TAMPA, Flor. - Florida’s first taste of fall weather came just in time for the Florida Walking and Racking Horse Association annual Championship Show held October 18 and 19 at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. The show benefited the Hillsborough Rough Riders handicapped program and hosted 391 entries that were split into three sessions. Laura Brandon handled judging duties while Thurman Walden was at the microphone and Harris Blackwood played the organ.

Center ring was a picture of autumn with fall leaves, plants, pumpkins, and scarecrows, thanks to Mary Connor and crew. The Flag was presented by Sandi Bartolotti on her great mount Paint’s Rocky Top as Denise Carreker sang the National Anthem. The presence of the USDA slowed the gate calls for the first few classes, but things were running smoothly in no time. The first class on Friday evening was the Western Park Pleasure Specialty with the blue going to Tide’s Black Dancer with Gretchen Imerese up for Laurie Wilson. The Two and Three-Year-Old Specialty had Olivia Boyle topping the class aboard her mare, Alen’s Angelina. In the Walking Show Pleasure class, Dr. Pam Hendrickson on Sky Baron captured the blue.

The Country Pleasure Youth class went to Rustin Feaster on Dirty Harry. In the hard fought Western Lite Shod Specialty class, Stock Up On Cash walked to the blue for owner/rider Carol Worsham. Kathleen Heatherman won the Western Plantation Specialty on Henry’s Walking Tall. Trail Pleasure Walking boasted seven entries with Delight’s Roayl Brand topping the class for owner Keegan Meadows. The Spotted Lite Shod class was crowded with good entries. Rider Larry Welter captured the blue on Walking After Midnight for Reggie and Bea Scarbrough.

Burl Dale won Park Pleasure 50 & Over on his nice mare Regal’s Delight Lady. Spotted Trail Pleasure Sepcialty went to Shaker’s Painted Warrior and with Mandy Flowers for Chuck Ramsey. Ultra Finesse and Vicki Ritter claimed the top honors in the Lite Shod Four and Under Amateur Specialty.

The exciting Racking Flat Shod class was won by Deneile McKee on Ebony’s Proud Sun. In the Park Pleasure Specialty, Scott Macgregor got the nod aboard Duke Pride Of Genius for Leland Ritter. Trail Pleasure Four and Under Specialty went to mary Connor and her mount Classy Shining Star.

The Park Pleasure Two and Three-Year-Old blue went to Brent Humphrey on his new mare I’ll Take Manhattan. Favorite Gait was a popular class won by Gallant Venture and Debi Brock. The judge’s choice in the LIte Shod Walking Specialty was An Olympic Dream with owner Burl Dale in the irons. The Trail Pleasure Walking Amateur Canter winner was Roger Packard aboard The Last Crusade. Mr. Bojangle’s Superstar claimed the blue for owner/rider Robert Amat. Roger Packard garnered another blue with Banner’s Northern Sun in the Amateur Owned and Trained Lite Shod Specialty division. Deneile McKee was back in the winner’s circle in the Lite Shod Racking class on Ebony’s Proud Sun.

The Amateur Owned and Trained trail Pleasure Specialty class was a popular spot for some good horses. Darren Gray’s talented horse, Mr. Reach walked to the blue. The Spotted Trail Pleasure class went to Rembrant.com for Johnny and Heather McKeehan. The Lite Shod 50 and Over Amateur Specialty class was won by Carol WOrsham for the second blue of the evening aboard Stock Up On Cash.

Mathew McMurtrey rode Mr. Reach to the blue ribbon honors for Darren Gray in the popular E-Z Rider class. Henry’s Walking Tall snagged another blue for Kathleen Heatherman. The Country Pleasure winner was Pushy Night and Bonnie Canter in the irons for Rick Carl.

Golden Merger claimed the first place ribbon in the Youth Park Pleasure Specialty for owner/rider Olivia Boyle. Hard Rock Farm added another victory with Kathy Anderson riding her good horse Your Wish Is My Command in the Trail Pleasure Walking English Amateur Specialty class.

The Plantation Pleasure English Specialty top honor was won by that handsome stallion, Generator’s Code Blue with Rebecca Reynolds up for Rachel Reynolds. Roger Packard was in the winner’s circle again aboard Banner’s Northern Sun in the Lite Shod Two and Three-Year-Old Walking Specialty. The Park Pleasure Four and Under Special win went to Regal’s Deligh Lady for Burl Dale. In the Lite Shod Open Canter, Kathy Nitabach’s entry, Gen’s Playboy, claimed the top honor. Ebony’s Proud Sun racked to another blue with Hailey McKee in the irons for mom Deneile. Classic Cut Above won the Racking Open class for Alan Underwood.

The Spotted Horse Open Canter was a good class with Heather mcKeenhan claiming the top honor aboard Rembrant.Com. Park Pleasure Open Canter again found Scott MacGregor in the winner’s circle abaord Duke Pride Of Genius for Leland Ritter.

Saturday morning brought beautiful weather for the Model and Versatility classes. Coffee, juice and doughnuts were served to the exhibitors all morning, complimetns of Wilson Stables. Adult Model Stallions, Mares, and Geldings were called for the first class with I’ll Take Manhattan taking the blue for Brent Humphrey, Sheryl Skala-Carl, handler. Youth Model Mares and Geldings went to Sentimental Over You for Laurie Wilson with Olivia Boyle handling.

