Private Charter Sailed To The Head Of The Pack!

PERRY, Ga. - The 46th annual Southern Championship Charity Horse Show was held Nov. 20-22, 2003, at the Georgia State Fairgrounds. This spacious, elegant facility was the perfect setting for the 67-class event. The number of entries, 805, was the largest of any Southern Championship. Southern hospitality at its best and great horses in large numbers produced one of the finest shows on the fall circuit.

Trainer Rae Martin of South Carolina said, “This is the best show that I have attended. There were so many great horses in every class."

The Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitor’s Association always takes great pride in the Southern Championships. They created their best show to date this year with a unique Christmas theme, breathtaking center ring and the largest number of horses ever! Christmas trees with gold trim were the backdrop of the photographer’s winner’s circle. That same gold trim was elaborately adorned with walking horses around the railing. A white canopy with psychedelic lights covered those in center ring. Ray Caughman and his friends spent many hours making sure the decorations were perfect.

Dee Cantrell handled office duties efficiently, but was also seen cutting a rug at the exhibitors’ party Friday evening. Show manager Lisa McMahan kept the show moving efficiently. In all aspects of the show, the GWHEA members attended to every detail making this a class act show that everyone will want to attend again.

The exhibitors’ party was complimentary and featured plenty of food and drink and a band. Both young and old were seen on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning. The GWHEA and Red Eagle Farms Farms were the hosts for the evening.

On Friday morning, Sister Milligan and Gulf Coast Charity show manager Ben Lee were busy shucking oysters and serving shrimp and drinks, compliments of the show, which will be held the last weekend in April next year in Panama City, Fla. A huge crowd gathered at the parking lot by the barns to enjoy these delicacies.

Judges for this year’s edition of the show were Joe Cotten of Franklin, Tenn., Huck Moss of Trenton, S.C., and Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Russ Thompson of Chino, Calif., was a co-judge both Thursday and Friday evenings. Thirty-five, or 52 percent, of the 67 classes were tied with a unanimous decision.

The three-day show wrapped up Saturday night with the Walking Horse Stake. Seven talented teams entered the ring one at a time to vie for top honors. A second running-walk was called the second way of the ring. When the cards were marked, Knox Blackburn and Private Charter were called to make the trip to the winner's circle for the tricolor ribbon and floral horseshoe for owner Bud Moore. The American General and Larry Edwards finished with second for the Dan McSwain family. The team of Skywatch’s Masterpiece and Bill Cantrell carried the yellow streamer from the ring for owner Bill Hill.

The blue ribbon tally was led by Jeff Givens Stables with nine blues. Two outstanding barns earned seven Southern Championship blues each. They were Allan Callaway Stables and Carl Edwards & Sons Stables. Knox Blackburn Stables was close behind with six blues. Barnes Training Facility earned four blues while Derickson Training Facility, Mickey McCormick Stables, Dick Peebles Stables and Connie Waldo won three blues apiece. Dual blues were won by Sammy Day Stables, Finish Line Farm, Rae Martin Stables and Webb Stables.


The show began with the Model class. Jeff Givens kicked off his fantastic weekend of winning as he led world champion AK47 to a unanimous blue. A Classic Shot, with Laurie Toone at the lead, was second.

The Amateur 50 and Over Specialty featured 25 entries. John FK’s Pusher and Robin MacDonald walked their way to the winner’s circle under the guidance of Dick Peebles Stables. This was the first of two blues at Perry for this champion. Brenda Carlon was aboard Cut The Smoke to take the reserve honors under the Derickson Training Facility banner.

The Trail Pleasure class featured 14 entries. The blue ribbon honors went unanimously to Sundrop’s Mr. American and Connie Waldo. Second place went to Mr. Wolfgang Puck and owner/trainer/exhibitor Liz Hestle-Gassaway.

The judges had their work cut out for them when 17 teams entered the ring for the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings MASCUP class. Another unanimous decision went to the team of Absolutely Flawless and John Allan Callaway. Reserve in this class went to Olympic’s Lucky Charm and Knox Blackburn.

No stranger to the winner’s circle and repeating their 2002 victory, Jose’ Quervo Gold and Bob Lawrence took home top honors in the 10-entry Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class unanimously. Barnes Training Facility prepared the championship team. Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier finished reserve for trainer Laurie Toone.

The Fine Harness class blue was awarded to Surgeon General and Ronnie Spears. Surgeon General recently won the same class at the Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge, La. All three judges chose this team to wear the blue streamer from the ring. The red ribbon went to Clutch’s Power Play and Scott Beaty.

Sixteen Aged Mares and Geldings Specialty entries took to the rail next. Fudpucker made the first of two blue ribbon performances exhibited by Mickey McCormick. Reserve went to He’s Wired and Brock Tillman.

Taking home the blue in the 10-entry Aged Stallions and Geldings Specialty were I’m Twice The Delight and Larry Edwards. This was the third year that I’m Twice The Delight won this class at Perry. Claiming the respectful second place award was the team of Freedom Fighter and Charlie Green.

Riding to the unanimous blue in the Spotted Saddle Horse Lite-Shod class were Mr. Wolfgang Puck and Liz Hestle-Gassaway. Reserve went to Gen-U-Wine and Anita Rees.

Keith McSwain made his first show ring appearance a blue ribbon one as he directed the flax maned and tailed The Golden Sovereign to the blue in the 12-entry Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallions class. Carl Edwards & Sons Stables prepared this team for the ring. McSwain's daughter Maisie, who competes in the 11 and under division, was happy to offer her dad congratulations. Jeanine Gullett, the previous owner of The Golden Sovereign, claimed the reserve position with her JFK Again prepared by trainer Mickey McCormick. McSwain had many congratulating him on his unanimous debut performance and one of the first was the Gullett family.

Lucky Collins was next to make a trip to the winner’s circle. Collins rode Pushover & Lookout to the unanimous Amateur 15.2 and Under Stallion Specialty title for trainer Buddy Dick of Finish Line Farm. Reserve in the good class went to Silver Dollar Make Me Holler and Kathy Graves under Ramsey Bullington’s guidance.

Gen’s Sundancer claimed the first of his two wins as he walked to the blue in the Park Pleasure Specialty class under the direction of Jeff Givens. The red ribbon went to Doug Barnes and Chill.

Sixteen entries answered the call for the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallion class. The newly acquired property Sky Jam, under the direction of Suzanne Littell, made an outstanding performance to carry out the blue under the direction of Allan Callaway Stables. Claiming reserve were Pop A Top Papa and Rhea Ellen Webb. Brother Scott Beaty trained this blaze-faced stallion.

In the WHTA Auxiliary Specialty class Karen Callaway and Capone walked away with a unanimous blue. Reserve went to The Sky Patrol and Beth Young from Kurt Kovalick Stables.

Jeff Givens and All Color’s Dazzle were victors in the Park Pleasure Western Specialty class. The red ribbon was awarded to Mo Shame On Me and Carl Bledsoe.

The little, black mare Skywatch’s Dark N Stormy carried home the 23-entry Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings MASCUP blue with Sam Martin in the irons with a unanimous decision. Reserve honors in the class went to Gen’s Dixie Crystals and Larry Edwards.

In the 15-entry Show Pleasure Open Specialty class, Knox Blackburn rode current world grand champion Coin Maker to the first of his two unanimous Perry blues. Pushin’ Bachatacha and Ronnie Campbell claimed the reserve ribbon.

Twenty-two Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallions were the next challenge for the judging panel. Making the good ride to a unanimous blue was Sandra Reid aboard Jorge’. This was their debut performance as a team and Reid and her trainer Kurt Kovalick happily shared the moment. Fame Seeker and Renee Carlton received the reserve award for trainer Sam Perkins and Bud Dunn & Son Stables.

Top honors in the Plantation Lite-Shod Western Specialty went to Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo. A Classic Shot and Laurie Toone were awarded the reserve tie.

