by Debbie Graham

VERONA, Miss. - The ninth annual Loraine Wesson Faith Haven Walking Horse Show was held May 1, 2004, at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona, Miss. The event was sponsored by the Faith Haven Board of Directors. Proceeds benefited Faith Haven, a safe, temporary home for children and youth. Faith Haven is an emergency shelter for children who have been removed from their homes and placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services. Faith Haven Emergency Shelter serves a critical need in providing for these children until a permanent placement can be found. More than 2,000 children have been able to call Faith Haven home since its beginning in 1977. In 2003, a new facility was constructed enabling the shelter to care for 12 children at a time.

The 2004 show was dedicated to Loraine Abernathy Wesson who served faithfully as director of Faith Haven from 1987 until her retirement in 2003. On February 21, 2004, Wesson was inducted into the Mississippi Walking Horse Association Hall of Fame and became the first woman to receive this honor. Wesson received special recognition prior to the show from association president Harlan Hatcher for this honor.

Jeff Givens judged the 35 classes of walking and racking competition that drew 287 entries.

The first class of the evening was the Lead Line class in which Miss Goldie Hawn and Mary Elizabeth Wright won their second Lead Line title of the season. They were winners at the Holly Springs show also.

Inside Track and Kristopher Ausburn received their third blue in a row in youth 11 and under competition for Red Strickland.

Ritz Woman and Wilsene Moody were in top form to claim the Four-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class for O & W Moody, Ltd.

Another Moody show ring contender, Foolish Dollar made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Jackie McConnell in the irons.

Stone Cold Dollar and Steve Dunn made their blue ribbon debut in the Two-Year-Old Stallion class for the Keith Carlton family. Dunn returned to capture the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title with Blueberry Wine for Mike and Karen Inman.

Webb Stables claimed three Faith Haven blues. The first one was awarded to Loose and Busty in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare & Gelding class with James Vernon riding for James and Peggy Vernon. Sanman and Pam Russell collected their third blue of the season in the Open Amateur class for Larry Russell. Highway Robbery and Link Webb were in the spotlight in the Four-Year-Old Open class for LWB Properties.

In the halter division, Generator’s Crayola and Gale Myers were winners in the Weanling class for Patty Richardson. Savannah Lace and Lindsey Smith were in the winner’s circle in the Yearling class for owners Dr. John and Phillip Lay.

Falcon Ridge Farm contender Come To Papa claimed top honors in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class with Lillian Gaines directing for Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Gaines. Falcon’s Hitman and Ray Gilmer turned in a winning performance in the Three-Year-Old Stallion class for Erica Myers.

1-800-Collect and Joe Clift scored an impressive victory in the Amateur Gentleman’s Show Pleasure Specialty class for Saundra Pippin. This team already has four blues to their credit early in the season.

Jazz’s Bossman and Kendra Roberts led the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class for Harold Roberts. Maple Leaf Stables prepared this contender.

Stormy’s Black Rain and Judy Keene were the starring attraction in the Amateur Owned and Trained class for the Jim Sullivan family.

I’m A Ritz and Stephanie Carter were thrilled to accept the blue in the Youth 12-17 class riding under the Whitter Stables banner.

Irrational Exuberance and Brett Jones turned in a winning performance in the Amateur Specialty class for Brett and Lisa Jones. Dale Watts prepared Irrational Exuberance for show ring competition.

White Oak Farm was awarded two Faith Haven titles. Josh Coble earned blue ribbon recognition in the Limited Performance class for Robert and Lisa Marbry. Strawman continued his winning ways in the Spotted Saddle Horse class with Susan Davis directing for Richard and Susan Davis.

Stanfill Stables earned two blues at the show. A Cloudy Sky and Ronnie Stanfill received blue ribbon acclaim in the Three-Year-Old Stallion class for Theresa Stanfill. Skywalk excited the crowd in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class with Ronnie Stanfill in the irons.

Amber Waggoner was granted two trips to the winner’s circle. The first came in the Amateur Ladies Show Pleasure Specialty class with Double Shot of Gen for Bobby Barclay. Waggoner returned to claim the Country Pleasure Specialty class on another contender owned by Bobby Barclay, Gen’s All Night. Eddie Barclay Stables readied these entries for competition.

Extra Cash’s Grey Eagle and Marilyn Lubin were blue ribbon winners in the Park Pleasure Specialty class continuing their successful campaign as a new team.

Exhibitors from Tim Holley and Son Stables claimed top honors in both two-year-old amateur divisions. A Touch Of Pusher and Jackie Stotts topped the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class for Larry and Pat Doyle. Paris Hilton and Debbie Williams walked their way to victory in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare & Gelding class for Mark and Debbie Williams.

The Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty class saw Vigor’s Mr. V.I.P. and Elizabeth Mullins make the victory pass. This duo also won their division at the recent Holly Springs show.

In the final class of the evening, the Walking Horse Stake, Armed and Waiting and Jackie McConnell claimed the Faith Haven tricolor in their debut performance for Red Eagle Farms.

Following the show, an exhibitor’s party was held featuring a delicious barbecue dinner with all the trimmings and tasty desserts.

This highlights the Loraine Wesson Faith Haven Walking Horse Show.