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Motown Delight and Russ Thompson Win Big In Reno



By Christy Coon

RENO, Nev. – The 16th annual Western States Celebration was once again held at the Reno Livestock Events Center. The High Sierra mountain range was alive with fall colors, and the weather was unseasonably warm during the daytime. The Western States Celebration has become the show season finale for West Coast exhibitors, drawing horses and trainers from California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Montana. As well as being a great show for exhibitors, this event is a fund-raiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, with many of the proceeds going to benefit this fine organization.

This year’s show was dedicated to the memory of Sharon Manning, who passed away Aug. 22, 2003. Manning was an ever-present figure at the local West Coast shows and events, and had been the West Coast Walking Horse Report correspondent for an amazing 25 years. Manning began her love affair with Tennessee Walking Horses in the early 1970s, a love she shared with all of her family. Her presence and personality are greatly missed, and this show dedication is a fitting tribute to a fine lady.

This three-day event had a jam-packed show schedule that included classes for Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Missouri Fox Trotters. Dr. James Baum of Shelbyville, Tenn., handled the judging duties of the walking horses and Spotted Saddle Horses, while Donna Struemph of California, Mo., marked the cards for the Missouri Fox Trotters.

USDA personnel were in full attendance for this 2003 event. The DQPs handled their responsibilities with incredible patience, and in accordance with their written rules.

The annual Saturday night exhibitor’s party was changed slightly this year, and held at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino. The partygoers were treated to a luscious buffet, as well as the annual silent auction. Each year Linda Steves coordinates the silent auction where you can bid on many items, ranging from horse memorabilia, breeding contracts and even a vacation! This year’s party and silent auction was a huge success!

The culmination of this great event, though, is always the Open Stake Championship that finalizes the show on Sunday afternoon. This year’s championship featured five top quality entries, all vying to be the one called to the winner’s circle. The audience was lively and loud, which added to the drama of the class. As Dr. Baum made his final walk of the line up, the crowd let him know their favorites. When the card was marked and the announcement made, it was Motown Delight and trainer Russ Thompson that were called to the winner’s circle. Owner Eva McClure was unable to attend this show, but she was extremely proud of this team. Motown Delight was truly the biggest little horse, in the biggest little city (Reno) on that day!

As last year, Russ Thompson and his able staff at the Russ Thompson Stables topped the ribbon count with a total of 38 blues, 10 of those being championship tricolors! The talented WGC Genius’s Dixie Chick certainly did her part for the ownership team of Kyle and Gordon by taking the wins in the Lite-Shod Western Amateur Specialty Mares and Geldings class, the Lite-Shod Western Open Specialty and the Lite-Shod Western Amateur Specialty Championship with Susan Gordon in the irons, the Lite-Shod Western Open and the Lite-Shod Western Open Championship with proud trainer Trish Wooten aboard and the Lite-Shod Western Amateur class with Dawn Bransfield happily catch riding.

In addition to those wins, the Gordon family had several other wins to cap off their show season. Kelly Gordon had a great weekend directing Gen’s Lady Fair to the Park Pleasure English Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding win. She rode Simply Thrilling to the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old Stallion win and the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old Championship, and Countdown’s Cordell Walker to the Lite-Shod English Amateur Specialty Stallion win as well as the Lite-Shod English Amateur Specialty Championship. Countdown’s Cordell Walker also made an awesome trip to the winner’s circle with trainer Jamey Thompson aboard in the Lite-Shod English Open class. Always a favorite, the team of WGC A Specialist and Susan Gordon made another trip to a familiar place, the winner’s circle, in the Show Horse Open Specialty Ladies To Ride class.

The ladies of Legacy Walkers, mother/daughter team of Pat and Sue Harrington, must have been very proud of their Russ Thompson Stables prepared entries JFK’s Irish Dream and Jazz In Dixie, both taking home two blues each! JFK’s Irish Dream took the honors in the Show Horse Amateur Three-Year-Old class with Sue Harrington in the irons, while trainer Greg Bryant took the blue in the Show Horse Open Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. Jazz In Dixie topped the Show Horse Amateur Specialty 15.2 class with Sue Harrington, while trainer Greg Bryant directed the win of the Show Horse Open Mare and Gelding class.

