Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration

The historic Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, TN is home to The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration®, which takes place each year in late summer for the 11 days ending on the Saturday night before Labor Day.

81ST ANNUAL TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE NATIONAL CELEBRATION

August 21 – August 31, 2019

ENTRY DEADLINE – TUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2019

TENTATIVE CLASS SCHEDULE (30 DAY REVIEW FROM 1/8/19)

2019 TENTATIVE CLASS SCHEDULE

 

Tentative Celebration schedule open for 30-day (ONLY) comment period

By Sadie Fowler

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has released its proposed schedule for the 2019 horse show and is now open for discussion — for a short-term period of time.

In 2019, there are a few substantial changes to the tentative class schedule that need horse show enthusiasts’ attention. Anyone interested in changes to the schedule (which is included in its entirety below) should make their voice heard within 30 days.

Perhaps the biggest change folks will want to study in the schedule for the 2019 Celebration involves an amendment to the junior horse age limit in the flat shod and park performance divisions. A junior horse in those classes will now be considered five and under, versus the previous rule of a junior horse in either category being four or under.

“The rationale for defining junior horses as five years of age and under is to make all disciplines of amateur show horses consistent,” explained Celebration CEO Mike Inman.

The tentative schedule reflecting the potential changes was actually released in December, and includes the changes about the transition from four years to five years of age for junior amateur horses in the flat shod and park performance divisions — to match the padded division.

“While a slightly revised class schedule being released this time of year is not something that’s uncommon for the Celebration to release, given the substantial change to this year’s schedule regarding the age requirements in these classes we wanted to bring this to owners’ and trainers’ attention immediately to ensure the comment period is not overlooked by anyone,” Inman said. “We all get into ‘off-season’ mode and it is not uncommon to put off thinking about show season, including the Celebration schedule, until closer to show season. We just want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to comment during the 30 days allotted. So far, the feedback we’ve received as been positive so we believe this will be a welcome change most will be happy to see.”

Anyone wishing to comment should contact the Celebration office directly at 931-684-5915

 

CELEBRATION AMENDS 2019 CLASS SCHEDULE

In the continuing effort to balance session times and to offer classes best supported by entries at the Celebration, the schedule committee has made some amendments to the 2019 schedule.

In the morning sessions, these adjustments include shifting AOT Lite Shod and AOT English Trail Pleasure classes from Saturday morning into the Monday morning line up.

“The parallel objectives of briskly paced, reasonable session lengths along with competitive classes remain the Celebration Board’s goal and these initiatives help achieve that,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.

Other changes involving the Saturday a.m. session include the Auxiliary Youth Equitation 6-11, which will shift to Wednesday morning and the two Auxiliary Youth Equitation Canter classes, 12-14 and 15-17, respectively, will compete on Thursday morning. This will put all the morning sessions in a better position to be completed by the target of noon each day.

For the evening sessions, the O/A Western Country Pleasure WGC and O/A English Country Pleasure WGC will combine into an optional tack championship on Friday evening of the World Grand Championships.  This effort will make all the flat shod World Grand Championships consistent as to tack and hopefully increase the number of entries vying for this honor.

There are two new classes planned for the upcoming year. These include the offering of a Novice Youth Country Pleasure class competing on Wednesday morning. Secondly, after last year’s support of Adult All Day Pleasure, a Youth All Day Pleasure will be added to the Friday morning line up in 2019.

 

CELEBRATION CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRIES TO BE STABLED ON CELEBRATION GROUNDS

The 80th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will have all of its championship class entries stabled on the show grounds for 48 hours prior to their championship performance. The requirement of horses to be stabled on the grounds prior to the championship classes was first recommended by the Veterinarian Advisory Council in 2014.

“In 2014 there was a lot of discussion regarding this decision but after the show that year we got a tremendous amount of positive feedback from exhibitors, vendors and fans.  It allowed fans to see more horses, exhibitors to be closer to one another and overall a much more festive atmosphere on our show grounds,” said Celebration CEO Mike Iman.

