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Pusher’s Infiniti/McConnell Claim Mid-American Show Title



By Linda Scrivner

JACKSON, Mo. - The 3rd Annual Mid-American Spring Charity Horse Show had excellent quality entries with numbers exceeding the previous year’s show. This year’s show was held May 15-17, and boasted 221 entries compared to 219 in 2002. The show was affiliated with Heart of America Walking Horse Association and this year’s proceeds benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event was held once again at the Flickerwood Arena with the usual downpour of rain during the show.

Show spokesman Rodger Weaver appreciated all exhibitors making the trip to Jackson, Mo., to participate. “We thank everyone for coming. We had a great show and our entries were up. Hopefully next year we will have more trainers, both from Tennessee and Missouri,” Weaver stated.

Judge for the 58 class event was Scotty Brooks of Bowling Green, Ky. Bob Reavis was the announcer and Faye Grantham kept the show lively with her organ. Gary Good snapped action and presentation shots and farrier Scott Cummings was ready to replace shoes as necessary.

The competition in the Championship Stake on Saturday night was so close that Judge Brooks asked for a second running walk to help make the final decision. Trainer Jimmy McConnell of Union City, Tenn., and Pusher’s Infiniti received a loud ovation when they were selected to wear the roses from the ring. This team also received a blue earlier in the week when they were selected Aged Stallion champions for the second year consecutively for owner Bob Medina of Skillman, N.J. Reserve in the championship was the team of Jubilee’s Image and Curt Caldwell for owner Matt McWilliams of Washington, Mo. Third position in the championship was awarded to the team of Ritz’s Heart Of Ice and Jeff Willis for Weaver Enterprises of St. Louis, Mo.

The blue ribbon tally was led by Jimmy McConnell of Formac Stables. Formac collected 13 Mid-American blues. Jeff Givens Stables was close behind with 11 blues, followed by Eddie Barclay Stables with nine blues. Ken Taylor Stables won five blues and Jeff Sanderson and Jeff Green of Maple Leaf Stables each claimed four blues. Dual blues were won by Curt Caldwell Stables and Mrs Glen Campbell.

Jimmy McConnell’s 13 blues included two championship stakes. In addition to the grand championship, McConnell won the Three-Year-Old Stake with Contaminated. This much-talked about horse won the Three-Year-Old Amateur class with Vickie Garland in the irons on Friday night. Gail McConnell claimed two blues for Formac. She won the Trainers’ Family class aboard Cut-A-Rug after Jimmy McConnell claimed the 15.2 and Under Class on Thursday evening for owner Bob Medina. McConnell’s second blue of the show was won in the competitive Ladies Amateur Specialty with Lock & Load.

Major Gee Whiz, by Gen’s Major General, won the Junior Walking Horse title on Saturday. Lady’s Ebony Ace took home two blues under Formac Stables’ banner. Ronald Beltz was in the irons in the Men’s Amateur class to make the victory pass on Friday, following Jimmy McConnell’s win in the Mare and Gelding competition on Thursday night.

McConnell claimed the first blue of the show with Cash In Carolina in the Two-Year-Old Mare or Gelding class on Thursday. Another Thursday night blue was earned by Ritz’s Lisa Ann and McConnell in the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding class. Their 13th blue was won by Zorba in the Open Specialty class, also ridden by Jimmy McConnell.

Jeff Givens Stables won two championship stakes. Gen’s Sundancer, directed by Givens himself, won the Park Pleasure Stake as well as the Men’s Park Pleasure Specialty and the Park Pleasure Open. Sailin Man and Givens claimed four blues, including the Lite-Shod Specialty Stake. They claimed Lite-Shod Specialty blues on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, then returned on Saturday evening to claim the Lite-Shod Three-Gait.

Generator’s Power Pusher and Givens returned to regain their 2002 title of Western Park Pleasure Specialty Champions in 2003, as well as the Open Model blue. Generator’s Rain Dancer and Givens claimed the 11th blue in the Park Pleasure Specialty.

The nine blues won by Eddie Barclay Stables included one in the Amateur Stake. Sister Holly Johnson claimed this coveted title with Pittsburg Steel. On Thursday, they also made the victory pass in the Open Amateur class.

