The Heart of America Walking Horse Association held the final show for the Midwest area Oct. 28-30 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia, Mo. Entries for the four-performance event were up significantly with 312 horses over last year’s 233.

Kemp Martin of Owenton, Ky., was judge. Show manager Shirley Lotridge was very pleased with the turnout for the show, while husband Bill kept busy serving as ringmaster for all four performances. Bob Reavis has been announcing Walking Horse shows for many years and is always able to relay many personal stories and comments to keep the crowd entertained. Organist Tina Potts provided the music that is such a vital part for any show, especially when class holds are required. Photographer Gary Good and Amy DeVries of Good Photography made the trip from Medford, Minn.,to take pictures for the proud owners and exhibitors. Thursday and Friday temperatures were in the 80s and very unseasonable for Missouri. But that soon changed as a storm and rain dampened a few and drenched others during the Friday evening performance. A cool front followed and dropped temperatures to the 50s and 40s for Saturday and Saturday night. Most were prepared, donning sweaters and coats to finish out the season.

Concluding the show was Jubilee’s Image and Curt Caldwell as they captured another title for proud owners Matt and Lisa McWilliams with a win in the Aged Horse Championship class. With this win Curt Caldwell Stables took home nine blues to finish out the season. Jubilee’s Image and Caldwell captured the win in the Aged Stallion class as well. Ace’s Zorro and Caldwell were the first to win a blue under this banner in the Aged Mare and Gelding class for Kris and Kay York. Matt McWilliams and Georgia’ Gray Sky were victorious in the Amateur Mare and Gelding class. Caldwell returned later in the night to claim yet another win with McWilliams owned stock, On The Rise was named top Open Specialty horse.

Claiming two blues for the Caldwell banner was The Golden Sceptor, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ward McKnight. Caldwell earned the first blue in the Four-Year-Old Specialty class and Kris York did a great job of presenting him to the winner’s circle in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class. Winning two blues under the direction of Caldwell was Glenda Nichols and Delightful Romeo. This duo captured wins in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class and the Amateur Specialty Stake class. Nichols and Romeo proved they had the winning ability at this show last year, and continued to prove it this year.

Glenda and Ted Nichols had other reasons to celebrate-eight of them to be exact. Caretaker’s Image, owned by Campbell Ford-Mercury, won seven blues during the weekend with a host of riders. Glenda, Ted and Brian Nichols, Roger Campbell and Lisa Campbell all took a turn making victory passes in both two and three-gaited Park Pleasure classes. Brian Nichols returned on Saturday night to claim the Park Pleasure Three-Gait Stake. Glenda Nichols and Eclectic won the Ladies Amateur class for Mrs. Glen Campbell.

Jim Huffman took eight blues home to Ozark. My Horse Showtime and Marvelene Kusewitt won three blues in Lite-shod Two-Gait classes, Amateur Lite-shod and as a “hillbilly” bride in the Costume class. Showtime is owned by Kusewitt and Rosalie Jones. Another Kusewitt/Jones entry claimed two blues under Huffman’s direction-Coin’s Etched in Gold and Kusewitt won the Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure class as well as the HAWHA Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure class.

Karen McKinnis and Summer Snow made an excellent show to claim the title in the Two-Year-Old Amateur class. Richard Mitch and Diamonds & Cash were victorious in the Men’s Amateur Specialty class. Josh Richardson and Thorncrest’s Chantilly won the HAWHA Futurity Three-Year-Old class for Ron Boyer and Karen McKinnis.

Don Bill Stables also took home eight blues. Bills and Extra’s Dark Mist came out on top in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class for Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Sims. Darlene Swaringim and Power of the Dark made the victory pass in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class for Ed and Darlene Swaringim. Immediately following this victory pass, another Swaringim owned entry found their way to the winner’s circle. This time it was Extracy with grandson Sam Henson in the irons in the Performance Pleasure Two-gait class. Henson returned for a repeat performance in the Amateur Performance Pleasure class on Friday night. JoAnn LeNeve did a great job with her catch ride for daughter Tamee as she and Don Bills shared the reins of Talk Is Cheap in the Pro-Am class for the Don LeNeve Family.

Trigger Cash and Casey Heiman once again proved they have what it takes to come out winner in a division with very tough competition, the Juvenile 11 and Under class. Trigger and Casey returned on Saturday night to claim the title of Juvenile Specialty Stake Champions for the Don LeNeve Family. Dr. Glenn DeGraffenreid and Magic Impression may not have size on their side, but they definitely have ability and this ability was rewarded with a win in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class under the direction of Don Bills.

Mike Maack prepared horses were no stranger to the winner’s circle either. Winning the first of their five wins were Pushin’ Miller Time and Maack in the Two-Year-Old Stallion class for Jack Buddemeyer. Maack returned to the claim the Two-Year-Old Stake win on this leggy colt as well. Maack also won the Three-Year-Old Stallion class with Man With A Plan for the Bill Maack Family.

