounds. The Celebration's 23rd annual Great Celebration Mule & Donkey Show will be July 10-12. And the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) National Futurity returns Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Calsonic Arena. In recent years the futurity was held in Murfreesboro...
Great Strides seeks volunteers
Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program is looking for a few good volunteers. Volunteers should be at least in their teens, said Libby Golden of the organization. Great Strides provides opportunities for physically challenged children to ride and interact with horses...
Walking horse trainers give back
The Walking Horse Trainers Association has started a new Walking Horse Trainers Give Back Program. This will be a community outreach initiative that will strive to positively impact children, families and animals . They are scheduling volunteer events within the community as an opportunity for the association to give back to Bedford County...
Folsom Prison Blues wins Fun Show stake class
Folsom Prison Blues, Charlie Green up for the Jimmy Smith Family of Oliver Springs, won the Stallions 15.2 and Over category to conclude the 44th Annual Spring Fun Show on Saturday night at Calsonic Arena. (Photo courtesy Shane Shiflet Photography)
Friday at the Fun Show
Competitors in the Owner-Amateur Youth Riders on Country Pleasure Horses class opened Friday night's Spring Fun Show. Due to the 6 p.m. start time, there weren't many in the stands for the first class, but spectators continued to arrive. Competitors in the Owner-Amateur Youth Country Pleasure class wait in the lineup for the judges' results...
Spring Fun Show in progress at arena
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration's 44th annual Spring Fun Show began Thursday night and continues tonight and Saturday night at Calsonic Arena. Classes begin at 6 each evening. It's a chance to get an early look at some of the horses that are expected to contend in the Celebration when it arrives in August. The final class Saturday night will be the stallions over 15.2 class, corresponding with the Celebration division from which World Grand Champions traditionally are found...
Steps back into the future
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is celebrating the return of the National Futurity show to Shelbyville. The Celebration has announced that the Futurity -- which showcases younger animals in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry -- will be held at Calsonic Arena on Wednesday, Aug. 20. That will be the night before the start of The Celebration...
It'll be "ride 'em cowboy" later this month at the Calsonic Arena during the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) Spring Fun Show. Craig Cameron's Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA) and the Southern Obstacle Challenge Association (SOCA) has announced that the EXCA National Championships will once again be held at the historic Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville...
Sheriff says he's against PAST Act, despite Facebook photo
The way that Facebook inserts photos in posts is being blamed for a misunderstanding on a public official's position on legislation affecting the horse industry. Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce issued a statement denouncing what he called false accusations that he supported the PAST Act. The sheriff referred to a link that Marty Irby, U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield's press secretary, posted on Facebook on April 23...
Trainers' plea: Objectivity in horse show inspections
A horse training family is calling for more objectivity in inspections following one horse's disqualification at last week's Kick Off Classic and a possible lifetime ban of the 3-year-old. Master Class was disqualified after showing on a scar rule violation by U.S. ...
PAST Act bill moves through committee
The PAST Act passed through a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday. The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the bill with no discussion. The PAST Act, or Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, was "marked up" and moved out of the committee as a package with other bills. No additional votes have been scheduled yet...
Horse community fights cancer
The Tennessee Walking Horse community is stepping up again to help local cancer patients. The annual Walking for Cancer Horse Show will be held on Saturday, April 12 at Bedford County Agriculture Center on Midland Road. The show is the largest fundraiser for The Bedford County Cancer Foundation, an independent organization that provides financial assistance to patients in Bedford County...
Alexander bill's goal: Protect Tennessee Walking Horses, industry traditions
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) are introducing a horse protection bill similar to the one U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky) have introduced in the House, only with a few additions...
TWH museum recognized
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum located in Wartrace, the town known as the "Cradle of The Tennessee Walking Horse," received the 2014 Award of Commendation in recognition of superlative achievement in the "Temporary Exhibition" category at the Tennessee Association of Museums Annual Conference in Greeneville, on March 19. The exhibit focused on "A Moment in the Rich Tradition of the Celebration" on Aug. 29, 2013. Pictured left to right are Adam Alfrey, president of TAM; Philip Gentry, president of the museum; Leah Walker, awards committee chair; and Tori Mason, Middle Tennessee representative. (Submitted photo)
Trainers' Show winner
Trainer Herbert Derickson celebrates the stake win he captured, aboard Master's Razzel and Jazz, with the Riddley family and other friends and supporters of the winning team. The win took place Saturday night at the Walking Horse Trainers' Show, considered by many to be the season opener for the walking horse industry. (Photo courtesy Walking Horse Report)
Trainers' show underway
Hannah Pulvers and Jennifer Bingham celebrate Eye On The Title's win in the country pleasure division at Thursday evening's Walking Horse Trainers' Show. The show is considered to be the industry's season opener and runs through Saturday night at the Calsonic Arena on the grounds of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville. (Photo courtesy Walking Horse Report)
DesJarlais joins on Blackburn legislation
Congressman Scott Desjarlais believes a bill before Congress aimed at preventing soring "would significantly hurt the Walking Horse industry." Last month, Shelbyville's mayor and council wrote to Desjarlais and other members of Congress to express their concern over H.R. 1518, The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act...
Sound Horse Conference to be held
"A future without soring" is the goal for a horse lovers conference next month. The fourth Sound Horse Conference will meet March 28-30 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brentwood. A Sunday horse demonstration will be held in Lewisburg. Several sponsors include Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) and the Humane Society of the United States...