Gary and Carleen Redman have bred and raised two blue winners in Joltin Joe DiMaggio and Mo’s Trick or Treat. Joltin Joe DiMaggio made three trips to accept blue ribbons, the Park Pleasure English Specialty Four-Year-Old class and the Park Pleasure English Amateur Specialty Championship with Carleen Redman happily aboard. Trainer Trish Wooten took over for the win in the Park Pleasure English Open Four-Year-Old class. Carleen Redman was also in the irons directing Mo’s Trick or Treat to the winner’s circle in the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class.

Another busy team of the weekend was Jenny Earhart and her Centennial Surprise. Throughout the weekend they gathered the wins in the Park Pleasure Western Amateur Specialty and the Park Pleasure Western Open Specialty classes, as well as the tricolor ribbon in the Western Amateur Specialty Championship.

Eva McClure’s horses had a fine weekend as well. In addition to the previously mentioned Show Horse Open Championship win, Motown Delight walked his way to the blue in the Show Horse Open 15.2 and Under class. Mark’s Bustin Loose added another blue to the count with the win in the Show Pleasure Open Specialty with trainer Jamey Thompson aboard.

The Eva McClure and Sue Brassy owned entry It’s Billy The Kid gave two outstanding and breathtaking performances as he dominated the Three-Year-Old division. He won the Show Horse Three-Year-Old Stallion class and the Show Horse Three-Year-Old Championship with Russ Thompson directing.

Bart Starr and proud owner and rider Gerre Mann topped the Show Horse 50 and Over class and the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Championship.

In Exxcess was also in the winner’s circle twice for owner Dr. Steve Burns, DVM, taking the top honors in the Park Pleasure English Amateur class with Dawn Bransfield and in the Park Pleasure English Open Championship with trainer Trish Wooten.

Wooten was very proud of the talented young filly Lady Aspen’s Perfection and her win in the Park Pleasure English Open Two-Year-Old class for owners Don and Marilyn Schweibold.

The sire of that filly, Aspen Gold, was in the winner’s circle at Reno as well. Trainer Jamey Thompson masterfully directed Aspen to the blue in the Park Pleasure English Open class for the 4-J Land & Cattle Company.

The ever-popular team of Million Dollar Dream and Ron Kascius rode to the blue in the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class.

New to the West Coast, P.T. 109 mad a fabulous showing to win the Show Horse Open Two-Year-Old Stallions class with trainer Ray Reis in the irons for owner Stan Wilcoxen.

New owners, Clanton and Sandra DuBos must be ecstatic with their purchase of Dragonfire after his Park Pleasure English Open Specialty win with Jamey Thompson in the irons.

Golden West Farms entries accounted for 15 wins, two of which were championship honors. World Grand Champion Double Java took home another of those championship tricolor ribbons, winning the Lite-Shod English Open Championship with trainer Scott Benham riding for Mark and Macy Drummond. Benham also directed the win in the Lite-Shod English Open Four-Year-Old class, while Marcy Drummond took over the reins to ride to the winner’s circle in the Lite-Shod English Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old class.

JFK’s Top Aid also rode to championship honors in the Show Horse Open Two-Year-Old Championship for owners Dick and Sally Reily with Scott Benham in the irons. Sally Reily happily took her turn in victory lane in the Show Horse Amateur Two-Year-Old class.

Judy Sims and Strictly Off The Record contributed to the Golden West Farms blue ribbon count with their wins in the Lite-Shod English Open Specialty Three-Year-Old class, the Lite-Shod English Amateur Three and Under and the Lite-Shod English Amateur Specialty Novice classes. In addition, the owner/trainer team of Judy Sims and Andrea Turner directed Strictly Off The Record to the blue in the popular and fun Lite-Shod Pro/Am class.

Joyce Hofstee took two turns in the winner’s circle. One was aboard Drop It in the Park Pleasure English Amateur Specialty Novice class. The other was aboard Gold Ritz & Famous in the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Novice class.

