By Linda Scrivner

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. - The historic town of Lynchburg, nestled in a valley among green rolling hills, is known for its Jack Daniel’s Distillery, the Lennox China Store, the Walking Horse Museum, its famous restaurants on the square and an excellent horse show held in July each year. Marching across the square on July 19, 2003, were a steady stream of cars, trucks and trailers heading for the Thomas Wiseman Park. This is one weekend that everything bustles in this quiet little town. The show is known for its excellent food. The crowd set their lawn chairs in place, several rows deep in places, and headed for the homemade ice cream, hot beans and cornbread as they waited for the show to start.

The 17th annual Moore County Horse Show hosted 231 entries, compared to 275 last year and 220 in 2001. Ty Irby of Mobile, Ala., handled the judging of the many top quality horses shown here, many of whom may go on to become world champions. Photographer Sherry Oxford snapped photos of the many horses as they walked by. Master of ceremonies Bobby Sands and organist Brian Perry entertained the crowd while they viewed the many fine horses performing in Lynchburg.

The crowd waited anxiously as judge Irby selected the 2003 Lynchburg Grand Champion from eight excellent contenders. As Tim Smith and Titanium Touch made the victory pass their fans expressed their approval. Stepping out in elegant style, Titanium Touch is owned by G.L. and Beverly McNeill. Reserve was awarded to Ceaser Ritz and Chad Williams for Spud Warr. Third place went to Pusher’s Veiled Threat and Joe Martin for the Lloyd Smith family.

Top horses from 21 various barns carried home Lynchburg blues in 2003. At the top of the list was Finish Line Farms with four blues for the evening. Dual blues were won by Knox Blackburn Stables, Blue Ribbon Stables, Derickson Training Facility, Tim Gray of Southern Comfort Stables, Mickey McCormick Stables and Bobby Richards of The Colt Center.

The rumor mill was turning about Bill Johnson making his debut on current World Grand Champion Three-Year-Old Stallion Gen’s Black Gin. Those who came to see him were not disappointed. This team performed a flawless show their first time together and the crowd voiced their approval of this awesome black stallion. Johnson made the victory pass in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Stallions class under the direction of Blackburn Stables of Louisa, Ky. This team certainly is a contender for its division at the 2003 Celebration. Many felt this showing was a preview of a new world championship team.

Another class that held the crowd’s attention was the 10-entry Ladies Amateur Specialty Mares and Geldings class. Silence fell upon the crowd as a huge gray mare strolled into the ring sporting a petite blond upon her back. Yes, it was Shout and Brook Baker and they put on quite a show. Everyone remembers this great mare and Rodney Dick who have several world championships and a reserve World Grand Championship to their credit. Shout is the only mare in recent times to achieve this feat. Judge Irby awarded the blue to this exciting team, who is sure to set future records in the amateur division. The crowd voiced their approval loudly once again. Shout is owned by the Keith Baker family and hails from Finish Line Farm.

In addition to Shout and Baker’s win, Finish Line Farms won three more blues. Their first blue came in the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class as Rodney Dick and Our Silver Anniversary debuted to the blue. This Generator’s Silver Dollar filly is owned by Rich and Karen Marriott. They were especially thrilled since she was born on their anniversary, hence her name. A few classes later, Karen Marriott claimed another blue with their horse In Cahoots. Marriott directed In Cahoots down victory lane following the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty Mares and Geldings class. Two Lynchburg blues and one by a loud-colored mare born on their anniversary made a wonderful evening for the Marriotts.

Finish Line Farms’ fourth blue was won by Buddy Dick and Sharp Cutlery. Following their Fourth of July weekend dual blues at Owingsville, Ky., Sharp Cutlery and Buddy Dick were victorious in the Four-Year-Old Stallions class at Lynchburg for Moore Brothers and B.W. McDonald.

Knox Blackburn Stables’ first blue was won by multi-titled world grand champion Coin Maker. Coin Maker and Knox Blackburn exited the ring to thunderous applause as they made the victory pass in the 12-entry Show Pleasure Open Specialty division.

