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The East Tennessee Banquet Was Just Fantazmic!

By K.C. Hensley

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The Annual East Tennessee Walking Horse Association (ETWHA) Awards Banquet was a great success. For the second consecutive year the festivities were held at the beautiful Meadow View Resort.

The evening began by ETWHA president Scott Helton welcoming and preparing everyone for a wonderful night. Then the group proceeded to enjoy a meal of excellent roast beef , grilled chicken, mixed vegetables and rice, followed by many choices for dessert.

Paul Livingston showed seven reasons why he deserved the name of East Tennessee Trainer Of The Year. Busting Out With Cash was the first Livingston Stables entry to receive an award. The Jack and Betty Morgan owned champion captured the Two-Year-Old Open Horse Of The Year title. The Morgans would later go one to receive another award; this time with The Star Of Sundance in the Amateur Specialty category. Front Page Generator swept the competition in the Open 15.2 and Under division.

Lindsey Henry of Paul Livingston Stables was definitely a bright star in the youth division. Henry took home both the Youth 17 and Under and the 12-17 Horse Of The Year awards with the same entry, Extra's Diplomat. The final highlight for Livingston's champions would be watching as Paul and Julia Livingston along with owners Charles and Marsha McSpadden took the stage to receive the honor for Cold Hard Truth as the Walking Horse Stake Horse Of The Year.

The stakes ran high for the tally of overall high point awards. Wheelon Stables and Paul Livingston Stables tied this year with seven awards apiece.

Wheelon Stables' Fantazmic Cash took home three awards alone that included the East Tennessee Ladies Auxiliary High Point Horse Of The Year, Total Points Horse Of The Year and Performance Horse Of The Year. The Farrell Hughes family owns the talented entry and Hughes' daughter, Vicki Hughes-Grindstaff showed Fantazmic during the 2004 season.

Wheelon Stables received the Three-Year-Old Stallion Horse Of The Year award for Sweeping Up The Cash. Linda Wheelon, Henry Brock and Ashley Duncan own the champion. Too Hot To Be Busted and The Final Score were two other high point winners under the Wheelon Stables banner for the Farrell Hughes family. Too Hot To Be Busted captured the Three-Year-Old Amateur Horse Of The Year award while The Final Score took the title of Ladies Amateur Horse Of The Year. Pusher's Loose Cash finished up the high point awards for the Wheelon Stables crew. The champion, owned by Bobby Silvers, was named the 17 and Under Walking Pony Horse Of Year. Brandon Derrick campaigned Pusher's Loose Cash throughout the 2004 season.

Woody Stables was next in line to round off the top three barns with six awards. Zach Bunch received the award for Naturally as the Men's Amateur Horse Of The Year. Extra Sharp took home the Open Specialty Horse Of The Year title for the Brad Spivey family. Sensational Premier took the Amateur 15.2 and Under division by storm. Barcelona received not only one, but two horse of the year awards. Barcelona's first award came in the East Tennessee Members Only division and his second award was in the Amateur 50 and Over. The ending to a stellar season came with Brandon Derrick receiving the prestigious honor of the Youth 12-17 Rider Of The Year.

A proud Terry Givens of Bellwood Stables was excited about the five awards that his stables brought home. Twist The Night Away was the first winning entry in the Three-Year-Old Open category for Mike and Janice King. The Kings would be honored to also receive the Open Show Pleasure Horse Of The Year award for A Golden Merger. Dr. Mike and Anne Piet were the next owners to take the stage to receive the award for Master Pusher as the Four-Year-Old Horse Of The Year. Terry Givens is not only the managing trainer at Bellwood Stables, but the father of exceptional juvenile exhibitor, Brandon Givens. Young Brandon not only accepted the Youth 11 and Under Horse Of The Year award for Doc's High Noon, but also the honor of being the Youth 11 and Under Rider Of The Year.

Tim Wheelon Stables took home dual Horse Of The Year awards. The first award was for Mud's Tequila Sunrise in the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding for Carl and Lea Potter. The second was award for world champion Skyline in the Open Plantation division. Tim Wheelon accepted the award for the Nat Campbell family.

Baucom Stables were proud of their two Horse Of The Year champions. It's Only A Game captured the Two-Year-Old Stallion Horse Of The Year title and Sky Command received the Plantation Pleasure Horse Of The Year award .

Chris Pickel of Thunder Valley Farm also received two Horse Of The Year titles. Cash's Velvet Lady was the first champion in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding category. Chris Pickel accepted the award for owner Earnest Peoples. Clarence Carter took the Four-Year-Old Amateur Horse Of The Year Award for the Tom Garren family.

Jerry Highsmith was the final trainer to receive dual high point awards for the year. Gen's Rich And Famous received the horse of the year award in the Open Plantation Lite-Shod division for Curtis and Virginia Allison. Morgan Hodge took home the title of Plantation Youth Specialty Horse Of The Year award for I'm Amos Moses.

What A Blessing Farms had several ribbon winners in the Weanling and Yearling divisions, but it was Top Power that brought home the gold in the Weanling Horse Of The Year category.

Although Vicki Hughes-Grindstaff shows many talented horses from Wheelon Stables she still enjoys exhibiting the youth of our industry. Grindstaff's own Gen's Dark Desire was named the Yearling Horse Of The Year for all her efforts.

Two Coxs Farms' own, Stephen Hankins was proud of Two-Year-Old Amateur Horse Of The Year winner Spirit's Casanova. Richard and Dottie Boone own the champion.

Dana Kyte's champion Private Terms was named Amateur Owned and Trained Horse Of The Year. The Doug Rouse family were pleased with Gen's Old Gold's Amateur Walking Horse Of The Year title.

Tracy Fuller's own Coppertop's Miss Rachel reached to the top of the difficult Trail Pleasure category. While Doug and Jean Brown's Sky Babe had captured the Amateur Lite-Shod Horse Of The Year title.

After the horse of the year awards were finished, Scott Helton then began with the individual high point winners. The Juvenile 11 and Under award was received by Brandon Givens while Brandon Derrick was awarded the Juvenile 12-17 award.Vicki Hughes-Grindastaff was named Amateur Of The Year.

Larry and Ruth Ann Tudor were proud of their champion, I'm Just Jesse. After having a stellar season all year long the Tudors hard work paid off. I'm Just Jesse took home the title of Pleasure Horse Of The Year.

The Overall Performance Horse Of The Year award went to Fantazmic Cash. The Farrell Hughes family own the champion. This was definitely a well deserved award after already receiving three high point awards.

For all his efforts all season long, Rusty Rouse accepted the Distinguished Service award.

The Best One Night Horse Show Of The Year award went to the East Tennessee Walking Horse Trainers' Association Show. This was the first year for this show; it will no doubt plan to keep up its success for 2005.

The Best Multi Night Horse Show Of The Year award went to the URHOEA World Celebration. This special show is not only a charitable event, but open to more than just the walking horse industry.

One of the most touching moments of the evening was when president Scott Helton began to prepare to announce the Trainer Of The Year award. As he cleared his throat a teary eyed Helton called out Paul Livingston. Livingston gave a small speech on how grateful he was and how all his success would not be possible without the help of his wife Julia, his excellent help and wonderful customers.

Complete results follow and may be viewed at To send in any news throughout the walking horse industry or to submit ideas for features email K.C. Hensley at

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