World Grand Champion in 1995
Pride's Sundance Star
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 Vernon, Kentucky.

Pride's Sundance Star with owner

Bred and 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 ring.

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.

Mrs. Rigual 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.

Pride's Sundance Star bringing home the ribbons.

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 agreed.

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. 

Pride's Sundance Star winning the roses

They were 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 preliminary class.

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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Pride's Sundance Star Pedigree
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