MCCOMB, Miss. - The McComb Lions Club held its Heart O’ Dixie Walking and Racking Championship Horse Show on October 5th, 2002. This is a double points show for the Mississippi Walking Horse Association. In just a two-week span, McComb received approximately twenty inches of rainfall. Only miles from the Louisiana state line, McComb lay in the path of both hurricanes, Isador and Lily. Lily passed through just two days before the show, leaving many to wonder if the outdoor arena conditions would be favorable. Amazingly, the grounds dried out and the grass track was perfect. Well, almost perfect, until class 19. Along with the thunder and lightning, rain began to fall in sheets. Was this Lily’s revenge? Class 19 was completed in the pouring rain, and the show was then delayed for 15-20 minutes. Strangely enough during the rain, a white crane flew in, entered the ring on the reverse and proceeded to walk around. After a few minutes, it flew around the arena and perched in a nearby tree for the remainder of the show. Maybe this was a good omen, for the rain ceased.

Phillip Wilson of Wartrace, Tennessee judged the 33 classes. Perry Thomas of Tupelo, Mississippi served as announcer while Mark Vest of McComb kept things rolling right along as ringmaster. Charles Ritchie of Memphis, Tennessee provided music on the organ. Center ring boasted a patriotic theme with the proud red, white, and blue string of lights accented by fall flowers and plants. Our flag and colors was presented by Redd’s Blue Pusher and Jonathan Watts.

In the Leadline Class, Mikey and Sara Bailey Jones rode to the blue ribbon for proud grandparents, Frank and Sissy Bailey of Kosciusko, Mississippi. A Walk With Faith and Marilyn Scott were chosen to wear the blue in the Colts Under Halter Class. Reserve honors went to Torch and Gerald Poole. In the Youth Walking, 11 and Under, I’m A Jubilee and Chance Stephens walked their way to the first award. Command Me and Mandy Heard commanded the judge’s tie for the blue ribbon award in the amateur Show Pleasure Walking Specialty division with The Dark Renegade and Brett Jones riding to the reserve. Little Bitty Love Bug and Latoyia Stephens strolled to the winner’s circle in the Youth 12-17 Specialty, while ET’s Nice Coin and Jake Grunoer were reserve. In the Amateur Plantation Pleasure Specialty division, Freedom Of Arms and Landon Head claimed top honors and Rodney Dangerfield and Bert Head were chosen for the red ribbon.

Dangerous Charisma and Josh Watts were victorious in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Class with Armed In Rio and Debbie Williams riding for the second award. The largest class of the night, the amateur Gaited pleasure with eight entries, found Little Man’s All Man and Herb Hancock, “all blue”. Lowell’s Golden Trigger and Rebecca Rogers received the reserve award. Dumas’ Dandy Dan and Dale Watts earned blue ribbon recognition in the Three-Year-Old Open and Ultra Push with James Sills in the irons rode to the red ribbon award. Watch Me Cash and Brett Jones were awarded the blue ribbon in the Amateur Specialty, while Generated Power and Jenny Jones claimed the reserve award. Precious Hallelujah proved she was precious by winning the blue ribbon award with Anna Biggers in the Youth Plantation Pleasure Specialty, 17 and Under and again with Anna in the Amateur Lite Shod Plantation Pleasure Specialty. Reserve in each class went to Premium Unleaded and Jason Harris and E.T.s Ricochet and Deb Emser, respectively. The Star Gazer and Percy Lewis looked to the blue ribbon award in the Four-Year-Old Open Class.

Copy Of Rain and Roy Robinson walked away with the blue in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Specialty Class, and Main Main’s Black Beauty and Sam Brown rode to the reserve. In the Open Specialty division, Star’s Lindy Gen and Dale Watts topped the competition for the blue award. I’m Hammerin’ Hank and Pam Russell hammered away at the competition to continue their blue ribbon winner streak in the Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty Class. Little Bitty Love Bug and Raymond Stephens were awarded the red ribbon. In the Amateur Ladies Walking Specialty division, Mark’s Motion Man and Danna Shirley carried home the blue, while I’m A Pushover’s Threat and Christie Miller were reserve. Pearl Harbor and Debbie Williams rode to the blue in the Amateur Three-Year-Old Class with Bad Bay Boy and Charles Wells taking the reserve award. In the Open Plantation Pleasure Walking Specialty Class, Deb Emser directed E.T.’s Richochet to the blue and Sammy’s Lucky Lady and Joel Williams were reserve. Stroll Through The Ritz and Dale Watts took a stroll to the blue in the Two-Year-Old Open division while This Lady Sings The Blues and Joel Williams were reserve. In the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty Class, Ebony’s Coin Dream and Marilyn Scott cashed in on the blue award and I’m A Jubilee with Lowell Stephens received the red ribbon.

In the final class of the evening, three entries made the gate call for the Walking Horse Stake. Despite the muddy slush, Delight’s Gold Bum with James Sills in the irons, made a flawless performance to wear the floral horseshoe. Delight’s Gold Bum is prepared and trained by Tim Holley and son Stables of Byhalia, Mississippi and is owned by the Tony Reid family of Brentwood, Tennessee.