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There Was A Shade Over Panama



By K.C. Hensley

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show was held April 22-24 at Frank Brown Park. The judges for this year’s event were Bill Young of Murchison, Texas, Brock Tillman of Shelbyville, Tenn., and Tommy Loid of Bowling Green, Ky. The sixth year of the show was very successful with 410 entries. Reigning Gulf Coast Horse Show Grand Champions The Black Night Shade and Jimmy McConnell returned to the world’s most beautiful beaches this year to reclaim their title.

Wednesday

Although the show did not start until Thursday there were still plenty of activities to enjoy. The owner, trainer and exhibitor party was held again at the elegant home of Tommy and Sister Milligan. The event was garnished by music, buffets and conversation of the upcoming show. After the party there was more enterrainment provided at Schooners Resturant.

Thursday

The evening began by welcoming Jeff Green presenting the flag. The first class to be welcomed to the ring was the Amateur Mares & Geldings 15.2 & Under Specialty class. The American General and Keith McSwain made the way to the winner’s circle for the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga. Reserve in their class was awarded to Figgy Puddin’ and Suzanne Littell for Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell of Catherine, Ala.

In the Four-Year-Old Amateur Stallions Specialty class Dragonfly and Mary Medina took off with blue for Bob and Mary Medina of Skillman, N.J. This blue would be the first of many for the Medinas under the Formac banner. Fame’s Royal Rascal and owner/rider Jennifer Brown of Covington, Va., walked away with reserve in the class.

The two-year-old Mares and geldings were next to enter the ring. The Medinas captured back to back blues this time with youngster Hey Hey Ole’ with Jimmy McConnell in the irons. Designer Original and Joe Cotten claimed the reserve ribbon for J.T. Broadus of Franklin, Tenn.

Current world grand champions The Phantom Menace and Thom Meek showed their winning ways in the Amateur Stallions 15.2 & Under Specialty class. Reserve in the class went to the high-headed Jazz King with Ed Breedlove in the irons.

In the Plantation Lite-Shod Specialty class a new champion for Red Eagle Farms was on the horizon. The newly acquired C’mon Turn Me Loose, with Howard Hamilton aboard, received the top honors in the class. Well-known champions Silver’s Spinal Tap and Laurie Toone took reserve in the class for the Chip Carrier family of Olive Branch, M.S.

There were two leading ladies in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Mares & Geldings Specialty class. Groovy Chic and owner/rider Kathy Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn., claimed the blue. Reserve in the class went to She’s A Pistol Pusher and Carol Shelton for Steve and Carol Shelton of Somerville, Tenn.

The high-stepping Judge’s Red Alert walked away with the Park Pleasure Specialty bluewith Doug Barnes in the irons for Sue Maze . Coin’s For Cash and Ray Baldwin took reserve for Jim and Judy Leek of Dothan, Ala.

The next Gulf Coast champion is no stranger to the winner’s circle. In the Show Pleasure Specialty class Coinmaker and Knox Blackburn u, for Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell of Catherine, Ala., made their victory pass much to the approval of the audience. Reserve in the class, Stewart Little with Brandon Stout in the irons, was another entry recently selected by Red and Dot Strickland of Shelbyville, Tenn.

Julie Grider and Sky Command made a flawless performance for their blue in the Three-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class for the Tommy Grider family of Columbia, Ky. Reserve in the class was another new purchase D’s Choice and Keith McSwain for the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga.

In the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty Four Years & Under class only two entries made the gate call. I'm Ebony's Dixie Delight and Jennifer Armstrong, up for Terry and Donna Armstrong, claimed the blue. Reserve in the class went to Wind’s Champagne Copy and owner/rider Karen Arnett of Destin, Fla.

In the Mares & Geldings Five Years & Over Canter class Cheatin Danger and Joe Cotten made an outstanding ride for Trish Harrison of Franklin, Tenn. Reserve in the class was the Medinas' entry Barracuda with Jimmy McConnell in the irons.

The Trainers’ Auxiliary Specialty class is a popular class, especially among trainers' wives. Emblem’s Silhouette and Rhea Ellen Webb claimed the top honors for Richard Griffith of Lewisburg, Tenn. Doctor Liz and Jill Derickson came in as reserve for the Mickey Adcock family of Wartrace, Tenn.