In a class of 22 entries, Mike Hilley rode An American Outlaw to the Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings MASCUP blue. Sanman and Link Webb were second in the class.

Jerome Cole claimed the 12-entry Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty title aboard Pusher’s Good Fortune. Private Term and Dana Kyte carried out the red ribbon.

The 19-entry Amateur 15.2 and Under Mare and Gelding Specialty honors went to Tennessee Gen and Brenda Bramlett. This new team was trained by Callaway Stables. Dumas and Renee Carlton took home the red ribbon under the direction of Bud Dunn & Son Stables.

This closed out the Thursday night session, which had 284 entries.


The first class Friday evening was the Lead Line class. Four entries were each given a blue ribbon after the judges declared the class a tie.

Keith McSwain once again made the trip to the winner’s circle with Gen’s Burning Rage in the 11-entry Amateur Mare Specialty class unanimously for the Dan McSwain family. Cash Is My Choice was directed to the reserve by Sharon Lessard for Christian Lessard.

The unanimous 15.2 and Under Open class honors went to Sammy Day riding Gen’s Johnny Walker Red. Pusher’s Pzazz and Tim Smith were reserve.

Connie Waldo made the trip from Shelbyville, Tenn., to bring back the 10-entry Lite-Shod Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty title on Drop The Hammer unanimously. The red ribbon went to Simply Striking and Alicia Avent.

Joel Johnson directed Olympic Encore down victory lane in the 10-entry Amateur Ponies class for riders 17 and under. Mickey McCormick claimed the training duties of this exciting team. Final Keeper and Morgan LeGate landed the reserve tie under brother and trainer Justin LeGate’s guidance.

Rainsong and Jeff Givens were victorious unanimously in the Plantation Lite-Shod Specialty class. Robert Findley rode Black Rain Drops to the red ribbon for trainer Chris Kelley.

Maisie McSwain directed Armed To Show to a Perry blue in the WHTA Youth Council 11 and Under Specialty class for Carl Edwards & Sons Stables. A Major High, with Holley Avrett up, was reserve for trainer Allen Forman.

In the Spotted Saddle Horse Park Pleasure class, Jeff Givens made a flawless performance to ride out with the blue unanimously aboard A Spot At The Ritz. Allen’s Spotted Threat and Sheila Mainwaring placed second in the class for trainer Col Walker.

Quattro and Knox Blackburn received the blue in the 16-entry Three-Year-Old Classic class. Texas Cash Exchange and Chris Pickle were reserve.

The 20-entry Amateur Gelding Specialty class had a three-way tie on the judges’ cards for first place, therefore, an automatic three-horse work-out was required. Fudpucker and Michael Coleman, Ed Breedlove and Bound & Determined, and Candy Whitehead Green and Make My Mark Black all went back to the rail thrilling the spectators, who selected their favorites and whooped and hollered for them through the workout. Fudpucker and Coleman made another outstanding show to carry out the blue.Reserve went to Breedlove and third to Green after their exciting performances.

Claiming a unanimous Perry blue in the Park Pleasure Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class was Darden Gladney aboard It’s Up In Arms. This team also won the same class in last year. The second place tie went to Sundrop’s Legend and Bart McWaters.

In the 14-entry WHTA Youth Council 12-17 Specialty class, current world grand champion Pusher’s Special Design and Katherine Ramsbottom were called to receive the blue unanimously under the Webb Stables banner. Maria Derickson and Gen’s Thundermaker finished second for Knox Blackburn Stables.

Jose’ Quervo Gold claimed his second blue of the show in the Lite-Shod Amateur Western Specialty with Miles Irby directing. Trainer Doug Barnes was thrilled. Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier took home the red ribbon for trainer Laurie Toone.

Rudy Rudiger, who won a blue at the East Tennessee Fall Classic recently, added another ribbon to his credit. Charlie Green rode him to a unanimous title in the 11-entry Two-Year-Old Classic class. Without Question and Allan Callaway were reserve.

