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Alabama’s Grand Tradition Continues!

by Leeann Mione

PRICEVILLE, Ala. – Dear Charlie, we missed you. We know that even though you weren’t there in person, you were there looking down and watching Janet take the helm in your absence and put on a great horse show. We know that you saw nearly 400 horses come to Priceville to put on a great show in the tradition that you helped create. We’ll always remember how you worked so hard to make sure this show was competitive yet laid back and always so family oriented; believing that fellowship and fun are as important as great competition by great horses and riders.

Charlie, you wouldn’t have believed how great the weather was! We think you somehow had something to do with that!

You would have seen so many nice horses and so many of your friends come to the Racking Horse Celebration Arena with it’s new covered outdoor warm up ring, and compete to impress judge Chuck Herbert. The academy riders were there in full force in front of judge Anna Chandler.

The last class of the show, the Five-Gaited Championship was preceded by a standing ovation for Janet and we know you were watching from above and so happy that she was recognized for her hard work and the great success of the show! Love, Your horse show family.

The Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show has been a tradition that celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and despite the absence of long-time manager Charlie Byron, went off without a hitch and in fact saw bigger numbers than last year.

Janet Byron had barely had time to get used to the idea of taking this on herself; but she stepped up to the challenge and got it done in tremendous style. She was joined by a group of capable staff members including office secretary Janie Hamilton.

Chuck Herbert was joined in center ring by master of ceremonies Adam Hensley, photographer Doug Shiflet, organist Stacy Beam and ringmasters Don Baker and Chris Zahnd.

Gary Wilson was the show farrier and Wilburn Williams served as paddock master. Richfield Video rounded out the list of officials and captured the action in all 147 classes.

Wednesday morning a catfish fry was held to welcome everyone to Priceville and Thursday night a memorial to Charlie was held after the show with cake served and a chance for those in attendance to remember the show’s manager and one of its most enthusiastic supporters. Friday night’s exhibitor’s party drew a big crowd as usual and the family fun night always makes this party a big hit and one of the most unique of the season.

Sausage biscuits, donuts, coffee and juice were provided each morning by the horse show for anyone who wanted them.

Several new barns made the trip for the first time including Debonaire Stables, directed by trainer Matt Schuckert. "The hospitality was wonderful", said Schuckert. He continued, "The selection of classes is great and I thought the competition in most classes was wonderful. I would come back to this show".

The new covered warm up area outside the ring was a big hit. Even though there was plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures this year, there have been years where rain made it difficult to warm up before coming through the gate.

Priceville’s proximity to Decatur offered plenty of opportunity to find a hotel, find a good meal and find things to do.

There was plenty happening in center ring to keep the audience entertained without leaving the grounds including Saturday night’s Five-Gaited Grand Championship.

A field of six came through the gate and put on a great show many nice passes down the straightaway before lining up to find out the results. Herbert named open class winner Stonecroft Rumor Has It the grand champion with Rob Byers up for Cindy McWilliams. Jack Magill and Leatherwood’s Colors Up were reserve with Magill riding for Coe and Bill London.

My Moonlight Serenade was third with James Nichols riding for Annandale Farm and Varsity Blues was next in line with Clark Clouse. He rode for owner Mitchell Walker. Tommy Richardson and He’s Come Undone and Jim Harrell with Coastal Caper rounded out the ribbon count in that order.

Most Definitely Diamonds had Ruth Gimpel smiling from ear to ear as they left the ring as the Ladies Five-Gaited Grand Champions for Helen Rosburg. Blue Highway and Maria Gilman were reserve in the championship for Kelsey Olson. Tammy DeVore rode her own entry Millionheir’s Row to the blue in the ladies qualifier, which featured a top group.

Harold Denton and CH Colonel Hoss qualified with their win in the Amateur Gentlemen’s Five-Gaited class and returned in the amateur championship to take that tricolor as well under the direction of Clark Clouse. Break On Through and Laura Dozer Elliott were right there for the reserve tricolor for Bernice Cornette Living Trust.

Denton headed down victory lane yet again in the amateur division, but this time he was riding Callaway’s Eight Below to top a very competitive amateur class for Bullet Concrete Material Inc.

The junior exhibitors also put together two really nice competitions in their championship and qualifier. Merchant Commander was unstoppable with Holly Hein in the irons on their way to the winner’s circle both times for Dan and Jeana Hein. Hein rode under the direction of Adam and Desiree Clauson. Heathermoor’s Ezekiel and Austen Waldron claimed the reserve grand championship under the direction of Heathermoor Farm’s Jennifer and Richie Fernambucq.

Lisa Rosenberger Jones rode Wicked In A Winning Way to the winning ribbon in the Novice class for Frank Jones. They topped a great group.

There were plenty of nice junior horses in attendance to make their class interesting and the group worked hard to impress Herbert, but when it was all over, it was Twice The Dice headed to the winner’s circle for the win with Tammy DeVore up for Carol Hillenbrand.

The three-year-olds also handled the competition in style and Here We Are carried owner and trainer Tommy Richardson to the top prize to add to Richardson Stables’ great week.

A pair of three-year-olds competed in their UPHA Five-Gaited Classic and Trent Capps put CC Common Law in the top spot for the win for Capps Common.

Caroline Dolt and By Design Only closed out the division by winning both the Five-Gaited Pony Championship and qualifier.

Ruth Gimpel and Ronnie Graham have proven to be a formidable team and they teamed up at Alabama for a great week with their group. Wee Pee’s Storm and Graham topped a trio of elegant three-gaited open horses to win the Three-Gaited Grand Championship and they also won the open class for James and Helen Rosburg. The Worthy Fox and Armon Effinger exited with the reserve tricolor for Keith and Kim Jones.