It was happy trails for A Classic Shot and Laurie Toone in the Western Lite-Shod Specialty class as they walked away with blue ribbon honors for Jim and Terri Naugle of Olive Branch, Miss. Reserve in the class went to Royal’s Chosen Lady with Jared Carrier aboard for the Chip Carrier family of Franklin, Tenn.

It was full steam ahead to the winner’s circle for Orient Express and Bob Medina in the Four-Year-Old Mares & Geldings Specialty class. A Command For Cash and Lisa Mitchell claimed the reserve honors for Mitchell and Moore of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

In the Two-Year-Old Stallion class everyone gathered around the rail to view the future champions. The recently selected Casino At The Ritz with Knox Blackburn in the irons made his debut in winning style for Mike, Amy and Taylor Walden of Ootlewah, Tenn. Reserve in the challenging class wa the team of America On Line and Larry Edwards for Dophie and Brenda Thomas of Dawson, Ga.

The final class of the evening was the Champagne class. The rules of this class required that the rider to perform a flat walk and a running walk aboard a performance horse spilling as little champagne as possible. Joe Cotten, also known as Champagne Joe, aboard Gen’s Little Major was the champion in the winner-take-all $1,000 prize class.

Friday

Friday's competition brought about a new concern for the show. The involvement of several government officials at the inspection area caused ver 30 entries to drop from competition on Friday. However, there were still several competitors ready to perform for top honors.

The evening began by welcoming Spring's Starmaker with Jeff Green in the irons presenting the colors. Next it was time for the industry's future showman to make the gate call in the stick horse class. Nine excited youngsters made their way around the ring. They were all welcomed as winner's by being given a blue ribbon and some bubbles.

In the Amateur Mares Specialty class multi-titled champion Gen's Burning Rage, with Keith McSwain up for the Dan McSwain family, claimed the top honors. Reserve in the class was another well-known champion Lock & Lock with Stacey Blackburn in the irons for Longview Farms of Union City, Tenn.

Jazz King and Ed Breedlove returned for their second night of competition in the Amateur Specialty Stallions class. This time they moved up from their reserve to claim the blue. Delight's Powerful Spirit and owner/rider Dottie Boone of Charlotte, N.C., took reserve.

Continuing her winning ways in her new division, Santana's Hurrican claimed the blue in the Three-Year_old Mares & Geldings class with Sam Martin up for Bryan Mahoney of Charleston, S.C. Reserve in the class went to Neon Bright and Larry Edwards for Dr. and Mrs. H.W. Hill of Powder Springs, Ga.

C'mon Turn Me Loose claimed another blue, this time it was in the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class with Joe Dixon up for Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga. Reserve in the class was awarded to A Classic Shot and Joseph Abernathy for Jim and Terri Naugle of Novato, Calif.

In the Amateur Specialty Geldings class They Call Me Sir and Mary Medina claimed the blue. This duo was still fresh off of their recent Trainers' Show victory at the end of March. Reserve in the class went to Cheatin' Danger and owner/rider Trish Harrison of Nashville, Tenn.

Entries in the Amateur Owned & Trained Specialty class were down from past years with only two making the gate call. However, Jubilee's Cobra and owner/rider Kenny Compton of New Tazwell, Va., still made an outstanding show for the blue. Cash Gordan and owner/rider Shane Porterfirld of Murfreesboro, Tenn., came in as a strong reserve.

Red Eagle Farms had another champion to add to their list after the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty class. Fully Armed and Joe Dixon made their way to the winner's circle among several talented entries. A Greater Generator and Mary Martin claimed the reserve honors for Leo and Mary Martin of Eldon, Mo.

The Phantom Menace claimed his second blue of the show, this time it was with Knox Blackburn in the irons in the Stallions Five Years and Over Specialty. Reserve in the class went to Thief's Delightful Man and Larry Edwards for the Don Bridges family of Dawson, Ga.

