by Tracie Barron

FLETCHER, N.C. - Beautiful weather brought with it many beautiful horses for the ninth annual Chunn’s Cove Horse Club Spring Horse Show at the WNC Agricultural Center. Over 200 horses made their spring debut on March 23 and 24 in the big arena with many spectators looking down on them. The show, which began eight years ago, features both walking and racking horses from all over the surrounding areas. Chunn’s Cove Horse Club has donated over $50,000 to CarePartners Hospice because of the huge success of their horse show.
The opening ceremonies for Friday and Saturday night where commenced by the ROTC presenting the American Flag. Organist Shannon Hall played a wide variety of music that both the horses and crowd enjoyed while Dan Grigson did an outstanding job of announcing. Nothing would have went as well as it did without the organizational skills of the Show Manager Bev Taylor. The person taking on the toughest job was Joe Herald of Oakland, Ky., because he had to choose a winner from so many good horses.
The first class of the evening, Walking Amateur Plantation Specialty, was won by Color’s Clown and Lori Renn Abbot. Color’s Clown is a very impressive horse that is trained by Mike Klutz. Tying reserve in the class were The Lone Gunman and Toni Strickland.
Walking Amateur Owned and Trained was next and six entries entering the ring. Taking home the blue was Pride’s Pushy Girl ridden by John Callicutt for owners Will and Jennifer Allen. Second place honors went to Jose’s Peso and Shane Auman.
Capturing the first place tie for the Juvenile 12-17 Specialty class were Olympic Pusher and Lindsey Henry. Henry had the biggest smile on her face when she came out of the show ring. Following close behind her for the second place award were Main Man Senator and Tyler Hegel.
Next class on the agenda was Walking Youth 11 and Under Specialty. Puttin’ On The Glitz and Sibe McKay won the heart of everyone and the blue ribbon. This was McKay’s first blue ribbon ride and boy was her mother, Lisa McKay, very proud. Skywatch’s Pusher and Brandon Ailshie were awarded the red ribbon.
Command The Line and Gail Whitfield delivered a fine performance and won the blue for owner Wes Morris and Carl Bowers. The reserve title went to Jessie James At The Ritz and Paul Robinson for owner Alicia Perry from Gaffney, S.C.
After the break the show began with 12 entries in the Walking Amateur Specialty class, which was won by Double Overtime and Wade Huntley. Toni Strickland received another reserve ribbon for the evening riding Power’s Mr. Sundust for Charles Dempsey of Arnoldsville, Ga.
Amateur Park Performance is becoming one of the most popular classes at walking horse shows everywhere. Making the blue ribbon ride for this class were Don’t Look Back and Joe Gibson of Bulls Gap, Tenn. Receiving the second place red ribbon were Sweet Hard Cash and Susan Robinson.
Class number 15 was the Amateur Four-Year-Old Specialty, which was won by Royal Prince Michael and Matt Josey. Coming in second were Teddy Baseball and Ann Callicutt.
Another popular class with seven entries was the Walking Ponies Open Specialty class in which Watch The Rage and Tony Strickland claimed the blue for Over The Hill Farm of Anderson, S.C. Pushin Miss Emily and Keith Rabon for Howard and Teresa Bellamy proudly accepted the second place ribbon.
Jane Frye was so surprised to receive the blue ribbon with her ride on Dynamic Ritz in the Amateur Show Pleasure class because it had been 30 years since she had been in the show ring. What a way to comeback after that much time and win the class. Low On Cash and Toni Strickland, for owner Charles Dempsey, followed with the red ribbon honor.
The Open Specialty class was won by Saskatoon and Chris Jackson for Billy Williams of Spring Lake, N.C. Second award was presented to Bustin Out and Steve Woody for Jake Spivey.
Vicki Hughes made a great ride on one of her favorite horses, Fantazmic Cash, and claimed the blue ribbon for the Farrell Hughes family in the ETWHA Ladies Auxiliary class. Graciously receiving the red ribbon was Julia Livingston riding her horse Ritzy.