Blackburn bill would protect Celebration
(Editor's note: The following piece reflects a recent Q & A interview with Celebration CEO Mike Inman and the Times-Gazette, and also includes comments from U.S. Rep. Pat Marsh, who is also a Celebration board member. The purpose of this article is to inform readers about a recent bill introduced to Congress regarding the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.)...
TWHNC backs Blackburn bill
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and two industry groups say they support alternative legislation to the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, or PAST Act. "The Celebration commends and supports fully Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and her commonsense legislation to eliminate soring from the Tennessee Walking Horse industry," according to a Celebration press release...
Together as one: Thorson wants to bring others into horse world
The life of a college student has become fine-tuning for Allison Thorson, who was an equestrian champion long before she made the latest step in what becomes many young adults' life progression. She's up before the sun -- not just today but virtually every day...
Spotting the best: Just look for Dickie Gardner
Bedford County's own Dickie Gardner has earned his eighth Trainer of the Year award, the most recent being from the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, which has given Gardner the honor for each of the past three years. He's also earned three Trainer of the Year awards (2009, 2010, 2011) from the Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association, and two (1999, 2004) from the Professional Spotted Saddle Horse Trainers Association...
Celebration cuts prices, speeds pace
The Celebration will be speeding up its ceremonies as well as discounting box seat prices this year. "You will be able to get box prices as low as $200," said Mike Inman, CEO of The Celebration. "That works out to $3.33 a seat per night, since boxes have six seats."...
Judges named for Trainers' Show
The Shelbyville-based Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA) has announced the judges for the 46th Annual National Trainers' Show, which will be held March 13-15 at Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds. The judges will be Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky.; Dean Byard of Antioch; and Paul Robbins of Forest City, N.C., will be marking the cards for this year's event...
DesJarlais wants horse bill changed
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais told the Times-Gazette last week that he hopes for a compromise version of the legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky which would require federal inspection at walking horse shows and ban the use of action devices...
City council expresses concern on horse bill
Shelbyville's mayor and council have written to several members of Congress expressing concerns about a proposed federal law that would impact the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. In a letter to Rep. Scott DesJarlais and others, the council says it believes that the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act "is more encompassing than needed in its extent of new federal regulations through the Department of Agriculture."...
WHTA asks council for $5K donation
The Walking Horse Trainers Association (WHTA) made a request for $5,000 from Shelbyville for this year's event to kick off the horse show season. It's the same amount that the council granted last year when the WHTA made the same request. It's also the same amount WHTA is asking from Bedford County...
WHTA coat donation
Mickey McCormick, president of the Walking Horse Trainer's Association, presented Kyle Turnbow of Shelbyville Central High School with around 50 jackets to be distributed to the local schools. "The Walking Horse Industry is proud to help the community see that children who are coming to school in these cold temperatures at least have a jacket to help keep them warm while they are waiting on the bus or walking to school," said Julie Lambert, on behalf of the organization. (Submitted photo)
Smith takes the reins of TWHBEA
Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' And Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) has announced that Stephen B. Smith has been elected to its International Board of Directors to represent Tennessee and to serve as president of the International Board for 2014...
Top Stories of 2013: Prank gun call scares school; horse industry fights critics
A school security threat turned out to be a prank call, but the ongoing struggles of the Tennessee walking horse industry were all too real, as the Times-Gazette continues its countdown of the top 10 local stories of 2013 as determined by a panel of 12 T-G employees...
Priscilla Presley takes back Celebration trophy
NASHVILLE (AP) - Priscilla Presley says she is taking back the Graceland Challenge Trophy, which has been offered at the nation's premier walking horse competition for three decades. Presley said she didn't know the trophy was still awarded at the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville...
The Celebration board taps Crowell
David Crowell is a new board member of The Celebration. The Shelbyville native is general manager of Shelbyville Power, Water & Sewerage System. He graduated from Shelbyville Central High School in 1979 and from Middle Tennessee State University in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, majoring in accounting...
TWHBEA leader: Walking horse industry will rebound
Members of Tennessee's Backroads Heritage Inc. chose the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association in Lewisburg as the site for their fall dinner and program. Tracy Boyd, TWHBEA executive director and former president, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the walking horse and the breed association, which was established in Lewisburg in 1935 as the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association of America. ...
Lights are on the way ...
Brandon Mitchell attaches a bracket to the fence on the Celebration grounds to help secure Christmas lights being put up Tuesday afternoon. Helping Mitchell is Tim Pruitt, left. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Belfast champions crowned
The Belfast walking horse show was reported to have gone smoothly as it showcased its champions in its inaugural fall show. Traditionally, the horse show is held just prior to the Celebration, but was rescheduled to October this year. Top honors in the walking horse stake class went to The Golden Sovereign, owned by Virginia Stewart of Shelbyville...
Trainer, horses killed
A prominent Tennessee walking horse trainer and three horses were killed in a traffic accident Sunday morning in northern Kentucky. Jeffrey Givens, 51, of Murfreesboro was southbound on Interstate 71 in Gallatin County, Ky., when the truck he was driving with an attached horse trailer ran off the left side of the road, authorities told Cincinnati media outlets...
SHOW HIO to become inactive
The SHOW Horse Industry HIO (HIO) will become inactive and not affiliate horse shows effective the completion of the Tunica, Miss., horse show next month. SHOW is owned by the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Prior to Tunica, it has 20 affiliated shows remaining in 2013 and those commitments will be honored, according to a press release issued by The Celebration...
Chairman of Celebration board retires
D.B. "Buddy" Nelson has retired from his position as Chairman of the Board of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The retirement was effective Oct. 3. Nelson was due to leave the board at retirement age in January but decided to leave three months early. No replacement has been named but an early November meeting has been set where his replacement is expected to be named...
