By Linda Scrivner

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - In the city whose slogan is “Altitude Affects Attitude,” the attitude of the audience at the North Carolina Championship Walking Horse Show soared. They cheered the large group of exhibitors on loudly and enthusiastically! Numbers have grown steadily the past few years, and show management was thrilled with the 1,009 entries at this year’s show compared to 988 last year and 817 in 2001.

Once again, the Asheville crowd supported their favorites in the large classes with screams of approval! Twelve classes were split into two sections with one class, the Amateur Specialty Novice Riders class, having a three-way spit. Only classes with 25 horses or more were split. The show wasn’t expecting so many classes to be split, so 13 additional neck ribbons had be ordered for the happy winners in some of the classes.

The judges for the three-day event certainly had their hands full. Gene Batten, Mike Conley and Bryant Fly were charged with deciding who would be awarded the blues. Fifteen of the 74 classes had unanimous decisions when the judges’ cards were turned in; that’s 20 percent.

The 34th annual show was held October 2-4 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center and was sponsored by the North Carolina Walking Horse Association. One the things the exhibitors at this show enjoy is preparing for the evening’s classes in the midst of the mountains and hills which are full of trees that have judt begun to shed their bright green for the rich colors of autumn. This year’s weather called for heavy coats especially on Thursday evening when the temperatures dipped down to 35 degrees.

On Saturday evening, the show began with flags being carried into the ring by the Baucom and Mosley families. On one side of the ring came Chad Baucom followed by his wife Jeanette Baucom and their children Tyler and Kayla Baucom. Entering the ring on the other side were Ronald Mosley, his daughter Rhonda Hull and his grandson Bryce Holcomb. Both teams made their way around the ring on their superb mounts, some of which were world champions, and then lined up together at one end of the arena while Tyler Baucom and his mount exited the ring. Following the prayers and pledge, Tyler returned to the ring carrying the American flag and made another running walk pass around the arena.

Ronald Mosley was extremely proud of his grandchildren, Tyler and Kayla Baucom and Bryce Holcomb and his daughters, Rhonda Hull and Jeanette Baucom. “I only had one grandchild that couldn’t make it,”Mosley said.

Very few sports could have a grandfather, a son-in-law, two daughters and three grandchildren all participating at the same event. This truly shows one of the best aspects of the walking horse business in that it is certainly a family affair. During the course of the show, six of the seven earned a blue ribbon.

Later in the evening, Tyler Baucom exhibited current 11 and Under World Grand Champion Pusher’s Clown to the extreme delight of the North Carolina Championship crowd (see separate story). Baucom Stables proudly trained this striking roan grand champion.

The enthusiasm for the final night of the show started early in the show with speculations about who would be showing in the $10,000 championship stake. Twelve teams vied for this top money. Each trainer rode hard to get the utmost from their mounts and the crowd sang out for their favorites. After the lineup was called, the judges put all the horses back on the rail for an additional workout. One of the crowd’s favorites was the white maned and tailed MG Above The Rest.

In a fantastic finish to a fantastic show, MG Above The Rest and Shawn Abee were selected to wear the garland, which featured striking fall colors that brought out the colors in this huge, gentle stallion as he made his victory lap. Owners Tom and Sissy Weese were elated.

“The crowd helped our horse win this,” Sissy Weese exclaimed afterward. The audience certainly did give him support throughout the show and as he exited the ring, although each of the 12 horses had their own cheering section.

Johnny Orlando and Mike Oney performed beautifully as well to win the reserve honors for Linda Patton in this exciting class. Pushover’s My Papa and Chad Baucom received their share of applause as they exited the ring with the yellow streamer.

The entries at this outstanding show represented many of the industries very finest establishments, with many world champions in contention for North Carolina Championship honors.

The crew from Baucom Stables of Monroe, N.C., once again topped the blue ribbon tally with a total of 12 blues! Black Hawk Stables and Steve Hankins Stables returned home with seven blues while Highland Stables had a grand total of four blues. Ronald Mosley Stables and Steve Woody Stables earned a trio of blues each, and dual blues were awarded to Shawn Abee of Abee Stables, Mike Carter Stables, Chris Hazelwood, Paul Livingston Stables, Ken Moore Stables, Mike Oney of Sweet Revenge Stables, Maggie Sizemore, Todd Smith Stables, Grandy Tuck, Debbie Wells and Tim Wheelon.

