Abee/MG Above The Rest Soared Over Belfast Competition!

By Linda Scrivner

BELFAST, Tenn. - The “walkway to the Celebration”, also know as the Belfast Lions Club Horse Show, was held the first Friday night in August. Many of the great horses shown there will also wear the roses at Celebration 2004. On August 6, 2004, the best of the best showed at Belfast and turned the quiet little town nestled in the hills of Tennessee into a bustling metropolis as everyone comes to see who will wear the coveted Belfast blues from the ring. This year, however, instead of the traditional sweltering heat, coats and blankets were carried from the car as the temperatures dipped into the fifties.

The Belfast Lions Club is an annual contributor to the Lions White Cane Fund, which supports the Tennessee School for the Blind, as well as providing eye care to local residents. This ranges from eye examinations to eyeglasses when needed. When Operation Kidsight was initiated to open a new eye center at Vanderbilt Hospital, the Belfast Lions responded with a five-year financial commitment, which was met with the proceeds of this show.

The Belfast Lions Club provides the street lighting for the Belfast community. It also makes its facilities available for family reunions, fundraisers, birthday parties, and other needs of Belfast and Marshall County residents.

The Belfast Lions Club is a strong supporter of education and youth activities. It has provided scholarships to local students, makes annual contributions to the Marshall County Child Development Center. supports local Boy Scout troops and 4-H, and has made a three-year financial commitment to the Lewisburg site of Columbia State Community College. The club said, “Thank you trainers, owners, and exhibitors for making this possible!”

New this year was the addition of two judges, alternating in intervals of two classes, instead of the usual one. Rob Cornelius of Rogersville, Ala., and Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky., marked the classes in the 31 class event. Show Secretary Nancy Lynn Beech was extremely pleased with the large number of entries of high quality stock and their usual tremendous turnout of spectators. The 44th annual Belfast Lions Club Show was a great one with entries totaling 293, compared to 256 in 2003, 314 in 2002 and 280 entries in 2001.

In the championship stake six impressive entries answered the gate call. Last year’s reserve Grand Champions, the team of Allen Abee and MG Above The Rest came to the show with winning on their minds. And win they did in a performance that many thought was their best to date. They were selected to carry out the garland and make the victory pass for A Walking Miracle Farm, LLC. This team is enjoying an undefeated season. They have previous 2004 victories at Clemson, S.C., NCWHLA Walking For The Children at Dallas, N.C., and Land-O-Sky at Asheville, N.C. The crowd roared with approval when the flax maned and tailed stallion’s win was announced. This great stallion is sired by Gen’s Major General and is out of Elusive Favorite. This mare is also the dam of another Belfast champion Generator’s Showboat who shows a great deal of resemblance to the 2004 champion.

Reserve in this class was awarded to A Shot Of Gen and Link Webb following a flawless performance. A Shot Of Gen is owned by Curtice McCloy. This team had earlier stake wins at Starkville and Corinth, Miss. The third place tie was awarded to another awesome team, Charlie Green and Freedom Fighter. Dennis Shoffner is proud of this stunning horse. They entered the ring with victories this year at Eagleville and Cornerville, Tenn.

The blue ribbon tally was led by Bud Dunn and Son Stables claiming three Belfast blues. Charlie Green Stables, Nelms Training Facility, Stanfill Stables and Whitter Stables returned home with two blues each. There were 26 different stables or individuals returning home with Belfast blues.

Bud Dunn and Son Stables’ three blues began when Karen Inman and Generator’s Cashing In claimed the 13-entry Ladies Amateur Specialty title for Mike and Karen Inman. Generator’s Cashing In previously carried Mike Inman to the blue at Lexington and Arab, Ala., this season.

In the 15-entry Youth 12-17 class, the team of Down Town Pusher and Andy Adkins worked hard for the blue. Randall and Sadie Baskin and Andy Adkins own this talented gelding, which has a list of blue ribbons this season including Youth 17 and Under blues from the Money Tree Classic, the Murfreesboro Exchange Club Show and Bethesda.

