Orlando Reigned Supreme By Linda Scrivner

HARRODSBURG, Ky. - The 40th Annual Kentucky Celebration will be remembered as the once in which Hurricane Ivan dumped rains upon Harrodsburg, Ky. The rains hit Thursday evening, however, the Kentucky Celebration went on just as it had for the last 39 years. Trainers, exhibitors and grooms were all drenched but spirits were not dampened for at least the weather was warm. Spectators enjoyed the show from underneath the covered grandstands at the historic Mercer County Fairgrounds.

Friday evening the rains and wind were gone but the temperatures dropped and Saturday the sun shined favorably on the Saturday afternoon session and Saturday evening there was a show like many had never seen. Spectators enjoyed 268 entries Saturday. The total entries for the show were 881 compared to 870 in 2003. Both years were down from the previous two years. Four classes were large enough to split, compared to one split last year and 24 splits in 2002.

The crowd is always vocal in Daniel Boone’s old hunting territory amidst the rolling hills of Kentucky. The Kentucky Celebration is always great and thrilling and the audience always cheers loudly for their favorites.

Larry Wheelon of Maryville, Tenn., Charlie Brown of Princeton, Ky., and L.M. Murphy of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., judged the four-night show, which featured 88 classes. Over $30,000 in prize money drew exhibitors and spectators from a wide area. The Kentucky Celebration has been held at the Mercer County Fairgrounds for the last 14 years. The proceeds from the show have benefited the Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped (CKRH) program for the past 14 years also.

CKRH has proven highly successful in helping people with a wide range of disabilities to develop self-esteem, confidence, coordination and a sense of achievement while learning horsemanship, tack and riding principles. This program was established in 1981 to provide horseback riding for therapeutic purposes and social and recreational activities. A demonstration began the Saturday evening performance by participants in the program.

Show manager Gene Beckner of London, Ky., was pleased with the outcome of the show despite the problems this year. He welcomed everyone to the “largest walking show in the Commonwealth and among the most prestigious in the nation.

Also on Saturday night there is an ongoing tradition. The 2004 Kentucky Celebration Queen was crowned. The contestants were driven into the ring in a doctor’s buggy pulled by a walking horse at the start of Saturday night’s performance. Jessica Smoot, daughter of Pat and Farrell Smoot, was selected by the membership to be the 2004 Miss Kentucky Celebration. Kathy Jo Smith, Miss Kentucky Celebration 2003, presented the crown. Jessica was escorted by Danny French. Mike Oney presented the queen with roses, compliments of Sweet Revenge Stables. Cassier Napier, escorted by father Tim Napier, was the runner-up.

The nine stake class entries entered the ring one at a time with much cheering for their favorites. The roar of the crowd was heard throughout the class and ended with loud approval of Mike Oney as he made the victory pass wearing the roses. This was one of the best and most exciting classes of the show and concluded after a second running walk was called.

Mike Oney directed Johnny Orlando to this year’s championship with many spectators cheering him on. Johnny Orlando is owned by Sweet Revenge Stables of Mt. Sterling, Ky. Reserve was awarded to Ben Dover and Danny Hughes for owners Hendrick and Rector of Smith’s Grove, Ky. The third position was awarded to another fine representative of our breed, Freedom Fighter. Charlie Green was in the irons for Dennis Shoffner of Russiaville, Ind.

Two world grand championship classes were held on Saturday night. Building a new tradition, the 5th World Grand Champion Country Pleasure Horse was the team of Taking Care Of Cash and Greta Potter of Winchester, Ky., winning amidst the world’s finest. Potter owns and trains this fine black horse. Thirteen entries vied for this honor with reserve going to Chance For Sun and Dana McGrew of Eastview, Ky. Third was awarded to A Sundrops Covergirl and Carol Baker for Carl Duncan and Carol Baker of Union, Ky.

In its second year, the Performance Pleasure Specialty World Championship created quite a stir. Twenty-three top entries answered the gate call and the crowd went wild as they selected their favorite and displayed their feelings with vocal applause. The honor was bestowed upon He Walks On Water, directed by Joey Tackett for Tracie Shaw of Portsmouth, Ohio. Jerry Goodman directed Color Of Cash to the reserve position for Linda Goodman of Science Hill, Ky. Third was awarded to Texas Millionaire with Justin Taylor in the irons for Barry and Karen White of Bowling Green, Ky.

