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1980 World Grand Champion

Ebony Mountain Man, by Ebony Masterpiece, out of Mountain Gold. G.,  was foaled in Etowah, TN, in 1967 and raised by C. E. Ingram.  He was started under saddle by Johnny Stephens who showed him for several years in the East Tennessee Area.   Ingram sold him to trainer Tommy Howell who worked him for eight months and then sold him to Joe Tillett as an amateur mount for his daughter, Judy.

  Shortly after Mr. Tillett purchased him, Judy Tillett Day and Mountain Man won the Owner-Amateur Stallion and Owner-Amateur World Champion titles, in 1977.

In 1978, despite a pulled tendon, Mountain Man was named Reserve World Grand Champion at the Celebration, with Sammy Day in the irons.  In 1979, he tied third while weakened by a kidney infection.  After winning the stake championship in November of 1979, he stood at public stud in Shelbyville.

Ebony's Mountain Man in Action.

The owners had decided that the 1980 competition was to be the final attempt at the big title, win or lose.  In early July,  Mountain Manís shoes were put back on and he went to work.  His first appearance in the 1980 Celebration was in the stallion class on Wednesday night.  Sammy Day rode him to a perfect performance in all three gaits and walked away with the blue in Section A of the Over 15.2 Stallion Class. 

His second and only other appearance in show ring competition in 1980 was in the Celebrationís  Big Stake class on Saturday night.  Nine horses entered that class, but number 834 was called, and Sammy Day and Ebonyís Mountain Man walked away with the roses.  Immediately after the Celebration, owners Tillett and Day announced that the horse would not be put under saddle again Ė even for retirement ceremonies.  He would be led, instead.

If you wish to print off this pedigree, click HERE to load a black and white copy.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 9:07 AM
Subject: Walkers West Guest Book Entry

I have owned "Mountain Dark Shadow" (4/13/80) for seven years. My first TWH, I recently learned he is the son of 1980's World Champ "Ebony's Mountain Man".  Having owned thoroughbreds, this TWH is amazes me.  I'd like to know the history of this exceptionally kind mannered and regal gentleman.   He's retired now  but I often wonder why this very handsome horse has gone through life with only a knob for a tail. I would appreciate any information about him.

You have a very well bred horse.  I used to own a stallion by Ebony's Mountain Man - his name was Mountain Man's Copy - and he was such a love - very gentle and beautiful. 

I'll tell you a little story about this horse.  Years ago, probably about 1977, I was over in Tennessee at the big Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration.  We had driven onto the grounds of the Celebration during the day (the show was at night) and there was a magnificent horse being ridden (exercised) over by the far fence line.  My brother was driving the car and I said "stop the car" - I jumped out and ran over to see this magnificent horse.  I had seen a lot of good horses, but this horse was something else...doing things I'd never seen a TWH do - moved more beautifully than any one I'd ever seen in the show ring.  A girl was riding him.  I asked the people "who is that???"  They said " that's Ebony's Mountain Man.  That's Judy Tillett riding him.  She's going to try for the Amateur World Championship tomorrow night."  Well she won the World Championship without even trying - the horse was heads above everything else in the show ring.  Then Judy married Sammy Day, a trainer in TN, and he rode Ebony's Mountain Man as a contender for the World Championship.  He did not win the first time he tried, but did win the 2nd time (the next year).  He did not ride the horse as well as Judy did, in my opinion, but the horse was still great.  I was such a fan of Ebony's Mountain Man that I went to see him at the barn where in lived right before his big win.  I told them I'd come to see him and they said - he's in his stall - you can go in and see him.  (Now days, you cannot get near a contender for fear that you will try to harm him and keep him from winning.)  I walked into his stall, petted him and talked to him and he was as gentle as a puppy dog.

So I'm not surprised that you horse is such a nice one. As for the tail, I have no answer unless there was an injury somewhere in his life that caused it to be different.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West

If you have a story or photos of  Ebony Mountain Man that you would like added to this page,
please forward them to Walkers West.
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