By Linda Scrivner

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, in Springfield, Mo., was the scene for the 33rd annual Midwest Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Fall Charity Horse Show. The show began on Thursday, September 25 and ran through Saturday, September 26 with beautiful fall days and classes overflowing with horses. There were a total of 405 entries, compared with last year’s 302 entries and 437 entries in 2001.

Before the championship stake, president Mike Maack and show chairman and secretary-treasurer Carol Middleton both spoke. Maack began with, “How many had a good time this year? It was the best show we’ve had in a while and we appreciate all the support.”

Middleton said that this was her tenth and final show. “Thank you for over 400 entries in the last three days. We’re extremely pleased and we want to thank everybody,” she continued.

This year’s show was a benefit for The Therapeutic Riding Center Of The Ozarks. Josh Jackson of Shelbyville, Tenn., was on hand to judge the many fine horses from several states.

The highlight of the show came Saturday night as the Walking Horse Grand Champion was called to the winner’s circle after a second running walk was called. Touch Tone and Eddie Barclay made an outstanding show to claim the blue and the roses for Wayne Rae of Houston, Miss. Jubilee’s Image and Curt Caldwell received reserve honors for Matt McWilliams. Tabitha Richards and Generator’s Legend made a strong ride and claimed the yellow streamers for Joe Rozman.

Jeff Green of Maple Leaf Farm of Shelbyville, Tenn., won the blue ribbon tally with six blues. Horses owned by Campbell Ford and Mrs. Glen Campbell of Ozark, Mo., and Holley Stables of Byhalia, Miss., earned five blues apiece. Eddie Barclay Stables of South Fulton, Tenn., Don Bills Stables of Fair Grove, Mo., Ken Taylor Stables of DeSoto, Mo., and Laurie Toone, who recently moved to Southhaven, Miss., all earned four blues. Three blues were earned by Curt Caldwell Stables of Strafford, Mo.

Those winning dual blues were Ron Boyer of Thorncrest Farms of Fairgrove, Mo., Bill Branham of Odessa, Mo., Anne Hardin Stables of DeSoto, Mo., Jim Huffman of Ozark, Mo., Lee Loveday of Fairgrove, Mo., Mike Maack Stables of Bolivar, Mo., Tabitha Richards for Richards Stables of Kansas City, Mo., and Truman Volkart of Tipton, Mo.

Maple Leaf Farm and Jeff Green are always well known for their top horses, and this year was no exception. The Pusher’s Generator, with Kendra Roberts up, wore the roses in the amateur stake just as he had done the previous year in the grand championship for Heiney and Roberts. This outstanding stallion won three blues in 2003 following three Midwest Trainers’ Show blues last year. Roberts and The Pusher’s Generator also claimed the open amateur title, and Jeff Green directed him to the blue in the Walking Stallions class. Reserve in the amateur stake and the open amateur class went to the team of Eclectic and Brian Nichols for Mrs. Glen Campbell. Jubilee’s Image and Curt Caldwell picked up the red streamer in the stallion class for Matt McWilliams.

On Thursday evening the exciting team of Jeff Green and Big Score’s My Papa netted the Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings blue followed by Pusher’s Lady On The Loose and Mike Maack for Carol Middleton. Kendra Roberts and The Sky King also captured the Ladies Amateur Mares or Geldings win for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Roberts.

On Saturday evening, Jeff Green and Dark Illusion claimed the 10-entry Show Pleasure Specialty blue for Wilhelm and Green. Mark The Time and Don Bills were close behind for the reserve spot for Ed and Darlene Swaringim.

Three of the five Campbell blues were earned by Caretaker’s Image. On Thursday evening, tiny Lisa Campbell and Caretaker’s Image made an outstanding performance to claim the blue in the Park Pleasure Amateur-Owned/Exhibited and Trained class for Campbell Ford-Mercury. Reserve honors in the class went to JFK’s Royal Dreamer and Jimmy Laughlin for 4-J. Land & Cattle Company. Caretaker’s Image also carried Glenda Nichols to the top of the Ladies Park Pleasure Two-Gait class and Ted Nichols to win the blue in the Men’s Park Pleasure Two-Gait class. Reserve in the ladies class went to the team of Sherry Hill and Delight’s Miss Generator for Kelly Barnhart and Sherry Hill. Noel Botsch and his Nickey Blue Eyes picked up the reserve position in the men’s park pleasure division.

On Thursday evening, Brian Nichols rode Eclectic to the blue in the Men’s Amateur class for Mrs. Glen Campbell. Bill Branham claimed reserve honors with Pushalot Special for Nettleship Farm. Earlier in the evening, Glenda Nichols directed Dixie Jubilee to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Owned/Exhibited and Trained Specialty class. Dixie Jubilee is owned by Mrs. Glen Campbell. Reserve in the class went to Big Mac’s Impression and Tim Belshe.