The four nights of showing brought out many top stables from many states. The blue ribbon tally was led by J & H Stables of Russell Springs, Ky., with 9 blues. Eight blues were awarded to Charlie Green of Victory Stables in Shelbyville, Tenn., and seven blues were awarded to Doug Barnes of Barnes Training Stables of Wartrace, Tenn.

Three blues were won by Scott Beaty Stables, Scotty Brooks Stables, Dale Burns, Buford Martin and Brandye Mills Stables. Spencer Benedict Stables, Dick Gray of D & J Stables, Mike Janeway, Tommy Loid Stables, Kevin Luttrell Stables, Kay Sizemore and Mike Oney of Sweet Revenge Stables all claimed dual blues.

The remaining blues were won by Hands-On Horses, Keith Blackburn of Highland Stables, Jimmy Hainey, Calvin Hacker, Don Campbell Stables, Webb Stables, Jake Rogers Stables, Anasis Training Stables, Ronnie Tabor, Herald Stables, Nicole Smithson, Janet May, Jackson Stables, Steve Woody Stables, Joey Tackett of Southbound Stables, Chad Way Stables, Tracie Fuller, Doug Waugh, Gary Oliver Stables, Jared Scott, Randy Stillwell, Debra Reed and Walter Bruner Stables.

Sweep The Floor won the first of J & H Stables’ 9 blues. Sweep The Floor won the 16-entry Four-Year-Old Specialty with Jason Hughes up for Calvin Hacker on Wednesday evening. Hughes then directed Charger’s Gold Card to the top of the 10-entry KSOA Three-Year-Old class for Margaret Coy. On Thursday evening, Karen Rector and Ben Dover claimed the 14-entry Novice Amateur Specialty, Division A title for Hendrick and Rector.

Their next blue was won by Moonstruck Dollar and Lamar Depoyster in the 18-entry Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class for Dr. Gordon and Lamar Depoyster. On Friday evening, Alie Napier and I’m The Intimidator defended their title and laid claim once again to the 12-entry Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty class for the Tim Napier family. Brent Jones directed world champion Pushing Miss Genny to the top of the 14-entry KWHA Members Only Specialty class and carried out the blue for the Edward Jones family.

On Saturday evening, Terry Sims directed Spirit Of Mystery to wear the blue in the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class of 17 entries for Charles and Kay Baxter. Alie Napier claimed her second blue of the show in the 18-entry KWHA Ladies Auxiliary class aboard Mark’s Pushing Lady for the Tim Napier family. Twenty-one answered the gate call to the Two-Year-Old Stallions and Geldings class. The crowd crowded the rails and sat on the edge of their seats as they watched this exciting class. The judges’ choice were Forces Of Evil and Jason Hughes for the Bud McCoy family.

Charlie Green’s eight blues included the 10-entry Amateur Specialty Championship. Ed Breedlove directed Jazz King to the Amateur Specialty Championship following his preliminary win the the 15-entry Amateur Specialty Stallion and Gelding class. This team recently won a 2004 world championship and is owned by Keith Breedlove. They also won the Amateur Specialty Championship in 2003 at the Kentucky Celebration in one of their first performances together.

Green’s first blue was won on Wednesday evening in the KSOA Two-Year-Old class. He directed Maker’s El Dorado to wear the blue from the ring for Skid Montgomery. Wham Bam Mt. Man won two Kentucky Celebration titles. First Charlie Green and this talented horse won the 10-entry Show Pleasure Canter title on Wednesday evening. On Thursday evening Josh Mosley catch rode Wham Bam Mt. Man and they garnered the blue in the Juvenile Show Pleasure for owner Gary McDowell.

Freedom Fighter and Charlie Green proudly won the 12-entry Aged Stallion and Gelding class on Wednesday for Dennis Shoffner. Ed Breedlove won his third blue at the Kentucky Celebration aboard Slow Jazz in the 11-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding, division A for Keith Breedlove.

Joe Christmas and Final Escapade claimed the Amateur Specialty Rider 50 and Over title on Friday evening with a flawless blue ribbon performance under Charlie Green’s guidance.

Masquerading Big Easy won two of the seven blues won by Barnes Training Stables. He first won the KWHA Ladies Auxiliary Plantation Pleasure Specialty with Lindsey Oliver in the saddle for Graham Holt. He next appeared wearing the blue from the 10-entry Ladies Plantation Pleasure Specialty class with Becky Barnes aboard.

