by Linda Scrivner

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -- The Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival was held April 21-23, at Frank Brown Park. Scotty Brooks, Rollie Beard and Rodney Dick judged this year's event. The show was very successful with 389 entries compared to 410 in 2004. Despite the minor decline in entries, there was a huge increase in spectators from 2004.

Many came not only to see the great horses, but to enjoy the seafood, some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and the musical entertainment which was provided before and after each session by The Embers and The Ivey Brothers.

The show ran smoothly and was over at a reasonable time each evening. The judging went quickly and was considered to be excellent by most in attendance. Horses were inspected carefully and diligently by NHSC DQPs but there were no USDA officials checking horses.

Sister and Tommy Milligan always start this show with their traditional party at their home for the owners, trainers and exhibitors to enjoy. They always have wonderful music, buffet, and great comradeship overlooking the lovely bay. The evening ended with a calcutta fund raiser with ample bidding on the two-year-olds showing at Gulf Coast.

This show is fast becoming a great walking horse show tradition that walked in support of Hospice of the Emerald Coast and offered more than $46,000 in prizes and bonuses.

Ben Lee, show chairman, thanked participants with the following statement:

“We thank the industry for the support of our show and we are already looking to next year. Thanks to all who were here and please mark your calendar for next year.”

Sister Milligan, show founder and volunteer for the show, added a statement as well:

“We appreciate everyone coming -- it has been a long six years to get grass, but now we have finally arrived. It was the largest number of spectators that we’ve ever had. Next year we will change the show bill so that there will be more classes to show in. We will be ready for everyone again the last full weekend in April that includes the last Sunday. Plan to spend April 27-29, 2006 with us.”

On Saturday evening, the crowd awaited the main event, the Gulf Coast Horse Show Grand Championship. The five entries were welcomed into the ring individually as the crowd's anticipation grew. The crowd cheered as the following entries were called into the ring: The Golden Sovereign and Larry Edwards for the Dan McSwain family, Santini and Jackie McConnell for the East family, Crackerjack Edge and Knox Blackburn for the Anthony Joseph family, Dragonfly and Jimmy McConnell for Bob and Mary Medina and Live N Learn and Chad Williams for Jack and Marty Mitchell. The crowd stood in excitement from start to finish.

Jimmy McConnell had won the 2003 and 2004 grand championship stake with the 2004 World Grand Champion, The Black Knight Shade. He returned with another black stallion to gain this title once more. Following a second running walk in an outstanding stake class, McConnell proudly directed Dragonfly to the tricolor. Bob and Mary Medina were thrilled as their young stallion claimed this championship in his first year in aged competition. Last fall, as a four-year-old, Dragonfly carried McConnell to grand championships at both the International and the North Carolina Championships. He also claimed 2004 blues at the Gulf Coast with both Jimmy McConnell and Mary Medina aboard. The Golden Sovereign received reserve honors in the class while third was awarded to Santini.

McConnell and Formac Stables led the blue ribbon tally with seven Gulf Coast blues followed by Carl Edwards and Sons Stables winning five blues. Knox Blackburn Stables and Laurie Toone of Circle T Stables each returned home with four blues. Three blues were won by Barnes Training Stables, Jamie Hankins Stables, Buck Williams Stables at Black Hawk Farm and Chad Williams Stables. Derickson Training Facility, Nelms Training Facility, David Landrum Stables and Link Webb Stables picked up two blues each.

Thursday evening

The first class to be welcomed into the ring was the Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallions class. The 2004 World Grand Champion Three-Year-Old Amateur team of William Johnson and JFK’s Monopoly made the way to the winner’s circle for Waterfall Farms under the Mickey McCormick Stables banner with a unanimous tie. Sky Command and Julie Grider walked away with reserve in the class for the Tommy Grider family under the guidance of Knox Blackburn Stables.

In the 11-entry Amateur Mares and Geldings, 15.2 and Under Specialty class, The Prime Suspect and Candra Shular wore the blue from the ring from Chad Williams Stables. Reserve in their class was awarded to Jaclyn Smith and He’s Wired from Buck Williams Stables.

Seventeen two-year-old mares and geldings were next to enter the ring. Flirtin’ At The Ritz and Larry Edwards captured the blue for the Paul Bryan family. Reserve in the class went to the high-headed Santana’s Gold Coin and Jackie McConnell for Mitch Taylor.

World grand champions The Phantom Menace and Thom Meek returned to win the Amateur Stallions, 15.2 and Under Specialty class just as they did in 2004. This win followed their two Jackson, Miss., blues from last weekend. This unanimous winner is owned by Deerwood Farm and hailed from Knox Blackburn Stables. Who’s In Command and Jaclyn Smith, another world championship team, claimed the reserve ribbon.