Mike and Marilee Moran were happy with the blue ribbon performance of My Advice and Scott Benham in the Park Pleasure English Open Specialty Three and Under class. A Skywalker and Scott Benham gave an exhilarating performance, and were rewarded with a call to the winner’s circle in the Show Horse Open Specialty Gentlemen To Ride class for proud owners Paul and Donna Hughes.

Patrick’s Ace and rider Michelle McDermitt took the honors in the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty Novice class for owner Patrick O’Connor.

Rounding out the Golden West Farm wins was the team of Motown Legend and Scott Benham as they picked up the blue ribbon in the Show Horse Open Stallion class. Happy owners Charles and Julie Wharton were on hand to witness this win.

Pollack’s Silver Spur Ranch owned entries, directed by trainer Jimmy Norris, made the trip to the winner’s circle a total of 14 times! Our Mr. Hollywood and Patti Pollack made that trip five times, in the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Amateur Specialty, Lite-Shod Pleasure English Open Specialty, the Lite-Shod Pleasure Western Amateur Specialty classes, the Western Amateur Specialty Championship and the English Amateur Specialty Championship.

Polluck also directed Down Under to wins in the Show Horse Amateur Mare and Gelding class and the Show Horse Amateur Championship. She rode Pusherama to the win in the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty Championship, while daughter Ashley rode Pusherama to the winner’s circle in the Show Pleasure Specialty Junior To Ride class. Ashley Polluck also took a turn aboard Roll With The Tide and topped an exciting class of juvenile riders in the Show Horse Specialty Junior to Ride class.

Next up was Sherri Pollack, who directed Roll With The Tide to the win in the Show Horse Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class. Her son, Blake, also took his turn for a blue aboard Eagle Dancer in the Spotted English/Western Junior to Ride class. Trainer Jimmy Norris also took a trip to the winner’s circle in the Show Horse Open Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class.

Rounding out the blue ribbon count, the entire clan of family and friends got into the act for the Halloween Costume class. The act was a Rock/Punk Star act, with all dressed for the part, including the patient equine addition Sugar & Spice.

Step Aside Stables also picked up 14 wins as well, including three championships, for trainers Sue Wittick and Dana Kanstul. Eightball’s Touch of Glory topped the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Amateur Specialty for four-year-olds and the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Amateur Three-Year-Olds and Under class with Erica Solomon for Jone’s Glory Walkers.

Patriot Score took the blues in the Park Pleasure Western Amateur, Park Pleasure Western Specialty Junior to Ride and the Park Pleasure English Specialty Junior to Ride with Briana Dotson, and the Park Pleasure Western Open and the Park Pleasure Western Open Championship with Dana Kanstul directing for the ownership team of More/Thomason.

Allied Commander took a few trips to the winner’s circle for owner Dana Kanstul. Those classes were the Lite-Shod Pleasure Western Open Three-Gait, the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Open Three-Gait, the Lite-Shod Pleasure Western Three-Gait Championship and the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Open Three-Gait Championship, all with Kanstul in the irons. DJ Clairville took a turn in the irons to win the Lite-Shod Pleasure English/Western Specialty Junior to Ride class.

The Gentleman is Armed won the Lite-Shod Pleasure Western Open Specialty with Dana Kanstul and the Lite-Shod Pleasure English Amateur Specialty Novice class with owner Kathy Atwater.

Dr. Jana Anderson, DVM, along with daughter Hannah Pulvers, took home eight wins for all of their hard work. Keep The Magic won the Trail Pleasure English/Western Amateur Three and Under and the Trail Pleasure English/Western Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty classes.

Generatin Color’s topped the Spotted Any Breed Western Open Specialty, Spotted Saddle Horse Western Open Specialty, Spotted Halter Two and Over Championship, Spotted Saddle Horse Two-Gait Championship, and the Spotted English/Western Open Specialty Championship. Gen’s Silver Sandman took the top honors in the Park Pleasure English/Western Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class.

