Strolling Jim - 1940 World Grand Champion  
World Grand Champion in 1939

First Grand Champion Walking Horse of the World, Strolling Jim and his illustrious career made famous the names of the Tennessee Walking Horse and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration throughout the country.   The most rapid growth of the breed took place during the years when Jim was in his prime.

Strolling Jim was foaled in 1936 and was bred by Ed Gilliam near Viola, Tennessee.   He was a chestnut gelding with a near hind sock, a star and a snip.   He was a three-year-old when he won Grand Championship honors at the first Celebration in 1939.   His dam, Allen's Strolling Jennie, was by Mabrey Allen, and he, by Roan Allen F-38.   Jim's sire was old Wilson's Allen, also by Roan Allen F-38, making him a double grandson of old Roan Allen.

As a colt, Strolling Jim was much the same as any other young horse of his time.   He was broken at an early age to a wagon and was taught to help with the general farm chores of the day.   Later sold to Charlie Ramsey of Viola, Strolling Jim was worked daily to a plow, and several other farm implements, and was often ridden by Mr. Ramsey over the farm, for it was soon noticed that Strolling Jim walked with lots of speed and comfort to his rider.

During this time, Henry Davis, a pioneer breeder and dealer in walking horses, and Floyd Carothers, top trainer of his day, had a training barn in Wartrace, and these gentlemen had heard what an outstanding green-broke colt Mr. Ramsey had there on his farm.   Floyd and Mr. Henry journeyed to Viola to see Strolling Jim and bought him immediately after seeing him work.   This was on April 30, 1939.  

Floyd Carothers started working this young prospect daily under saddle and, before too long, crowds were flocking to the barn to see if Strolling Jim really was the coming young champion that was being predicted by other visitors. 

Strolling Jim was sold afterwards to Col. C. H. Bacon, Loudon, Tennessee but was left with Floyd to further his training and to be exhibited at the coming shows.   Before the first Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in 1939, Strolling Jim had been shown over the South to win twelve straight walking horse sweepstake classes.

Jim was sold next to L. B. Manning, Rancho Piocha, Santa Barbara, California in 1940 at a price almost unheard of in that day.   In 1940 he won twelve straight big stakes and, that year, was also crowned Grand Champion at the Tennessee State Fair Show in Nashville.


(Photo submitted by Judy Crunk of Green Valley Farms)

Strolling Jim was in great demand by show committee members and horse show managers, and he was exhibited at many of the local shows to halter.   His last show in competition under saddle was at the 1948 Celebration when, as a twelve-year-old and out of training for over a year, he tied fourth in an outstanding class for lady riders.

Strolling Jim and Floyd Carrothers

Strolling Jim was welcomed by a host of his fans when he returned to Wartrace, Tennessee in 1947.   He retired to his stable there behind the famous Walking Horse Hotel.

Strolling Jim, the first winner of the famed Celebration returned to Middle Tennessee on July 22 to participate in festivities at the Wartrace, Tennessee Horse Show. He was flown from Pennsylvania, his present home, to Nashville, Tennessee in a C-47. Shown at left as he was about to be transferred from the plane to a van at Berry Field, Nashville, he is pictured with Mrs. Eleanor Graham (left) of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, his present owner, and Mrs. Floyd Carothers of Wartrace, Tennessee, wife of the late Floyd Carothers, first trainer of Strolling Jim.

Today Strolling Jim rests beneath the bluegrass sod just behind the historic old hotel in Wartrace, Tennessee that he helped make famous.   The courageous old champion, twenty-one years of age that year, died on April 23, 1957 and his passing marks the end of one of horsedom's most fabulous eras.

Strolling Jim, the famous gelding which made Walking Horse history when he was crowned World's Champion at the first Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration at Shelbyville, Tennessee in 1939, has come back to Wartrace, Tennessee to spend his remaining days at his old home.    As a matter of fact, "Jim" is now living in the same stables from which he went to capture the coveted title in 1939.   The late Floyd Carothers of Wartrace, renowned breeder and trainer of fine Tennessee Walking Horses, trained and showed Strolling Jim.   Strolling Jim is now the property of Mrs. Olive Carothers, widow of the late Floyd Carothers.

Mrs. Carothers was presented the famous gelding by Mrs. Eleanor Graham of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Florida. Mrs. Graham had owned and successfully shown Jim on the Eastern and Florida Horse Show circuits. She gave the horse to Mrs. Carothers earlier this spring, with the understanding that the gelding was not to be shown competitively any more. Since receiving the horse however, Mrs. Carothers had no end of enjoyment exhibiting "Jim" in a few Middle Tennessee shows.. just as a special attraction and not for competition.   Pictured here is Mrs. Carothers with Strolling Jim, the day the gelding was given a grand "homecoming" welcome at Wartrace.
Several score of Middle Tennessee horsemen were on hand to see Strolling Jim and to congratulate Mrs. Carothers on receiving the handsome gift. During the brief welcoming ceremony which was under the direction of Gilbert M. Orr of Columbia, numerous gifts were bestowed on Strolling Jim and Mrs. Carothers by some of their many friends. Gifts included a saddle, bridle, blanket, and even some feed for the horse, and an attractive riding habit for Mrs. Carothers.

'Most any day now, you can find "Miss Olive" riding Strolling Jim somewhere along the beautiful bridle paths around Wartrace. And you can bet she is enjoying every minute riding and owning one of the most famous of all Tennessee Walking Horses!. 


Stables behind the Wartrace Hotel where Strolling Jim was kept.
Strolling Jim's gravesite.
If you wish to print off this pedigree, click HERE to load a black and white copy.
Strolling Jim Pedigree - click on the blue names for more information.
If you have a story or photos of Strolling Jim that you would like added to this page, 
please forward them to Walkers West.

----- Original Message -----
From: Chad Partin
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 11:06 PM
Subject: Feedback From Walkers Website

Hi, my name is Chad Partin. I am a detective with the Coffee County Sheriff s Dept in Tn. My grandfather was Ed Partin. He was a farmer and store owner in the Prairie Plains community of Coffee County. This area is the starting point of TWH. Grandad had a peddling wagon in the 20's and 30's. The Brassfield family ,who lived near by, had this young colt one day and asked if he could use him to pull the wagon with a mare he had. So he took the colt and used him for some time. During this time the colt would jump, strut and would not ever stay in stride with the old mare. About a year later Mr. Brassfield came to the store and my grandfather told him that the colt was a show off and was not fit to pull the wagon (so the story goes) and sold him back to Brassfield. He in turn sold him to Mr. Ramsey of Viola, Tn not far up the road. That colts name turned out to be Strolling Jim. I have a picture of him and grandad with the peddling wagon. The Ramsey family has always claimed they raised Jim but in fact the Brassfield family did. The barns are all still standing and are just a few miles from Wilson Allen's farm. I was just playing and found your web site and thought it was very nice. Would love to share the pic with you for the site if you like.
Chad Partin Manchester, Tn

What a great story - I was not aware of this. I will pass this along to my webmaster to add to Strolling Jim's page. Would love to see any pictures that you have of the barns and of Strolling Jim at that time. Thank you so much for writing.

Mary Ellen Areaux

1940-41 ==>

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