by Linda Scrivner

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. – The Neshoba County Classic Show, held Saturday, June 7, 2008, proved that the industry is strong in 2008 with increased number of entries over last year’s show. Everyone enjoyed the air-conditioned state of the art Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia, Miss., since the temperatures were in the upper 90s. Jennifer Bingham-Davis from Shelbyville, Tenn., returned to judge the 31-class event, just as she did the previous year.

The event featured seven WHTA Riders’ Cup classes. Joel Weaver traveled from Shelbyville, Tenn., to try to regain his lead in the Riders’ Cup   points, which he had lost last week to Justin Harris. Harris led the standings the first week of 2008, on April 9, and Weaver had led for seven straight weeks until last week when Harris edged Weaver out by 200 points. Weaver won four of the Rider’s Cup classes at the Neshoba County Classic while the victory in the other three went to Link Webb, also of Shelbyville, Tenn. The Riders’ Cup classes continue to be very competitive with large numbers regardless of what part of the country they are in.

Anticipation all evening centered around the stake class to see who the contestants would be. The crowd was pleased with the hotly contested final class of the evening, the Ferguson Farms WHTA Riders’ Cup Championship. Reserve World Champion Holyfield and Link Webb made their best show to date to make the victory pass in Mississippi for owners Bob and Judy Hill. This talented stallion has 10 career wins and recently was reserve in the Riders’ Cup Championship Stake at the Children’s Miracle Network in Cleveland, Tenn.

Joel Weaver and World Grand Champion Generator’s Champion, last year’s Neshoba County Classic Grand Champion, were reserve in the class for owners Brett and Lisa Jones. In third were Moseisur Ritz and Chris Zahnd for James and Peggy Vernon.

Rising Star Ranch and Joel Weaver had a great show posting eight wins in both professional and amateur ranks. Winning rides by Weaver were aboard The Coach, Major Frivolous, A Formula One and Hickory’s Sinatra. Amateur blue ribbons were won by Lilly Waites aboard The Dance Hall Doctor and The Hotline, Margaret Thomas aboard Irish Mardi Gras and Robert Thomas aboard Look Of Masquerading. These eight at the Neshoba County Classic brought a three-week total of 19 wins for Joel Weaver’s crew at Rising Star Ranch, including their Fun Show and Columbia Jubilee blues.

Pioneer Stables took home a total of five blues from Philadelphia. Link Webb Stables and Chris Zahnd of Swingin’ Gate Stables also collected three blue ribbons there. Bert and Landon Head and David Lightsey collected dual blues each. The remaining blues went to Sam Brown III, Jean Brannon, Jerry Woodlee Stables, Amanda Walker and Mike Etheredge.

Complete results can be viewed by clicking here.