In the Plantation Lite-Shod Specialty class, Beam’s Best Bette and Laurie Toone received top honors in unanimous fashion. This was the first of two Gulf Coast blues for owner Michelle Hodne. Giner Simpson directed her Nita’s Double Pride to reserve in the class for trainer Bryan Clark.

Current world champion Hey Hey Ole’ is gaining a lengthy resume and she returned to Gulf Coast to add to it a little more. This year, she and Bob Medina won the 14-entry Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class for owners Bob and Mary Medina. At Jackson last weekend, she won blues with both Bob Medina and Jimmy McConnell in the irons. Well-known champions Bruce Vaughn and Rhythmic Jazz took reserve for the Hankins Stables team.

The high-stepping and flashy A Greater Generator walked away with the Park Pleasure Specialty blue unanimously with Jennifer Hankins in the irons for Leo Martin. Reserve in the class went to Flat Busted and Ginger Simpson for Jeanna Patterson and trainer Bryan Clark.

Current world grand champion Secretive entered a new division this season; he and Buck Williams walked their way to the winner’s circle for Guy Ben and Merlene Findley in the Show Pleasure Specialty class. All three judges had this powerful black stallion on top of the cards. Sabatier and Chad Williams took reserve for Tommy Milligan.

Nancy Groover and Gotti made a flawless performance for their blue in the 10-entry Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallions class from Landrum Stables. Card Trick with Mary Medina, a new pair as of this past winter, finished reserve under the Formac Stables banner.

In the Amateur Lite-Shod, Four-Years and Under class, Deion’s Cheerleader and Chuck Ramsey made a unanimous and crowd pleasing victory pass for Carol Aldrich-George. Reserve in this class was I'm Ebony's Dixie Delight, owned by Terry and Donna Armstrong and trained by Debbie Stewart.

In the Mares and Geldings class, world grand champion Barracuda and Jimmy McConnell made an outstanding unanimous ride for Bob and Mary Medina. Barracuda also claimed dual blues at Jackson, Miss., last weekend. Reserve in the class went to Ritz Woman and Jackie McConnell for O & W Moody, Ltd, Co.

I’m Chantilly Lace and Jill Derickson claimed the blue unanimously in the Trainers’ Auxiliary Members Specialty class for Doss Farms. Spring’s Starmaker, owned by Samantha and Corey Green, finished reserve with Joyce Marie Green in the irons.

It was happy trails for Mr. Jessie James and Laurie Toone in the Western Lite-Shod Specialty class as they walked away with the blue ribbon honors for Ann Jameson. A Style File and Jared Carrier came in reserve for the Carrier family. Carrier proudly trains this fine bay mare.

Following her Mississippi State Charity Show win last week, Foolish Dollar and Wilsene Moody claimed the top honors unanimously for O & W Moody, Ltd., Co. under the Whitter Stables banner. Jacquline Elliott rode Kattin Around to reserve for Jack Heffington.

Six Man and Chad Williams walked their way to the winner’s circle in the Two-Year-Old Stallions class for Dr. George Wright. He’s Like Nothing Else and Jackie McConnell finished reserve for O & W Moody, Ltd., Co.

The final class of the evening was the 11-entry Trail Pleasure class. Circle T Stables had the first three winners in this class. Royal Sparkling Gem with Liz Hestle Gassaway in the irons made their way to the winner’s circle for Doug Toone. Princess Speed and Joseph Abernathy claimed the reserve honors while Kathy Potter and her My Scarlett earned the yellow ribbon. Laurie Toone trains all three entries.

Friday evening

Friday evening began by welcoming the industry’s future showmen who made the gate call in the large stick horse class. They all earned blue ribbons.

In the Amateur Mare Specialty class, multi-titled champion Generator’s Flirtin, with Julie Grider up for the Tommy Grider family, claimed the top honors from Bent Grider Stables. Ritzey Zone and Carolyn Joseph took reserve for Anthony and Carolyn Joseph from Knox Blackburn Stables.

Pushing Danger and Robert Nelms unanimously claimed the blue in the Yearling and Weanling Stallions class for Chris and Tami Proctor. During the course of the show, this outstanding young stallion was purchased by Mack Deckle. Reserve in the class was current world champion Aerial Assault with Carrie Benedict leading for Lisa Teel and Mitzi Butler.

Nelms returned in the very next class to claim another unanimous blue. This time he led Papa’s Shady Lady to the blue in the Yearling and Weanling Fillies class for Chris and Tami Proctor. Louisiana Purchase and Kim Moore were reserve for Mark and Kim Moore.

