(Jill Bock, Staff)
SIKESTON - For some people, Jim Holmes is best known for his buckskin trail horses. Others hear Holmes' name and think of his world champion high-strutting mare.
Holmes, owner of Holmes Farm Walkers, is just as much at home at the show ring as he is looking over the wooden fences into the fields where his mares graze.
It is all about horses - Tennessee Walking Horses.
"In walking horse circles if you mention my name and Sikeston, Missouri, people know who I am," Holmes said with a hint of pride.
Currently, Holmes' horse, Coach's Cheerleader is making news among show horse enthusiasts. Most recently, the mare was named a World Champion 4-year-old.
Holmes said he really wasn't looking for a show horse. He had purchased a new mare for his farm and the mare was in foal, bred to a World Grand Champion, The Coach. After the filly was born the next spring, Holmes noted she moved well in the field and decided to take a chance and send her to trainers in Tennessee.
It wasn't long before the trainers announced the filly could do "the big lick," the high-stepping gait featured by performance Tennessee Walking Horses.
"About one out of 1,000 can do that," Holmes said. "Probably one in 10,000 becomes a world champion. . . It is like raising race horses. You breed the best to the best but they don't all win races."
For the full story, see Monday's Standard Democrat.