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Pushover's Infiniti and Jimmy McConnell Defend Their Title



By Linda Scrivner

JACKSON, Mo. - The 4th annual Mid-American Spring Charity Horse Show had their best show yet with excellent quality entries. This year’s show was held May 13-15 and exceeded the previous year’s entries. The show boasted 248 entries compared to 221 in 2003 and 219 in 2002. The event was held once again at the Flickerwood Arena and was affiliated with the Heart of America Walking Horse Association.

Proceeds benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Show spokesman Rodger Weaver spoke highly of St. Jude’s Hospital and Epsilon Sigma Alpha. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.”

“Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) is a non-profit women’s educational philanthropic-service organization with over 15,000 members that raises and distributes money to charities nationwide. ESA women contribute over 650,000 service hours as well as raise and donate over $8 million dollars a year. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is ESA’s largest benefactor. For more information about ESA contact Rhea Weaver at rhea@rwcomm.com.”

Weaver appreciated all exhibitors that made the trip to Jackson, Mo., to participate. “We had the best show yet and hopefully next year we will have more trainers, both from Tennessee and Missouri,” Weaver concluded.

Judge for the 58 class event was Jason Day of Shelbyville, Tenn. Jimmy McConnell and Pushover’s Infiniti returned to reclaim the championship that they had received in 2003. The competition in the Championship Stake on Saturday was so close that Judge Day called for a second running walk to help make the final decision. Trainer Jimmy McConnell of Union City, Tenn., and Pushover’s Infiniti received a loud standing ovation when they made their victory pass wearing the roses for owner Bob Medina of Skillman, N.J. Reserve in the championship was the team of Jeopardy’s Class Act and Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tenn., for owner Curtis McWilliams of Murfreesboro, Tenn. This team also received a blue earlier in the week when they were selected Aged Stallion champions over McConnell and Pushover’s Infiniti. Following this class master showman McConnell jumped off his horse, watched Scrivner make the victory pass, then shook hands and congratulated Scrivner. This was repeated following the stake when Scrivner was at the gate to congratulate McConnell for his championship victory.

The blue ribbon tally was led by Jimmy McConnell of Formac Stables once again. Formac collected 11 Mid-American blues. Jeff Givens Stables was close behind with nine blues, followed by Eddie Barclay Stables with seven blues. Ken Taylor Stables won six blues and Jeff Green of Maple Leaf Stables claimed five. Curt Caldwell Stables and Dickie Scrivner of Tanview Farm each claimed three blues. Dual blues were won by Paula Andrews, Campbell Ford, Annie Hardin Stables, Mo Patterson and Jeff Sanderson.

McConnell’s 11 blues included three championship stakes. In addition to the grand championship, Bonnie Gerhardt won the 10-entry Amateur Specialty Stake with Major Gee Whiz. Major Gee Whiz and McConnell won the 15.2 and Under title on Thursday night. In 2003, this team claimed the Junior Walking Horse title at Jackson and he is entering the aged ranks in style.

Lady’s Ebony Ace won three blues in 2004 including the Amateur Stake with Ronald Beltz in the irons. On Thursday evening McConnell directed this head-shaking black mare to the blue in the Aged Mare and Geldings, which was a repeat win from 2003. On Friday, Beltz and Lady’s Ebony Ace claimed the Men’s Amateur blue following the same win in 2003.

McConnell claimed the first blue of the show with A Touch Of Skywatch in the Two-Year-Old Mare or Gelding class on Thursday. Another Thursday night win was earned by Watch Me Closely and McConnell in the Three-Year-Old Stallion class. On Friday evening Gail McConnell directed Lock & Load to the top of the 50 and Over Amateur Specialty class. In 2003, this team claimed the Ladies Amateur Specialty at Jackson.

McConnell was in the irons to win the Open Specialty class with the outstanding Cut-A-Rug in a very competitive class. Contaminated won the junior title on Saturday also with McConnell aboard. Both of these horses had 2003 wins at Jackson.

Jeff Given’s string of pleasure horses are always at the top of any show and he returned to Jackson to reclaim many blues won the previous year. Jeff Givens Stables won two championship stakes. Gen’s Sundancer won the same three classes that he did in 2003. 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 classes. Givens won the Park Pleasure Specialty Stake aboard the palomino stallion, Trip Of A Lifetime.

Sailin Man won four blues this year and last at Jackson. Jeff Givens and Sailin Main claimed Lite-Shod Specialty blues on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, then returned on Saturday evening to claim the Lite-Shod Three-Gait title. Lauren Williams catch-rode Sailin Man to the blue in the 10-entry Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class. AK 47 and Givens won the Open Model blue to open the Saturday afternoon session.

