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WHTA Riders' Cup Eyes Final Weekend

The 2012 Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Riders’ Cup winds up this weekend at the Walking For Angels horse show in Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn.  Intense competition in both performance and pleasure divisions has highlighted the entire season’s Riders’ Cup competition.  The 2012 show season was the first season for the pleasure division of the Riders’ Cup.

The Walking For Angels hosts 12 Riders’ Cup classes this weekend, 10 in the performance division and two in the pleasure division.  With a first place tie worth 200 points, the final standings could be affected by this weekend’s performances.  The first three spots look to be locked in with Charlie Green taking home the Cup in 2012 and Link Webb finishing reserve and third place going to Tim Smith.  Those three trainers competed in an astounding 362 classes.

The competition tightens after third.  Scott Beaty holds a 1,350 point advantage over Justin Harris for fourth.  If Beaty attends this weekend, it will be virtually impossible for Harris to overtake Beaty for fourth.  Jimmy McConnell holds a slim 210 point lead over Winky Groover for sixth place.  If McConnell doesn’t make the trip from Union City, Groover is assured to overtake McConnell for sixth place.

John Allan Callaway has a 440 point advantage over Edgar Abernathy for eighth place.  Assuming Abernathy doesn’t make the trip from Mississippi and Callaway makes the short drive down Highway 41-A, Callaway should be assured of the eighth spot.

The all-important tenth spot is also up for grabs.  Currently held by Herbert Derickson, Philip Trimble is in hot pursuit sitting only 440 points behind.  With both trainers residing in Middle Tennessee this could be a race worth watching as it unfolds at the Walking For Angels show.

In the pleasure division the top two spots will go to Patrick Thomas and Laurie Toone respectively.  Third place is currently occupied by Hannah Pulvers however she is only 80 points ahead of Leigh Stuart.  With two classes on the schedule Pulvers will need to attend both to assure her third place finish. 

Bruce Hankins holds a 190 point advantage over Evan Morgan for the eighth spot.  If both men show, these spots look to be where they will finish.  However if Hankins doesn’t show Morgan could pass him with ribbon finishes in both classes.

With sold out sponsorships, checks and awards to be presented on December 1, 2012 and final weekend drama, the 2012 Riders’ Cup season has been one to remember.

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