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First Annual Midnight Sun Charity Horse Show and Festival



The Dixie Plantation near Greenville, Fla., was the setting for trail rides, mansion tours, and a gala banquet preceding the Midnight Sun Charity Horse Show held on October 9. The trail rides were held on the 9,000 acre plantation on trails that are maintained and used for the Continental Field Trials. On Friday night, cocktail hour was followed by a lavish banquet that included bobwhite quail and true southern plantation cuisine. During the banquet, guests were entertained by The Sounds Of Dixie and a fashion show. Following the banquet, dance music was provided in the mansion ballroom by The John Patterson Orchestra.

Mansion tours were concluded on October 6-9. The Dixie Plantation Mansion was built during 1938 - 1940. The Greek revival mansion was designed by John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial. It has 14,200 square feet of living area that does not include servants and service areas. The beautiful home has seven large bedrooms each with a fireplace and bathroom, a living room, formal dining room, trophy room, gun room decorated with dog and bird carvings, tea room, library, sun rooms, and several porches.

In 1972, Geraldine Livingston commissioned the bronze statue of Midnight Sun, the renowned breeding stallion, who was owned by her and her mother. This beautiful statue that now stands in front of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association in Lewisburg, Tenn.

The Dixie Plantation Mansion was the backdrop for the first annual Midnight Sun Charity Horse Show. Reeves Lane presented the flag of the United States of America and Carol Brown presented the Georgia flag. Organ music as provided by Dale Stone; Sherry Oxford captured the moments with her camera; Mike Carpenter marked the cards for the Walking Horses and Jerry Thacker judged the Racking Horses. Veteran horse show announcer, Bobby Sands, called the 39 classes to the gate. Tommy Hall did an outstanding job as paddock master and Mark Taylor was ringmaster.

A highlight of the evening performance was the exhibition of multi world champion Coin Maker. Suzanne Littell make a flawless ride before an excited and appreciative crowd of spectators.

The evening was culminated by the walking horse championship as World Champion Cash’s All Star and Larry Edwards carried the tricolored ribbon and trophy home for Herb Murrath. The Stacey Blackburn owned Pushover’s Infiniti and Knox Blackburn were and exciting reserve champion and Ron Green was third on He’s ET’s Secret for Ronald and Barbara Newton.

Show manager Betty Horton and the Brooks County Museum and Cultural Center in Quitman, Ga., are to be commended for their hard work and diligence. They put on a superb festival and horse show.

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