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An Affair To Remember

Coverage by Christy Howard Parsons and Leeann Mione

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. - Sometimes a horse show is just a horse show, but sometimes, when the weather is just right, when a hard-working horse show committee involves an entire community in the celebration, and when the best of the best Kentucky horses come together, a horse show truly becomes an affair to remember.

Such was the case with this year’s Shelbyville Horse Show Jubilee. Voted the UPHA National Horse Show of the Year four times, the Shelbyville Horse Show has an outstanding board of directors which insists on improving upon itself each year in one way or another.

This year, they added additional prizes in the junior exhibitor classes including a choice of two compact disks from a library of choices and even CD Walkmans for ribbon winners in an effort to increase entries in these classes.

This creative board of directors includes Jean Matthews, Pam Ray (co-chairperson), Nancy Crabtree, Lucy Long (co-chairperson), Jean Logan, Bridwell Terhune, Don Baker, Redd Crabtree, Michael Barnett, Edward Bennett and R.H. Bennett.

Show secretary Beth Snider holds it all together and directs a capable office staff of Sandy Backer, Julie Broder, Jennifer McCollum and Peggy Henry. Dick Morgan does a wonderful job of announcing the show, keeping the large local audience informed and entertained about the incredible show horses they are witnessing. Don Brookshire of Raleigh, N.C., judged the 56-class schedule.

One of the things that makes this four-day event attract so many local supporters is the short schedule. Each evening session lasts barely more than two hours. Preceded by a delicious buffet dinner served in the incredible ringside pavilion, and followed by live bands and dancing every night, the show is fun for everyone.

One sad note at this year’s show was the absence of longtime Bennett family friend Jimmy Jack Hardin. Hardin was killed during the Lexington Junior League show in a horse trailer accident. Hardin worked at Undulata Farm and, as an integral part of the Bennett family, he was very involved in the Shelbyville Horse Show. His family was present on Saturday night, when Hardin was honored.

Saturday night ended with a bang with an outstanding five-gaited stake that featured a surprise entry. Tigerlee, who was seen in the winner’s circle many times this year already with Jackie Stred, entered the ring this time with his trainer George Knight on his back. And once again he marched his way to the winner’s circle.

Another favorite in the class was Merrill Murray and CH Superior’s Successor, the bold chestnut stallion owned by Joan Hammond. Rob Byers and Boucheron got a standing ovation for their third place finish which obviously delighted Byers as he made a pass around the ring to collect his ribbon.

The ladies division featured another well-recognized winner. Elisabeth Goth showed Title Bound to two beautiful winning titles at the Midwest Charity and she was equally glorious in Shelbyville. Goth smiled radiantly as she was crowned the winner under Kalarama’s stable banner. Melinda Moore directed Cisitalia to the reserve finish in the six-horse class for Randi Wightman.

Luanne Kilday was delighted to hear Dick Morgan call her name on Saturday night to win the Amateur Five-Gaited Stake. Debbie Foley met her in center ring to position the red roses around the neck of Already Famous. Barclay De Wet and her Have You Ever made a pretty picture to earn the reserve honors under Redd Crabtree’s instruction.

Three times are a charm! Bit Hutcheson and Such Sweet Memories won the Amateur Five-Gaited class, the first class of the show, for the third straight year. Kalarama Farm directed this talented team in their only performance at the show. Stable mate Elisabeth Goth and My New Years Eve celebrated their reserve finish.

Kelsey Price topped both junior exhibitor five-gaited classes with her multi-titled Fox De Jour under the Pleasantview Farm ownership and Kris and Bill Knight’s instruction. Tate Bennett directed Absolutely Perfect to the reserve finish in both classes for the Don Rich Enterprises.

Georgia Baker and George Knight combined forces to make two trips to the winner's circle. Knight showed Baker’s Along Came A Spider to the junior five-gaited win amidst a class of 11 horses. Knight also showed two-year-old fine harness winner Angelene for Baker. Mary McClean and Take Me Away earned reserve honors in the deep junior gaited class.

Steve Wheeler showed a beautiful youngster by CF First Night Out, I’m First, to the three-year-old five-gaited win for the Stonecroft Farm. Larry Hodge and Belle Devine earned reserve honors for Kalarama Farm.

Kelly Hill and Strike The Gold added another blue ribbon to the well-adorned Biggins tack room. This talented young team won the five-gaited pony class at the May Classic in addition to Shelbyville. Jessica Salley earned the reserve honors with Scoot, Boot, and Boogie, a property of the Antares Farm, trained by Pat McConnell.

