K's Handshaker was by Midnight Mack K., sire also of the 1959
Grand Champion, Rodger's
Perfection, and was out of Deep Purple, a daughter of
Last Chance. He was
owned by Doug and his father, Myron Wolaver, of Diana, Tennessee.
The dam, Deep Purple, was owned by J. E. Beasley, Jr., of Athens,
Alabama, and he bred and owned Handshaker as a colt.
Doug Wolaver broke Handshaker as a two-year-old late in the
season, and, that year, was fourth in the two-year-old stake at
the Southern Championship show in Montgomery, Alabama. As a
junior, he was reserve champion at the Celebration and then went
on to win the junior classes and stake honors at the Kentucky
State Fair, at the Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and at
the Southern Championship showing in Montgomery, Alabama.
is interesting to look back over the list of World Grand Champions
to note that Doug Wolaver was only the third rider in the history
of the Celebration horse show to be either owner or part-owner of
the Grand Champion he exhibited. The other two riders were Colonel
Jack Haynes on his Haynes Peacock in 1940 and 1941, and Winston
Wiser who was part owner of
Merry Go Boy during his championship years of 1947
and 1948, and of Go Boy's Shadow, winner in 1955 and 1956. All
other riders of the Grand Champions had been professional showmen
who owned no part of their mounts. Another point of particular
interest is the fact that Doug Wolaver was the youngest trainer to
ever win the Celebration's big stake, replacing Percy Moss as
holder of the youngest winning rider title. Percy was twenty-three
years old when he won in 1954 astride Dr. and Mrs. W. V. Garnier's
mare, White Star. Doug Wolaver was only twenty-two at the time of
his winning ride.
Doug was an earnest and quiet spoken man who strictly minded his
own business. He is probably as well liked and admired by other
trainers and horsemen as anyone else in the business because of
this fact. He is remembered as a teenager who was always able to
find time when arriving on the grounds before shows to help braid,
adjust gear and groom for his nearby horsemen friends while he,
himself, was also getting ready to show. He would not drive off
after the show was over and leave a horseman to struggle alone
with some balky-loading animal without first offering his
Winning, and especially the Celebration, couldn't have happened to
a better person! That's the
consensus of his fellow horsemen.
His hometown and county neighbors also appreciated Doug and Mack
K's Handshaker, for they organized and held a "Doug Wolaver Day"
following his 1960 Celebration win. The Governor of Tennessee,
Honorable Buford Ellington, an owner of Champion Tennessee Walking
Horses as well as an ardent promoter of the Breed, was Master of
Ceremonies at the Doug Wolaver Day gala. Horsemen from throughout
the country presented there that day praise for the young rider
who had helped make the Tennessee Walking Horse famous.
Mack K’s Handshaker went on to sire two World Grand Champions -
in 1966 and Handshaker’s Delight in 1972.