Horses and horse shows
Guest column: TWH industry will prevail over USDA
I think it is important that everyone realize this (the USDA action) is exactly what we expected and have been preparing for over the last six months. After reading the rule last Friday, we remain very confident in our position that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing an illegal rule and that we will prevail through litigation just like we did on the last illegal rulemaking USDA tried to implement. ...
Celebration break to end?
Could Bedford County schools end the tradition of closing for the Celebration? Superintendent Don Embry threw that scenario out during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. The board approved the 2017-2018 calendar, which includes the traditional break for the horse show. Classes would start Aug. 1 and dismiss from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4 for the show...
Horse industry to fight new USDA rules
Members of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry say they were not too surprised by the USDA's ban on pads and action devices announced Friday. Most of the rules, including a ban on pads and wedges, would take effect Jan. 1, 2018. However, action devices, except for certain boots, would be banned at shows and other events 30 days after being published to the Federal Register...
USDA rule changes finalized
The USDA has finalized its proposed rule changes to the Horse Protection Act, but one expert says it's too soon to know what actual alterations were made. The Walking Horse Report published a story Wednesday saying the Office of Management and Budget finished its review of the proposed rule to eliminate pads and action devices and give enforcement of the HPA to the government. ...
Top stories of 2016: Local legends made big impacts
Well-known local figures who passed away during 2016 are the next two entries on our countdown of the top local news stories of the year as selected by a poll of Times-Gazette staff members. This year, due to a tie in the 10th position, there are 11 items on our list. ...
A legend is lost: David Howard driven to succeed, but family came first
The Celebration lowered its flag to half-staff Monday as a salute to one of the walking horse industry's most influential leaders, David Howard, who passed away unexpectedly Saturday following complications resulting from a minor surgery he had about four weeks ago...
Holiday encore: 'A Celebration Christmas' returns
Last year's inaugural "A Celebration Christmas" drew more than 2,500 visitors, which Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration CEO Mike Inman said made it instantly one of the top local holiday activities. "I would think that had to be either the largest or the second largest, behind only the parade, in attendance," said Inman earlier this fall...
USDA reaches out to horse shows
The USDA released two statements this week about enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and its relations with the show industry, but some question if there is any new information there. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service this week released a letter stressing its desire to work well with horse show managers. ...
Guest speaker for Lions
Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration CEO Mike Inman spoke to the Shelbyville Lions Club recently about the horse show. Pictured (from left) are Bill Dearing, Inman and Bailey Little. (Submitted photo)
Will Trump's election change USDA action? Horse industry leaders hopeful
Tennessee Walking Horse observers say they are essentially in a wait-and-see pattern on whether Donald Trump's incoming presidential administration will affect proposed changes to the industry. "We feel now we can have our voice heard," said trainer Herbert Derickson. "It is the most hopeful thing we have heard in a while."...
Billy Gray, who rode to Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championships in three different decades, died Wednesday at his home in Shelbyville. He was 79. "Billy's performances and personality are, and forever will be, woven into the fabric of the Celebration," Celebration CEO Mike Inman told the Times-Gazette. "A fierce competitor, yet always a Southern gentleman, the 'Master Showman' will be greatly missed by everyone."...
HPA comment period ends, now wait begins
Now that the public comment period for proposed changes to walking horse regulations have ended, the question is, what's next for the industry? The U.S. Department of Agriculture ended the comment period last Wednesday on proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act. That deadline had been extended by one month...
USDA delays HPA action by 30 days
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is extending the comment period on the proposed rule that would amend APHIS' Horse Protection Act (HPA) regulations. APHIS published the proposed rule on July 26. At the request of some stakeholders, APHIS announced it is extending the comment period 30 days until Oct. 26...
