By Linda Scrivner

LUCAS, Ky. - The South Central Kentucky Walking Horse Association (SCKWHA) held its 26th annual High Point Awards Banquet at the beautiful Barren River Lodge overlooking the scenic Barren River Lake Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004. The SCKWHA strives to promote the Tennessee Walking Horse in this area and likes to recognize the exhibitors who have shown their horses consistently throughout the year. A large crowd was in attendance for the banquet, auction and dance which followed.

There was also a 50/50 reverse drawing that went throughout the awards ceremony. Bonnie Carrier’s name was the last to be drawn. Following the meal an auction was held with the proceeds benefiting the scholarship fund to support the education of the younger generation of horsemen and women. Area barns sponsored theme baskets for the auction, as well as various other items and stud fees from Hard Cash Jr., Just Black Magic, Olympic Energizer, Evil Generator, Pusher’s Spirit and Electrifying.

Last year’s auction provided $3,200 worth of scholarships. The following 2003 scholarship recipients were acknowledged: Beth Quinn, Natalie Beckham, John Starnes, Daniel Starnes, Ashley Crawford, Jennifer Zeller, Blair Campbell and Jill Poland.

The bidding was lively and many interesting and unusual items brought top dollar. Following the auction, the Sportsmanship Awards were presented. The Juvenile Sportsmanship award went to Ashley Shelton. Melanie Brooks was voted Amateur Sportsman. The Professional Award went to Brent Grider. Angie Mosley received the Supporter Award, and Justin Taylor was presented the Groom's Award. The Cheerleader Award went to Robin Smith and the Best Horse Show was the Bowling Green Charity.

Melanie Brooks then recognized those stables from the South Central area that won both racking horse and walking horse celebration world championships and reserve world championships in 2003.

Brent Grider Stables claimed the reserve honors in the Owner Amateur on Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings Section A. Julie Grider was aboard Sundust Generator for owners Grider, Coomer and Tooly.

Barrett Jones claimed top honors in the Park Pleasure Mare and Gelding, Riders 11 and Under division on Generator’s Flash Point for Todd Smith Stables.

Highland Stables was represented by William B. Johnson on Gen’s Black Gin as he won the World Champion and World Grand Champion Amateur Four-Year-Old competitions. Highland Stables also won the Owner-Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallion, Section B with Vicki Watkins aboard Highly Addictive.

Bennett Stables was once again successful in the Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Youth Rider, 11 and Under division as Paige Bennett took the top prize. Emily Prentice was reserve in the Auxiliary Equitation, Medal Class, Youth Rider 12-14 Years division for Bennett Stables. Leigh Bennett claimed world grand championship honors in the Western Park Pleasure Canter division and reserve in the qualifying class aboard Double Your Money for Dwight and Elizabeth Ottman. Elizabeth Ottman claimed reserve in the Western Park Pleasure Amateur Rider division.

J&H Stables also claimed world championship and reserve world championship honors. Brent Jones directed Pushing Miss Gennie to world championship honors in the Owner Amateur Rider on Mares 15.2 and Under class. Karen Rector was reserve in the Owner Amateur Novice Lady Rider on Novice Mare and Gelding, Section B aboard Mark’s Pushing Lady.

The presentation of the 2003 South Central High Point Award winners was next. Etched crystal was presented to first, second and third places. Macho’s Secret Bet won the yearling award for Tim Thompson followed by He Won’t Mind in reserve for Barney Shuffett.

The Juvenile Country Pleasure title went to Money Talks for Gobbler’s Knob Farm. Need More Change and owner Walter Stillwell won the reserve position in that class. Chance For Sun and Walter Stillwell received the number one position in the Country Pleasure division with Mr. T’s Prince claiming reserve for Ruth Lane.

Grider Stables’ entry Minnie Colors won the Plantation Pleasure award with Generator’s Flash Point in the reserve spot for the Ray Jones family and Todd Smith Stables. Gobbler’s Knob Farm came forward once again as Silver’s Spinal Tap was number one in the Plantation Lite-Shod division. Earning the reserve crystal were Generator’s Joy Rider and Walter Stillwell.

Donald Stephens won the Performance Pleasure High Point Award with Color’s Golden Boy, followed by Spirit’s Gem for the Tapocik family and Spencer Benedict Stables. High point awards in the Spotted Saddle division went to Billy Bob’s Domino and J.L. King. Color’s All Lit Up claimed reserve for Barry Isham.

Generator’s Top Dollar claimed the high point championship in the Open Show Pleasure category for Dr. Bob and Curtis McCloy and Todd Smith Stables. Dangerous Mystery earned enough points to win reserve for Kent McGary and Loid Stables.