Just follow the trail
Zack Sapp leaves behind a low cloud of dust as he puts his horse through a workout in preparation for the Spotted Saddle Horse Show at the Celebration grounds. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Title Town U.S.A.: Four championship shows in Shelbyville this year
The Celebration grounds is now hosting its third championship in 2013 -- for flat shod walking horses. The National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) National Championship Show, or "The National," started Monday and will be held through Saturday at Calsonic Arena...
Queen of the Percherons
Percheron horses are known as "gentle giants," and a Chapel Hill girl has recently been crowned as their queen. Brooke Daly, 17, has been showing horses since she was 3 and plans a career in equine veterinary. But over the past few years, she's been competing with Percherons -- an enormous draft horse breed from northern France first used as a war horse -- and has now been crowned 2013 National Percheron Queen...
Magistrate: Dismiss lawsuit against Celebration
A federal magistrate is recommending the dismissal of a $10 million lawsuit against the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and its board of directors. Last month, Nathanael L. Jackson, Jennie D. Jackson of Cookeville and Natalie B. Jackson-Pritchard of Villa Rica, Ga., each filed a federal civil rights suit against the Celebration and nine others...
Civil rights suit filed against Celebration
A long-time exhibitor in -- and critic of -- the Tennessee walking horse industry, and two other family members have filed a multi-million dollar federal civil rights suit against the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and members of its board of directors...
I Am José named World Grand Champion
I Am José, Casey Wright up won the World Grand Championship early this morning, closing out the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The entry is owned by Billy and Debbie Woods of Lexington. The entry qualified for World Grand Championship competition by winning the 4-Year-Old Stallion class. Most World Grand Champions in recent memory have come from the class for stallions 5 years and over...
Nine listed in WGC program
Nine entries, including a past World Grand Champion, are listed in the program supplement for tonight's Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship, to cap off the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. They are, in order of rider-back number:...
Doctor prescribes wins: At 95, Hill dominates 70-and-over classes
Dr. W.H. Hill is going strong in the Celebration even as he looks to his 96th birthday in November. Dr. Hill won the Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses, Riders 70 Years & Over class last week. He has won the class for seven of the last eight years, the last three of them on Kudos for Cash...
A heart for winning
Even heart trouble won't keep one boy away from the Celebration. Ten-year-old Nathan Oliver has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening condition in which the heart muscle is extra thick, said his mother Tracy. But Nathan also has several blue ribbons from the world grand championship horse show...
Help them walk on: Support the Celebration
I don't know if it's because I have a child who's getting old enough to enjoy the horse show in small bits and pieces, or if it's because the weight of the world seems to be lying on the walking horse industry's shoulders -- or maybe both -- but I'm feeling especially drawn to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration this year...
Strolling Jim was ride of life for youth
It was the summer of 1939 when 13-year-old Milton Holloway's father Frank took his son to the Colt Show over in Petersburg. The Petersburg show "was a very prominent thing that had been going on since the 1800's," the 87-year-old Holloway recalls today, with another horse show scheduled nearby, set for two weeks later...
Wartrace facility worth the visit
While Shelbyville is known worldwide as the home of the Walking Horse Celebration, the actual starting point to learn about the breed's rich history is in nearby Wartrace. It's where walking horse shows first got their start in 1906, also being the location of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum...
Drama in and out of the ring
The first weekend of the 75th anniversary of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration had more drama, intrigue and cliff hangers than an afternoon of TV soap operas. Usually the Walking Stallions, 5 Years Old and Over, class on the first Saturday night gives fans a preview of what might happen on the final Saturday night when the World Grand Champion is crowned...
Wheeling around: Lowman provides Celebration tram
You see them on the streets of cities like Charleston and Savannah -- carrying tourists while teaching about the past. This year, the Celebration has joined them with its very own tram. It's all thanks to walking horse supporter Larry Lowman, whose efforts will make it easier to move groups around the show grounds...
Not just barns: Luxurious havens dot show grounds
A barn is not always just a barn when it comes to the Celebration. Prior to the pomp and circumstance of the center ring each evening, the barns, or stables, serve both as a place to prepare the horses as well as to hang out and meet up with longtime friends. And, the barns may be decorated just as much as the horses and riders, from nice kitchens to palm trees...
Great Strides: It's a matter of trust
The Great Strides Therapeutic Riding program has been a great help to Clark Bowling with his balance. Clark is enrolled in the program, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is developmentally delayed. But his mother Debbie says he has progressed a lot since joining the six week program at the urging of Clark's grandmother Beverly Boyce...
Great Strides: Riding for a more balanced life
This summer marked the first six-week class for Chelsea Frazier at the Great Strides program at Bridlewood Farm, and she is all smiles about it. According to her mother Shelly Dye, Chelsea is like many children in the program. She has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is developmentally delayed, and was recommended for the therapeutic riding program by her doctor...
Great Strides: Woman considers lending a hoof -- or four
A woman who has been involved with therapeutic riding in the past is thinking of providing a little "horse power" to a local program. Carlene Pulley visited Great Strides Therapeutic Riding in July to look into the program. Pulley said she owns a 17-year-old black-and-white spotted saddle horse she is thinking about donating to the group. The horse's name is Night Light Nip, or just Nip. The horse is too old now for trail riding...