Holley Stables’ five blues included the afore mentioned grand championship. Eddie Barclay also directed Touch Tone to the blue in the mares and geldings class on Thursday evening for Wayne Rae. Reserve was the team of Jim Huffman and Diamonds And Cash for Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mitch. The Juvenile Specialty Stake was very competitive. Meaghan Villard directed A High Headed Lady to wear the blue and the garland for Larry Rae. Reserve in the class went to Darkside’s Night Moves and Blaise Herder Broccard for Broccard, Herder and DePaulo.

On Thursday evening, Denny McCollar claimed the first 2003 Midwest Trainers’ Show blue in the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class aboard She’s A Bar Maid for Larry Rae. Picking up the reserve position was Eddie Barclay on Wired’s Special Design for Noel Botsch. Tammy Bunch directed Larry Rae’s He’s Wired Up to wear the blue from the 11-entry Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty class. Tamee LeNeve Heiman picked up the reserve aboard Mark The Time for Ed and Darlene Swaringim.

Two of Eddie Barclay Stables’ four blues were won by Nickey Blue Eyes. Nickey Blue Eyes first captured the Amateur Park Pleasure Two-Gait class with owner Noel Botsch and then the Open Park Pleasure class with Eddie Barclay directing. Reserve in the Amateur Park Pleasure Two-Gait class was awarded to JFK’s Fancy Lady Leslie and Jay Laughlin for 4-J Land & Cattle Company.

Tammy Bunch captured the 12-entry Two-Year-Old Amateur class with her Kody On The Mountain. Picking up the red streamer was Polka Dot Page and Mike Wilhelm for Charlie Green. Eddie Barclay and Wired’s Special Design were victorious in the HAWHA Futurity Two-Year-Old Performance class for Noel Botsch. Jim Huffman and Thorncrest’s Calamity won reserve for Ron Boyer and Karen McKennis.

Dr. Glen DeGraffenreid and Magic Impression claimed two of the four blues won under the Don Bills Stables’ banner. First, this team won the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class on Thursday. Then they returned on Saturday to win the Amateur Specialty Riders 50 and Over class for Glen and Beverly DeGraffenreid. Reserve in the competitive 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty was the team of Tammy Bunch and Prepare To Be Dazzled. Picking up the reserve in the 50 and over class were The Wildest Dream and owner/exhibitor Elvin Sapp.

Entries owned by Don LeNeve won the other two Bills Stables’ blues. Talk Is Cheap and Tammie Heiman claimed the blue in the Four-Year-Old Specialty class while City General and Harold Roberts picked up the number two position for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Roberts. The thrilling new team of Chanel and JoAnn LeNeve made their debut performance a blue ribbon one in the Three-Year-Old Amateur class. Kendra Roberts directed Jazz’s Boss Man to reserve for Harold and Sherry Roberts.

The father-son team of Josh Taylor and Ken Taylor claimed two blues each as well as a stake victory apiece. On Thursday evening, Josh Taylor directed Jubilee’s Awesome Dream to the top of the Two-Year-Old Walking Stallions class for Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Sapp. Then Saturday Taylor and Jubilee’s Awesome Dream claimed the two-year-old stake title. Don Bills and Royal And Famous claimed reserve for Lin Davis in both classes.

On Thursday evening, Ken Taylor directed The Gatekeeper down victory lane in the Three-Year-Old Stallions class for Katy High. The team then returned on Saturday to claim the three-year-old stake win. Jim Huffman and Victory Colors were reserve in the Three-Year-Old Stallions class while Jeff Green and Jazz’s Boss Man claimed the number two spot in the three-year-old stake for Harold and Sherry Roberts.

The team of Laurie Toone and Count’s Smooth Operator made their presence known in Springfield, Mo. They won three blues as a team: the Park Pleasure Two-Gait, the 10-entry Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure and the Park Pleasure Two-Gait Stake. This talented gray horse is owned by Ralph and Elaine Pinner. Reserve in the Park Pleasure Two-Gait class went to Lee Loveday and Delight’s Miss Generator for Kelly Barnhart and Sherry Hill; reserve in the Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure went to Anne Hardin and Final’s Touch Of Mack K Jim for Jill Wait; and reserve in the Park Pleasure Two-Gait Stake went to Brad Nichols and Caretaker’s Image for Campbell Ford.

Toone also directed Silver’s Spinal Tap to the blue in the 14-entry Lite-Shod Two-Gait class for Chip Carrier. Lee Loveday and My Horse Showtime picked up the reserve for Rosalee Jones and Marvelene Kusewitt.

