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2004 Trainers' Show-The Tradition Continues...



2004 Trainers' Show-The Tradition Continues... By Gennifer Houchins

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The 2004 National Walking Horse Trainers' Show was a huge success. The success of the show was measured by the increased numbers of entries and huge spectator base. “This was the best show we have had in five or six years,” stated co-chairman Buist Carr. “The success of the event shows the industry is looking up.”

According to Lonnie Messick, “The trainers did a good job of preparing their entries and the horses looked really good.” Out of 852 entries, which included the Academy entries, only six violations were cited.

Each year the Trainers’ Show continues to display the family atmosphere which has become one of the quintessential traditions of the show. Once again this year father and daughter duos opened each night of the show by presenting our nation’s colors and the Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA) flag. Wednesday night the crowd was treated to a watching Joe Fleming and his daughter Slayden Fleming open the show; Thursday's performance was opened by Ricky Womack and his daughter Sarah Womack. Friday the presentation of the flags was made by Dude Crowder and his daughter Samantha Kovalick. Proud father Ronnie Spears and his daughter Dr. Nikki Spears made the last evening's presentations of our American flag and the WHTA flag. Making the presentations this way gives the spectators a chance to see the two generations of families coming together to celebrate the Tennessee Walking Horse and reminds everyone that the Tennessee Walking Horse industry is based on family. As with many things, the love for the horse is often passed down generation to generation and this was truly evidenced in the events of this year's Trainers' Show.

Another long standing tradition for the Trainers' Show is having the champions and reserve champions make victory passes, which is a great way to exhibit the best of the breed and give special recognition to the reserve champions who don't normally get to make a victory pass.

Beginning a new tradition at the Trainers’ Show this year, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) and the Walking Horse Owners Association (WHOA) co-sponsored the Academy Championships. This event helps promote the Tennessee Walking Horse, gives families an activity to do together and brings new faces to the industry. “We were thrilled to have 120 entries this year which is up from the 52 entries in 2003,” stated Youth Performance Show Horse Coordinator Joni Jenne’.

One of the most memorable events at the Trainers’ Show were the heartfelt memorials done each night. Family members rode in honor of relatives who are no longer with them. Casey Caldwell rode in recognition of her father, Sam Caldwell, who passed away March 19, 2003; Michael Alexander rode in memory of his son, Marcus Alexander, who passed away June 8, 2003; Stacy Blackburn and Whitney Davis rode in honor of their grandfather, Odell McConnell, who passed away July 24, 2003; and Barbara Civils rode in memory of her father, Berry Coffey, who passed away October 6, 2003. The memorial rides offered the audience a time for reflection and remembrance of loved ones lost.

Many of the world champions and world grand champions from 2003 were back to continue their winning ways at this year's Trainers' Show including Barracuda, who had wins in the Walking Mares and Geldings class, the 15.2 and Over Five Years and older class, and in the extremely full Pro Am Specialty class.

In the Championship Stake, a large class of 10 entries answered the gate call. The loudest applause and accolades came when number 599 made the gate. The 2003 Stallion World Champion, The Black Night Shade, and Jimmy McConnell thrilled the crowd and walked away with the championship floral horseshoe for proud owners Tom and Judy Waite. This much loved horse overcame tremendous odds as a young horse when his mother, Final's Call Girl, died of colic shortly after his birth. Just like the Trainers' Show itself promotes family and coming together, The Black Night Shade's owners pulled together and to give him the special care he needed to survive. With wins in 2003 at The Dixie Jubilee and The International this team has consistently beat the odds and will continue to add honors for years to come.

The current 15.2 and Under World Grand Champion, Private Charter, and Knox Blackburn once again were selected as reserve champions for owner Bud Moore. Private Charter ended 2003 with a win in the stake at the Southern Championships. This team will definitely be one of the duos to watch this year.

One of the most exciting classes of the show was the Three-Year-Old classic, which was filled with entries and boasted lost of crowd pleasing action. Blue Blooded Bandit and John Allan Callaway captured the win for Raymond Pedigo, and crowd favorite Rudy Rutiger walked away with the reserve win with Charlie Green riding.

Trainers’ Show chairman Benny Johnson hopes to continue the growth of the show and has set a goal of 800-900 entries for next year. “The horses were very clean and had very few problems,” stated Johnson. He also said he appreciates all of the support he's received while chairing this event and wanted to extend a special thank you to the trainers for doing such a great job.

