Unique horse show draws people of all ages to benefit YouthTown


MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Competitors from as far as California came to Pugh Bourne Park in north Madison County Saturday afternoon to show off their horses and spread awareness for a local organization.

“We’re not here to glorify anybody or any particular person. We’re here to enjoy the Tennessee walking horse and to give the money to the charity,” exhibitor Paula Sensing said.

It was the 30th annual Charity Horse Show benefiting YouthTown.

“We specialize in treating teenagers for substance abuse, so it’s really a dream that we have to never turn a family away because of their inability to pay,” YouthTown Executive Director Pepper Pratt said.

The Mid-South Horse Show Association says besides raising money, it is just as important to spread awareness.

“The neat thing about this event is that people learn about YouthTown that didn’t know about YouthTown before,” said Cynthia Wright of the Mid-South Horse Show Association.

The event included different categories of Tennessee walking horse competitions.

“Just trying to win and have fun,” said Jack Kail, winner of the “Youth 11 and Under” category.

Along with overall appearance, experts say it’s no surprise that when it comes to judging the Tennessee walking horse, it’s all about the walk.

“It needs to be a four-beat gait, so if both legs are moving at the same time, that’s not a four-beat gait. Each one has to be going one at a time,” show manager Fred Benjamin said.

In the end, representatives say everyone involved in the benefit is a winner.

“We just learned that the first girl that came through our treatment program made a 36 on her ACT and got a full scholarship to a state university,” Pratt said. “So that’s really exciting.”

Representatives say this is the sixth year in a row that the charity event has benefited YouthTown. They are hoping to raise anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 from the event.

If you are interested in learning more about YouthTown, you can find additional information at www.youthtown.net.

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