Thursday Evening

The first class consisted of 10 top four-year-old and under plantation pleasure entries. The judges’ choice was the team of Banana Joe and Brock Tillman. The reserve honors were awarded to The General In Black and Andy Carter.

Cash’s Miss Star was next to win another aged mare blue with David Polk directing. Rave’s Lightfoot Special and Bob McQuerry won the reserve spot.

Classic Rebel and Ronald Mosley won the Open 15.2 and Under class. Motown’s Good Timing and Mike Oney were awarded the red ribbon in this very competitive division.

Favorite’s Maverick and Betty Mosley topped an exciting 22-entry Amateur 50 and Over class under the guidance of Highland Stables. Doc’s Gypsy Rose and Odie Adcock were thrilling to win the reserve position under Benny Johnson Stables’ banner.

In the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class, 18 entries answered the gate call. When the class was called, the team of Busting’s Baby Nay and Chad Baucom was the choice for the blue while Pushin By Promise and Steve Hankins walked to reserve.

Jubilee’s Rising Star and Clay Mills won the blue in the Amateur Owned and Trained class. Private Term and Dana Kyte won the reserve honors.

The first unanimous tie of the show was in the 12-horse Aged Geldings class. Caesar Ritz and Chad Williams were the choice of all three judges while Flashy’s Loose Cannon and Ronald Mosley took reserve in the class.

My Bright Star and Ann Callicutt from Baucom Stables are always hard to beat in the NCWHLA Specialty class, and they earned another blue at Asheville. Mr. Perfectionist and Nora Frazier, carried out the red streamer under Don Lominac’s guidance.

Brent Coburn entered the two-year-old stallions competition aboard Goodbye Joe in a class of 22 outstanding entries. This class kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. When the decision was finally made Coburn and Goodbye Joe were called to the winner’s circle. Reserve honors in this exciting class went to the team of Midnight Dollar and Scott Beaty.

Jazz Show with Jason Hughes in the saddle captured the Plantation Lite-Shod Open title. Regal’s Lady Of Royalty carried Bobby Moss to the reserve placing.

The Open Specialty class was exciting with 22 entries making the gate. Olympic’s Energizer made a great show to take home the top honors with a unanimous decision. The reserve tie went to the team of He’s Wired and Brock Tillman.

A class of 18 outstanding entries kept the crowd cheering as the Amateur Gentlemen Specialty teams entered the ring. When the decision was finally made, the announcer called the team of Number One Commander and Fay Witcher II to the winner’s circle. This team is under Steve Woody Stables’ tutelage. Reserve honors in this exciting class went to the team of Pusher’s Black Market and Buddy Stasney.

Our Screaming Eagle won the first of two Asheville blues with Anthony Moore in the saddle. They captured the 21-entry Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings title. Busta Rhymes and Chad Williams were reserve in the class.

Roy D. Mercer and Alicia Perry and Steve Woody were selected to make the victory pass in the 16-entry Pro-Am Specialty class. Flashy’s Mr. Threat carried Lisa Patton and Mike Oney to the reserve placing.

The 11-entry ETWHA Members Only class was next to enter the ring. Half Dollar and Jennifer May took home an Asheville Blue for Scotty Brooks in this extra deep class. Delight’s Powerful Spirit and Dottie Boone were reserve under Ridgeview Stables’ banner.

The Show Pleasure Open class was equally exciting with 23 entries making the gate call. Ultra Prime Mover and Mike Oney made a great show to take the top honors, and reserve went to the team of Quarterback’s Starman and Anthony Moore.

Thirteen four-year-old mares and geldings were next to enter the ring. Splotched and Brock Tillman took home their first of two Asheville blues in this deep class. Low On Cash and Brent Coburn were reserve.

Pushover’s My Papa and Jeanette Baucom captured the blue in the Trainers’ Wives and Daughters class with a unanimous decision. The Key To My Heart and Jaclyn Tillman were hot on their heels and exited with the red streamer.

Push My Score, fresh from a Kentucky Celebration Stake win, captured the Plantation Pleasure Stake with Ronnie Tabor in the saddle. Taking reserve were Generator’s Flash Point and Todd Smith.

The final performance Thursday was the Aged Stallions class. I’m Unarmed and Chad Baucom earned the blue while Generator’s Power Punch and David Polk were reserve.

Friday Evening

Thunder Grey and Grandy Tuck received the blue unanimously in the Western Lite-Shod class of 11 entries. Riding hard for the reserve was the team of Regal’s Lady Of Royalty and Heather Moss under trainer Bobby Moss’ guidance.