In the Trail Pleasure class there where some really nice horses and outfits but there can only be one winner. Taking home the blue were Pattern’s Royal Affair and Julia Livingston. Coming in close behind were Mr. Popeye and Kevin Helms for Rebecca Chittenden of Charlotte, N.C.
The last class for Friday evening was the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty which was won by Little Dumas and CB Daughtridge of Rocky Mount, N.C. Kevin Helms directed Miss Silver Satin to the red ribbon for his mother, Wanda Helms.
Saturday evening classes began around 4 p.m., beginning with the Two-Year-Old Open. Mr. Houston and Chris Jackson captured the blue ribbon for Judy Brinkley. Road To Glory and Derek Bonner accepted the second place honors for Deborah Perry of Gaffney, S.C.
Four entries made the gate call for the NCWHA Members Only class and was won by I’m A Commanding Threat and Gary Pope. The reserve title went to Gen’s Dark Silver and Keith Champion.
No strangers to the blue ribbon circle were Popcorn Pusher and Becky Bull of Tazewell, Tenn., who put on a real show for the ETWHA Member Only class. Chris Helton rode Dumas Is My Papa for owner Greg Strausbaugh to accept the red ribbon.
The Show Pleasure Open Specialty class was won by JFK’s Rave Form and David Davis for Maggie Strausbaugh. Second was awarded to Dynamic Ritz and Byron Frye for Jane Frye who had won on Friday in the Amateur class.
Winning the Open Plantation Lite-Shod Specialty class was easy for Ms. Silver Satin and Brandon Helms for the Helms family. Coming in second were Little Dumas and CB Daughtridge.
Paul and Julia Livingston took turns riding Spring Loaded Santana in the Pro/Am class and won the blue for Angie Nicholson. Second was awarded to Steve Woody and his beautiful daughter, Caitlin Woody, riding Rankin County for Penny Adkins of Newport, Tenn.
Natural and Hunter Hensley made a great ride to win the Walking Ponies 17 and Under Specialty class. The red ribbon was awarded to Jose’s Cancun Pusher and Whitney Varney.
Luck was with the team of Lucky You and Joe Ford as they received the top honors for the Three-Year-Old Open class. Reserve honors went to Buck And A Half and Alvin Strickland for David Riddle of Honea Path, S.C.
Owner Freida and Scotty Widner ran out to the center ring to receive their first blue ribbon for their mare, Lucky Sadie, who was ridden by Rusty Carlton in the Walking Four-Year-Old Open Specialty class. American Redneck and Alvin Strickland received the red ribbon for David Riddle.
Six horses returned for the Youth Walking Specialty Stake class to vie for the floral horseshoe and ribbon. All the glory and first place championship title went to Olympic Pusher and Lindsey Henry who made an outstanding performance. Silver Designs Entertainer and Brandon Derrick captured the reserve championship title for Denny Crawford of Kingsport, Tenn.
Mike Klutz stole the show in the Walking Plantation Pleasure Specialty class aboard Color’s Clown for a first place tie for Lori Renn Abbott. Blinded By The Sky and Keith Ailshie received second place for Robert and Tina Kirkpatrick.
The next championship class announced was the Amateur Specialty Stake. Only four horses competed for the prize but they where great horses and made excellent performance. The team of Ritz Blitz and Keisha Ashe stood out amongst the rest and received the championship title, blue ribbon and the floral horseshoe. The second award was presented to Gen’s All Colors and Rachel Havens.
It was Saskatoon and Chris Jackson who rode to victory in the Walking Open Specialty Stake, winning the championship title for the Chunn’s Cove Horse Club Spring Show for owners Louis Fortune Jr. and Billy Williams Jr. The reserve Open Specialty Stake title was given to The Polar Express and Alvin Strickland for Larry Sharpe of Gaston, S.C.
Complete results follow and can be viewed, searched and printed at