World Grand Champion in 1983
Ebony's Bold Courier
Ebony's Bold Courier #752371

Ebony's Bold Courier was a sprightly three-month-old chestnut colt at his dam's side on the pastures of Ronnie Spears' Stables near Tullahoma, Tennessee, when his half brother, Ebony's True Grit, and Joe Fleming won the Celebration at Shelbyville in 1975. He was foaled there on June 9, 1975. Spears had bought his dam, Ann's Merry Gal, the previous November from Billy Hale of Gallatin, Tenn. She had been bred to Ebony Masterpiece, the famous sire and 1962 World Grand Champion which Hale also then owned. The colt had inherited, along with other attributes, the star marking of his sire.

"He was an outstanding colt, a good moving colt," Spears recently recalled. The colt, then named Bedford County, was sold as a yearling in May, 1976, to Dr. and Mrs. Roger Bates of Waycross, Georgia, who continued to back him as Ebony's Bold Courier for all of his seven years in the show ring. "We believed in him all the way," Frances Bates said; "we never lost sight of the fact that he had all the credentials of a World Grand Champion."

There were great successes and deep disappointments along the seven year trail to the most coveted title of the Walking Horse world. Under the guidance of Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Dawson, Ga., Bold Courier won the 1979 Four-Year-Old World Grand Championship at the Celebration. He took a third in his first appearance in the Celebration Big Stake of 1980 and a sixth in the World Grand Championship of 1981, both with Gary Edwards in direction.

The chestnut stallion was moved to Ronal Young Stables in Lewisburg, Tenn., at the conclusion of the 1981 season and then transferred to Joe and Preach Fleming's J & P Stables only days before the 1982 Celebration when a conflict became apparent with Young's commitment to show Shaker's Professor. Joe Fleming's short-notice presentation of Bold Courier at the 1982 Celebration resulted in a ninth-place tie.

The year that followed brought about dramatic, changes in the team. The first inkling of the "new" Bold Courier came at the Montgomery post-Celebration show in October, 1982, when Fleming and the bold chestnut stallion were named Reserve Grand Champions of that prestigious show. In Atlanta, in the spring of 1983, the duo again signaled it was a team to be reckoned with by winning the Reserve Grand Championship of the Trainers' Show.

Splashing through the rain of the final night at the 1983 Spring Celebration Fun Show, Joe Fleming and Ebony's Bold Courier staged a flawless presentation to win the blue and the following of the crowd.

Then, a few weeks later, the duo captured the highest prize money ever awarded in a Walking Horse Class with their $15,000 win at the Herman A. Hayes Memorial Horse Show in Vienna, Missouri. A temporary setback at the Belfast, Tennessee, Horse Show against several Celebration contenders saw Fleming and Bold Courier tied third. However, this seemed to spur the duo to greater efforts in the Over 15.2 Stallions preliminary on the first Saturday night of Celebration '83. They became World Champions of Division A of the class, setting the stage to be a crowd-favored contender the following Saturday night.

The roar of the crowd that greeted Fleming and Bold Courier when they entered the ring for the Grand Championship Stake followed them around the ring throughout the performance. Their course around the famed show ring could be followed by the crowd's reaction. They were clear-cut favorites of the crowd and received the first-place votes of all three judges for a unanimous victory.

Ebony's Bold Courier in action.
Ebony's Bold Courier, 1983 World Grand Champion at the 44th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee, makes his victory pass with his trainer and rider Joe Fleming up.

Placed third, sixth, ninth and first in four consecutive years of Celebration Big Stake performance, Ebony's Bold Courier was retired from show ring competition as World Grand Champion of 1983.
What else, except for a successful career at stud, is there?

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Ebony's Bold Courier pedigree
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<==1982   1984==>


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