News Column

Sam Gibbons Memorial Tennessee Walking Horse Show: Saturday's event to benefit Alabama Veterans Museum building fund

July 17, 2014

By Lora Scripps, The News Courier, Athens, Ala.

July 17--The third annual Col. Sam Gibbons Memorial Tennessee Walking Horse Show is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Limestone County Sheriff's Arena on Alabama 99.

The show's original date was rescheduled due to inclement weather.

The show, sponsored by the Alabama Veterans Museum with the assistance of Ken Wilson of the Southeastern Saddle Club, will benefit the museum. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Proceeds go toward the museum expansion project.

The horse show is named for the late Col. Sam Gibbons, a museum board member and Tennessee walking horse trainer.

The annual event was organized in 2012 after Ken Wilson, a Tennessee walking horse owner and manager of the Southeastern Saddle Club, approached Teresa Todd, Athens-Limestone tourism director, seeking help to find the right nonprofit to donate proceeds from a horse show.

Todd knew the perfect organization -- the Alabama Veterans Museum. She explained that Col. Gibbons had recently passed away and that he had dedicated most of his life to the walking horse industry.

Mr. Sam also cherished the Veterans Museum, according to Todd. He volunteered many, many hours to help with fundraising, she said.

Gibbons was a World War II?veteran that served with the 79th Division. He landed at Utah Beach on June 14, 1944 -- "D-Day, plus 8" -- and fought across France crossing into Belgium and Holland.

He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor along with several other distinguished citations and awards, according to Todd.

Organizers of the third annual event hope to have a large veteran presence and plan to honor their service.

Alabama Veterans Museum Director Sandy Thompson said proceeds help with the museum's building expansion. "We have found the horse show to be our niche; we will use the proceeds toward our expansion fund," Thompson said. "We need to raise $1 million to complete our building expansion project. This horse show will be one of several areas we use to work toward achieving this goal."

To find out more, contact Sandy Thompson at 256-771-7578 or


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Source: News Courier (Athens, AL)

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