SPRINGFIELD, MO. - The 2002 Heart of America Walking Horse Association Spring Classic Horse Show was held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri, June 14 & 15, 2002. Top horses, trainers, and exhibitors gathered to compete and strut their stuff for the Honorable Dennie Smith, who was voted by the membership as this year’s judge. Longtime friend to Missouri showmen, Bob Reavis was once again our announcer, adding his own personal touches. Gary Good was hard at work behind his camera, as he printed out proofs in between classes for convenient viewing. Faye Grantham provided the musical background as organist, and Jim Queen was on top alert as show farrier. USDA Veterinary Medical Officers Lynn Bourgeois and Jeff Baker accompanied Heart of America DQPs A.L. Forgey, Greg Smothers, and Jim Gonz.

Forty-six classes comprised this two-evening event, but no class was more anticipated than the Aged Walking Horse. Three entries answered the gate call, announced Tennessee style, one at a time. Judge Dennie Smith called on these three outstanding entries for one more running walk before making his final decision. Jubilee’s Image and Curt Caldwell were the judge’s choice, as they clearly displayed their talented teamwork and raised the standards in the Open division in Missouri. Not to be discounted, Patrick Slack and The Pusher’s Generator gave one of their most notable show ring performances and walked out with the reserve ribbon. Third place was another proven blue ribbon competitor, Pride’s Midnight Holiday, directed by Mike Maack.

The Ted Nichols family earned the highest blue ribbon count with six. Mike Maack Stables, Don Bills Stables, and Tom Burton Stables each accumulated four wins. Curt Caldwell Stables, Ken Taylor Stables, and Steve & Karen Skopec ended the show with a trio of blues. Taking home dual blues were Rocky Ridge Stables, Richards Stables, Jerry Manes Stables, and Jim Huffman Stables.

To use those infamous words by Paul Harvey, “You know what the news is. Now here’s the rest of the story.”

The Model Class kicked off the show. JJ’s American Buck and Jay Teaford added another blue to their successful year. Color’s Step-N-Fetch, led by Donald Jones, caught the judge’s eye for reserve.

The Two-Year-Old Mares & Geldings class had the crowd’s attention, as six entries rode for the blue. She’s Busted The Market and Mike Maack were the judge’s choice. Carol Middleton recently purchased this showy mare. She Is Ritz and Josh Taylor easily glided into second for owners David and Amanda Berg.

In another large class, The Master Copy and Paul Patterson walked their way to the top of the competition in the Lite-Shod Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty. JJ’s American Buck and Jay Teaford made the good ride for reserve.

Hydro Generator and Jim Huffman continued their winning streak in the Three-Year-Old Open. C Diamond Skywatch and Tom Burton were second in this impressive class of horses.

Shiney’s Carbon Copy made his show debut a blue ribbon one. Under the direction of Harold Heiney, this team took the blue in the Three-Year-Old & Under Plantation. Battling to reserve place was Steve Ayers and American Revolution.

Josh Taylor and Dark Side’s Night Moves had the judge’s attention as they smoothly moved to the winner’s circle for owner Ed DePaulo.

Sleek and showy Caretaker’s Image walked its way for the blue in the Ladies’ Plantation Specialty under the direction of Glenda Nichols. Kyndra Roberts and Crown of Splendor were impressive reserve winners.

Savannah VanZyverden didn’t mind smiling for the victory shot, as she and My Horse Showtime took the blue in the Juvenile 17 & Under Lite-Shod Specialty. Energetic Cheyenne Jones rode Long Boogie Nights to pick up the red ribbon.

Watch out for the new team of Sam Houston and Fame’s Fancy Lady. This dynamic duo has won three consecutive blues in the Juvenile 11 & Under Specialty. Zahn Morrison capably directed President’s Moondancer for the reserve.

Gypsy Lane Dusty Maid and Steve Skopec were in top form as they picked up the blue in the Amateur Plantation Specialty. Harold Heiney and Shiney’s Carbon Copy were reserve winners.

The Ladies’ Amateur Specialty provided its usual class of top competition. Glenda Nichols and Dixie Jubilee were the victors for owner Mary Lee Campbell. Kyndra Roberts and The Pusher’s Generator were a strong reserve.

Bill Branham and Generating Cash were the judge’s choice in the Plantation Open. Tim Samons and Shiney’s Carbon Copy were second.

The Men’s Amateur Specialty was also another exciting class of competition and talented gentlemen exhibitors. Matt McWilliams and On The Rise rose to the top of the class to take the blue. Placing second was the team of Magic Impression and Dr. Glen DeGraffenreid.

Caretaker’s Image earned its second blue of the night with Stephanie Campbell in the irons in the Juvenile 17 & Under Plantation Specialty. Tuffe and Savannah VanZyverden were second.

Seven entries entered the gate in the Lite-Shod Amateur Specialty. Earning the blue in this nice class was Our Glory Girl and Debbie Murray. Right on the winner’s heels was the team of Shaker’s Mr Threat and Georgia Swicegood taking reserve.

Miss Harley and Mike Maack were in the spotlight to win the blue in the 15.2 & Under Open. Two excellent horses worked for the blue ribbon in the Men’s Plantation Specialty. Brian Nichols and Caretaker’s Image made the victory pass, and David Foster and Crown of Splendor were the reserve winners.

The Lite-Shod Western Specialty was a class of six entries. After the dust had settled, Patty Ayers and Long Boogie Nights carried out the blue ribbon. Debbie Murray and Good Legal Advice took second.

