Skip to content

Byhalia Caught A Barracuda

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

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 12 7 20

    Read More
  • Obituary – Rusty Hyneman

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Rusty Hyneman, following a battle with cancer.A full obituary will be posted as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hyneman family during this difficult time.  Read More
  • WHTA Board of Directors and General Membership Meeting

    The Walking Horse Trainers' Association Board of Directors and General Membership meeting will be held December 11, 2020 at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club on the Celebration Grounds... Read More
  • WHAA to host annual awards banquet

    The WHAA Annual Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, January 30, at 5:00 pm at Stone Bridge Farms in the Browne Stone Centre, 281 County Road 717, Cullman, AL 35055. Read More
  • Happy Holidays!

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I am definitely ready for this year to end! What started as so normal couldn’t have ended any differently. I would venture to guess that for most of us this is the craziest time we have experienced in our lives... Read More
  • TWHBEA postpones election until February 6th

    The executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) met yesterday and made the decision to postpone the elections for the new executive committee until February 6, 2021... Read More
  • Kentucky After Christmas Sale postpones until 2022

    Due to circumstances and restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kentucky After Christmas Sale will cancel its 2021 sale and look forward to continuing its tradition in 2022. The sale will be on the weekend of Saturday February 5, 2022 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Read More
  • USDA declines use of new pad material

    Earlier this show season the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) petitioned the USDA to allow use of a new pad material.  The new material was a “compressed rubber” material and as such was thought to be allowed under current regulations. Read More
  • 2020 Readers' Choice Ballot

    You don't have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in The 39th Annual Walking Horse Report Readers' Choice conducted by The Walking Horse Report... Read More
  • Celebration forms committee to help with class sheet

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) hosted the first meeting of its newly formed class sheet committee on November 23, 2020. The committee consists of Nathan Clark, Justin Jenne, Jennifer Bingham, Laurie Toone, Howard Hamilton and Amy Trimble. Read More