Thursday Night

By K.C. Hensley

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The North Carolina State Championships got off to a good start last night with an amazing 290 entries making the gate call in 24 classes. The judges for this year’s event are Jerry Derryberry, Brandye Mills and Bryant Fly. The evening began with the flag presentation that included David Polk with old glory aboard Ozone’s Delight, the North Carolina State flag was held high by Craig Baggerly riding Gold Coin Cash and Millie Player was with the NCWHLA flag in hand. After the flag presentation an excellent rendition of the national anthem was performed by Jessica Holmes.

The class schedule began by welcoming the 10 entry Plantation Pleasure Horses, Four-Years-Old and Under class. The well known team of Scream Walking and Grandy Tuck Jr. made the winning ride for Jerri Anne Williams of Eden, N.C. The reserve ribbon was received by Extra’s Magic Man and Craig Baggerly for Barry and Jo Anne Baggerly of Burlington, N.C.

The second class of the night was the Open Aged Mares, which may have been slightly short of quantity, but definitely not short on quality. Pattern’s Princess was guided by Justin Harris to the winner’s circle for Jeff Bromnenburg of Hickory, N.C. The second place tie was taken home by world champion Lizzie Borden with Scotty Brooks up for Jim Ed Stuart of Bowling Green, Ky.

The first unanimous decision of the night came in the Open 15.2 and Under class. Brother Splash and Joe Cotten made the winning ride for Evergreen Walking Horse Farm of New Orleans. La. and Bell Buckle, Tenn., much to the approval of the crowd. Ozone’s Delight and David Polk rode the reserve honors for Lavon Tyson of Wadesboro, N.C.

The Trail Pleasure Specialty class was adorned with 12 head shaking entries. This class was also open to english or western attire. Grandy Tuck Jr., guided his second champion of the night, Mr. 24 Kt. Ritz to the blue for Jim and Vickie Smith of Stauton, Va. Reserve in the class was awarded to A Fantastic Choice with Simone Kiemen of Knoxville, Tenn., up.

The experience Amateur 50 and Over riders were next to make the gate call with 20 entries that included several Celebration ribbon winners. The very popular team of Olympic’s Energizer and Becky May made the winning ride for Allen and Becky May of Appling, Ga. The red ribbon was taken home to Rutherfordton, N.C. by Wade Huntley aboard Double Overtime.

One of Ed Breedlove’s own champions made the winning ride in the Open Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. The was also another large class with 15 top young entries riding for the top position. By Reservation Only and Charlie Green received the blue. Possibly Perfect and Chad Baucom took the reserve honors for Rhonda Warren of Kernersville, N.C.

Kenny Compton of North Tazewell, Va., and Generator’s Big Ticket had the winning number in the Amateur Owned and Trained class. J.T. Olds of Sparta, Ky., with A Midnight Touch rode the reserve finish in the class. The Amateur Owned and Trained class was also first class of the night that included the canter which was enjoyed by all the spectators.

Ironically the eighth class of the night , Open Aged Geldings, welcomed 8 talented entries. I’m Cash On Delivery carried David Polk around the arena to the winner’s circle for the Joe Manis family of Laurinburg, N.C. Alvin Strickl and rode Dangerous TNT to the red ribbon in the class for Over The Hill Farm located in Edgefield, S.C.

Debbie Wells of Florence, S.C., rode the striking Cobra Commander to the second unanimous tie of the evening in the NCWHLA Members Only class. The well known team of Fantazmic Cash and Vickie Hughes-Grindstaff to the reserve finish in the class for Farrel Hughes of Burnsville, N.C.

The 15 entry Open Two-Year-Old Stallion class was welcomed by the spectators with cheers for their favorite. Urban Cowboy and Chad Baucom made an excellent team for the top honors in the class Lee Mills of Mt. Airy, N.C. Reserve in the class went to Cashin In At Sundown with Link Webb up for James and Betty Corlew of Adams, Tenn.

The show then returned to the pleasure division with 10 entries making up the Open Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod class. In The Heat Of The Night with Grandy Tuck up made the winning ride for Angela Tuck of Reidsville, N.C. Reserve in the class was awarded to Wired 440 with Mike Conley up for Larkin and Kim Turner of Clintwood, Va.

