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THE PERFECT TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE


2011/09/15



By Jill Cox

Just Imagine- perfect, flawless, ideal, “as good as it gets.”  And this Tennessee Walking Horse is?
 
Unfortunately, such a horse never lived and exists only in this image. Artist Larry L. Lowman created this magnificent stallion using photographs of 12 World Grand Champions and a multiple World Champion:
 
Head and ears: Go Boy’s Royal Heir (621577), World Grand Champion 1968
Neck: Ebony Masterpiece (560586), World Grand Champion 1962
Body: Another Masterpiece (561269), World Grand Champion 1974
Front left leg: The Super Stock (686676), World Grand Champion 1977
Front right leg: Delight Bumin Around (651408), World Grand Champion 1973
Back left leg: Triple Threat (501780), World Grand Champion 1965
Back right leg: Mark of Carbon (620913), World Grand Champion 1978
Mane and tail: Setting Sun (410751), World Grand Champion 1958
Color: Ebony’s Senator (560586), World Grand Champion 1969
Manners: Ebony’s True Grit (623400), World Grand Champion 1975
Stamina: Ace’s Sensation (643336), World Grand Champion 1970
Gaits: Hill’s Perfection, Multiple World Champion
Motion: Sun’s Delight (592116), World Grand Champion 1963
 
Besides being champions, some horses and their traits were noteworthy for other reasons.          Body – Another Masterpiece stood at 17 hands, unusual for the Breed.  Mane and tail – Setting Sun may be the most well-travelled Tennessee Walking Horse, since he made numerous coast-to-coast television appearances in the late l950s.  Stamina – Ace’s Sensation overcame bowed tendons with 30 minutes of swimming twice daily; hydrotherapy was really progressive in the 1970s.  Gaits – Hill’s Perfection “made his ring debut in 1963, and launched what is, no doubt, one of the most outstanding show careers of any Walking Horse” including 4 Amateur World Grand Championships in 10 years.  Motion – Sun’s Delight (sired by Midnight Sun) had a “natural way of going” and “many experts believed him to be the “perfect model for the breed in both looks, manners and action.”
 
In the Mid-South, Mark of Carbon had quite a connection.  His sire was Carbon Copy, owned by the late George Lee Lennox of Collierville, TN.  Carbon Copy was World Grand Champion in 1964, ridden by Joe Webb of Searcy, Arkansas. Webb “trained him to obey voice and whistle signals while unmounted.  Carbon Copy would entertain the continuous crowd of visitors to his training stable with a brisk performance of all his gaits without a rider.”
 
The profiles and pictures of the these champions in The Gallery of Grand Champions,published by The Celebration, show horses of unusual talent, beauty, and character.  Some like Go Boy’s Royal Heir have Foundation sires and dams in their pedigrees.  Many, like Hill’s Perfection, were ridden to world grand championships and world championships in the amateur ranks as well as professional classes.  Several overcame injury and physical challenges to win. For some the strategy was “try, try again” and they finally won.
 
The perfect horse must have the perfect rider.  For this honor, Lowman selected the late Sam Paschal, considered by many to be the best showman to ever ride at The Celebration. He won the Big Stake in 1958, 1962, and 1963.
 
The Echo of Hoofbeats,by Dr. Bob Womack (the authoritative history of the Breed) contains a great story about Paschal.  In an interview, one owner tells how Paschal laid out his strategy to win in 1962.  He knew that the trainers of the two top contenders would get into a race against one another and then, he and Ebony Masterpiece would just “whip” them.  And that is just what happened!  According to this owner, “… when [Paschal] went into a ring, he was in a class by himself.”   Every owner wants a trainer with that level of skill and charisma.  Watching film of his victory laps, one can appreciate what a showman Sam Paschal really was.  Walk on!

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