The Petersburg Horse Show dates back to at least 1884 to an event co-founded by George Carmack Gillespie and James Dwiggins.
Gillespie was a member of the famed Forrest Escort, bodyguards and scouts for General Nathan Bedford Forrest. At their surrender on May 9, 1865, Captain John Watson Morton addressed the men. He told them to “park” their weapons in a grove of trees, after which he announced,
“You have your paroles in your pockets; and if everyone does not ride home on a good horse, it will be no fault of mine.”
Hopefully, a descendant of the mare Gillespie selected that day, circled the ring at that first Petersburg Colt Show. Gillespie, by the way, was a man who new good horses. He was in the livery business.
One hundred and thirty three years later, Petersburg still hosts a fine show. The 12th Annual Walking for Sight Horse Show is presented by the Petersburg Lions Club and raises money for the vision impaired.
A survey of attendees, showed that people are appreciative a small community like Petersburg still puts on a horse show. As Middle Tennessee changes rapidly due to the growth of Nashville, people yearn for a genuine, Southern small town experience. Especially, one that upholds a long tradition where friendly people welcome folks to their community.
They especially like the good food. The barbecue and ham sandwiches are always big hits.
Of course, high-quality horses and riders are the main attraction. This year, horse trailers drove in from South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi, not to mention, the local talent from Marshall and surrounding counties.