The 2004 Trainers' Show will be remembered for the outstanding number of entries and the continued family atmosphere that always encompasses this show. Many dreams came to fruition this and many more dreams for the future were conceived.

Wednesday Night

The 36th annual edition of the National Walking Horse Trainers Show got off to a great start Wednesday evening. With 19 classes scheduled for the night, the show moved along quickly.

Keeping with last year's theme, Joe Fleming had the honor of presenting our nation’s colors, while daughter Slayden Fleming presented the Trainers’ Association flag.

Generator’s Icy Hot and Jeff Givens showed their way to a blue in the Model Park Pleasure Open class for proud owner Jack Heffington. Reserve honors went to The Executive Decision and handler Robert Nelms for owner Leslie Callaway.

Don Rafa was awarded top honors in a unanimous vote of the judges in the open fine harness division. Joe Cotten was at the whip for owners Dr. and Mrs. R. Rigual. Ronnie Spears drove Surgeon General to the reserve win for Equine Ventures.

In the Walking Mares and Geldings 15.2 and Under class, John Allan Callaway directed Tennessee Gen to the blue for Brenda Bramlett. The reserve ribbon went to Freak Design and Mickey McCormick for the Jim Olson family.

Jessica Davis walked away with the blue in the Walking Horse Auxiliary Equitation class for adults 18 and over. Reserve in the class went to Leslie Derickson.

In the Open Show Pleasure Specialty class, Rollie Beard and Editorial Page earned the blue ribbon for excited owner June Hawkins. Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch's new acquisition The Concealed Weapon and rider Joe Cotten walked away with the reserve win.

Current world champion Pusher's Beaming Pride and Howard Hamilton added another win to their many titles as the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Open Specialty Champions for owners Jim and Debbie Nichols. Reserve honors went to Rainsong and Jeff Givens for Mike and Pam Erickson.

Dr. In Command and Jamie Etheredge captured the win in the Amateur Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class. Reserve went to Hey Hey Ole and Bob Medina.

In the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod 50 and Over Specialty class, Bob Lawrence and his multi-titled Jose Quervo Gold walked away with the title for Hutto and Lawrence. M.G.E.T. and Rhonda Martocci earned the reserve win.

Dr. Perfect and Sandra Hodgson made the victory pass in the Amateur Stallions, Mares and Geldings class. Reserve was awarded to Pam Russell and Sanman.

Bob Lawrence added another Trainers' Show blue with a win in the Amateur Park Pleasure 50 and Over Specialty class aboard Hermano Gold. Wayne Hall and Metro Grand carried out the reserve title.

John FK's Pusher and Robin MacDonald captured the amateur 50 and over title and were rewarded with a blue ribbon and a victory lap. Bob Medina and Walkin All Over made their own victory trip around the ring as the reserve champions.

The National Trainers' Show added an Amateur Pony 18 and Over Specialty class to this year's line up. Walking away with the title was World Champion Fine Harness Horse Master's Gunsmoke with an appreciative Taylor Broderick in the irons. Silver Dollar Make Me Hollar and Kathy Graves earned the reserve win.

Current world champion Silverado Spirit and Erin Graf made the trip to Shelbyville, Tenn., to win the Amateur Mares Specialty class. The reserve tie in the class went to Julie Grider and Generator's Flirtin for the Tommy Grider family.

Armed Red Baron and Howard Hamilton captured the blue in the Park Pleasure Open Specialty class for owner Joe Dixon. Doug Barnes and Chill received the reserve win for owner Danielle Reid.

Last year's Trainers' Show Amateur Two-Year-Old Champion, Santana's Hurricane, and Tricia Timmons walked away with the Amateur Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings title this year for owner Brian Mahoney. The reserve tie went to FDR and Stephanie Gordon for the Arthur Gordon family.

In the Western Park Pleasure Lite-Shod Open division, Mike Anasis and Fiddlin' At Sunrise made their way to the winner's circle to collect their blue ribbon for Bob and Grace Hawkins. Drop The Hammer and Connie Waldo received recognition as well for their reserve finish.

Skywatch's Dark and Stormy and Tricia Timmons rode for the blue in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings Specialty class for Renaissance Farms. Reserve went to San Juan and Eric Lackey.