The Celebration, in partnership with Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, gave out general admission tickets to all local schools to attract more young spectators. The school returning the highest percentage of tickets received a check as a reward. Community High School won and representatives from the school said the funds will go toward student activities. Representatives from the Celebration, DREMC and Community gathered for the check presentation. From left, Jeffrey Howard, Lane Tapp (back), Celebration CEO Mike Inman, Hannah Mitchell, Charles McDonald, Amanda Lemmons, Luccie Woodell, Connie Allen, Lanie Simmons, Sheila Orrell and Kate Canady. (T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
Barrelling into town
A week ago, on the Celebration grounds, grace and style were the point of equine competition. But this weekend, it's all about speed, baby, as horses and riders strive for the fastest time around a series of three barrels. The National Barrel Horse Association will hold its 2016 Tennessee State Championship in Calsonic Arena today through Sunday, bringing in more than 250 barrel racers from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. ...
Honors gets his due at show
It was more than an hour before the start of the final Saturday night of the 78th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and approximately 100 people were standing outside Carl Edwards and Sons Stables. "I want a hat or at least I want to see him," one woman commented...
Honors is named World Grand Champion
Honors, Larry E. Edwards up for Keith and Dan McSwain of Milton and Gainsville, Georgia, was named Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion at 12:46 this morning, concluding the 78th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. There were seven entries in the class, and they entered -- as always -- to the beat of organist Larry Bright's "Flat Walk Boogie," which ring announcer Mark Farrar referred to as the "national anthem" of Tennessee Walking Horse competition...
T-G delivery will be late on Sunday
Sunday's Times-Gazette will be delivered much later than normal -- in the wee hours of Sunday morning -- due to coverage of the grand championship class of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The edition will contain coverage of the final class, including photos and information about this year's World Grand Champion Tennessee walking horse...
Help ready if disaster strikes
In years past, the parking lot behind Bedford County Schools' headquarters building on Madison Street has served as an emergency command post for the last three nights of the Celebration, when championships are awarded and crowds are at their peak. In some years, if there was drama taking place in the sometimes contentious relationship between the horse industry, government regulators and activists, passers-by would see the collection of serious-looking vehicles and wonder if it was some sort of harbinger. ...
City's talking about heat, doughnuts and the horse show
What's on your mind? Several people responded to that question Wednesday. Junior Lane was rounding out his lunch break at Our Town Park after eating at a restaurant on the square. He is a technician at Gateway Tire & Service Center. When asked about the weather, Lane said, "It's too hot. If it cools down just a little, we'll be alright."...
Whitfield retiring next week from Kentucky House seat
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield says he will resign from office next week, one year after announcing his retirement amid a House ethics investigation. Whitfield notified Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Monday with a letter, which did not give a reason for his decision. ...
Memorable seat cushion
Dora Tillman of Shelbyville, left, and Celebration visitor Laura Perry of Somerville wanted to share this memorable seat cushion honoring 1976 World Grand Champion Shades of Carbon. "We were cleaning out the garage and found this cushion," Dora said. "We cleaned it and we're taking it to the show tonight." (T-G Photo by David Melson)
HSUS clarifies remarks
The Humane Society of the United States issued a clarification in response to statements that Celebration CEO Mike Inman made in an Aug. 25 op-ed in the Times-Gazette. The HSUS became involved in an existing lawsuit for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The original lawsuit against Feld Entertainment, the owners of the Ringling Bros. circus, centered on claims of animal abuse...
Chamber awards presented
The Joe Fleming Stables received the Business Landscape Award last Thursday from the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee. From left are stable workers: Greg Bryant; Chava Fernandez; Wesley Stapler; and Shawn Fulton.
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Special display honors Celebration
First Community Bank is stepping into The Celebration in an artistic way. The bank's main branch on Elm Street is displaying various items associated with the horse show. The public is invited to view the display, which runs through Saturday, said Linda Nichols...
Patriotism on display
Although one football player chooses to remain seated during the National Anthem, support for our nation is strong and clear at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. Flag horse Ranger T. Walker, owned and ridden by Ernie Brewbaker, carries the flag on Tuesday night as the staff at center ring and spectators put their hands over their hearts. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
God's in the show ring
On Sunday morning, during the first weekend of the Celebration each year, a small crowd gathers in the big outdoor arena. It's a mixture of locals and visitors, gathered not to watch high-stepping stallions but to sing and pray. Since 1989, the Celebration has hosted an interdenominational worship service. ...