Don’t let the age fool you here. The 50 & Over Amateur Specialty has become one of the best classes to watch, as these quick-minded exhibitors battle for the blue. Stormy’s Applejack and Jill Wait were announced the winners, and Touch’s Generator directed by Ardythe Sommerville were reserve winners.

A grand class of stylish and hard-walking four-year-olds was the next class of the evening. Making a sparkling ride, Virginia Counts directed Spun’s Precious Jewel to the winner’s circle. Tabitha Richards capably rode Dream’s Gold Stardust to the reserve placing for owners Patrick and Carol McKay.

Friday evening’s show ended with the Park Pleasure Specialty. Crypto Star and Patrick Slack got the judge’s nod for owner Sherry Roberts. Reserve went to No Sin To Win and Kevin Webb.

Saturday evening’s class roster began with the Lead Line class. This class is always entertaining to not only the audience but for the proud parents and grandparents quickly clicking off their own camera shots. The judge’s choice was Shelby Gebhart in the saddle aboard Bo Jangles, led by Chris Gebhart. Lauren York and Caretaker’s image were led by Stephanie Campbell to take reserve.

Breaking the competition wide-open, Carol Middleton and She’s Busted The Market took the blue in the Two-Year-Old Amateur. MG’s Tootsie Roll and Kyndra Foster were the red ribbon recipients for owners Sherry Roberts.

Bond, James Bond and Mike Maack were the victors in the Three-Year-Old & Under Lite-Shod Specialty for owner Dave Barton. Debbie Murray and Good Legal Advice were reserve.

Excitement is an outstanding three-year-old. If excitement is what you want, that is exactly what you got with the Three-Year-Old Amateur. Talk Is Cheap and Tamee LeNeve made one of their most spectacular rides to date, as they claimed the blue ribbon honors. Donna Huffman also enjoyed an excellent ride to take reserve with Hydro Generator.

Caretaker’s Image won its fourth blue with Roger Campbell in the irons in the 50 & Over Plantation Specialty.

Continuing in the tradition of the success of Thorncrest Farms, Karen McKinnis led Thorncrest’s Chantilly to the winner’s circle in the Yearling class. Stacy Jones and Image’s Spitfire took the red.

Winning her second blue of the show, On The Rise walked her way for the blue with Curt Caldwell directing. Ken Taylor and First Night Out RW were the reserve winners for David and Amanda Berg.

Shondra Villhard is officially out of the novice ranks. Shondra directed Secret Wager to win the blue ribbon in he Novice Amateur Specialty. New owner Pia Broccard was hot on the heels of the champion, taking reserve with Spun’s Generationext.

No one could have been prouder than Chris Gebhart as he made his victory pass aboard Bo Jangles in the Trail Pleasure Specialty. The colorful entry of Color’s Step-N-Fetch took the red ribbon with Donald Jones in the saddle.

With faces of steely determination, the exhibitors in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty rode every inch of their horse. The blue ribbon champions were Jill Wait and Tuscany. Impressive Lookin’ and Susie Graham took reserve.

Gypsy Lane Dusty Maid once again was directed to the winner’s circle by Steve Skopec to take the Amateur Owned & Trained Plantation Specialty. Michelle Campbell and Caretaker’s Image came in second.

Three different styles of horses made their way into the ring for the Four-Year-Old Specialty. Jim Huffman and Thorncrest’s Cat-Man-Do were called to pose for the blue ribbon picture for owners Ron Boyer and Karen McKinnis. Always in top form also was the team of Sun-Dust’s Jubilee and Ken Taylor as they picked up the red ribbon.

The Lite-Shod Specialty was a big class of consistent winners. My Horse Showtime and Marvelene Kusewitt emerged the victors, and Good Legal Advice, directed by Debbie Murray, was reserve.

Dixie Jubilee and Glenda Nichols picked up their second blue of the show in the Amateur Owned & Trained Specialty for Mary Lee Campbell.

Judge Smith had his work cut out for him when the Juvenile 12-17 Specialty class hit the ring. The standout team of Mark’s Sweet Dream and Kayla Berg capably claimed the blue for David and Amanda Berg. Miss Harley and Ross Maack made the good ride for second.

A beaming smile on a lovely lady is the best way to describe the winner of the 15.2 & Under Amateur Specialty. Geri Sapp was in the irons aboard The Wildest Dream to take the blue. Making an impressive showing also, Dark Spirit’s Absolute and Sherry Hill were the reserve winners.

The Plantation Specialty winner was Gypsy Lane Dusty Maid directed by Steve Skopec, as they won their third blue of the show. Caretaker’s Image and Stephanie Campbell were reserve winners for Campbell Ford-Mercury.

Pride’s Lucky Break and Bill Lotridge were in exhibition form as they won the blue ribbon in the Lite-Shod Open.

You’ve got to work hard to beat this unbeatable lady. Jill Wait still remains undefeated with Stormy’s Applejack this season, as they win the Open Amateur. Brian Nichols and Eclectic were reserve.

When you hear the sounds of spurs jingle-jangle and rhythmic hoofbeats, you know there’s a western class coming soon to an arena near you. The Western Plantation Specialty was a class of excellent western horses. Rainbow’s Top Man and George Lewis were the champions, as they strive for their 100th career blue ribbon. This win makes 98 blues. Crown Of Splendor and Harold Roberts were the reserve winners.