by Dawn Ward


         MONROE, Ga. - Thanks to the youth of the First United Methodist Church of Monroe, Ga., the 43rd annual Walton County Walking Horse Show was a success. This group of young people worked very hard, along with the support of family and friends, to keep the oldest one-night show in Georgia on the show scene.

         The show started with a little delay due to an accident on I-20 which had the announcer, Harris Blackwood, stuck in traffic. Right at his arrival it was show time on another Saturday night in Georgia. With Wendell Kirkpatrick judging the show and ringmaster Parks Groover keeping everything running smoothly, the flags were called to the ring. Following the invocation and National Anthem, applause was heard from the crowd and it was time for the first class to be called.

         The first class to enter the ring was Weanlings and Yearlings. Nemo’s Busting With Royalty captured the blue with Melissa Tittle-Underwood at the lead.

         Next to be called to the ring was a very strong class of Youth Specialty 12-17. Taking away the blue was the team of Rosie Ward and Turbo LMT for owners Dawn and Rosie Ward. Second place honors went to Kyle Little and Virginia Hill.

         It was then time for the little ones to show off the stick horses. The competition consisted of Cookie and Lydia Norman, Rock and Mason Dodgen, Silver and Joshua Knowles, Jacob Dodgen and Trigger, Jacob McCurdy and Blue Boy, Kaylee Lee and Stormy and Wyatt Barnhart and Lighting. This class was so tough they all received a blue ribbon.

         “Come on, come on,” was the call for the Three-Year-Old Amateur class. First place honors and the blue ribbon ride was claimed by Jerry Cole and Arnie for Jerry and Vickie Cole. Guy Findley directed Jose's Diamond Doll to the reserve position.

         Next it was time for announcer Harris Blackwood to call on the Lead Line class. Once again the judge found it too difficult to select amongst the top competition so blue ribbons were award to each participant.

         The Plantation Pleasure Lite-Shod class had four entries. Melissa Tittle-Underwood was back in the winner’s circle, this time riding Poison At Midnight to the first of his two victories. Dangerous After Dark and Hannah Cole claimed the reserve honors.

         In the competitive 11 and Under WHTA Youth Council class it was girl power all the way around. Capturing the blue ribbon was Rumble At The Ritz and Taylor Wheless for Kline and Dot Wheless. Graciously accepting the second place award was the team of Hannah McCurdy and Pride’s Overdrive.

         In the 15.2 and Under class, The High Dollar and Stephanie White walked their way to the top spot for the Lowell White family. Just Jazz and K.C. Bailey showed the crowd what a great team they are together and were awarded with the red streamer.

         Three entries made the gate call in the Park Pleasure class. Karen Arnett directed Think I'll Keep Her to the top honor, while second place went to Generator's Dark Side and Kathy Malone.

         The Walking Pony 17 and Under title was won by Little N’ Bad and Jessica Bailey. Johnny Walker and Josh Poole claimed the red streamer with a very strong performance.

         It was then time for the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty class. Taking home the blue ribbon were Motown's Mellow Mood and Amy Trimble for Stephens and Mulvery. Secretive and Robert Findley walked their way to the reserve honor.

         Seve Country and Allen Forman captured the Three-Year-Old Stallions title for owner Barbara Utermark, while Bill Cantrell directed the Escape Artist into the second place position.

         Veronica Kelley and Edge Of Time topped the competition in the Park Pleasure Youth class for owner Guy Ben Findley. Making their show ring debut was the team of Libby McCurdy and Pride’s Final Mark who walked their way to the reserve honor.

         The Adult Walking Ponies title was won by Cash And Carry's Little Girl with Danny Rylee in the irons for Danny and Carol Rylee. Reserve honors were claimed by Above The Line and Brad Spivey.

The WHOA Youth Challenge class was won by Haley Lane aboard The Skyy for Dr. Linda Jones.

Poison At Midnight and Melissa Tittle-Underwood were back in the winner’s circle. This time the pair was awarded with the Plantation Pleasure English Lite-Shod blue ribbon honors. Pride’s Final Mark and Hannah McCurdy rounded out the top two positions

            Robert Findley rode to the blue in the Amateur Novice Rider Specialty class with Major Dealer. Koni Tidwell and Big Show put on a good performance to capture the second place award.

Philip Trimble claimed the top prize in the Open Two-Year-Old class aboard Gaddy’s Little Girl for owners Jerry and Donna Cash. Greg Keller and Hysteria’s Beaming claimed the reserve award.

            Jerry Cole rode to the blue in the Amateur 50 and Over Specialty class aboard Magic Man’s Mark for Jerry and Vicki Cole. Mary Touchton was the reserve winner with I’m Twice The Delight.

            Up next was the Amateur Owned and Trained Park Pleasure Specialty division. Melissa Tittle-Underwood rode to top honors aboard On The House for husband Charlie Underwood. Herman Cunningham claimed the reserve award with A Blue Bayou.

            Gail Walling captured the blue aboard Jose’ Grande in the GWHEA Members Only Specialty division for mother Judy McDonald. Sherrin Pittman was second with Pusher’s Back Street Boy.

            Susan Paul won the Amateur Owned and Trained Specialty class aboard Royal Imprint for Johnny and Susan Paul. Jimmy Mewborn and Commander’s Trooper captured the red ribbon.

            Ken Moore rode to the winner’s circle with Mouse’s Mandingo Warrior in the Open Specialty class for owner Vickie Harris. Philip Trimble captured the reserve win with Dumas Dandy Dan.

            The next class to enter the ring was the Park Pleasure Open Specialty. Kathy Malone captured the blue aboard Generator’s Dark Side for Pat and Kathy Malone. The second place tie went to Mardi Balloch and Generator’s C Note.

          Three entries were called to the ring in the Three-Year-Old Mares and Geldings class. Bill Cantrell made a good performance aboard Ultra Copyright for Warr and Major. The reserve award went to Philip Trimble and Clint Black.

 Next up was the Amateur Men’s Specialty. Bobby Mixon directed Special Ultra Copy to the blue ribbon for Bobby and Linda Mixon. Manual Control and Johnny Paul were second.

Gail Walling directed Legend Of JFK to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Four-Year-Old class for Mark and Gail Walling of Shelbyville, Tenn. Lorrie Gilley rode to the reserve ribbon aboard Nacho Cheese.

The Amateur Ladies Specialty class was won by Heather Beard and Bold Vengeance for grandmother Judy McDonald. Lisa Wheeler collected the reserve ribbon with River Nile.

A good class of horses entered the ring for the Park Performance Open Specialty class. Larry Derryberry made an outstanding performance on My Bright Star and rode to blue ribbon honors for owner Jessica Bailey. Susan Paul claimed the reserve ribbon aboard My Ebony Sky.

          Three entries made their way to the ring for the final class of the evening. Winning Judge Kirkpatrick’s approval and top honor was the team of UC I’m Ultra Gold and Bill Cantrell. UC I’m Ultra Gold is owned by Dee Cantrell. Barbara Agnich directed Prey For Vengeance to the reserve honor for Joey and Melissa Tidwell.

          Complete results follow and can be viewed, searched and printed at