This group coordinated for the Hats Off to the Celebration contest Saturday with a patriotic theme. From left: Donda Combs; Lynda Brogdon; Tam Brogdon; and Ben Brogdon. Also pictured is Trudy the dog. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Come enjoy the show and savor the experience
Ever since I was little, The Celebration was about family and bringing loved ones together. Some of my earliest memories of Shelbyville come from going with my grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Sam Pearce. They had a box right at the southwest corner near the CHS Marching Band booth...
Reed worked as E Section usher for 55 years
Celebration regulars may remember Leighton Reed, a long-serving usher in E Section of the outdoor arena...
A tribute to Celebration contestants
The 78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is upon us here in Shelbyville. For Vicki and me, this is our third Celebration and we continue to be impacted by its majesty and by its history. We love horses and enjoy spotting them being exercised and trained at the numerous training facilities around Shelbyville...
He's Shady In Black, Honors win stallion class divisions
He's Shady In Black, Jimmy McConnell up for Richard Donner of Dyersburg, won the A division of Stallions, 5 Years and Over (Canter) Saturday night at the 78th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The B division was won by Honors, Larry Edwards up for Keith & Dan McSwain of Milton and Gainesville, Georgia....
USDA's unfair actions must be brought to halt
The show is underway. It never fails that when the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is here that the negativity of the horse is front and center. The coverage from the public forum in Murfreesboro several weeks ago and "horse show time" humane groups bring to the forefront the issue of the Horse Protection Act and allegations of abuse...
Canadian visitors enjoy show
Eldred and Shirley Haggerty of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, planned a very special vacation -- a riverboat cruise from Memphis down to New Orleans. But the trip required a 2,000-mile drive from Canada's capital city down to Tennessee. "We love horses," said Eldred on Thursday night, "and we're on our way to Memphis."...
Stewart urges support for area horse industry
Virginia Stewart is working hard for the Tennessee Walking Horse and she wants everyone, especially the local community, to understand the importance of the breed to Middle Tennessee with a special emphasis. She and her husband, Gene Schaefer, own Evergreen Walking Horse Farm in Bell Buckle. ...
Celebration offers best memories of all
Over the past 15-20 years, the arrival of The Celebration has each year been met with some measure of uncertainty. Some good, some bad. "Will it be Encore or Powerstroke this year?" "Out On Parole or Shout?" "Will PETA actually fulfill their promise to protest this year?" "Will Honors get to show?"...
78th annual Celebration underway
Although the evening classes do not begin until tonight, The Celebration got off to a busy start Wednesday. Twelve morning classes were held Wednesday inside Calsonic Arena, from Model Pleasure Walking Mares to Owner-Amateur Riders on Country Pleasure Walking Horses, Four Years and Under, Opt. Tack. Results are on Page 6A...
VIEW 2 VIEW: Proposed USDA regulations will end horse abuse
As a former Tennessean, past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association, and life-long enthusiast of the Tennessee walking horse, I am all too familiar with the pervasiveness of soring within the walking horse industry...
VIEW 2 VIEW: Unfair allegations will be tackled; for now, celebrate the magic
There is always special energy in the air as the days tick down closer and closer to Labor Day. For those in Shelbyville and those making the annual pilgrimage it means one thing, the magic of the Celebration. What is maybe the most magical component is the transformation of the 105 acres that comprise the Celebration campus...
'Horses' on display
Margaret Petty poses with the latest display at the entrance of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library. She said the library has created a horse-themed display for at least 20 years during The Celebration. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
A new beginning: Ranger T. Walker to be TWHNC flag horse
A new flag horse will open the action at the 78th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which begins this week. Counterfeit Dollar, ridden by Bud Seaton, had been the flag horse for both the Spring Fun Show and the Celebration but was retired earlier this year. The Celebration put out a call for potential replacements...
Ag notes: I'll be at the Celebration
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has released applications for the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program for 2017. It is a program that has benefited hundreds of farmers across the state and in this county, with several million dollars in funds spent on farm assets and infrastructure here in this county to date...
Just 5 more days... Celebration is about more than just horses
The official start of the 78th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is only five days away. Morning classes will start inside Calsonic Arena on Wednesday, with the evening performances in the big outdoor oval kicking off Thursday night. Ticket prices vary according to date, but for many nights of the show, a general admission ticket costs just $5. Reserved seats are also available. Contact the Celebration office at 684-5915 for more information...