Dunn Stables’ third blue came in the form of Steve and a blaze-faced gray stallion. Dunn and Blue Diamond claimed the MASCUP Four-Year-Old class for owners Neal Holland, Jr. and Gus King. Laura Brandon directed Blue Diamond to the Eagleville, Tenn., Four-Year-Old Amateur victory earlier this season.

Charlie Green Stables’ first blue came in the MASCUP Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Green aboard Marker’s Eldorado for Skid Montgomery.This team debuted at Belfast as did several other teams throughout the evening. Ed Breedlove directed Keith Breedlove’s entry Jazz King to the blue in the 10-entry Amateur Specialty class. This team brought four 2004 blues with them from the Gulf Coast Charity, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Eagleville and McMinnville.

Nelms Training Facility’s first blue came in the Weanling Filly class with Robert Nelms leading She’s A Firefly. She’s A Firefly is owned by Paul and Judy Gambill. Their second blue was won by Don’t Touch Me I’m Armed topping the Yearling Colt class for Curt Washburn and J.T. Nelms. They were also the winners at Gallatin, WHOA Kiwanis, the Spring Fun Show, Money Tree Classic, Tony Rice, Woodbury and Pulaski making it eight consecutive blues.

Stanfill Stables’ first blue came in the 13-entry Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class. Judy Stanfill was in the irons, to make the victory pass for Therase Stanfill aboard A Cloudy Sky. A Cloudy Sky was also a winner at the Faith Haven Show, the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival, Guntown, Miss., Savannah, Tenn., the MidSouth Show and Fulton, Ky.

Stanfill Stables’ second blue was won by Seth Stanfill and multi-titled Skywalk topping the 11-entry Walking Ponies, 17 and Under class for Billy Stanfill. Skywalk is enjoying a winning season with previous blues at Faith Haven, Gallatin, White Oak Classic, Savannah, Woodbury and Dickson.

The new team of Sharon Richmond and Santa Monica entered the 17-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Whitter Stables prepares this team for the show ring. Santa Monica and Jackie McConnell enjoyed victories at Henderson and Germantown, Tenn. Jim and Sharon Richmond proudly own this talented mare

Jackie McConnell won Whitter Stables’ second blue aboard Foolish Dollar for Wilsene Moody in the MASCUP Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. This was the seventh blue for this stunning roan mare this season. Previous wins were at the Alpha Gamma Rho, Faith Haven, White Oak Classic, Germantown and Ripley.

The undefeated team of Shake’s Little Midnight and Jordan Dempsey, led by grandpa Charles Gleghorn, won the blue in the Lead Line division for Charles and Joy Gleghorn under the guidance of Brett Boyd Stables. They have previously claimed 2004 blues at Summertown, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Liberty Lions Club, Bethesda, Lynchburg and Lewisburg.

The Pleasure Ponies, Riders 14 and Under is a continuance of a very popular class in the past. Belfast has continued this tradition and this year it was won by a first time rider on a two-year-old that performed flawlessly. Topping the class and winning the blue were Michael Litwin and his Enough’s Classy Lady under Shoe-One, Inc.’s banner.

Lee Wall won the next blue in the largest class of the evening, the 18-entry Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. She directed her Dance At The Ritz to win under Clark Stables’ banner. They also won the Amateur Four-Year-Old at the Alabama Summer Classic earlier this season.

Christina Butler directed Sunrise Que Sera Sera to the Youth 11 and Under blue for owners Glen and Virgie Crutchfield. This striking team previously won blues at the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival, the Spring Fun Show, Woodbury, the MidSouth Show and Fulton, Ky. This was this great mares’ eighth consecutive blue. Jimmy McConnell won the Gallatin Aged Mares and Geldings class and the Walking Stake at Ripley, Tenn., earlier this season on her.

Stonecutter’s Legacy and Chris Richards announced their winning presence in the Weanling Colts class by making the victory pass for owners Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brantley. They previously won at the Murfreesboro Exchange Show and Belfast Lions Club Show.

