News & Information


The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration announced class splits Friday afternoon for its 80th annual event, which kicks off later this month. Twelve classes have been divided, with the two-year-old stallion division once again having three splits.

“Not only do we have large classes that required splits, but we also had quite a few right on the cusp,” said Mike Inman, Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration CEO. “This speaks strongly to what will be quite a lot of classes with top talent all the way through the number of ribbons available.”

As always, the Stallion splits for the aged five and over stallions is one of the most anticipated announcements on the splits issued today. In the A division of the preliminary round of competition which is class 79A, the following entries will compete: Ice Cold Gold and Allen Abee for owner Tom Shipman, The American Ride and Jesse Barnes for Ginger Hartlein, José’s Ambush and Layne Leverette for Jeff Faulker, I’m Lombardi and Gary Edwards for Henry and Peggy Metcalf, I’m Mayhem and Rodney Dick for JoAnn Dowell, Gen A Mighty and Jimmy McConnell for Mike Floyd, A Bruce Pearl and John Allan Callaway for Lisa Baum, and José’s Thunderstruck and Larry George for Beverly Sherman.

Eight entries are also set to compete in the B division of the aged stallions in the qualifying round. They are: Putt For Dough and Bill Cantrell for Cantrell and Powell, José’s Power Broker and Keith Blackburn, He’s Unleashed and Chad Williams for Evergreen Walking Horse Farm, Really Coach? And Tyler Baucom for Kerry DeArmond and Denny Russell, Bourbon Street I. and Larry Edwards for Duke Ingram, Master’s Razzle & Jazz and Herbert Derickson for The Alan Riddley Family, Bravo! And Cha Way for Diana Cruse, and José’s Cold Chills and John Allan Callaway for LaRue McWaters.


Several other classes will be split, including the following:

21 –      Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions

25-       Owner-Amatuer Novice Lady Rider on Novice Walking Mares or Geldings 

45 –      *Three-Year-Old  Walking Stallions 

48-       Owner-Amateur Novice Lady Riders on Novice Walking Stallions 

70 –      *Three-Year-Old Walking Mares 

73 –      *Two-Year-Old Walking Mares 

79 –      *Walking Stallions, 5 Years & Over (Canter) 

90 –      Owner-Amateur Riders on Four-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings 

105 –    *Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions   (A,B,C) 

113 – Owner-Amateur Riders on Two-Year-Old Walking Mares or Geldings    

118-     Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Stallions 

122 – Owner-Amateur Riders on Three-Year-Old Walking Mares or  Geldings                    

Look for more information and updates regarding the Celebration, which kicks off Aug. 23, in the days to come at

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The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has added an All Day Pleasure World Championship class to its 80th Annual Celebration class schedule.  The new division will be added to the Thursday morning schedule as class 12A, the fourth class held that morning.

The Celebration has watched closely the participation in the division at shows across the industry and added the class at this year’s Spring Fun Show which was highly attended.  “It is important for The Celebration to understand the divisions that are growing and the All Day Pleasure division is certainly one that is doing just that,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.  He continued, “We are working hard to keep our class sheet current and reward the divisions that have entries and reduce the number classes in those divisions that don’t attract industry participation.”

The 80th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will be held August 22nd – September 1st.  For more information please contact The Celebration at or 931-684-5915.

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The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has announced that the Lead Line World Grand Championship has been moved from the first Saturday morning performance to the Sunday evening schedule at the 80th Annual Celebration.  The 80th Annual Celebration will be held August 22nd – September 1st.

The Celebration recently received a petition from exhibitors requesting it consider moving the class outside of the Calsonic Arena, citing safety concerns for those exhibitors.  All of The Celebration morning performances are held inside Calsonic arena with each evening performance being held in the outdoor arena.