Great Strides: Madilynn loves horses ... and cats ... and dogs
Madilynn Reeves' mother says she loves horses -- indeed, she loves all animals. The 6-year-old -- and her family -- owns three cats, two dogs and two horses, one of which is named Caper's Rocket Queen, said her mother, Karen. She also has a guinea pig...
Great Strides: Horses build confidence for young rider
For one father, horse riding's value starts with human interaction. "It's a big thing, the socialization," said Chris Simpson, who moved to Wartrace three years ago. "It's also a confidence builder, her getting up on the horse." His 6-year-old daughter, Katie, started riding at Great Strides Therapeutic Riding this summer. She attends one-hour sessions on Monday afternoons...
Great Strides: Trainer has reason to smile
Ann Burkhalter loves the smiles. The Christiana resident is the trainer for Great Strides Therapeutic Riding. And she sees a lot of smiles. One rider, who is autistic, comes to mind. "He's serious," Burkhalter said. "All of a sudden, he gets it (how to ride) with the horse going faster, and he's got a smile from one end to the other. I think it's the smiles more than anything. I'm happy I can do this."...
Great Strides: Meet Sean Douglas
This is the fifth year that 11-year-old Sean Douglas has taken part in the Great Strides program, and the animals have helped him cope with his disability. He was born with bilateral club feet, one of the more severe forms of it, according to his mother Karen, with his left foot touching his shin. But over the year with surgery and therapy, they have been straightened out. The condition also causes severe flatfoot, she said, since he has no arches...
Great Strides: Calm, easy and quiet
Many of the students who take part in the Great Strides Therapeutic Riding program take to the horses to help them become more outgoing and less introverted. But 19-year-old Scotty Maloney rides for a different reason -- to calm him down. According to his mother Jo, Scotty has been in the program for three years, and has William's Syndrome, which she described as a social condition where he's overly friendly...
Great Strides: Opening up wider horizons
Three years ago, getting Aiden O'Carroll involved in anything outside his bedroom was a chore -- that is, until his participation in the Great Strides program. When Aiden went to live with his grandparents, Ed and Tina Ruth, they had "no clue" how to deal with autism, until they got advice from members of the local support group about the program...
He's Vida Blue, Lampshade win aged stallion class
A total of five horses competed in the split "A" and "B" divisions of the the aged stallion class in the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
He's Vida Blue, Chad Williams up for Dr. Jim and Kay Green of Meridian, Miss., won the "A" division of the class, in which only three of the seven entries in the program made the gate call, while Lampshade, Bill Cantrell up for Dr. W.S. And Gloria Warr and Rhonda Major of Phenix City, Ala., won the "B" division, in which only two entries made the gate call....
Great Strides: Progress through therapy
It was a recommendation that has introduced five-year-old Christopher Garcia to the Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program this year. The boy has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, according to his sister Rosalba Garcia, and the family was told the riding would help him progress in his skills...
Adjusting to change: USDA-ordered minimum penalties affect Celebration
Changes face the Tennessee walking horse industry as its showcase event, The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, walks into its 75th year. The SHOW Horse Industry Organization (HIO) announced Monday it would adopt the minimum penalty protocol proposed in a rule last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture...
Horse Protection Act penalties
(a) Rulebook. Each HIO that licenses DQPs in accordance with *§ 11.7 must include in its rulebook, and enforce, penalties for the violations listed in this section that equal or exceed the penalties listed in paragraph (c) of this section and must also enforce the requirement in paragraph (d) of this section...
Box seats available
Going into the 75th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Celebration CEO Mike Inman reported ticket sales were down. Since that news was published, Inman said about 40 more box seats were sold. However, several remain vacant. Vacant box seats do not have chairs and are marked by pink tape. ...
Different start, traditional show
Ring announcer Bobby Sands quoted Mark Twain to the opening-night crowd. "The report of my demise is greatly exaggerated," said Sands, and that summed up the attitude at the 75th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Although morning classes started on Wednesday, for many locals the show didn't start until evening classes got underway on Thursday night...
It's show time: Evening classes begin tonight
Anticipation, preparation -- and simply a lot of hard work. Horses were already in the ring at Calsonic Arena as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration began Wednesday morning, but things were much quieter next door at the outdoor arena. A few people were out and about, but one could walk long distances without seeing another person...
Celebration kicks off with morning session
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) marked the start of its 75th annual Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration today. Known as The Celebration, it is the world's largest and most prestigious event celebrating one of Tennessee's most historical and iconic assets -- the Tennessee Walking Horse...
Ready for the big show
Sue Fletcher and Debra Smith check a barn location at the barn office on the Celebration grounds.
PSHA announces board of directors
The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) announced its board of directors Monday. The PSHA was created to consolidate industry enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) in a fair and consistent manner to protect the wellbeing of performance horses, while maintaining the integrity of their sport...
Smiles on 'cue
Horses can wait. For one night, barbecue was the star of the show at the Celebration grounds. Steve Murphree, chaplain of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church, welcomed exhibitors and fans with the first-year event Monday night...
Preparing for the big show
Michael Moreno places a brick while remodeling the barn being used by 4 His Glory Farm on the Celebration Grounds Friday. The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration begins Wednesday morning, with evening classes getting underway Thursday night. (T-G Photo by David Melson)
SHOW accepts USDA's minimum penalty protocol
The SHOW Horse Industry Organization (HIO) announced Monday they would adopt the minimum penalty protocol proposed in a rule last year by the USDA. These penalties will be effective immediately and will be in force at this year's Celebration starting Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 and at all subsequent SHOW affiliated horse shows...
