The Racking Horse World Celebration is the largest show for the Racking Horse breed. It is held annually in late September at the Celebration Arena in Priceville, Alabama, a few miles outside Decatur. The Celebration encompasses over a week of nightly shows, and includes approximately 170 classes. Over 1,000 horses compete there each year, and spectator attendance is roughly 70,000. The World Celebration's counterpart is the Spring Celebration, held in April at the same location.Contents
The Celebration was started in 1972, not long after the formation of the Racking Horse Breeders' Association of America (RHBAA). Although most of the organizers were from Birmingham it was decided to hold the show in Priceville, which is in Morgan County, northern Alabama, because the horse center there was the best in the state at the time. The first Celebration lasted one day and included 23 classes. A total of 257 horses were shown. Many of the exhibitors and horses were from the Muscle Shoals area. The competition was patterned after the larger and to some extent, more widely known Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, with a World Grand Championship as the largest honor. The first World Grand Champion Racking Horse was Go Boy's Road Runner in 1972. The trainer with the most World Grand Championships was Kenny Ailshie, who won the honor six times; in 1987 on Oil Stock, 1991 and 1992 on Oil Stock's Delight, 1998 on The Finalizer, 2002 on Unreal, and 2006 on Score at Halftime. The first female rider to win the World Grand Championship was Barbara Agnich riding the horse Tragedy in 2005. In a twist, Agnich competed against her boyfriend Rick Parish to win. In 1986, the Racking Horse World and Spring Celebrations were named by the Southeast Tourism Society as being among the top 20 attractions in the Southeastern United States.Winners
This is a list of World Grand Championship winning horses, trainers, and owners at the Racking Horse World Celebration.Racking Horse World Grand Champions Year Horse Trainer Owner 1972 Go Boy's Road Runner Morris Denny W. P. Smith 1973 The Bounty Hunter Ralton Baker Ralton Baker & Athel Hargett 1974 The Godfather Jimmie Wehunt Jimmie Wehunt 1975 Bentley's Ace Gary Beam Bentley Beam Stables 1976 Sunset Jubilee Larry Taylor Kenneth Helton 1977 Eternal Flame Larry Thomas Doug McCosh 1978 Mc's Rambling Man Jeff Johnston Johnston Stables 1979 The Great Gatsby Keith Bradford Buck Island Stables 1980 Ace's High Roller Larry Taylor W. L. Cox 1981 The Bold Master Roger Lewis Ed Smith 1982 Intruder's Night Hawk Jackie Barron Diana Floyd 1983 Broadway Joe C Jimmy Yeager Gordon Smith 1984 Bourbon Street Bum II Larry Taylor Alice Mullins 1985 Powerful Threat Joe Spivey PI Unlimited 1986 Oil Stock Jackie Barron Tri-State Distributors 1987 Oil Stock Kenny Ailshie Tri-State Distributors 1988 Patent's Black Poison John Grainger Henry & Diane Bell 1989 Sunset Pure Delight Harley Taylor Willis & Mackie 1990 The Generator J Jimmy Yeager Robert & Janice Dabbs 1991 Oil Stock's Delight Kenny Ailshie Clyde Creech family 1992 Oil Stock's Delight Kenny Ailshie Clyde Creech family 1993 Professional Image Dale Watts Gene Stokley 1994 Choice's First Cut Robert Stivers Clyde & Grace Robertson 1995 Flashy Dazzle Jimmy Yeager Willard & Linda Townson 1996 Master's Easy Money John Grainger Maxis Strickland 1997 Guaranteed Perfect Rick Parish CVF Partners 1998 The Finalizer Kenny Ailshie Clyde Creech family 1999 Papa's Choice Mark Taylor Robert & Vivian Watkins 2000 Pursuing Perfection Larry Latham Muguerza & Harris 2001 The Pushoverture Keith Ailshie Clyde Creech family 2002 Unreal Kenny Ailshie Terry Dotson family 2003 Gold Plated SD Casey Wright Joan & Amanda Hart 2004 Fashion's Pride Mark Taylor Bill & Linda Cone 2005 Tragedy Barbara Agnich Tommy & Sharon Vivian 2006 Score at Halftime Kenny Ailshie Denny Russell 2007 The Finalizer Lamar Denny John L. Denny 2008 Jose's Pushover Dwight Dunn Robert & Tom Deaton 2009 It's Me Again Rick Parish Arvolle Brown 2010 Jose's Pushover Jamie Lawrence Denny Russell 2011 Score at Halftime Jonathan Bellamy Howard & Theresa Bellamy 2012 Papa's Final Choice Larris Missildine Riley Fenn 2013 Pusher's Dollar Jason Creech Clyde Creech family 2014 High Sword Jamie Lawrence Kimberley Coult 2015 High Sword Jamie Lawrence Kimberley Coult 2016 Tears Jamie Lawrence Kimberley Coult 2017 Helter Skelter Brandon Ailshie Classes
The Celebration lasts 9 days and nights and includes over 170 classes to accommodate a variety of disciplines, including saddle seat, trail, English pleasure, western riding, driving, speed classes, and even stick horse riding for young children. All horses entered must be registered with the RHBAA, and the trainer, owner and rider of each horse must also be Association members. All horses entered must have a negative Coggins test and currently be vaccinated against the equine herpes virus. Multiple World Championships and one World Grand Championship are awarded during the course of the Celebration. One specialty class, called "Racking for the Roses" is designed to showcase the abilities of horses that may not enter the World Grand Championship. Riders in the class must be professional trainers who have been training for at least 5 years and have never won the World Grand Championship. The World Grand Championship is the most significant and the final class in the Celebration, held on the last Saturday night of the show. It has a cash prize of $3,000 and a silver tea set for first place. In addition to regular competition, the show includes a horse sale, trainers' association meeting, and youth activities.
The Celebration has average attendance of around 70,000 people annually. It includes about 1,000 horses from 25 US states.Spring Celebration
The Spring Celebration, formerly known as the Spring Warm-Up is held in mid-to-late April and begins the Racking Horse show season each year. It is very similar in style and level of competition to the World Show, but only lasts four days. It is the second-largest Racking Horse show in the United States.References