By Linda Scrivner

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Dixie Jubilee Show in Baton Rouge is the place to be the last weekend in October. Great horses, seafood, cajun cooking, and all the festivities that set this show apart from all others always makes the North American Championship a great ending to many exhibitors’ show season.

The Baton Rouge show, sponsored by the members of the Dixie Jubilee, is always a class act and is put on with the precision for which show manager Russ Walther and secretary Faye Mary are known. Mary, 80 years young, is as traditional as the Dixie Jubilee. She proudly states that she has been with the show since 1946.

Many world champions grace the ring at the Jubilee and there are always special events to this outstanding show.

On Thursday evening, there was the Dixie Jubilee Lagniappe Aisle Party with food and drink in the barn aisle. Lagniappe means extra in Cajun and the 2003 Aisle Party was overflowing with Bananas Foster and many other specialty dishes which the exhibitors enjoyed with extra gusto.

On Friday evening after the show, the Dixie Jubilee Mardi Gras Ball was held. A king and queen were elected during the ball. Representing the walking horse world were Queen Beverly Sherman, King John Walker, First Duke Joe Cotten and First Duchess Karla Landrum. More food was available as well as a band and a parade in which Mardi Gras beads were passed out by costumed exhibitors, all in accordance with Dixie Jubilee tradition. Dancing continued into the early hours of the morning.

In addition to the food provided at the show, many hit the numerous cajun and seafood restaurants or visited the various barns that had treats set out throughout the show. In Baton Rouge, the four-day show is laid back and congratulations are freely given to the winners. The Dixie Jubilee draws from 400-700 entries from the Tennessee Walking Horse, American Saddlebred and other breeds from throughout the United States.

In addition to the many world champions competing, this year’s crowd was also treated to two special exhibitions on Saturday night. Thad Way exhibited the 2002 and 2003 Walking Pony World Grand Champion Silver Design and Joe Cotten exhibited the 2003 Junior World Grand Champion and World Champion Four-Year-Old Stallion Main Power. The crowd gave rousing ovations and both horses were given lovely throws with the Dixie Jubilee emblem and both a walking and a saddle horse woven in them. These unusual awards as well as leather Dixie Jubilee trash cans were also presented in many of the stake classes.

Judges for the show were Robin Edwards of Columbia, Tenn., Benny Johnson of Bluemont, Va., and Phillip Wilson of Wartrace, Tenn.

The North American Walking Grand Championship concluded the 2003 show. The fans selected their favorite and expressed their opinion with cheers and clapping. Last year’s grand champion returned to win the title once again. In 2001, the team of Jimmy McConnell and The Black Night Shade was the Three-Year-Old Grand Champions and Three-Year-Old Stallion Champions. In 2002, they also won the Junior Stallion title before winning the grand championship title. Jimmy McConnell directed the head-shaking sensation for Mr. and Mrs. Tom Waite first to the win in the stallion class and then to the win in the grand championship this year also. The Black Night Shade is a current world champion stallion and recently won the International Grand Championship for the second consecutive year.

The leg-waving I’m Splashed and Joe Cotten made two fabulous shows to win reserve in the championship for Lindsey Landrum and Hillview Promotions. Earlier in the week, this outstanding team was awarded the North American 15.2 and Under blue. This team’s previous 2003 wins include the Mississippi State Charity’s Open Specialty Championship and the Eagleville 15.2 and Under Championship.

Third place in the championship was awarded to I’m All Fired Up and Link Webb. This black stallion made a superb show for LWB Properties.

When the blues were distributed David Landrum Stables and Jimmy McConnell of Formac Farm had 13 blues apiece. Billy Young of Backward S Ranch was awarded six blues. Ronnie Spears Stables and Laurie Toone Stables were close behind with four, while Dick Peebles Stables returned home with three blues.

Dual blues were won by Barnes Training Stables, Jeff Givens Stables, Noble Stout of Shooting Star Farm, Dickie Scrivner of Tan View Stables, Link Webb Stables and Jerry Woodlee Stables. The remaining blues were won by Stan’s Stables and Billy Thomas of Thomas Colts.

Landrum Stables’ 13 blues included the Four-Year-Old Grand Championship won by Joe Cotten and He’s Wild Eyed & Wicked. Earlier in the week, this team also claimed the Junior Stallion title, after numerous wins this season with owner Mike Walden. He’s Wild Eyed & Wicked debuted to the blue this season with a win in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallions Specialty with Beverly Burgess Wood. Mike Walden purchased this talented stallion and had a great season. They claimed victory in the Owner/Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallion class at the Mississippi State Charity, the Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallion classes at the Gulf Coast Horse Show and the Spring Fun Show; the Amateur Four-Year-Old classes at Bethesda and Lewisburg, Tenn., and also claimed the Owner/Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallion Reserve World Championship as well as the Owner/Amateur Four-Year-Old Reserve World Grand Championship.

