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A TRIBUTE to Twin Cities Classic

by Kathy Mixon

PHENIX CITY, Ala. -- The 16th annual Twin Cities Classic Horse Show, sponsored by the Phenix City Exchange Club, was held Saturday, June 25 at the Austin Sumbry Park. This facility, which is just south of Phenix City, is great for a one night horse show.

Nathan Clark came from Arab, Ala., to mark the cards for the event while Harris Blackwood of Cummings, Ga., served as organist.

The Weanlings and Yearlings at Halter was the first class of the evening. Exclusives Diamond Joe for owner/handler Mandy McFay continued their winning ways and came out on top. They were followed by He's Highly Armed, shown by Hugh Taylor for David and Sherry Roberson. Youth 11 and Under saw sisters Kaitlyn Fuller, on board the Grinch, and Kelsey Fuller, on board Solid Standard, battling it out for a ride to the winner's circle. Kaitlyn and The Grinch won the blue with Kelsy and Solid Standard making a great reserve ride for the Neil Fuller family of Cusseta, Ala.

The Two-Year-Old Open class was won by Larry Edwards on board Sanatone for the Roy Pittman family. In the 15.2 and Under Mare & Gelding Specialty, Pushing Silver Dollars and Dr. Linda Jones pushed their way to the winner’s circle. In the Two-Year-Old Amateur class, Ritzy Stock, directed by Kathy Hollin, paved their way to the victory pass. Impressive Motion with Bill Cantrell in the irons apparently had the motion that impressed judge Clark for the win in the Three-Year-Old Open class.

The Park Pleasure Juvenile 17 and Under class followed. Chris Kelly Jr.and Edge Of Time teamed up for the blue. The Three-Year-Old Amateur riders were next and Dr. Linda Jones and The Skyy answered the blue ribbon call. In the Pony Specialty class, Ultra Black Copy carried Rhonda Major down victory lane.

Mardi Balloch showed excellent form on her way to the winner’s circle aboard Think I'll Keep Her. After 26 years' absence, Balloch's smile said, "It's great to be back." Pusher's Silver Dollar with Hugh Taylor handily won the Four-Year-Old Open class. In a very competitive Youth 12-17 Specialty class, Victoria Mitchell and Cash At Sunrise earned the judge's nod. The Country Pleasure class was swept by Splashed and Casee Crocker for Joan Kemp. After a quick tack change, Crocker returned on Armed to win the Four-Year-Old Amateur Specialty class.

The Park Pleasure Lite Shod Specialty class was a hard tough and competitive class but Black Rain Drops and Guy Ben Findley could not be beat. Poison At Midnight, with Melissa Tittle aboard, put forth a strong effort for reserve. The 15.2 and Under Open class was next on the agenda. Four horses answered the gate call but Hand Shaker's High Tribute with Brian Watson were the only ones to make a victory pass. Top honors in the Ladies Amateur Specialty went to First Class Ritz with Becky Mullis riding for Noddingham Farms.

In Park Pleasure Two and Three-Year-Old class, Karen Arnett rode Thriller's Gray Star to his fourth blue of the season. This was Arnett's first time to take over the reins this season. The Ladies Auxiliary Members Specialty concluded with Dr. Linda Jones in the winner’s circle aboard the Mexican. The Men's Amateur Specialty class was one of the toughest classes of the evening. Henry Findley topped the good field aboard Dangerous Gold Threat.

The Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class concluded with Skywatch's Copper and Brice Erich taking the victory pass. Jimmy Ellington and Poison's D-Con finished a close reserve. In the Aged Mares, Geldings and Stallions Specialty class, Major News Flash with Chris Kelly Sr., up received the blue for Guy Ben Findley. The Park Performance Specialty winner, Tickle Me Pink, is no stranger to winner's circle. This nice entry was ridden to the Twin Cities blue by owner Scott Green under the direction of Carl Bledsoe.

Brian Watson returned to the winner’s circle in the Show Pleasure Specialty aboard Motown's Ty Me. The 15.2 and Under Amateur Stallions Specialty was won by Haley Lane on Mighty Brew.

With the evening's festivities winding down, the ringmaster called for the final class of the evening, the Willie Richardson Memorial Walking Horse Championship. Mr. Willie Richardson was a true founding father of the Twin Cities Classic Horse Show and in his honor, daughters Dee Cantrell and Gloria Evans were on hand to present the Perpetual Trophy. Five talented horses answered the gate call. After all three gaits were executed both ways of the ring, JRB's Tribute, under the guidance of Ray Baldwin for Jim and Mary Hartzog, earned the judge's nod. Reserve honors went to ET Secret with Ronald Green for Ronnie and Barbara Newton.

Complete results follow and may also be viewed on

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