Twelve entries in Division A of the Amateur Mares Specialty drew everyone to the rail. The judges’ unanimous choice was Cash Is My Choice and Hunter Rouse under Steve Woody’s guidance. Cash Is My Choice and owner Sharon Lessard won this title in 2002. The crowd voiced their opinion as this team exited the ring. Design’s Royal Celebrity and Brenda Lynch were stupendous in their red ribbon performance for trainer Robert East.

Doc’s Gypsy Rose and Odie Adcock made another winning pass in Division B of the Amateur Mares Specialty under the guidance of Benny Johnson. The Key To My Heart and Jaclyn Tillman exited the ring with the reserve in the 11 deep class.

Sandy’s Senator and Lane Atwell reigned over the 11 and under ranks in division A, which featured 12 entries, by making an outstanding performance which netted the blue for Steve Hankins Stables. Popcorn Pusher and Tyler Baucom exited with the red ribbon for trainer Tim Wheelon.

Topping a class of 13 entries, Sunrise Heartbeat earned the first of two blues in Asheville with Josh Mosley in the saddle for Highland Stables. Reserve in this spectacular class was the team of A JFK Masterpiece and Brittnie Cox from Randy Lollis Stables.

The blue was awarded to The Cash Collector and Amanda Dickerson in the 10 deep amateur trained plantation class. I’m Shania and Gordon Ezzell collected the red as they exited the ring.

Harold Edwards made a blue ribbon ride in the Amateur Specialty Geldings class, Division A with 19 entries. He was aboard the talented Dark Spirit’s Special. They rode away with the next ribbon for Allen McQuerry Stables. Five Star Ritz and Buddy Stasney earned the reserve spot in this competitive class under Bobby Wycoff’s banner.

He’s Wired and Jaclyn Tillman made yet another winning pass in the Amateur Specialty Geldings class, Division B under Black Hawk Stables’ banner. Cash At Sunrise and Paulette Adkins made a great showing for reserve. The class featured a total of 18 entries.

Fifteen was the number in the Division A of the Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class. Rio Grande Command and Debbie Wells earned an Asheville blue. Receiving reserve honors in this outstanding class were Jazz Pushover and Beth Carol Thomas from Scotty Brooks Stables.

Our Screaming Eagle and Senator Carol Jackson had yet another great week in Asheville, taking home the title in the 14-entry Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings, Division B class for Ken Moore Stables. Reserve was awarded to the team of Coin By Dollar and Justin Taylor for trainer Todd Smith.

In Division A of the Youth Specialty 12-17 class, 12 entries answered the gate call. Heartattack’s Fastbeat and Carol Beth Thomas made a great show to claim victory for trainer Todd Smith. Receiving reserve honors in this outstanding class were Exclusive Gold and Brandon Derrick from Steve Woody Stables.

Classic Rebel and Bryce Hull grabbed the blue in the B division of the Youth Specialty 12-17 class of 11 for Ronald Mosley Stables. Taking home the red were Favorite’s Maverick and Justin Mosley from Highland Stables.

Betty Mosley directed I’m An Evil Rebel to the winner’s circle in Division A of the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallions class, which had 15 entries, under the guidance of Highland Stables. General MacArthur and Jaclyn Tillman rode to the reserve position for trainer/husband Brock Tillman.

Pickin The Blues and Linton Griffith made the victory pass in the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallions, Division B class with an unanimous decision for trainer Mike Thomas. Taking reserve in this class were Rain’s Renegade and Tracy Fuller from Mike Carter Stables.

Cut Above All and Deborah Perry made the victory pass in the 20-entry Amateur Ladies Specialty class for Baucom Stables. Receiving reserve honors were Sensational Premiere and Latitha Oran under Steve Woody Stables’ banner.

Splotched and Jaclyn Tillman made the blue ribbon ride in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class with 12 entries for trainer Brock Tillman. My Bright Star and Ann Callicutt took home the reserve win for Baucom Stables.

Sabina and Anka Longest claimed top honors in a class of 11 in the B division of the Amateur Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class under Steve Hankins Stables’ banner. Grabbing the red in this class were Cameo Cash and Rhonda Warren for Baucom Stables.

A Rebel Without A Cause and Bob Adcock made a great ride for the blue in the 11-entry Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old Stallions, Division A class. The team won unanimously under Steve Hankins Stables’ banner. Pusher’s Bull Market and Buddy Stasney captured reserve honors in the tough class.

