STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Starkville Walking and Racking Horse Spring Jubilee kicked off its first year without a hitch. The show came about when the Alpha Gamma Rho Spring Sensation Horse Show was unable to continue their Mississippi season opening show. After four successful years, the show folded, but the Mississippi exhibitors were not satisfied with losing such a successful show.

After a lot of discussion, Charlotte Steppe agreed to head a new show and the Spring Jubilee was born. And what a show it was! In 2004, the Spring Sensation had 310 entries but the Starkville Spring Jubilee in 2005 hosted 419 entries in two evenings. The Spring Jubilee was a huge success held at the spacious Mississippi Horse Park and Agricenter March 4-5. A portion of the proceeds from this show go to Touched by An Angel Ministries and Camp of Tupelo, Miss.

The show management said they were thankful to all the owners, trainers, exhibitors, staff and spectators for making the first Starkville Spring Jubilee a success. They also wanted to thank the National Horse Show Commission, and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association for their assistance in preparing for this show.

Herbert Derickson of Shelbyville, Tenn., judged the 50-class event, which concluded Saturday evening with an exhibitor’s reception including ham, drinks, potato salad, beans and cake.

The Championship featured 11 top entries. Anticipation grew as horse after horse entered the ring doing their bold flat walk. Jackie McConnell and Santini exited the ring with the tricolor ribbon, silver platter and huge stone horse head. The East family from Germantown, Tenn., owns Santani, who is trained by Whitter Stables.

The new team of Steve Dunn and former world grand champion Juke Walkin walked out with the reserve streamer for Randall and Sadie Baskin and Mike Walden of Franklin, Tenn. Last year’s grand champions Bill Cantrell and UC I’m Ultra Gold were selected for the third position from the strong field of championship contenders for owners Cantrell and Warr of Phenix City, Ala.

The Racking Grand Championship had seven top entries with Toxic and Larry Taylor being selected by Terry Stone, who judged the racking classes. Reserve was the team of Boom and Monty Miller while third went to She’s Gone AWOL and Tommy McGinnis.

Bud Dunn and Son Stables and Falcon Ridge Farm led the blue ribbon tally with five blues each. Jackie McConnell of Whitter Stables enjoyed four blues. Robert Stivers and Laurie Toone of Circle T Stable returned home with a trio of blues a piece. Dual blues were won by Webby Burch, Bill Cantrell Stables, Etheredge Stables, Gloria McDonald, Ira Sandridge, Pat Simpkins and Larry Taylor.

Dunn Stables’ first blue came in the Pro-Am class, which was filled with 15 top entries. Renee Carlton directed Pusher’s Royal Flush the first way of the ring and Jennifer Martin rode the second way to claim the blue ribbon in this outstanding class.

Steve Dunn directed the next Dunn Stables’ blue ribbon entry, Stone Cold Dollar to the top of the 14-entry WHTA Riders Cup Three-Year-Old Stallion class on Saturday. The Keith Carlton family proudly owns this striking young stallion. Renee Carlton returned for her second blue of the show on Fame Seeker in the 13-entry Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class.

Andy Adkins watched nervously on the rail as Steve Dunn showed Boomer In Command to victory in the competitive 15.2 and Under class. Adkins and Boomer In Command won many blues last season in the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallion division. This was the talented black stallion’s first venture in the aged division and the first time shown by Dunn. “Boomer” made the step-up in style and the applause showed the crowd’s appreciation of the team’s performance.

Another new team The Polar Express and Kristin Williams won the Amateur Four-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title in a field of 15 entries to earn the fifth Dunn Stables’ blue.

The team of Kat Man Dude and Polly Ware ended 2004 with a blue ribbon performance at Perry, Ga. They picked up 2005 where they left off last year. They claimed the 12-entry Ladies Amateur title for the first of Falcon Ridge Farms’ five blues. Ware returned a few classes later to claim the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallion title aboard Summer’s Over. This blaze faced, blue roan beauty topped a class of 13 entries in their debut performance.

On Saturday evening, Jill Cox won the 17-entry Amateur Specialty class.

Falcon Ridge’s fourth blue was won by Beam’s Lucky Star in the 10-entry Men’s Amateur Show Pleasure division. Richard Davis was in the irons. Two gray horses that stood out in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty. ET’s Grey Threat and Teri Harvey won the fifth blue for Falcon Ridge Stables. Marylyn Lubin and Extra’s Cash’s Grey Eagle picked up the reserve streamer under the guidance of Walter Harris.

Jackie McConnell rode to the top of the Aged Mares and Geldings class on Ritz Woman for the first of four blues won by Whitter Stables. McConnell also won the Four-Year-Old class with Cavenar. Both horses are owned by O & W Moody, Ltd.