The decision to have the horses on the show grounds 48 hours prior to their championship class will also move the entry deadline for championship classes to 48 hours prior instead of 24 hours prior in years that horses are not stabled on the grounds.  Exceptions will be made for those horses that have qualifying classes that aren’t 48 hours prior to their championship class.  These entries will be required to be on the grounds 24 hours prior to their championship class.

“We realize this move may cause an inconvenience to trainers who have barns locally however the positives of this move far outweigh any inconvenience to trainers or The Celebration which must increase staffing to make sure horses are properly checked in.  The Celebration will also provide additional security as part of the requirement,” said Inman.

The Celebration already maintains 24/7 security on the show grounds during the 11 days of the horse show.  Most industry multi-day shows have the horses stabled on the grounds, especially those outside of the Shelbyville area.  In addition to positive feedback from exhibitors and recommendation from the VAC, The Celebration also considered the positive impact to the vendors on the show grounds, many of which donate their proceeds to charities, an important aspect of The Celebration.

 

SHOW TO MEASURE BOTH PONIES AND 15.2 AND UNDER HORSES 

The SHOW HIO will begin to measure horses in post-show inspections for compliance with class requirements in pony and 15.2 & under divisions. In previous years, show management could require horses to measure pre-show, however no post-show measurements were completed. This will be done as part of the standard post-show inspection for the winner and any horse asked to complete post-show inspection for any reason.

At The Celebration, horses are required to measure prior to their performance but can do so days in advance of their performance. The Celebration will keep its current policy on pre-show measurement but also will reserve the right to measure any entry post-show entry for compliance. Also, the Celebration will be measuring horses at the Spring Fun Show and Tunica Fall Classic.

The post show measuring will begin once SHOW Head DQP John Paul Riner has completed training with his DQPs. Horses that fail to comply with measurements in post-show inspection will be subject to discipline by the SHOW board in line with other post-show objective violations.

At The Celebration, Fun Show and Tunica Fall Classic, any entry failing post-show measurement will be disqualified and the class re-tied. At all other SHOW affiliated events, show management will determine if failure to comply will result in disqualification.

Under section 2. Definitions the SHOW rulebook reads:
Height of Horse – The height of all animals shall be stated in hands instead of inches.  A hand is four inches.  Maximum height shall be reckoned as so many hands “and under” while minimum heights shall be reckoned as “over” a given number of hands.  Measurement shall include a horse’s shoes and pads.

Horse or Pony – The term “horse” as used in these rules denotes either a horse or pony. When the term “horse” or “pony” is used in prize lists and catalogues of shows where height is one of the qualifications of the class, the word “horse” shall designate animals over 15 hands and the word “pony” shall designate animals 15 hands and under. A mature horse is one that is five years of age and over.  Exception:  lead line ponies are 54 inches and under.

K. Measurement of Height of Entries. The entry shall stand on a smooth, level surface, in such a position that the front legs are vertical and the backs of the hocks are in a vertical line with the points of the horse’s quarters.  The head should be held low enough to reveal the highest point of the withers from the ground. The arm of the Measuring Standard shall be placed over the highest point of the withers. The Standard should be perpendicular from the withers to the ground and the cross piece parallel with the ground surface.

 

CELEBRATION TO ENFORCE DRESS CODE

In keeping with the tradition and pageantry of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the Celebration would like to remind all exhibitors, trainers, owners and sponsors of the dress codes in center ring. For all grooms or trainers entering the ring to assist with an entry, including after that entry has received the blue ribbon, the Celebration requires that no more than two people enter the ring and those entering the ring must be at least 18 years of age.  In addition, those entering the ring must have pants and a collared shirt on and if wearing a hat is must be positioned forward.

“The Celebration is the greatest horse show in the world and our policies and procedures must be in keeping with this tradition.  Last year, we reminded parties of this policy but it continued to be an issue throughout the show.  Our hope is everyone follows the policy this year, however in the event that it isn’t followed the entry will forfeit their prize money,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.

In addition, the Celebration would like to remind all parties coming to center ring for presentations that gentleman are asked to wear a suit or dress slacks with coat and tie and ladies are asked to wear a dress or pants suit and dress shoes.