By: bob roach
Competition at the 2012 Celebration elevated to a new level this year. There were many horses that had a serious shot for World and World Grand Champion status. In many of the classes it was a shame someone had to be second best.
In this article we will address the competition that ensued in the Adult Walking Pony Class, Youth Pony Class, Two Year Old Class, Three Year Old Class, 15.2 and Under Championship, and the World Grand Championship 15.2 and over Class.
Adult Walking Pony
The Adult Walking Pony class was a highly competitive division with several horses that were capable of winning the ultimate prize. Two Foot Freddie ridden by Corey Clark made it obvious that he was in the game along with Sam Sung and George Ann Pratt. However it was Prime Poison and The Dixie Lineman that brought the level of competition to a new level.
Prime Poison and Lilly Waites won the Fun Show and Woodbury which set them up as a front runner in the Adult Pony division. Incidently Prime Poison was only defeated once and that was at the hand of her chief competitor, The Dixie Lineman, at Lewisburg. The Dixie Lineman won the Money Tree and Fun show this year which left him undefeated in 2012 until the Championship Class when Prime Poison and Lilly Waites were crowned Owner Amateur Adult World Grand Champion Pony.
Youth Riders on Walking Ponies
Alison Thorson, Benjamin Bowen, and Lilly Waites provided all the entertainment and excitement that competition has to offer. The stage was set throughout the summer as each of these fine riders had victories over each other at some of the industries largest show cases. Lined Walking won the Spring Fun Show,the Mississippi Charity Horse Show, Pulaski, and the Fast Spring Showcase. However the only defeats came in the Money Tree Classic and Lewisburg. You guessed right! Tommy Lee Jones was the winner at the Money Tree Classic and Roll the Gold came out on top at Lewisburg. So the stage was set and the actors in place for Lilly Waites and Lined Walking to edge the competition out and take front stage as our 2012 Owner Amateur Youth World Grand Champion.
Two Year Old Championship
The ever popular Two Yr. Old class left everyone with their mouth gaping open. While Dale Watts, winner of Laurel Mississippi, Jackson Mississippi, and the Spring Fun Show, thoroughly entertained us from the moment when he entered the ring. It was Nine Gold that stole the show and set the stage for future World Championships. This young horse came in with extra ordinary presence. He had the maturity of an aged horse with a lick to be desired by all, with great movement and head shake. It was hard to take your eyes off of him right up to his “Billy Gray” pass which brought all of the screaming fans to their feet. Nine Gold was crowned Two Year Old World Grand Champion and leaves us all with anticipation of his bright future.
Three Year Old Championship
Jose It Ain’t So and I Am Jose have been battling it out all year. Dale Watts and Casey Wright brought their “A” game and met every expectation of walking horse enthusiast. Jose It Ain’t So was no stranger to the winners circle this year. He and Dale won the Fun Show, however he also felt the agony of defeat as he was defeated twice in Mississippi by Winky and Command on Parole. I am Jose also no stranger to the winners circle won the Money Tree Classic and his only defeat came at the hand of your World Grand Champion Three Year Old, Jose It Ain’t So.
15.2 And Under
The 15.2 and Under Championship proved to be one of the most exciting classes of the Celebration. Crowd favorites Strong Need For Cash and Mr. Heisman were edged out in the preliminary class by Jimmy McConnell and BeeBee King. Well this just added to the excitement as a three horse workout brought all of the faithful fans to their feet to support their horse of choice.
Did you know that Strong Need for Cash only showed once prior to the Celebration? He won the prestigious Money Tree Classic and was in great form. Mr. Heisman had wins in Alabama, at the Fun Show and Woodbury prior to the Celebration. Mr. Heisman’s only defeat came at the hands of BeeBee King in the preliminary class. They were two different types of horses and each of them both entertaining and exciting, yet only one could become our 15.2 and Under World Grand Champion and on that night it was to be Mr. Heisman and Brandye Mills.
World Grand Championship Class
The last class on the first Saturday night in September was as good as it gets when you talk about competition, excitement, pride, and love for this great horse of ours. A strong field of entries added to the excitement. Some would call it a five horse race but most of us believed that it would come down to a showdown between Copperfield and Walk Time Charlie. The first work answered no questions as in addition to these two, Folsom Prison Blues, Putting Cash on the Line, and Ozones Cut Above made it clear that this would be a walk off to the finish with no one holding back.
The first work was quite exciting as Texas Joe Black, He’s My Main Man, Rowdy Rev, and The Family Jewels must have had memories of Jose’s All Pro. Each of them made us proud to be a supporter of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
As the second group came to the rail it was as if everyone knew that something special was about to happen. Yes, Copperfield has been the front runner all year long with wins at Panama City and the Spring Fun Show. Yes, Walk Time Charlie came out on top in a strong field of horses at Lewisburg. But this was the first Saturday night in August where dreams become reality. This was to be a dream come true for North Carolinian Chad Baucom and Walk Time Charlie.
All of the major showcases prepare the horse and rider for that ultimate night of Championship competition. Sometimes in defeat we prepare ourselves for future greatness. Wartrace, Bellfast, Fayetville, Fun Show, Trainers Show, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Walking for Cancer, Money Tree Classic, Woodbury and others. These all set the stage for the competition. The 2012 Celebration will go down in history as one of the great years for a level playing field and strong competition. Thanks to all who were involved in making it possible. And a special thanks to the horses, trainers, amateur riders, and owners for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism.