by Linda Scrivner

MARSHALL, Texas – The Texas show season began with the Marshall Lions Club’s 47th annual show on Feb. 20-21, 2009, and the season seemed to be off to a great start. There were horses showing from six states and this was the first show of the season with the new USDA inspection procedures in place. Two hundred fifty-seven entries answered the gate call over the two-day show compared to 248 entries last year.

Terry Stone judged the event. Stormy’s Bad Company with trainer Don Crum in the irons repeated their 2007 victories. Once again they captured the Walking Horse Open Championship Saturday night as well as winning the qualifying class Friday evening for W.L. and Carolyn Palmer. Pride’s Sir Percy, with Percy Lewis riding for owner Martha Wilkes, claimed the reserve championship title as well as the reserve in the qualifier.

Hilda Bane, show secretary, said that they were the “guinea pig” for the new inspection procedures but felt things went very well with very little affect on the smoothness of the show. Inspecting horses without tack was the item of discussion at the show. Saddles were taken to the warm up area and placed on saddle racks or taken off at the DQP station and then replaced after inspection.

Margo Urad, president of Southwest Walking Horse Breeders’ Association (SWHBA) and treasurer of the Big D Charity Horse Show, stated, “It’s a major inconvenience, putting horses and people in jeopardy. But if it will solve the issue they think we have, we’re all for it.” She said that show managers need to provide a saddle rack at the DQP station because it’s awkward to carry a saddle and take a horse through inspection at the same time. Urad Stables showed 22 entries on Friday evening and 33 entries Saturday.

Two other board members of SWHBA volunteered their opinions. Dodi Speece said, “The new rule of taking the horses through DQP without a saddle is very difficult and dangerous. With more people and saddle racks in the warm up ring, a horse or rider will get hurt. We had several close calls at this show. All we need is to hurt these animals we are trying to protect.”

Kim Lewis added, “The new rule of the saddles in the warm-up is dangerous. The horses were very excited while trying to saddle them with other riders warming up for their class. I saw a couple of horses break loose and run through the warm up area. Saddle racks and tack were everywhere, causing dangerous obstacles.”

No one missed their class and the show had to wait only a time or two for entries, which happens frequently at shows when riders change horses or tack.

Complete results can be viewed by clicking here.