The seven blues won by Eddie Barclay Stables included four won by the team of Amber Waggoner and Gen’s All Night, including the Lite-Shod Plantation Pleasure Specialty Stake. Gen’s All Night was victorious both in 2002 and 2003 at Jackson, Mo. On Saturday afternoon they began their blue ribbon streak in the Bare Back Lite-Shod Specialty class, then the Juvenile Lite-Shod Specialty blue came next, followed by victory in the Western Lite-Shod Specialty class.

Sister Holly Johnson repeated their 2003 win in the Open Amateur class with Pittsburgh Steel on Thursday evening.

On Friday evening, Noel Botsch and Chorus Line claimed the Two-Year-Old Amateur class under Barclay’s guidance. Daughter Marina Barclay won the Juvenile 11 and Under aboard Man Of Mine.

Ken Taylor Stables won six blues including the Two-Year-Old Stake and Three-Year-Old Stake. Dream Watcher and Ken Taylor won the Two-Year-Old Stallion title and returned to claim the Stake class on Saturday. Another dual winner from this stable was Jubilee’s Awesome Dream. Sheryl Taylor won the Three-Year-Old Amateur class on Friday. Josh Taylor and Jubilee’s Awesome Dream proudly wore the tricolor from the ring in the Three-Year-Old Stake. This talented stallion won the Two-Year-Old Stallion and Two-Year-Old Stake titles at Mid-America last year.

The Gate Keeper also won dual blues under the Taylor Stables banner. On Thursday evening Ken Taylor directed The Gate Keeper to the top of the Junior Specialty class, followed by owner Katy High making a victory pass aboard this striking black horse in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class.

Three of the five blues won by trainer Jeff Green were won by He’s Cash’s Masterpiece. Jeff Green directed him first to the blue in the Open Show Pleasure, Three-Gait class on Thursday and also the Open Show Pleasure Specialty class on Saturday. On Friday evening he carried Mike Wilhelm to his first blue ribbon in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty. This is Wilhelm’s second season in the showring and everyone was proud of his superb blue-ribbon ride.

Green directed Go Boy’s Dark Spirit down victory lane in the 11-entry Park Pleasure Specialty on Thursday. Later in the evening Green also claimed the Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title aboard Ritz Lady Masterpiece.

Curt Caldwell Stables’ three blues included the Juvenile Specialty Stake. Tiny Kelsy York made her first show on Thursday evening on Ace’s Zorro and returned on Saturday evening to win the Juvenile Specialty Stake. Gray Sky won the other two blues. On Friday evening owner Matt McWilliams claimed the victory in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty class and on Saturday Nancy Caldwell directed the striking gray to the win in the Trainer’s Family class.

Dickie Scrivner of Tanview Farm won three blues including the aforementioned Aged Stallion class with Jeopardy’s Class Act. Mom Linda Scrivner directed her new horse, I’m Eli down victory lane in the Ladies’ Amateur class on Thursday evening. On Friday evening Lauren Williams and The Lone Gunman claimed another blue in the large Ladies Park Pleasure class.

Brittany Underwood won dual blues with Edge Cajun Style for owner Paula Andrews. Underwood claimed both the Juvenile Trail Pleasure Specialty and the Amateur Trail Pleasure English Specialty classes with two flawless performances.

Caretaker’s Image claimed dual blues for owner Campbell Ford & Mercury. He carried Brad Nichols to the blue in the Juvenile Park Pleasure class and brother Brian Nichols to victory in the Amateur Owned & Trained Park Pleasure Specialty class.

City General won dual blues for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Roberts. Under the guidance of Annie Hardin Stables, Harold Roberts topped the Men’s Amateur Specialty with this flax maned beauty. On Friday, daughter Kyndra Roberts proudly won the Ladies Amateur Specialty.

Mo Patterson and her Stormy’s Ebony Jo claimed both the Amateur Trail Pleasure Western Specialty class and the Amateur Owned & Trained Lite-Shod Specialty class.

The father-son team of Jeff and Luke Sanderson proudly returned home with dual blues. First Jeff Sanderson won the Amateur Owned & Trained Specialty with Who Am I? and later in the evening, Luke Sanderson directed I’m Pushin’ to the blue in the Juvenile 12-17 Specialty class.

Ryan Baker of Jackson, Mo. returned home with a Mid-America blue. Baker and Romeo claimed victory in the Lead Line class, led by Kaye Baker.

Beth Fletcher directed Bar None’s Dream to the top of the Three-Year-Old and Under Park Pleasure Specialty class. Cassie Strange won the Yearling Model leading Dealer Keepin Time.

Kellie Sauer directed the head-shaking Crown Of Splendor to win the Western Park Pleasure Specialty 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 ben

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