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On Monday afternoon, just an hour after she was announced as part of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023, Tanya Tucker sat astride a world-champion black stallion.
Cell phone cameras were held aloft as thousands of onlookers — lunch-returning white-collar downtown Nashville types, Metro-Nashville police on horseback, music industry executives and yes, more than a few tourists on bachelorette party buses and pedal taverns — gawked at the event.
To celebrate not only the announcement of her fall induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame but also forthcoming concert dates at the Ryman Auditorium, the official announcement of her 26th studio album and updates regarding her Cosa Salvaje tequila brand, Tanya Tucker advised her management and marketing team that she had an idea.
After the induction announcement, the “Delta Dawn” vocalist wanted to announce the Ryman dates, specifically on horseback, while astride a black Friesian stallion, ridden three blocks from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to the intersection of 5th and Broadway next to the Bridgestone Arena.
With blue streaks dyed into her white-blonde hair, Tucker was clad in a blue equestrian show shirt with rhinestone encrusted collar and sleeves, black jeans and black, rhinestone-tipped cowboy boots. The horse was similarly appointed but with white and blue roses in its mane.
“Tanya’s passionate about horses — they’re on her album covers, in her music videos and incorporated throughout her messaging,” stated her manager and publicist Scott Adkins to The Tennessean concerning Tucker’s concept.
The plan for the social media moment developed quickly as Adkins, agents Lenore Kinder and Kiely Mosiman at Wasserman Music, creative director Derrek Kupish, representatives from her label, Fantasy Records and more reached out to the office of Mayor John Cooper, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, Metro-Nashville Police Department and notably, Sergeant Vickie Dills of the department’s Horse Mounted Patrol Unit to procure a rolling street closure for the announcement.
“Once the mayor’s office realized that we were using drones (for which the drone operator was licensed) and multiple cameras to shoot not a movie — but social media content, instead — they waived the typical filming permits required for the types of shots captured in downtown Nashville on Monday afternoon,” Adkins says.
He added that when the Covenant School tragedy occurred on Monday, March 27, all involved parties were initially okay with scrapping the impromptu plans for April 3. However, plans were set for Tucker’s surprising ride by late in the weekend before Monday morning.
“We didn’t know that Metro-Nashville Police (and related authorities) would shut down Broadway for us,” Adkins said.
Tucker associate, singer-songwriter and Oakdale, Tennessee native Ricky Cook connected Tucker’s team with Annika Bruggeworth, the owner of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky’s Siren Song Stables — a breeder and owner of Friesan stallions.
According to Bruggeworth, the stallion Tucker rode, 12-year-old Lauwe The Magnificent, is a world champion undefeated in hand and harness showings.
Tucker’s gallantry show was linked to her music and Cosa Salvaje, the tequila line she co-founded with entrepreneur Elle France and is now available in 14 U.S. states and Canada. Numerous bottles in the line feature art of Tucker astride black stallions.
Adkins said that the media moment was also meant to raise awareness of Tucker’s longtime support of Redemption Road Rescue, a non-profit equine rescue in Jackson, Tennessee.
Horses being considered livestock instead of pets in Tennessee places the “gross overwork” or “unreasonable failure to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter” of horses in violation of the state’s Consolidated Cruelty Statutes.
Since 2009, the organization has helped horses and horse owners in need by accepting and housing, at any given time, 30 – 40 horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and miniature horses in various stages of rehabilitation. These surrendered and/or seized animals of different ages, breeds, sizes and levels of handling and training are successfully rehabilitated and then offered for adoption.
In 2021, Tucker adopted a colt and its mother from the service.
For lifelong equestrian and current horse owner Tucker, “the care and proper treatment of horses will always remain an important issue,” Adkins added.
Tucker’s dates at The Ryman, plus album information, are expected to be announced imminently.