World Grand Champion in 1966
Shaker's Shocker #621314
Shaker's Shocker was
sired by the World Grand Champion Mack K's Handshaker, 561320, who was
Celebration winner in 1960. His dam was My Darling, 51026,
by Rooster Allen, 480426, and he by White Lightning, 370059 by
Hunter's Allen F-10. He was foaled 1/01/1962.
Breeder of Shaker's Shocker was Tom Barham of Lewisburg, Tennessee,
who named him Handshaker's Nodder as a colt. Barham, a
purveyor of riding clothes, mentioned to Mrs. H. Pearl Sain, when she
was in the Barham store picking up riding clothes which daughter Betty
had ordered, that his old Hunter's Allen-bred mare had brought him a
"big, strong, dandy colt" the night before. Mrs. Sain went
with Tom Barham to see the colt and upon returning home to Bell
Buckle, Tennessee, told Mr. Sain and Betty about it. Mr.
Sain then went back to Lewisburg and bought the colt from Barham with
the stipulation that the colt remain by side of the dam until weaning
and, at that time, Barham would deliver the weaned colt to the Sain
Stables in Bell Buckle.
Betty Sain changed
the name from Handshaker's Nodder to the one she liked better,
As a colt, Shocker was allowed to run to pasture until the fall of his
yearling year when he was caught-up and taught to lead. Betty
recalls that her father was in the hospital when she first started
Shocker under saddle late that fall as he was coming two, and she had
no one to hold him or help her in any way when she first started
Prior to the 1966 Celebration Horse Show, Shaker's Shocker had been
away from home to only eight horse shows, including the previous
Celebration when he was fifth in the junior stallion event and reserve
|His first entry into
the show ring was the Baxter show at Cookeville, Tennessee in 1964
where he was tied fourth. Next that year, as a two-year-old, was
the Goodlettsville, Tennessee show where Shocker was out of the money.
He was tied first in the two-year-old event later that summer in
Wartrace and at the Geraldine, Alabama show.
As a three-year-old,
Shocker started the season with a bang by winning the hotly contested
event for junior horses at Lewisburg, Tennessee. He was
tied fifth at Lafayette, Tennessee, and, in August prior to the 1965
Celebration, tied first at the Belfast Lions Club Show at Belfast,
In 1966, the only
appearance made in the show ring by Shaker's Shocker was at the
Celebration Horse Show. He was winner of the event for junior
stallions, the preliminary for the Junior Walking Horse Championship
Stake, on Wednesday night. Shocker passed the Junior
Stake, however, in favor of a try for the Grand Championship.
His performance in the big stake was electrifying to the overflow
audience on stake night as he battled the odds and tradition to win
with a truly scintillating performance.
Sain is among the youngest riders to compete in the big stake at the
Celebration. She was twenty-three years old at the time of her
big win. Betty is the only lady to win the Grand Championship of
Betty Sain was the first lady to ever ride to the winner's circle in
the Grand Championship Stake. She and Shaker's Shocker were
given a standing ovation as 1966 winners.
Shocker was an astounding animal. He was huge, gorgeous, and difficult to handle. ONLY Betty could handle Shocker. No one else could even get in his stall but he adored Betty.
Betty Sain was one of the earliest proponents of TWH versatility. She rode in Nashville's annual Iroquois steeplechase on Shocker's Stardust, a beautiful mare. She also rode her horses western, trail, and trained many of them to do dressage moves and tricks, like counting by tapping their hooves. When she rode, she would let her waist length blonde hair down from its usual severe bun and it would stream out behind her - this tiny, beautiful blonde woman on these large, flashy gaited horses was a sight not to be missed.
Shaker's Shocker sired 195 foals, including Shocker's Shocker S. His offspring constitute some of the most talented and beautiful flatshod Walkers in the world. He died on October 13, 1981.
|This is the Bedford Historical Marker for Shaker's Shocker that has been erected
at Mrs. Virginia's home in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.
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this pedigree, click
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From: "James Burleson" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 4:49 PM
Subject: Hi Mary Ellen...
We have conversed before. I have not visited your site lately
and the updates are really good to see. I was looking at the
Shocker page and just wanted to let you know that Betty sent me a
picture just like that when I was a youngster, the one with Shocker
eating out of the silver bowl. If I'm not mistaken, the
writing up top on the photo itself, that is not quite visible in the
one on the webpage, stated "How sweet it is...". I guess
I was thinking when I was young that I was the only person that got a
picture like that (!). That picture is still around "somewhere".
I think I was about 11 years old at the time.
Till next time...
stumbled on your Betty/Shocker tribute page and I wanted to tell you
how much I loved seeing the photos. My family bought the farm across
the road from Betty's in 1976 when I was eight years old. For the next
ten years, I spent much of my free time hanging around her barn,
exercising her horses, meeting the stream of fascinating characters
who came to her barn, and enjoying knowing one of the most fascinating
people I've ever met. My parents and siblings loved Betty as well and
she was an always entertaining guest at our house at least once a week
for years. She was a huge influence in my life.
