by Sara Engel

Thursday Night

            SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Spirits were up as entries rose for the second night of the annual Trainers’ Show.  Due to the efforts of the DQPs thorough inspections and the judges keen eyes, many in the audience believed that the 203 horses that made their gate calls were free going and highly entertaining.

            According to NHSC executive vice president and director of animal welfare/DQP services, Lonnie Messick, 216 horses were inspected with 10 violations occurring: 1 bilateral sore, 2 unacceptable/locomotion, 2 unilateral, 4 scar rule and 1 flat shod using action devices on show grounds. During the show, two horses were excused from the ring by the judges.

            At the beginning of the show, Benny Johnson continued to encourage all trainers to show and expressed how great he thought the horses presented looked.

            Jason Day and stepdaughter Jordan Kidd were selected to present the flags during opening ceremony. Jason carried the stars and stripes aboard Star Commander while Jordan and current world champion Olympic’s Special proudly showed the Trainer’s Association flag.

            Starting off the night’s competition was the Amateur Stallions Specialty class.  Ten top entries entered the ring to vie for the first blue ribbon honor.  Walking from the line-up for the second time during this show was Jazz King, this time with Ed Breedlove in the irons for Keith Breedlove of Buford,  Ga.  Reigning world champion Jazz King is on the way to continuing his outstanding winning record from the 2005 season.  The reserve ribbon went to Mariella Fugger and Hard Mountain Cash for Fugger Farm of Perry, Ga.

            Another winner racking up another 2006 Trainers’ Show award was Calvin Klein’s Obsession directed this time by owner Donald Knight of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in the Amateur Plantation Lite Shod Specialty class.  So far this season with saddle time shared between Knight and trainer Jeff Givens, Calvin Klein’s Obsession has an undefeated record. Jeff Ray and world grand champion Jose Quervo Gold graciously accepted the red streamer for Jeff Ray and Nancy Yonko of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

            Making their debut performance was the new team of Roll The Gold and Spud Warr of Phenix City, Ala.  Under the direction  of trainer Chad Williams, this talented youngster has been the talk of the preseason two-year-old crop. Topping the Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallions field, Roll The Gold and Warr made their way to the winner’s circle to collect their awards. Boogity, Boogity, Boogity and Dr. David Brown of Sumter, S.C., raced to the finish and claimed second place.  This is the second year in a row Dr. David Brown has directed a two-year-old stallion to the reserve honor.

            Eight entries made the gate in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty to show the judges all their talent.  Bridget Rush directed Captive Heart to the top spot for Del and Bridget Rush of Oxford, Mich.  Jesse Barnes and Captive Heart captured world championship honors at this past Celebration.  Gold Danger and Susannah Borg of Ponte Verde, Fla., earned the reserve award.

            Up next was the Trail Pleasure Amateur Specialty English entries.  All 29 of them! After a workout was called to sort through all the top competitors, Summer Wishes and Charlie Howard stepped forward victorious for James, James and Howard of Murfreesboro, Tenn.  At 15 years of age, Summer Wishes took a break from being a broodmare for the past 10 years, and reentered the show ring, with one thing in mind. Cotton’s Power Pusher and Kathy Potter garnered the red ribbon for Dillon Potter of Shelbyville, Tenn.

            Elite Amateur Ladies Mare and Gelding World Champions Laura Brandon and Pushin’ That Jazz were elated to receive the first place award in a class filled of top who’s-who.  Wallace and Laura Brandon of Franklin, Tenn., own the great entry.  They Call Me Sir was directed by Mary Medina for Bob and Mary Medina of Skillman, N.J., to the reserve victory lap. This win came following Jimmy McConnell’s victory with him on Wednesday night.

            The Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class had 13 entries that were expertly directed around the ring. This class had multiple world champions all vying for the top spot.  An ecstatic Suzanne Littell was called from the line-up where she and Zulu performed again to the crowd’s delight.  Starting his year off right, Zulu is owned by Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell of Catherine, Ala.  Reigning world champion San Juan and Eric Lackey of High Point, N.C.,  happily accepted the reserve position.

            The next champion had not only an amazing victory to celebrate, but this win also came on her birthday.  What a year to remember!  Debbie Myers and Simply Jose’ captured the judges’ eyes in the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallion class.  Jim and Debbie Myers of Flat Creek, Tenn., bred and owned this top competitor.  Second was awarded to Contendo and Kathryn Ramsbottom for Bob Ramsbottom of Norris, Tenn.  Also celebrating their birthday’s along with Debbie were Bob Ramsbottom, Lynn MacGregor and Debra Coleman.

            The first unanimous tie of the evening came in class 28, Amateur Plantation Pleasure Lite Shod Four-Years-Old and Under Open Specialty.  Wayne Westbrook and Outlined With Silver picked up the blue for owner and husband Robert Westbrook of Shelbyville, Tenn.  This win starts the 2006 season off on an exciting note and in grand style just like their last season.  Grande Ann and Connie Waldo of Shelbyville, Tenn., walked away with the red ribbon in the good class.

