by Linda Scrivner
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Land-O-Sky Summer Festival was held on July 9-11, 2009, at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center Horse Show Arena. The show was sponsored by the Land-O-Sky Shriners’ Club and was sanctioned by the Kentucky Walking Horse Association HIO. The Shriners do an excellent job with running the show. Show managers were Bruce and Joe Whitt and the walking judges were Jamie Hankins of Paris, Ky., Bill Carmichel of Mt. Sterling, Ky., and Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tenn. USDA VMOs Dr. Kurt Hammel, Dr. Peter Kirstein and Dr. Jeff Baker were present Friday and Saturday evenings and the show went on with competitive horses showing. The crowd remained large all three nights and the spectators cheered loudly for their favorite horse.

The finale of the three-day show was the Walking Horse Grand Championship. After winning the Curtis Hamilton Memorial Championship, Ritz On The Corner and Sam Martin added another stake class victory to their resume. This was the fourth blue this season for this talented horse, who is owned by Dr. David Brown and Ronnie Culley.

Many trainers and owners came from several different states to watch and compete for top honors. Baucom Stables went home with 12 blues. Wesley Alley and Tracie Barron-trained horses each had six trips to the winner’s circle. Rae Martin Stables won five blues and Grandy Tuck Jr. of Walkaway Stables had three titles. Burl Dale, Kenneth Callicutt, Steve Hankins Stables, Helms Farms, Kathy Jamison, Hannah McRae and Brian Strickland each had dual blues.

In the amateur divisions, Clay Mills rode away with five blues just as he did last year and two floral horseshoes. He won more than any other amateur rider at the show. Tracie Barron and C.B. Daughtridge picked up four wins each. Landon Callicutt, Kenny Compton and Yvonna Matthis each made three victory passes. Anne Evans, Kathy Jamison, Rachel Miller and Toni Strickland had dual blues.

Complete results and judges’ cards follow by clicking here.