The Spotted Model blue was claimed by Rooster’s Midnight presented by Candy Barbee for Debra Barbee Schwartz. The Weanling and Yearling class had everyone holding their breath. The final nod went to the adorable weanling filly Skyjacker’s Perfect Touch shown and owned by Mathew McMurtney. Youth Showmanship was won by Olivia Boyle along with Sentimental Over You, owned by Laurie Wilson.

Probably the toughest competition of the morning was in the Lead Line division, with the judge’s final decision of the blue to Taylor Gray, Kianna Ferro and Megan Ellis. Youth Good Seat and Hands is a popular class and the blue went to Stephanie Rachford aboard Gen’s Proud Pride. The Trail Obstacle class went to a consistent winner, Glory’s Dirty Harry, owned and shown by Pam Greene. First place was awarded to Coin’s Skyjacker in the Adult Water Glass class with Tracy Pinson. Glory’s Dirty Harry claimed the Youth Water Glass class with Rustin Feaster. The Western Riding class ended with Mathew McMurtrey the winner aboard Total Eclipse Of The Sky afor Elaine and James McKay.

The Last Crusade snagged another blue for Roger Packard in Basic Reining. Sudan topped the field in Gaited Barrels for owner/rider Stephanie Rachford. The Adult Barrel Race was won by Lacy’s Desert Storm with owner/rider Sharon Tondreau. The Youth Barrel race blue went to Skyjacker’s Sergeant with Rustin Feaster up for Pam Greene.

Stephanie Rachford claimed another blue Saturday morning in the Gaited Poles class aboard Sudan. Coin’s Skyjacker is no stranger to the winner’s circle and he claimed another win in the Adult Pole Bending class with Tracy Pinson. The Youth Pole Bending winner was Mathew McMurtrey on Total Eclipse Of The Sky for Elaine and James McKay.

Mathew McMurtrey claimed the Youth Versatility High Point Honors and Tracy PInson won the Adult Versatility High Point total.

The Saturday evening performance began with Mr. Reach again in the winner’s circle with Mathew McMurtrey for Darren Gray in the Youth Trail Pleasure Specialty Championship. The Western Park Pleasure Specialty Championship was claimed by Beam’s Black Carbon with Dr. Pam Hendrickson up. Dr. Hendrickson turned around and won the next class, Walking Show Pleasure Specialty Championship aboard Sky Baron for Mark Hendrickson.

The Western Lite Shod Specialty Championship win went to Allen All Around for oiwner/rider Leland Ritter. The Youth Plantation Pleasure Specialty class found Mathey McMurtrey taking another blue, this time for owner Laurie Wilson aboard Sundrop’s Sunstroke. Ebony’s Proud Sun claimed the win for owner/ride Deniele McKee in the Lite Shod Racking Championship. Pam Hendrickson won the Western Park Pleasure Canter class aboard Beam’s Black Carbon. Henry’s Walking Tall was back in the winner’s circle in the Western Lite Shod Canter class with Tracy Pinson in the irons for Kathleen Heatherman.

The crowded field of good horses in the Trail Pleasure Amateur Walking Specialty Championship made the judge’s job difficult, but she gave the nod to Kahty Anderson riding Your Wish Is My Command for John and Kathy Anderson. Walking After Midnight claimed the top honors in the Spotted LIte Shod Specialty Championship. Larry Welter rode for Reggie and Bea Scarbrough. The Spotted Trail Pleasrue Specialty Championship was claimed by Shaker’s Painted Warrior with Chuck Ramsey up for Mandy Flowers.

Debi Brock caught the judge’s eye in the Country Pleasure Favorite Gait Championship aboard her mount, Gallant Venture. Gen’s Proud Pride won the Youth Plantation Pleasure Canter division for the Rachford family with Stephanie Rachford in the irons. Deneile McKee got the crowd and the judge’s approval in the Flat Shod Racking Championship aboard Ebony’s Proud Sun. Scott MacGregor rode the winner in the Park Pleasure Specailty Championship, Duke Pride Of Genius for Leland Ritter.

Robert Amat claimed first place aboard Mr. Bojangles Superstar in the Spotted Horse Specialty Championship. An Olympic Dream and Burl Dale found themszelves in the winner’s circle again in the Lite Shod Specialty Championship. Mathew McMurtrey claimed yet another blue in the Youth Spotted Specailty aboard Calvin’s Battle Colors for Kasey Kesslering.

Rebecca Reynolds guided Generator’s Code Blue to the win in the Plantation Pleasure Specialty Championship for Rachel Reynolds. The Spotted Horse Lite Shod Canter blue went to Doc’s Miss Print with Tracy Pinson aboard for Naie and Wayne Vane De Walker. The Trail Pleasure Amateur Walking Canter winner was The Last Crusade ridden and owned by Roger Packard. Allen All Around got the judge’s nod in the Lite Shod Walking to Canter Championship with Scott MacGregor for Leland Ritter.

The Open Racking Championship was won by Classic Cut Above and Alan Underwood, owner/rider. Golden Merger with owner, Olivia Boyle in the irons, claimed the win in the Youth Park Pleasure Specialty Championship. The floral horseshoe went to Duke Pride Of Genius and Scott MacGregor in the Park Pleasure Grand Championship for proud owner, Leland Ritter.

Everyone enjoyed a BBQ Dinner after the last class Saturday night where the converaation centered on what a great show was had. The weather was perfect and the entries were of great quality and quantit. The USDA presnece caused only a small delay, with no violations cited.

The Florida Championship show would like to thank all the volunteers who made the show possible and to the generous sponsors, a special “blue ribbon” salute to corporate sponsors, Springdale Farms and M.L. Wilson Co.