            Only five entries made the gate call for the 15.2 and Under Stallions Specialty class, but it was certainly not lacking talent.  Ample Cash and Dr. Ray Caughman, Jr. received the nod from the judging panel and walked their way to the winner’s circle.  C&C Stables, LLC of Lawrenceville, Ga., own Ample Cash.  Daniel Netherland and Pusher’s Redemption picked up the second place honor for Desiree Farms of Wartrace, Tenn.

            The youth hit the ring in the Youth Plantation Lite Shod 17 and Under Specialty class.  Making this his second win of the season, Magic Illusionist, this time directed by Christopher Given, received the unanimous tie from the judges.  Sheryl Reidy of Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., owns this top champion.  Danger Poison and Nicholas Hughes took home the  reserve ribbon for Steve, Carol and Nicholas Hughes of Liberty Township, Ohio.

            The judges had the same idea again and another unanimous decision was made amongst them.  This decision came in the Amateur 15.2 and Under Mares and Geldings Specialty class with last year’s winner in this class Sunrise At Midnight and birthday girl Debra Coleman of Clemmon, N.C., and Shelbyville, Tenn., receiving the top award.  This win brought this duo’s ribbon count to two with the reserve win they had on Wednesday night.  Jazz In Dixie and Sue Harrington performed an impressive show and graciously accepted the second place ribbon for Joe Harrington of LaQuinta, Calif.

            In the next class, it was time to get out those spurs and western chaps. Miles Irby directed Generator’s Power Pusher to the winner’s circle and victory pass for Sally and Dick Reiley of Lewisburg, Tenn., in the Western Park Pleasure Lite Shod Specialty class. Go Boy’s Dark Spirit and Jennifer Pendleton came in a close second for owner Jeff Green of Shelbyville, Tenn.  This award placed another top honor on this team’s early season resume.

            For the second show this season, Dollars & Sense and Aaron Self topped the Park Performance division.  This victory came in the Park Performance Open Specialty class for owner Carol Ann Gavin of Wartrace, Tenn. Generally Famous and Jeff Givens are on the right track for making a name for themselves.  This time the pair walked away with the reserve award for Mike and Melissa McAlister of Fayetteville, Tenn.

            The entries did not seem to stop coming in the next class.  Twenty-nine hopefuls filed into the ring one-by-one for a chance to take the victory lap.  A workout was also called in this class and 14 were called out of the mass to continue into the workout.  Capturing the top seat was none other than the reigning multi-world and world grand champion pair of Bluegrass Bandit and Jared Carrier.  The Chip Carrier family of Franklin, Ky., own Bluegrass Bandit.  This tough competition saw Charlie Howard direct Summer Wishes to the winner’s circle again.  This time the duo picked up the well-earned reserve honor.

            Eleven entries worked both ways of the ring in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallions Specialty class.  Abel and George Ann Pratt proved they were ready, willing and “Abel” to accept the blue ribbon victory pass for Don Pratt of Kansas City, Mo.  Last year at this same event, Abel and John Allan Callaway captured the Waterfall Farms’ Three-Year-Old Stallion WHTA Riders Cup title.  Second place honors were awarded to Jose Beam and Koni Tidwell for the Joey Tidwell family of Dallas, Ga. This top honor keeps this team’s current resume shining bright.

            Cyclone At The Ritz and Charlie Howard topped the five-entry field in the Park Pleasure Two and Three-Year-Old Open class. This two-year-old stallion pushed past more experienced horses to capture the blue in his first ever show ring appearance.  Owners Michael and Leanette Taylor of Wayne, W.Va., raised this amazing stallion. Becky Barnes and A Gold Eagle graciously accepted their red ribbon and reserve victory pass for the Barnes family of Wartrace, Tenn.

            The four-year-old stallion Big, Bad & Wired, owned by Ty Irby of Mobile, Ala., and John Allan Callaway walked their way to the winner’s circle.  This victory came in the second to last class of the night, Four-Year-Old and Under Show Pleasure Specialty.  Stephen Daniel and Pushing Tri-Colors happily accepted the red streamer for Kimberly Woodard of Hartsville, Tenn.

            The last class of the Thursday evening session brought nine entries through the gate.  Coming off of the WHTA Riders’ Cup Stake Championship win at the Alabama Ladies Auxiliary show with trainer Herbert Derickson, Bo’s Shania Rose did it again.  This time it was daughter Maria Derickson in the irons in the WHT Auxiliary Specialty class.  Doss Farms of Cullman, Ala., own Bo’s Shania Rose.  Candy Green and Freedom Fighter ended the evening with the reserve for owners Rustee and Dennis Shoffner of Russiaville, Ind.

Del Rush congratulates Bridget Rush after her winning ride with Captive Heart in the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty.

Ray Caughman is greeted by Karen Callaway after his win on Ample Cash in the 15.2 & Under Amateur Specialty Stallion class. This was one of four wins for Allan Callaway Stables Thursday evening.

Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell celebrate after her win on Zulu in the Amateur Show Pleasure class.