World Grand Champion in 1954

White Star
WHITE STAR #491920
Percy Moss was the youngest rider ever to win the Grand Championship Stake
when White Star was declared the World's Grand Champion in 1954.

For only the second time in the history of the Celebration, an animal owned and trained outside the State of Tennessee was selected by the judges as the Grand Champion Walking Horse of the World.   Other champions have been owned by exhibitors outside the state but each of these, with the exception of Old Glory's Big Man who won in 1950, was stabled and trained by Tennessee riders within Tennessee at the time of showing.

White Star, 491920, the most famous daughter of Sir MauGray, was ridden to a spectacular and thrilling victory for Dr. and Mrs. W. V. Garnier of Bastrop, Louisiana, by Trainer Percy Moss to climax one of the hardest fought and best filled stake events in Celebration history.

White Star was foaled April 8, 1949 at Willow Oak Acres, Prescott, Arkansas.  Her dam, Crain's Merry Lady was purchased as a yearling filly by Misses Addys Brown and Jimmie Nicholas of Willow Oak Acres and, upon maturity, was sent to the court of Sir MauGray at Jonquil Acres, Sherrill, Arkansas.

Originally registered under the name of Strange Gal, White Star was a consistent winner after she began her show ring career as a three-year-old.   White Star was fifth in the class for three-year-old mares at the 1952 Celebration.   In 1953, she was tied second in the class for mares, four-year-olds and over, and came back that same year in the big stake where she was tied sixth in the field of ten winners.

White Star carries the bloodlines of both Wilson's Allen and Merry Boy.   Crain's Merry Lady 431468 is by old Merry Boy 350189, her dam, Beech's Black Beauty was by Trouble and Molly Barron, the third dam of White Star, was by General Allen 350076, and the fourth dam was Bonnie Barron 00578.   Her sire, Sir MauGray is by Wilson's Allen 350075 and out of Maude Gray 370077.

Trainer Percy Moss was the youngest rider ever to be astride the World's Grand Champion when the roses were presented to the winner that year.   He joined a very select group of noted horsemen who have ridden winners of the Celebration's big stake.

The Haynes Haven Challenge Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Grand Championship Stake beginning with the 1946 Celebration Horse Show, and with Midnight Sun winning the first leg, was retired in 1953 by virtue of three consecutive Championships by Talk of the Town with Steve Hill up.  The Musgrave Challenge Trophy, donated by Musgrave Pencil Company of Shelbyville, Tennessee was first offered to the winner of the Grand Championship at the 1954 Celebration.  White Star, with Percy Moss up, had the honor of having her name engraved on the Musgrave Challenge Trophy as the first winner.  The Musgrave Trophy, a handsome covered tureen, was still offered as a challenge at the 1971 Celebration.

White Star was raised and trained at Willow Oak Acres and was shown under their banner until December 1953.  This now famous mare was bought at that time by Dr. W. V. Garnier of Bastrop, Louisiana as a Christmas gift for his wife and daughters, Sally and Diane.  In the horse world, no other gift could have received such acclaim.

White Star was named the World’s Grand Champion Walking Horse in 1954, living most of her life in the limelight. She was born in April 1949 at Willow Oak Acres in Prescott, Ark. The dark-colored colt was named Strange Gal by her original owners. However, the name no longer fit as the horse grew older and her coat changed to a brilliant white. Dr. Garnier found Strange Gal at a Shreveport horse show in December 1953 and bought her as a Christmas present for his family. She was re-named “Garnier’s White Star.”

Along with White Star came her trainer, Percy Moss. He became the youngest rider ever to win the Grand Champion title in 1954. As her fame grew, White Star traveled all over the country. Having won all the honors available in the horse show world, White Star continued to draw a crowd and was never officially retired. Her sudden death made front-page news December 29, 1961.

-----excerpt from Looking back on the life and career of Dr. W.V.  Garnier,
By Connie Priest, Bastrop Daily Enterprise

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<== 1951-52-53  1955-56 ==>


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