By: K.C. Hensley

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky Walking Horse Association held their annual awards banquet Jan. 16-17 at the Embassy Suites in Lexington, Ky. The event consisted of over 60 categories of high-point winners and nine special awards.

The awards ceremony was held Friday night. The festivities began after dinner with the auctioning off of key pages of the KWHA class schedule book. The back cover went for a whopping $3,500 to Travis Wiley Stables.

The crowd was also treated to a special speaker for the beginning of the evening. Justin O’Mally of Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped gave a brief speech to thank the KWHA and the KWHA Ladies Auxiliary for their generous contributions to the program. O’Mally has been apart of the the riding program since he was two years old; he is now 21. O'Mally said the biggest honor he has received since beginning the riding program was presenting the colors at the Kentucky Ladies Auxiliary Show when he was nine years old on a horse named Blue.

The three new Hall of Fame nominees were also announced at the ceremony. The Hall of Fame began under president Kenny Smith in 2000. The nominees were presented with an award by Earl Rogers Jr. The first nominee was the late David Brown. The award was accepted by Brown’s son Frank Brown and granddaughter Madeline Brown. The second nominee was the late C.L. Byrd. And finally, current president, Kenny Smith, announced that the newest member of the Hall of Fame would be Bob McQuerry.

Nancy Hearing of Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped presented the Don and Louis Cooper Award to Buddy Adkins and the Presidents Award to Donna Galloway. The presentation of the high point awards was next.

The first award was received by The Pusher’s Ecstasy, owned by Kenridge Farms, in the Kentucky Stallion Owners Association (KSOA) Yearling division. The reserve high point award in the Yearling division went to Eb’s Night Shadow Dancer and owner Clinton Day.

In the KSOA Two-Year-Old division Eb’s Gun N Go and owner Billy Hunt claimed the first place award. Reserve went to Pay to Play for owners Fuller and Todd. The KSOA Three-Year-Old High Point Champion was Cennoid for Mr. and Mrs. John Gillispie. Reserve among this talented group of horses went to Rave Some More and Sherri Ward.

Possibly the toughest group of competitors in the KWHA was the little Lead Line riders. Emma Thompson was crowned high point champion of this group. Reserve went to Austin Peters.

In the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding division Papa Joe’s Sweet Threat claimed top honors for owners Gordon and Lamar Depoyser. Pusher’s White Lily came in reserve by only three points for Ellis Farms.

The Two-Year-Old Stallion and Gelding division is a difficult class to claim, but not for It’s JFK Country. He dominated this division all season long for owners Paul and Diane Dehler. The reserve high point award for this division went to I’m Game and Clay Mills.

The first amateur high point award for the evening went to Mr. Blockbuster and owners Bishop, Winstead and Zeller in the Two-Year-Old Amateur division. Reserve was received by Raving All Star for Ellis Farms.

The American Choice claimed the honor of being crowned the Two-Year-Old Open Division High Point Champion for Stonewall Investments. Coming in as reserve was HL Blackwell for Terry Manning.

In the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding division Stargazer’s Lilly received the award for owners Bruner and Combs. Color Me Crazy claimed reserve for the Bud McCoy family.

Pickin the Blues was singing a winning tune in the Three-Year-Old Stallion and Gelding division for the James Griffith family. Olympic J came in with the reserve for owners Denzil and Janice Allen.

After claiming reserve in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding division, Color Me Crazy took the top prize in the Three-Year-Old Amateur division. Reserve in the tough division went to Gen All The Way for the Tim Napier family.

In the Three-Year-Old Open division Major Gen Power received top honors for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Johnstone. Reserve went to Ritz’s Razz Ma Tazz for Henry and Randy Smith. There was only a one point difference in the scores for these two horses.

In the Four-Year-Old Amateur division Ryan’s Fable received the high point award for the Tim Napier family. Reserve went to Papa’s Stargazer for Andrea Lunsford. In the Four-Year-Old Open division Dollar Belle claimed high point winner status for Charles and Kay Baxter. Reserve went to By Prescription Only for the Foot’s Club.

The Amateur No Canter division is extremely popular at many shows, and the classes in this division are ofter among the largest. Goldwell’s Delight claimed top honors for Cathy French in this division. The late Pushover’s Spotlight came in reserve for Glen and Denise Parrett. The longtime champion was put down in October 2003 due to a hernia.

