By Kasi Hensley

WHITE PINE, Tenn. – The 40th annual East Tennessee Classic got off to a rocky start on Friday, June 19, with the addition of USDA officials in the inspection area. In previous years this show had been a three-day event, but due to lack of entries in the past the show committee made the decision to downgrade to a two-day show.

The judges for the walking division this year were Spencer Benedict, David Finger and Justin Taylor. Finger served double duty as the URHOEA divisional judge. Of the show’s 28 walking classes there were 22 unanimous decisions made by the judging panel.

On Friday evening, the class schedule offered 30 classes; 22 of which were walking classes. Of that, only eight walking classes with a total of 29 entries made the gate call. Saturday night’s show went much smoother and more enjoyable. With eight classes added to the schedule, the show geared up for a total of 34 classes for the evening. Only four classes were canceled for the night due to lack of participation. The most winning horse and rider team of the show was Don’t Touch My Assets and Julia Livingston. This talented team walked away with four East Tennessee Classic blues in the lite-shod division.

As always, the East Tennessee Classic had three championship classes for the walking division that offered a floral blanket included in the spoils of victory. The first championship to be called to the ring was the Amateur Specialty Stake. The Games We Play and Clay Mills emerged from the line up to claim the title for Corbin Mills of Mt. Airy, N.C. Reserve in the class was awarded to Pusher’s General and Meghan Mozeley for D.R. Mozeley of Charlotte, N.C.

The show welcomed the Trail Pleasure Walking Specialty Stake Champions, Jose’s Doll Baby and Wendy Payton to the winner’s circle. This was the team’s third blue of the show in the trail pleasure division. Reserve went to Tank Williams and Tracie Barron.

Finally it was time to call the Open Walking Horse Stake. Derek Monahan and Nightfall At The Ritz claimed their fourth victory of the season for Rom Folger. Holyfield and Link Webb came in as a strong reserve in the class for Bob and Judy Hill.

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