Local riders participate in Celebration

Friday, August 31, 2018
Chapel Hill riders Taylor and Raelynn Williams pose together on their horses before the Celebration in Shelbyville on Saturday.
Photos by Rachel Clifford

For any horse lover in Tennessee or across the country, the dream gig is getting to show a horse in Shelbyville's Tennessee National Walking Horse Celebration.

That dream became a reality this past weekend for two Chapel Hill riders as Taylor (4th place) and Raelynne (3rd place) Williams both had a successful weekend. Raelynne, a seven year-old second-grader at Chapel Hill Elementary School, also shows trotting horses along with the walking horses and will be participating in the Academy Nationals.

“I admire Raelynn's courage in trying different things," the children's mother, Rachel Clifford, who runs Renaissance Fresians in Lewisburg, said. "She's practices jumping, driving, and trail obstacles.”

Taylor Williams, an 11-year old sixth-grader at Delk-Henson Intermediate School in Chapel Hill, warms up with his horse 'He's a Shot in the Dark' before the Celebration last Saturday.

“She goes outside of her comfort zones with little fear and she builds more confidence within herself every time she rides. It really amazes me how far she has come."

Taylor, on the other hand, rides strictly gaited Walking Horses for the Walking Horse Owners Association (WHOA) and the Pleasure Walking Horse Association of Tennessee (PWHAT).

"Taylor has found his perfect partner in 'He's a Shot in The Dark aka Man',” Clifford added. “And I couldn't be more proud of them."

Both youngsters have been training at Alice Klein Stables in Shelbyville.

"I am very proud of my kids," Clifford noted. "They are good sports and although they might get upset if they don't come home with a blue ribbon, they don't let that get them down."

"We discuss their weaknesses and what they need to work on and by the next class they are correcting their errors and stepping up their game," Clifford continued. "Sometimes they bring home the blues and sometimes they don't. It’s always a learning experience for them every time."