by Jennifer Condren

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The Southwest Missouri Horse Show Association held its annual show June 25, 2005 at the Bolivar Saddle Club. This association has active members representing Tennessee Walking Horses, Foxtrotters, Arabians and Saddlebreds that show within 150 mile radius of Springfield, Mo.

Ron Denney, president of the association, was quite thankful for the hours of hard work association secretary Susie Graham spent preparing for the show. The club's membership voted earlier in the year to delay the show from its usual early spring date to June in an effort to increase entries. This decision paid off with the show nearly doubling its entries from 2004.

James Findley made the trip from Russellville, Ark., to judge the 17 walking horse classes. Announcer Bob Reavis traveled from LaMonte, Mo., and is one of Missouri’s most popular show announcers. Garry Hill served as ringmaster while wife Debbie and Dr. Lynn Posenke kept things moving in center ring. Larry Carriger served as DQP at the HAWHA affiliated event.

A light rain shower fell as the show began but no one hurried for umbrellas. The rain was a welcome relief from the humid 91 degree temperature earlier in the evening. In the final class of the night, Shadow Of Skywatch and Mike Maack concluded the show with their victory pass in the Open Walking Horse class for owners Steve and Karen Skopec. This was their fourth blue this season.

4-J Land and Cattle Company, from Waynesville, Mo., made their presence known with a total of five wins. Jesse Laughlin and The Texas Lexus started off the night in blue ribbon fashion in the Lead Line class. Father Jay Laughlin provided the ground work for this sharp duo. Fashion’s War Man and Gage Hightower were certainly putting the pressure on in this tough class with mom Holly at the lead.

Jay Laughlin made a quick change to enter the ring in the next class with In Vogue. They claimed the blue in the Three and Under Park Pleasure class. Jim Laughlin and I’m Reba received the reserve tie, also for 4-J.

Not to be outdone, the younger generation of the Laughlin’s proved they inherited ability as Joel Laughlin earned the blue in the Juvenile Lite-shod class with I’m Headed To The Ritz. Jason Laughlin and The Texas Lexus received the reserve tie.

In the Park Pleasure Amateur Owned and Trained class, Jay Laughlin and JFK’s Fancy Lady Leslie returned to the winner’s circle once again for 4-J. Jim Laughlin and Silver Dollar’s Exclusive received the second place tie in the tough class.

Jim Laughlin and JFK’s Royal Dream made their way to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Owned and Trained Lite-shod class. The Texas Lexus and Jay Laughlin made the reserve ride for 4-J.

In the Juvenile 11 & Under class, Kelsi York did a fine job showing Ace’s Zorro to the blue ribbon. Curt Caldwell has coached this duo to five blue ribbons so far this year. Leslie Mott and Dangerous Dancer showed her strong determination and showmanship and received the reserve tie. The Three-Year-Old Open class was won by Big Time War Eagle and Jim Huffman. This sorrel stud may be short in stature but he walks big for owner Robert Willis.

Riding under the Caldwell banner, Brad Nichols and Jose’s Mr. Bojangles received the blue in the Juvenile Specialty Walking Horse, 12-17 for Mrs. Glen Campbell. This win was on the heels of last week’s win in Lebanon.

In the Amateur Specialty class, six fine entries made the gate call. Pusher’s Lady On The Loose and Carol Middleton received judge Findley’s top mark for this home-town win. This duo is trained by Mike Maack. Simply Grand and Jon Trimble made the reserve ride.

Brian Nichols and Copy’s Golden Boy walked their way to the winner’s circle in the Three-Year-Old Amateur class for Mrs. Glen Campbell. Winning is becoming a habit for this duo as well. Keri Groseclose and Bust A Bank made a debut performance to receive the reserve tie in the class for 4-J Land and Cattle Co. Fiancé Jeff Laughlin was certainly proud of this fine pair.

Brad Nichols returned to the ring to claim another blue, this time with Coin’s Smooth Operator in the Performance Pleasure division. Nichols and “Elmer” debuted in this class at the HAWHA Spring Classic and received a lot of applause with their ability in this new division. Debbie Barnhart and Dark Sky made the strong reserve ride.

Power Of The Dark and Darlene Swaringim were called out for the victory pass in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class for Ed and Darlene Swaringim, under the direction of Don Bills Stables. Victory Colors and Donna Huffman earned the reserve tie for Jim Huffman. Coby Coffman and Major Production earned the blue ribbon in the Four-Year-Old Amateur class for owner Gene Goff. Jerry Manes prepared this duo for the show ring. Peppermint Ice and Virginia Counts were reserve for Carrol and Virginia Counts.

Don Bills increased his blue ribbon tally as Dr. Glenn DeGraffenreid and Magic Impression won the 50 and Over Amateur Specialty class. This is two in a row for this duo after last week’s win in the 15.2 & Under Amateur Specialty class at Lebanon. Hydro Generator and Donna Huffman walked their way to the red ribbon in the class.

Richard Mitch and Diamonds And Cash earned their fifth blue in Open Amateur competition with their performance on this night under the direction of Jim Huffman. Brian Nichols and Eclectic made the reserve ride in the class for Mrs. Glen Campbell.

The show was definitely a success as the different breeds came together in the name of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Walking horse class results follow and can be viewed at our web site: