By Linda Scrivner

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The Children’s Classic is not only one of many shows that benefits charity, it is fast becoming one of the top shows in Middle Tennessee. Under the guidance of Show Manager Tina Graves, this show is growing by leaps and bounds. Last year 177 entries answered the gate call. This year the figure jumped to 200. All of the proceeds from this show benefit the Child and Family Crisis Center.

Buck Williams of Belfast, Tenn., carried the flag to open the 5th Annual Children’s Classic held at the Bedford County Agricultural Center in Shelbyville, Tenn., on Friday night, May 9, 2003. Thunderstorms and tornadoes threatened the area all week, but the weather for show night was beautiful. The track was in excellent shape despite several inches of rain that fell earlier in the week. Charles Rich gave the invocation, followed by Emilee Graves and Keely Smith singing the national anthem. Brian Perry delighted the crowd with beautiful organ music while Ricky Richardson handled the announcing duties. The judge’s cards were held by Gary Hollin of Bishop, Ga., and Jack Greene captured the moment on film.

Justin Jenne’ captured the stake for the second year in a row. Last season he emerged victorious aboard Cut Above All. In 2003 he topped the seven entry class with the splashy colored Really in an exciting performance. Ex-dividend proved himself worthy of the stake class red ribbon with Allan Callaway in the irons. The team of Gone & Done It and John Puckett picked up the third position.

The first entries to grace the ring were the stick horses. Everyone in this class was a winner.

Black Hawk Stables of Shelbyville claimed top spot in the blue ribbon shows with their fine horses taking home seven blues from the Children’s Classic. David Landrum Stables and Link Webb Stables each returned home with a trio of blues. Winning dual blues were Belle Meadow Stables, Knox Blackburn Stables, Allan Callaway Stables and Bud Dunn & Son Stables.

In addition to the win in the Stake, Black Hawk Stables earned six other blues. Lindsey Landrum directed This Is It to the victory pass in the 11 and Under Youth class under their banner. This world champion team made one of their best shows to date. Ginger Hartlein was next on the Black Hawk agenda as she earned the blue in the 11 entry 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty title. She made a flawless performance aboard Taking Command.

Daughter Erica Hartlein showed her equestrian skills later as she directed Solid Silver, her new mount this season, to win the Youth Medallion class. This stylish grey gelding and his pert rider captured the judge’s attention as well as the audience’s approval at the Classic.

Justin Jenne’ and Mr. Pushlite gave a thrilling performance to win the ten entry Two-Year-Old Stallion class. This class had everyone on the edge of their seats, and this high-headed son of Mr. Pushbutton gave them their money’s worth.

Jaclyn Tillman directed two of her mounts to victory passes in two excellent performances. First, she and Spirit’s Razzle Dazzle claimed the blue in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class. Pusher’s Black Hawk and Tillman made their debut in the Amateur class a blue ribbon performance with their first demonstration of the canter as a team.

David Landrum Stables earned their three blues with their extremely talented mounts. Marty Irby won his first blue in Tennessee after showing for 19 years. Irby had won blues in many other states, but was excited when he made the victory pass in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class. FDR carried Irby to the blue in this very competitive class.

David Landrum and Andrew Johnson went to the top of the Show Pleasure Specialty with a demonstration of the talent that earned them blues at the 2003 Trainers’ Show and in Jackson, Miss.

Ten entries answered the gate call to the Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding Amateur Specialty class. Sandra Johnson and her talented mare, Miracle At The Ritz claimed the blue with another superb ride.

Link Webb Stables came with their top stock to claim three blues as well. In their debut performance, Late Night Jazz and Jacob Baum had the crowd on their feet as they topped the Walking Ponies class. It was hard to tell who was happier in the family, but tears of joy and excitement were in abundance after the class.

The largest class of the show was the Three-Year-Old Stallion class with twenty entries. Watch Out and Link Webb were the winners and they created quite a stir with their performance in this outstanding class.

Julio’ Julio’ and Link Webb were a pleasure to view as they accepted the blue ribbon in the Four-Year-Old Stallion division, winning Webb Stables’ third blue.

Belle Meadow Stables’ dual blues were won by the mother-son team of Tamara Gavin Kasser and Gavin Kasser. Mom first won the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class aboard Wallering N Dollars. This win was even more special since this young stallion was raised on their farm. The team of Pride’s Sharp Dressed Man and Gavin Kasser have many blues to their credit, but their win in the Youth 12-17 Specialty was an exceptional display of their ability.

Knox Blackburn Stables has won numerous blues in 2003. Knox Blackburn’s first Children’s Classic blue came in the Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class with Blackburn in the irons aboard Figgy Pudding. Following their 2003 Four-Year-Old Amateur Grand Championship victory at Jackson, Miss., Thom Meek and The Phantom Menace claimed the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion victory under Blackburn Stables’ banner.

Allan Callaway Stables contenders are always at the top. They earned two blues as well. John Allan Callaway and You Better Be Good were the blue ribbon stars in the 13 entry Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. The popular Amateur Specialty team of Dr. Ray Caughman and Ample Cash made another blue ribbon ride under their banner.

Bud Dunn & Son Stables claimed their first blue in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class as Andy Akins directed Boomer In Command to another blue ribbon victory pass. Chico Brooker and Eye In The Sky were stepping high as they made their victory pass in the ten entry Groom’s Class.

Many top stables had high quality horses at the Children’s Classic and proudly returned home with a blue. Tyler Bailey and Ace won the first blue of the show in the Lead Line class followed by Chris Richards winning the Yearling class with Jose’s Glamour Girl.

Jeff Green had an outstanding show, winning aboard Go Boy’s Dark Spirit in the Park Pleasure Specialty class. Miles Irby took over the reins of Pride’s Shady Lady after Marty Irby and this talented mare recently claimed victory at Jackson, Miss., to win the Country Pleasure in Shelbyville, Tenn.

In the Lite-Shod class, Ella Fitzgerald and Wendel Kirkpatrick were chosen by the judge to wear the blue. Jose’s Pushy Lady and Chad Williams walked to the blue in the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class.

Pusher’s High Voltage took Dru McCormick to the winner’s circle once again in the Auxiliary class with the crowd’s approval. Winky Groover and Dangerous Outlook topped the competition in the 15.2 and Under class.

Dollar’s Crimson and Robin MacDonald thrilled the crowd in the action packed Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class.

The Children’s Classic was a class act show put on by chairman Tina Graves and her hardworking crew.

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