Nineteen entries made the gate call in the Open Specialty class. Two time world grand champion Gossip with Whitey Whithead made the unanimous winning ride. Reserve in the class was awarded to another current world champion, Big Dog Dumas with Joel Weaver in the irons for the Shane Hasting family.

The Amateur Gentlemen's class continued the show with quantity and quality with eighteen making the gate call. World champions Jazz King and Ed Breedlove of Buford, Ga., made another winning ride that decided unanimous by the judging panel. Another world champion made the reserve ride, A Major Masterpiece with Chris Warley up for Black Gold Farm located in Normandy, Tenn.

Mike Oney took a blue to his old Kentucky home with Centennial’s Bright Eyes in the Open Three-Year-Old Mare and gelding class. Linda Patton of Mt. Sterling, Ky., owns the winning entry. My Senorita and Charlie Green came in as a close reserve for C and T Investments of Mt. Juliet and Shelbyville, Tenn.

In the ever popular Pro-Am Specialty class 13 teams made their way to the ring to vie for the top honors in the class. Clay Mills, Jeanette Baucom and Another Pushbutton was the winning trio in the class. The red ribbon was received by Classic Rebel with Morgan Nichols and Ronald Mosley making the good ride.

Millie Player enjoyed her winning ride aboard Grandy Garcia in the NCWHLA Members Only Plantation class for Jameson and Fisher of Florence, S.C. Reserve in the class went to celebration champion, The Cash Collector with Amanda Dickerson of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., up.

Another world championship team came out to play in the 18 entry ETWHA Members Only class. Extra Ebony and Clay Mills took home the top honors to Mt. Airy, N.C. Reserve in the class was awarded to Vapor with Sam Kite of Telford, Tenn., in the irons.

The newly added Park Performance Specialty class proved to be popular in North carolina too. This class too included 18 talented champions ready to ride for the blue. Former world champion Gold Coin Cash carried Craig Baggerly to the top, unanimous honors for the Joel Davis family of Graham, N.C. The red ribbon was awarded to Sweet Hard Cash with Danny Kistler up for Susan and Embry Robinson of Gastonia, N.C.

The Open Show Pleasure class had enough entries for the class to be split. In the first half of the class, which included 14 horses, world champion San Juan carried Joe Cotten to another unanimous blue ribbon ride. Eric Lackey of High Point, N.C., owns the entry. He Dances With Wolves and David Polk danced their way to the reserve ribbon in the class for Barbara Simpson of Sanford, N.C.

In the second half of the class world champion Coin’s Black Stroke carried trainer Johnny Puckett to the blue for Ashley Compton of Wartrace, Tenn. Ultra Prime Mover and Mike Oney took the red ribbon for the Rodney Young family of Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Johnny Puckett returned to the winner’s circle on back to back blues. In the Open Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding Specialty class Groovy Chick took the blue for Kathy Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn. World champion, Miss Dumas Ebony carried Chad Baucom to the prestigious reserve honors in the class for Lindsey Hess of Harrisonburg, Va.

In the Trainers Family Members class Kayla Baucom surpassed the odds of the the youngest rider in the class to capture the blue aboard Sure Threat’s Masterpiece for Rina Gaddy of Kernersville, N.C. Half Dollar and Jennifer Brooks received the red ribbon in the class for Wes Hendricks of Bowling Green, Ky.

The first floral horse show on the show was presented Thursday evening in the Plantation Pleasure Stake. Well known Fully Armed carried Jeff˜Adkins to the top unanimous honors for Jerri Anne Williams. Reserve in the class was awarded to Grand Safari and Wayne Conley for Conley and Ashe of Newport, Tenn., and Franklin, N.C.

The final class of the night welcomed six top quality entries for the Open Aged Stallions class. Spectators will more than likely see some of these horses again Saturday night in the grand championship class. The well polished team of London Rain and Chad Baucom were welcomed for the blue much to the approval of the audience for Charles Clark of Charlotte, N.C. Reserve in this talented class was awarded to Really and Joel Weaver for McJunkin Farms located in Shelbyville, Tenn. I’m Willie Wonka and Alvin Strickland finished out the top three position in the class. Complete results for Thursday night may be viewed, searched and printed at Also stay tuned for Friday night’s coverage tomorrow morning!