Continuing their winning ways, Hard Mountain Cash and Jane Meredith claimed the blue unanimously in the Amateur Stallions Specialty class under Carl Edwards and Sons Stables banner. Wired and Walking and Jeff Bryant claimed reserve in the class for the Jeff Bryant family under the guidance of trainer Link Webb.

Hey Hey OIe’ claimed her second Gulf Coast Charity blue in the 12-entry Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class with Jimmy McConnell up for Bob and Mary Medina. Reserve in this class was awarded to Santa Monica and Jackie McConnell for Jim and Sheron Richmond.

In the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class, Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier claimed the blue unanimously for the Chip Carrier family. Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo came in as a strong reserve.

In the Amateur Specialty Geldings class, 11 entries made the gate call. They Call Me Sir and Mary Medina made an outstanding show for the blue just as they did in 2004 in this class for Bob and Mary Medina from Formac Stables. This deep-strolling gelding claimed dual blues at Jackson last weekend, also. Kat Man Dude and Polly Ware claimed the reserve honors for Tom and Polly Ware under Falcon Ridge Farm banner.

Cash Gordon and Shane Porterfield made their way to the winner’s circle among several talented entries in the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class. Heart Failure and Kenny Compton finished reserve.

Current world champions Forever Spirit and Sue Maze unanimously claimed the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty class from Barnes Training Stables. My Katie Lady and Jeannae Patterson claimed the reserve honors for trainer Bryan Clark.

Doctor Liz and Herbert Derickson claimed the blue unanimously in the Open Specialty class for the Mickey Adcock family. Look Who’s In Command and Buck Williams came in a strong reserve in the class for Jaclyn Smith.

In the first WHTA Riders' Cup class of the show, the Four-Year-Old Stallions class, the unstoppable team of world grand champion The Image Of Ritz and Larry Edwards claimed the top honors unanimously for the Dan McSwain family. Back To The Ritz and Link Webb, current Jackson champions, picked up reserve for James and Peggy Vernon.

In the 11-entry Amateur Adult Riders on Walking Ponies class, Papa’s Chatter Box and Becky Day received the blue ribbon honors for Jordan Kidd under the Buck Williams Stables banner. Titan Up and Kathy Potter came in as a strong reserve in the class for Tom Potter from Johnny Puckett Stables.

Freeze Frame and Doug Barnes were welcomed to the winner’s circle as champions in the Park Pleasure Three-Years-Old and Under class with the crowd's approval. Reserve went to Keep the Roses and Sophia Borg for Suzannah Borg from Falcom Ridge Farm.

In the WHTA Riders' Cup 15.2 and Under Stallions class Will-E-Walk and Sammy Day snagged another blue following their recent National Trainers’ Show victory for Harry and Trudy York. Thief’s Delightful Man and Larry Edwards claimed the reserve position for the Don Bridges family.

The Amateur Specialty 50 Years and Over class was next to make the gate call. World grand champion Barracuda delivered another powerful performance to win unanimously with Mary Medina in the irons for Bob and Mary Medina. Reserve was awarded to Falcon’s Backdraft and Jill Cox for Charles Cox under Falcon Ridge Farm’s logo.

In the WHTA Riders' Cup 15.2 and Under Mares and Geldings class, Link Webb aboard Swoosh was welcomed to the winner’s circle for the top honors. Reserve in the outstanding class went to Watch For Glory and Herbert Derickson for Erica and Maria Derickson.

Mr. Stockett and Chad Williams claimed top honors in the Three-Year-Old Stallions class unanimously for Jack and Marty Mitchell. Reserve was awarded to Pusher’s Gypsy and Dick Peebles for the Anthony Joseph family. Saturday evening

The final night of competition began with Pushover’s Jazzy Lady and Bruce Vaughn taking the 11-entry Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class by storm. This pair was directed to the win by Jamie Hankins. Reserve was awarded to Flirtin’ At The Ritz and Laney Walthall for the Paul Bryan family under the Edwards Stables banner.

In the Western Park Pleasure Specialty class, 2 Times The Magic and Becky Barnes claimed top honors for Ty Irby in unanimous fashion. The reserve ribbon went to Doug Barnes and Generator’s Power Pusher for Dick and Sally Reiley.

Current world champions Maisie McSwain and The American General displayed their talents to claim the Youth 11 and Under competition unanimously. The Dan McSwain family owns this great horse which was prepared for the show ring by Carl Edwards and Sons Stables. The Raffle and Lane Atwell had a solid reserve performance for Jim Wilkerson. This popular team was trained by grandfather Steve Hankins.

