SHELBYVILLE -- "Watch it Now," a horse owned by Waterfall Farms on the Wartrace Highway, was named the World Grand Champion of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration on Saturday.
Horse trainer Jimmy McConnell rode the slick black stallion during the 11-day horse show. It was McConnell's third win in five years. He rode "A Black Nightshade" and "Master of Jazz" to the winners circle in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
The 5-year-old horse won three championship classes this year. Last year, he placed well at the Celebration, including a win in the 4-Year-Old World Grand Championship class. He was reserve champion in the A Section of the Aged Stallions 15.2 and over class at this year's show.
While muddied by rain from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and marred by the fiasco of 2006 when miscommunication and mass eliminations resulted in no grand champion being named, the Celebration would appear to be on a road to recovery.
Out of 33 stallions registered to show in the class seen as the primary qualifier for the grand championship, only 12 showed three years ago. Nine were turned back; the remainder simply declined to compete in the class.
That wasn't the case this year. Of 11 horses presented to show, all passed inspection.
Reserve honors went to Victoria's Secret. Coach took third place and Cadillac's Bum finished fourth.