Link Webb guided Santanas El Nino
to the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship at the 70th
Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville,
Tenn. The black stallion is owned by Michael and Ann Jones of
overwhelming crowd favorite does not always indicate the judges feel
the same way. Friday night, The Coach was given the Four-Year -Old
championship with a unanimous decision, over crowd favorites Ozone
Cut Above All and Victoria's Secret. On Saturday night, the score
cards clashed with the noise level that followed the passage of
favorites, Rowdy Rev and Jose's Intimidator.
It wasn't Bill Bobo or Jamie
Bradshaw making the victory lap, as many had predicted. It was Link
Webb on Santanas El Nino -- who had a pretty big shout following
him around, too.
There was a brief hush when the
name was called -- then the El Nino fans in the crowd overwhelmed
the silence with their cheers.
"I said there were more than two
horses in this race," said one spectator, grinning and walking away,
pulling his El Nino cap down farther on his head.
Owned by Michael and Ann Jones of
Lafayette, Ga., Santanas El Nino qualified for the championship
class by placing second to Jose's Intimidator's first in the Section
A preliminary. That was reversed Saturday night, When El Nino
claimed the top spot and Jose's Intimidator with Jamie Bradshaw up
won the Reserve World Grand Champion position.
In 2008, Santanas El Nino won
firsts at Belfast, the East Tennessee Classic in White Pine and the
Money Tree Classic in Shelbyville.
In 2007, he won first place in the
15.2 and under canter, and was fourth in the World Grand
guided Santana’s El Nino to the Tennessee Walking Horse World
Grand Championship at the 70th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse
National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN. This was the
first big stake win for Webb, and makes El Nino only the second
horse to win both the 15.2 World Grand Championship and the
World Grand Championship. The Lewisburg, TN trainer won the big
stake for Michael and Ann Jones of Lafayette, GA after the
stallion bested a field of 8 entries that had to endure two
workouts by the judging panel.
Santanas El Nino,
or “Snip” as he’s called at the barn, is the product of
20 years of breeding, refining and building a good
broodmare base at the Jones’ Ringmaster Farms.
They raised his dam and the tried and true
Pusher/Generator cross produced a colt that always had
confidence, energy and intelligence. He bossed the other
colts around and could outrun everybody. The first time
we really realized what potential he had was at the 4th
of July Bethesda Show in 2004. For a virtual unknown to
be reserve in Middle Tennessee, told us this boy was
Nino was moved to Link the following March and he has been the
perfect trainer for our high energy, sometimes hard-headed
stallion. It is hard for Michael and Ann to identify a special
show, this year's Celebration not included, because El Nino has
had some fine successes. However, the Trainer's Show in 2005 and
the 15.2 and Under World Championship and World Grand
Championship in 2006 stand out as favorites. After winning the
15.2 World Championship in 2007, the decision to move him up to
the stake class was debated by Michael, Ann and Link at great
length before Link summed it up by saying "the boy deserves his
decided to stand Santanas El Nino at stud over the winter of '07
and there was never a question as to where he would stand. They
have taken their mares to Precious Memories Farm in Tennessee for over 10
years and all of them look forward to time at the "Precious
Memories Spa". A family managed operation, Daniel Miller III and
his family take personal, hands-on care of every mare and baby
with the veterinary help of Dr. Krista Gillam. El Nino has an
extra large stall with a window so he can keep track of what is
going on around the farm and his own personal paddock for
kicking up his heels and talking to the girls!
successful fall and short spring breeding season with a
99% success rate for mares bred at Precious Memories, he
went back to Link the first week in May for one last
season, win or lose. El Nino had wins at East TN and the
Money Tree Classic, and an exceptionally good
performance at Belfast before the Celebration.
The El Nino team felt he made a spectacular show in the World Championship and were gratified with the crowd response that agreed with them. Ann Jones said, “The support of the crowd and all the nice comments from people we didn't even know, as well as our friends, were truly heartwarming! The last Saturday night was beyond nerve wracking and, when they lowered the lights, I was squeezing my daughter-in law’s hand so tight, she probably still doesn't have any feeling in it. When they called his number, it seemed like there was a 2 beat pause before our family and the crowd comprehended that the little horse from North Georgia had achieved the zenith of his career.
Pandemonium is the only word
I can think of to describe our box, with family hugging and
crying and the friends around us that have supported him
throughout his career, clapping and cheering. The walk to center
ring was filled with so many well wishers, hugs and kind words
that it's a wonder we ever got there. It’s a moment in time we
will never forget! It's hard to believe that we will never see
that perfect team of Link Webb and El Nino enter a competition
ring again, but they went out in a blaze of glory!”
Nino was sired by the 1997 World Grand Champion, Generator's
Santana, and is a grandson of both the 1981 World Grand Champion,
The Pusher C.G., and the late great Prides Generator. There are very
few famous bloodlines missing from his pedigree.
will stand at
Precious Memories Farm. For breeding
inquiries, please contact Daniel Miller at PH. (931)703-5830.