by Linda Scrivner


            CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The Tri-State Racking and Walking Horse Association T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Benefit Show was held May 11-12 at the Tri-State Exhibition Center in Cleveland, Tenn.

            The association worked hard to make this show one of the outstanding ones. The association had many fundraisers at the show in addition to contributing proceeds. The quality and the number of horses were excellent. There were 262 entries at the show this year. A hospitality room with food was offered each night to those in attendance following the show.

            Mike Sims of Shelbyville, Tenn., judged the 30 walking classes in the 49-class event. Sims judged the show quickly and efficiently.

            Rio de Janeiro and David Dupes proudly wore the tricolor ribbon from the ring in the seven-entry Young Motors WHTA Riders’ Cup Dark Spirit’s Rebel Stake class. This talented stallion exited to the cheers of the crowd following a second running walk the reverse way of the ring. The Chris Arden family owns Rio de Janeiro, who recently won the Sweetwater Lions Club Grand Championship. Reserve in this outstanding class was the team of Texas Cash Exchange and Chris Pickel for Carter and Armstrong. This team was also reserve last season at this show. Mashed Threat and Charlie Green won third for WhitLei Green.

            Knox Blackburn Stables of Shelbyville, Tenn., led the blue ribbon tally with five blues. Paul Livingston Stables and Chris Pickel Stables returned home with four blues apiece. Jackie Barron Stables and David Dupes Stables earned two blues each.

            The first of Knox Blackburn’s blues began when He’s Wild Eyed and Wicked and George Walden were chosen to be the Men’s Amateur Specialty Champions. George Walden is the father of Mike Walden and he made his show ring debut a blue ribbon one with many cheers from the rail. Morgan Walden said that her father always put Mike and her into the show ring but never showed himself. His smile as he exited the ring and his family’s tears of joy were rewards for family and friends that attended to watch this popular person show at Cleveland. 

            Bud Moore and Suzanne Littell, under the Knox Blackburn Stables banner, claimed dual blues with their excellent horses. Current World Grand Champion Zulu and Knox Blackburn won the Show Pleasure Specialty class. Suzanne Littell made her debut performance one to remember on Premium Tap, sired by Out On Parole, in the large Three-Year-Old Amateur class. Littell had a smile on her face as this talented colt blew back in the bridle with his head high in the air and made a thrilling victory pass in front of family and friends.

            The crowd showed their approval as Knox Blackburn exited the ring aboard Command Again for L & L Show Horses in the Hartland Farms WHTA Riders’ Cup Four-Year-Old class. This bay powerhouse had Herschel Blessing grinning from ear to ear, just as he did when daughter MaryBeth Blessing made a victory pass later that evening. Judge Sims selected her to wear the blue from the ring aboard Senor Jose in the large Pony Amateur class to win the fifth blue for Blackburn Stables on Friday night.

            Chris Helton captured the Amateur Park Performance class with Ivey’s Major League to win the first of Paul Livingston’s blues for Ivey Suggs. Spring Loaded Santana carried Shea Sproles to the top in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class for Angie Nicholson on Saturday night.

            Recent Gulf Coast Charity Champions Ritzy and Julia Livingston claimed the ETWHA Ladies’ Auxiliary title. Maggie Strausbaugh traveled from Mifflinburg, Penn., to make the victory pass in the Amateur Show Pleasure class aboard her JFK’s Rare Form to win Livingston Stables’s fourth blue of the show.

            Chris Pickel won the first of his four blues of the show with Gen’s Drop Of Sun. They proudly exited the ring in the Warr Development WHTA Riders’ Cup 15.2 and Under with the blue ribbon and cheers around the rail Friday evening. Jean Brown, under Pickel’s guidance, was crowned the ETWHA Members Only Champion aboard Skytrek. Husband Doug Brown proudly owns Skytrek.

            Rodney Koger and his excellent horses won dual blues under Pickel’s guidance. Koger claimed the blue in the 11-entry Pro-Am class with his Sweepover Friday evening. On Saturday, Koger directed his Sweeping In Style to win the 15.2 and Under Amateur class.

            Tracie Barron aboard Southern Command won the first of the Barron Stables’s blues in the 14-entry Trail Pleasure class for Tracie Barron and Sherry Fuller. The team of Razz Ma Tazz Jazz and Jessica Miller, Tracie Barron’s daughter, won the Juvenile 12-17 class. Jackie Barron prepared this team for the show ring. Miller is also the owner.

            David Dupes won not only the Grand Championship with Rio de Janeiro, but he also claimed the blue in the Waterfall Farms WHTA Riders’ Cup Three-Year-Old class with Commandante. The Ray Carr family owns this talented stallion.

            Mason Woody and I’m A Little Reba won the Pony Pleasure, 11 and Under class for Larry and Ruth Tudor. Grandmother Ruth Tudor proudly stated that there were three generations showing at the show.

            Sweep The Cash and Carl Bledsoe had everyone talking as they won the James Corlew Chevrolet WHTA Riders’ Cup Two-Year-Old title with a flawless performance for the Horse House family.

            Steve Woody and Flashing Neon were victorious in the 14-entry Open Specialty class for Lisa McKay. This popular team was given an ovation as they made their victory pass.

            Ella Kline and C.L. Kline Farms’s Gen’s Hometown were the Yearling winners Saturday evening. This Mike Janeway protégé also won at the Derby Day Classic last weekend. Irrational and Jessie York were next with a victory in the Juvenile 11 and Under class. The Bob York family own this Scott Beaty prepared entry.

            Joe Cunningham made the winning ride aboard his First & Final in the Country Pleasure class at Cleveland, Tenn. It was Silver’s Sassy Sally and Johnny Lyons in the 11-entry Novice Amateur class for Russell Lyons. Alan Price trains this pretty sorrel mare.

            In the Park Pleasure class it was Keith Ailshie and Blinded By The Sky for Robert and Tina Kirkpatrick claiming the victory. The new team of Millennium Masquerade and Newton Parks had the crowd cheering as they made a blue ribbon debut in the Amateur Owned and Trained division for the Bob Parks family.

            Alecia Beasley rode out with the blue in the Four-Year-Old Amateur class aboard Papa’s Dark Threat for Gregg Beasley. Corey Clay trains this talented duo.

            Jim Swafford directed his Out Of Gin to their second blue of the season in the Two-Year-Old Amateur class.

            The Tri-State Racking and Walking Association would like to encourage everyone to attend their show in 2008. The Tri-State Exhibition Center is a state of the art covered facility with great stalls and the cause is certainly a worthy one.

            This highlights the winners from the T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Show. Complete results follow and may be viewed or printed at