The 11-entry Amateur Stallion Specialty was next on the agenda. The Snowatch walked to the winner’s circle with Ashley Joseph directing for a unanimous win. Dick Peebles prepared this roan stallion. Kathy Graves and Pride’s Pickle made a good show to claim the reserve spot under the Knox Blackburn Stables banner.

Sandra Reid took home another Georgia unanimous blue; this time it was aboard Chill in the Two-and Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure class for trainer Doug Barnes. The reserve tie went to Duck’s Jewell and Willie Cook.

Harry York rode away with the 18-entry Novice Specialty (no blue in 2003-horse and rider) title on Will-E-Walk for trainer Jeff Byrom of Sammy Day Stables. Reserve honors went to Generator’s Gold Nugget and Liz Gassaway.

The GWHEA Ladies Auxiliary Specialty class entries were next to take to the rail. Diamond’s Touchdown and Martha Branson were the unanimous victors in the class for trainer Allen Forman. Riding out with the red award was the team of A Bonus From Ritz and Paige Edwards.

A Greater Generator and Mary Martin received the top spot unanimously in the 14-entry Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty class for Hankins Stables. She’s Breathtaking and Bob Lawrence took home the red ribbon for trainer Doug Barnes.

Making a fine performance in the 22-entry Amateur Ponies class for riders 18 and over to win the title unanimously was the team of Dumas and Renee Carlton under the Bud Dunn & Son Stables banner.This was a repeat win from 2002. Watchtower and Robby Biggs were reserve for Webb Stables.

The Golden Sovereign topped the Four-Year-Old Stallions MASCUP class unanimously under the direction of Larry Edwards. Julio’ Julio’ and Link Webb carried out the red ribbon.

A Special Ultra Copy and Bobby Mixon topped the 11-entry GWHBEA Members Only Specialty competition unanimously. Carl Edwards & Sons Stables prepared this team. Sandra Austin rode Lonestar Judge to the second place tie under the Bill Cantrell Stables banner.

With 45 classes and 244 entries behind them, it was time to enjoy the fine food, friends and music at the exhibitors’ party! Sammy Day sang and played his harmonica along with the band to the delight of the many party goers.


As the sun went down so did the temperature in southern Georgia. Beautiful sunny days were followed by cool nights and those in Perry pulled out their coats. Everyone was anticipating the third and final night of the show. By the end of the evening, 805 entries had made their way through the gate compared to 638 entries in last year.

The show began with the little children riding in the Stick Horse class. The crowd enjoyed watching them as much as the children liked receiving their awards.

The 13-entry Weanling class was next with Billy Thomas leading Encore’s Midnight Lady, a recent winner at Asheville, White Pine and Baton Rouge, to the blue. Reserve went to Survivor’s Pure Poison and Ronald Morton for Valton Rummage Stables.

Fourteen of the nation’s finest answered the gate call for the Two-Year-Old Stallion MASCUP class. Claiming the top position unanimously were Expeditor and Knox Blackburn. Strolling Through The Ritz and Larry Edwards were reserve.

Christen Altman catch rode Gen’s Sundancer to the blue in the WHTA Park Pleasure Juvenile 17 and Under class for trainer Jeff Givens. Jamie Waddell Emfinger claimed the reserve spot with Direct Effect.

The Three-Year-Old Amateur Mare and Gelding class was divided into two divisions with 13 entries in each class. In the A division, Fortune’s Fool and Ed Breedlove took the blue for trainer John Allan Callaway. A Screaming Eagle and Senator Carol Jackson claimed the reserve position for Ken Moore Stables. Skywatch’s Dark N Stormy claimed her second win at Perry with Tricia Timmons in the B division unanimously. Reserve went to Gen’s Dixie Crystals and Paige Edwards.

Wearing the first set of roses from the Southern Championship in 2003, was the team of Armed To Show and Maisie McSwain in the WHTA Youth Council 11 and Under Specialty Championship with a unanimous decision. McSwain won this class in both 2001 and 2002 with Gen’s Sundance Lady. Pusher’s Blizzard and Haley Lane were the recipients of the red ribbon in the class for Cantrell Stables.

