More than 75 years ago, the Charity Horse show began. Breck Cabell, Col. B.F. McCleland, W.H. Pullen, Sidney Robinson, Mayor Walter Scott, Robert Stockett and Ben Wakefield started the horse show in 1930. During its first year, the show was held on Stockett property and was called the Jackson Horse Show. Initially, this was a multi-breed show with Hunters/Jumpers, American Saddle Bred and Walking Horses. The show was moved to the Fairgrounds in 1931. In 1933, the Jr. Auxiliary sponsored the show on the Fairgrounds in front of the big grand stand. The Girl Scouts took over sponsorship of the show in 1934 and continued to sponsor the show through 1936. It became a three-day show in the year 1936. In 1937, the Jr. Auxiliary again sponsored the horse show.
The Mississippi Charity Horse Show became a premier society event for the city of Jackson. Women and men would dress in their finest to attend the performances. Downtown stores, like Kennington’s, McRaes, and the Emporium, would decorate their Capital Street windows especially for the horse show. In 1938, the Mississippi State Horse Show Association was formed and has sponsored the charity show from that year forward. World War II interrupted the show in 1942 for one year. People really wanted to see these fine horses perform again, so in 1943, the show continued. The year 1944 marked the first year in which the show was held at night due to electric lights being added to the big grand stand. During the years 1951 to 1956, the Jr. League of Jackson co-sponsored the event with the Mississippi State Horse Show Association. During the scheduled show dates in 1957, it rained for three days causing the outdoor show to be postponed for several days. Following the 1957 show, the big grand stand was blown down by a storm. As a result, the show was cancelled from 1958 to 1962 until the new location, the Coliseum, was completed. From 1963 through 2009, it continued in its present location. In June of 2009, the decision was made by the Mississippi Charity Horse Show Association to relocate the 2010 show to a new facility designed for equine events. Beginning in 2010, the show will be held at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center located next to the Coliseum on the Fairgrounds.
The Mississippi Charity Horse Show is recognized as premier Walking Horse Show drawing talented horses, riders and trainers from throughout the country. Proceeds from this show have always benefited a charity.
Tennessee Walking Horse
History of Breed:
The Tennessee Walking Horse is a unique breed that began in the mid 1800’s in the central part of Tennessee. This breed is a product of the farmers crossbreeding American Saddle horses, Standardbreds, American Thoroughbreds, English Thoroughbreds, Morgans, Canadian Pacers and Narragansett Pacers. The first Tennessee Walking Horse, “Black Allen”, was born in 1886.
The Tennessee Walking Horse is well known for its easy calm spirit and its smooth and pleasurable gaits – flat walk, running walk, and canter.
The flat walk should be true, bold, and four cornered. The horse should nod the head with every stride and bring each forefoot to the ground a mere second before the diagonally opposite hind foot, touches the ground. The forelegs should move straight, breaking at the knees and reaching forward in an elevated arc. The rear legs should follow through close to the ground, comfortable and over-striding the front tracks.
The running walk should be the same general motion as the flat walk, but with additional speed. The horse shall exhibit a smooth gliding, overstepping, and four-cornered gait, with greater stride and accelerated head motion. The running walk should be a free and easy gait. Horses exhibiting an exaggerated, hesitating way of going, with tendency to point with the front feet are not inform.
The canter should be smooth and straight on both leads, not walking behind, but cantering on both ends with a rolling, rocking chair motion, comfortable in hand. Exaggerating ‘pumping’ of the horse at the canter is not considered good form.
In general appearance, the Tennessee walking horse should have an intelligent look, neat head, well-shaped and pointed ears, clear and alert eyes, and a tapered muzzle. The neck should be long and graceful and the shoulders muscular and well sloping. The back should be short with good coupling at the loins. The animal should be deep in girth and well ribbed and the chest should be of good proportion and width. The croup should be generally sloping and the hips well muscled with muscular development extending down toward the hocks. The legs should be flat and cordy.