FWRHA CLINIC & PLANTATION WORKING HORSE EVENT.  Located at Darby Oaks Stables in Bushnell, FL.  Contact Diane McMurtrey at dmcmurt349@aol.com






BUSHNELL, FLORIDA – The Florida Walking & Racking Horse Association and Darby Oaks Stables will host a free Open House and Working Plantation Horse Competition on Saturday, May 19th, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 


Registration for the First Annual Working Plantation Horse Competition will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by an Equine Dentistry demonstration at 10:30.  At 11:00 a.m., there will be a free Youth clinic featuring Youth Showmanship, Good Seat & Hands, and other versatility events.  Various Walking & Racking Horse exhibitions will be put on throughout the day.


The Working Plantation Horse Competition gets underway at 11:30 a.m. and will be judged by Gene Chaires of Dade City, Florida.  Based on the working ranch horse competition, this event is open to all registered Tennessee Walking Horses who must be shown in all five events with the champion being the overall high point horse and rider.  Tack and attire should be workmanlike and suitable for work around the farm - Clean and in good repair.  Silver on tack is discouraged.  No formal riding attire is allowed.  Boots, jeans, long sleeve shirt, and a cowboy hat (or helmet) are required.  No ball caps or t-shirts, please.  Horses should be well groomed and neat, however, trimming inside ears is discouraged, but not penalized.  No braids or hoof polish.  Horses may be barefoot or with a shoe not to exceed 1” in width.


Entry fee is $60 for the day with a 50% pay back for prize money.  That is, 50% of the total entry fees will paid to the top 3.  50% of the prize money to 1st place, 30% to 2nd and 20% to 3rd.  Ribbons and prizes will be awarded to the top 5 places.


Events are:

Conformation – Based on balance, structural correctness.  Shown in good working halter.  Led both ways of the ring at least 2 complete circuits of the ring and lined up head to tail for individual inspection.   Judge may ask any entry to move out at a flat walk or running walk. 

Working Plantation Pleasure.  English tack.  3 gaits.  A difference in speed must be readily noticeable between the flat walk and running walk.

Water Glass.  Shown at the flat walk and running walk.  Judge may call for a canter in case of a tie.

Trail Obstacle.  Minimum of 6 obstacles designed to show horses ability to perform a normal day’s farm or ranch work.  Credit will be given for completing the obstacles efficiently and quickly.  Mandatory obstacles include a gate, rider dismounts (removes the bit completely from the horses mouth and re-bridles, ground ties and then picks up all four feet), and flat walk between 2 rows of cones, poles plants or similar objects placed 24 inches apart to simulate rows of crops.  Optional obstacles could include dragging a log or branch, water hazard, ground tie, put on rain slicker, cross a bridge, tossing a lasso at a target, crossing logs, or riders must remove, carry and replace an item such as a mailbox, plastic bag, thermos, etc.,  Other realistic obstacles to be determined by the event manager.


Working Western Horse.  Shown at a Flat Walk, Running Walk, Trail Walk, Lope and Extended Lope.  To be shown in western tack.  Each entry will complete an individual pattern.

Starting at the center marker, flat walk a figure eight to the left

Lope a full circle to the left

Change leads in the center of the arena

Extended lope a full circle to the right back to the center marker

Flat walk a circle to the right

Stop and back 10 feet.  Execute a 360 turn and return to the line up.


This competition is a lot of fun and has been designed for the trail or ranch horse, but is also open to show horses.  If you’ve never shown before, here’s your chance to try out competition.  Simple clothing and tack is all that is required.  We want this to be a friendly competition, so come out and have fun!


Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs and are welcome to stay for the day.  RSVP’s are requested and can be directed to Diane McMurtrey at DMcmurt349@aol.com or (407) 877-6924; or Tracy Pinson at TLPinson@aol.com or 352/568-2001.  Darby Oaks Stables is located just off Highway 48 between Bushnell and Beville’s Corner (3 miles west of 471).




The Tennessee Walking Horse is the product of Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Morgan, and American Saddlebred bloodlines.  Over a century of careful breeding was committed to the development of what is known as “the world’s greatest show and pleasure horse.”  Developed by farmers in the state of Tennessee through the selective mating of trotters and pacers, a saddle horse evolved that was both an effective utility horse and an easy gaited mount.  Calm, docile temperament, combined with easy gaits and immense versatility, have insured the Tennessee Walking Horse’s role in the equine world.