Joe Cotten had two great shows with current World Champion Three-Year-Old Stallion Ted Williams. Ted Williams and Cotten were crowned Three-Year-Old Grand Champions after winning the Three-Year-Old Stallion class earlier in the week. In 2002 this team also won the Two-Year-Old Stallion World Championship and the Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship. They began their 2003 season winning both the Three-Year-Old Stallion class and the Three-Year-Old Grand Championship at the Mississippi State Charity Horse Show. They were also the Bethesda Three-Year-Old Stallion class victors.

Current World Champion Driving Miss Dumas had a new rider at Baton Rouge. Lindsay Wall and Miss Dumas claimed victory in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Grand Championship under the Landrum Stables banner. Caresse Mills directed this bay mare to her world championship title before she was purchased by Wall. This will be a show that Wall will remember for a long time. During the class a runaway horse and rider collided with Driving Miss Dumas causing her to rear and fall backwards with Wall. After the horse and rider got on their feet, Wall remounted and went on to win the blue.

Evergreen Walking Horse Farm won two blues under Landrum’s banner. Virginia Stewart proudly claimed the blue in the Heart O’ Dixie Members Only Special with Gen’s Little Major.

For Evergreen Farm’s second blue, Iris Schumann directed 2002 World Champion and 2003 Reserve World Champion Andrew Johnson to the blue in the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty class. Andrew Johnson previously enjoyed 2003 wins in the Show Pleasure Specialty classes at the National Trainers’ Show with Joe Cotten and the Mississippi State Charity Show and Children’s Classic with David Landrum.

Ben Moss expertly guided the 2002 World Champion Arms’ Dealer to the blue in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class. Karla Landrum and General Splash topped a tough class of the two-year-old amateur stallions. Landrum directed General Splash to the Amateur Two-Year-Old blue at the Mississippi State Charity earlier this year. Cotten won the Two-Year-Old Stallion classes at the Belfast Lions Club Show and the TWHBEA National Futurity with General Splash this season as well. Joe Cotten and Sweepstakes Wine & Roses topped the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class at Baton Rouge.

Cotten made a clean sweep of the young horse championships when he won the Two-Year-Old Grand Championship and the Two-Year-Old Stallion class with Willie Mayes. This high-headed stallion has improved steadily this fall. Willie Mayes enjoyed success earlier this season with wins at the Gulf Coast Horse Show, Kentucky Celebration and the International.

Formac Stables also did extremely well with their horses at the Dixie Jubilee. In addition to the two classes won by The Black Night Shade, Jimmy McConnell’s proteges enjoyed 11 other blues. The 2002 and 2003 Reserve World Champion They Call Me Sir claimed the Juvenile Specialty Grand Championship with Melanie Barnett in the irons. Earlier in the week, McConnell directed They Call Me Sir to the top of the Junior Mare or Gelding class. McConnell and They Call Me Sir also claimed the 2003 Gallatin Lions Club Open Specialty Championship. Barnett had a great 2003 season with the horse as well sporting wins in the juvenile 12-17 division at Henderson, Tenn., Byhalia, Miss., and Bethesda, Tenn.

Horses owned by Bob and Mary Medina enjoyed eight Dixie Jubilee blues. Mystery Woman won the Park Pleasure Grand Championship and the Park Pleasure Open title with Jimmy McConnell aboard. She then won her third blue in the Park Pleasure Amateur Gentlemen’s Specialty class with Bob Medina aboard. This 2002 reserve world champion also had blues with Medina at the Walking To Make A Difference Show and the Fayetteville Show this year.

The 2003 Elite Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Stallions World Champion Walking All Over and Bob Medina claimed the victory in the Dixie Jubilee Gentlemen’s Amateur Stake just as they did in 2002. Walking All Over’s 2003 successes include the Amateur Men’s Specialty classes at the National Trainers Show and the Alabama Jubilee with Bob Medina, the Pro Am Specialty at the Mississippi State Charity with both McConnell and Medina, the Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty with Mary Medina and the 15.2 and Under with McConnell at the Germantown Charity Show.

The 2003 World Champion Gelding, Over 15.2 (Canter) and World Grand Champion Mare or Gelding (Canter) Barracuda carried Mary Medina to the tricolor in the Ladies’ Amateur Specialty Stake after McConnell directed him to the top of the Senior Gelding class earlier in the week. This was at least Barracuda’s 13th blue of the season. He attained blues at the Mississippi State Charity, the Gulf Coast Charity, the Spring Fun Show, the Germantown Charity, the White Oak Classic, Mid-South Horse Show, the Fayetteville Show and the Alabama Jubilee.

