by Kay Swisher
Posted April 23, 2002
LEXINGTON, Virg. - The red bud and tulips were in full color around the beautiful and spacious Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia for the Virginia Celebration Show and Sale and Atlantic Regional Futurity, benefiting the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center Foundation. The April 12-13, 2002 horse show as early for Virginia and surrounding states, but when the 333 entries hit the show ring, there was nothing lacking in the quality of horses. For the third year Richard Lloyd, show manager, and Alice Martens kept the show running smoothly. The Honorable Carl Bledsoe, Marble Hill, Georgia was kept busy with the judging of the sixty-seven classes. With show being the first of the season for most horse people in this area, everybody wanted a new picture of his or her horse, Doug Shiflet, photographer, kept busy in center ring.

A new addition to the Virginia Celebration was the horse sale on Saturday morning. Auctioneer Gary Vance from Virginia Livestock, LLC along with Richard Lloyd, show manager kept the sale going and the prices and enthusiasm high.

With the success of the Virginia Celebration and the quality of horses and high enthusiasm, the Virginia Walking Horse industry has made a statement, Virginia is no Pushover & Lookout, here we come Again. It was very appropriate for the big black stallion, Pushover & Lookout Again with Curtis Ray Collins up for Glade Land and Cattle Co., who walked to the roses.

The father/son team of Hankins Stables needed an extra trailer to haul the fourteen blues and six floral horseshoes back to Tazewell, Virginia on Sunday morning. Little seven year old Lindsay Hess aboard They Call Me Doc made her horse show debut and walked off with her first blue ribbons and floral horseshoe. Hess’s stable mate at Hankins Stable, Shannon Compton and I’m Out Of Cash, also walked off with a floral horseshoe at her debut show. Janice Carter and Beam’s Daybreak took the 50 and Over Amateur class and came back on Saturday night to win the tough Amateur Specialty class.

Morna Conway of Maryland, rode to the first blue ribbon of the show on Secret Serenity out of fourteen entries in the class. The Three-Year-Old Amateur class was a large and exciting class as Bob Adcock had only one “cause” and that was to collect the blue with A Rebel Without A Cause. Trainers Bill Reel and Andy Carter of Bill Reel Stables were kept busy coaching all three of their amateur riders, Cameron Rembold, Brad Whetzel, and Dorothy Schafer in the Three-Year-Old Amateur class - yet they all received ribbons. A new class for the Virginia Celebration was the Pro/Am Walking Specialty and the team of Ann Hahn and trainer Bill Reel made an outstanding show on Ann’s horse, Mark’s Wildman.

Joey Palmer aboard Judge’s Order bested a large class of Park Pleasure Two-Gait horses. Edna Black enjoyed the victories of her husband, Bob, on her horses What’s Better Than Cash in the Gentlemen’s Amateur and the The Silversmith, aka Possum, in the Tri-State Association Members class. Deborah Simpson and Doing Time spent their time in the show ring collecting blue ribbons and pink roses in the Ladies Amateur Specialty class and Championship class. A grand time was enjoyed by Judy Morrissett with her Park Pleasure Two Gait horse, A Grand Entry, shown under the Jeff Hatcher banner, with blues in the Youth 17 & Under with Cortney Gibson catch riding, and with Judy in the Western Two Gait on Friday night and in the Championship on Saturday night.

Benny Johnson Stables was no stranger to the winner’s banner with wins by Odie Adcock on Shaker’s Spotted Threat, Broadway Billy with Benny Johnson in the irons for Carolyn Hauk in the Open Walking Specialty and Eb’s Bold Silver in the Park Pleasure Walking Western Two Gait. Beth Collins got quite used to victory passes on Cyber Color, the Two-Year-Old Park Pleasure winner, and Jubilee’s Cobra in the 15.2 and Under Amateur Specialty, and Another Magic Pride, in the Novice Horse Specialty.

The Yearling classes were well represented, Doc Otis, with handler Ella Kline made a great show ad took home the blue. Mel Belcher was very happy with his Yearling Filly class win with Buck’s Dixie Chick, an offspring of Cash’s Big Bucks.

For the complete show story, see the prinited edition of Walking Horse Report dated April 22, 2002.