CULLMAN, Alabama - The Walking Horse Association of Alabama held their annual High Point Awards Banquet on January 18, 2003. Once again, the night began with a social hour from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The All Steak Restaurant was the setting where a delicious buffet-syle dinner was served before the award presentations got underway.

The room was filled to maximum capacity again this year with Assc. members, family and friends there to share in the each others accomplishments for the 2002 season.

This is the sixth year that the WHAA has donated the proceeds from their shows to Camp Smile-A-Mile, a camp for children who are victims of cancer. A record amount was presented to the camp of $42,500 this year. Charles Crane presented a check for $2,500; donated by the Alabama Futurity division of the Assn.

Mike Royer, weather forecaster for NBC-13 in Birmingham, Ala., and former board member of the camp was asked to speak again this year. He spoke of the overwhelming generosity of the people in Alabama and the WHAA and how he and those connected to the camp appreciate all they do each year through the walking horse business.

First on the agenda was a welcome by WHAA President, Nathan Clark. He then asked Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitor’s Association new President, Charles Hulsey to speak. Hulsey commended the WHAA for their successful 2002 show season and praised the addition of the new area shows.

Hulsey then shared the success story of the new Academy Program. Hulsey said, “At the first show of its type this year that, of the 67 participants that 60 riders it was their first time ever in the show ring. He went on to say, “48 entries were flat shod and 19 were performance horses.”

Following the show, Hulsey stated that, “We are getting lots of calls in the office from people looking for horses for themselves and their children.” With 46 instructors across the country this is sure to be an increasingly popular activity that will stir the interest of newcomers to the breed.

Charles Crane took the microphone next. He expressed his gratitude for the First Annual Futurity Horse Show being such a success. Crane said, “We feel that the show was a great success with approximately 257 entries at their first event.” Plans are already in the making for the 2003 edition of the show in August this year.

Hugh Johnson, a familiar face to the Alabama crowd, served as the emcee. In his own witty manner he kept everyone in suspense as he called out all five places of winners and when all were present he started at fifth and worked his way up to number one in each division.

Alabama Futurity winners were called first. Taking home the High Point Stallion award was I’m In Command, owned by Doug and Sheryl Crawford, Crawford Colts, LLC. The High Point Mare for 2002 went to Fashion Trend owned by Joan Kemp and Dr. J. Michael Brown. Rounding out those awards was Equalizer’s Roxy Rose in the Top Graduate 2002 for Woodie and Carolyn Spinks.

The Alabama Ladies Auxiliary awards were next on the list. Claiming the number one spot in 2002 was Allison Weeks. A tie for second landed Robin MacDonald and Janet Coley next in the count.

2002 WHAA High Point Awards began with the Weanling division and That’s Mr. Command 2 U, owned by Betsy Michael. Reserve went to Magic’s Miss Souvenir owned by Prince Farms. The Jack and Morrow Doss owned property, Dangerous Command walked away with the Yearling award. With second place honors going to Jazz’s Favorite Gen for owner McCarley Farms.

In the Two-Year-Old Stallion and Gelding division Dumas Walker’s Spotlight claimed the top spot for Roger and Sylvia Latham. The Hotline, previously owned by Latham Stables and now owned by Larry and Pam Russell, was reserve. Showgirl At The Ritz took home the Two-Year-Old Mare High Point award for the George Britt family. Elbert Prince’s Papa’s Jewel was awarded second in the division.

The Clark Farm’s property, Dumas Star Walker, won the Three-Year-Old Stallions and Geldings award. Reserve honors went to Highly In Command for David Latham. Three-Year-Old Mares High Point trophy was Bonanza’s Dixie Bell for Greg Pate and Ronald Elrod. Claiming the reserve spot was Pusher’s Cleopatra owned by Randall and Martha Ferguson.

Four-Year-Old Stallions and Geldings High Point honors went to Times Two for the Bentley-Beam partnership. Sound Of Motion was called to the reserve spot for owner Charles Crane. In the Aged Stallions and Geldings division, Tina’s Tiny Tim won the award for owners Ray Solley, along with Don and Debbie Breedwell. Crimson’s Deep Impact was reserve for owner Patti Shannon.

Open Show Pleasure honors went to The Secret Senator for Clark Farms. Taking home the reserve ribbon was Ray and Nancy Fincher for My Major Cash’s good year. Generator’s Mountain won the 15.2 and Under title for owners Woodie and Carolyn Spinks. Pusher’s Pzazz was reserve for owners G.L. and Beverly McNeill.

Barbara Crowe and Ray Solley’s May Sunrise topped the Two and Three-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure Specialty division. The reserve ribbon went to Premier’s Pretty Woman for Allen and Nan Ingle. This “Pretty Woman” came back to win the Juvenile Plantation Pleasure Specialty first award as well. Hawk’s Buzzsaw was second for owner Mary Ann Morgan.

Claiming yet another first place trophy was Premier’s Pretty Woman for the Ingles’ in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty. Clark Farm’s Gen’s Gold Coin Lady was reserve. Adding to their lengthy list of wins, Clark Farms chalked up another first, this time in the Open Park Pleasure Specialty with All Night. The reserve award went to Threat’s Black Bum for owner Carolyn Greger.

