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The Snowatch and Ice Were Unbelievable at Bluebonnet Classic



CONROE, Tex. - Upon arriving in Conroe, Texas and checking into the show headquarters, Baymont Inn, this reporter was pleasantly surprised with a basket bearing a blue bow, bluebonnet flowers, candy, fruit and various other delightful gifts. However, puzzlement arose when this greeting was taped to the basket, “Welcome to the “Ice” Classic! Glad you made it!” Where do you get “Ice” Classic from the Texas Bluebonnet Classic that I was to attend? I was admittedly puzzled.

My next stop was the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center and what a sight this facility is! Upon arrival, Richard “Dick” Gerring, Show Chairman, greeted me again with, “We’re so glad you made it. Did you have any problems?” To which I replied, “No, my flight was fine.” He then started explaining to me the many problems, his well planned show had had to this point. Many of the exhibitors had not made it through the three inches of ice in Dallas, Texas from the North. He said they had received many requests to hold the show until they could get there. Several exhibitors stated that this was the worst weather they had had in the area for 55 years.

The decision had been made to postpone the Thursday night session until more could arrive and have three sessions on Friday. Many exhibitors did make it to the show and the show went on with 352 entries. Some of the travelers spent extra time on the road, however. Hancock Woodlawn Acres of Princeton, Kentucky spent 20 hours on the road and Dick Peebles Stables of Shelbyville, Tennessee arrived after 16 hours travel. Both of these stables arrived in time for Thursday’s session but many did not arrive until in the night on Thursday. Additional exhibitors also arrived from Ohio and Georgia as well as all over the huge state of Texas.

The inaugural Texas Bluebonnet Classic did go on with their lovely center ring decorated with bluebonnets, red flowers, gold horseshoes and the flag of Texas. There were many there to vie for the $25,000 in prize money and MASCUP points on February 28 and March 1, 2003.

This show was a class act serving center ring on Saturday night with two chefs cooking throughout the evening. Mark Farrar, announcer, said that he had never seen food like this at a horse show.

On Saturday evening the show was opened with a very touching ceremony. Those in center ring wore tuxedos as well as red, white, and blue bow ties with the Texas lone star on one side. The American flag was carried by Victor Mustache riding a white walking horse, followed by the Texas flag, and then five youth exhibitors entered one at a time at the running walk carrying in the five flags of the branches of the United States services. Each song of that branch was played as they entered. Richard Gerring made a touching presentation and welcome, followed by the playing of Tapps on a bugle. A beautiful flute melody was played next. A medley of songs was then sang by Janet Sides that began with How Great Thou Are, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory and concluded with God Bless America. The crowd joined in and the seven riders and flags circled the arena once more with the crowd applauding their exit.

It was a great beginning to their championship night. Both first and second places were awarded crystal trophies and neck ribbons. Saturday evening’s performance was a fitting conclusion to a class act show put on by Chairman Richard Gerring and Lenard Davenport, Secretary. Jack Greene shot the champions on his camera. The Shriner’s Hospitals For Children will be the charity recipient of this year’s Bluebonnet Classic.

The three judges for this show were Ronnie Hooker, Terry Stone, and Billy Young, who replaced Bob Gullic, who could not make it to the show. They viewed 84 classes which featured both Walking and Racking Horse classes for both pleasure and performance.

The Snowatch, directed by Dick Peebles, stepped into the aged division in style by winning Walking Horse Grand Championship Stake unanimously. This five-year-old stallion is owned by the Anthony Joseph family of Columbiana, Ala. Reserve in the Grand Championship was another five-year-old, General Takes Command, with Don Crum in the irons for Clark Spencer. This team also captured the Aged Stallion Class the previous evening. Rounding out the top three were Another City Slicker and Roger Ivins for Fannie Ivins of Bagwell, Tex.

Championship night began with the Country Pleasure Championship. World Champion Howdy Doody and Don Hancock were the recipients of the title for Hancock Woodlawn Acres. Black Devil Collector and Barbara Civils were the reserve champions for Jimmy and Barbara Civils. Civils and Black Devil Collector also won the Country Pleasure Ladies Bluebonnet title.