Mary Medina and 2002 Elite Owner-Amateur Gentleman Riders on Mares or Geldings Reserve World Champion Grandy’s Rhythm Lady repeated their win from last year in the Ladies’ Amateur Stake. This team won the Germantown Charity Ladies’ Amateur Championship. Medina also wore the blue ribbon from the 15.2 and Under Amateur Mare and Gelding class aboard Cut A Rug. This horse’s earlier 2003 victories include the Mid American Spring Charity Show 15.2 and Under title with Jimmy McConnell, the Trainers’ Family class with Gail McConnell and the Brownsville 15.2 and Under Specialty with Dan Waddell.

Jimmy McConnell’s 13th blue ribbon came with world champion Sunrise Que Sera Sera in the Senior Mare class following their recent win in the Mares and Geldings class at the International Performance Grand Championship. Christina Butler and this talented mare have had a great 2003 season in the Youth 11 and Under division as well with wins at Holly Springs, Miss., the Mississippi State Charity Show, Germantown Charity, the White Oak Classic and Belfast.

Three of Backward S Ranch’s six blues were won by Don’t Bust My Bubble. Kelly Sherman Garrett directed this black gelding down victory lane in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Grand Championship following her preliminary win in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Trainer Billy Young also claimed the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title with Don’t Bust My Bubble. This black gelding had previous wins in 2003 from the National Trainers’ Show, Hohenwald, Tenn., and the Jackson County Show.

Beverly Sherman made an exciting debut and two victory rides on her newly purchased 2003 World Grand Champion Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare Witch’s Jazz. At Baton Rouge, Sherman made the victory passes in both the Two-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Grand Championship and the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Before the Celebration, Witch’s Jazz enjoyed blues in the Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings classes at the National Trainers’ Show, the Spring Fun Show and Woodbury with Ed Breedlove in the irons.

Kelly Sherman Garrett directed Pusher’s Solid Design to the victory in the Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class. This team also claimed the Ladies’ Amateur blue at the Tony Rice Show.

Ronnie Spears Stables’ four blues consisted of three won by horses owned by Mr. and Mrs. Glen Crutchfield. Candie Butler always seems to enjoy her rides and is noted for her terrific smile in the show ring. Butler proudly won the Amateur Grand Championship and the Open Amateur class with multi-time world champion Mr. Pushbutton. Mr. Pushbutton’s other 2003 wins include the National Trainers’ Show, Manchester, Grinder’s Switch, McMinnville and the Walking For The Children Walking Horse Show.

Daughter Christina Butler also had her claim to fame as she directed Pistol Whipped in a blue ribbon ride in the Juvenile 11 and Under Specialty class. They previously won the Cookeville, Tenn., 11 and Under title. Christina Butler also displayed her artistic talents by winning the pumpkin painting contest at the Baton Rouge show.

Charles Wharton claimed Spears’ fourth blue in the Fine Harness Amateur class driving Surgeon General.

Laurie Toone Stables also claimed four blues. The first of these was won by 2002 Division A Novice Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Horse with Amateur Novice Rider World Champion Silver’s Spinal Tap. Michelle Mercier directed this chestnut to the blue in the Lite-Shod Amateur Specialty class, followed by Brittany Barnett winning the Lite-Shod Juvenile Specialty. Silver’s Spinal Tap has had a great season starting with a win at the KWHA Ladies Auxiliary Spring Jubilee, the Gulf Coast Horse Show, the Derby Classic, Gallatin, VA Horse Show, Carthage, Tenn., Hernando, Midwest Trainers’ Fall Show and the Gum Tree Classic.

Undercover Pusher was back in the ring at Baton Rouge winning the Juvenile Park Pleasure Specialty with Brittany Barnett under Toone’s guidance. Undercover Pusher won blues in 2003 at the Neshoba County Classic, Heart O’ Dixie Championship and East Mississippi Fall Classic.

Toone concluded her quartet of blues by winning the Lite-Shod Specialty Championship with A Classic Shot. A Classic Shot’s previous 2003 blues include the Pleasure E-Z Rider Amateur Specialty at Tennessee Saturday Night Show in Puyallup, Wash., the Lite-Shod Three-Year-Old, the Lite-Shod Novice Specialty and the Lite-Shod Three-Year-Old Grand Championship at the Pacific Northwest Jamboree and the Two and Three-Year-Old Western Lite-Shod Specialty at the International Plantation Grand Championship.

