by Debbie Graham

BYHALIA, Miss. - The 11th annual White Oak Classic Walking and Racking Horse Show was held on June 27, 2003, at Hillside Stables Arena. The original date for the show was May 17, however, the spring show was cancelled due to the heavy rainfall the area received in April and May. Although the showgrounds received rain once again the day prior to the show, the weather was perfect horse show weather on Friday and the dedicated show committee produced another successful White Oak Classic.

The event is sponsored by the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the show benefit four non-profit organizations: Marshall County Habitat For Humanity, Byhalia Sports Association, Byhalia High School Athletics and The Byhalia Chamber of Commerce.

A large crowd of walking horse trainers, exhibitors and spectators attended the White Oak Classic. The entry tally was high with a total of 210 entries answering the gate call. Jamie Hankins traveled from Kentucky to judge the 30 walking and racking classes. Jim McConnico served as master of ceremonies. Charles Ritchie entertained the crowd with is talents on the organ. Ricky Pate handled the duties of ringmaster and Mike Umberger provided farrier services. Sid Abernathy was the official photographer.

Prior to the 6:00 p.m. starting time, The White Oak Classic honored Mr. Dudley Moore. Moore received recognition for his dedication to the White Oak Classic for the past 11 years. In February, 2003 he was inducted into the Mississippi Walking Horse Association’s Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the development of the walking horse Industry.

The evening began with a large group of youngsters participating in the Stick Horse class. The Lead Line class found Goldie and Mary Elizabeth Wright in the winner’s circle.

Botox and Joe Johnson claimed top honors in the Yearling class for Dr. and Mrs. Les McGowan.

In Youth 11 and Under competition, Sunrise Que Sera Sera and Christina Butler turned in a blue ribbon performance for Glen and Virgie Crutchfield. The Youth 12-17 title was awarded to They Call Me Sir and Melanie Barnett for Windsong Farms. The Youth Medallion Class 17 and Under was led by Grandy’s Rhythm Lady and Lee Lunsford for owner Mary Medina. These youth exhibitors ride under the Formac Stables banner.

Dan Waddell received dual blues at Byhalia. The first came in the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Ms. Della Street for Gail McConnell. Waddell returned to capture the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title riding Ritz Lisa Ann for Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Qualls.

Jimmy McConnell was awarded three White Oak titles. In the Four-Year-Old Open class, Major Gee Whiz walked away with the blue for Jim and Bonnie Gerhardt. Pushover’s Infiniti was in the spotlight in the 15.2 and Under class for Bob Medina. McConnell directed Barracuda to the White Oak Tricolor for Mary Medina bringing the Formac blue ribbon tally to eight for the night.

Entries prepared by Whitter Stables claimed six blues at the show. Principle Investment and Shane Vaughn made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Walking Stallion class for Dr. Julie Alford.

On the heels of their recent Ripley title, Love That Dollar and Jackie McConnell were crowned Two-Year-Old Stallion Champions for the Bobby East family. Wilsene Moody made two trips to the winner’s circle claiming the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty title with Blues and the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding title with Ritz Woman for O. & W. Moody , Ltd. Lisa Palmer was thrilled to accept the blue in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class with Spun’s Sho Nuff for Danny and Lisa Palmer. Rebel’s Knight and Johnny Caviness continue to give outstanding performances in Amateur Specialty competition with a blue ribbon ride at Byhalia for Caviness and Stewart.

Five show ring contenders from Ray Gilmer Stables at Falcon Ridge Farm were White Oak champions. Bart Gilmer directed The Lady Falcon to top honors in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Lillian Gaines continued her winning season with two blue ribbon rides at Byhalia. Pride’s Flapjack was crowned Open Amateur champion and Come To Papa took the Ladies Walking Specialty title for Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Gaines. Gold Danger and Beverly Greer earned blue ribbon recognition in the Plantation Pleasure Specialty class for Beverly Greer and Mary Ellen Gilmer. Colorblind and Dr. Luby Jones were in top form to claim the Amateur Walking Mares and Gelding Specialty class following their recent Amateur Specialty win at Ripley for Dr. and Mr. Luby Jones.

Don Crum traveled from Texas to participate in the White Oak Classic and collected the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty title riding J Stanley Star for The Palmer House.

In a competitive field of seventeen, 1-800-Collect and Joe Clift followed their Savannah title with another Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty title for Saundra Pippin.

Fame Seeker and Renee Carlton made the victory pass in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class for Keith and Renee Carlton. Judy Keene took up the reins of Stormy’s Black Rain and won the Amateur Owned and Trained class for the Jim Sullivan family.

A Black Market Pusher and Ronnie Stanfill continue to turn in winning performances in the Four-Year-Old Amateur ranks for Ruby Stanfill. Karla Massey guided Eagle’s Legacy to the blue ribbon circle in the Country Pleasure class for James Nichols. The conclusion of the Spotted Saddle Horse class found the blue ribbon in the possession of Blazing Aces and Pat Cecil.

This concludes the highlights from the White Oak Classic. Complete results follow and may also be found by visiting our web site at