Chill also claimed dual blues, first in the Plantation Pleasure, Rider 11 and Under with Danielle Reid in the saddle and then in the Plantation Pleasure Championship with Doug Barnes directing. This followed three 2004 Celebration World Championships won earlier this month in Shelbyville, Tenn. Danielle Reid proudly owns this striking roan.

The Del and Bridgett Rush entry, The Lady Has Connections, won the Two-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure blue with Doug Barnes aboard. The Barnes and Reid’s Tex-R-Us, also a two-year-old, won the Three-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure blue next with Barnes directing. After a tremendous class with 11 entries, Pusher’s Final Analysis and Becky Barnes were selected to make the victory pass in the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty, Division A class for Barnes and Gibbs.

Rhea Ellen Webb claimed the 16-entry Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding title with Major Starbuck to win the first of three Beaty Stables’ blues. Major Starbuck belongs to Kathlyn Beaty, Scott’s daughter. Midnight Dollar next captured the 20-entry Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion and Gelding with Abby Fox up for the Quentin Fox family. Jack McCormick claimed the Open Spotted Saddle Horse Specialty blue for their final blue.

Scotty Brooks won the first of the three blues won by Brooks Stables. Brooks won the 10-entry Aged Mare and Gelding class aboard Lizzie Borden for Jim Ed Stuart. Jason Myatt directed Black Vengeance Of Motown to the blue in the 19-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion and Gelding class for the Jerry Myatt family. John Gaddis and Bright Red carried out the blue in the 12-entry Open Specialty for Gordon and Lamar Depoyster to round out their threesome.

Dalia Smith rode Times Two to the blue in the Juvenile 12-17 Canter class under Dale Burns’ banner for Calvin Hacker. Kenny Smith won the Amateur Owned and Trained Canter title for Smith Farms. The third blue was won by Watchmaker and Kenny Smith in the Amateur Owned and Trainer Four-Years and Under class for Cox and Hacker.

Pattern’s Gen won three blues for Buford Martin. Denzil Allen was in the irons to win the Plantation Pleasure Amateur Specialty and the Plantation Pleasure Specialty Championship titles for Renee Allen Dauer. Haley Allen Dauer also captured the Juvenile Plantation Pleasure Rider 17 and Under Specialty.

The talented team of Dirty Little Games and Brandi Todd captured the Amateur Championship and the Open Amateur class in two great performances under Brandye Mills Stables’ guidance just as she did in 2003. Mills’ third blue was in the KSOA Open Specialty when Charger’s Back In Black and John Cox proudly collected the blue for the John Cox family.

Spencer Benedict put two new teams in the ring at the Kentucky Celebration with outstanding results. Tiny Claire Ottman made an awesome show in the 15-entry Juvenile 11 and Under class aboard Gen’s Good As Gold for Carroll Benedict. Carroll Benedict also owned the Three-Year-Old Stallion and Gelding victor Jump Jivin. Spencer Benedict directed this talented young stallion to the blue in a competitive class of 18 outstanding entries.

Dick Gray of D & J Stables earned dual blues with He’s Extra Sharp. They claimed both the blues in the Country Pleasure Riders 50 and Over and the 18-entry Country Pleasure Gentlemen classes.

Mike Janeway trained both the Weanling and Yearling winners at the Kentucky Celebration on Wednesday evening. Ella Kline first led Cash In The Black to the blue in the 11-entry Weanling class. She returned later to claim the 13-entry Yearling class with the Lady Doctor. Both winners are owned by C.L. Kline Farms.

Miss Ritzy, owned by Rick Clements, won one of the two blues won by Loid Stables. Tommy Loid directed Miss Ritzy to the top of the 10-entry Show Pleasure Four-Years and Under Specialty on Friday evening. Then, Joe Estes captured the 17-entry Four-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding title on Saturday evening with his My Ritzy Lady.

Courtney Luttrell proudly claimed dual blues under husband Kevin Luttrell Stables’ banner. Courtney Luttrell directed Push Watch to win the competitive 11-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding, Div. B class for A Few Good Friends. On Saturday evening Courtney Luttrell and current reserve world champion Major Play captured the 11-entry Show Pleasure Amateur, Div. B title for James Griffith.

In addition to her World Grand Championship, Greta Potter and Taking Care Of Cash claimed the 13-entry Country Pleasure Open title on Saturday afternoon.