Twenty-two good entries filled the ring for the Amateur Show Pleasure class. Coin Maker claimed his second unanimous victory with Suzanne Littell directing him down victory lane once more. Keith Johnson tied a respectable reserve in the fine class aboard Insomnia for Mickey McCormick Stables.

The 11-entry Yearling class was next in the ring. Yippee Yi O Ki Yay was led by Caroline Edwards to the first place tie for Roger Richards. Ronald Morton led She’s Pure Poison to the reserve tie for Valton Rummage Stables.

On the heels of her win Friday night, Katherine Ramsbottom was back to vie for the 13-entry WHTA Youth Council 12-17 Specialty Championship. Ramsbottom directed Pusher’s Special Design to the tricolor and floral horseshoe unanimously under the Webb Stables banner. Gavin Kasser made a fine show riding Pride’s Sharp Dressed Man to the reserve tie under the Belle Meadow banner.

In the 19-entry Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class, Dr. Ray Caughman rode Absolutely Flawless to an impressive win under the guidance of Callaway Stables. Finishing a strong second was the team of Private Benjamin and James Sigmon.

Amateur 15.2 and Under Specialty Championship honors in a class of 15 went to Pushover & Lookout and a very excited Lucky Collins. Brenda Bramlett made a top notch ride aboard Tennessee Gen to win the red ribbon for Callaway Stables.

Thirteen entries took to the rail in the Three-Year-Old Stallion MASCUP class. John Allan Callaway added a unanimous blue to their barn's lengthy list of winners aboard Texas Lotto. Push Too's Cowboy made a powerful performance to receive the reserve award in the class with Knox Blackburn in the irons.

Rainsong and Jeff Givens won the Lite-Shod Specialty Championship unanimously. Black Rain Drops was reserve with Robert Findly in the irons under Chris Kelley’s guidance.

Twenty teams vied for top honors in the Pro/Am Specialty class. Cut The Smoke won the class in 2002 and returned to win again this year carrying Hervert Derickson and Brenda Carlon to the winner’s circle. Mindy Brasher and B.A. Dorsey took their turns on Really to claim the reserve position.

Morgan LeGate and Final Keeper repeated their 2002 win in the 11-entry Pony Specialty Championship finding their way down victory lane once again. Olympic Encore and Joel Johnson made a great ride to finish with second.

The Amateur Four-Year-Old Mares and Gelding Specialty class featured 22 entries. Brenda Carlon rode An American Outlaw to the blue. Derickson Training Facility trained this duo. Once again Liz Claborne and Lucky Collins took home the red ribbon for Finish Line Farms.

She’s Breathtaking and Miles Irby won the 10-entry Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty Championship. Callie Stucky and Metro Grande took home second in the class for trainer Willie Cook.

Sixteen top entries made the gate call for the Amateur Specialty Championship. When the cards were marked, the unanimous choice of the judges was the team of John FK’s Pusher and Robin MacDonald. This was their second Perry blue. Prism Sky and Mindy Brasher made a powerful performance for the reserve spot in the class for trainer B.A. Dorsey.

Jeff Givens Stables wound up their Perry wins with Movie Extra claiming the Park Pleasure Specialty Championship. A Greater Generator and Jennifer Hankins claimed the red ribbon.

A great class of 11 Amateur Open entries was next on the agenda. Jaclyn Tillman made a flawless show aboard Pusher’s Black Hawk to claim the title for the second year in a row. Ashley Joseph had a good ride on The Snowatch to receive the red ribbon.

The Groom's class is always exciting, and this year was no exception. Retouch tied first with Joe Ford aboard showing under the direction of Robert Dabbs. Junior “Big Hon” Smith and The Key To My Heart were a popular choice to receive the second place award for trainer Brock Tillman.

If you love good horses, want to have fun and enjoy true southern hospitality, don’t miss Perry, Ga., in 2004!

This highlights the 46th annual Southern Championship Charity Horse Show. Complete results, along with judges’ cards, follow and may also be found on our web site at