DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
Three-year-old Wyatt Burtts of Somerville with his cousin, Katie Brakke, near Peanut, a Shetland pony, outside Celebration Arena on Thursday.
If Only still among contenders for racking horse championship
By Paul Huggins
DAILY Staff Writer
email@example.com · 340-2395
PRICEVILLE — The third time wasn't the charm for If Only last year, but the racking horse that came so close to taking home the breed's top prize is in championship form again as the 35th annual World Celebration comes to a close.
The win would give the stallion trained by Casey Wright for Chris and Denise Walker of Monterey, Tenn., its first title after finishing second in 2003 and '04 and third last year.
He'll have to beat some strong contenders to do it and claim the $3,000 cash prize, silver tea set and increased stud fees.
The competition will unfold tonight at the show's conclusion. The show starts at 6 and will end at about 11. Admission is $7, and parking is $3.
Among the top horses pushing If Only is Major Credit, trained by Jamie Lawrence of Vinemont. He was the Spring Celebration champ and showed earlier this week he is still in top form by winning the style class.
The world grand champion typically comes from one of three show classes: style, aged stallions and 15.2 and under.
The 2003, 2002 and 1999 champs all came from the aged stallions class. The 1998 champ came from the style class. The 2004 champ came out of the 15.2 and under class.
The champs in 2005, 2001 and 2000 all came from these classes, though they didn't win their respective qualifiers.
That makes six horses top contenders, though their owners are not required to show in the championship class. Besides If Only and Major Credit, here's what to look for: The Steppin' Wolf, trained by Josh Watts for Herb Weiler Jr. of Vandalio, Ohio. He won the aged stallions class. The Finalizer, trained by Lamar Denny for Clyde Creech of Middlesboro, Ky. He was second in the style class and won world grand championship in 1998. Impulsive, trained by Larry Taylor for Sheryl Moseley of Marion Junction. He was first in the 15.2 and under class. M.G.'s Ph.D., trained by Barbara Agnich for Tommy and Sharon Vivian of Mount Sterling, Ky. It was second in the 15.2 and under class, and its trainer was in the saddle of last's year champion, also owned by the Vivians.
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