The first championship of the show was won by Beam’s Best Bette and Laurie Toone for Michelle Hodne. This team carried the roses from the ring in the Lite-Shod Championship, earning their second Panama City Beach blue unanimously. Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier carried the reserve streamers out of the ring for the Chip Carrier family. Jared Carrier proudly trains this mount.

Thirteen entries answered the gate call for the Youth 12-17 Years class. Current world champions Prism Sky and MaryBeth Blessing earned another victory unanimously for What A Blessing Farm. They are trained by Knox Blackburn. Reserve in this challenging class went to Megan Mozely aboard Swoosh for Steve Mozely and trainer Link Webb.

The current world championship team of He’s Wild Eyed & Wicked and Mike Walden were selected unanimously in the Amateur class under the guidance of Knox Blackburn. This was a repeat performance from last year. Watch For Glory and Maria Derickson were hot on their heels for reserve for Erica and Maria Derickson.

Current world grand champion Secretive won his second Florida blue in the 13-entry Amateur Show Pleasure class. Robert Findley directed this powerful stallion down victory land for Guy Ben and Merlene Findley. Buck Williams proudly trains this talented horse, who is creating waves in his new division. I’m Armed And Lethal and Lee Wall earned the red streamer for owners Dr. and Mrs. Rosser Wall under the Dogwood Manors banner.

Everyone gathered to the rail as the next class came into the ring. After an incredible performance, Card Trick and Jimmy McConnell stepped out to accept the blue in the Three-Year-Old Stallion EXTRAVAGANZA for Bob and Mary Medina. America On Line and Larry Edwards also made a stunning performance and walked out with reserve for the Paul Bryan family.

The Speed Racking Flat Shod class caused lots of yelling and cheering as the entries sped around the ring. Skips Fancy Pants and Susie Wright were called upon to make the double victory pass that is normal for these classes and the crowd was whooping one more time. The popular team of Glory’s Bullseye and Ira Sandridge finished second.

Jazz All Night and Bob Lawrence have a long list of victories and the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty Championship was added to the list with a unanimous decision. They hail from Barnes Training Stables. Forever Spirit and Sue Maze claimed reserve with another great show. They also are trained by Barnes.

One of the most talked about classes is always the Pro-Am Specialty class. Fourteen entries with 28 riders filled the ring and rode hard during this class. Ritzey Zone, ridden the first way by Carolyn Joseph and the second way by Knox Blackburn earned the blue for Anthony and Carolyn Joseph. Farrah McAlexander and Jimmy McConnell tried to out do each other and finished a popular reserve for Larry and Farrah McAlexander.

World champions and world grand champions were abundant at the Gulf Coast Charity Show. Current world grand champions Silver Design and Barclay Woodard won the 11-entry Youth Ponies title for Ronnie and Jennifer Woodard. Clark Farms prepared this excellent team. Another world grand champion Final Keeper carried Morgan Legate to reserve. Justin Legate prepared them for competition.

It was another current world championship team that won the WHTA Riders' Cup Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings title. Neon Bright and Larry Edwards were welcomed to the winner’s circle much to the crowd's approval for the Dan McSwain family. I Could Command and Knox Blackburn claimed the reserve ribbon for Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Luna.

Contendo and Kathryn Ramsbottom showed their greatness as they claimed another blue in the Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallions class unanimously. This black stallion was raised by owner Bob Ramsbottom while Link Webb trains the team. Ritzy Stock and Kathy Hollin picked up the red streamer.

A new class this year, the Field Trail Tack Attire class held everyone’s attention as 18 entries came into the ring with tails braided up and necessary equipment hanging from the saddles. Everything from field trails was seen here, including tide bottles used as canteens and a tiny fuzzy dog’s head peeking out from a rider’s backpack. Rum and Caitlin Epp were selected to win the blue for Laura Epp. Buster and Squire Lee picked up reserve for Bill Perry. These horses covered the ground with their smooth gaits, showing the versatility of the walking horse.

The Amateur Specialty Championship was next on the agenda and it was full of outstanding competition. Current world grand champions Miracle At The Ritz and Sandra Johnson carried out the roses following a unanimous tie for Waterfall Farms. Landrum Stables directed this duo to victory. Master Of Jazz and Lee Wall were also exceptional and earned the reserve placing in the class for trainer Julio Canizler.

World champion A Greater Generator and Jennifer Hankins claimed their second win of the show and exited with the Park Pleasure Championship roses following a unanimous tie. Senor Generator and Doug Barnes also were excellent and claimed the reserve position for owner Mack Dekle.

This highlights the winners from the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show. Complete results and judge’s cards follow and may be viewed, printed or searched at If you have any events you would like for the Walking Horse Report to try to cover or if your would like to submit a feature, letter to the editor or news please e-mail me at