Kay Sizemore trained entries enjoy dual victories. On Thursday evening Master General and Jack Thompson were the victors in the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Amateur Specialty for Sizemore. Rebecca Taylor won the 11-entry Performance Pleasure Three-Years and Under class with Gen’s Champion Sunshine for Kay Sizemore.

Mike Oney not only won the Grand Championship, he also claimed the Four-Year-Old victory aboard Hold On Loosely for Mitch Stevens.

The remaining 27 blues were won by 27 additional hard-working stables and individuals. The KSOA Yearling class Wednesday evening was won by the gorgeous Prescription For Blues and Jamie Lee Derickson for Kenridge Farms. Senator’s Silver and Josh Mosley wore blue from the ring in the Walking Pony, Riders 11 and Under class for Mr. and Mrs. George Delaney under Highland Stables’ banner.

Dark Ebony’s Star and Jimmy Harney were selected as the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty, Div. A champions in an 11-entry class. They were followed by That’s The Bottom Line and Dalia Smith in the B division of the same class. That’s The Bottom Line is owned and trained by Calvin Hacker.

Fifteen entries answered the gate call in the Novice Amateur Specialty, Div. B on Thursday evening. The last to leave the ring were Mozart and Stacy Rogers from Jake Rogers Stables for owner Brad Rogers. Fonzie and Blair Campbell had a good time winning the Ladies Amateur Canter class for Allen and Campbell. They hail from Don Campbell Stables.

Swoosh and Link Webb were victorious in the 15.2 and Under class for Steve Mozely.

On Friday evening News At Five and Emily Anasis claimed the Lead Line victory under Anasis Training Stables. The talented team of E.T.’s Pushin’ A Score and Ronnie Tabor did an outstanding job to top the Plantation Pleasure Gentlemen Specialty class. E.T’s Pushin’ A Score is owned by Kenny Jenkins. Joe Herald earned the blue in the 13-entry Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Clay Simpson’s Express Doll.

Delightful George and Lakita Lykins topped the Walking Seat Equitation under Gary Oliver’s guidance. The team of Picture Of Power and Evan Alexander were the best in the 16-entry Juvenile 17 and Under Specialty class. Janet May trains Picture Of Power.

The Plantation Pleasure Four-Year-Old winner was the team of JFK’s Score and John Mucci. Jackson Stables proudly trains this entry.

The Saturday afternoon session began at 1:00 p.m.The judges’ choice in the Country Pleasure Riders 11 and Under was the head-shaking Remarkable Brandi Sue. Savannah McQuerry rides this black mare trained by Walt Bruner Stables. Vegas Games and Debra Reed earned the 13-entry Country Pleasure Three Years and Under title. Dana McGrew earned the blue in the 10-entry Country Pleasure Ladies class aboard Chance For Sun under Randy Stillwell’s guidance for owner Walter Stillwell.

Carbon’s Pride All Over and Sharaya Cox wore the blue from the ring in the Trail Pleasure Juvenile Specialty class for Jeff Scott. Jared Scott trains Carbon’s Pride All Over. Michael Dick and Generator’s Black Glory returned home with the blue after a tremendous show in the 12-entry Country Pleasure Riders 17 and Under class for Nancy Williams. Gary Oliver proudly trains this pair.

Julie Waugh directed The Dude to the blue in the Saddle Mule or Donkey class for Doug Waugh for the second year in a row. Tracie Fuller and Coppertop’s Miss Rachel were winners in the Trail Pleasure Open Specialty. Plenty President and Lea Dresden were outstanding in the Academy Class, Riders 17 and Under Riding Performance Horses. Gene Carswell trains this pair.

Saturday night brought an exciting conclusion to the show with a huge crowd and lots of top quality entries. Fourteen entries answered the gate call of the Walking Pony class. Cover Charge and Dalia Smith were the winners making the victory pass for owner Calvin Hacker. Jordan and Steve Jones earned another blue in the 15-entry Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion and Gelding class for Ray Jones Trucking under Chad Way Stables, Inc.’s banner.

In one of the largest Grooms’ Classes that I have seen the quality was outstanding. Sensational Premier topped the 15-entry class to win the blue for Tara Oran from Steve Woody Stables.

If the Kentucky Celebration wasn’t on your agenda in 2004, make plans now to attend the Kentucky Celebration 2005, the largest walking horse show in the Commonwealth. You won’t be disappointed because in Kentucky, they believe in showing horses!