Second Annual Show was “200% better” with 287 entries.
by Linda Scrivner
Posted March 11, 2002
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Second Annual Spring Sensation was indeed a success on March 1st and 2nd, 2002 even though the weather seemed determined once again to discourage show goers. Last year it was rain and mud, this year’s 60 degree weather was followed by temperatures dropping to the low thirties and mother nature trying desperately to blow everyone’s good spirits away with chilly gusts!

However, the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity had prepared expertly for another “Sensation” and the exhibitors were prepared to begin their show season! And show they did - 287 entries with nine returning to vie for the Grand Championship.

Show Manager Paul Boals stated at the conclusion, “This year’s show was 200% better than last year’s show. I believe with the help of Alpha Gamma Rho and the walking, racking, and spotted horse community this show will grow to be one that everyone would look forward to starting the season with every year.”

Alpha Gamma Rho President, Gerald Sellers stated, “Many improvements have been made including a covered warm-up area (140’ X 150”) and the paved access road. There are also many other improvements forthcoming. As America’s only national agriculture fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho is dedicated to this horse show and the horse industry. We feel that with each other’s support there are no limits to where we can go.” The show is held at the Mississippi Horse Park, AgriCenter & Fairgrounds, located on 100 acres, just south of the Mississippi State University campus in Starkville.

Judging this year’s 43 class event was Sonny Holt. Judge Holt judged the classes quickly but giving each entry his full scrutiny. Jack Greene captured the event on film and was able to produce photos at the show with his new computerized trailer. Organist Sherry Alexander made the evenings lively as did the announcers Randy Loper and Billy Walton. The classes were well filled with many new faces appearing at the site this year.

A large crowd displayed much enthusiasm for their favorites and enjoyed the heated facility. On Saturday evening, the show closed with an exhibitor’s reception with food in plentiful supply. In the Grand Championship each of the nine entries was called in one at a time which certainly built up the intensity. Multi-titled Luck Of The Doc and Winky Groover were selected to exit with the tricolor and championship cooler. This big black came on strong to make a tremendous showing. A Shot Of Gen and Dick Peebles walked out with the reserve while Jackie McConnell and Generator’s Flirtin’ was selected for the third position in an extremely strong field of championship contenders.

Whitter Stables of Collierville, Tennessee led the blue ribbon tally with six blues. Dick Peebles Stables of Shelbyville, Tennessee was close behind with five blues. Winky Groover Stables, also of Shelbyville won a trio of blues. Dual blues were won by Brandye Mills Stables, Link Webb Stables, Laura Leigh Dorman, Karla Massey and Robert Scott.

Jackie McConnell’s first blue came in the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class of eight top entries. Hard Promises, by JFK, wore the blue from the ring. Lesa Meadows directed the next Whitter youngster, Olympic Gamble to the top of the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class in a tremendous showing.

Lee Rickard rode to the top in the Ladies Amateur Specialty on The Summit in a very competitive division, followed by the team of James Abernathy and Stormy’s Black Thunder as they thundered to the blue in the Three-Year-Old Amateur.

On Saturday evening the Whitter Stables continued their winning streak. The flashy, powerful The Navigator By JFK and Jackie McConnell earned the blue in the Two-Year-Old Stallion division. Lindsay Wall and her Flashy Cash had a repeat performance from last year in the tough and loaded Juvenile 11 and Under class.

From Dick Peebles Stables, PG-13 and Robin McDonald came in stroking and left the same way to make the victory pass in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty. Moments later Dick Peebles was back in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class taking the victory pass aboard Sheza Ritz. Seven entries came into the Four-Year-Old class and proved that four-year-olds can canter quite nicely in accordance with the 2002 NHSC ruling. Dick Peebles directed Gen’s All Colors to make the victory pass.

On Saturday evening the Anthony Joseph family won two blues in back to back classes under Peebles’ banner. Their first blue was with Crackerjack Edge, a flax maned and tailed, blaze faced beauty. He strolled to the blue in the thirteen entry Three-Year-Old Stallions with Dick Peebles in the irons. Next it was Ashley Joseph directing The Snowatch to the top of the Four-Year-Old Amateur, also a thirteen entry class.

Winky Groover Stables not only won the championship stake but Sheila Groover directed Dumas Did-It down victory lane by besting 14 entries in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings. Sue Jones won her first blue on a walking horse with her Undeniably Dumas in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings. Both of these talents were by Groover’s I’m Dumas Walker and Sheila Groover was extremely thrilled with their trio of blues.

Brandye Mills Stables had two top horses that Judge Holt declared champions. The Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty had 14 talented entries. The high-headed sorrel, My Major Cash with Ray Fincher aboard make the victory pass to much applause. The Amateur Specialty Park blue went to Kenny Boroning and Threat’s Black Bum.

Pusher’s Special Design keeps showing that she is special. She won dual blues at Starkville for Link Webb Stables. Link Webb was in the irons to capture a large Mares and Geldings title. On Saturday evening, owner James Vernon topped a fourteen-entry Amateur Specialty.

Laura Leigh Dorman captured two Starkville blues. The first was in the Lite Shod Pleasure Specialty with Dumas McGuire. On Saturday, she also topped the Juvenile Park title with Winner’s Pride & Joy.

Karla Massey also enjoyed dual blues. She directed Eagles Lady Sue to make the victory pass in the Country Pleasure, Two Gait followed by another victory pass aboard Eagleena in the Amateur Gaited Pleasure.

Ebony’s Gold Dream won dual blues for Robert and Marilyn Scott. Marilyn won the Open Amateur on Friday evening while Robert won the Amateur Owned & Trained Specialty with 13 entries. He made his victory pass with his grandson riding in front.

Tim Smith won one of the best classes in the show as he exited the 15.2 and Under Specialty wearing the coveted blue. Pusher’s Pzazz had just the right amount of Pzazz to please the judge and the crowd. Current world champion Hytone’s Buster Brown and Tyler Herndon won the Juvenile 12-17 Specialty under Woods Stables’ banner on Saturday evening.

Linda McCarley won the Colts Under Saddle with Recipe’s Man Of Magic topping nine outstanding entries.

When March rolls around next year, this will be one place that you will want to be if you enjoy top horses and a top facility to show at, put on by the dedicated Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity brothers. Lots of shows can learn from these hard-working young men who efficiently organize and execute a world class Spring Sensation.