Whitter Stables’ third blue was won by Sarah Akin aboard The Great Escape in the 11-entry Ladies Amateur Show Pleasure. Santini and McConnell won the fourth blue for the Whittler team in the Grand Championship.

Horses under the guidance of trainer Bobby Mitchell and Robert Stivers Stables won a trio of blues. The first victory was in the Park Performance class with Stivers aboard JFK’s Positive Star. Lynn Barham was extremely proud of both of his daughters in their 2005 debuts. Black Danger and Katie Barham claimed the blue in the 11-entry Juvenile 12-17 Specialty class. Lynnde Barham and Design’s Masterpiece took the winning pass in the 11 and Under Juvenile class.

Princess Speed and Joseph Abernathy claimed two blues for trainer Laurie Toone. They won both the Trail Pleasure Walking title on Friday and the Amateur Gaited Pleasure on Friday evening. Abernathy is very proud of this black mare and her dual blue ribbon debut. Abernathy also directed Regal Rebel to the blue in the 15-entry Country Pleasure class to earn Circle T’s third blue.

Ring The Man won dual blues for Webby Burch. On Friday evening Burch directed him to the blue in the Lite-Shod Specialty title, followed by Rachel Burch and Ring The Man making the victory pass on Saturday in the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class.

In their debut performance, Dr. Linda Jones and I’m Uncle Kracker won the first of two blues for Larry Harrell and Bill Cantrell Stables. They won the 13-entry Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty. Cantrell also directed the new team Miss Silver Mountain and Torie Jeffcoat to the Amateur Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title.

Tammy Elmore won dual blues for Etheredge Stables. On Friday, Elmore was in the irons aboard Skywatch’s Golden Girl and captured the Trail Pleasure Racking title. She also made the victory pass Saturday in the 10-entry Country Pleasure Racking class with Powerful Black Flame.

Ashley Parrott and Indian Outlaw’s Jaguar won the first of two blues for Gloria McDonald in the Lite-Shod Spotted Specialty class. Kim Parrott and Kansas City Jazz continued their winning streak in the Spotted Open Shod class.

Ira Sandridge and Glory’s Bullseye won the Park Pleasure Racking, Flat Shod and the 10-entry Speed Racking on Saturday evening. The crowd cheered them on throughout this last exciting class.

Pat Simpkins had a great time winning dual blues. Justin Miller led A Vicious Rumor to win the Weanling class, the first class of the show. Tara’s Flipside and Monty Miller earned the second blue for Simpkins in the Style Racking class.

Toxie and Jimmy Ray Jordan won the Amateur Racking class on Friday previously to trainer Larry Taylor claiming the Racking Stake victory on Saturday evening.

Britt Huffstatler directed Miss Hospitality down victory lane in the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class. In the Amateur class, Joel Stewart captured the Amateur Canter class under the guidance of Woods Stables.

In their debut performance, Santana’s Dynamite and Rhea Ellen Webb won the Amateur Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion title for husband/trainer Link Webb. Key To The Senate carried Scott Street to the blue in the Two and Three-Year-Old Racking division blue.

Chris Zahnd rode Dollars Perfection to the 16-entry Three-Year-Old Mare and Gelding title for Swingin’ Gates Stables. Shea Levitan claimed the Juvenile Park Pleasure class aboard Pusher’s Benny Girl for trainer Walter Harris and Wade Crum Stables.

Tim Smith won the 14-entry Open Show Pleasure title with Titanium Touch on Friday. Edgar Abernathy claimed the victory in the Park Pleasure class aboard Undercover Pusher.

The Saturday evening performance began with the Yearling class. Just Smokin and Daniel Forman won the 10-entry class. Next, Tommy McGinnis claimed the Amateur Owned and Trained Racking title with She’s Gone AWOL.

Dick Peebles directed A New Day to the blue in the WHTA Riders Cup Two-Year-Old Stallions class for Tommy and Sister Milligan. They were extremely proud of this home raised youngster. Clayton DuBose and JFK’s Cash Back made quite an impression on judge Derickson and the crowd winning the Park Pleasure Specialty Western blue.

Blake Foote directed Ebony’s Country Bumpkin to the top of the Juvenile Racking class. Summer Sullivan and Stormy’s Black Rain claimed victory in the 11-entry Owner Amateur Trained class. Fifteen Three-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings answered the gate call next. Lin Setlevan and Motion All Over won this class for trainer Tim Holley.

Old Glory and Darnell Wright made the victory pass in the Four-Year-Old Racking class.

The Starkville Spring Jubilee is looking forward to its second run next March. Their first year proved to be successful with a good crop of horses in attendance, an excellent facility, and great comradeship.