Skywatch Eclipse earned the Show Pleasure Championship with John Feltner in the irons for Jan Anderson. On Friday this team also captured the Show Pleasure Specialty Open class. Flashy’s Jus’ Jukin and Julie Hice claimed reserve after claiming the Show Pleasure Amateur the evening before for George and Carol Smith of Wiggins, Miss.

Joe Dickerson and I’m Cordell Walker earned two championship titles on Saturday for the Dickerson family. First they won the Trail Pleasure Specialty Championship with a unanimous tie, then returned to win the Trail Pleasure Canter Championship. This was their third blue of the day since they also won the Trail Pleasure Youth Canter class Saturday morning. Reserve in the Specialty Championship were Steve Raley aboard Copper Gen’s Elegant Lady for John Feltner, Sr. Tying reserve in the Canter Championship were Jay Durst and Gen’s Copper Jewel.

Brandon Urad had a great show winning numerous blues in both racking and walking classes. Stan’s Stables were extremely pleased with Brandon’s win aboard Sue Maze’s mare, Seduced By Citation. They were unanimous in the Youth Specialty Championship. In their debut, they won the Youth Specialty 12-17 title on Friday. Wicked Wanda and Jimmy Civils made a superb performance to earn the reserve championship for Civils and Langford.

Phil Peters was cheered on by friends and family alike as he earned the winning tie in the Lite Shod Specialty Amateur Championship aboard Rambo’s Velvet Shadow for Judy Peters. Current multi World Champion Trashadeous and Jimmy Civils won the reserve spot. Trashadeous had multiple blues at the Bluebonnet Classic including the Lite Shod Amateur Specialty, the Lite Shod Amateur Canter, the Model Mares and Gelding Adult, the Lite Shod Canter, and the Lite Shod Western Amateur Specialty with Barbara Civils; as well as the Model Mares and Geldings Youth and the Lite Shod Specialty Youth with Jimmy Civils. Later in the evening, Rambo’s Velvet Shadow also won the Lite Shod Canter Championship with Charles Peters aboard. Trashadeous and Barbara Civils again claimed the reserve position.

Dick Peebles and Gen’s A Bustin Loose bested the Park Pleasure Specialty Championship for Buddy Wilhelm while reserve went to the team of The Buzz and Blake Cammack for Four M Farms. The Buzz and Cammack also claimed the Park Pleasure Specialty Amateur title on Friday.

Spellbound Generator won three Bluebonnet Classic blues, including the Amateur Specialty Championship with Julie Rhea Hice aboard for Bruce and Robin MacDonald of Birmingham, Ala. Julie also directed this gelding to the blue in the Amateur Specialty class. Dick Peebles directed him to the Mare and Gelding victory. Reserve in the Amateur Specialty Stake were the team of Spirit’s Prophet and Debbie Frankino for Bob Frankino. Don Crum and Spirit’s Prophet also claimed the Open Specialty win on Friday evening.

Gold’s Red Skipper claimed two blues at the Classic. Megan Pettit was unanimous in the Park Pleasure Canter Championship for Hancock Woodlawn Acres. This team also claimed the Kentucky Celebration title in the same class. Don Hancock directed him to the Park Pleasure Amateur Canter blue on Friday. Reserve in the championship was the team of Barbara Civils and Caprice’s Lady Gen for Berry Coffey of Petersburg, Tenn. Caprice’s Lady Gen had accumulated three Conroe, Texas blues earlier including the Park Pleasure Canter class and the Pleasure Driving Amateur class with Barbara Civils, and the Park Pleasure Specialty Youth class with Jimmy Civils.

The Friday morning classes began with what should have been the Thursday evening performance. The first blue of the show went to Copy This and Robert Smith for Robert and Jean Smith as they captured the Trail Pleasure Specialty with English or Western Equipment. They later won the Trail Pleasure Canter followed by Jimmy Civils directing Copy This to the win in the Trail Pleasure Specialty Youth blue. Reserve in the first class went to the team of Copper Gen’s Elegant Lady and Steve Raley. Reserve in the Trail Pleasure Canter were Gen’s Copper Jewel and Jay Durst. Kateri Granger and Rambo’s Perfect Edition were reserve in the Youth for Roslyn Granger.

