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Virginia Celebration

LEXINGTON, Va.-The beautiful blue-and white-barns of the East Arena of the Virginia Horse Center was the place to be for a horse show on June 11-12. The Virginia Celebration 2004 and Atlantic Regional Futurity hosted one of the largest shows on record.

Jeff Givens judged the 193 entries on Friday night and the 171 entries on Saturday night. Jane Frye was organist, and photographer Jack Greene caught the big Walkers on film. Show manager Richard Lloyd was absolutely thrilled with the amount of entries.

Saturday morning the horse crowd had the bidding going high during the Virginia Celebration sale. Each year the sale gets bigger and better and gives the bidders a great opportunity to purchase a good horse for showing or just relaxed trail riding.

The newly organized Virginia Walking Horse Youth Council had numerous activities during the weekend. The advisers, Lori Moss and Dan Funkhouser, helped chaperon a dance on Friday night for the youth attending the weekend show. On Saturday the council held a pizza party and discussed upcoming activities. The youth took turns manning a silent auction table and selling raffle tickets to help with future council expenses. If the young people were not showing horses, they helped show management. The next meeting will be June 25-26 at the Shenandoah Valley show at the Broadway show grounds.

The seven-hour trip from Oriental, N.C., for the Greg Mooningham Stables and owners Chris and Debbie Fulcher was well worth the trip with their horses. Bold Brass with Greg Mooningham in the irons walked off with the floral horseshoe in the MASCUP open walking horse stake. The Big Kahuna with Mooningham up was the judge’s choice in the two-year-old class.

Chaz Fulcher and his horse I’ve Got Cash wore the roses in the youth 12-17 specialty. The Jeff Hatcher Stables took 10 blues back to Charles Town, W. V. The entry of Sundrop Straight Up with Marco Etchebarne for D&L Inc. claimed the All Day Pleasure championship and grand championship. Etchebarne rode the Bob Medina-entry Girls Rule to win the Park Pleasure Amateur Two-Gait class. Another entry of D&L Inc., Score’s Bad Storm, claimed the two-year-old park pleasure title. The Mike and Harriett Van Dyke-entry Sunfires Phoenix claimed the park pleasure two-gait on Friday night.

Charlene Gibson had an outstanding ride on her Merging Into One to claim the amateur show pleasure championship and grand championship. Charlie Gibson didn’t let his Mom get all the glory. He rode Charlene Gibson's entry I’m Packin a Pistol to the Amateur Specialty Championship

The constant winner A grand Entry won the park pleasure western two-gait championship and grand championship with owner Judy Morrissett. The Steve Hankins Stables from Tazewell, Va., brought a trailer-load of blue ribbon horses to Lexington to claim eight winner's circle rides. The Gerald and Virginia Smith’s beloved Stormy Walks with Gerald Smith in the irons took the Four- Year-old Amateur class. Anka Longest and Sabina, owned by husband Dr. Donald Longest, won the large ladies class Friday night. Dr. Longest 's other entry, Loose and Dangerous with Amanda Hankins up, won the three-year-old class. Amanda Hankins won on the Donald Holmes' entry JFK Motown Heather in the three-year-old park pleasure. Amanda Hankins again visited the winner's circle on Silver Dollar Memories for the Marvin Butler Family in the four-year-old open.

One of the toughest classes for the judge was the 15.2 & Under Amateur class, but Push In Command with Shannon Compton up for her family the Rick Compton family walked out the winner in the championship and grand championship class. Jennifer Brown and her Pride’s Gold Millennium won the prestigious ladies specialty championship on Saturday night. Well-known owner and handler Ella Kline from Robins, Tenn., lead her Sierra Mist to take the weanling fillies class. Kline’s Walking For Real walked to the Weanling colt championship. The Benny Johnson Stables out of Bluemont, Va., took the blue in the Park Pleasure Youth 17 & Under Two-Gaits class on General Bradley with Samantha Greene in the irons for Johnson & Meade. Samantha Greene was no stranger to the winner's circle on Regal’s Lady of Royalty. She won the lite-shod two-gait, lite-shod youth 17 and under two-gait championship and grand championship, and won her first floral horseshoe in the lite-shod open two-gait grand championship.

The well-known team of Odie Adcock and Pusher’s Mahogany Bay claimed the Amateur Championship. The big gray gelding The Silversmith, owned by Bob and Edna Black with Bob Black in the irons, walked for the Gentlemen’s championship title. Another entry trained by the Bill Reel Stables, Real Bad Pusher, ridden by owner Bob Michael won the open walking specialty. The Pro-Am Specialty class was won by Armed Man with owner Marti Reel and Danny Hayes sharing the irons. Reel and Armed Man returned Saturday night to claim the North Carolina Walking Horse Association member’s specialty class. Kenny Compton and Pride of Ritz of Tazewell, Va., rode the three gaits to claim the Amateur blue on Friday night.

Bruce Long riding Pride of Cash for Basehore and Long won the new and highly competitive class limited performance championship and grand championship. The entry of Mark and Shirley Basehore, Generator’s Eastern Classic, won the Country Pleasure class. The Nellie and Terry Harris' entry of Strait Country with Peggy Cunningham won the three-year-old amateur class. Nick Hensley riding for Ernie and Jenny Schlaback on their Blues Walkin Angel won the park pleasure open. The amateur owned and trained class was won by Private Term, trained and ridden by Dana Kyte of Fall Branch, Tenn. Riding out of the Bobby Moss Stables, John Meade won the glory both nights in the youth 11 and under on his new ride, Cash’s Big Bucks, owned by his Dad, Barry Meade. Heather Moss won the youth 12-17 specialty on Royal Consul for Garry Williams. John Meade and Out of Cash rode their last time in the Novice Amateur class by riding out with the blue. Mary Evelyn Hylton and her Nancy’s Walking Star claimed the park pleasure three-gait title both nights. Milly Player made the trip from Lancaster, S.C., to claim the lite-shod western pleasure two-gait championship and grand champion title with No Sin To Win for Player, Buckner, Bumgardner. The Dan Baco’s entry Apache’s Full Throttle with handler James Pendleton won the yearling colts class. Dan Baco’s entry Commanding Performance won the highly acclaimed park pleasure championship. Lynn Keats rode Society’s Dark Spirit for David Keats to win the show pleasure specialty. Debra Claycomb and Mikeisha’s Jazz Delight of South Boston went to the winner's circle in the country pleasure amateur championship.

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