by Nancy Wiseman
KATY, Texas - The Houston Walking and Racking Horse Association Fall Futurity Classic Horse Show was held October 12-14, 2000, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. Considered the finest show complex in the Houston metropolitan area, it is easily accessed off Interstate 10, with a multitude of restaurants and hotels in the area for exhibitors.

For the third year in a row the show's proceeds went to the Shriners Organization as the designated charity. Prior to the event, show chairman Richard Gerring said, "Entries are well up from the previous years, even with the absence of a few notable barns. As of today we have sold 40 more stalls than last year. That should change as we get closer to the show and barns begin actually arriving. All in all, this should be one heck of a show."

Greg Johnston, from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., judged the racking horses, and Carol Wakefield of Lewisburg, Tenn., judged the walkers. Classes were well filled, and the atmosphere of the show was light-hearted and fun. Nancy Braesicke served as show secretary and kept the office running smoothly. Liz McMillan of Equine Imagery was the show photographer for the third year. Joel Gerring took on the announcer's position for the first time and kept the show moving and the spectators engaged. Leo Marquez and Perry Porter were ring stewards, with Ronnie Blakely officiating as paddock master. Farrier Ronnie Price wasn't required that often in center ring as few shoes were lost.

Well known horseman Bobby Richards Jr. held a clinic Friday morning titled "Beginning the Young Horse." Richards explained successful techniques for working with weanlings and yearlings. He also offered a question and answer session and delved into more specific areas of interest. The turnout for both clinics was excellent. Following the Saturday morning session, "Walking and Racking Horses 101," led by trainer Melanie Eifling, was held for several Boy and Girl Scout troops. The troops were divided into small groups and assigned to members of YAP, the Youth Achievement Program. The young people were excellent at addressing questions on a one-on-one basis and the troops had a fantastic time.

Friday evening was literally and figuratively a special treat for trainers and exhibitors. Moving Right Along Stables, owned by Robert Trahan of Cleveland, Texas, hosted an ice cream social following the evening performance.

The 50-50 reverse raffle kept everyone in suspense on Saturday night. In a reverse raffle it is the last ticket drawn, not the first that claims the prize. All those who purchased a ticket at a premium $100.00 listened as names were called intermittently between classes during the evening. As names were called, they were crossed off a big board above the auction table and were eliminated from the competition. With only one hundred tickets sold, the $10,000.00 prize would be equally shared between the winning ticket holder and the charity. Saturday evening two names remained on the board. Ann Fryer with a group of her coworkers, and Darla Henry, also with a group of her coworkers, held the winning tickets. Each took home $2500.00 to share. Another fund raising event was the silent auction, which closed out on Saturday evening.

The show started on Thursday evening with 15 futurity classes. Rosemary and Paul Sammons were thrilled to see their two young entries take home the winning ribbons as the grand champion and reserve grand champion in the nine-entry Yearling Futurity Championship. Major In Blue, a gorgeous roan colt, topped the championship, as well as taking a first in the Yearlings Stallions and Geldings. He was presented by Mike Civils. The Magic of Pusher, the Sammons' lovely black filly, bested the seven entries in the Yearling Fillies class with Civils again presenting. Rosemary Sammons presented The Magic of Pusher for the Reserve Grand Champion ribbon. Winning the seven-entry Weanling Championship and the Weanling Stallion class was Ram's High Expectations, by Ram's Gold Edition, presented by owner Sandy Duncan and trained by Escondido Stables.

The Double Diamond Stables had an excellent show. Jo Ann and Bill Crane's fabulously talented three-year-old Time To Strut was expertly guided by Jo Ann to win both the Three-Year-Old Open class and the Three and Under Amateur class. Kacie Frankino showed her exciting black star Cash's C Note to win the Youth 17 and Under Specialty Grand Championship after winning the qualifier. Lauren Frankino, riding the big, bold Gen's Volunteer Spirit rode hard right behind her sister to win the reserve grand champion title. The girls' mother, Debbie Frankino, was the reserve grand champion in the Amateur Specialty Championship on the talented All The Way. The pair also won the Amateur Specialty qualifying class. Slippin' Around And Scored, owned by Jim and Sharon Richmond, was the winner of the Show Pleasure Amateur Specialty Championship and the qualifying class. Trainer Don Crum also showed the winner of the Walking Horse Grand Championship, Peddlers Hero, to the winner's circle. Peddlers Hero was also the winner of the open class and is owned by customer Adam Spencer.

The Escondido Stables' Rambo's Velvet Shadow, owned by Judy Peters and shown by Charles Peters, won both the Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Open Championship and the Three Years and Under Open Specialty. Rambo's Velvet Shadow also had the victory pass in the Youth Specialty with Clay Henderson riding. Another entry shown and trained by Victor Mastache at Escondido Stables is Generator's High Noon, this year's Grand Champion Plantation Pleasure Open winner. Shown to top ribbons all week by Danny Savell, Generator's High Noon is owned by Ginnie Mahue. Regene Anderson's Beyond Temptation won the Walking Trail Pleasure Specialty Championship, the Ladies Specialty, Youth Specialty, and the Trail Pleasure Open Canter class. Casey and Clay Henderson, along with Ben Meka, showed Beyond Temptation as the Cowardly Lion in the Costume class to win another blue. Beyond Temptation is also trained by Victor Mastache.

The extremely talented Caprice's Lady Gen, owned by Berry Coffey and trained by Mike Civils, remained undefeated. Following her wins at The Texas State Fair, and Rockwell the previous weekend, this elegant, and consistent mare won the Plantation Pleasure Amateur Specialty Championship with Barbara Civils riding. Civils also showed her to the blue in the Plantation Pleasure Amateur Western Pleasure Specialty and the Plantation Pleasure Three and Under Open Specialty class. Mike and Barbara's son Jimmy showed the two-year-old horse in the Plantation Pleasure Youth Specialty classes, winning both the qualifying class and the championship. Caprice's Lady Gem began showing this fall and is only two years old.

World Champion rider Jan Anderson showed off her skills as she expertly guided her horse, Bad News Royal Rapture, to wins in both the Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Amateur Specialty Championship and qualifier. The team is trained by John Feltner Jr.

I’m All That and Ann Fryer were victorious, handily winning the Walking and Racking Horse-Spotted Saddle Horse Trail Pleasure Championship as the crowd shouted their approval for the team. They were also the Reserve Grand Champions in the Poles class. I'm All That is owned and trained by Fryer and Ronald Conley. Top honors in the Poles class went to Caitlin Skibbe and her horse Copy's Color.