My Lucky Colors' favorite color is blue! This fine equine claimed top honors in the Novice Amateur division for owners Dooley and Stratton. Reserve was received by Third Rate Romance for Bobby and Liz Jones.

Becoming more and more popular at today’s horse shows is the Amateur, Owned and Trained class. Claiming the high point award in this division was Pushin' Melody for Jim Floyd. Reserve in this great class was Pusher's Crimson Tide for Cecil and Judy King.

The final decision for high point champion in the Ladies Amateur division was Final Expression for Nelson and Tina Thompson. Reserve went to Gimme That Wink for Courtney Harper.

No matter what state you show in, the Amateur 15.2 and Under division is competitive. This year’s high point champion in the KWHA was Pusher’s Reflector for Gill and Rogers. Reserve went to I’m The Intimidator for the Tim Napier family.

The Open Amateur division has been making a come back at shows in recent years. Claiming the top honor in this division was Royalty’s Painkiller for Terry Logan Lunsford. Reserve went to Third Generation for Billy Ford.

The first of the juvenile awards was given in the highly competitive Youth 11 and Under division to Pushover's CEO and Nick Reed. The Ref and Justin Isaacs came in reserve.

In the older juvenile division, Youth 12-17, Delightful George received the honor of high point champion for Lakita Lykins. Reserve in the division went to Call Me Cash for Laura Beth Comley. The juveniles were also combined into one division for the Youth 17 and Under division. This award went to Mark’s Eliminator for Jessica Smoot.

In the Pleasure division the first award given was the Two-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure High Point award, it went to Live Jazz for Kevin and Kim Smith. Reserve went to The Wild Card for Michelle Lamb. The winner and the reserve winner were only separated by two points in this tough race.

The Three-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure division was won by JFK’s Score for John Mucci. Reserve among these youngsters was Dangerous Elle for Lori Fields. Twisted Cash dominated the Four-Year-Old Plantation Pleasure division receiving first for Kevin and Kim Smith. Reserve went to White On White JFK for Terry and Anne Sams.

In the Plantation Pleasure No Canter Open division Gabriel’s Glory claimed the honor of high point champion for Glenda Kirkland. Reserve in the division went to Power’s Medicine Man for John and Pam Thorton.

The Plantation Pleasure Amateur No Canter class is always an entertaining class at shows across the country. In this division Generator’s Bright Star received the top award for Terry and Anna Sams. Reserve in this competitive division went to Ebony’s Threat Ultra for Gary Miller. In another category of pleasure classes, the lite-shod division high point award was claimed by well-known champion Fiddlin’ At Sunrise for Bob and Grace Hawkins. Reserve in the division went to Big Score Surprise for Gary Moore.

Fiddlin’ At Sunrise also claimed the next category, which was the Lite-Shod Canter division, followed by another well-known champion Son Of Dude claiming the reserve for George Quinley. In the Juvenile Plantation Pleasure division Pattern’s Gen claimed the top honor for Renee Allen Dauer. Reserve in the division went to Coined By Sally for Gloria Mitchell.

In the Plantation Pleasure Open division Boomerang’s Threat was a threat all season long and claimed the top honor for Glenda Kirkland. Reserve in this talented group went to world champion Wham for Kevin and Kim Smith.

In the Western Plantation Pleasure division Fiddlin’ At Sunrise claimed his third award for the evening for Bob and Grace Hawkins. Reserve in the division went to Wham for Kevin and Kim Smith. Winning the Amateur Country Pleasure division by over 100 points was Taking Care Of Cash for Greta Potter. Reserve in the division was Mr. T’s Prince for Ruth Lane.

In the Juvenile Country Pleasure division Generator’s Black Glory won by a landslide for Nancy Williams. Reserve in the division was A Sun Drop’s Cover Girl for Buster and Sheila Colley.

Finishing up the Pleasure division, the high point awards for the Show Pleasure Open and Amateur divisions were presented. In the Amateur division Clutch’s Holiday claimed the top honor for Oliver Stables. Reserve went to Major Player for the James Griffith family. In the Open division it was Clutch’s Holiday again! Reserve this time went to Poisonous for Tommy and Teresa Chaffin.