Alisa Zbornik has become quite a rider, easily adapting to both pleasure and performances horses. This ability was evident with a win on Shadow’s Ultimate Beam in the Juvenile Show Pleasure Specialty class for Barbara Zbornik. Completing Maack’s five wins was Katie Maack and Peppermint Ice in the Trainer’s Family class for Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Counts.

Jerry Manes Stables claimed three blues during the Halloween weekend. Magic Bomb H and Manes won the HAWHA Futurity Two and Three-Year-Old class for Charles Hightower. Manes and Dazzling Dixie have been dominant contenders in the Yearling division for owners A.L. and Patti Forgey, winning both the Open Yearling class as well as the HAWHA Futurity class.

Mike “Pepper” Blewitt and Arrowhead Stables earned a duo of blues. MG’s Secret Home Touch and Blewitt out-rode the tough competition in the Open Show Pleasure Specialty class for Arrowhead Stables. Push-N-Bubba Blue and Blewitt won the HAWHA Futurity Two-Year-Old Performance class with owner Anita Hopper cheering on from the rail.

The Paul Patterson Family was certainly pleased with their horses and celebrated wins in the Men’s Amateur Class and the Amateur Stake with Red Ink with Paul Patterson in the irons. Sandra Huffman made the trip from New Sharon, Iowa, to claim a win in the HAWHA Futurity Two-Year-Old Park Pleasure class for owner Aileen Novinger.

One of the most commented horses of the show earned two blues for Elvin and Geri Sapp. Genie’s Charming Lady worked her charms in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class and followed that up with the Three-Year-Old Stake win. Elvin Sapp was in the saddle for each win, but it is evident this is a wonderful team effort.

4-J Land and Cattle Co. earned 10 blue ribbons for their efforts on Friday and Saturday. I’m Headed to the Ritz and Joel Laughlin started off their string of wins in the Juvenile Lite-shod Specialty class. Ritz and Laughlin returned to win the Trail Pleasure class. Jim Laughlin and JFK’s Royal Dreamer earned two blues in Lite-shod classes, including Three and Under and Amateur Two-Gait classes. Laughlin returned on Saturday night to claim the title of Lite-shod Two-Gait Stake Champion with JFK’s Royal Dreamer.

Jay Laughlin did his share to contribute to the ribbon tally. JFK’s Fancy Lady Leslie earned blues in the Amateur Owned and Trained Park Pleasure, Amateur Park Pleasure Two-Gait, Three-Year-Old and Under, and concluding with Park Pleasure Two-Gait Stake with Laughlin in the irons. Jeff Laughlin and Silver Dollar Exclusive earned the judges approval in the Western Park Pleasure Two-Gait class for 4-J Land and Cattle Co.

Truman and Deborah Volkart claimed five of the 72 blue ribbons offered. Made From the Heart and Volkart kicked off the show winning the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class for Justin Long. Major Monkey Business and Volkart won the Open Amateur class. In the Amateur Owned and Trained class, as well as the 50 and Over Amateur Specialty class the judge's card was marked in favor of The Juice and Deborah Volkart. Grandson Weston Hetland entered the ring to win the Open Model class with Major Monkey Business.

It was a bittersweet win for the Jess Morrison and Good Fortune in the Lead Line class as this would be the Jess’ final show in this division. Father Rick Morrison always has this team well prepared for every show and has been a dominant contender for the last couple of years.

Stables winning individuals blues included Stephen and Patty Ayers with American Revolution in the Open Gaited Pleasure class. Burton Stables with a win in the Spotted Saddle horse class with Rainbow’s Magic Walker and Andrea Patterson making the good catch ride for Tom Bray. Steve Skopec and Cash’s Midnight Son earned a blue in the Western Lite-shod Two-Gait class for Bill and Shirley Lotridge.

Ron Boyer walked his way to the winner’s circle n the HAWHA Futurity Weanling class with Thorncrest’s Barbie Doll for Boyer and McKinnis. Dennis Hills and Paroled by an Angel earned the judge's approval in the Open Weanling class for Dennis and Susan Hills. Major Nancy Baldock and Second Amendment won the Lite-shod Three-gait class, making the trip from Pacific Junction, Iowa, to enjoy the show.

Trainers, exhibitors, grooms and spectators were treated to an exhibitor’s party on Friday night sponsored by Heart of America. Shirley Lotridge was commended for her chili and efforts in putting the event together. Sarah Mitch was hostess to a lovely party on Saturday night following the show, featuring wine, cheese, hor d’oeuvres and desserts. A violinist played selections during the socialization and fellowship of winding down the show season. A special thank you is sent out to Richard and Sarah Mitch. It was quite a fitting celebration for the final show of the year.