Their family horse Gen’s All Night, who was victorious in 2002 at Jackson, Mo., also won three blues this season. First, he won the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty with Bobby Barclay up, then the Juvenile Lite-Shod Specialty ridden by Marina Barclay and finally, the Western Lite-Shod Specialty title with Holly Johnson up.

Another 2002 winner at Jackson, Mo., was Double Shot Of Gen. He returned this year to claim both the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty with Bobby Barclay and the Open Show Pleasure with Eddie Barclay. Noel B0tsch won the Two-Year-Old Amateur class with Wired’s Special Design. On Saturday Colt Cardwell and Man Of Mine proudly wore the blue from the ring in the Groom’s class.

Ken Taylor’s Stables won five blues including the Two-Year-Old Stake and the Juvenile Specialty Stake. Jubilee’s Awesome Dream and Josh Taylor won the Two-Year-Old Stallion title and returned to claim the Stake on Saturday. Another dual winner from this stable was the team of Mark’s Sweet Dream and Kayla Berg. They proudly wore the tri-color from the ring in the Juvenile Specialty Stake, following their preliminary victory in the Juvenile 12-17 Specialty class. Sheryl Taylor made her debut performance on Sundust With Attitude a blue ribbon one in the very tough Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class.

Jeff Sanderson came to Jackson, Mo., with two horses and returned home with four blues including one in the 11-entry Amateur Specialty Stake. Touch Tone and Jeff Sanderson proudly made the victory pass in the stake as well as the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty on Friday night. Favorite’s Sassy Sunday won the Juvenile 11 and Under Specialty carrying Nikki Berger to a blue ribbon catch-ride. This was Berger’s first time to show a padded horse. Susanne Sanderson won the Amateur Owned & Trained Specialty also aboard Favorite’s Sassy Sunday.

Jeff Green of Maple Leaf Stables of Shelbyville, Tenn., won four blues including the Park Pleasure Specialty Stake. Jeff Green directed Go Boy’s Dark Spirit to both the Park Pleasure Specialty and the stake wins with two outstanding shows. In addition, Green topped the Three-Year-Old Stallion class with Jazz’s Bossman and the Open Show Pleasure Specialty with He’s Cash’s Masterpiece.

Curt Caldwell Stables of Strafford, Mo., won dual blues with horses owned by Matt McWilliams. McWillliams claimed both the Men’s Amateur Specialty with On The Rise and the 50 & Over Amateur Specialty with Jubilee’s Image with two flawless performances.

Caretaker’s Image won dual blues for Mrs. Glen Campbell. She was directed down victory lane by Glenda Nichols in the Ladies Park Pleasure Specialty and the Amateur Owned & Trained Park Pleasure Specialty.

Larry Young traveled from Chester, Ill., to return home with a Mid-American blue. Young and Image’s Fancy Brandy claimed victory in the Amateur Trail Pleasure, Western Specialty class.

Kyndra Roberts Foster directed The Sky King to the top of the Ladies Amateur class for Rocky Ridge Stables of Van Buren, Mo., while Jeff Willis and last year’s Three-Year-Old Stake Champion at Mid-America, Portrait of Art, returned to win the Junior Specialty title.

On Saturday afternoon, Matthew Pickens and Friday Afternoon Delight claimed the blue in the Juvenile Specialty Park Pleasure class. Mo Patterson was the judge’s choice in the Juvenile Trail Pleasure Specialty aboard Stormy’s Ebony Jo.

Morpheus and Suzy Hills returned to Festus, Mo., with the honor of being awarded the Yearling title. John Deere returned to Jackson, Mo., to defend his 2002 Lead Line title. This year Lindsey Mott was in the saddle of this tiny world champion.

Mike Pepper Blue directed the head-shaking Jewell Thief to win the Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure blue ribbon. This concludes the highlights of the Mid-American Spring Charity Horse Show. With its central location and proceeds benefiting such a worthy cause, hopes are that this show will continue to grow and be beneficial to exhibitors, spectators and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Highlights and results from this show follow and can also be viewed, printed and searched from our newly redesigned website at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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