WHITE STAR #491920
Percy Moss was the youngest rider ever to win the Grand
when White Star was declared the World's Grand Champion in 1954.
For only the second time in the history of the
Celebration, an animal owned and trained outside the State of
Tennessee was selected by the judges as the Grand Champion Walking
Horse of the World. Other champions have been owned by
exhibitors outside the state but each of these, with the exception of
Old Glory's Big Man who won in 1950, was stabled and trained by
Tennessee riders within Tennessee at the time of showing.
White Star, 491920,
the most famous daughter of Sir MauGray, was ridden to a spectacular
and thrilling victory for Dr. and Mrs. W. V. Garnier of Bastrop,
Louisiana, by Trainer Percy Moss to climax one of the hardest fought
and best filled stake events in Celebration history.
White Star was foaled April 8, 1949 at Willow Oak Acres, Prescott,
Arkansas. Her dam, Crain's Merry Lady was purchased as a
yearling filly by Misses Addys Brown and Jimmie Nicholas of Willow Oak
Acres and, upon maturity, was sent to the court of Sir MauGray at
Jonquil Acres, Sherrill, Arkansas.
Originally registered under the name of Strange Gal, White Star was a
consistent winner after she began her show ring career as a
three-year-old. White Star was fifth in the class for
three-year-old mares at the 1952 Celebration. In 1953, she
was tied second in the class for mares, four-year-olds and over, and
came back that same year in the big stake where she was tied sixth in
the field of ten winners.
White Star carries the bloodlines of both Wilson's Allen and Merry
Boy. Crain's Merry Lady 431468 is by old Merry Boy 350189,
her dam, Beech's Black Beauty was by Trouble and Molly Barron, the
third dam of White Star, was by General Allen 350076, and the fourth
dam was Bonnie Barron 00578. Her sire, Sir MauGray is by
Wilson's Allen 350075 and out of Maude Gray 370077.
Trainer Percy Moss was the youngest rider ever to be astride the
World's Grand Champion when the roses were presented to the winner
that year. He joined a very select group of noted horsemen
who have ridden winners of the Celebration's big stake.
The Haynes Haven Challenge Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Grand
Championship Stake beginning with the 1946 Celebration Horse Show, and
with Midnight Sun winning the first leg, was retired in 1953 by virtue
of three consecutive Championships by Talk of the Town with Steve Hill
up. The Musgrave Challenge Trophy, donated by Musgrave Pencil
Company of Shelbyville, Tennessee was first offered to the winner of
the Grand Championship at the 1954 Celebration. White Star, with
Percy Moss up, had the honor of having her name engraved on the
Musgrave Challenge Trophy as the first winner. The Musgrave
Trophy, a handsome covered tureen, was still offered as a challenge at
the 1971 Celebration.
White Star was raised and trained at Willow Oak Acres and was shown
under their banner until December 1953. This now famous mare was
bought at that time by Dr. W. V. Garnier of Bastrop, Louisiana as a
Christmas gift for his wife and daughters, Sally and Diane. In
the horse world, no other gift could have received such acclaim.
was named the World’s Grand
Champion Walking Horse in
1954, living most of her
life in the limelight. She
was born in April 1949 at
Willow Oak Acres in
Prescott, Ark. The
dark-colored colt was named
Strange Gal by her original
owners. However, the name no
longer fit as the horse grew
older and her coat changed
to a brilliant white. Dr.
Garnier found Strange Gal at
a Shreveport horse show in
December 1953 and bought her
as a Christmas present for
his family. She was re-named
“Garnier’s White Star.”
White Star came her trainer,
Percy Moss. He became the
youngest rider ever to win
the Grand Champion title in
1954. As her fame grew,
White Star traveled all over
the country. Having won all
the honors available in the
horse show world, White Star
continued to draw a crowd
and was never officially
retired. Her sudden death
made front-page news
December 29, 1961.
from Looking back on the
life and career of Dr. W.V.
By Connie Priest, Bastrop