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The Black Night Shade and Jimmy McConnell Take The Stake at Magnolia Classic



by: Debbie Graham

CORINTH, Miss. - The 15th annual Magnolia Classic Walking Horse Show was held July 18-19 at the Crossroads Arena. The Rotary Club of Corinth sponsors this legendary show, which is the highlight of the horse show season for area walking horse trainers, exhibitors and fans. Proceeds from the event benefit the continued support of the educational system in Alcorn County. The Rotary promotes excellence in education and provides community service to youth in the area.

The sizzling July temperatures did not stop a large crowd from packing the showgrounds. The quality of entries was high and the competition was fierce as exhibitors competed at Corinth for one of the 43 Magnolia Classic titles awarded during the two-day event. Spectators were entertained in the luxury of the air-conditioned Crossroads Arena.

Gary Hollin and Ronal Young judged the 43 classes. John McCarter, show manager and ringmaster for the event, did an excellent job of coordinating a successful show with the help of dedicated Rotary club members, show committee and Crossroads Arena event staff. “A record was set at the 2003 Magnolia Classic. There were 331 horses entered at the show and every one of them answered the gate call. We didn’t have a good show, we had a great show! Show management, trainers and DQP’s all collectively did an outstanding job throughout the two days,” McCarter said.

During the opening ceremonies on Friday night, vocalist Allison Parsons performed “God Bless America” as Twist On Friday and Treva Lee presented the colors. Parsons also sang the national anthem both nights. Dumas and Renee Carlton presented the colors on Saturday night. The highlight of the Saturday night performance was the exhibition of 2002 World Grand Champion Out On Parole and Steve Dunn.

The first Magnolia Classic blue was awarded to the Black Hawk Farm entry, He’s Wired and Jacklyn Smith in the 15.2 and Over Amateur Specialty Mares and Geldings class.

The Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding Extravaganza MASCUP title was won by She’s A Pistol Pusher and Jackie McConnell for Steve and Carol Shelton. Another show ring contender owned by the Sheltons, Gen’s Impressive Lady claimed the Amateur Mare and Gelding, Five Years and Over, Specialty class with Carol Shelton in the irons. Rare Cash and Jackie McConnell were in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of the Mare and Gelding, 15.2 and Under, Five Years and Over, class for the Mike Wall family. Whitter Stables prepares these entries.

The Elite 50 and Over Mares, Stallions and Geldings Specialty class was led by Nothing But Power and Martha Gandy riding under the Falcon Ridge Farm banner.

Pusher’s Ginger Ann and Britt Barnett claimed top honors in the Amateur Youth Riders 17 and Under Park Pleasure Specialty class for Dr. Tommy and Pat Vinson.

One Knight At A Time received two Magnolia Classic blues.The first one came in the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty class with Stacy Avery riding for Karla Massey. Then, James Nichols directed the champion to the Amateur Two and Three-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty title.

Barbie and Sam Perkins were winners in the Walking Stallions, Mares, and Geldings Over 15.2, Five Years and Over, Specialty division for Donna Burnham Thompson. Dumas and Jennifer Dunn topped the Trainers Family and Auxiliary Members Specialty class for Carlton and Adkins. Bud Dunn and Sons Stables prepares these entries.

Webb Stables returned to their training facility in Shelbyville, Tenn., with eight Magnolia Classic blues in their possession. The first title came in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class as Jazz Queen and Mary Dell Kilgore were crowned champions. Sanman won dual blues at Corinth. Pam Russell directed to the Four-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding title with Link Webb topping the Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding Open division for Larry and Pam Russell.

Three contenders owned by James and Peggy Vernon and trained by Webb Stables were victorious at Corinth. Gen’s Super Stroke and James Vernon earned the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty blue while Link Webb made the victory pass in the Show Pleasure Open Specialty class. Full brothers, Back To The Ritz and Monsieur Ritz gained blue ribbon recognition as well. Back To The Ritz won the Two-Year-Old Stallion Extravaganza with Link Webb. Monsieur was Yearling Stallion champion with Spoiled Rotten Colts trainer Carlyle Johnson at the lead.

