Racking Horse World Celebration

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Racking Horse World Celebration
Sanctioning bodyRacking Horse Breeders' Association of America
LocationCelebration Arena, Priceville, Alabama
Length9 days
Breeds shownRacking Horse
Largest honorWorld Grand Championship
ClassesOver 170
Number of entries1,000

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.


Racking Horse World Celebration is located in Alabama
Racking Horse World Celebration
Map of Alabama showing location of the Racking Horse World Celebration.
Racking Horse World Celebration is located in the United States
Racking Horse World Celebration
Racking Horse World Celebration (the United States)

The Celebration was started in 1972, not long after the formation of 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.[1]
The first World Grand Champion Racking Horse was Go Boy's Road Runner in 1972.[2] 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.[3] The first female rider to win the World Grand Championship was Barbara Agnich riding the horse Tragedy in 2005.[4] In a twist, Agnich competed against her boyfriend Rick Parish to win.[5] 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.[6]


This is a list of World Grand Championship winning horses, trainers, and owners at the Racking Horse World Celebration.

Racking Horse World Grand Champions[4]
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[7] Angela Fields
2018 Sy Robertson Jamie Lawrence Denny Russell
2019 High Sword Jamie Lawrence Roy Wester
2020 High Sword Jamie Lawrence Roy Wester
2021 I’m McGregor Chris Zahnd Brain Rolen
2022 I’m McGregor Chris Zahnd Brian Rolen
2023 I’m McGregor Chris Zahnd Brian Rolen


The Celebration lasts 9 days and nights and includes over 170 classes to accommodate a variety of disciplines, including

stick horse riding for young children.[8][9]
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 Multiple World Championships and one World Grand Championship are awarded during the course of the Celebration.[10][11] 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.[10][12] In addition to regular competition, the show includes a horse sale, trainers' association meeting, and youth activities.[10]

The Celebration has average attendance of around 70,000 people annually.[13] It includes about 1,000 horses from 25 US states.[14]

Spring Celebration

The Spring Celebration, formerly known as the Spring Warm-Up[15] 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.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Racking Horse Celebration continues tremendous growth". Times Daily. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Daily News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Kenny Lee Ailshie". Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b http://rackinghorse.org/Past-World-Grand-Champions-2014.pdf[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Tragedy claims victory at show". archive.decaturdaily.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Gadsden Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Young trainer racks to the roses | the Walking Horse Report".
  8. ^ "Racking Horse World Celebration". Alabamatravel.com. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Racking Horse Spring and World Celebrations". Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d http://www.rackinghorse.org/SHOW-BILL-CORRECTION-08042017.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ "Cherokee County Herald - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  12. ^ "If Only still among contenders for racking horse championship". legacy.decaturdaily.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Racking Horse Spring Celebration". Event Crazy. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Racking Horse Spring Celebration kicks off in Decatur". Waff.com. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  15. ^ "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.