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Double Java and Mac Benham receive only unanimous victory of the day and Alex Bumpus rides home with



Double Java and Mac Benham receive only unanimous victory of the day and Alex Bumpus rides home with the floral horseshoe in Equitation Championship

By Melissa R. Stevens

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - A light crowd gathered for the last session of morning classes at the 65th annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration expecting to see some fine competition and they were not disappointed. The competition was so tough that only one unanimous tie was awarded.

The first class of the day was the Lite-Shod Four-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse Canter class. Nine entries answered the gate call. Jamie Hankins was the call judge. Double Java and Mac Benham received the only unanimous tie of the last day of morning classes and were called to collect the blue ribbon for Mark and Marcy Drummond of Norco, Calif. This team also won the blue in the Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Walking Mares and Geldings Canter class for riders 17 and under and the Four Years and Under Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse Canter class for amateur riders earlier in the week. New Mellinium Generator and Craig Swaggerty were reserve for Nancy Lovato of West Jordan, Utah. New Mellinium Generator was first in the Lite-Shod Novice Plantation Pleasure Walking Mares and Geldings class for amateur novice youth riders ages 17 and under with Meredith Lovato in the irons on Friday morning. The third place tie went to Jose Quervo Gold and Doug Barnes for Lawrence & Hutto of Thomasville, Ga. This team was reserve in the Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse class for riders 18 and over on Friday night.

Next up was the Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Walking Horse class for amateur riders. A large class of 22 entries filled the ring in anticipation of leaving with the blue. Paul Watlington was the call judge. Bob Lawrence and Hermano Gold took the blue ribbon honors in this class for Lawrence & Hutto of Thomasville, Ga. Reserve went to Sunfire Phoenix and Harriett Van Dyke for Mike and Harriett Van Dyke of Providence Forge, Va. Owner/Exhibitor Paul Bryant and Mr. Rody finished with third place.

Six entries made their way to the ring for the Equitation Canter class for riders 18 and over. Laura Brandon was the call judge. Sara Womack of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was the blue ribbon winner in the class. Alice Eve Klein of Lewisburg was reserve followed by Megan Allen of Bell Buckle, Tenn.

The Novice Park Pleasure Walking Mares and Geldings class for amateur novice youth riders ages 17 and under was called by Mike Carpenter. Thirteen talented entries competed in this class. Skyline, ridden by Christen Altman, was called to make the blue ribbon ride for Jack and Betty Morgan Asheville, N.C. Reserve in the class was Rodney Dangerfield and Landon Head for Bert, Cheryl and Landon Head of Jigger, La. Golden Merger and Olivia Boyle were third for the John Boyle family of Melbourne, Fla.

A large class of 30 entries made their way to the ring to compete for the blue in the Novice Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse class for amateur novice riders. Gene Carswell was the call judge for the class. Seven entries were parked in after the line up with six more being added after a few more trips around the ring. A time out was called during the work out so that Black Rain Drops could have a shoe repaired, but the show was unable to be fixed so the entry asked to be excused. Fiddlin At Sunrise and Bob Hawkins received the first place honors for Kevin Smith of Yorktown, Ind. All Night and Billy Strickland were reserve for Clark Farms of Arab, Ala., followed by Image Of 24KT and Nancy Lovato for Enchanted Gait Stables of Saratoga Springs, Utah.

The adorable little weanling colts from the foal of 2003 were next to enter the ring. There were 16 entries in this class and Jamie Hankins was the call judge. So U Wish and Bobby Richards were called to make the victory pass for Sue and Ty Irby of Mobile, Ala. So U Wish placed third in the TWHBEA Youth Weanling class for handlers 17 and under with Bradley Richards earlier in the week. World Wide Willie and Robert Nelms were reserve for Jake and Luke Washburn of Fayetteville, Tenn. World Wide Willie was first in the TWHBEA Youth Weanling class for handlers 17 and under with Jake Washburn earlier in the week. Third place in the class went to A Poisonous Affair and owner/handler Rhonda Martocci of Franklin, Tenn. A Poisonous Affair was reserve with Bethany Martocci in the TWHBEA Youth Weanling class for handlers 17 and under earlier in the week.

Thirty entries made their way through the gate for Section A of the Novice Amateur English Trail Pleasure class for riders on novice walking horses. Paul Watlington was the call judge. An additional work out was called for 14 of the entries. The Lady Of The Ritz and Debbie Bullard couldn't be missed; Bullard was sporting a bright orange coat. This team took the blue home to owner Deborah Williams of Argyle, Texas. Reserve went to Nite Wind's Bum and owner/exhibitor Sarena Westenhaver of Arlington, Wash. Major Alibi and owner/rider Deloris Gibbany of Harrison, Ala., finished in third.

Section B of the class brought 27 entries to the ring to compete for the blue. Laura Brandon was the call judge. Doc's Taking Charge and Sherry Bilbo were called to the winner's circle for Bob and Sherry Bilbo of Seymour, Tenn. Gem Sweep and owner/exhibitor Pamela Schoenster of Oakland, Tenn., were reserve. The third place tie went to Mr. Reach and Darren Gray for Darren and Rachel Gray of Clermont, Fla.

Eleven of 16 entries listed in the program for the Amateur Owned and Trained Walking Horse Canter class for entries with no professional training within the last 90 days answered the gate call. Mike Carpenter was selected as the call judge. I'm Johnny Be Good and owner/exhibitor Sam Sorrell of Lexington, Ky., were announced as the winners of this class. Gen's Triple Pride and owner/exhibitor Kenny Compton of North Tazewell, Va., were reserve. Third place went to Jo Jo Man ridden by Jerome Cole for owner Thomas Holton of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Only nine of the 19 entries listed on the program chose to show in the Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Walking Horse Canter class for amateur riders. Gene Carswell was the call judge. The first place tie was awarded to Armed Lady From Dixie and Wayne Westbrook for Robert Westbrook of Flower Mound, Texas. Reserve in the class went to Starstruck By JFK and Clint Dixon for Randall and Gloria Dixon and Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga. Trashadeous and Barbara Civils were third for Jimmy Civils of Frisco, Texas.

Four entries answered the gate call for the Auxiliary Equitation Youth Medal Championship; that was one more than was listed in the program. Jamie Hankins was the call judge. The line up was called and two entries, Alex Bumpus of Rockvale, Tenn., and Erica Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn., were asked to perform individual workouts so the judges could make their final decision. These workouts included dropping their stirrups, cantering and stopping to address the judges. When the workouts were completed the class was tied and Alex Bumpus of Rockvale, Tenn., was called to the winner's circle to accept the blue ribbon and the floral horseshoe. Erica Derickson of Wartrace, Tenn., was very strong reserve followed by Margaret Trudrung of Shelbyville, Tenn., in third.

The final class of the day was the Weanling Fillies of 2003 Foal class. Paul Watlington was the call judge. Blue's Lady Pusher and Valton Rummage took the blue for Ronnie Rummage of Columbia, Tenn. Major General's Delta Dash and Craig Swaggerty were reserve for Nancy Lovato of West Jordan, Utah. The yellow streamer went to Muchacha Grande and Bobby Richards for Lindy Holt of Bell Buckle, Tenn.

The final day of morning sessions was an exciting one with tough competition and individual workouts in the Equitation Championship. With more championship classes on the way, tonight's session is sure to be a good one.

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