There are two awards designated for the KWHA Ladies Auxiliary, one for the performance division and one for the pleasure division. In the performance division Dana Pitcock was the top member. And in the Plantation Pleasure division Kris Hockensmith was the member that took home the award.

In the Walking Seat Equitation class a rider’s form is demonstrated to perfection. This year’s high point award went to Emma Jones. Lakita Lykins claimed the reserve award.

The Walking Pony division finished up presentation of the juvenile high point awards. I’m Pushin claimed the top award for the Tim Napier family. Reserve in the division went to Steel Warrior for Ashlie Doyle.

The next high point awards of the evening were for the youngsters of the show ring. The KWHA Yearling High Point award went to Pushover’s Miss Cash for Buster and Shelia Colley. Reserve went to Blue’s Magic Night for owners Creech and Brewer. The KWHA Weanling High Point awards had a Gone With The Wind feel to them. The top honor went Kodachrome’s Scarlett O’Hara. The reserve award went to none other than Kodachrome’s Rhett Butler. Both Scarlett and Rhett are owned by Susan and Larry Wood.

In the Open 15.2 and Under division Generator’s Miss Joy claimed the top honor for Donald Hendricks. Reserve was gratefully received by Motown’s Good Timing for Lisa Patton.

Next was the Open Specialty division. Beam’s Smoke Signal steamed the competition all season long for Gary and Jude Rose and ended up with the high point award in this category. Reserve in this difficult division went to Papa’s Twilight Zone for Donna Byard.

The Aged Mare and Gelding division was topped by Lady With Class for Jim Bill and Connie Johns. Reserve in the division was claimed by Mark My Heart for Jim and Barbara Finch.

In the Aged Stallion and Gelding division Johnny Orlando claimed the top honor for Sweet Revenge Stables. Superior’s Generator Threat claimed reserve for L.E. Walton.

Finally it was time for the Walking Stake division. The top horse in this category not only claimed this division but the previous one as well. Johnny Orlando was crowned high point champion! Chilling the competition to claim the reserve award was Ice Cold Ritz for Dooley and Stratton. These two competitors were separated by only seven points.

Last on the agenda for the awards ceremony were the Horse and Person of the Year awards. Stallion of the Year, the first award, was received by Pusher’s Prescription for A.J. Egnew. Reserve went to Eb’s Black Charger for Triple T Investment.

The KWHA honored Pushover’s CEO as Juvenile Horse of the Year for Nick Reed. Pushover’s CEO also received the Youth 11 and Under High Point award.

The next honoree was Third Generation as Amateur Horse of the Year for Billy Ford followed by Wham as the Plantation Pleasure Horse of the Year for Kevin and Kim Smith. Claiming his third award for the evening was Clutch’s Holiday for Oliver Stables as Show Pleasure Horse of the Year. Percolator's Prize claimed the Racking Horse of the Year award for Billy Howard followed by Pushover’s Miss Cash who was named Halter Horse of the Year for Buster and Sheila Colley. The last Horse of the Year award was given to It’s JFK Country in the Open division for Paul and Diane Dehler.

In the Sportsmanship of the Year category Mandie Napier was named Juvenile of the Year. Margaret Coy was the Amateur of the Year, and Terry Sims was named the Professional of the Year.

Sweet Revenge Stables was honored as Owner of the Year. Trainer of the Year by votes was Larry George, and Trainer of the Year by points was the newest member of the Hall of Fame Bob McQuerry.

The Blue Ribbon Show of the Year award went to the KWHA Juvenile Auxiliary Horse Show. Reserve went to the Lincoln County Fair Horse Show. The Blue Ribbon Multi-Night Show of the Year award went to the KWRHTA Derby Classic. Reserve went to the popular Owingsville Lions Club Horse Show.

The yearend awards,voted on by the members of the KWHA, were also presented at the banquet. After the votes were tallied, the Highland Stables Horse Show was named One Night Horse Show of the Year. Reserve went to the OVWHA Spring Festival. Honored by its spectators and exhibitors by votes for best Multi-Night Show of the Year was the Morehead State University Equestrian Club Horse Show. Reserve went to the Carter County Shrine Club Horse Show.

Saturday night the people from Kentucky showed just how much they can have! Whether you liked to play blackjack, craps, roulette, dance or just sit around and talk - the KWHA had something for everyone!