The SHOW HIO recently hired Tim Hatfield as its lead DQP. The position became available after the resignation of John Paul Riner who had led the program for the last two years. Riner, who had been a Designated Qualified Person (DQP) with SHOW since 2010, resigned from his position in December. “We can’t thank John Paul enough for his service to SHOW and our industry. He was a professional and did an amazing job leading our HIO and its DQPs in consistent enforcement of the HPA,” said SHOW executive committee member Jeffrey Howard.

Hatfield has been a DQP with SHOW since its inception in 2009 and actually received his license with the National Horse Show Commission just prior to the activation of the SHOW HIO. Hatfield was a trusted member of Riner’s team over the last several years and has worked all of the major industry shows affiliated with SHOW. Hatfield is from Johnson City, Tenn., where he lives with his wife of 31 years, Bobbie. Hatfield has two sons and is retired from the refractory industry where he had a career that spanned over 30 years.

“I am excited about this opportunity. I loved the way John Paul ran SHOW and I intend to keep things running in the same manner. I look forward to working with the industry and trainers to continue to improve compliance with the HPA and have our horse shows thrive,” said Hatfield

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Celebration announces end to Great Mule & Donkey Show

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is sad to announce it will not host the Celebration Great Mule and Donkey Show in 2020. Although the show has been a mid-summer staple for 28 years, participation both in and out of the ring has significantly declined in recent years. The show has typically been held the week after the 4th of July.

Specifically, in the last two years revenues have fallen far short of a breakeven point for The Celebration, which makes the cancellation of the event a necessary action of The Celebration. The Celebration Board of Directors reached out to the participating associations to see if they knew of ways to increase sponsorship to help The Celebration with its financial shortfall or if those associations wanted to continue the show and rent the facilities from the Celebration.

Neither of those efforts were successful as the associations noted a reduction in most of their other events which have posed similar challenges. “The Celebration is truly thankful for the great relationships built with those within the respective Mule and Donkey associations throughout the years and we wish everyone involved the very best,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.  

As a result of the cancellation of the event, the week of July 6-11, 2020 is open and available for rent by another event.

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TWHNC releases tentative 2020 Celebration class schedule for comment through March 3

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration board approved the 2020 tentative Celebration class schedule at its meeting on Tuesday evening, January 28th. “The boards’ goal is to get the schedule out early to aid trainers and owners in their planning for the upcoming season.” 

The Celebration will review comments and suggestions after the 30-day comment period which ends March 3rd. Shortly after that deadline is when the final schedule will be released. As in the past few years the schedule committee reviews the results from the previous Celebration along with results dating back two and three years. The focus is on participation earmarked by how many horses enter the ring in each class, the length of each session, and trends within the industry that effect interest in particular classes and divisions.  

This analysis along with recommendations are then presented to the full Celebration board for discussion and final determination. A summary of the changes proposed for 2020 include: 
1. Classes 21E and 22E  (in 2019) are combined to form 1 class in 2020
2. Class 102 (in 2019) AOT Lite Shod WH, NPT in 90 days has been removed
3.  Class 92 (in 2019) O/A Riders on Western Train Pleasure WH will move to Monday morning and will be class 100 in 2020
4.  Class 93 (in 2019) Elite O/A Gentleman Riders on walking M & G will move to Monday evening and become class 108 in 2020
5.  Class 151 (in 2019) O/A riders on Show Pleasure WGC will move from Friday evening to Thursday evening class 137 in 2020

If you would like to make a comment or suggestion please call the Celebration office at 931-684-5915 or go to and send your comment to us via email.

2020 TENTATIVE CELEBRATION® CLASS SCHEDULE for comment through March 3

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The Tunica Fall Classic, scheduled for Oct. 31–Nov. 2, 2019 at the Paul Battle Jr. Arena, has released its final class schedule.

Judges have also been announced, the always-anticipated exhibitor’s party is lined up for Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Celebration CEO Mike Inman believes anyone who attends this fall staple will hit the jack pot in terms of having a fun time.

Inman explained the thought process behind some of the schedule changes, which are listed at the bottom of this news release. Regarding the Novice flat shod class on Friday, that decision was made to allow both country and trail pleasure to compete together. Novice is defined as a rider who has never won a blue ribbon at the Tunica Fall Classic.

The  grooms and farriers class on Saturday evening is another change. 

“This is a great way to pay tribute to these hard working people that are so critical to every show throughout the year,” he said. “It’s a great way to say thanks and cheer them on.”

Perhaps the icing on the cake, there has been another interesting change that’s sure to draw lots of attention. The Walking Horse Championship and Any Adkins Memorial Youth Riders Championship have been reversed in order on the last night.  

“This year the youth riders will close out the show in what is always an exciting and roof raising class,” Inman said. “It’s a fitting way to celebrate Andy Adkins and the youth of our industry.”

More information about Tunica, such as entry deadlines, hotel information forms, and more can be found at

The following class changes are as follows:  

• Novice Flat Shod class on Friday
• Grooms Class on Saturday
• SPECIAL NOTE: The Walking Horse Championship and Andy Adkins Memorial Youth Riders Championship have been reversed in order on the last night. This year the youth riders will close out the show.

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Celebration announces host hotel for Tunica Fall Classic

The Celebration is pleased to announce the host hotel for this years’ Tunica Fall Classic October 31st through November 2nd  will be the Gold Strike Casino and Resort. This MGM property is the premier destination facility in Tunica. The special horse show rates will again be $49 on weekdays and $95 Friday and Saturday plus fees. To secure these rates call 888-245-7829 and ask for Tunica Fall Classic or promotion code #90093. If you have any problem contact the Celebration office at 931-684-5915 for assistance. 

