Bluegrass Bandit

©Shane Shiflet

Bluegrass Bandit, a 2002 grey Tennessee Walking Horse mare, is known to steal the show when it comes to Western and English Trail Pleasure classes. At the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in 2005, Bandit was crowned the World Champion in Youth English Trail Pleasure and in Amateur Owned and Trained (AOT) Western Trail Pleasure. In the end, she was named the World Grand Champion in Western Pleasure and was voted the Trail Pleasure Horse of the Year by Voice of the Tennessee Walking Horse magazine. In 2006, she was the World Champion in AOT Western Trail Pleasure, AOT English Trail Pleasure and Western Trail Pleasure (Canter), as well as the Reserve World Grand Champion in Western Trail Pleasure. Bandit and rider/owner Jared Carrier, 20, won all of their classes in five of nine competitions and won the Amateur Owned & Trained (AOT) Pleasure High Point Award. Bluegrass Bandit is owned by Chip, Bonny and Jared Carrier of Gobblers Knob Farm in Franklin, KY and trained by Jared.

Bluegrass Bandit's Breyer model

Bluegrass Bandit's success in the pleasure classes stems from the breed's history as a plantation horse in the deep south. Breeding between an 1886 colt named Black Allan and the early Tennessee Pacer created the gaited Tennessee Walker, given its name because it doesn't trot. Its flat foot and running walks are quicker than the walk of other breeds, and in a movement termed "overstride," the horse's hind foot should land in or ahead of the track left by the front foot. At the running walk, the overstride can equal six to 18 inches, and a horse can move at up to 20 miles per hour.