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American Hackney Horse Society Hall of Fame Induction



 

 

Rodney Root, Scarlett Mattson, T.J. and Georgia Blevins, and Bill Munford

 

 

Editor’s note: The following presentation was made on Monday night during the World’s Championship Horse Show

 

 

Our 2006 Honorees are T. J. and Georgia Blevins of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

 

Upon graduation from high school, T. J. and Georgia married. While T.J. attended Vanderbilt University and later graduated from the University of Kentucky Dental School, they had three children: Jill, Chris, and Mia. After T.J. received his doctorate from UK, the family moved to Bowling Green, Ky., and shortly thereafter purchased a farm. At first they had a few ponies for the children to ride; later on they stepped it up a bit because everyone in the family wanted to go to horse shows.

 

The first Hackney pony they owned was King’s Cock Robin. T.J. purchased him at Tattersalls, and Georgia says, “We put him in a little shed in our back yard and were scared of him!” After discovering that this was harder than they thought, T.J. took him to trainer Bill Sadler whose barn was across the road from their house. Georgia had never driven a pony, but they took him to a show and won – first drive, first blue ribbon! Needless to say, they were hooked for life.

 

The Blevinses bought more horses and ponies and at one point even hired their own trainer, James Nichols. Over the years they have had horses and ponies with more than 30 trainers, including L.R. “Dick” Duncan, the Shivelys, Ray Pittman, Tom Moore, Jimmy Robertson, Adam and Desiree Clauson, Edward and Jane Bennett, Vernon Bettersworth, Jimmy Miller, Steve Crabtree, Lawrence Carss, Rex and Shirley Parkinson, Sam Brannon, Frank, Nancy, and Pat McConnell, Dick Gray, and Glendyle and Randy Tabor. Gaining training knowledge from each trainer, the Blevinses eventually started training their own stock. This became a wonderful time for the whole family – children and grandchildren. T.J. practiced dentistry by day and trained horses by night. Successes include training Georgia’s beloved road pony Rampage to three World’s Championships.

 

They have owned and shown such Saddlebreds as WC CH Sixpence Harmony, WC CH Great Gusto, WC Supreme Splendor, WC Town Tweed, WC Sugar And Spice, WC Snow White, WC Kane County, CH Callaway’s Claret, CH Mercer Raceabout, and CH Rick Rack. Their ponies have included Whiplash, King’s Squire, James Street, Enchanted, Texas Tommy, Cheerleader, Dividend Delight, Oreo, Sweet Echo, Hollywood, Monte Carlo, Heartland Masterpiece, Dash, Heartland Secret, and many more.

 

At the present, T.J. and Georgia are enjoying some of their greatest success yet… In January 2005, the Blevinses asked Rich Campbell and Maureen Lydon to train their road pony Dun-Haven Awesome Image. They agreed, and train him they did! In July 2005, they purchased Free Willy. Georgia drove Dun-Haven Awesome Image to two World’s Championships and Free Willy to a World’s Championship that very year.

 

Georgia and Free Willy were invited to perform at the 2005 Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration. A crowd of 30,000 people stood and cheered as Free Willy did what only Free Willy can do. Georgia noted this experience was the “highlight of my lifetime!” They finished 2005 as Canadian National Champions in Toronto, Ontario. Dun-Haven Awesome Image and Free Willy were named 2005 UPHA Road Ponies of the Year.

 

In 2006 they have purchased WC General Mills, WC Dun-Haven Grandiose, and WC Oliver Twist. These ponies, along with Free Willy are trained by Maureen Lydon and Rich Campbell at Majestic Oaks.

 

T.J. says the secret to staying together and staying with show horses and ponies is a “short memory,” to quote Thoroughbred horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The Blevinses have devoted themselves to God, their family, and their horses and ponies.

 

Join us tonight as we congratulate our 2006 Hackney Hall of Fame inductees, T. J. and Georgia Blevins.

 

 

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