Their second blue was won by Expeditor and Blackburn in a tough class of 13 entries in the Two-Year-Old Stallion class. This stallion is owned by Robert Taylor and is sired by Hysteria. He made a crowd pleasing debut.

Blue Ribbons Stables’ dual blues began with Doug Barnes winning the Park Pleasure Open Specialty title aboard The Beaming Skywatch for Susie Lavender. Their second blue of the evening came with Barnes winning the Two and Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Specialty with Chill. Danielle Reid proudly boasts ownership of this talented, recently purchased young horse.

Total Control and Jordan Kidd are on a blue ribbon roll and added Lynchburg’s Youth Council 11 and Under class to their list for Derickson Training Facility and owner Ron Kidd. Derickson’s second blue of the evening was won by Maria Derickson. The TWHBEA Youth Medallion title was awarded to Derickson aboard Mr. and Mrs. Don Barrett’s head-shaking My Major Heart Ache.

Southern Comfort Training Center’s first blue was won by Blue Diamond and Brent Hardin in the Three-Year-Old Stallion division for Gus King. This was Hardin’s first blue ribbon ride. David Pearson topped the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class with his I’m Silver Too. Tim Gray prepares this team for the show ring.

Mickey McCormick Stables enjoyed dual wins with Dru McCormick riding hard to win the first blue aboard Pusher’s High Voltage. This duo claimed the WHTA Specialty title for owner Beckie Hicks. McCormick’s second blue was won by Joel Johnson in the irons on Olympic Encore. They claimed the Pony Specialty blue for Pat Hackney.

The first blue of the evening was awarded to Bethany Martocci on her newly purchased Pride’s Smart Alex in the 13-entry Country Pleasure class. Bobby Richards trains this outstanding gelding for Rhonda and Bethany Martocci. The Colt Center also won the very next class with Susan Shemwell leading My Major Promise down victory lane in the Weanling Fillies class. Tony Scarbrough proudly owns this lovely little lady.

The WHTA Equitation Medal class was next on the agenda. Ashley Beard rode Living Aires Pride to the blue for Megan Allen. Regan Mercer prepares them for showing.

In the Plantation Lite-Shod class, Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo performed for the blue streamer. In the Weanling Stallions class, Tony Prince and Magic’s Blue Boy were the chosen duo for Prince Farms.

Sara Womack and Star’s Red Twister won the Open Equitation in both 2002 and 2003. Monty Miller accepts the training of this team.

In 2002, Kathy Potter won the weanling title with Cotton’s Power Pusher. In 2003, they returned to win the Yearling Fillies class for owner Dillon Potter. Potter led this talented filly to the blue at the Land-O-Sky Show last weekend in Asheville.

Kevin, Lori and Blake Pickett claim ownership of Commanding At Sunrise, winner of the Yearling Stallion class. Kevin Pickett was the handler.

Stephanie Gordon won the largest class of the show, the 14-entry 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty. Dude Crowder trains the talented stallion for Stephanie Gordon. In 2002, they won the Walking Pony title at Lynchburg.

Dumas and Winky Groover made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings for Hollywood Acres.

I’m Busted and Charles Wharton added another blue to their resume in the 11-entry Amateur Specialty class. Ben Ramirez of Ronnie Spears Stables trains this mount for Poplar Creek Farm.

Another debut blue ribbon performance was made by A New Silver Dollar and Justin Harney in the Two-Year-Old Amateur class. Melissa Breedlove owns this talented youngster.

The Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding blue was awarded to Jill Zamora and Busta Rhymes. Aaron Self of Chad Williams Stables trains Busta Rhymes for the George Zamora family.

Blake Sims and Pusher’s American Patriot claimed the blue in the 15.2 and Under class for the Mike Chiappari family. This class was one of the best of the season.

Dr. Linda Garrard and Ebony’s Smoking Sun won another Open Amateur title for Drs. Linda and Cliff Garrard. Bill Bobo proudly trains the pair.