Allison Smart of Stride Right Stables took time out of a busy move to attend this event, and was rewarded with six wins. Kiss and Told took the blues in the Trail Pleasure English/Western Amateur Specialty Novice with Darcy Newman; Trail Pleasure English/Western Specialty Junior to Ride with Michelle Menderious; Trail Pleasure English Amateur Specialty, Trail Pleasure Western Amateur Specialty and the Trail Pleasure English/Western Amateur Specialty Championship, all with Keri Johnson aboard for owner Betty Chalfant. A Perfect Crime won the Halter Weanlings and Yearling Colts class with Allison Smart at the lead for owner Keri Johnson.

Oregon based Cheveaux Training Stables garnered five wins, which included two championship wins! One of those championship wins came in the Lite-Shod English/Western Specialty Championship with Miss Magic Money and trainer Diane Gueck for owners Gueck and Matthews. Miss Magic Money also won the Lite-Shod English Amateur Specialty Mare and Gelding class with Stephanie Clark and the Lite-Shod English Open Specialty Mare and Gelding class with Gueck. A Beam Come True was in the winner’s circle for the Halter Two-Year-Old and Over Halter Championship. Sharon Gueck-DeFord led this champion for owner Sanni Matthews.

The husband and wife team of Dennis and Becca Pennington train their own horses. They picked up four blues for the weekend. Three of those wins were from the team of Avenger’s Energizer and Becca Pennington in the Spotted Any Breed Open Specialty, Spotted Saddle Horse English/Western Amateur Specialty and the Spotted Saddle Horse Open Specialty Four and Under class. Dennis Pennington directed Highway Patrol to the winner’s circle in the Lite-Shod English/Western Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class.

Leslie Mach Hutson picked up three wins with Deliverance By Man for owner Virginia Hoffman. Those wins were in the Show Pleasure Open and the Show Pleasure Open Championship with Hutson aboard. Catch rider Darcy Newman took over for a win in the Show Pleasure Amateur class.

Larane Moats trains her Trail Pleasure Champion The Storm Generator. This team took the Trail Pleasure English Amateur Three-Gait, the Trail Pleasure Western Amateur Three-Gait and the Trail Pleasure English/Western Amateur Three-Gait Championship classes.

Fran Cole’s Triumphant was certainly that, winning the Lite-Shod English Amateur and the Lite-Shod English Specialty Junior To Ride classes with Carson Troth and the Water Glass class with Brian Wright.

The Halter Model Mare and Gelding win went to I’m Walkin In The Rain for owners Frank and Riecke with Tami Snodgrass at the lead. Snodgrass also led Black Bar Esq. to the Halter Model Stallion win for owners Jay and Pat Fowler.

The Joseph Manos family’s Steel Watch picked up wins in the Park Pleasure English Amateur Specialty Stallions and the Park Pleasure Western Amateur Specialty Novice classes.

Trumps’ Maverick Prince picked up two wins for owner/trainer Theresa LaVoie. Shelly Herman directed these wins in the Lite-Shod English Open Specialty Stallions and the Halter Two Years Old and Over Stallions classes.

Justino Gonzales prepared two winning entries for Stephen Bourne. Double Pride’s Smokin Joe won the Lite-Shod Western Specialty Junior To Ride class with Oscar Gonzales. Justino Gonzales then led Generator’s Silver Bean to the Halter Weanling and Yearling Filly win.

Shayna Shaw picked up her blue ribbon in the Specialty Equitation class aboard The Attorney, owned by Dr. Carl Dieter.

Single wins went to Anne Frank and Pusher’s Miss Madison in the Lite-Shod Pleasure English/Western Amateur Owned and Trained class; A Drop of Gold, owned and trained by Loretta North, in the Lite-Shod Pleasure Open Three-Year-Olds and Under, ridden by Shelly Herman; Canadian Perfection, trained and shown by Dixie Ball for owner James Smith, in the Trail class; and Fancy’s E Z Rider, owned and trained by Lauren Shaw in the Lite-Shod Pleasure Western Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class.

This concludes the highlights from the Western States Celebration. Complete results follow and may also be found by visiting our web site at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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