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I'm a Five Star General Commands at Gum Tree



The Gum Tree Classic Horse Show was held on Oct. 23 at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona, Miss. The event is sponsored by the Altrusa International of Tupelo, Mississippi Inc. This edition of the Gum Tree Classic was a celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary. The success of these shows has made possible an annual fundraiser for the club, and increased the support for the charities and other community undertakings of the Altrusa.

I'm a Five Star General and Jimmy McConnell won the Walking Horse Stake for Longview Farms. Walking and racking trainers, exhibitors and a very large gallery of spectators traveled to Tupelo despite a downpour. The preparation of entries was moved indoors to the covered stall areas, and the indoor arena allowed the show to be held with no major problems.

Mike Civils judged the 34 walking and racking classes. The entry tally was high with 330 entries answering the gate call. Perry Thomas was the announcer for the evening. Mike Farley handled the duties of ringmaster and Dianne Beaver entertained the crowd with her talents on the keyboard. Sid Abernathy served as official photograper. Jerry Self was farrier.

Jimmy McConnell brought the 2004 World Grand Champion The Black Night Shade to the Magnolia State for an exciting exhibition. The popular duo continues to thrill horse show audiences with each appearance. Following their performance, McConnell signed autographs for the Gum Tree Classic crowd.

The first class of the evening was the Lead Line class. On the heels of their recent Huntingdon victory, Nemo and Colby Cagle claimed top honors for Stanfill Stables. There were two halter classes at the show. Savannah Lace and Casey Smith won the Yearling Halter class for Dr. John and Phillip Lay. Just Smokin’ and Daniel Foreman were victorious in the Weanling Halter class for Jan Porter.

Design’s Masterpiece and Lynnde Barham received their third blue of the fall season in the Juvenile 11 and Under class for The Lynn Barham Family. Kodchorme’s Choice Cut and Lynn Barham captured the title of Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion champions.

Stone Cold Dollar and Steve Dunn were in the winner’s circle in the Two-Year-Old Stallion class for Keith Carlton. The Major Flair and Stephanie Cagle were crowned Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding champions. Pushover’s Gold Standard and Betty Sue Burkhalter added another win to their list of blue ribbon accomplishments this season for Guy Burkhalter.

The Amateur Show Pleasure division had 28 entries and show officials chose to split the class. The first division was led by current World Champions Air Command and Koda Downs for Randy Downs. Merry K Cash and Ben Kail were winners in the second division for Ben, Gayla, and Maggie Kail. Kail returned to receive his second blue of the evening aboard Beam’s Smoke Signal for Watson and Kail in the Amateur Owned and Trained class. This team also won this title at the recent Huntingdon show.

Ultra Threat’s Best Secret and Miton Bryson accepted the blue in the Four-Year- Old Amateur Stallion class for George Bryson. C-U-N Line and Jerry Collier topped the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class for Howard Bellamy. Gen’s All Night and Amber were in the spotlight in the Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod class for Bobby Barclay.

Following their recent honor at Huntingdon, I’m A Ritz and Stephanie Carter continued their winning season with a blue in the Juvenile 12-17 class. This was the first of four titles earned by Whitter Stables trained entries. I’ P T 109 and Stan Wilcoxen made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class. Slick Willie and Brad East were victorious in the Open Amateur class for John East. Showboat Annie and Brock Tillman were at the top of the judge’s card in the Three- Year-Old Mare and Gelding class for O. & W. Moody Ltd. Co.

The Hotline and Pam Russell were in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of the Four-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class for Larry Russell. Robert Stivers turned two blue-ribbon performances at the Gum Tree Classic. JFK’s Positive Star won the Limited Performance class for Jim Bost following a recent Huntingdon victory. East Mississippi Fall Classic Grand Champion, A Formula One, gained further blue ribbon recognition with Four-Year-Old Open title for Stan Wilcoxen.

Tyler Herndon was granted two trips to the winner’s circle riding under the Woods Stables banner. Hytone’s Buster Brown was Amateur Walking champion and Black Sails topped the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class for Kitty Herndon.

The Park Pleasure class was led by Generator’s Winddance and Jason Cox for Bill Cox. Pushin’ Me On Showtime and Tyrone Bledsoe scored an impressive victory in the Three-Year-Old Stallion class for Hayward Leake. Gen’s Crushed Ice and Barbara Mason were in top form to claim the Country Pleasure class for Malcolm and Barbara Mason. Andrea Zahnd directed The Willhamina to the blue in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Gen’s Painted Apache and Steve Hodgkins made the familiar ride to the winner’s circle in the Open Spotted Saddle Horse class.

At the conclusion of the show, an exhibitor’s party was held and a delicious barbecue dinner was enjoyed by horse show enthusiasts before their journey home.

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