by Linda Scrivner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The beautiful Illinois State Fairgrounds, in full bloom with fall plants and colors, was the site for the Illinois Walking Horse Association 41st anniversary Fall Classic Horse Show which benefited the Shriner’s Children Hospital. When visitors entered the lighted arched gates, they entered one of the prettiest and modern, up-to-date show grounds anywhere. The show was held Oct. 16-18, and drew 384 entries compared to 397 entries in 2007, 465 entries in 2006 and 369 entries in 2005. Joe Herald of Oakland, Ky., judged the 90-class event and the Bi-State Regional Futurity that was held Saturday, Oct. 18.

This show is known for its hospitality and this year was no exception. Everyone enjoyed biscuits and gravy, soups, sandwiches, drinks, deserts and chili each day of the show. The hospitality barn was a place that made everyone feel welcome. On Friday night, IWHA provided a post-show exhibitors’ barn party with barbecue and beef. Old friends had a chance to visit again and many new friends were made.

Larry Arvin, president of IWHA said, “This is our association’s 41st year. The Fall Charity Show is the highlight of our show season where walking horse owners, exhibitors and trainers from many states look forward to this show as the must attend horse show of the year.

“We are pleased to have this reputation and support from our friends. This show provides funds to help our charity, the Shriner’s Children Hospital that gives medical care for crippled children. I commend our members and the exhibitors who make this event possible.”

The highlight of the show was the Larry Sours Memorial Grand Championship Stake on Saturday night. Incredible, ridden by Jeff Givens, for owner Jo Ann Dowell of Canton, Ohio, captured the roses, crystal, championship cooler and tricolor after an exciting six-entry class with the audience cheering on their favorites. Busted At Bonnaroo made the reserve victory pass, ridden by Dickie Scrivner for Linda Scrivner of Bell Buckle, Tenn. Third was awarded to Victory Colors and Jim Huffman for Jim and Donna Huffman of Ozark, Mo., following their recent Stake victory at the HAWHA Fall Show. Fourth was awarded to the 2007 Stake Champion, Miss Sharon Stone and Eddie Barclay for Erwin Botsch of South Fulton, Tenn., while fifth was awarded to PJ’s Pusher and Brad Huffman, recent Midwest Trainers’ Show Stake Champion, for Dean Scott of Ozark, Mo.

Dickie Scrivner of Tan View Farm led the blue ribbon tally once again with 19 blues, including five stake classes. Jeff Givens won 10 blues, including one stake class and four Spotted Saddle Horse blues, one of which was also a stake. Jerry Manes Stables returned home with eight blues, including three stake classes. John Knight and Helen Clemens earned eight blues also, including one stake. Jackie Byrom Stables and Deanna Hastler won five blues each. One of Byrom’s wins was a stake. Eddie Barclay Stables, Charlie Brown, Dennis and Susan Hills and the Ted Nichols family won four blues apiece. Brad Huffman Stables, Jim Huffman Stables, Clair Snider and Thomas White each won three blues. One of Jim Huffman’s victories was a stake class, while Brad Huffman Stables won two stakes. Dual blues were won by Joe Clift, Cliff Wilson of Drew Graves Stables, Joe Haegle and Leslie Smith. One of Clift’s blues was a stake class win.

Click here for a complete list of results.