In the Four-Year-Old Stallions Canter class Dragonfly snagged another blue to add to his credit this time with Jimmy McConnell aboard. Reserve in the outstanding class went to Quatro and Knox Blackburn for the Paul Bryan family of Thomasville, Ga.

The Amateur Adult Riders on Walking Ponies class was next to make the gate call. Don't let the size of these horses fool you. They still provide a powerful performance. Multi-time world champion Final Keeper claimed the top honors in the class with Gary Legate up for the Gary LeGate family of Orlando, Fla. Reserve went to another well-known duo, Titan Up and owner/rider Kathy Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn.

In the Park Pleasure Three Years & Under class Sue Maze of Murphy, Texas aboard Forever Spirit was welcomed to the winner's circle for the top honors. Reserve in the class was awarded to Direct Effect and Jamie Waddell for the Robert Emfinger family of Verbena, Ala.

Gen's Johnny Walker Red and Sammy Day took top honors in the Stallions 15.2 & Under, Five Years & Over, Canter class for the John Legate family of Shelbyville, Tenn. UC I'm Ultra Gold and Bill Cantrell claimed the reserve honors for Cantrell and Warr of Phenix City, Ala.

The Prime Suspect and Chad Williams claimed top honors in the Mares & Geldings 15.2 & Under, Five Years & Over, Canter class for Candra Schular of Kodak, Tenn. Reserve in the class went to The American General and Larry Edwards for the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga.

In the Amateur Riders 50 Years & Over Specialty class the unstoppable duo of John FK's Pusher and Robin MacDonald claimed the top honors for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Atlanta, Ga. Brother Splash and Virginia Stewart came in as a strong reserve in the class for Evergreen Walking Horse Farm of New Orleans, La.

There was only a single entry in the Plantation Lite-Shod Open class. Silver's Spinal Tap and Laurie Toone received the blue ribbon honors for the Chip Carrier family of Franklin, Tenn.

Goodbye Joe and Brent Coburn were welcomed to the winner's circle as champions of the Three-Year-Old Stallions class for Joe and Kathryn Rutherford much to the approval of the audience. Reserve in the class went to Strolling Through The Ritz and Larry Edwards for the Don Bridges family of Dawson, Ga.

Saturday

For the beginning of the final night of competition Showboat Annie and Jeff Green presented the colors. The Yearling & Weanling class was split into Division A for stallions and Division B for fillies. In the A division two elegant entries displayed their talents. Carlyle Johnson with A Dark And Stormy Knight made a stride towards the winner's circle for Herbert and Nora Alexander of Jackson, Tenn. Reserve in the class went to Jazzing On Ice Capade with Robert Nelms as the handler for Chris and Tammi Proctor of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

In the B division Illusive's Last Chance and Robert Nelms claimed the top honors for Jay and Susan Moshier of Jefferson City, Tenn. Reserve in the class went to U Gotta See This and Lynn MacGregor for Angie Bumpus of Rockvale, Tenn.

Saturday night was the first time the juveniles made their way to the show ring with the Amateur Mares & Geldings Riders 12-17 Specialty class. World champions Beaming Around and Zachary Bunch claimed the top honors for the Dennis Bunch family of Tazwell, Tenn. Reserve in the challenging class went to Lindsey Cate aboard Collector's Mr. Twister for Nancy Cate of Indian Rock Beach, Fla.

In the Amateur Mares & Geldings Riders 11 & Under Specialty Armed To Show and Masie McSwain were welcomed to the winner's circle much to the approval of the audience for the Dan McSwain family of Atlanta, Ga. Reserve in the class was awarded to Santana's Black Threat with tiny six-year-old Kelsey Fuller up for Abby Graves of Moss, Tenn.

Only two entries made the gate call for the Western Park Pleasure Specialty class. Well-known champion Strike It Rich, with Howard Hamilton up, made the winning ride for Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga. Direct Effect and Jamie Waddell claimed the reserve ribbon for the Robert Emfinger family of Verbena,Ala.

He's Wild Eyed & Wicked and Mike Walden showed their greatness in their new three-gait division, the Amateur Five Years & Over Canter class, as they claimed the top honors. Reserve in the talented class went to Watch For Glory and Maria Derickson for Dr. and Mrs. Harv Carlon of Flat Creek, Tenn.

