by Janet Bullis


         TAZEWELL, Va. - The 31st annual Walking Horse Classic was held in Tazewell, Va., July 28th at the fairgrounds. This show is always one of the highlights of the show circuit in Virginia and neighboring states. It does like to rain sometime during the show and this year was no exception. However, the show was able to keep right on going and the rain stopped after a few classes.

         The show is sponsored by the Tazewell-Russell Shrine Club. Roger Young, president of the Shrine Club, wanted to thank all the horse trainers, owners, their families and walking horse enthusiast for their support that makes the Tazewell County Walking Horse Classic a success each year.  The Shriners do wonderful work in their support of the Shriners Hospitals that offer free care to sick children. The show was dedicated to Nobel William E. Osborne, one of their long time members.

         The Honorable Gene “Smokey Carswell of Moorehead, Ky., was the judge for the 192 entries in the 33 class show. Dana Doyle was the official photographer to catch all the classic shots. She even took the presentation shots while holding an umbrella.  Mr. J.E. Brown, show manager was hard at work as usual to make sure everything ran smoothly and on time.

         I’m Packin A Pistol and Jeff Hatcher put another notch on their list of wins as this team made an outstanding show to win the Stake class out of seven entries. Charlene Gibson is the happy and proud owner as her horse makes it way to the Celebration. Johnny Orlando, another consistent winner, claimed the reserve win with trainer Mike Oney up for owner Linda Patton. Third place honors went to hometown favorite Kenny Compton and NYPD for owner Rick Compton. It was an exciting class with most of the many spectators on their feet during the class. Jeff Hatcher also won the 11-entry Park Performance class with Jewel’s Scatman for Jennifer Clement.

         Many different stables were represented with Baucom Stables winning five blues. Owner-rider Clay Mills and Royal Luck made a regal show to win the Amateur Open class. Chad Baucom and Master Ritz showed who was the master to win the Three-Year-Old Open for John Weihl and Yvonna Matthis. Yvonna Matthis made the winning ride to top 12-entries in the Amateur Show Pleasure with I’m An Evil Rebel. Tyler Baucom and Street Legal made all the right moves to win the Walking Pony Youth class for Richard and Dottie Boone. Jordan Dean made another great show with JFK Again just missing the rain to add another Youth 11 and Under class win as they make their way to the Celebration.

         Todd Smith Stables took back four blue ribbons to Kentucky. Courtney Luttrell had a great night winning three championships. She won the Four-Year-Old Amateur with Air Force One, the Amateur Two-Year-Old with First Class and the Amateur Three-Year-Old with Gen-U-Wine JFK. Father Linton Griffin got in on the winning with his blue in the Amateur 50 Year and Over on Copy’s Colors.

         Trainer Mike Carter had three wins to his credit. Mike dazzled the judge with his ride on Sky Dazzled to win the Open Two-Year-Old class for owner Sam Kite. K.C. Griffin directed Rain’s Renegade to the winner’s circle in the Pony Adult class. A few classes later she won the Ladies Amateur class with Rythmn ‘N’ Rain.

         Sweet Revenge Stables and trainer Mike Oney had two wins. Lisa Patton-Evans and This JFK’s A Pushover won the Open Amateur class. Richard Evans and Pro-Stock By JFK won the 15.2 Amateur class.

         Mosley Stables had two back-to-back wins. Lindsey Henry and Olympic Pusher won the Youth 12-17 class. Ronald came in the next class to make a memorable win with Keeper’s Prince for owner Chad Adams in the Open Specialty class.

         Helms Farms won two classes. Kevin Helms and One Armed Bandit won the Park Pleasure class for owners Jeff and Rebecca Chittenden. Brandon Helms won the Park Pleasure Open class with North Star By Design.

         Bill Reel Stables also had two wins. Owner-rider Andy Pace won the Novice Amateur class with Highly Addictive. Mary Swecker rode Mozart to the winner’s spotlight in the VWHA class.

         C.B. Daughtridge from High Hope Stables kept on his winning path this season as he won the Plantation Lite-Shod Open and the Plantation Lite-Shod Amateur with world champion Little Dumas.

         Paul Livingston was responsible for two wins. David Davis won the Park Pleasure Four and Under with Armed Gold Kodak. David beat out 11 entries to win the Open Show Pleasure with JFK’s Rare Form.

         Kenny Compton won the Amateur Owned and Trained with Pusher’s Black Hawk. Another Compton family win came with Shannon Cage winning the ETWHA class aboard Generator’s Big Ticket.

         Clay Mills won the NCWHA Members class with Doc Ty. Taylor Gwinn from Barron Stables won the Plantation Lite-Shod Youth with Zappata. The Park Pleasure Youth win went to Samantha Green from Benny Johnson Stables. Steve Hankins won the Open Four-Year-Old class for Della Compton with M.O.A.B.

            Complete results follow and can be viewed, searched and printed at