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Abee and MG Above The Rest On Top Of The World At Land-O-The-Sky!



By Linda Scrivner

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Land-O-The-Sky Shrine Club was expecting the entries at the 2003 Land-O-The-Sky Summer Festival Horse Show to be higher than the record breaking 706 entries from last year’s show. More stalls were sold than ever before and it was predicted that entries would be close to 1,000 this year.

At the conclusion of the show only 538 entries had shown, but it still was a great show with outstanding horses. The decline was attributed to the arrival of USDA VMOs Miaba Binkley and Taylor, VMO trainee Kim Forde-Folle filming in addition to KWHA-HIO DQPs John Comley and David Finger. The inspection process at this show included the use of flashlights and the parting of the hair on the horses legs.

The Shrine Club was admittedly disappointed because the proceeds from this show were to benefit such a great cause. Their motto is “Strong Legs Run So That Weak Legs May Walk”.

The large crowd at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center Horse Show Arena was no disappointment, however, and they were as vocal as ever in cheering for their favorites throughout the show, especially during the thrilling grand championship.

This show always attracts contenders from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina, but this year there were also horses from Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia and Florida.

Exhibitors from this show provided excellent horses and riders to be judged by Alvin Strickland of Edgefield, S.C.; Sonny Scrivner of Bell Buckle, Tenn.; and Harold Curry of Greensburg, Ky. The three-day show was held July 10-12, 2003, and was dedicated to the memory of Curtis Hamilton, a truly great farrier. Sandra Hall was the official photographer capturing many excellent champions on film. Show managers were Noble Bruce Whitt and Noble Joe Whitt. These two joined Noble Bob Hunter as the ringmasters. Noble Gene Fry was the master of ceremonies and his lovely wife Jane Frye played the organ.

As the week progressed the intensity grew and the level of competition mounted. Everyone excitedly waited for the championship stake and when the horses entered, no one was disappointed. Eight entries entered one at a time as their adoring fans shouted cheers of encouragement. The judges unanimously selected the talented team of M.G. Above The Rest and Shawn Abee to wear the roses following a second running walk the reverse way. The 2003 Land-O-The Sky Grand Champion is owned by Tom and Sissy Weese. Reserve in the championship was awarded to Sky Watch’s Masterpiece and Bill Cantrell for Bill Hill. The third streamer was awarded to Pusher’s Backstreet Boy and Vickie Self for Gene and Bonnie Davis.

There were 52 walking classes and 21 of these were unanimous ties. The blue ribbon tally was won by Baucom Stables, just as it was in 2002, winning 10 Asheville blues. Johnny Puckett Stables claimed six blues. A quartet of blues was won by Jeff Hatcher and Tim Wheelon. Winning three blues was Rae Martin Stables. Dual blues were awarded to Shawn Abee, Jimmy Adams, Bill Cantrell Stables, Brent Coburn Stables, Steve Hankins Stables and Bobby Kellett Stables. The remaining 12 blues were divided among 12 other barns, all of which brought top stock.

THURSDAY EVENING

When the gates opened for class one, Johnny Puckett entered the ring making a fine harness debut with Generator’s Premier Doll and exited with first 2003 blue for owners Reggie Pimental and Jean O'Brien.

Everyone knew it was going to be a great show when 18 entries answered the gate call in the Lite-Shod Plantation Amateur Specialty. Jazz Show and Elizabeth Pridger claimed the blue ribbon for Pat Callicut from Baucom Stables. Second place went to Jessica Holmes and her Judge’s Golden Generator.

The Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallions were next to enter, 11 in all. A roan power house, Mama’s Almighty Dollar carried Robyn Kellett around for a victory pass after being selected unanimously. Bobby Kellet proudly trains this pair. Reserve went to Trashy Heartbeat and Ronnie Cully and trainer Sam Martin.

The gate call was made for the Open Specialty and the heat was on. Generator’s Mr. Ebony and Jeff Hatcher topped this class for Dr. Morna Conway. They were chosen unanimously. The reserve champion was Sky Master ridden by Bill Cantrell for Ricky Key.

The Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings Amateur blue went to A JFK Masterpiece and Jerry Hewitt for Dee Dee Equine Associates. Dixie With Cash and Joe Manis picked up the red streamer.

UC I’m Ultra Gold, directed by Bill Cantrell, topped the 15.2 and Under Specialty class for Cantrell and Warr. John Puckett directed Titan Up to reserve for Tom Potter.

In the Performance Pleasure Amateur Specialty, a division which allows a wedge or a flat and up to a six ounce chain, the crowd voiced their approval for their favorites with much applause. Highly Recommended, directed by Mark Grainger for Lisa Moon, earned the blue. Reserve went to Skyborn Pride and Stephanie Williams for Steve Williams. Gene Batten claims the training for this team.

The Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding teams were next. Selected for the blue unanimously were Groovy Chic and Kathy Potter. Mark Lambert of John Puckett Stables trains Groovy Chic. Patricia Hiott and Buster’s Black Magic from Bobby Kellett Stables earned the reserve position for Melody Kellett.

In the Open Amateur Specialty, Clay Mills and the always popular Big Papa Cool wore the blue from the ring just as they did in 2002 at Asheville. They hail from Baucom Stables. The reserve team was I’m Packin A Pistol and Charlie Gibson for Charlene Gibson from Jeff Hatcher Stables.

One of the most talked about horses of the Thursday evening show was Olympic Pusher and Chad Baucom. This talented high-headed blue roan stallion was chosen unanimously to win the 12-entry Four-Year-Old Stallion Specialty. Chuck Williamson is the proud owner of this winner. Reserve went to Ultra Copy’s Cassanova and Bill Cantrell for Lisa Teel and Mitzi Butler.

Classy Image and Gary Pope proudly claimed the Park Pleasure Amateur Specialty title over 11 other entries. Gary and Carolyn Pope own Classy Image. Sunfire’s Phoenix and Harriet Van Dyke claimed reserve for Mike and Harriet Van Dyke from Jeff Hatcher Stables.

One of the largest classes of the evening was the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty with 23 entries. Winning the title in this large class was Fashion’s Midnight Threat and Kathy Potter. Johnny Puckett Stables readies this team for competition. Supreme’s Moe Foe Joe and Debbie Wells won reserve for Larry Heiden and Debbie Wells.

Twenty-three top ponies created quite a stir in the Walking Pony division. The team of Eb’s Magic Motion and Madison Holloway had a large cheering section. The blue was awarded to this hard-riding team from Baucom Stables.

The winning team in the ETWHA Ladies Auxiliary Member Specialty was Olympic’s Iceman and Jennifer May for Allen and Becky May. This team was selected unanimously. Baucom Stables readies this team for competition. Sensational Premier and Latitha Owen won reserve.

A Red Ball and Brandon Helms for Wayne Helms were the ones selected in the 19-entry Lite-Shod Youth Plantation Specialty. Helms Farms claims the training duties for this entry. Judge’s Golden Generator and Jessica Holmes claimed reserve.

Rae Martin directed Santana’s Renaissance Man to the blue in the 12-entry Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding Specialty for John and Ruth Mahoney. The chosen reserve team was Cameo Cash and Chad Baucom for Rhonda Warrren.

Generator’s Big Ticket and Stephen Hankins were chosen unanimously in the 11-entry Stallion and Geldings class for Kenny Compton. Selected for the red streamer were Brent Colburn and Star Of Sundance for Jack and Betty Morgan.

The final class of the evening was the Three-Year-Old and Under Performance Pleasure class, which was won unanimously by Feels A Little Crazy and John Callicutt for Pat Callicutt. Mark Lambert rode Serious Consequences to reserve for Drs. Jim and Kathleen Hixson. FRIDAY EVENING

Friday and Saturday evenings had walking and racking classes. The first class Friday evening was the Mares and Geldings Specialty. Rae Martin was in the irons of the winning horse, Matador. Harry and Barbara Sullins proudly own this champion. Reserve went to Mark Lambert riding Generator’s Premier Doll for Reggie Pimentel and Jean O’Brien.