Coinmaker made his second victory lap of the show. This time owner Suzanne Littell was up for the win in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class. Reserve in the class was awarded to Fashion's Midnight Threat with owner/rider Kathy Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn., in the irons.

In the Three-Year-Old Stallion Extravaganza Santana's Touch and Mike Hilley made their way to the winner's circle for Martin and Cheryl McNabb of Chattanooga, Tenn. World champions Expeditor and Knox Blackburn, up for the Bill Clayton family of Bremen, Ga., took the reserve honors.

The Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty Championship was the first floral horseshoe class of the show. World champions Captive Heart and owner/rider Bridget Rush of Oxford, Mich., received the top honors. Reserve in the class went to Fully Armed and Joe Dixon for Red Eagle Farms of Dacula, Ga.

The 10-entry Pro/Am Specialty class went over well with the audience as they cheered for their favorites. The trio of Titan Up, Kathy Potter and John Puckett claimed the top honors in the class. The team that took reserve was They Call Me Sir, Mary Medina and Jimmy McConnell.

In the Amateur Ponies 60" & Under Specialty Riders 17 & Under class Pusher's General and Megan Mozley made their way to the winner's circle for Steve Mozley of Charlotte, N.C. Reserve in the class was awarded to The Sky Wish and Erica Derickson for Doss Farm of Cullman, Ala.

Rhythmic Jazz and owner/rider Bruce Vaughn of Valley City, Ohio took the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mares & Geldings class by storm as they claimed the blue. Reserve in the class went to Hand Command with Spud Warr up for Warr Development of Phenix City, Ala.

In the Four-Year-Old Mares & Geldings Canter class Jimmy McConnell walked away with another blue. This time it was with Altima for Ed and Carol Sims of Anaheim Hills, Calif. Jazz Time and Mike Hilley accepted the reserve ribbon for the Mickey Adcock family of McMinnville, Tenn.

The same two entries from the qualifier returned to battle it out for the Lite-Shod Championship. Silver's Spinal Tap and Laurie Toone were victorious once again. A Classic Shot ,with Jared Carrier in the irons, was awarded the reserve honors.

Kenny Comptom took the blue home to Virginia in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallion class with UNC. Reserve in the class went to Motown Sky and owner/rider Kathy Graves of Moss, Tenn.

The remaining three classes of the show were all championship classes. The Snowatch and Ashley Joseph claimed the top honors in the Amateur Specialty Championship. This duo recently claimed the Frances C. Gentry blue at the Trainer's Show as well. Reserve in the challenging class went to Brother Splash and Virginia Stewart.

Only two talented entries made the gate call for the Park Pleasure Championship class. Chill and Doug Barnes claimed the top honors along with the floral horseshoe for Danielle Reid of Shelbyville, Tenn. Reserve was received by A Greater Generator and Jennifer Hankins for Leo and Mary Martin of Eldon, Mo.

Finally it was time for the main event, The Gulf Coast Horse Show Grand Championship. The five entries were welcomed into the ring individually. The first name to be called was Skywatch's Masterpiece with Bill Cantrell up for Bill Heel of Knoxville, Tenn. Next was The Black Night Shade with Jimmy McConnell up for Tom and Judy Waite of Milton, Fla. Cash's All Star and Larry Edwards for Herb Murrath of Stone Mountain, Ga., were next to bust through the gates. Then, Push Me Bold with Knox Blackburn up for Mr. and Mrs. Donald Stephens of Shelbyville, Tenn., made the gate call. The final entry was Paycheck By M.G. with Nathan Clark up for Shelia Clark of Arab, Ala.

As the entries made it around the first way of the ring and onto the reverse it was clear there were two crowd favorites, The Black Night Shade and Cash's All Star. Making his way to the winner's circle for the second time as the Gulf Coast Horse Show's Grand Champion and marked for the win unanimously by the judging panel was The Black Night Shade with Jimmy McConnell in the irons. The duo is still undefeated in stake competition as they continue their way towards Celebration honors. Cash's All Star received the reserve honors in the challenging class.

This completes the coverage of the Gulf Coast Horse Show. Complete results may be viewed at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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