Cold Hard Truth and Candra Shuler made a blue ribbon ride in the 12-entry Amateur Specialty Four-Year-Old Stallions, Division B class for Paul Livingston Stables. Reserve honors went to Ritz’s Jr. and Tameron Kenney from Scott Beaty Stables.

In a unanimous decision, the plantation youth champions were Skyline and Meagan Mozely for trainer Tim Wheelon. Reserve winners in the 14-horse class were Generator’s Flash Point and Beth Carol Thomas from Todd Smith Stables.

Master General and Jack Thompson, riding for Maggie Sizemore, really had a good ride for the win in the 19-deep Lite-Shod Amateur Specialty class. Samantha Green directed Regal’s Lady Of Royalty to the reserve win for trainer Bobby Moss.

Generator’s Old Gold and Hunter Rouse brought home the blue unanimously in the Amateur 15.2 Canter class with 11 entries. I’m Miller Lite and Paul Robbins received the reserve honors.

Jaclyn Tillman and Look Who’s In Command claimed top honors in division A of the Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty class, with 18 entries, under Justin Jenne’s guidance. Olympic’s Energizer and Becky May claimed the red for Baucom Stables.

The B division also had 18 entries and was won by Whisper of JFK and Amy Abee. They were prepared for competition by trainer/husband Shawn Abee. Claiming reserve were Sure Threat’s Masterpiece and Rhonda Hull hailing from Ronald Mosley Stables.

Sixteen teams answered the gate call in the Amateur Stallions Specialty class. Emerging victorious was the team of Showtime Generator and Mike Squires for trainer Harold Curry. Generator’s Power Punch and Dee Dee Polk claimed the red streamer for Polk Stables.

Banana Joe and Justin Jenne’ made their debut performance in the Western Plantation Specialty a blue ribbon one. Silver Angel By Design and John Toney strolled up to the reserve spot.

The final class of the evening was the 12-entry Amateur 15.2 and Over class with 12 top entries. The unanimous decision of the judges was the team of Pusher’s Black Hawk and Jaclyn Tillman for trainer Brock Tillman. Claiming second were Command Wild Card and Abby Fox from Scott Beaty Stables.

Saturday Evening

Saturday arrived in the Smokies with everyone feeling the excitement and tension mounting in the air. The first blue Saturday was awarded unanimously to weanling filly champions Encore’s Midnight Lady and Nolan LaRue. Reserve winners were Bust My Cash and Vickie Hughes Grindstaff.

Thirteen weanling stallions strolled into the ring next. Edge’s Third Times A Charm and Chris Hazelwood were victorious. Gen’s Dark Desire and Vickie Hughes Grindstaff earned the reserve position.

The yearling fillies were next on the agenda with Miss Honey Fitz and Tommy Halmontaller making the victory stroll for trainer Mike Carter after besting a field of 10 entries. JFK’s Gray Mist was led by Kathi Correll to win reserve.

The yearling stallion champion was Uptown Generator and Vickie Hughes Grindstaff. Dynamo’s Ace Of Spades and Herschel Blessing walked out with the red streamer.

Nineteen weanlings returned for the weanling championship. Edge’s Third Time’s A Charm was selected to wear the roses from the ring for an excited Chris Hazelwood. Reserve Weanling Grand Champions were Encore’s Midnight Lady and Nolan LaRue.

Selected to be the Grand Champion Yearling was Miss Honey Fitz led by Tommy Halmontaller in an unanimous win out of 16 entries. The team of Uptown Generator and Vickie Hughes Grindstaff earned reserve grand champion honors.

Sunrise’s Heartbeat returned to the ring to win his second Asheville blue. Josh Mosley directed Sunrise’s Heartbeat to the tricolor in the Youth 11 and Under Specialty Championship for Highland Stables. Reserve in the 13-entry class was won by Popcorn Pusher and Raegan Thompson under the guidance of Tim Wheelon.

Winning the 12-entry Lite-Shod Plantation Stake in an unanimous tie were Master General and Jack Thompson for trainer/owner Maggie Sizemore. The team of Jazz Star and John Toney claimed the reserve position.

The Amateur Specialty Novice Rider classes are very popular and at Asheville, the class was split three ways. The division A victory was awarded to The Raffle and Kurt Wilkerson under the guidance of Steve Hankins Stables. Half Dollar and Ronnie Brooks captured reserve in the 15-entry class.

Victors in division B were the striking My Lucky Color and Tracy Stratton for trainer Donald Stamper. The red ribbon was carried out by Ricky Frazier aboard Mr. Perfectionist under Don Lominac Stables’ guidance in the 16-entry class.