The beautiful gray Mr. Jingles topped the Park Pleasure Three and Under with Don Hancock aboard with Dick Peebles and Gen’s A Bustin Loose picking up the red streamer.

Don Crum made an outstanding show to win the Two-Year-Old MASCUP Championship with B. Dazelment for Clark Spencer. Gen’s Silver Plated collected reserve with Dick Peebles in the iron for Bruce and Robin MacDonald.

Collector’s Coin Operated and Jon Perry started the show off right with a win in the Park Pleasure Specialty class for Maddy Jones. President’s Wingate and Kathy Sutton claimed the reserve placing for David and Kathy Sutton.

Dick Peebles had American Bookmark looking good in the Three-Year-Old MASCUP Championship for owner Jamie Villers of Brentwood, Tenn. Reserve went to John S. Feltner and Magic Score for Murray Harris.

In the second Friday performance Charles Peters led World Champion Champagne High to the blue in the Model Stallion class for Gayle Smith. Kristin D. Chambers led her Mists Grand Chance to the reserve spot.

Brandon Urad won one of his many blues in the Country Pleasure Gentlemen class aboard Extra Rave for Mary Kirton. On Saturday morning Michael Kirton won the Country Pleasure Youth 12 and Under also on Extra Rave, then Brandon Urad returned to win the Country Pleasure, Youth 13-17 title. Reserve in the Gentlemen’s class was Howdy Doody and Don Hancock. Hallelujah’s Touch and Jack Bell claimed reserve in the Youth 12 & Under for Laura Taylor while Jimmy Civils and Black Devil Collector won reserve in the 13-17 division.

The Friday morning session was held Friday afternoon. LK’s Golden Thrill topped the Lite Shod Specialty for Lauren Slope. Mark’s Golden Masterpiece won reserve with Jessica Davis directing for Jenny and Kathy White.

Beamin Dollar earned the blue in the Four-Year-Old MASCUP Championship with Don Crum in the irons for Susie Lavender. Dick Peebles and Kennedy’s Prince Charming picked up the red streamer for Bobby and Gina Rhea.

Steve Bolton and his A Silver Night attracted the judges’ attention and the blue in the Lite Shod Three and Under class.

Saturday morning was mostly a youth session and Brandon Urad was very busy jumping from one horse to another. He directed I’m Tina Turner to the blue in the Show Pleasure Specialty Youth for Wildwind Farm while Meranda Denny and Sky Watches Delight claimed second for Sheila Denny.

Blake Cammack collected another blue in the Park Pleasure Western Specialty Amateur aboard The First Son for Four M Farms.

Lauren Frankino claimed the Youth Specialty 11 and Under blue with Gen’s Volunteer Spirit with a flawless performance for Bob Frankino. Just Say Jubilee claimed the reserve streamer with Michia Collis in the irons for Palmer House.

The largest class of the show was the Four-Year-Old & Under Amateur Specialty. Steve Raley directed his Reckless Abandon to the top of this talented classes. Reserve went to Sunrise Showdown and Don Hancock.

Out Rage won both of the Performance Plantation classes at the show. The winner of these popular classes first won with Don Crum in the Open and then returned to win the Performance Plantation Amateur Specialty with Jennifer Le Blanc. Kelly Le Blanc owns this talented entry.

Stan Urad directed One Last Time Around to reserve in the Open for Jan Anderson. Sharon Robertson won reserve in the amateur with Hit & Run for Four M Farms.

Jay Durst and his Gens Copper Jewel claimed the blue in the Trail Pleasure Specialty Four & Under class while Copy This and Robert Smith claimed reserve.

Plans are already underway for another Texas Bluebonnet Classic in 2004 but this time without the ice! Complete results follow. To review these results and search by horse, owner or rider name, visit our website at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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