The Dan McSwain family added another title to their collection in the Amateur Men's Specialty class. Keith McSwain and The Golden Sovereign captured the blue. Outer Limits and Jeff Rich earned the reserve win.

Push Me Bold and Knox Blackburn captured the win in the Stallion, Mares and Geldings Over 15.2 Specialty class for Mr. and Mrs. Donald Stephens. Reserve went to A Big Time Pusher and Jimmy McConnell for Bill and Sandra Johnson.

Thursday Night

Thursday evening's festivities began as Ricky Womack presented the American flag while his daughter, Sarah Womack, presented the WHTA flag.

A Big Time Pusher and Marty Irby walked away with the first blue of the evening in the Amateur Stallions Specialty class. The entry is owned by Bill and Sandra Johnson. Reserve went to Ample Cash and Ray Caughman for C & C Stables.

In the Amateur Plantation Lite-Shod Specialty division, Jim Nichols rode for the blue aboard Pusher’s Beaming Pride for owners Jim and Debbie Nichols. The reserve tie went to Starstruck By JFK with Joe Dixon in the irons.

The next class was the Amateur Two-Year-Old Stallions class. Spud Warr captured the blue aboard Hand Command. Final Four and Gary Bowman made the reserve ride for Gary and Julie Bowman.

No stranger to the winner's circle, world champion Captive Heart and Bridget Rush added another win to their resume in the Amateur Park Pleasure, Two-Gait division. Grand Safari and David Ashmore earned the reserve.

Mark’s Bad Bart and John Allan Callaway captured the blue in the Three-Year-Old Show Pleasure class for LaRue McWaters. Benny’s Been There earned the reserve for S & P, LLC.

In the Amateur Geldings Specialty class, They Call Me Sir and Mary Medina walked their way to a blue. Pride’s Sharp Dressed Man and Tamara Kasser captured reserve for Carol Ann Gavin.

Current world champion Barracuda and Jimmy McConnell added the Walking Mares and Geldings, 15.2 and Over, Five Years and Over Trainers’ Show Championship title for owner Mary Medina. Reserve went to Sanman and Link Webb for owner Larry Russell.

Peyton Manning and Gail Walling captured the blue in the Amateur Three-Year-Old Stallions class for owner Judy McDonald. Willie B. Strokin and Brenda Bramlett received reserve.

In the Amateur Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod, Four Years and Under Open Specialty division, Bob Medina and Bondidant captured the blue. Medina’s horse, Girls Rule and Michele Feimster earned the reserve win.

The next class was the Amateur 15.2 and Under Stallions Specialty. The blue went to Pushover And Lookout and Lucky Collins. Reserve went to Bob Medina aboard Walking All Over.

Silver’s Spinal Tap and Jared Carrier walked away with the blue in the Youth Plantation Lite-Shod, 17 and Under class. Reserve went to Bethany Martocci, who was aboard All Night for owner Rhonda Martocci.

In the Amateur 15.2 and Under Mares and Geldings Specialty class, Keith McSwain and The American General rode away with the blue for the Dan McSwain family. Tennessee Gen and Brenda Bramlett captured the reserve win.

The Medina family captured another blue in the Amateur Four-Year-Old Stallions Specialty class with Dragonfly. Reserve went to Sky Jam and Suzanne Littell for Moore and Littell.

World champion Insomnia walked away with the blue in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class with Keith Johnson in the irons for owners Cartwright and Johnson. Pushin’ Backatcha and Sue Irby made the reserve ride for Frances Bivins.

In the Amateur Ladies Specialty division, Pusher’s Solid Design and Kelly Sherman rode for the blue ribbon. Lock And Load and Stacy Blackburn made the reserve ride for owner Longview Farms.

M.G.E.T and Susan Shemwell won the blue in the Western Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty class for owner Rhonda Martocci. Reserve went to Fiddlin'’ At Sunrise and Mike Anasis for Bob and Grace Hawkins.

Twenty Four Kt. Cash and Howard Hamilton captured the blue for Red Eagle Farms in the Park Pleasure, Two and Three-Year-Old Open Specialty class. Grand Liza Jane and Chris Messick earned the reserve tie for Phil and Lois Cohen.

Friday Night

With 20 classes of competitors ready to compete, the night started with the nation's flag being presented by Dude Crowder and the WHTA flag being presented by Samantha Kovalick.

