HALFWAY, Missouri - It may just be a dot on the map, but it was the place to be on June 29th when the Halfway Saddle Club held it’s annual horse show in this small southwest Missouri town. Proceeds from this year’s show went to benefit the Deaconess Foundation. Deaconess Long Term Care facilities in Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio worked to successfully complete projects such as patio enclosures, gazebos, and wheelchair and walking paths which improve the residence itself and enhance the quality of life for their residents. Dallas County Care Center in Buffalo, Missouri was a great resource to this year’s show by assisting with collecting sponsorships and providing individuals to assist in various duties one a very warm and sultry night.

Tim Samons of Van Buren, Missouri, made the long drive to judge the 15 walking horse classes. Nine Missouri Fox Trotter classes provided the crowd with variety, as the Missouri Fox Trotter was recently named the official state horse of Missouri.

Mike Maack Stables certainly had reason to celebrate with four blues. Topping the evening was Spirited Rendezvous and Bill Branham. This big, bay stallion is putting the heat on the competition in the Open Amateur classes this year. The team of Brian Nichols and Eclectic for Mrs. Glen Campbell took home the reserve. Another beaming amateur rider for Mike Maack Stables was Ann Becker for her win on Playing Favorites in the Amateur Specialty class. Glenda Nichols aboard the popular Dixie Jubilee was second in this strong class. Georgia Swicegood was all smiles following her dual blue ribbon night on Shaker’s Mr. Threat, first in the Four-Year-Old and Under Lite Shod and the lite Shod Plantation Two Gait.

Caretaker’s Image and Brian Nichols came out on top of a field of tough competition in the Plantation Pleasure Two Gait class and younger brother Brad Nichols was able to follow up with another win in the Western Two Gait class for Campbell Ford.

The sharp-dressed team of Sam Henson and Fame’s Fancy Lady took home top honors in the Juvenile Specialty class for Ed and Darlene Swaringim. Don Bills prepares this team for competition. Another sharp team was Tuscany and Jill Wait in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class as they made their way to the winner’s circle. Trainer Tom Burton keeps this duo in top form.

Juvenile Lite Shod Specialty has become a popular class this year, and once again it was My Horse Showtime and Savannah VanZyverden making the victory pass for Kusewitt and Jones. Jerry Manes readies this team for competition as well as the winner of the Three-Year-Old class, Excite Me. Jerry showed the three-year-old for proud owners, Sherry and Shelby Hill. Richard Mitch was also the judge’s pic for the victory pass in the Four-Year-Old Amateur class with Diamonds and Cash for Richard and Sarah Mitch.

Dominating the young horse classes was Jim Huffman with the flashy Victory Colors in the Two-Year-Old class for Huffman Family Stables. The Talk Of Texas received the top award in the Three and Under Plantation class with Jim Huffman directing for the Maack Stables. Impressive One made the victory pass in the Open Specialty Class for Leland McDougal with Curt Caldwell in the irons. Tom Burton directed Dark Spirit’s Absolute to the reserve tie for Jim and Sherry Hill.

Missouri State Senator and Halfway native, Morris Westfall announces the show for each year. A few minutes were taken to pay tribute to this devoted individual, as he will be retiring due to term limits. The Halfway Volunteer Fire Department was very popular as they provided the concessions with a special treat this year of fresh catfish. The Southwest Missouri Horse Show Associated voted the Halfway Show the “best one night show” for 2001. This year’s show was just as successful.