Animal cruelty case dismissed
A Blount County judge dismissed a felony animal cruelty charge against a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Thursday on a technicality following two days of testimony. Larry Wheelon, 68, was accused of using caustic chemicals to "sore" the legs of horses to ensure they adopt the exaggerated gait for which Tennessee Walking Horses are known. Authorities seized 19 horses from Wheelon's Blount County property in April...
The right touch: Massage therapist improves horses' performances
As a retired Air Force engineer, Steve Haber has had the opportunity to live all over the world. However, in 2000, Haber and his wife decided Bedford County would be the place they retired. "I looked from Maine to Colorado, but decided on Middle Tennessee. It's one of the prettiest places in the world and the people are great."...
Unhappy trails: Lake area horseback ban hits Normandy stores hard
The decision by TVA two weeks ago making trails around Normandy Lake off-limits to horseback riding has already hurt local businesses. Citing erosion and damage to federal public lands, TVA closed the trails near Barton Springs Bridge to horses and ATVs in late July, warning that any riders would be ticketed for trespassing. Hunting, camping, hiking and fishing are still allowed...
Signs of the times: Celebration nears
It's nearing time for local businesses to welcome Celebration visitors, the Shelbyville & Bedford County Chamber of Commerce says. "If you have a sign that allows you to change your message, please put 'Welcome Celebration Visitors' up beginning the week of Aug. 19 or before if possible," the Chamber said in an e-mail Thursday...
He's Vida Blue takes Wartrace blue
The 107th annual Wartrace Horse Show welcomed exhibitors and local fans to Jernigan Field Saturday, Aug. 3. Managed by Roy Ferguson, the show is a joint community volunteer effort of the East Bedford Civic Club and the Cascade Parent Teachers Organization. Once a year the groups form "Civic Enterprises of Wartrace" and sponsor the show...
TWHNC offers entry refunds
Any entry at this year's Celebration will be able to withdraw before the show and receive a full refund if they don't agree with the horse show inspection arm's decision to accept or reject mandatory penalties. Last week, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of last year's USDA rule change that placed the walking horse industry in charge of enforcing anti-abuse penalties. ...
Wartrace Horse Show will go on
The historic Wartrace Horse Show is moving ahead for Saturday, organizer Heather Beard said. Beard told the Times-Gazette that organizers would not know the level of participation until Saturday. In the meantime, uncertainty in the walking horse industry following the judgment rendered in a Texas lawsuit caused Belfast Lions Club to postpone its horse show, scheduled for Friday, according to the Marshall County Tribune...
TWHNC seeks new source of income
One year into his tenure as CEO of The Celebration, Mike Inman is reaching out, asking the community for support he feels the horse show needs as it heads into its 75th anniversary. In the last six years, the organization has lost close to $1.5 million, including funds it spent to oversee the SHOW horse industry organization, charged with inspecting horses before they show. ...
Wartrace Show ready for 107th chapter
The 107th annual Wartrace Horse Show will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday. The show, to be judged by Joel Weaver of Shelbyville, will feature 30 classes. General admission is $5 and children under 12 are free. Managed by Roy Ferguson, 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 show...
Normandy horse trails closed: TVA
Unauthorized horseback riding trails at Normandy Reservoir are being closed immediately, the Tennessee Valley Authority said Wednesday. "TVA security and local law enforcement officers will enforce trail closure and are authorized to ticket any horseback riders for trespassing," a TVA press release said Tuesday. "Closure is necessary to prevent additional damage to federal public lands and further environmental degradation."...
Ruling won't stop Celebration: CEO
The head of The Celebration says the annual event is still a go despite a court ruling against the show's inspection arm. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means of Texas dismissed with prejudice a suit filed last year by the Shelbyville-based SHOW Horse Industry Organization (HIO). The suit claimed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rule change that placed the walking horse industry in charge of enforcing anti-abuse penalties was unconstitutional...
Mule show begins
It was a long haul from Clearview Farms on U.S. 231 South to the Celebration Grounds, but these two fellows made it without any problem for this weekend's Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show, starting today and running until Saturday. Driver Bobby Taylor, at right, kept the beasts under control while Jordan Cagle, sitting in the middle, and Jessie Martin, helped out. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Find a place to ride with ease
Horses are a common sight in this part of Tennessee, but folks checking the state out online can find where the best equine spots are. A new map of the state on the Pick Tennessee Products website, www.PickTnProducts.org, links up visitors directly to 196 different horse "hot spots" from one end of the state to the other...
Lions Club plans horse show
The 14th Annual Liberty Lions Club Walking Horse Show will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Bedford County Agriculture Center. Admission is $5; children under 6 are free. Food is sold during the show. Bob Finney is show announcer. Jackie Byrom is show judge for the 32 classes of show horses scheduled. The show features ribbons and cash prizes from $15 to $120...
Equipment at heart of controversy
Critics of the Tennessee Walking Horse have singled out certain equipment used in training horses that compete in many of the most popular divisions at shows like The Celebration. But what is this equipment? The debate centers around padded shoes and chains that trainers use to exaggerate the horses' distinctive gait for the performance division...
USDA defines soring
Soring is an abusive practice used to accentuate a horse's gait. It is defined as the application of any chemical (e.g., mustard oil or diesel fuel), mechanical agent (e.g., overweight chains), or practice (e.g., trimming a hoof to expose the sensitive tissue) inflicted upon any limb of a horse, that can cause or be expected to cause the horse to suffer physical pain or distress when moving...
