CORINTH, Miss. - The Fourteenth Annual Rotary Magnolia Classic Walking Horse Show was held on July 19-20 at the Crossroads Arena in Corinth, Mississippi. The legendary show, which has been the recipient of numerous year-end awards is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Corinth. The Magnolia Classic is the club’s only fundraiser whose proceeds benefit the continued support of the educational system in Alcorn County. The Club promotes excellence in education and provides community service to youth in the area.

The Corinth Rotary Club, the Magnolia Classic Show Committee, and the Crossroads staff outdid themselves in coordinating and preparing for one of the largest crowds in the show’s history. Walking horse trainers, exhibitors, and fans had packed the show grounds well before the 6:30p.m. starting time.

At 6:00p.m., Dr. Mike Guedron accompanied by a team of USDA officials arrived to inspect entries in addition to the two National Horse Show Commission DQPs assigned to the show. Immediately trainers began withdrawing their entries from competition and the majority of barns represented chose to not participate resulting in a low entry tally and the cancellation of classes for both performances of the two day show. The turn of events was a disappointing, devastating blow for the Magnolia Classic.

Although the numbers were low, the quality of entries was high and the show got underway at 6:30 as planned with Brownie Points and Donald Shubert presenting the colors for both performances. Brownie Points is owned by Russell and Barbara Pate.

Show manager, John McCarter did his usual good job of coordinating the show as well as performing the duties of ringmaster. Ronal Young served as judge for the event. Chip Walters was the master of ceremonies and Diane Beaver provided entertainment on the keyboard. Keith Rich handled the duties of farrier and Jack Greene was the official photographer.

The first class of the evening saw Martha Gandy and Nothing But Power make the victory pass in the Amateur Riders on Mares and Geldings, Over 15.2 Specialty class riding under the Falcon Ridge Farm banner. Ray Gilmer took top honors riding a talented progeny of Generator’s Falcon, Falcon’s Backdraft in the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings Extravaganza for new owners, Charles and Jill Cox.

In the Amateur Youth Riders 17 and Under on Park Pleasure Walking Horses Heavy Shod Specialty division, Another Silver Doll and Jenna Hamilton were victorious for Dr. Andrew and Dr. Fran Kerby. The Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Specialty class was led by All Star Rating and Rob Biggers for Carolyn Smotherman. Pamela Schoenster was thrilled with her Magnolia Classic title with Pushin’ To Score in the Amateur Two and Three-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Specialty class. Spotted Saddle Horse champions were Champco Happy Trails and Greg Chambers.

Bayou Black, the entry of Guy Burkhalter and prepared by Edgar Abernathy, was the recipient of three Magnolia Classic blues during the two day event. Edgar Abernathy claimed the Walking Stallions, Mares, and Geldings, Over 15.2, Five Years and Over Specialty title on Friday night and returned to win the Dark Spirit’s Rebel Walking Stake tricolor on Saturday night. Bayou Black also gave Dane Calahan a blue ribbon ride in Amateur Youth 12-17 competition.

The conclusion of the Youth 11 and Under class found the blue ribbon in the possession of Generator’s Blaze Of Gold and Kelsey Farese for the Steve Farese family.

Red Strickland was granted two trips to the winner’s circle at the show. the first came in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class with Red Man Walking. His second award came in the Amateur Park Pleasure, Heavy shod, Specialty class with DNA By Design.

Pushover’s Gold Standard and Betty Sue Calahan were crowned Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions, Over 15.2, Specialty champions for Guy Burkhalter. Wilson Pickett and Melissa Dennis added another title to their list of blue ribbon performances this season in Amateur Riders on Walking Stallions, Mares, and Geldings, 15.2 and Under Specialty class for the C.H. Dennis family.

Hallelujah I’m A Strokin’ and Mickey Sandridge scored an impressive victory in the Western Park Pleasure Specialty class. Ebony’s Coin Dream and Marilyn Scott made the familiar ride to victory lane in the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty division for Bob and Marilyn Scott.

In the Yearling divisions of the show, colts prepared by Spoiled Rotten Colts of Savannah, Tennessee, and owned by James and Peggy Vernon were winners in both Yearling classes. The Jazzy Lady and Carlyle Johnson walked their way to the Yearling Filly title. Johnson returned to receive the blue in the Yearling Stallion class with It’s My Watch.

James Abernathy earned a Magnolia Classic title with Pusher’s Ginger Ann for Sherman and Linda Shelton.

A Rocky Command and Joanna Stewart captured the Country Pleasure Saddle Horse Lite Shod class for Larry Stewart. Pearl Harbor and Debbie Williams were in winning form at Corinth in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class for A.C. Williams. Our Miss Scarlett, with Eddie Plunk directing, took top honors in the Spotted Saddle Horse Lite Shod class for Joe Plunk. Donna Bell took the Owned and Trained Specialty Plantation Pleasure, Lite Shod Specialty class aboard E.T.’s Bay Secret.

Winning the blue in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion Specialty class was Jenny Jones and He’s All Power for Frank and Sissy Bailey. Heart Failure and Harris Lake Smith continue to build their resume’ of blue ribbon events with a Corinth victory in the Youth 17 and Under Walking Pony Specialty class for the Verner Smith family. Spit Fire Chief led the Show Pleasure Open Specialty class with Edgar Abernathy in the irons for Tammy Doughty.

At the conclusion of Saturday night’s performance, master of ceremonies, Chip Walters, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Corinth Rotary Club to the exhibitors, trainers, and spectators who “stayed through the 14th Annual Magnolia Classic through thick and thin” and asked for continued support in the 2003 edition of the Magnolia Classic.