From the Walking Horse Celebration office:
Official Celebration News Release
Sunday, September 03, 2006
The decision to cancel the final class of the 2006 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was based upon the best information available to show management from the inspection area and from law enforcement officials.
Tennessee Highway Patrol officers informed Celebration officials that they were confident they could protect the safety of the people working in the inspection area but did not have the manpower available to assure the health and safety of the 26,000 spectators, exhibitors and horses.
When show officials entered the warm-up area to check if the three entries eligible for the class were going to show, they were unable to reach the horses. They were almost immediately confronted by a crowd of approximately 150 people who demanded that all horses be allowed to show and were told that the three entries eligible to show would not be going into the ring.
As the crowd continued to build, law enforcement officers escorted the show officials from the warm-up area and took them to the Celebration Administrative offices and the announcement was made that the class would not take place.
The Celebration deeply regrets having to cancel our World Grand Championship class for the first time in 68 years but we were unwilling to compromise the health and safety of our fans, horses, personnel and exhibitors.
We extend our deepest sympathy to all of those affected by this difficult decision and thank you for your continued support of our show during this most challenging season for the entire industry.