Dick Peebles proudly claimed three Jubilee blues. John F K’s Pusher won two of those. The first was with Robin MacDonald in the Amateur Specialty Stallions class. Then they captured the Amateur Specialty Grand Championship. John F K’s Pusher had earlier wins in 2003 at the Alpha Gamma Rho Spring Sensation with Dick Peebles, the National Trainers’ Show, Gallatin, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Belfast, Clemson, S.C., and Alabama Jubilee. This impressive new team has had a highly successful season.

Peebles’ third blue was won by the small, but mighty, team of Gen’s Atta Boy and Carson Cain. They made a great show to claim the Juvenile Pony title at the Dixie Jubilee. Their earlier 2003 wins include the Pony classes at the Crossroads of Dixie Show and the the Pro Am Specialty title at the Magnolia Classic.

Forever Spirit won two blues for Barnes Training Stables. New owner Sue Maze first claimed the Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure blue and returned to win the Park Pleasure Amateur Specialty Grand Championship. Forever Spirit’s 2003 season wins include the Two and Three-Year-Old Park classes at the Money Tree Classic, Bethesda, Woodbury and Wartrace as well as the Two-Year-Old Park class at the TWHBEA National Futurity.

Jeff Givens led the 2002 and 2003 Model Stallion World Champion AK 47 to the blue in the Pleasure Model class. They also claimed the same division at the National Trainers’ Show and the Mississippi State Charity Show. Givens’ second Dixie Jubilee blue came in the form of the light-colored yearling Yippee Yi O Ki Yay. They earned the Yearling title. This colt has amassed quite a list of blues in 2003 including wins at the National Trainers’ Show, Columbia Spring Jubilee, Crossroads of Dixie, Grinder’s Switch, Eagleville and Bedford County 4-H Harvest Festival Shows.

Fashion’s Cover Girl won dual blues at the Jubilee for Shooting Star Farm. Noble Stout first claimed the blue in the Lite-Shod Open class and then Pat Stout took the reins of the gray mare to win the Lite-Shod Western Specialty. She also won the Western Lite-Shod Specialty in Cookeville, Tenn., this season.

Alex Bumpus and Settle The Score made those from Tan View Stables very proud with her expert riding skills at Baton Rouge. Dickie Scrivner trains Settle The Score and Faye Lynn Coffey instructs Bumpus. Bumpus first claimed the Senior Equitation class, then she returned to win the Equitation Grand Championship on Saturday. This team has had an exceptional year including being named the 2003 World Champions in the Auxiliary Equitation, Youth 12-14 Years division and the 2003 World Grand Champions in the Auxiliary Equitation Youth division. Alex Bumpus’ other 2003 blues include the Bedford FFA Show, Murfreesboro Exchange Club Show and the International Plantation Grand Championship.

Link Webb Stables was also very proud of their juvenile rider Kathryn Ramsbottom, who earned dual blues at the Dixie Jubilee and at the Celebration. Ramsbottom, the 2003 Youth 12-17 World Champion and World Grand Champion Youth Rider, and Pusher’s Special Design won the Juvenile 12-18 Specialty class in Baton Rouge. In their first season together this team, in addition to their two Celebration blues, earned blues at the Gallatin Lions Club Show, the Smoky Mountain Classic, the Money Tree Classic, Woodbury Lions Club and the Red Carpet Show of the South.

Ramsbottom also claimed the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty Grand Championship at the Jubilee on her blaze faced Extra Ordinary. Their previous wins in 2003 include Cookeville, Tenn., Columbia Spring Jubilee and Hohenwald, Tenn.

Jerry Woodlee Stables earned dual blues during the show. Lively Prospect and Carole Baxter claimed the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Stallion blue. Another Woodlee protege’ is Etched At The Ritz. Carol Canerday directed this beautiful mare to victory in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class. This team previously enjoyed success at the Liberty Lions Club Show and the Eagleville Lions Club Show.

Sue Maze represented Stan’s Stables well as she won the Park Pleasure Ladies’ Amateur Specialty class aboard her Judge’s Red Alert. This former world champion and reserve world champion also enjoyed success at the Big D Charity Show this year.

Billy Thomas led the lovely Encore’s Midnight Lady to victory in the Weanling class. Encore’s Midnight Lady had earlier blues in 2003 at the Fentress County Horse Show, the North Carolina State Championships and the East Tennessee Fall Classic.

If you’ve never gone to the Dixie Jubilee, you’ve missed one of the best shows of the year. With good food to eat, friends to enjoy, a chance to show in a great facility and to see the best of the best in the walking horse world, this show should be on your list for 2004. This highlights the 2003 Dixie Jubilee.