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Don Diego Captures Land-O-Sky

by Stephanie Rose

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Land-O-Sky Summer Festival was held on July 10-12, 2008, at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center Horse Show Arena. The show was sponsored by the Land-O-Sky Shriners’ Club and was sanctioned by the Kentucky Walking Horse Association HIO. The Shriners do an excellent job with running the show. Show managers were Bruce and Joe Whitt. This show had both walking and racking classes. The walking judges were Jennifer Davis of Shelbyville, Tenn., Brandye Mills of Richmond, Ky., and Mack Dekle of Shelbyville, Tenn. USDA VMOs were present each night and the show went on smoothly with competitive entries. The best thing about the show had to be the crowd. The spectators are wonderful about getting behind their favorite horse.

The finale of the three days was the Walking Horse Grand Championship. After winning the Liberty Lions Club Riders’ Cup Grand Championship, Don Diego and Joe Cotten added another stake class victory to their resume. Owners Keith and Lorraine Rosbury came all the way from Aubrey, Texas to watch their talented stallion perform. A crowd favorite was Pusher’s Power House and Derek Bonner. They were reserve in the good class for Dr. Irving Williams of Shelby, N.C. MOAB and Steve Hankins wore the yellow streamer for Della Compton of North Tazewell, Va. Cold Hard Truth and Steve Woody rounded out the top four for Charles McSpadden of Dandridge, Tenn.

Many trainers and owners came from several different states to watch and compete for top honors. Johnny Puckett Stables of Shelbyville, Tenn., came home with nine blues. Baucom Stables of Monroe, N.C., also had nine trips to the winners’ circle. David Landrum Stables of Franklin, Tenn., had eight wins. Walkaway Farms of Reidsville, N.C., had five titles. Ailshie Stables of Greeneville, Tenn., had four walking blue ribbons and several racking. Bonner Stables, Steve Woody, Mike Kluttz and the Helms each had three victory passes.

In the amateur divisions, Clay Mills rode away with five blue ribbons and one floral horseshow. He won more than any other rider at the show. Kenny Compton picked up three wins. Dalia Smith, Melissa Davidson, CB Daughtridge, Buffy Ailshie, Hailey Puckett and Lindsay Hess each had dual blues.

Complete results can be viewed by clicking here.

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