World Grand Champion in 1976
Shades Of Carbon #701901

When SHADES OF CARBON and Judy Martin walked their way to the grass for the floral horseshoe and the Grand Championship awards, it was not just a happening but the climax of a well planned and developed career. During his show ring career SHADES OF CARBON had only two riders and trainers; that being the husband and wife team of Judy and Joe Martin.

Joe first saw SHADES at the GLL barn party in 1971 and that fall Gilbert and Mary Foster of Lewisburg purchased him with Joe acting as agent. SHADES was first shown by Joe at the 1972 Columbia Spring Jubilee where he earned his first blue ribbon. Blue ribbons were also earned at Woodbury, Crossville and Tullahoma in 1972. Joe and SHADES won their stallion class at the Celebration that year but as fate would have it, SHADES and Joe were tied reserve in the Two Year Old Stake.

The year of 1973 came with Judy in the saddle. There were several victories that year and at the 1973 Celebration Judy and SHADES won their section of the Three Year Old Stallion Division but tied third in the stake. 1974 was another year for SHADES to collect the blue ribbons. SHADES won both the Four Year Old Stallion Class and the Junior Grand Championship at the Celebration. SHADES and Judy added more blue ribbons to their collection in 1975 and took reserve honors in both the aged Stallion and Stake classes at the Celebration.

A few months later, Harlin and Earl Sadler purchased him from the Fosters and owned him until he was sold in 1975 to Mr. Glen Loe for what is reported to be the highest price ever paid for a Tennessee Walking Horse.

 Judy and SHADES were forced to battle adversity that would have caused many to give up, but with sheer determination they overcame the many obstacles that seemed to stand in their way. SHADES injured himself the first day he was at the 1975 Dixie Jubilee Horse Show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was not able to return to Shelbyville until the Thanksgiving holidays, almost a month later. In late April of 1976, SHADES developed the bacterial infection that swept several Middle Tennessee area barns and before he could recover, suffered a relapse and the second attack was much more serious than the first. In fact, very few people knew how seriously ill SHADES was and that the brave, black stallion was literally fighting for his life. Overcoming his serious illness was not the end of problems for SHADES.

Judy and SHADES won their first blue for 1976 at the McMinnville show. Eleven days later Judy and SHADES took another blue at the Fayetteville show. Judy decided after the Fayetteville show that SHADES was in the shape she wanted him for the big test and did not show him again until the Celebration.

On Monday evening prior to the Stallion class on Wednesday night at the Celebration, SHADES threw a shoe which took some foot. This did not stop SHADES and Judy. The farrier worked from 12:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. replacing the shoe and on Wednesday night Judy and SHADES walked their way to the blue ribbon awards. They were tested and tried to three work outs on Saturday night but, with a flawless performance and composed determination, came out the victors. SHADES was crowned Grand Champion Walking Horse of the World at the 1976 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee, becoming only the thirty-second horse in history to wear this coveted title.

The trio of Judy, Joe and SHADES had a remarkable career. There were twenty-nine blues, five reserves, and only one third.  That is quite a record for only five years of competition. SHADES was retired at the 1976 Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge and stood at stud at the Judy and Joe Martin stables. 

Shades was sold right before the big night to Glenn Loe of Tullos, LA for the ungodly sum of $200,000 (?).  He left him at Joe Martin's for a couple of years and then moved him to LA where he stood at stud. It really hurt him from a breeding standpoint as he was far away from many of the very best mares in TN that might have been bred to him had he been left there.  He died in LA a few years ago.

NB: Judy Martin was married to Joe Martin at this time and they are big University of Tennessee fans, so they use orange and white on everything (school colors). 

Judy won the World Grand Championship on Shades of Carbon in 1976.  I admired her for two reasons. 

First, I'm always glad to see a woman succeed in any endeavor. 

Secondly, Shades of Carbon was, without a doubt, the most consistent horse I've ever seen.  He never made a bauble and he was doing the exact same thing at the beginning of the class as he was doing at the end.  He was like a machine.  You could tell the horse was highly conditioned for the challenge.  They were a marvelous team.  - - M. E.

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

----- Original Message -----
Jay Bertram
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 1:12 AM
Subject: Shades of Carbon and my first and only time!

The internet is a fascinating bit of technology. It provided me the opportunity to Google Shades of Carbon at 2 a.m. on a July night some some 34 years after I saw Shades of Carbon for the first and only time in my life. But, Iíve never forgotten the sight.

Iím not a horse person in general. Theyíre nice to look at, but I wouldnít want to own one!  Friends of ours, David and Linda, said why donít you go with us to the Walking Horse Celebration in Smithville, TN. We were living in Albany, Kentucky at the time.  Long story short, we went!

Iíll never forget the magnificent Shades of Carbon entering the ring and the way he moved. You didnít have to have a trained eye to recognize the presence of greatness. He just looked and moved in a way the other didnít.

Iím glad his life touched mine.

Jay B.

Yes, I was at the Celebration too the night that Shades of Carbon won.  He was really magnificent and I was glad to see another woman win the World Grand Championship.  Betty Sain was the first woman on Shaker's Shocker in 1966 and Betty and I have become good friends.  I know Judy Martin that rode Shades of Carbon too.  The thing that impressed me about Shades of Carbon is that he was doing the exact same thing at the end of the show as he was at the beginning and what I mean by that is that the horse never seemed to get tired as they really put the contenders through a heavy-duty workout.  I talked with Judy Martin in the years after the show and she told me about all the conditioning that they did with Shades of Carbon to build up his stamina that made him so great.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West

If you have a story or photos of Shades Of Carbon that you would like added to this page,  please forward them to Walkers West.

<==1975   1977==>


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