There will be a special exhibitor party on Wednesday evening at the resort that everyone is invited to. We look forward to seeing you at the Tunica Fall Classic!

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News & Information

Celebration Live Stream

Do you want to be at the 81st annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration but can’t make it? Have no fear, because live stream internet is available to anyone not wanting to miss any of the action.

Single night purchases for live stream video fee is $19.99, or a package deal that includes the entire show is available for $89.99. To make your purchase anytime leading up to the show visit the
The live stream will be done on a fiber line connection so viewers can expect excellent quality, which will also be in high definition. 

In addition, as a way to draw excitement leading up to the show, special videos have already been posted on the website. One of these pre-show videos features Gen A Mighty winning last year’s World Grand Championship title. There are a variety of others folks won’t want to miss as well. 

Also new this year, viewers will have two options, the normal player on a webpage — and also Facebook. Facebook and YouTube are known for working on just about every device, which is why they are being offered to purchasers as well. To watch the live feed this way, viewers have to be on Facebook, and the provider of the live stream will have a private group available and invite anyone wishing to view it this way to join that group. Again, to sign up for Celebration Live Feed visit today. 

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Celebration Splits

The Celebration has just announced the classes it will split for the upcoming Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which kicks off Aug. 21 and runs through Aug. 31. Ten classes have been split with A and B divisions and one class, the Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions, will have three sections. 

“Not only do we have large classes that required splits we also had quite a few right on the cusp,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman, who also announced yesterday that entry totals are up slightly from last year. “This speaks to the incredible talent we’re going to be seeing at this year’s show.” 

Serving as the headliner in the news regarding the splits of course is the breakdown of entries for the aged stallions on the first Saturday night of the show. Entries in the aged stallions preliminary, class 79 sec. A are as follows: Jose’s Power Broker and Keith Blackburn for Dan and Susan Erwin, Jose’s Thunderstruck and Scott Beaty for Barron Witherspoon, Star Of Ritz and Casey Wright for Herb Murrath, He’s Unleashed and Chad Williams for Virginia Stewart, Hey, Tomcat and Jamie Lawrence for Roy and Joan Wester, Bourban Street I and Chad Way for Duke Ingram, A Cowboy Casanova and Nick Price for Sarah Coffee Burks, Putt For Dough and Bill Cantrell for Cantrell and Powell, I’m Mayhem and Rodney Dick for JoAnn Dowell, and Jose’s Cold Chills and Jimmy McConnell for LaRue, Ann and Bart McWaters.

Sec. B for class 79 also features 10 entries, includes the following: Woodford and Justin Harris for the Andrew Family, Master’s Razzle & Jazz and Herbert Derickson for the Alan Riddley Family, The Darkest Hour and Tyler Baucom for Teresa Kincaid, The Iron Door and Alan Price for Sarah Coffee Burks, Jose’s Red Rock and Chris Helton for JimBo Conner, Gus Malzahn and Rodney Dick for JoAnn Dowell, Border Run and John Allan Callaway for Gayle Holcomb, Fly Dragonfly and Jimmy McConnell for Barnes & Farris, My Shockwave and Jimmy McConnell for Bill and Karen Bean, and I’m Lombardi and Gary Edwards for Henry and Peggy Metcalf.

The complete list of splits are as follows: 
• Class 26 — O/A Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions
• Class 30 — O/A Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings
• Class 51 — Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions
• Class 70 — Three-Year-Old Walking Mares
• Class 73 — Two-Year-Old Walking Mares
• Class 79 — Walking Stallions, Five Years and Over (Canter)
• Class 91 — O/A Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings
• Class 109 — Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions (A,B,C)
• Class 117 — O/A Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings
• Class 122 — O/A Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions
• Class 126 — Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings

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The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which kicks off Aug. 21 and runs through Aug. 31, has added a class to its Wednesday slate of classes. Class number 7A Wednesday morning, Aug. 21, will be the O/A Riders on Three-Year-Old Country Pleasure Walking Horses, Optional Tack.

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The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has selected Jamie Bradshaw, Nathan Clark, Jamie Hankins, Kenny Smith and Robbie Spiller to judge the 81st Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  The 81st Celebration will be August 21st – August 31st on the historic show grounds in Shelbyville.

The panel once again is a blend of experienced judges with new faces to the Celebration.  Both Smith and Spiller will be making their first appearance at The Celebration.  “Last year’s panel included two new faces and we felt like the mix of three experienced judges along with two new ones was a good mix and produced great results last year.  In addition, The Celebration is committed to expanding the judging pool and giving more of our licensed judges an opportunity to work our shows,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.

Clark and Bradshaw will return for the fifth time to mark the cards.  Clark previously judged in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016.  Bradshaw last judged the Celebration in 2013 but also marked the cards in 2006, 2009, and 2011.

Hankins will be returning to center ring at The Celebration for the first time since 2011 and will be marking the cards for the seventh time.  Hankins judged in 1994, 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2008.  Hankins judged with Clark in 2008 and with Bradshaw in 2011.  The Celebration has been committed to diversifying its panels and this year’s panel only includes one judge who has marked the cards at The Celebration in the last five years.

“We are excited for this year’s show and appreciate these five judges for agreeing to take on one of the most prestigious jobs and responsibilities in our industry.  Judging the Celebration is the most important job our judges can accept and we expect this year’s panel to do an excellent job.  These five individuals have judged at most all of our industry’s major venues and continue to judge prestigious shows even in the time periods that they have not judged our shows.  The confidence the industry has placed in selecting these individuals for their shows was a major factor in our committee’s decision to select them for this year’s assignment,” concluded Inman.

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August 21-31, 2019

Start Making Plans for the 2019 Celebration!!!

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