Division C had 13 entries riding hard for their positions. Rebel Fame and Kurt Wilkerson won the blue for trainer Tim Hicks. Still able to show in the novice division this season by tying reserve was Beam’s Smoke Signal and Gary Rose for trainer Buford Martin.

The walking pony class was 14 strong, and parents and fans cheered for their favorites. The judges’ selection was Sure Threat’s Masterpiece and Kayla Baucom hailing from Ronald Mosley Stables. Kayla Baucom said she would show if her papaw would put her in the ring. Grandfather and trainer Ronald Mosley certainly tried his best to take care of her, running beside her on her victory pass to try to put her foot back in the saddle. It appeared however that she really didn’t need that stirrup to make her victory pass, nor did she need the radio that was swinging between the pony’s back legs. These are the things that memories are made of! Reserve went to Senator’s Silver and Josh Mosley from Highland Stables.

Winning the 18-entry Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class were Pushin By Promise and Bob Adcock from Steve Hankins Stables. Gentleman Ace and Madison Holloway from Baucom Stables took reserve.

The NC Walking Horse Amateur Members Specialty class was divided into two divisions. Capturing first in the 18-entry section A was the team of Big Papa Cool and Clay Mills from Baucom Stables. Reserve went to Command In Gold and Alicia Perry for trainer Tommy Blackwell. Section B had 15 entries; the title went to My Bright Star and Ann Callicutt from Baucom Stables. The reserve champions were Roy D. Mercer and Alicia Perry from Steve Woody Stables.

The Three-Year-Old Stallions class with 23 entries was won by The Diamond Broker with Jason Hughes in the irons after a terrific class while reserve was won by Pop Top Papa and Scott Beaty.

Thirteen hard riding youngsters came into the ring next. The crowd went wild as these talented riders vied for the Youth Specialty Championship title. Heartattack’s Fastbeat and Beth Carol Thomas wore the garland from the ring under Todd Smith Stables’ tutelage. Reserve was awarded to Pushin’ The Limits and Madison Holloway for Baucom Stables.

Twenty Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion riders came next. The winners were I’m Game and Clay Mills from Baucom Stables while second went to the team of Spooky-Spook and K.C. Barron for trainer Jackie Barron.

The Amateur Specialty Championship was awesome with 19 extremely talented teams answering the gate call. At the conclusion of the class the judges’ declared Cut Above All to be the 2003 Asheville Amateur Specialty Grand Champion, just as he was in 2002. Deborah Perry did her usual expert job of displaying this high-headed stallion to his best. Baucom Stables readied this team for competition. Reserve went to Showtime Generator and Mike Squires, another outstanding team. This team was under the direction of Harold Curry Stables.

The Amateur Show Pleasure class was divided into two divisions. Seventeen entries marched into the ring for section A, and when the class was over Ultra Prime Mover had claimed his second Asheville blue. Sabrina Young was in the saddle for trainer Mike Oney. Major Player and Courtney Griffith earned the reserve placing for Kevin Luttrell Stables.

Division B featured 19 talented mounts. Dynamic Ritz and Debbie Wells walked their way to the blue. Double Deck and J.T. Olds were reserve for Olds Farm.

Thirteen four-year-old stallions were next on the agenda. Paul Livingston and Cold Hard Truth were chosen to make the victory pass. Sweepstakes Beam and Grand Tuck strolled to the second position in this very competitive class.

As the evening went on, the competition just got keener. When the gate opened for the Amateur Plantation Stake, the horses just kept coming until all 15 entered the ring. Current world champion Skyline and Jack Morgan wore the flowers from the ring under Tim Wheelon’s guidance. The Cash Collector and Amanda Dickerson exited the ring with the red streamer.

With only two classes left, excitement grew quickly. The gates opened for the amateur stake and 10 hard riding teams answered the gate call. Generator’s Old Gold and Hunter Rouse from Steve Hankins Stables were chosen unanimously. Jaclyn Tillman and Pusher’s Black Hawk from Black Hawk Farm were awarded the reserve ribbon.

At the conclusion of the amateur stake, everyone knew they had seen a great show. This was the largest turnout in the show’s history and many felt it was the best! If you missed the North Carolina Championships, you missed great horses, great comradeship and great scenery. Add this show to your list of “must go” shows in 2004! It’s one of the greatest.

Complete results follow and can also be read, searched and printed from our web site Judges’ cards are also available in this issue and online.