The Lead Line class had traditionally been held on the first Saturday morning until then CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows moved the class to the final Saturday evening performance as the first class of the night.  That move by Meadows occurred in 2010.  Prior to the 2017 show, The Celebration looked at ways to shorten its evening sessions in an effort to end the show prior to 11:00 PM each evening.  Citing those goals, The Celebration moved the lead line back to its place on the Saturday morning performance schedule.

“It is imperative that The Celebration consider all factors when making the class sheet and we are definitely cognizant of any safety concerns to our exhibitors.  In addition, we definitely want the youth of the breed, our future, to feel comfortable and get the most exposure possible as they become our future owners and exhibitors,” said Celebration CEO Mike Inman.

The 2018 Lead Line World Grand Championship will be class 80A on Sunday, August 26th.  The class will be the first class of the Sunday evening performance.

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Celebration championship entries to be stabled on show 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.

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SHOW to adopt TWHBEA age of horse requirements

The SHOW HIO recently changed the SHOW rulebook to reflect a recent change at the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association regarding the age of horses foaled in the fall breeding season.

The current SHOW HIO rulebook lists in Section 2 Definitions (A) Age of Horse, the following:

“For horse show purposes, a horse shall be considered to be one year old on the first day of January following the date of foaling. Exception foals born in October, November and December are eligible for classes along with foals born the following year.”

The SHOW Rules Committee, chaired by Carrie Benedict, proposed the following change to Section 2 Definitions (A) Age of Horse:

“For the purposes of exhibition, the age of a horse will be governed by and determined by the rules and regulations of the TWHBEA.”

For more information please visit the SHOW web site at

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(compliments of Walking Horse Report)

The SHOW HIO will retain its policy of reporting to show management its findings for disqualification on pre-show violations with no further penalty issued by SHOW. However, on clear, objective post-show violations that result in notices of disqualification, SHOW will issue a two-week suspension to the person responsible for the violation.

The policy applies to illegal shoeing, heavy chains and any low or illegal chain. At Celebration horse shows, any of these objective, post-show violations will result in disqualification and the class will be re-tied by going back to the judges cards and retying the class. At other SHOW affiliated events, show management will determine if the class is re-tied.

The full excerpt from the SHOW rule book is as follows:

2018 SHOW Penalty Matrix:

Pre Show Violations:
Any pre-show HPA violations are disqualified for the remainder of the show/sale
Any pre-show SHOW violations that are correctable may be corrected and re-inspected

Pre/Post Show Violation:
Verbal and/or physical assault of DQP – Automatic 120 day suspension

According to the regulations to the Horse Protection Act (HPA), a DQP must inspect all entries receiving a first place tie. Should any of the following post-show violations be detected, it is up to show management whether the class receives a re-tie.

Post Show Violations:

Illegal Shoeing – 2 week suspension
Illegal/Heavy Chain – 2 week suspension
Low Chain – 2 week suspension
Bad Image – Inspection video & DQP Report will be taken to Executive Committee for final decision

“A violation is any act committed at a SHOW affiliated event prejudicial to the best interest of SHOW…”

1. All violations of SHOW’s rule, the HPA or the applicable HPA regulation shall be reported to show management and the USDA.  Any person violating SHOW’s rules may be disqualified by show management from entering a horse in the event at which the violation occurred.

2.  All violations of SHOW rules VI B 3a – 3i (Non HPA violations) shall be reported to SHOW Executive Committee via the SHOW business office. The Executive Committee may set any penalty deemed in the best interest of SHOW for these violations.

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(compliments of Walking Horse Report)

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.

All 15.2 and under horses and 60″ and under ponies must be measured prior to first entrance into show ring during the normal pre-show inspection process.  Show management reserves the right to measure any and all entries at the completion of a class.  The Celebration will be measuring horses at the Spring Fun Show, The Celebration 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.

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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.

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Your Celebration Photos

We setup a group on Flickr that you can join (free) to add your photos of The Celebration to. Go to . Flickr accounts are free, so if you don’t have an account, simply sign up and then join our group. When you add your photos to the group, they get displayed on our Your Photos page.


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