The WHTA Auxiliary Specialty, Members Only class started the show off with a win for Samantha and Corey Green with Joyce Marie Green aboard Spring's Starmaker. Night Twister and Dru McCormick walked away with the reserve win for H.W. Bailey.

In Vogue and Allen Curtis captured the blue in the Open Yearling Fillies division for Roger Richards. My Irish Rose and Nathan Mills earned the reserve for owners Don and George Ann Pratt.

In the Open Park Pleasure, Three-Gait class Gen’s Major Coin and Howard Hamilton walked away with the blue for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch. Silver's Long Shot and Howard Adkinson earned the reserve for Albert Lutzs.

Medina once again claimed the blue in the Two-Year-Old Mares and Geldings division with Hey Hey Ole’ and Jimmy McConnell in the irons. Designer Original and Joe Cotten captured the reserve for owner J.T. Broadus.

Armed To Show and Maisie McSwain won the Youth Mares and Geldings, 11 and Under Specialty class for the Dan McSwain family. Pusher's Blizzard and Haley Lane captured the reserve win for Linda Jones.

In the Amateur Novice Rider Specialty class, Brother Splash and Virginia Stewart made the blue ribbon ride for Evergreen Walking Horse Farm. Reserve went to Talk Is Cheap with Tamee LeNeve Heiman in the irons for the Don LeNeve family.

Rock Of Ages and Nathan Mills teamed up for the win in the Open Yearling Colts division for owner Hoyte Eakes. Don't Touch Me I'm Armed and Robert Nelms earned the reserve win for Curt Washburn and J.T. Nelms.

The Trail Pleasure Amateur Specialty English or Western class blue went to Shimmer with Jan Treat in the irons for Willow Wood LP. Reserve went to Ann Jamison aboard Mr. Jessie James.

Major's Cigar and Barclay Woodward captured the Youth Mares and Geldings, 12-14 Specialty division for Ronnie and Jennifer Woodward. Night Doctor and Caleb Kilburn earned the reserve for Salt Lick Farms.

In the Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings(MASCUP) class, Neon Bright and Larry Edwards walked away with the win for Dr. and Mrs. W.H. Hill. Reserve went to Santana's Hurricane and Sam Martin for Brian Mahoney.

Final Escape and Mac Benham rode away with the blue in the Youth Mares and Geldings 15-17 Specialty class for the Joe Christmas family. Northern Lights and Lindsey Cate earned the reserve win for Nancy Cate.

The Open Weanling, Either Sex title was claimed by I've Got Grand and Bobby Richards for the Roger Mauney family. The reserve win went to Jose Legally Dangerous and Bob Nelms.

In the Four-Year-Old Mares and Geldings(MASCUP) class, Altima and Jimmy McConnell captured the blue for Ed and Carol Sims. San Juan and Eric Lackey earned the reserve win.

Stewart Little and Brandon Stout walked away with the blue ribbon in the Four-Year-Old Show Pleasure Specialty class for owners Mr. and Mrs. Eddy McCrary. Central Command claimed the reserve with John Allan Callaway in the irons.

Double Your Money and Leigh Bennett added another title by winning the Western Park Pleasure 18 and Over Open Specialty class for owner Elizabeth Ottman. Strike It Rich and Joe Dixon made the reserve ride.

In the Walking Horse Auxiliary Equitation Medal, 17 and Under Specialty division, Reggie and Rachel Jernigan were presented with the blue. Lindsey Landrum and The Olympic Touch earned the red ribbon.

Edition's She Daisy and Mike Bell claimed the Open Amateur Weanling and Yearling title. A Xerox Copy and Laurelee Lowery captured the reserve win for owner Peggy Kime.

Extra Ordinary and Kathryn Ramsbottom walked away with the blue in the Show Pleasure Juvenile 17 and Under Open Specialty class for Bob Ramsbottom.  Gavin Kasser and Walk Man made their way to the red ribbon for Carol Ann Gavin.

In the TWHBEA / WHTA Medallion Youth 17 and Under, Three-Gait class, Poncho Impact and Kaitlin Fields Byrom rode away with the blue for Billy Fields. Almost Indecent and Grace Waddell claimed the reserve win for Jamie Waddell Enfinger.