On Thursday evening Matt McWilliams and his On The Rise won the Men’s Amateur Specialty class under the guidance of Curt Caldwell Stables. George Craig and The Inquisitor claimed reserve for Heartland Acres. On Friday evening, a new team made their debut performance in the Ladies Amateur Specialty. Glenda Nichols and Delightful Romeo captured this class for Caldwell Stables and owner Campbell Ford-Mercury. Kendra Roberts and City General took the red streamer for Harold and Sherry Roberts in this competitive class. On Saturday evening, Campbell and Delightful Romeo also won the 10-entry Amateur Specialty Stake title with Roberts and City General again receiving the reserve position.

The first of Ron Boyer’s two blues were earned by Thorncrest’s Overload in the 16-entry weanling class for Thorncrest Farm. Reserve was awarded to The Lady’s A Silver Fox and Tamee LeNeve Heiman for the Don LeNeve family. Boyer also captured the HAWHA Futurity Yearling victory with Thorncrest’s Arctic for Ron Boyer and Karen McKinnis. Anita Hopper and Collector’s Blue Lace claimed reserve for Laura Conway.

Bill Branham returned home with two blues won by Pay The Pusher. Branham directed this horse to win both the Amateur Performance Pleasure Two-Gait and the Performance Pleasure Two-Gait titles for Mr. and Mrs. Bill Branham. Spun’s Gypsy Woman was reserve in both classes. Sara Wilson directed her to the blue in the amateur class and Jim Huffman did the honors in the open class for owner Sara Wilson.

Anne Hardin directed Pencil Pusher to two blues for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Roberts with the assistance of Kendra Roberts in the Professional-Amateur Specialty class. Pencil Pusher and Hardin won the Open Specialty on Thursday evening. Reserve went to the team of Mike Maack and Severe Storm Warning for Jack Buddemeyer. Debbie Murray and Curt Caldwell were the reserve team in the Pro-Am class with It’s Easter Sunday.

Jim Huffman earned dual blues in HAWHA Futurity classes. On Friday, he won the HAWHA Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure class aboard Talk Of Texas for Jennifer Condren. Reserve went to Stephen Ayers and American Revolution. Later that evening Huffman won the HAWHA Futurity Three-Year-Old Performance class with his Victory Colors. Scott Skopec and Million Dollar Gal claimed reserve for Steve and Karen Skopec.

Marvelene Kusewitt and My Horse Showtime won dual blues for Lee Loveday. First, they won the Lite-Shod Western Two-Gait class for Marvelene Kusewitt and Rosalie Jones. Laurie Toone and Wishes Of Cash claimed the reserve streamer. In the costume class, which greatly amused everyone, Kusewitt, who was dressed as a bride, won the blue. Elvis, complete with guitar, played his way to reserve aboard Talk Of Texas for Jennifer Condren.

Mike Maack Stables’ two blues began with Georgia Swicegood winning the 11-entry Amateur Lite-Shod Two-Gait blue aboard Shaker’s Mr. Threat. Georgia and Bill Swicegood were also celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary. Reserve went to the team of Tabitha Richards and Charged By JFK for Richards Stables. Katy Maack won the Trainer’s Family class on Saturday evening aboard Severe Storm Warning for Jack Buddemeyer. Katy Maack said, “I wanted this blue really bad, since Jack couldn’t be here due to his father’s death.” Reserve went to Rita Schubel and Dixie To Motown for Jerry Williams.

Tabitha Richards and Charged By JFK claimed two blues. They won both the Owner-Amateur-Exhibitor and Trained Amateur Lite-Shod, Two-Gait and the Lite-Shod Stake, Two-Gait classes for Richards Stables. Debbie Hill and Caress’s Gold Classic were reserve in the amateur for Gary and Debbie Hill. Laurie Toone picked up the reserve in the stake aboard Silver Spinal Tap for Chip Carrier.

Major Monkey Business claimed dual blues under Truman Volkart’s direction. First, Weston Hetland directed him to the blue in the very competitive 11-entry 11 and Under Juvenile class for Truman and Deborah Volkart. Reserve went to Trigger Cash and Casey Heiman for the Don LeNeve family. Major Monkey Business also claimed the Walking Pony Specialty, 11 and Under blue with Blaise Broccard up on Saturday evening. Leslie Ann Mott and Show Me Jubilantly won reserve for McCall-Clamp Stables.

The remaining blues were won by Gen’s Final Showdown and Fred Gibbany in the Country Pleasure Two-Gait class, John Deer and Lindsey Mott for McCall-Clamp Stables, Thorncrest’s Gambler and Stephen Ayers in the HAWHA Futurity Two-Year-Old Park Pleasure class, That’ll Dume and Eldonna Weiberg for Eldon Jenkins in the yearling class, Thorncrest’s The Deal and Caroline Siegar in the HAWHA Futurity Two and Three-Year-Old Lite-Shod class and Dazzling Dixie and Jerry Manes for Al and Patti Forgey in the 14-entry HAWHA Futurity Weanling class.

This highlights the Midwest Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Fall Charity Show.