Summer Passion Prevails at Gulfport

By Linda Scrivner

GULFPORT, Miss. - The ingredients for success at a new show are enthusiasm and hard work. Both of these were evident at the first Mississippi Gulf Coast Charity Walking and Racking Horse Show. Fabulous and spacious facilities and excellent warm weather met those who ventured to this new show. Add a huge cheering crowd and a well-planned show carried out with very few if any hitches made the first show a huge success. The ring was packed to perfection with time-outs to drag and prepare it once again. The bleachers and huge ring were under a covered pavilion with both another covered warm up arena as well as an open air warm up arena. Stalls were in two large barns that were convenient and close to the ring.

Show manager Tommy Thompson said that next year’s show would be on the same date but will be expanded to a two-day show so that those in attendance will have more classes and more time to enjoy the sparkling white beaches and the dazzling night life of the nearby casinos. Everywhere you turned there was enthusiasm for this new show . There were 150 entries and 32 classes were viewed by judge Jimmy Carnathan.

Proceeds from the show went to Gaits To Success Therapeutic Riding Center. Gaits To Success is a non-profit organization and a member of NARHA (North American Riding For The Handicapped Association). Gaits to Success offers a unique approach to helping people with mental, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Therapeutic horseback riding can give the disabled person a feeling of freedom, independence and an awareness of self that is otherwise difficult to achieve by conventional therapy.”

The show began with Marilyn Scott carrying the flag on Ebony’s Coin Dream, known as “Big Daddy.” The audience was also treated to an exhibition with nine horses and riders and many volunteer assistants from the Gaits To Success. The smiles on the faces of the riders were heartwarming and the crowd applauded loudly as they rode by.

Larry Bright added class and enjoyment to the show as he played his organ. At the conclusion of the show, the six stake horses entered to the clapping in time to his famous “Flat Walk Boogie.” It seemed as if it were “Celebration time” in Gulfport, Miss.

Following a second running walk, Carnathan selected Summer Passion and Dale Watts to be the first grand champions for this show. This talented mare is owned by Brett and Lisa Jones of Tylertown, Miss. Reserve with another exciting show were the team of Pride’s Pickle and Dick Peebles for Abby Graves of Moss, Tenn. Lively Prospect and Jerry Woodlee earned the third place for Carole Baxter of Alexandria, La.

The Racking Stake was claimed by a beautiful bay mare, proving that mares can be stake winners also. Tommy McGinnis directed She’s Gone AWOL down victory lane. This way this mare’s second blue of the evening since Faye McGinnis made the victory pass in the Ladies’ Racking class. They hail from Maben, Miss. Reserve was claimed by the team of Fine China and Jonathan Watts for Herb Weiler Jr. of Vandalia, Ohio, while the yellow streamer exited the ring on XRay Jr with Patrick Williamson in the irons for Mike Patrick of Pine Hill, Ala.

Just the stake classes alone showed the widespread attendance at the show since the six horses mentioned above were owned by persons from six different states.

Dale Watts of Pioneer Stables not only won the championship but his string of horses walked away with the blue ribbon tally. Watts, along with sons Jonathan and Josh Watts, earned six blue ribbons for the evening. Tommy McGinnis, Dick Peebles Stables and Chris Zahnd of Swingin’ Gates Stables each returned home with a trio of blues. Dual blues were won by Bo Ingram and Swep Williamson. The remaining blues went to individuals and 19 barns or individuals’ horse went home with Gulf Coast blues and memories.

Dale Watts’ first blue of the show came in the large Open Specialty class. Watts directed Storm Warning to first place accolades. Robert Thomas next claimed victory in the Open Amateur aboard Pusher’s Blue Moon under Pioneer Stables’ banner. In the very next class, Jeanne Morrison directed the roan sensation, She Commands My Heart Again ,to win the Amateur Specialty class. Wendy Moran claimed the very competitive Three-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings with her Bedazzled By Dumas. Margaret Thomas, always a consistent winner, claimed the Four-Year-Old Amateur class with Look Of Masquerading in a flawless performance.