Betty had a gift with animals that was quite simply amazing. The last
time I saw her, in the late eighties, she had been forced off her
beloved farm by finances and was living with her mother in her
childhood home in "downtown" Bell Buckle. The few horses she still
owned were boarded at various farms in the area, which broke her
heart. But at home, she had a small brown bird - some sort of common
Tennessee songbird she had nursed back to health - and she had taught
this bird to talk and sing. The bird could talk as well as any African
Grey parrot. It was astonishing.
Shocker was an astounding animal. He was huge, gorgeous, and difficult
to handle. ONLY Betty could handle Shocker. No one else could even get
in his stall but he adored Betty. His offspring constitute some of the
most talented and beautiful flat shod Walkers in the world, but the TWH
show horse community shunned Betty because of her outspoken opposition
to what was then widespread soring. And most of the show world men
hated her. She was loud, gorgeous, eccentric, and so talented that she
could not be ignored.
She was one of the earliest proponents of TWH versatility; I remember
traveling with her to watch her ride in Nashville's annual Iroquois
steeplechase. She ran the steeplechase on - I think - Shocker's
Stardust, a beautiful mare. She also rode her horses western, trail,
and trained many of them to do dressage moves and tricks, like
counting by tapping their hooves. When she rode, she would let her
waist length blonde hair down from its usual severe bun and it would
stream out behind her - this tiny, beautiful blonde woman on these
large, flashy gaited horses was a sight not to be missed.
My family still lives in Bell Buckle, while I live in Knoxville, TN. I
now ride hunter jumpers, as does my eight year old daughter. I tell
her Betty Sain stories every time we drive past Betty's farm. Seeing
it now makes me very sad. It had been her pride and joy and she bought
it with her winnings from her Grand Championship on Shocker. Shocker
is buried by the barn, with a beautiful headstone, and I hope the
people who own the farm now tend his gravesite the way Betty did. She
*adored* that horse.
Katie Allison Granju
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 11:22 AM
Subject: Shaker's Shocker
I too have a story about receiving a picture of Betty and Shaker (the
one with him eating out of the silver bowl). It has “How sweet it is”
written across the top. Like the gentleman before me, I was overjoyed
at receiving a picture like that and felt very special. I still have
the picture and was looking at it just a couple of days ago.
As a child, I was fortunate to have a wonderful mentor, J. McKessick
Jeter, who interested me in Tennessee Walking Horses. I’m out of the
horse business at the present, but am anticipating retirement with
gusto and hope to bring one of these majestic creatures into my life
at that point.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Vicki from Florida
From: Charlene Harris
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:36:15 AM
Subject: shaker's shocker descendent
While I don't have a story about Shaker's Shocker, I would like to
tell every one about an amazing horse we have that does trace back
to him. We run a small equine rescue and he came to us severely under
weight and over worked. We were amazed to find that he came with
registration papers as well. His registered name is JJ'S Connection,
but we call him Goliath. This fella is 18.1 hands and is the
sweetest horse I have ever owned. Our plans were to get his weight
back up and rehome him, but there is just something about him that we
can't part with. He will be with us till the day he dies. I have a
seven year old daughter who is small for her age, and Goliath is her
life long partner. He takes better care of her than I could have
ever thought a horse possible of. We have been ridiculed by people
for letting such a small child ride such a big horse, but I know
Goliath is the perfect match for her. He does every thing she ask of
him, and she can handle him better than me or my husband. He is a
gelding but has a fire in him that lets you know he is a proud
horse. She plans to start showing him next year at local open shows.
I can't explain the bond between those two it is truly something
Thanks, Charlene Harris
Harris Horse Rescue
That's a great story about your horse. Betty Sain is a good friend
of mine and I'll have to make sure she sees your email. She lives in
TN and she rode Shaker's Shocker to the World Grand Championship in
1966 - 43 years ago - she was 23 years old at the time. She has
always been a great horse person and loves all horses related to her
beloved Shaker's Shocker. It doesn't surprise me that your horse is
a gentle giant. So often in this breed, the bigger they are are -
the gentler they are. I had a direct son of Midnight Sun - Merry
Night Cap - and he was 16.2 (not nearly as big as your horse - but
big) and he even as a breeding stallion was so gentle a 5 year old
child could handle him. I understand the feeling your daughter has
for this horse. It doesn't happen very often that a horse completely
steals your heart - I've only had that happen one time - a horse by
the name of Bum's Warrior - he was my best friend and I loved him so
much - he died in 2006 - we had been best friends for 24 years.
Enjoy your beautiful horse - you are a very lucky person and family.
Mary Ellen Areaux
- Original Message -----
From: Joyce Bateman
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 9:42 AM
Subject: Shaker's Shocker
I was in the audience in Shelbyville the night Miss Betty came
through the gates in 1966. As she entered the arena, with the
spotlight on her, an immediate hush fell over the crowd. As she
circled the track, the applause was overwhelming and continued until
she was announced the winner!
I attended many of the Celebrations since I lived in nearby Moore
County but I can truly say 1966 is the only year I can tell you what
horse won and who the rider was.
I read an article on Miss Betty a few years ago that stated she had
moved from Bedford County to a hilltop in Moore County. She was
quite a classy lady in 1966 and as beautiful as Shaker’s Shocker
Moore County, TN
If you have a story or
photos of Shaker's Shocker that you would like added to this page,
please forward them to