MTSU Pre-Vet Society plans April 7 Walking Horse Show Fundraiser in Tennessee Livestock Center
To raise funds to help defray expenses for students to attend an open house and visit the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville in mid-April, the MTSU Pre-Vet Society could’ve held a car wash, conducted a bake sale or something similar.
Instead, they are holding the first Easter Extravaganza Walking Horse Show, which will be held Saturday, April 7, starting at 5 p.m. CDT at the Tennessee Livestock Center, 1720 Greenland Dr.
The walking horse show will include 28 categories, and will be the first area walking horse show of the season and third across the region. It follows the FAST or Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Horse Spring Showcase March 15-17 in Shelbyville, Tenn., and the Mississippi Charity Horse Show March 29-31 in Jackson, Miss.
Sophomore Martin Johnson of Memphis, who is part of the organizing committee along with freshman Kasie Caldwell and senior Jacob Baum, both from Shelbyville, said they expect between 140 and 150 entries or about four to five entries per class.
“We’re excited,” Johnson said. “Our main goal is to make sure everyone has a good time at the show.”
Caldwell echoes Johnson’s excitement.
“We’re hoping it will be a great show,” she said. “I have confidence in it. I’ve talked to a lot of trainers. Since we are a college society or group (holding the show), they are a lot more supportive. They are excited that it will be at the Tennessee Livestock Center. They are staying positive and saying they plan to come.
“It has been a lot of hard work, but I think the hard work definitely will pay off. … I have been in the walking horse industry since I was born. This show is coming after quite a few bigger shows and before a few bigger ones. We’re looking forward to see how it’s going to turn out.”
Johnson said he has been following walking horse shows since he was in middle school. Caldwell’s father, the late Sam Caldwell, was a walking horse trainer and Baum’s father, Jim, is a veterinarian in Shelbyville.
Owners and trainers “from all over the country — Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Mississippi” — will be participating in the show, Johnson said.
Joining the trio of organizers in working the event will be 15 MTSU students, friends and members of The Walking Horse Trainers Auxiliary Inc. in Shelbyville.
Members of the MTSU Blue Raider Battalion in the ROTC program will present the colors during opening ceremonies. A variety of vendors are expected to sell their wares. And the Tennessee Livestock Center will be providing concessions.
Entry fees will be $40 for Regular Classes, $75 for Riders’ Cup Classes and $100 for the Stake Class.
For more information, call Johnson at 901-319-6992 or Caldwell at 931-703-1567.