The Juvenile 11 and Under Championship team was Pusher’s Sharon and David Thompson from Loid Stables. He’s The Man In Command and Ashley Shelton won reserve for Todd Smith Stables. Just American Magic won both the Juvenile 12-17 and the Juvenile 17 and Under Championships for Gobbler’s Knob Farm and Todd Smith Stables. Jared Carrier proudly rode this entry. Reserve in the first division went to Mo Rebel and Wes Hendrick for Brooks Stables. There was a tie in the second division for reserve between Performing A Merger for Brooke Shoemaker and Bum’s Nightmare for the Hatter family and Bill Bailey.

In perhaps one of the most competitive categories, the Two-Year-Old Open division, A Dream Walker earned the first place award for Bob Porter and Kevin Bailey. It’s No Secret earned the reserve spot for Mr. and Mrs. David Bailey and Loid Stables.

Ridin For the Prize claimed the Two-Year-Old Mare and Gelding category for Carolyn Knight and Ronnie Choates. Pusher’s Sunny Girl stepped up to the plate to claim the reserve position for Elmore and Mary Ward and Walt Bruner.

General’s Glory Girl was rewarded with the championship in the Two-Year-Old Amateur for Courtney Harper and Woosley Stables. For their top 2003 performances, American Colors, for the Butch Thomas family and Todd Smith Stables, and Vigor’s Vise, for Bobby Roach, tied to claim reserve.

Lyon Hutcherson and Spencer Benedict Stables were rewarded with She’s High Falutin’s high point award in the Three-Year-Old Open division. The reserve title was awarded to Dubya-Ben for Charlotte Downing and Woosley Stables.

An outstanding season with many points landed Have A Little Faith the top position in the Three-Year-Old Amateur division for Tommy Grider and Brent Grider Stables. The Four-Year-Old high point winners were Touch Pushes On and James Smith for Woosley Stables. Potter and Marshall and Loid Stables showed Olympic Wired to earn reserve in this competitive class.

Topping the Four-Year-Old Amateur competition was Half Dollar for the Kenny Hendrick family and Brooks Stables. A winner across the state of Kentucky, Cash JR Junior earned reserve for R.C. Gabehart and J&H Stables.

The talented entry Papa’s Twilight Zone, ridden by Donna Byard from Loid Stables, won the Ladies Specialty High Point Award. Courtner Harper directed Gimme That Wink to the second placing for Woosley Stables.

Northern Exposure and Carrie Benedict were a delight all season and claimed the Open Amateur Championship for Spencer Benedict Stables. Gary Traughber and Woosley Stables were certainly pleased when Dark Horse Candidate claimed the reserve win.

Cash’s Delightful Heir took Joe Estes to several top performances to receive first in the Amateur Specialty division for Loid Stables. The team of Fatal Heartattack and Gary Traughber really shined as they won enough points for reserve for Woosley Stables.

Robin Smith claimed the Trainers’ Family Members Championship followed by Tommy Loid III in the reserve spot. Donald Hendrick’s Generator’s Miss Joy won the Open 15.2 High Point Award for Woosley Stables while Wicked Walker’s Ghost won reserve for Mike and Nancy Squires. Generator’s Miss Joy also claimed the Open Specialty number one spot. There was a tie for reserve between Papa’s Twilight Zone and Donna Byard from Loid Stables and Prime’s Rainstorm for Austin Benedict and Spencer Benedict Stables.

Loid Stables took Superior’s Generator Threat across the state of Kentucky to earn points to win the Walking Horse Stake for L.E. Walton. Pusher’s Easter Parader really shined last year and earned reserve for Friends In Low Places and Woosley Stables.

In 2003 SCKWHA began crowning a mock king and queen and chose to do so again in 2004. The winners were decided by voting for the favorite couple once they had been introduced. Each couple strolled or danced, in one case, through the crowd to collect votes at 25 cents a vote. The proceeds from this event also went to the scholarship fund. After much ado Nurse Brent Grider and Scrub Courtney Harper outdid Miss Red Riding Hood Wesley Hendrick and Big Bad Wolf Beth Carol Thomas. The contest brought in around $200 to add to the $2,100 brought in by the auction.

After king and queen were crowned the crowd kicked back to the entertainment of the band Burley Cruz. The conclusion to the evening and the dance was the dance contest. Queen Brent Grider and King Courtney Harper also won the dance contest. Grider named himself a triple crown dancer since he had won three years in a row. Great times and great horses brought another successful SCKWHA Banquet to a close.