Venngel The Engraver, the new property of Elisabeth Goth, topped the Three-Gaited Open Stake with Neil Visser in the irons. Gene van der Walt and Red Hook earned reserve honors for the Singing Hills Stable.

Another Kalarama winner, Melody Adler and City Lady, combined for a beautiful presentation to win the ladies three-gaited class. Brooke Jacobs and her Sky High Money finished with the red ribbon in the eight-entry class as well as earning the reserve in the amateur three-gaited stake.

Mary McClean and Callaway’s Buttons and Bows won the Amateur Three-Gaited Stake after finishing in reserve in the amateur class earlier in the week to Ceil Wheeler and Strapless, an entry owned by Kenny and Ceil Wheeler and trained by Nelson Green.

Tate Bennett and Longview’s Two To Tango topped both junior exhibitor three-gaited classes with Maguire Hall and Chaka Zulu pushing every step of the way to earn reserve honors in both classes under Patty Milligan’s direction.

One of the most amazing classes in the show and one of the most beautiful horses on the grounds was Teresa Vonderschmitt’s lovely young three-gaited horse. Mark Utoft directed Manila Thrilla to the winner’s circle prompting many in the crowd to ask, “Who was that horse?” The stir he caused was quite genuine as the 2002 Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion An Heir About Her had to settle for the reserve finish with Chris Reiser for Hanes Chevrolet.

Another nice youngster new to the three-gaited ranks was Amelia’s Heir Cat. Don Harris shaved the mane off the exciting young prospect owned by Judy Harris that afternoon before he showed. He looked pretty smart in the winner’s circle. Larry Hodge was the reserve winner with Callaway’s Halley Comet, an entry owned by Kaaba, Inc.

Stonecroft Farm owned another exciting young winner. Steve Wheeler directed Stonecroft’s Front and Center to the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class win followed by Brian Chappell and Lauren’s Diamond, an entry owned by Hill Country Acres.

Most of the Biggins’ blue ribbons at the show were won by amateurs, but John Biggins was in the irons of Another Bay to win the Three-Gaited Park Stake for owner Brennan Baumer. Missy Bennett and Callaway’s Gold Coast earned the red ribbon after finishing third in the amateur class earlier in the week.

Susan Sherman and Carrigan’s Magic won the seven-entry three-gaited park class held earlier in the week for the Willisbrook Farm. Darrell Case directed Bad Moon Rising, a Willowbank property, to the reserve honors.

With season wins at J.D. Massey and Rock Creek, Luanne Kilday and CH A Step of Time were primed to win the amateur three-gaited park class. Chris Nalley and 98 Degrees were pressing all the way to earn reserve honors in the ten-entry class.

Yasmin Wazir and Lost Token looked their very best to top the Three-Gaited Pony class with an outstanding performance under the Biggins Stables banner. With wins at Kentucky Spring Premier, Rock Creek and Lexington under their belts, this team is definitely the team to beat! Shelby Gregory and her cocky CH Highpoint’s Fantasia had a good show to earn reserve honors in the talented class.

Dena Lopez made a trip to the winner's circle with Sass With Class. This property of New Millennium Equine Endeavors topped the Fine Harness Stake. Mike Hylton and Romanov earned a good reserve finish for owner Sarah Riganti.

CH A Sweet Treat was at the top of her game to team with owner John Scheidt to win the Amateur Fine Harness Stake. Joan Adler and I’m An Early Riser made a beautiful presentation to earn the reserve honors for the Sunrise Stables banner.

The gorgeous black Harlem’s Santa Fe and Chuck Herbert made a handsome pair in the winner’s circle of the junior fine harness class for owner Susan Bartlett. George Knight directed Would You Believe It to the reserve finish in the seven-entry class for owner David Osborne.

Five talented three-year-olds vied for judge Brookshire’s attention. Joan Lurie received the nod with Believe In Love, an entry owned by Marcy Lafferty. Dianna Rannells directed The Last Straw to the reserve finish for the Stonecroft Farm.

George Knight and Angelene topped the Fine Harness Two-Year-Old class for owner Georgia Baker. Peter Palmer and First Lass received reserve honors for their performance for Don Rich Enterprises.

Carol Hillenbrand and her talented pleasure horses are ready for Louisville! The Bess Yet and Hillenbrand won both three-gaited show pleasure classes under John and Renee Biggins’ instruction amidst a large field. She and Callaway’s Blue Agate made two beautiful shows to also win both country pleasure classes.

John Scheidt and The King’s Man earned reserve honors in the show pleasure adult championship. CH Sultan’s Hot Copy and Carolyn Garrett earned the red ribbon in the adult class earlier in the week in their only performance.