Winning the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion division was Highway Robbery and Betty Corlew for James and Betty Corlew. My Jackie O and Margaret Ann Beech demonstrated their talents in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class for the Bill Beech family.

Dick Peebles Stables claimed four blues at the show. Two of these titles went to contenders owned by Stone Oak Farms. In the popular Pro Am class, Dick Peebles and Carol Smith were in the spotlight aboard Gen’s Attaboy. I’m A Pushy JFK Lady and Carol Smith were Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding champions. The conclusion of the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class found the blue ribbon in the possession of Pusher’s Black Jewel and Ashley Joseph for the Anthony Joseph family. Another entry in winning form owned by the Joseph family was Thief’s Delightful Man, who claimed the Three-Year-Old Stallion MASCUP title with Dick Peebles riding.

Entries prepared by Shea Woods at White Oak Farm gave three winning performances at Corinth. Bill Williams was delighted to accept the blue riding the Great Oaks Farm entry Major Credit in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class. Hytone’s Buster Brown and Tyler Herndon collected their eighth Youth 12-17 Specialty title of the season for Tim Herndon. Tyler Herndon then returned to claim the Walking Pony Specialty class with Black Sails for Tim Herndon.

Formac Stables had three winners at the Corinth show. Charmed And Dangerous and Pam Betts caught the judges' attention in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class for Donnie and Pam Betts. Continuing to turn in winning performances week after week, Pushover’s Infiniti and Jimmy McConnell took the win in the 15.2 and Under, Five Years and Over Stallion, class for Bob Medina. In the final class of the evening, the Dark Spirit’s Rebel Walking MASCUP Stake, McConnell had The Black Night Shade were in top form and ready for the challenge as they head toward Celebration 2003 competition with the coveted Magnolia Classic title in their possession. This team has also garnered championship wins at Bethesda, Gallatin and Germantown. Tom and Judy Waite own The Black Night Shade.

Kevin Luttrell made the trip to Corinth from Bowling Green, Ky., and was rewarded with two Magnolia Classic blues. Two show ring stars owned by the Jerry Myatt family were in the winner’s circle. Jason Myatt directed Floodwatch to blue ribbon honors in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class. Copy’s Colors and Kevin Luttrell topped a highly competitive Four-Year-Old Open MASCUP class.

The Youth 11 and Under blue went to Inside Track and Kristopher Ausburn for Red and Dot Strickland. Abernathy Stables trains Inside Track.

It's What’s My Line and Chad Way made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class for Crowley Farms.

Claiming another Lead Line title was I’m A Dandy Too and Mackenzie Gaidos for Don Brown. In the Yearling Filly class, Mahhhvelous Poison and Nicholas Hughes claimed their fifth title of the season for Mary Anne Hughes and David and Shirley Smith.

Fully Armed and Joe Dixon were in the spotlight in the Park Pleasure Specialty class for Randall and Gloria Dixon. Southern Serenity Ranch prepares this successful team.

The Spotted Saddle Horse Heavy-Shod title was won by Straw Man and Richard Davis for Richard and Susan Davis on the heels of a recent Brownsville title. Spotted Saddle Horse Lite-Shod champions were I’m A Sensational Lady and Joe Plunk.

Claiming a Magnolia Classic blue for the third year in a row was Hallelujah I’m A Strokin’ and Mickey Sandridge in the Western Park Pleasure Specialty class for Gerald and Mickey Sandridge.

Stormy’s Black Rain and Summer Sullivan added another Amateur Owned and Trained title to their growing list of accomplishments this season for the Jim Sullivan family.

Gem Sweep and Pam Schoenster made the familiar ride to the winner’s circle in the Country Pleasure class. Claiming the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty title was Extra Cash’s Grey Eagle and Daniel Bishop. Gen’s Crushed Ice and Malcolm Mason were at the top of the judges' card in the Owned and Trained Plantation Pleasure Specialty class for Malcolm and Barbara Mason.

This concludes the highlights from the Magnolia Classic in Corinth, Miss. Complete results may be found by visiting the results section of our web site.

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