World Grand Champion in 1958

Setting Sun was the first of many winners for the veteran trainer and showman, Sam Paschal, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  Setting Sun, like only a few of our World's Grand Champions, was a winner through most of his lifetime.  He was sired by Midnight Sun and was out of Alice Carver by Sam Carver and was foaled in 1952 near Carthage, Tennessee.   W. H. Webb of Carthage, Tennessee was breeder of record on Setting Sun.

His first showing at the Celebration was in the yearling division of the Breeders' Open Foal Show in 1953 where he was awarded Reserve in the Yearling Championship.

Earl Woodward of Carthage bought Setting Sun as a yearling and gave one-half interest in him to the late Gid Hackett, also of Carthage, to work, train and show him.   Hackett made the horse and went on to win the World's Champion Two-Year-Old Stake at the Celebration and the first leg on the Ben Howell and Son Challenge Trophy offered for the first time that year to the winner of the two-year-old stake.

The following year during the Celebration Horse Show, Setting Sun was shown again by Gid Hackett to win Reserve Junior to the Champion Go Boy's Shadow.   After the Celebration, Sam Paschal, who had watched Setting Sun's development, saw the possibilities of this outstanding horse becoming one of the greats of the Breed, convinced M. M. Bullard of Newport, Tennessee of this greatness and Mr. Bullard bought Setting Sun from Hackett and Woodward.

Under the tutelage of Sam Paschal, Setting Sun won Junior Championships at the American Royal and Dixie Jubilee and was Grand Champion of the Tennessee State Fair as a four-year-old.  In 1957, he was undefeated during the show season and was named Reserve Champion of the World at the National Celebration.

During the 1959 season Setting Sun was on an extensive exhibition circuit which included leading the parade of the Lions International Convention in New York City and the parading and introduction of the new forty-nine star flag in Kentucky in which the Vice-President of the United States participated.
No Tennessee Walking Horse has been seen by more people than Setting Sun, for he had made numerous coast to coast television appearances and has, along with Sam Paschal, done an outstanding job of advertising the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed and the Celebration Horse Show.

Setting Sun was undefeated during the 1958 season and was crowned Grand Champion Walking Horse of the World before the largest crowd to ever witness the Celebration Horse Show at that time.  M. M. Bullard has the added distinction of being the first owner to ever retire a World's Champion before the succeeding Celebration show.   Both Mr. Bullard and Trainer Sam Paschal had stated before the 1958 showing that if they did win the big stake, Setting Sun would be retired to allow others to compete for the coveted title.  They both received much acclaim for that decision.

If you wish to print off this pedigree, click HERE to load a black and white copy.
If you have a story or photos of Setting Sun that you would like added to this page, 
please forward them to Walkers West.

----- Original Message -----
From: Joe Prunty
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 9:27 AM
Subject: Childhood Memories
As a child I was lucky enough to be around Setting Sun quite a bit. My grandfather Frank Alexander, and my Father Don Prunty raised and showed Walking Horses. Those trips down south from Illinois to Tennessee were something for a child in the 50’s. I can remember Sun and still see him in my minds eye in that huge stall in the stable. I can also remember fondly Sunny and Felix the grooms teaching me how to whittle in front of the stable. Sam and his wonderful Mother Hassie would always fix us a tremendous breakfast. These were indeed grand times in my memory and I shall always cherish them.
Joe Prunty
Associate Broker, GRI CRS e-PRO
Number One Properties
Web Page:

----- Original Message ----
Chris Proffitt
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 12:36 PM
Subject: Setting Sun

The owners of Setting Sun were good friends with my family from Newport, TN.. The Bullards took much pride in their World Grand Champion by showcasing him at every opportunity possible. In 1960, I had the chance to really ‘ride’ this famous animal when the Bullards had him at their home in Newport. I was two years old at the time, and Sam Paschal placed me on Setting Sun’s back. Many in attendance still remind me that I sat up like a pro as ‘Sam and I rode’ him around the barn. The old pictures are often looked upon with much laughter and fond memories. As always, Sam graciously signed the famous picture of which I still treasure today.

     I also remember the day Setting Sun was buried beside the tall white barn built just for his remaining years. It was a sad day for our small town. Hundreds attended as if he were a community leader.

     That first ride may have triggered our start in showing the Tennessee Walking Horse in 1965. Our first horse was Sun’s Gold Glory, a top of the line show horse. We owned many fine horses during my show career. I have not missed a Celebration since 1965 and hopefully will not miss one for a long time to come. Thanks to the Bullards, Sam Paschal and Setting Sun for starting a lifetime of good memories

 Chris Proffitt
TWHBEA Youth Committee Member

----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Wisdom
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 3:58 PM
Subject: Setting Sun
I had never heard of TN Walking horses when my father asked if I would like to go to Shelbyville, TN to a horse show.  This was on the Friday night of the Celebration.
We liked it so much that he and I returned on Saturday night and the first horse that I saw crowned Champion was Setting Sun.  My father and I were totally sunk and deeply in love with Walking horses.  We decided right then and there that we would find out when the next Celebration was and make every night.
For 13 years we did just that.  I took my weeks vacation and we drove back and forth from Florence, AL every night of the Celebration until my father died in October of 1968.  It was a special relationship that he and I shared for the Celebration and Tennessee Walking horses.  I have seen a few small horse show since but I have not seen another World's Champion crowned on a Saturday night in September.  Maybe someday.
But I will always love these magnificent horses.  Thanks for your wonderful tribute site.  I have enjoyed it and keep coming back.  And a special thanks to Setting Sun for starting our love of Walkers.

----- Original Message -----
From: Claytie Shipley
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 11:28 PM
Subject: Childhood Memories

I grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and lived on East Main Street for a time not far from Sam Paschal Barn. He was my hero. My Dad had a shop across the street from the barn and he was friends with Mr. Sam, my favorite thing to do was to go to the shop and sit out front and watch "Mr. Sam" work the horses. I fell in love with Setting Sun. I don't remember exactly what year it was, but I was 8 or 9 and it was my birthday. My Dad carried me to the shop and told me Mr. Sam wanted me to come to the barn so we went across the street and he had me that famous autographed picture of Setting Sun and then to my surprise I got to sit on him. I felt like a princess. As time went on I always watched what happened with him. Tonight I decided to goggle and see what I found. Thank you so much for posting the story about "Mr. Sam" and about Setting Sun. Isn't it amazing how some 52 or 53 years ago just sitting on a horse and looking down at my Daddy and Mr. Sam made me so happy. In today's world how many children would even pay attention to that experience and treasure it in their hearts like I have. Todays children are so caught up in expensive gifts, video games and entertainment. All that cost was a little piece of his time which he freely gave. Thank you Mr. Sam for the memory!

Claytie Reed Shipley
Smyrna, Tennessee

<==1957  1959==>


Site Meter