Horse show helps students in many ways
(Editor's Note: If you would like to comment on your experience or thoughts related to the horse show as it relates to the local economy or community at large, submit your views by emailing email@example.com for possible inclusion in the Times-Gazette.)...
The Celebration crucially needs community's support
It seems like every year I say I'm not going to do this, yet around this time I always feel a sense of obligation to share a few thoughts (some are personal and others relate to the newspaper's stance), educate readers and encourage citizens to play nice...
Appeals demanded: Celebration says owners of disqualified horses must be heard
The Celebration is formally demanding the USDA not disqualify horses without providing the owner a chance to respond. Joseph D. Wilson, counsel for the Celebration, sent a list of demands to the government agency last week. The letter concerns horses being ruled in violation of the Horse Protection Act by the agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinary medical officers. Wilson asks for a written response by this Friday...
GOP Senate, House members ask delay
Republican members of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia's congressional delegations are requesting the USDA extend the public comment period for proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act. Ten representatives and four senators signed off on two letters asking for 60 days' extension to the deadline, which is Sept. 26...
DesJarlais reacts to USDA proposal
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, M.D. issued this statement just before press time today on the recent Tennessee Walking Horse developments: "The Tennessee Walking Horse industry is a significant part of the economy of Kentucky, Tennessee and other states across the country and is comprised of thousands of individuals and small businesses. ...
Tracy urges USDA to back down
On Thursday, State Sen. Jim Tracy released a copy of comments he sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to its proposed changes to regulation of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service held the first of five public hearings on the rule changes Tuesday in Murfreesboro...
Town-wide yard sale returns to Wartrace
Wartrace Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual community-wide yard sale Aug. 26 and 27 from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Residents and businesses throughout the town are encouraged to have yard sales on those days, making the town a prime stop for anyone interested in finding a bargain, including visitors in town for the Celebration...
Emotions high at USDA hearing
MURFREESBORO -- A hearing on the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry brought forth a moral equation to slavery as one argument against Tennessee Walking Horses, while supporters spoke of their love for the breed. The crowd, which spilled into the convention center lobby, ranged from horse owners to activists -- even a beauty queen wearing a crown...
USDA gets an earful at heated public hearing
MURFREESBORO -- A hearing on the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry brought many predictions of economic doom, with numerous remarks bringing either applause or cat calls from the standing-room-only audience. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service held the first of five public hearings Tuesday at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Murfreesboro...
What USDA wants to change in the Horse Protection Act
USDA would train, license and screen all horse inspectors. Currently, horse industry organizations handle these responsibilities, but in a 2010 audit the Office of Inspector General stated this regulatory structure is ineffective because many industry-trained inspectors have conflicts of interest...
Hats off ... make that on
Karen Inman, Katie Whaley and Linda Nichols gather during Saturday's hat preview in anticipation of this year's 2nd annual Hats Off to The Celebration event, scheduled for Aug. 27. Pam Russell was in town from Mississippi for Saturday's preview and enjoyed a laugh with Donna Green of Shelbyville. A large crowd of ladies gathered Saturday at River Bend Country Club to preview a wide array of stylish hats on display in preparation for the upcoming Hats Off to The Celebration event...
Wartrace Horse Show steps out on Saturday
For more than a century, the Wartrace Horse Show has been a chance to have fun while enjoying some serious equine competition. The 110th annual show will be held this Saturday at Jernigan Field in Wartrace. Start time is 6 p.m. According to show chairman Ronnie Sutton, the traditional sequence of shows in Fayetteville (Thursday night), Belfast (Friday) and Wartrace gives competitors a good chance to warm up for the Celebration later in the month...
1996 TWH world grand champion dies
He's Puttin' On The Ritz, the 1996 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion, died overnight Wednesday morning, according to a post on the Rising Star Ranch Facebook page. "It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to report our beloved He's Puttin' On The Ritz laid down in his paddock last night and passed on," states the post...
Horse industry stepping ahead amidst turmoil
As the 78th Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration approaches in late August, show organizers continue connecting with the community even as the federal government changes the methods it is using to try to eliminate the action devices used as part of the horses' "Big Lick" walk...