In addition to the two blues won by She’s Gone AWOL, Tommy McGinnis proudly earned the Amateur Racking title with their Playboy’s Crusin to make up their trio of blues.

Dick Peebles Stables travel far and wide with their winning string of horses and they claimed three blues as well as making others work hard to beat the rest of their horses. Dick Peebles made quite a show aboard He’s Cash’s Masterpiece to win the applause and the judge’s nod in the Show Pleasure class. Carson Cain rode hard to win the 15.2 Amateur Specialty blue with Gen’s Attaboy since her great-grandmother, 92-years-young and her great-aunts attended their first horse show to see her ride. There was much rejoicing when she won and hugs by all were in order. Grandmother Carol Smith earned her own blue ribbon in the Ladies’ Amateur Specialty aboard Gen’s All Colors.

Swingin’ Gate Stables are always formidable competitors with high stepping consistent walking horses. Chris Zahnd first won the exciting Two-Year-Old title with Down Home Blues. Scott Tew earned their second blue aboard Skywatch’s Night in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Mares and Geldings class. Madeline Tew entered the show ring for the first time since 1985 and proved that she hadn’t lost her touch. She exited the ring wearing the blue with Line ‘Em Up in the Two-Year-Old Amateur Stallions class.

Bo Ingram trained entries won two blues. Ingram and Francine’s Diamond were crowned Limited Performance Champions. Magnum GS and Dewayne Robinson were victorious in the Park Pleasure Specialty for George and Carol Smith of Wiggins, Miss. This was their third blue of the evening and the Smiths were extremely pleased because this show was only 18 miles from home and many friends were there to view their performances. Normally the Smiths have to travel many miles to attend horse shows so this show was a dream come true for them.

Swep Williamson claimed dual Gulf Coast blues. First he and Blaze N’ Tusox claimed the Style Racking and a few classes later earned their second blue in the Amateur Owned and Trained Racking class.

The remaining blues were won by various barns and individuals. I’m A Dollar Or Two and Jim Hardy strolled from the ring in the Colts Under Halter class wearing the blue. Scar and Morgan Bowman earned the blue under the tutelage of Harlin Hatcher in the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod class.

Percy Lewis and Masquerading’s Solitaire proudly earned the blue in the Four-Year-Old Open class. Marilyn Scott and Ebony’s Coin Dream returned to the ring to claim the blue in the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class.

Tuff Stuff Fancy Pants carried Leslie Propst to the blue in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty class under the guidance of Jackie Martin. The Three-Year-Old Walking class brought the crowd to the edge of their seats as nine outstanding three-year-olds battled it out for the blue. Silver Dollar Lady and Jerry Woodlee claimed the blue. Woodlee always tips his hat to show his appreciation and he did so in Gulfport as he made his winning ride.

The team of Silver’s Boogie Woman and Daniel Warner are together once again and they picked up were they left off--winning blues. They happily exited the Youth Specialty with the blue streaming. Fred Dillon performs the training for this flashy mare. Winners in the Open Gaited Pleasure Western were Go Gold Bopy and Steven Long.

Patrick Williamson and Take Command Lady did trainer Larry Taylor proud as they laid claim to the Youth Park Pleasure Specialty blue. Boo Keigley and Go Boy’s Cajun Jazz won the Plantation Pleasure, Local Riders, Heavy Shod class.

Debbie Williams revved up RPM 2 Nite in the Three-Year-Old Amateur and won the blue under Tim Holly’s guidance. Donna Weaver and Rapture were the Country Pleasure champions for trainer Michael Thornton of Bluff Springs Farm.

Kenneth Miller brought the house down with his performance aboard Mac’s Memory Lane in the Speed Racking class. They cheered loudly as he made his victory pass just as they did during this crowd pleasing class.

Put this show on your calendars for next year. If you attend the 2005 Mississippi Gulf Coast Charity Show to be held the third week of October you will be pleasantly surprised. With the leadership and enthusiasm of this group, this show could go far.