The Randell Ferguson entry, Jose's Intimidator walked away with the blue in the Three-Year-Old Stallions(MASCUP) division. Pride's Heartbeat and Sam Martin captured the reserve for Sullins and Timmons.

Saturday Night

The Walking Horse Trainers' Show championship night began once again with the presentation of our American flag and the WHTA flag. Ronnie Spears and his daughter Dr. Nikki Spears made the presentation.

The night began with the Walking Stallions, 15.2 and Under division. Gen’s Johnny Walker Red and Sammy Day made the first blue ribbon ride of the night for the John and Gary LeGate families. Reserve went to London Rain and Steve Aymett for owner Charles Clark.

In the Amateur Park Pleasure Specialty Championship, world champion Armed Red Baron and Joe Dixon walked away with the floral horseshoe. The reserve went to Captive Heart and Bridget Rush.

Pushin’ Backatcha and Ronnie Campbell claimed the roses in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty Championship for owner Frances Bivins. Insomnia and Keith Johnson earned the reserve for Cartwright and Johnson.

Knox Blackburn was aboard Jose Dot Com to walk away with the blue in the Two-Year-Old Stallions(MASCUP) class. America On Line and Larry Edwards captured the reserve win for Dophie Thomas.

A large class of juveniles entered the ring for the Juvenile Specialty Championship. When the cards were read, Pride’s Sharp Dressed Man and Gavin Kasser wore the roses from the ring. Reserve went to Final Escape and Mac Benham for the Joe Christmas family.

Pusher’s Beaming Pride and Howard Hamilton claimed the Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Open Specialty class for owners Jim and Debbie Nichols. All Night and Bobby Richards earned the reserve for Rhonda Martocci.

In the Three-Year-Old classic, Blue Blooded Bandit and John Allan Callaway walked away with the blue for owner Raymond Pedigo. Rudy Rutiger and Charlie Green claimed the reserve for Bob Kilgore.

Olympic Encore and Joel Johnson made the winning ride in the Walking Ponies, Riders 17 and Under Specialty class for owners Hackney and Johnson. Cover Charge and Dalia Smith made the reserve ride for Clea Smith.

The Four-Year-Old Stallions(MASCUP) title went to The Pusher’s Renaissance with Ramsey Bullington in the irons for the Don Beatty family. Reserve honors went to Dragonfly and Jimmy McConnell for Bob and Mary Medina.

In the Amateur Championship, Dr. Perfect and Sandra Hodgson proudly wore the roses. Pushover’s Cashflow and Larry Davis made the reserve ride for the Greystone Group, LLC.

Barracuda claimed another blue in the Pro-Am Specialty class with Mary Medina and Jimmy McConnell in the irons. Cut The Smoke and riders Brenda Carlon and Mike Hilley captured the reserve win.

The Amateur Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod Specialty Championship title went to Jose Quervo Gold and Bob Lawrence for owners Hutto and Lawrence. Rainsong and Mike Erickson earned the reserve tie.

Jazz King and Ed Breedlove captured the floral horseshoe in the Amateur Specialty Championship for Keith Breedlove. The reserve championship honors went to Rankin County and Kelly Sherman for the Floyd Sherman family.

In the Francis C. Gentry Ladies Amateur Specialty class, The Snowatch and Ashley Joseph captured the win. Reserve went to Sunrise At Midnight and Susie Harmon.

Senor Generator and Doug Barnes wore the roses for owners Stuart and Pam Gibbs in the Park Pleasure Open Specialty Championship. The reserve tie went to Gen’s Major Coin with Howard Hamilton in the irons for Pollack's Silver Spur Ranch.

World grand champion Coinmaker and Knox Blackburn added another title to their long list of honors. They wore the roses in the Show Pleasure Specialty Championship. Reserve honors went to Dark Illusion and Jeff Green for owners Wilhelm and Green.

Finally, to the crowd's excitement, the WHTA Championship Walking Horse Stake was called to the ring. Ten entries answered the gate call. The loudest applause and accolades came when number 599 made the gate. The Black Night Shade and Jimmy McConnell thrilled the crowd and walked away with the championship floral horseshoe for proud owners Tom and Judy Waite. Reserve honors went to Private Charter with Knox Blackburn in the irons for Bud Moore.

This concludes the highlights of the 2004 National Trainers' Show. Complete results follow and may also be found by visiting our web site at www.walkinghorsereport.com.

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