USDA seeks comments before final decisions
The changes to the Horse Protection Act that the USDA is seeking would not happen prior to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which starts Aug. 24. A series of public meetings are taking place this month and next. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will take public comments up until Sept. 26...
Judges announced for Celebration
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has selected Chris Bobo, Nathan Clark, Ray Gilmer, Sam Sorrell and Leigh Stuart to judge the 78th annual show. "The Celebration appreciated the enhanced input this year that aided in selecting such a talented and experienced panel. We also look forward to giving more candidates the opportunity to judge other Celebration events as preparation for marking the cards in the big oval," said Celebration CEO Mike Inman...
Mule and Donkey show underway
The 25th anniversary Great Celebration Mule & Donkey Show kicked off Thursday on the Celebration grounds, with classes both inside Calsonic Arena and in the covered Champions Arena next door. Here, some of the entries take to the practice ring during the break between morning and afternoon classes on Thursday. Spectator admission is free to either or both arenas. A barbecue supper ($5) will be held 5 p.m. today in the Hall of Fame Club inside Calsonic Arena, and There will be a mule sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday inside Calsonic Arena. (T-G Photos by John I. Carney)
Great Celebraton Mule and Donkey show starts Thursday
The 25th anniversary Great Celebration Mule and Donkey Show will take place next weekend on the Celebration grounds. Celebration CEO Mike Inman said the show features "everything from the minis to the giants," and the variety of breeds and types of competition make it a special treat for spectators...
Walking for Cancer
The Bedford Cancer Foundation's annual Walking For Cancer Horse Show, held Saturday at Champions Arena, show started off with a rendition of the national anthem and the display of the flag. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/26961. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Great Strides representative speaks to Lions Club
Terry Smith of Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program talked to Shelbyville Lions Club about the great benefits this program does for children with disabilities as in teaching them balance, coordination and confidence. The program started in 1993. They have two sessions a night, with the program running April through October each year, on Monday and Tuesday nights. They average around 40 children each year...
Walking, riding, helping: Fundraisers help Cancer Foundation
Four-legged and four-wheeled methods of transport will raise money to support local cancer patients on Saturday. The Bedford Cancer Foundation will host its annual Walking for Cancer Horse Show on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. at Champions Arena on The Celebration grounds. Admission is $5; children under 6 are free. Box seats of six seats are $50...
Little horses put on big show at arena
Tennessee Miniature Horse Volunteers club will hold its Tennessee Miniature Horse Celebration Friday though Sunday in Calsonic Arena on the Celebration Grounds, celebrating miniature horse breeds. Tennessee Miniature Horse Celebration is actually made up of two different shows -- on Friday and Saturday, there will be a show sanctioned by the American Shetland Pony Club and the American Miniature Horse Registry (shetlandminiature.com)...
Livestock inspection bill is signed into law
Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed into law legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) that would guarantee governmental transparency in livestock inspections. Senate Bill 2332 enables owners of an animal subject to inspection to be able to personally record or designate an agent to record the assessment by audiovisual means...
Champion horse's headstone saved
community effort recently saved the tombstone of a former world grand champion Tennessee walking horse. Ebony's Threat's Professor was owned by Dr. Bob and Curtise McCloy and was trained by Ronal Young. He was the 1993 4-year-old world grand champion. He died Aug. 2,1994, from complications of colic. He was brought home from the clinic and laid to rest at Ronal Young's Stables on Highway 64 West...
Walking Horse Museum receives grant
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh visited the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace on Thursday for the formal presentation of a $3,300 state grant, which the museum is using to continue its film restoration project...
Walking horse among top breeds: TWHBEA report
The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association closed the calendar year with 6,568 members, registered 3,178 new foals and transferred 4,444 horses between owners. Of the top 10 breeds in America, the Tennessee Walking Horse was among the top reporting positions of American breeds...
TWHBEA invests $125,000 in HIO
Work continues on activating a new horse industry organization (HIO) and the testing that would be used at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association voted unanimously on Friday, Feb. 19, to approve "Project Pegasus," according to a TWHBEA press release...
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)