The youth classes were very competitive at Asheville this year. Pushing The Limits and Madison Holloway from Baucom Stables, for the second year in a row, laid claim to the blue unanimously in the Youth 12-14 Specialty class. Megan Hatfield won reserve. Mark Hatfield prepares this team for the show ring.

Crimson Lady and Bill Cantrell added another Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title to their resume for Bob Kilgore. Reserve in the class were Best In Command and Allen Forman for Doug and Sheryl Crawford.

Malaya Jester rode He Dances With Wolves to a win in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion Specialty class for Jimmy Adams. The reserve team was Sky Command and Yovonda Mullis for John Neal.

Also unanimous were A Last Command and Judy Poindexter from Abee Stables in the NCWHLA Members Specialty class. Mr. Perfectionist and Nora Frazier were a proud reserve in the class for Ricky Frazier.

I’m Packin A Pistol and Charlie Gibson added the Men’s Amateur Specialty title for owner Charlene Gibson from Jeff Hatcher Stables. Mo Bucks and Billy Frost claimed reserve from Ronald Mosley Stables.

Multi-World Champion and World Grand Champion Electrifying and Dona Griffin topped the 50 Years and Over Amateur Specialty class unanimously from Baucom Stables. Brent Coburn presented the reserve team, Cash’s Firecracker and Jr. Venable for Jr. and Annette Venable.

It was another exciting ride for Kathy Potter in the 12-entry 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty aboard Titan Up for Tom Potter. Puckett Stables trains Titan Up. Making the reserve ride were Mike McBrayer and Design’s Checkmate. They are trained by Baucom Stables.

The Park Pleasure Youth 17 and Under Specialty teams arrived next on the scene. When the cards were tallied, it was Ziplock and Taylor Sellers making the victory pass for owner Mike Hardwick and trainer Pam Sellers. Rusty’s Red Princess and Caroline Elliott earned reserve.

The Youth 11 and Under had 15 entries. Raegan Thompson and Popcorn Pusher claimed first for the Jon Thompson family from Tim Wheelon Stables. Erica Duckworth and her Pride’s Big Sky won reserve from Bonner Stables.

The largest Friday night class was the 17-entry Light-Shod Amateur Specialty. A Grand Entry and Judy Morriset made the victory ride from Jeff Hatchett Stables. Winning reserve were In The Heat Of The Night and Burl Dale. Sasha Tefft trains this team for the show ring.

The Ladies Amateur Specialty class was a large one, but two excellent teams put on a great show to stand above the rest. Cut Above All and Deborah Petty from Baucom Stables added another blue to their lengthy list for David and Deborah Perry. Cash In My Choice and Sharon Lessard were reserve for Christian Lessard from Steve Woody Stables. This class kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Private Term and Dana Kyte were the victors in the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class for Dana Kyte and Sam Kite. Royal Generator and Wade Huntley won reserve.

The Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallions class was also an exciting one. Topping this class were the team of Frankie Blue Eyes and Martha Neff. Brent Coburn trains this crowd favorite for Steve and Martha Neff. Sister Milligan directed Yea Judge to the reserve spot for Tommy and Sister Milligan from Rae Martin Stables.

Wired No Doubt and Caroline Elliot were the choice of the judges in the Youth 15-17 Specialty class. Jack Heffinton claims ownership of the entry and Sam McLaughlin is the proud trainer. From Kellett Stables, Pride’s Easy Touch and Melissa Burnett claimed reserve.

It was a blue ribbon ride for Collector’s Mr. Twister and Yvonna Mullis in the Amateur Specialty Riders, no blues for 2002 class. Nancy Cate owns Collector’s Mr. Twister and he is trained by Tim Wheelon. Ken Willis and 5 Star Ritz earned the reserve spot for Bobby Wycoff.

Allen Forman claimed the blue in the 10-entry Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Scarlet Takes Command for Ashley Pirkle. Skywatch’s Main Man and Shawn Abee claimed reserve for William Dover.