Chris Richards won the Yearling Fillies class with Roger Richards’ I’m Shania Twain. Roger Richards trains this excellent filly. Their earlier wins were at Gallatin Lions Club Show, Smoky Mountain Classic, Grinder’s Switch Classic, dual wins at the Spring Fun Show, the Columbia Spring Jubilee, Crossroads Of Dixie, Bedford FFA Show, Murfreesboro Exchange Club, Woodbury, Cornersville, dual wins at Mt. Pleasant Lions Club Show, Pulaski, as well as three blues at the International Grand Championship this week. I’m Shania Twain has accumulated 18 blues in 2004 and is at the top of the Walking Horse High Point Report for 2004.

Fifteen outstanding entries answered the gate call for the MASCUP Two-Year-Old Stallion class. The team of Bill Bobo and Jose’ Grande’ captured the top award in their debut performance for Judy McDonald.

Jeren Guthrie directed David Pruitt’s Ali Ali to the head of the TWHBEA Youth Medallion class for trainer Brock Tillman of Black Hawk Farm. This current world championship team also won 2004 blues in the same class at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show and the Money Tree Classic. Guthrie was in tears as she gladly celebrated “her first Belfast blue”.

The team of Grant Jones and Ironwork’s Tin Man captured the top award in the 12-entry Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class for Ray Jones Trucking. They also won at the Liberty Lions Club show. Jakie Smith of Trimble Stables trains this striking gray stallion.

Tim Smith directed Nichols and Sleeth’s Push To Start to the head of the MASCUP 15.2 and Under class. This team also won the same class at Grinder’s Switch and the Stake at the Crossroads of Dixie show.

A Neon Knight and Bruce Hankins topped the Park Pleasure Specialty class for Jimmy and Beth Taylor. This team made the crowd sit up and take notice from start to finish. Neon Knight is three for three with previous wins at Mt. Pleasant and Lewisburg.

Jazzing Papa was next to exit the ring with a blue streaming behind him. Josh Coble directed him to the top of the Two and Three-Year-Old Park class for Bob and Mary Medina. Earlier this season Sara Coble won the Martin, Tenn., Amateur Park Pleasure class.

Double Java is now eight for eight in the lite-shod division. Scott Benham won the Lite-Shod Open Specialty for Shiloh Walkers. New owner and rider Jacqueline Holtschult made the trip from California to watch the team make the victory pass. Four of the eight blues won by Double Java this season were won with Holtschult aboard. This world champion is enjoying an undefeated season.

Sheila Groover continued her winning ways with Sheila and Winky Groover’s Miss Dumas Ebony in the 12-entry Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class at Belfast. The duo has earlier wins at the Upper Cumberland Show and the Liberty Lions Show.

Another exciting new team this season is that of Gen’s Magic Marker and Jeff Givens. Gen’s Magic Marker is owned by Cindy Sullivan. They announced their winning presence in the Western Park Pleasure Specialty at Belfast.

Silver Dollar Make Me Hollar and Kathy Graves netted a Belfast blue in the 14-entry Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty class for the Jerry Graves family under Ramsey Bullington Stables’ banner.

Another new team entered the 11-entry Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class and awed the class with their performance. Texas Cash Exchange carried Nancy Groover to wear the blue from the class for owners Judy Allison and Wink and Nancy Groover. Chris Pickel trains this stallion that he previously won the Four-Year-Old title at the Smoky Mountain Classic.

Pride’s Heartbeat and Sam Martin claimed the blue in the 14-entry MASCUP Three-Year-Old Stallion class for Gordon Timmons and Harry Sullivan.

The 17-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur class was won by another new team that debuted at Belfast. Debbie Eichler and The Rising Star topped the class with an excellent show. Joel Weaver trains this new talent.

The Snowatch and Ashley Joseph garner the blue in the Open Amateur class. They are prepared by Dick Peebles Stables and the Anthony Joseph family owns this talented white mount. Joseph has previous 2004 wins at the National Trainers’ Show and the Gulf Coast Charity. Peebles directed him to win the Stake at Guntown, Miss.