World Grand Champion in 1995
Pride's Sundance Star #906062
Owned by Dr. and
Mrs. Rafael Rigual of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and San Juan, Puerto
Rico, the five-year-old Pride's Sundance Star was purchased as an
amateur mount for Mrs. Rigual. Dr. Rigual had seen the stallion
as a three-year-old at The 1993 Celebration and immediately liked him.
Dr. Rigual says it was because Pride's Sundance Star and his rider
"seemed to be having so much fun!" The rider was Keith
Becknell who started the colt for the Tully Parsons family of Mount
raised by Tully and Kathy Jo Parsons, Sundance Star is out of
Marietta's Sundance and by the 1986 World Grand Champion Pride's
Jubilee Star. His bloodline is traceable to the
foundation stock of the Tennessee Walking Horse and includes
four additional World Grand Champions-Merry Go Boy, Ebony
Masterpiece, Midnight Sun and Sun's Delight. Looking
to the future in terms of breeding potential, Pride's Sundance
Star possesses all the right credentials.
Recognizing his proven heritage of show horses, it's little
wonder Pride's Sundance Star has seen such success in the show
Knowing how Dr.
Rigual felt about Pride's Sundance Star, Landrum followed the horse's
progress. Impressed by what he saw at the Asheville, North
Carolina show, Landrum called the Riguals to say they needed to buy
the horse. For a trainer to call an owner with buying
suggestions wasn't unusual; the fact that Landrum reached the Riguals
by their cellular phone while they were attending an Oklahoma-Texas
football game was! The Riguals gave Landrum the go ahead
and the -horse which caught Dr. Rigual's eye was headed home.
immediately took to Sundance Star and the team had some great
successes in the 1994 show season. Their wins included the
National Trainers' Show, The Celebration Spring Fun Show, the
Jackson, Mississippi show and the Germantown, Tennessee show.
The season clincher however was the prized Four Year-Old
Owner-Amateur World Grand Championship at the 1994 Celebration.
Following The Celebration
world title, Landrum Stables headed to Tampa, Florida.
There, Landrum took the reins of Pride's Sundance Star and
together they claimed the aged stallion class as well as the
Florida State Championship. It was not uncommon to see
Landrum aboard Sundance Star, for he and Mrs. Rigual often
shared the reins throughout his four-year-old campaign.
After such a
successful year in 1994 it was time to determine the stallion's
future. After much talk, much thought and consideration, it was
decided to graduate Pride's Sundance Star to the professional ranks
and pursue the 1995 World Grand Championship. With his staff, Landrum
and the owners sat down and devised their game plan-to work as hard as
they could and go for the top-because they felt Sundance Star was a
horse that deserved to be the World Grand Champion. Others obviously
For their first 1995
appearance Landrum and Pride's Sundance Star headed to Jackson,
Mississippi's State Charity Horse Show where they were winners of the
aged stallion preliminary and stake classes. They were off to a good
start. Six weeks later the team was in Shelbyville for the 25th
Annual Spring Fun Show. Following an unsurpassed performance Pride's
Sundance Star was unanimously chosen champion aged stallion.
The remainder of the show season found the pair capturing the blue at
Pulaski, Tennessee before heading back to Shelbyville.
undefeated in the professional ranks as the two headed into the
1995 Celebration. If things went as planned it would be a first
World Grand Championship for Landrum and Dr. Rigual would be the
first international owner of a World Grand Champion Walking Horse.
The Riguals campaigned Sundance Star well with billboards,
buttons, caps and banners. The horse was familiar to the
fans; it was now up to Sundance Star and his companion.
As the two
entered the ring for the preliminary competition that glimmer of
light was there. The mirrored headband worn by Sundance Star
was made for Landrum by friends Mr. and Mrs. David Williams.
A similar headband had been worn by Reve's Little Boy as Landrum
rode him to reserve in the big stake class in 1979. There was no
reserve ride here. Landrum and Sundance Star were as hot as
the record-breaking temperatures as they captured the blue in the
After winning the
preliminary Landrum felt they were on the right track, and as he
entered the big stake class he was confident they could complete the
job they started earlier in the year. He was right.
As the handsome, black stallion and his companion stepped into the
ring on the final night of the 57th Annual National Celebration a
flash of light could be seen by those in the crowd. A
light, much like that of a shooting star, which continued as the pair
made their ride around the ring. A mirrored headband worn
by Pride's Sundance Star was causing the glimmer as rider David
Landrum, of Franklin, Tennessee, guided him. Only now can
we look back and realize the light was an indication of great things
to come. Capturing the roses and the coveted title of World
Grand Champion for 1995 were Pride's Sundance Star and David Landrum.
The two had entered the ring to complete a job, and that they did.
The glimmering light
shown as the pair entered the ring in front of a final night crowd of
28,809. That light continued and increased in magnitude as it began to
reflect the light reserved only for a champion - the spotlight - as
the handsome, black stallion and his companion were named World Grand
Champions for 1995.
We have just received the sad news
that 1995 WGC Pride's Sundance Star has passed away. He was put down
at MS State on September 18, 2007.
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