by Linda Scrivner

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. – The Neshoba County Classic was voted the 2008 Mississippi Walking Horse Association Best One-Night Show of the Year. One only has to attend to see why. The 2009 show was held Saturday, June 6, with a large audience to cheer for the talented entries at the show. Everyone enjoyed the air-conditioned state of the art Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia, Miss., since the temperatures were once again in the 90s. Larry Joe Applton Jr. judged the 32-class event. The show featured seven WHTA Riders’ Cup classes. The Riders’ Cup classes continue to be very competitive regardless of what part of the country they are in.

Anticipation all evening centered around the stake class to see who the contestants would be. The crowd was pleased with the hotly contested final class of the evening, the Riders’ Cup Championship. Ross Campbell and I’m Risky Business made their debut performance to take the victory pass for owners Jack and Beverly Kirk. This talented horse has eight career wins and won at the Alabama Ladies Auxiliary and Spring Hill last season.

Dale Watts and Reserve World Grand Champion Jose Grande were reserve in the class for owner Luckey Easterling. Jose Grande recently won dual blues at the Gulf Coast Charity. In third were Yucatan and Jerry Woodlee for Steve and Susan Frank.

Swingin Gate Stables and Chris Zahnd had a great show, posting eight wins in professional and amateur ranks. Winning rides by Zahnd were made aboard Red Hot Willie, Royal Firefly and Slot’s Deal Or No Deal. Amateur blue ribbons were won by Kelly Peevy aboard Ritz N Zone, Ben Moss aboard She’s A Prize and He’s An All American, Robert Thomas aboard Look Of Masquerading and Lilly Waites aboard The Dance Hall Doctor.
Pioneer Stables took home a total of six blues from Philadelphia. The team of Daniel Foreman and Stan Kuykendall collected four blue ribbons. Jerry Woodlee’s horses earned three blues while Ross Campbell and Fred Dillon each collected dual blues. The remaining blues went to Percy Lewis, Landon Head and Gayle Meyers.

Complete results can be found by clicking here.