FOURTH TIME MAY
BE THE CHARM
By Delbert Reed
- June 8, 1962
the first week in September each year, hundreds of horses from all
parts of the county floor into Shelbeyville, Tenn., for the annual
Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the granddaddy of
all horse shows.
To trainers and horse owners alike, the
Celebration, as it is known, is the World Series and the Rose Bowl
rolled into one - it's the final judging of a year's work.
So noteworthy is the Celebration that last
year Vice President Johnson was on hand to crown the winner who is
recognized as the world champion.
This year, as in three previous years,
Spur's Clown, a six-year-old stallion owned jointly by B.W.
Coleman of Greensboro and Hershel Talley of Tuscaloosa, will make
his fourth trip to the grand occasion for horses.
Spur's Clown was bred and raised on Spur
Ranch near Marion and was owned by W.O. Crawford until Talley and
Coleman bought him as a two-year-old.
Talley, a horse trainer for 15 years,
trained Clown and carried him to the Celebration for the first
time as a three year old in 1959, where he was judged third in the
Junior Championship division.
The next year Spur's Clown was old enough
to enter the World Grand Championship class and again was judged
third in the world. Last year, making his third appearance, Clown
pranced his way to a fourth place finish in the celebration.
In his three years of showing, Spur's
Clown has won close to a hundred blue ribbons from all parts of
Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.
In his first showing this year, Spur's
Clown won the grand champion of the Vestivia Country Club for the
second straight year and crossed the two-thirds mark at becoming
the sole owner of the Vestivia Challenge Cup.
In his next time out, Spur's Clown won the
stallion-gelding class at the Marion County horse show, which was
held last week.
The son of Spur's Roan Allen, who has
sired some of the top horses in the nation, Spur's Clown has been
proclaimed by sourthern horsemen as definately one of the top
three stallions in the nation.
Talley can be proud of another promising
walker in his training this year, too. That's Sunbeam''s Producer,
a four year old mare owned by Wallace Gunn of Hattiesburg, Miss.
Sunbeam's Producuer was sired by the son of
Midnight Sun, the grand champion walking horse of the world for
two years running in 1945 and 1946.
She was first show on April 25th of this
year, in New Orleans show where she won the mare class and
championship stake. She also won the championship stake in her
next showing at Meridan, Miss., and in her last outing, Sunbeam's
Producer won the mare and championship classes again in the Macon
County horse show.
Sunbeam's Producer, estimated by many as
one of the best mares in Dixie, will make her first trip to the
Celebration this fall.
Mr. Talley has been training and showing
horses for many years but feels that he has his best line of
horses this year. He's won 29 blue ribbons and 8 red ribbons with
37 entries in 10 shows and Spur's Clown and Sunbeam's Producer are
both unbeaten in this season's competition.
The Talleys have never won a world
championship at the Celebration. Mrs. Tally came the closest, in
1959 when she rode a reserve champion.
Come late summer and the end of the small
show season, barring all unforseen problems, Spur's Clown and
Sunbeam's Producer will carry the Talleys bright hopes to the 24th
annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
Spur's Clown will be seen on exhibition at
the first annual Junior Welfare Horse and Pony show, July 6-7, at
the Tuscaloosa Riding Club.