A new view inside Calsonic Arena
New renovations to the Hall of Fame Club inside Calsonic Arena make it easier to view activities in the arena from the club. A new counter, new and less-obstructed windows, and new chairs allow visitors to the club to sit at the windows facing the arena and clearly see what's going on inside, said Celebration CEO Mike Inman...
Cool spray on a hot day
Boy, that feels gooooooood! Jessica Hleback gives her horse Jose's Last Rose a bath in preparation for the 43rd annual Spring Fun Show at Calsonic Arena this week. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Additional classes added for Spring Fun Show
The 43rd annual Spring Fun Show kicks off tonight in Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds. The spring Tennessee Walking Horse show, held each Memorial Day weekend, is run by the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. "We're excited," said Celebration CEO Mike Inman, who said midday Wednesday that based on the number of out-of-town trainers who'd already arrived for the show, participation looked to be strong...
ThorSport to host open house Friday
MURFREESBORO -- ThorSport Farm and FarmPaint.com will hold an open house on Friday, May 24, featuring company information, tours of the new buildings and facility, live entertainment and a meet and greet with two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers...
Mike Inman, Celebration CEO, takes 28 equine science students from Colorado State University on a tour of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration grounds on Monday.
The Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce is providing local home owners assistance in renting their homes during the upcoming Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which is being held Aug. 21-31. If you are interested in making your home available to our visitors, contact the Chamber office at 684-3482 or e-mail email@example.com...
Marsh, Tracy 'disappointed' by veto
Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday vetoed a bill that would require images documenting animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours, saying his main concern is its constitutionality. State Attorney General Bob Cooper last week said in a legal opinion that the measure would be "constitutionally suspect" because it could violate Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and for placing burdens on news collection....
A weekend of fun activities
Absolute Skyy, Hannah Pulvers up, presented the flag to open Friday night's Row McLaughlin and Greg Maupin Benefit Horse Show at Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Horse trainer denies charges
Tennessee walking horse trainer Larry Wheelon of Maryville has issued a statement denying abuse of horses at his facility. Wheelon was charged with one count of animal cruelty and 19 horses were seized from his farm. "I would like to first state that I am innocent on the charges alleged against me," Wheelon said. "These are serious allegations that carry serious consequences and I look forward to the opportunity to have my story known and my name cleared of these allegations...
East Tenn. horse trainer faces abuse charges
A horse trainer from Maryville has been charged with felony animal cruelty after 19 horses were removed from his barn Thursday. The Blount County sheriff's office assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture in serving a search warrant to Larry Wheelon, 68, last week after receiving a tip about possible animal cruelty, reported The Daily Times of Maryville...
Tracy, Marsh back livestock abuse bill
Both of Bedford County's state legislators voted for a bill to require anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours. The bill was approved in the House on Wednesday with 50 votes -- the bare minimum needed to clear the chamber. The Senate version passed 22-9 on Tuesday...
Close encounters: MTEC class lets students experience walking horses
Students from Middle Tennessee Education Center visited the grounds of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Wednesday and had a chance to meet Shelbyville's signature horse up close and personal. The trip was part of Dr. Warren Gill's "Agriculture in Our Lives" annual curriculum. The class is now offered at MTEC in Shelbyville, a satellite campus of Middle Tennessee State University...
Little horses leave a big impression
These horses may be small, but they put on a big show. The Tennessee Miniature Horse Celebration 2013 ASPC, ASPR, AMHR & Open Hackney Horse Show was held Friday through Sunday at Calsonic Arena. Tennessee Miniature Horse Volunteers organized the show, which is accredited and conducted under the 2013 rules of the American Shetland Pony/American Miniature Horse Registry...
Local man, local mule are parade winners
Buddy Pope of Shelbyville and his mule Kate placed second in the Mule Day Parade in Columbia in 2011, and were runners-up again in 2012.
"I won a ribbon in every class I showed in," said Pope, "and I won the parade."...
Walking horses speed into hearts of spectators
PULASKI -- The unmistakable rhythm of horses' hooves on a sod track was music to the ears of a crowd of about 200 horse enthusiasts at the Milky Way Farm Equestrian Challenge Sunday. The event, sponsored by the Walking Horse Racing and Event Commission, was held at the historic Milky Way Farm, home of candy legend Frank Mars. The race track, built in 1932, was designed by Mars and is where many champion thoroughbreds were trained, including the 1940 Kentucky Derby Winner, Gallahadion...
Serious walk: Singer/horse trainer uses talents to help in fight against cancer
Alena Nicholson is a busy woman, but give her a chance to help fight cancer and she'll clear her schedule in a minute. She'll be performing for 30 minutes prior to the start of the Walking for Cancer Horse Show, to take place April 13 at the Bedford County Ag Center. The horse show, which kicks off at 5 p.m., benefits the Bedford County Cancer Foundation...
Proposals restrict abuse probes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant's closure and criminal convictions...
A Bruce Pearl wins Trainers Show stake class
Jimmy McConnell rode A Bruce Pearl, owned by Mike and Lee McGartland, to the blue in the Trainers' Show stake class Saturday night. The show, held at the Calsonic Arena, drew more than 500 entries -- making the show the largest it has been in the past five years. (Photo courtesy Walking Horse Report)
Cowboys face obstacles in new event
The Celebration Grounds will host horses of a much swifter breed in May as Craig Cameron's Extreme Cowboy Race comes to town. The event is set for May 24 & 25 on the Celebration Grounds and is sponsored by the Southern Obstacle Challenge Association...
