by Margo Urad
MONROE, La. - Quality not quantity can sum up the 25th annual West Monroe Charity Horse Show. Exhibitors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas showed March 2 and 3, 2007. With this being the first show held without a current operating plan, trainers were leery not knowing what to expect. Bill Callaway of Shelbyville, Tenn., took on the responsibility of judging the event. Sherry Alexander entertained the crowd on the organ while Bob Crafton kept them informed with his announcing.
Bill Hawks of Ag Works Solutions flew in from Washington on Saturday to meet with Wink Groover, president of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association. They looked at several horses’ feet from different barns in which Wink Groover took time explaining what our main concern is on the scar rule. Mr. Hawks enjoyed meeting the trainers as well as watching the show. Mr. Hawks commented that he and his partner, Valerie Ragan, are working diligently towards a solution. David Finger, the Interim DQP Director for the NHSC, along with Ira Gladney and Earl Melton were the designated qualified inspectors with five violations issued. A total of 61 horses showed on Friday and 48 came through the gates on Saturday.
“For 25 years we have held this show,” commented Show Manager Johnny Copeland. “The benefactor has been the Scottish Rite Hearing and Speech Clinic.”
Dale Watts, for the second year in a row, earned top points in the Riders’ Cup competition. This year he was aboard the Brett Jones entry, Irrational Exuberance, to win the Walking Horse Stake, a three-horse class. The Watts team also won blues with Smith and Lynn’s three-year-old stallion, Buddy’s Silver Dollar. Jose’s Power Keg made his way to the winner’s circle with Dale Watts up in the Four-Year-Old Stallion class, as well as taking home the blue with Gay Pitts in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Specialty for Gay and Benton Pitts. The Kay and Lucky Easterling entry, The Thug, kept the blues coming with Dale Watts in the Two-Year-Old Riders’ Cup class. Kay followed into the winner’s circle aboard Cody’s Love capturing the Amateur Three-Year-Old honors.

Starland Farms, with trainer John Feltner Jr., had a terrific show with Olympic Gold Sunrise walking away with two blues in the Trail Pleasure Specialty Stake and the Trail Pleasure Specialty class. Darden Gladney was in the irons for owner Deborah Williams. Darden Gladney was the chosen catch rider again, this time he claimed the blue ribbon in the Show Pleasure Specialty Stake aboard Ritzy And Famous for owners Tom and Lesley Spencer. Tom and Judy Gould’s entry Galveston Texas claimed the top honor in the Men’s Specialty class with Tom Gould in the irons. Tijuana Tex claimed the blue in the Park Pleasure Specialty Stake with Dr. John Gladney in the irons for Gladney Farms.
Wink and Nancy Groover, along with trainer Justin Taylor, showed four top horses and took home four blues. Nancy claimed the blue ribbon aboard The Texan in the Ladies Amateur Specialty. Texas Independence and Nancy walked their way to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class as well as the Amateur Specialty class. John B. Tex hit the ring with Justin Taylor in the irons commanding everyone’s attention. This team claimed top honors in the Three-Year-Old Open Riders’ Cup class. Nancy’s beloved stud Hard Texas Cash came to the show awaiting the arrival of Ricky Womack to return him to Tennessee for the 2007 breeding season. “Tex” as he is affectionately known, kept an eye on his offspring, which won a total of six blues this weekend. He definitely loved the attention he received while at the show.
Dr. John and Darden Gladney’s Amateur Owned and Trained entries It’s Up In Arms, Paper Thin and Serious Threat were forces to the reckoned with. Paper Thin and Darden Gladney claimed the blue ribbon honors in the Model class. It’s Up In Arms with Dr. John Gladney captured the blue in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty. Darden Gladney was called to the winner’s circle in the Open Park Pleasure. It’s Up In Arms made his western debut with Darden Gladney and needless to say it was a winning one, claiming top honors in the Western Park Pleasure Specialty.
Don Crum of Don Crum Stables swept the Favorite Gait and Championship class with Pride’s Eightball and owner Starla Cecola riding to the winner’s circle in blue ribbon style. Steve Raley claimed top honors with High Dollar Ritz in the Amateur Walking Specialty Stake.
Jean Brannon made the trip from Alabama and claimed the Lite-Shod Specialty class aboard Go Mister Walk Away Joe. Taylor Chandler rode Rocky Top Rainbow to the winner’s circle for Rob and Jean Brannon in the Youth Gaited Pleasure as well as the Youth Country Pleasure class.
Jerry Woodlee, a long time supporter of the Monroe show, claimed top honors for the second year in a row aboard The Stargazer for owners Steve and Susie Frank in the Open Specialty. Jeri Sue Arrighi and Woman Of Magic were elated with their blue ribbon in the Show Pleasure Specialty class.
Fred and Lisa Weaver brought Cash For Diamonds to be shown. Tyler Miller made his canter debut a proud one for the Weavers, besting a field of three entries to claim top honors in the Trail Pleasure.
Ricky Corbello is also another longtime supporter of the Monroe Horse Show. He and Storm From The Sky received top honors in the Open Park Performance class. Jody Balfay and Copy’s Dark Stranger are no strangers to the winner’s circle. Jody and Copy’s Dark Stranger claimed the blue ribbon in the Adult Country Pleasure. James Sills and I’m Ella Fitzgerald made an outstanding show capturing the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class. Allan Nelson and You May Indeed claimed the blue in the Two-Year-Old Amateur class. Wicked and Jim Hardy walked their way to the winner’s circle in the Weanling/Yearling Halter class for owners Steve and Susan Frank.
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