Who Needs Mama and Tate Bennett topped the seven-entry junior exhibitor show pleasure championship followed by Laura Dozer and Lookin Yonder. This talented team won the junior exhibitor class held earlier in the week as well as coming off a win at Harrodsburg last week.

Renee Zubrod and The Heir To The Throne earned reserve honors in the earlier junior exhibitor class. The Heir To The Throne is owned by Eleanor Watkins.

Riverdance and Dr. Randall Finken won the Show Pleasure Driving Championship for the third year in a row. George Knight directs the talented team. Sarah Asch and CH Advantage Me earned reserve honors in the championship after winning the show pleasure driving class. Janene Becker and Kool Tyme BH earned reserve honors in this class.

Stable mates Lori Mitchell and Jenna Vannoy traded it up in the five-gaited pleasure division. With 19 entries in the qualifier, Vannoy and Hear The Music made the trip to the winner’s circle followed by Lori Mitchell and CH Specialty Item. On Saturday night, the results were reversed in the Five-Gaited Pleasure Stake. Both talented teams ride under John and Renee Biggins' direction.

Christine Broder and The Perfect Lady received reserve honors in both adult country pleasure classes. Caroline Kamer and Rock the Night were rocking to win both junior exhibitor country pleasure classes under the Infinity Stables banner. Maureen Nugent and Sky Born earned reserve honors in both classes for Thomas Nugent.

Mark Utoft made another trip to the winner's circle, this time for a Ruxer Farms’ owned entry. Cry Me A Rainbow topped the 15-entry Junior Park Pleasure class. Joan Lurie and Bluegrass Melody earned reserve honors for Linda and Olen Wilford.

In her first horse show since leaving the academy division, Rachel Kelly won the Open Pleasure Pony class aboard Lady’s A Dancin. Stable mate Walker Lee and Amazing Fire earned reserve honors. Both teams ride under Jo Cornell.

Corey Vetter topped the walk and trot pleasure pony class. She rode Thomas for the Walnut Way Farm. Nathan Spein rode Captain Planet, owned by the Pidgeon Roost Farm, to the reserve honors.

The Roadster To Bike Stake had the crowd roaring on Saturday night. Debbie Foley and Wrapped in Glory couldn’t be denied. After winning the open class earlier in the week, the Bill Hemminger-owned entry returned for one more trip to the winner’s circle. Bill Knight directed The Gambler to a reserve finish for the Leatherwood Farm as Ann Tierney Smith jumped up and down to urge on her entry. When and Where earned reserve honors in the open class for owner Raymond Shively.

The Amateur Roadster To Bike class featured Deborah Butler receiving all the honors. She directed Dirt Devil under Nelson Green’s guidance to the win. Ross Beltle and Vivacious were just that to earn the red ribbon.

Brooke Jacobs and Fit To Be Tied had her own fan club going as she won the Roadster Pony Stake on Saturday night after finishing in reserve in the amateur class to Mary McClean and Broadmoor. Another Golden Creek entry, Sis and Jeff McClean made their own trip to the winner’s circle in the open roadster pony class. Wyatt DeHart and Boxford Courageous Spirit earned reserve honors in both the open class and the stake for DeHart and Tom Caisse.

Golden Creek Farm also collected several hackney blue ribbons. Mary McClean and Heartland Elise were elegant to top the Open Hackney Pony class. McClean also directed Joan Jett to Open Harness Pony honors and Motown to Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony awards. The Golden Creek ponies appear ready for Louisville!

Dinwiddie Lampton’s Diamond’s Show N Off earned reserve honors in the Open Hackney Pony class. Heidi Bowie and Heartland Triple Crown won the reserve honors in the Open Harness Pony class. Donna Smith and Bold Lad took the red ribbon in the 10-entry Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving class.

Dakota Willimon started Saturday night off with an elegant and winning performance in the Equitation Championship. Jo Lanus finished in reserve in this class as well as in the UPHA 17 and Under Challenge Cup under the guidance of Jo Cornell. Lauren Pope won the UPHA class, also under Jo Cornell’s instruction.

More Jo Cornell riders included Chelsea Jo Roby and Erin Roggenkamp, who finished in first and second, respectively, in the UPHA 9-10 Walk and Trot class.

Lindsey Landrum and her new mount Imagination Station added another win to their belt in the UPHA 8 and Under Walk and Trot class in the Delovely tradition. Caroline Walker earned reserve honors in the 8 and under class.

Blair Barrett topped the nine-entry pleasure equitation class with an outstanding performance. Daryl Higdon earned reserve honors in the good class.

This highlights the performances at the 2003 Shelbyville Horse Show. For more complete, searchable results, see our web site at

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