Cancer Foundation gears up for spring horse show
The Annual Walking for Cancer Horse Show will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Bedford County Ag Center on Midland Road, Shelbyville. The show begins at 5:00 PM and admission is $5 with children under 6 being admitted free. There will be fun for everyone; good food, merchandise vendors and the greatest breed of horse, the beautiful Tennessee Walking Horse. Music for the show and for entertainment will be provided by noted organist Chase Williams...
TWHBEA offers incentives to help in tough times
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' And Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) has announced three new incentives for horse owners and enthusiasts. The group said the incentives were in response to the tough economic times and the various issues effecting prices in the horse industry specifically...
Walking horse group to hold national show at arena
Horses will fill Calsonic Arena this fall when the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) holds its championship show in Shelbyville. The group recently voted to bring the show to Shelbyville Sept. 23 - 28, and will be introducing new divisions to the event this year - All Day Pleasure and Park Lite Shod. Country Pleasure division rules have also been revised for 2013, according to an announcement on the NWHA website...
Division added to 2013 Celebration
An amateur five-year-old division is to be added to the 75th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the organization has announced. To honor the inaugural year of the division with the ultimate crowning of a new World Grand Champion, the Celebration will be sending medallions honoring the winners at every show throughout the year...
Feathered horses will return in April
Calsonic Arena will host the Fifth Annual Feathered Horse Spring Classic in April, it has been announced. The event, which will be free and open to the public, is scheduled for April 19-21. Gypsy and Friesian horses from across the nation will compete...
WHTA backs single HIO
The Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA) voted unanimously Monday to support a single Horse Industry Organization (HIO). A general membership meeting was held at the WHTA's headquarters in Shelbyville, which included guests from the four predominant HIOs - Heart of America, Kentucky, PRIDE and SHOW, who inspect performance horses, as well as the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO)...
Alena Nicholson: Living two dreams
Alena Nicholson has tremendous passion for two things -- horses and music. She barely has time to breathe as she travels back and forth between her horses at Canter Farms in Bedford County to a budding country music career in Nashville. Alena's love for horses began early...
Celebration seeks trash removal help
The Celebration is again asking for help with their waste collection from the City of Shelbyville in a continuing effort to cut costs. But some officials are worried that doing so would "open a door" for businesses to make the same request, while others want to help the Celebration in any way possible...
Florida horse show goes on; WHTA will manage
A week after it was announced that a Florida horse show sponsored by the Celebration had been called off, the Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA) is picking up the reins. The WHTA and Gulf Coast Charity Celebration Association, Inc. announced Wednesday that the 2013 Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show will be held April 25-27 in Panama City Beach, Fla., after all...
Celebration cancels Florida horse show
A Florida horse show sponsored by the Celebration has been cancelled for this year, but organizers are hoping for the event to continue in 2014. The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) announced that the 2013 Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, traditionally held in Panama City Beach, Fla., will not take place this year...
$5K to trainers, council decides
Shelbyville's city council approved giving $5,000 to the Walking Horse Trainers' Association for an upcoming show, and is asking the county to chip in as well. The group's 45th anniversary show is scheduled March 14-16 at Calsonic Arena, and the council was asked last week for $10,000 to help sponsor the event...
Trainers' Association requests city donation for horse show
Shelbyville's city council was asked for $10,000 for a horse show slated for March, but a tight budget could limit whatever contribution the city chooses to make. Mickey McCormick, the new president of the Walking Horse Trainers' Association, told the council that the group's 45th anniversary show has been scheduled to be held at Calsonic Arena March 14-16...
Help available for Alzheimer's patients
Caregiver Relief of Bedford County offered free memory screenings this week, in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. In a session held at Bedford Drug on North Main Street, several local residents were briefed on the early signs of the disease and completed a series of questions and tasks designed to test memory, language skills, thinking ability and other intellectual functions...
For the love of horses (and Benji): Filmmaker finds new home in Bedford County
In the early 1970s, Joe Camp had a great idea for a movie, built around a unique central character. The Hollywood studios, however, didn't see it that way, and all of them rejected the project. The head of distribution for Universal Studios said he liked the movie but didn't think he could convince others to do the work that would be required to sell it. He suggested that Camp distribute the movie himself...
A perfect time to hit the trail: Strolling Jim ride is Saturday
Ray Pimental promises that if you come to ride Saturday, it will be, "The most fun you've had all year." Fall officially began on Sept. 22, and trees are beginning to change color as cooler weather arrives. It's a perfect time to take part in the Strolling Jim Memorial Trail Ride, now in its 15th year...
New equestrian event comes to middle Tennessee
James and Jackie Hale saw a need and answered it. Owners of a successful Saddlebred training facility and consignment sales operation, the couple decided to take action when the Tattersalls sales pavilion in Lexington, Ky., closed last year. It's safe to say that the Hales have been to a sale or two, know how to utilize new technologies, and can tell a good horse when they see one. Still, establishing a new sale would be a risk...
McConnell receives probation
CHATTANOOGA -- A former trainer received three years' probation and a $75,000 fine Tuesday for soring Tennessee walking horses. "So this is the man I've been reading so much about," U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice said as Jackie McConnell, 62, stood before him...
Groups react to McConnell sentencing
CHATTANOOGA -- "This 'big lick" has got to go!" Those were the words of the senator who wrote the Horse Protection Act (HPA) 42 years ago. Following the sentencing hearing of Jackie McConnell, Keith Dane of the Humane Society of the United States and former senator Joseph Tydings urged lawmakers to pass an amended HPA that would make soring a felony...
