FOURTH TIME MAY BE THE
By Delbert Reed
Tuscaloosa News - June 8,
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 Clow as 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
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 Prodcuer 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
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.