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The Star keeps getting brighter... at White Pine

By K.C. Hensley

WHITE PINE, Tenn. - Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Tennessee State Championships was held during August 6-9, 2003. The judges for the four-day event were Gene Frye of Taylorsville, N.C., Gene Batten of Maryville, Tenn., and Eddie Carter of Stanford, Ky. Some of East Tennessee and Virginia’s finest came out for the event this year.

The show was established to benefit the St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital, and this year raised over $12,000.

The show not only had a great number of walking horse classes, but it also had several racking horse classes. The number of entries was down only slightly Friday evening when the USDA officials came to inspect the entries. All in all the exhibitors at the Tennessee State Championships were pleased with the results of the show and are now looking forward to the next event for most walking horse enthusiasts... the Celebration.

Capturing the glory in the Walking Horse Championship along with the floral horseshoe, trophy and tricolored ribbon was The Star of Sundance and Brent Coburn. The duo was riding for Jack and Betty Morgan of Asheville, N.C. Reserve in the class was Gen’s Drop of Sun and Chris Pickle for Fred Randolph of Niota, Tenn.

The first walking horse winner of the show was Doc’s Taking Charge and Sherry Bilbo in the Amateur Lite-Shod Specialty class. Reserve in the class was Delightfully Annie and Donna Coleman.

Following the lite-shod specialty class was the Walking Trail Pleasure 18 and Over class. Emerging from the line up was the beautiful sorrel Gen Desires Rewards and Vickie Hughes-Grindstaff. Reserve in the class was Rebel and Virgil Peters of Jonesborough, Tenn.

One of the largest classes of the evening was the Walking Show Pleasure class. The blue was awarded to Make My Day Jubilee and Larry Latham for Joey and Elise Tidwell. Reserve in the class was Freedom Is and Keith Ailshire for the Terry Dotson family.

The next class of the evening was the 11 and under class. This class is always a crowd pleasing one. Riding for the blue was Picture Perfect and Jessica Miller for Sam Kite of Telford, Tenn. Reserve in the class was cute little Chase Freeman and Class Performance. Freeman, a debut showman this year, was definitely riding in grandmother Charlene Cox’s footsteps.

Dana Kite and the handsome bay Private Terms captured the Amateur Owned and Trained blue ribbon honors. Reserve in the class was Prime Advantage and Carl Davenport of Greenville, Tenn.

The Walking Amateur 50 and Over Specialty blue was accepted by Cut’s Thumbs Up and Bill Lester of Bristol, Va. Reserve in the class was Cash’s Fire Cracker and Junior Venable of Tazewell, Tenn.

The preliminary to the walking championship was the Walking Open class. Like true champions, the class was won by none other than The Star of Sundance and Brent Coburn. Reserve in the class was Star Gate and Mark Snodgrass.

Returning to the winner’s circle for the second time for the evening was Vickie Hughes-Grindstaff with her Walking Yearling Champion Uptown Generator. Reserve in the class was Dynamo’s Ace of Spades and Herchel Blessing.

Capturing the Walking Amateur Ladies Specialty class was the well-known team of Jennifer Brown and Pride’s Gold Millennium. Reserve in the class was another well-known team, By All Means and Ashley Duncan. Amazingly this was the first outing of the season for both ladies. They both showed the making of winners in their performances.

The next blue was accepted by Vapor and Mike Carter, who brought the crowd to their feet with their performance in the Four-Year-Old Specialty class. Reserve in the class was The Secret Spy and Stephen Hankins, Jr.

The duo of Busted and Bay and Candra Shular emerged from the line up for the blue in the walking Two-Year-Old Amateur class. Reserve in the class was Coin’s Instigator and Jack Morgan.

Starting out of the line up for the blue in the Walking Show Pleasure Specialty class was the team of Starting Over and Tara Nicely. Reserve in the class was Mark’s Push Button and Bean Stration.

Showing for the blue in the Walking Amateur Specialty class was the classic horse Ultra Sensation and Sam Kite. Reserve in the class was Pride’s Midnight Express and Dana Kite.

The team of Rain’s Renegade and Tracey Fuller rode to winner’s circle in the Walking Three-Year-Old Amateur class. Reserve in the class was Pusher’s Calico Girl and Gayla Whitaker.

In the Walking Amateur Plantation Pleasure Specialty class Royal Prestige and Lindsey Henry were crowned champions. Reserve in the class was Evening Charger and Haley Jobe of Gray, Tenn.

Another class that was sure to please was the Walking Youth 12-17 Specialty class. Final’s Pusher and Crystal Letterman emerged form the line upon the first place spot. Reserve in this difficult class was Beaming Around and Zachery Bunch for Dennis and Sonny Bunch of Tazewell, Tenn.

The well-known team of Generator’s Big Ticket and Stephen Hankins, Jr. took the blue in the Walking 15.2 and Under class. Reserve in the class was Turbo’s Enforcer and Mike Carter.

What A Blessing Farm not only received first place honors in the Walking Weanling class with Let’s Get Ready to Rumble and Herschel Blessing, but also the reserve honors with Midnight Payoff and Wade Hampton in the same class.

In the lite-shod class of the show Jazz Star and John Toney answered the call to the winner’s circle. Reserve in the class was Delightfully Annie and Donna Coleman.

The Walking Two-Year-Old Specialty class blue was received by Goodbye Joe and Brent Coburn. Reserve in the class was Terry Givens with Twist the Night Away.

Pusher’s Cool Blue and Paul Livingston accepted the blue in the Walking Performance Pleasure Specialty class. A blue for a Blue! Reserve in the class was Web site and Rechardo Green.

The Walking-Three-Year-Old Stallion class win was received by Rare Find and Brent Coburn. Reserve in the class was Master Pusher and Terry Givens.

The ETWHA Amateur Members Only class blue was awarded to The Final Score and Crystal Letterman. Reserve in the class was Gen's Hero and Tommy Rivers.

Fantazmic Cash and Vickie Hughes-Grindstaff were welcomed to the winner’s circle in the Walking-Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class. Reserve was Sky Command and Yvaughna Mathies.

An added class for the show was the Four-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings class. The winner of the added class was the newly acquired It’s Gin “N” Tonic and Charlene Cox. Reserve in the class was Happy Camper and Bill Spivey.

One of the favorite classes at any horse show now days is the ProAm class. In the Walking ProAm division the favorite for the blue was Delight’s Powerful Pusher and amateur rider Dottie Boone with trainer Stephen Hankins, Jr. Reserve in the class was Running Over with Pusherover and Max Yates.

The first championship of the show was the Walking Trail Pleasure Stake. The first set of roses was received by the repeat winner Gen Desires Rewards and Vickie Hughes-Grindstaff. This duo definitely desired rewards! Reserve in the class was Postmarked First Class and Bob Bilbo.

In the Youth Championship, Zachery Bunch and Beaming Around answered the call to the winner’s circle. Reserve went to Final’s Pusher and Crystal Letterman.

One of the most exciting championship classes was the Walking Amateur Specialty Stake. Walking away with all the championship honors was By All Means and Ashley Duncan. Reserve was Pride’s Gold Millennium and Jennifer Brown.

This concludes the highlights Tennessee State Championship Show. Complete results follow and can be viewed online at

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