Grave of Strolling Jim, Tennessee Walking Horse
Strolling Jim was the first world champion Tennessee Walking Horse.
As anyone from Wartrace will tell you, a Tennessee Walking Horse is a show breed, raised to caper nobly around a ring, not run around like some distempered pony on a track. According to local lore, a trainer named Carothers spied Strolling Jim in a field, pulling a plow. Carothers immediately recognized that Strolling Jim was a new kind of horse, and in 1939 he won the world champion title.
The Strolling Jim Restaurant, part of the Walking Horse Hotel, houses the world's largest collection of Tennessee Walking Horse photos and art. Films of Strolling Jim play on video monitors; Strolling Jim hats and T-shirts are for sale in the gift shop. As its owner points out: "People here still remember him. Evidently he had charisma."
Strolling Jim's granite tombstone, complete with an engraved portrait, stands outside the stables behind the Hotel. Everyone is welcome to visit and pay their respects. The owner dreams of moving it, along with the tombstones of Tennessee Walking Horse world champions #2 and 3 (whose graves are in neighboring towns) into a little memorial garden in front of the Restaurant. "I have to be a careful about how I go about it," he confided. "I'm originally from Alaska."