Walking horse trainer, stablehands to be sentenced
CHATTANOOGA (AP) - A walking horse trainer and two stablehands who were caught abusing horses in an undercover video are to be sentenced today in federal court in Chattanooga. Prosecutors have recommended five years' probation for Jackie McConnell, whose Whitter Stables in Collierville was the subject of the video. It shows McConnell and others applying caustic substances to horses' legs and hooves and beating the horses to make them stand...
TWSHO responds to more 'misguided' attacks
Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO) Thursday issued the following statement from communications director Jeffrey Howard in response to proposed legislation to amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA): "TWSHO is in strong agreement that reform is needed in the industry and we will work with anyone who truly wants reform...
Cohen introduces bill to ban soring of horses
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Saying he was taking an opportunity to "look out for our four-legged friends," U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen co-sponsored a bill Thursday that would make injuring a Tennessee Walking Horse to exaggerate its gait a felony. The Memphis Democrat joined Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield in introducing amendments to the 1970 Horse Protection Act that also tighten the definition of soring, the practice of putting irritating chemicals or chains on a horse's front ankles to make it step higher in a gait known as "the Big Lick.". ...
Beautiful Horse Show sky
Melonie and Micah Lynn Schmiede enjoying the Horse Show with a beautiful backdrop.
Saturday, Sept. 1, Celebration results
1) RATTLE AND SNAP, Ashtyn Claire Brown / Carla Brown, Ashtyn Claire Brown; 2) RASCAL FLATTS, Grace Wilhelm / Kristen Wilhelm, Byrom & Wilhelm; 3) TEXAS PETE, Julia Paige Callaway / Jada Callaway, Julia Paige Callaway; 4) JAZZ CAT, Raelyn Wainwright / Kasie Caldwell, Raelyn Wainwright; 5) WOODY YES HE WOOD, DaKoda Gardner / Misti Gardner, DaKoda & Cheyanne Gardner; 6) SHAKE'S LITTLE MIDNIGHT, Breanna Lovvorn / Christen Lovvorn, Charles & Joy Gleghorn; 7) ALI CAT H, Laci Matthews / Tiffany Hartwig, Bella Hartwig; 8) PRINCESS, Riley Sims / Lynn Womack, Riley Sims; 9) AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, Peyton Nelms / Amanda Nelms, Peyton & Riley Nelms; 10) I'M CHARLIE BROWN, BiBi Beasley / Russ Thompson, Beth Beasley. ...
Honors takes 4-year-old WGC
Friday's penultimate performance at the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration began with a rainbow, visible looking southeast from the stadium just before the show started, and Honors, Larry Edwards up, found the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, winning the Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship to close out the evening. The entry is owned by Dan, Keith & Kelly McSwain of Gainesville and Duluth, Ga...
Walking horse supporters defend against HSUS claims
Friday morning, both the Humane Society of the United States and the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization held press conferences in Murfreesboro aiming to rein in the public's perception of the walking horse industry. While both groups assert that they have the best interest of the walking horse in mind, their stances differ...
Going for blue: Contenders look towards World Grand Championship
World Champions and World Grand Champions are crowned every year at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. But the focus usually is on the winner of the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship, the finale of the show. Saturday night the 74th World Grand Champion will take its place in history. Listed in no particular order are the expected top seven contenders for the crown...
Turnin,' burnin' and winnin'
Three barrels, two hearts and one soul is a popular saying with barrel racers. Sydney Ely of Chestnut Ridge and her mare, Smokies DD Gold Lady -- or "DeeDee," for short -- have a true understanding of this intertwined soul. They've worked hard to develop this trust...
Thursday night Celebration results
Thursday, Aug. 30, Celebration results OWNER AMATEUR YOUTH 6-17 PARK PLEASURE MARES/GELDINGS WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP 1) B B KINGS JAZZ, Jackson Stephens, Stephens/Womack; 2) SANTANAS COIN, Lindsey Landrum, Landrum/McNeely/Cortner; 3) FOG AT THE RITZ, Abbey Fleming, Jim Upchurch...
Jose It Ain't So and Jonathan Watts excite crowd
It's Championship Thursday in Shelbyville! For five days and seven nights, everyone has enjoyed the preliminary action, but it's finally time for the real competition to begin as all of the teams showing tonight will be riding for the roses and the title of 2012 World Grand Champion. Twelve classes of championship action made up the Thursday evening schedule, highlighted by the final class, the Three-Year-Old World Grand Championship...
Attempt made to obtain motel guests' info
Several visitors staying at Best Western Celebration Inn, Madison Street, were asked to disclose personal information by someone claiming to be an employee Wednesday, police said. Multiple guest told the front desk clerk they had received calls from a man asking them to bring their credit cards for a 30 percent room discount. He did not ask for their card numbers...
Preliminary classes wrap up
It's Wednesday night . . .the final night of preliminary competition of the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Starting tomorrow night, the spotlight comes on and the riding for the roses begins. There's still a great night of competition ahead tonight and if the rain will stay away, it will be one great night for a horse show!...
Fighting back: Some USDA inspectors unfair, say industry reps
Celebration officials have gone on the offensive this week as they claim some U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are inspecting horses unfairly at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Dr. Doyle Meadows, Celebration CEO, says he feels the USDA has retaliated against the horse show after walking horse industry leaders went above their heads in an effort to ensure a successful event...
Sentencing rescheduled in soring case
Sentencing for the remaining defendants in a widely publicized horse soring case has been reset for later in September despite objections from federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice Jr. has continued sentencing for Jackie L. McConnell, 60, Jeff Dockery, 54, and Joseph R. Abernathy, 30 until Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. EDT at the federal courthouse in Chattanooga...