In the Western Plantation Pleasure division top honors went to Coin’s Flip Side for Suzanne Keplinger of Triple K Stables. All Night was second for Clark Farms. Collector’s Big Time Jack was called for the trophy in the Country Pleasure Specialty for owner Joyce Smith. Jean Brannon’s Rocky Top Rainbow was reserve.

Suzanne Keplinger made another appearance to claim the trophy for Coin’s Flip Side, this time in the Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod division. Rocky Top Rainbow took home his second reserve of the night in the Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod division.

My Major Heartache claimed the points to win the Ponies for Riders 17 and Under competition for owners Don and Barbara Barnett. Pride’s Beamer was reserve for Russ and Linda Thomas. The very young riders were also winning awards at the banquet. The Lead Line winner was Clutch’s Tumbleweed for owners Trevor and Brant Collier. Little Libby McCurdy was second with her pony, Sonny. I couldn't continue without the mention of her sister, Hannah coming in third with Princess!

It makes winning that much sweeter when there were a record number of riders competing in the Juvenile 11 and Under competition. Dark Storm Warning topped the heap for the Bentley-Beam partnership. Generator’s Merry Boy and Madison Lawrence were second.

Catherine Britt had a good night as she took first with Pushin’ Midnight and second with He Will Push in the Juvenile 12-17 for the George Britt family. Almost Indecent carried the highest points in the Juvenile Specialty 17 and Under for owners Waddell and Mims.

Another popular class this past year was the Two-Year-Old Amateur. Racking up the points for first was Dumas Walker’s Spotlight for Roger and Sylvia Latham. Allen and Nan Ingle’s King Cobra finished second. 21 horses competed for the most points in this category in 2002. Claiming the trophy and ribbon for first was Doc’s Cutting Edge for proud owner, Dr. Wes Samford. Slam’s Symbol sailed in to the second place spot for Doyce Lawrence.

In the Four-Year-Old Amateur division, emcee, Hugh Johnson stepped up to claim the trophy for his good year with Design’s Lady Di. Roger and Sylvia Latham’s Perfect Game was awarded the reserve ribbon. Clark Farms continued their winning by topping the Amateur Owned and Trained award for Spirit’s Black Coin. Ebony’s Threat Double took home reserve honors for Joan Kelley.

Lisa Johnson was thrilled with her horse, Delight’s Stolen Cash, being named to the Amateur Specialty Lady Riders award. Finishing second was Market’s Black Shadow for Woodie and Carolyn Spinks. Mr. Festus was called to receive the trophy and ribbon in the Amateur Specialty Gentleman Riders competition for Charles and Shirley Hulsey. The Golden Clutch claimed the reserve place for Tommy and Vickie Hale.

The King Midas Touch, owned by the Benny Gray family, carried away top honors in the Open Amateur Specialty division. Stormy Command was reserve for Ray and Betty Warren. Toby Scarbrough’s Simply Dangerous captured the trophy and ribbon for first in the 15.2 and Under Specialty ranks. Star Candidate finished second for Richard Lambert.

Open Amateur honors were awarded to Paycheck By MG for Clark Farms. The Rising Sun, owned by Ray Solley, was called to the second place ribbon. In the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty division, another Clark Farms owned entry, Gen’s Face Value claimed the most points. My Major Cash was second for owners Ray and Nancy Fincher.

With a record number of horses competing in last years’ Stake division, Generator’s Mountain finished on top for Woodie and Carolyn Spinks. Pusher’s Feel Of Thunder came in second in the points tally for owners Bobby and Sandra Ellison.

Adding to her night of wins, Suzanne Keplinger was called to receive the “Eb’s Bad Friday” perpetual award for Overall High Point Horse of the Year in the Pleasure Horse division. Her mount Coin’s Flip Side is owned by Triple K Stables.

Claiming the “Struttin’ Peacock” perpetual award for the Overall High Point Horse of the Year award in the Performance division was an earlier winner in the Three-Year-Old Amateur, Doc’s Cutting Edge and owner, Dr. Wes Samford.

Once again, Steve Clark was named Alabama’s Trainer of the Year. This is based on points average for the year. Being voted on by his peers, Chris Pate was named to the Assistant Trainer of the Year position.

Catherine Britt collected the right number of points to take home the Juvenile Rider of the Year award. Linda McCarley was pleased to accept the award for Lady Rider of the Year, based on points she collected in 2002. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Dr. Wes Samford also walked away with the Gentleman Rider of the Year award for 2002.

The 2nd Annual Alabama Ladies Auxiliary Horse Show was voted by the membership to be the Best One Night Show of the Year. A tearful, Nancy Hawkins rounded out a long list of awards as she was voted the Horseperson of the Year.

With all the awards given to the winners, it was then time to thank one of the hardest working members of the association for all of his hard work and dedication and that was none other than E.C. Moody. Following a standing ovation Moody unwrapped a very nice recliner chair. Although, as busy as he stays during show season chances are he won’t have much time to relax.

This highlights the WHAA Annual High Point Awards Banquet. Complete results follow and may be viewed, searched, or printed and