Bud Dunn and Dark Spirit’s Rebel “The Man and His Horse”

Winners of the “Crowd Favorite” contest sponsored by Walking Horse Club Ky are Janet Stilwell and Timmy Fitzgerald. They won the contest by virtue of choosing “Dark Spirits Rebel and Bud Dunn” as their crowd favorite choice. They will be receiving Wall Mart Gift Certificates.

As a result we here at Walking Horse Club Ky are honoring and paying tribute to this crowd pleasing duo.

    The Man and His Horse

The year was 1992 and for those of us who were there it was a moment that will long be remembered. Excitement was in the air as Bud came in with his magnificent Bay stallion. Each of us that had seen the preliminary class realized that a dream could come true as long as Bud was able to canter his class favorite.

Near the rail, in their west side box, owners Shirley and Frank Neal of Franklin, Tennessee, gladly joined family, friends and a record crowd of 28,691 fans in sending an avalanche of congratulatory cheers to seven-year-old Dark Spirit’s Rebel and 74-year-old Bud Dunn. It was a display of crowd support equaled by no team ever known to the walking horse world, and one that had begun building a year earlier when the colorful Bud and Rebel duo first claimed the blue in preliminary World Grand Championship competition. It was a phenomenal level of excitement that just kept building and building until nearly every set of vocal cords in the Celebration stadium on the Saturday night before Labor Day 1992 joined in a faint chant, turn feverish cry, “Rebel! Rebel! REBEL!!!”

"Crowd Favorite"

One might consider 1990 and 1991 building years; building years that had both Bud and Rebel at peak performance in 1992. The dynamic duo landed in the winners’ circle nearly everywhere they went-from Corinth, Mississippi, to Columbia, Franklin, and Lewisburg, Tennessee-before finally claiming the title of all titles …the World Grand Championship!
For a split second, he did not move. The reins were cradled in his hands much the way a doctor might cradle a newborn; his grip firm yet soft, with just a touch of wonder. Bud Dunn loved this moment, perhaps more than any other in his entire life. He had fantasized it thousands of times during his 44-year training career and, now, when it was real, he wasn’t quite sure whether to believe it. But his eyes and ears told him it was true. He heard the announcer call “Number 1865”; he heard the crowd go wild; and he saw it on the colorful Celebration scoreboard hovering high above the grandstand: “Bud and Rebel. Your 1992 World Grand Champions!” There was nothing left to doubt. The questions had all been answered; the task complete. The roses were his for the keeping, and so was this feeling.

* If you want to read more about this great horse go to:
http://www.walkerswest.com/Champs/DarkSpiritsRebel.htm
which is were most of this information was gathered.

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