The final class of the evening was the Park Pleasure Specialty. Skyline was directed by Tim Wheelon to the victory pass for Jack and Betty Morgan. Regal’s Delight Lady and Burl Dale claimed the red stream for trainer Sasha Tefft.

SATURDAY EVENING

On Saturday evening the competition got hotter as the excitement and the numbers of entries grew. Dillon Potter claimed the first blue and the Yearling class blue for the second year in a row. He led Cotton’s Power Pusher to a unanimous win from Puckett Stables. Gen’s Ice Cold Shaker and Ronnie Arflin earned reserve.

In the Fine Harness Amateur class, it was another unanimous blue for Jack Morgan driving Skywatch’s Super Star for Jack and Betty Morgan and trainer Brent Coburn. Filling the number two position were the team of Cobra Commander and Larry Heiden.

The Open Show Pleasure class was next with 10 entries. Fashion’s Midnight Threat won his second blue of the show in a unanimous tie. John Puckett was in the irons for Kathy Potter. Picking up the reserve ribbon were Eb’s Corporal Barrett and Brittany Barrett for the Billy Barrett family from Rae Martin Stables.

One of the standouts of the show was the exciting team of Double Overtime and Steve Hankins. They claimed the 12-entry Three-Year-Old Stallions class with a unanimous decision for owner Sharon Thomas. Ozone’s Delight and Chad Baucom made a great ride for reserve for T and T Farms.

It was another unanimous tie in the Two-Year-Old Stallions class and the second blue of the show for the flashy Mamma’s Almighty Dollar and RM Kellett and trainer Bobby Kellet for owner Charlie Bell. General Quarters and Tim Wheelon won reserve for Pat Sandlin.

Nineteen Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod entries came next. In The Heat Of The Night and Burt Dale were selected unanimously to win for trainer Sasha Tefft. Judy Morrisett directed her A Grand Entry to reserve from Hatcher Stables.

In the ETWHA Member Specialty class, Sure Threat’s Masterpiece and Rhonda Hull won for Alexander and Mosley from Ronald Mosley Stables. Olympic’s Iceman and Becky May carried out the reserve ribbon for Allen and Becky May from Baucom Stables.

Pushover’s Star Of Glory and Suzie Allen were selected in the Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class for Wheeler Buff from Baucom Stables. Ann Callicutt rode her My Bright Star to reserve from Baucom Stables.

Thirteen entries were in the NCWHA Members Only Specialty class. Commanding Cold and Malaya Jester won the blue for Jim and Judy Vernon and trainer Jimmy Adams. Push To Mo and Crystal Gribble were reserve for Boyce Hathcock.

There was much cheering in the 12-entry Performance Pleasure Open class. Chosen for the blue were I’m Past Due and Jeff Hatcher for Dr. Morna Conway. Paul Livingston directed Pusher’s Cool Blue to reserve for Harold and Janice Range.

The first championship was in the youth division. Chosen unanimously to wear the roses was the team of Pushin’ The Limits and Madison Holloway from Baucom Stables. Pride’s Big Sky and Erika Duckworth from Bonner Stables made a good ride to win reserve.

Skyline and Jack Morgan captured the blue in the 12-entry Park Pleasure Specialty Championship. They earned the tri-color for Jack and Betty Morgan from Tim Wheelon Stables. Classy Image and Ronald Mosley earned reserve for Gary and Carolyn Pope.

The multi-titled team of Cut Above All and Deborah Perry were the top team in the 10-entry Amateur Specialty Championship and exited with the roses for trainers Baucom Stables and owners David and Deborah Perry. Mo Bucks and Billy Frost claimed reserve for Ronald Mosley Stables.

JRB’s Tribute and Milly Player claimed the roses in the Amateur Championship for Player, Buckner and Bumgardner. Strokin Stroller and Don Helms claimed reserve.

This concludes the highlights from this year’s Land-O-The-Sky Summer Festival Horse Show.

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