High Steppin' Horses
Trip Start May 13, 1996
16Trip End May 14, 1996
Shelbyville is known as the Walking Horse Capital of the World, and every August people come from all over the world to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration on The Celebration Grounds. The 100-acre showgrounds have 650 permanent barns with 1,650 stalls, an outdoor arena which seats 30,000; and the indoor Calsonic Arena, which seats 4,500. The weekend event which was first held in 1939 has grown to a 10-day show attracting a quarter of a million people today; there is a 3-day show on Memorial Day weekend too.
If you've just come to town for a visit, see The Tennessee Walking Horse Museum, in Calsonic Arena, where the only horse named for its state is featured; you'll find interactive video, Walking Horse artifacts, and 3-D displays, it's open weekdays.
There are more than 40 farms in the greater area; the Chamber has a Visitor's Guide to Area Horse Farms but still call ahead before you visit.
Shelbyville Town Square was laid out in 1810 as the prototype for town squares in the South and Midwest; today it houses thriving businesses while retaining its old-time atmosphere, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stay at Shelbyville Inn on Madison; Cinnamon Ridge B&B, a colonial home within walking distance of The Celebration Grounds with 5 rooms, private baths, and full breakfast; Taylor House B&B, minutes from Calsonic Arena, with 5 rooms, private baths, and full breakfast; The Old Gore House on Belmont, a Colonial style home with double parlors, fireplace in the dining room. Eat at Rebecca's Restaurant, it's a family place with homestyle breakfast, lunch buffet, dinner specials; Pope's Cafe serves up country ham and home cooking.