Cascade Stables had a great week at the show under the direction of Barbe Smith and James Nichols. They finished with several wins including Jan Small Beth’s winning rides with The Proof Is In The Heir in both the ladies championship and ladies qualifier. Lemon Shake Up WRF and Patrice Watson O’Brien were the ladies reserve grand champions from Premier Stables.

CH Mega Star was just one of Coe London’s entries that put on a great performance under the direction of Jack Magill. London was ecstatic with her wins in the amateur championship and qualifier as Kansas City rapidly approaches. Susan Olcott has had a busy and successful season showing Callaway’s Blue Waltz and they headed out as the reserve grand champions under the direction of Premier.

Harold Denton claimed yet another amateur gentlemen’s title when He’s A Jim Dandy won for Bullet Concrete Material.

Omerta swept the junior exhibitor division with Emily Stumbo catch riding for Carol Reedy. Stumbo showed for Reedy under the direction of Jon Walker. Like A Rocket and Jackie Schutt were next in line for a ribbon and they took the reserve grand championship title for Barbara Schutt.

Todd Walker was up on sporty four-year-old I Spy A Firefly to win the junior class for Bonnie Howard. Peri Dazzle was the three-year-old champion with Andre van Schalkwyk riding for Bruce and Karen Paverd.

Caroline Brackenridge went to the winner’s circle for Susan Hanna and once again Tammy DeVore took the victory pass. She claimed the winning ribbon in the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic.

Vivian Ward and Emily Stumbo took top honors in the Three-Gaited Pony Championship for Margaret Gardiner and Faizah, winner of the qualifier, took the second place tie with Sydney Dunaway up for Jim and Sarah McDowell.

Master And Commander and Maria Gilman have many park titles to their credit for owner Barbara Woods and they added two more at Alabama Charity. Master And Commander topped a nice group both times to win the Park Championship and open class. Johnny Casino and James Hale were the park reserve grand champions for owner A.E. Nelson.

Brookhill’s Periday and owner James Sigmon faced a tough group in the amateur championship but they came out on top when Herbert’s card was turned in. I’m A Skywatcher and a very happy Rachel Seifert won the big amateur qualifier before returning to claim the reserve finish in the championship.

Also from James Hale Stables, General Spirit and Sarah O’Neil topped both the junior exhibitor class and championship for Little Cahaba Properties.

Nutcracker Ballerina and Clark Clouse added to the Clouse Stables win list with their victory in the junior park championship after having won the junior qualifier. Clouse rode for Denton and Bullet Concrete Material. Steeling First and James Hale were the reserve grand champions for owner Barbara Thureson, and Hale was on board the winner of the three-year-old class. One Only took the blue for Jim Gregory.

Magical Promises promises to have a bright future and Pedro Martinez showed to both the Fine Harness Grand Championship and open wins for MSK Trust. Joe Friday and Ruth Gimpel followed in the championship ribbons for Helen Rosburg. Helen Rosburg drove to the winner’s circle with Joe when they were named the amateur blue ribbon winners.

Emmy Night and Martinez claimed blue in the junior class for Blythewood Farm to keep their good week going. Cross The Rubicon won the three-year-old class with Virginia Polley driving for David Polley.

Reedann’s Rare Mystery and Mike Barlow topped the UPHA Fine Harness class and earned the blue for Reedannland Farm.

Winsalot Stables was well represented in the young horse ranks including Jeff Leech’s winning drive with Old South’s Blue Chip in the two-year-old class to close out the fine harness division.

Debra Clark’s horses won three of the four Road Horse To Bike classes under the direction of Jon Walker. Walker drove Where’s Reuben to the Road Horse Championship win. Kathy Barlow and Ashland won the open qualifier then returned to take second in the championship.

Clark drove to both amateur wins with Iamnotacow and they were followed in the ribbon count in the amateur championship by Shane Sallee and Little Richard.

It was obvious Tammy DeVore was having a blast with her road horse Big N Rich when they won the Novice Road Horse class and the under saddle class. Alison Walker and The Big Show had the crowd cheering them on as they took the victory pass in the under saddle championship for Todd and Alison Walker. Eclipse and Ashton Hale headed out with the reserve tricolor.

Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF and James Rosburg were victorious in the roadster pony division. They won the championship and Kristy Lee also won the open class with Ronnie Graham driving. Louisville Cardinal and Sharon Chrisman were named the Roadster Pony Grand Champions for C & C Stables.

Bud Light and James Rosburg were victorious in the amateur roadster pony division. Rosburg drove to both wins to add yet two more roadster wins to the RGS tack room wall.

Madison Pope was pretty in pink as she drove Ricky Bobby to the junior exhibitor championship title. Paige McQuown and You Raise Me Up won the AHHS Youth Medallion Roadster Pony class for Rick McQuown under the direction of Matt Schuckert.

Abel Vega drove Zazou to the blue for Golden Creek Farm in the UPHA Roadster Pony Classic.

Vega also directed Stephany Monteleone to her wins with Regal’s Norma Jean. Monteleone teamed her pony to the Harness Pony Championship and open class wins. Oliver Twist and Charlotte Wrather were next in line for a ribbon in the championship, showing under the direction of Janet Crampton.

Heartland Queen Of The Road and Susan Olcott won the UPHA Harness Pony Classic.

Heartland High Tech and Helen Rosburg were the Hackney Pony Grand Champions and open champions to add two more pony division wins to the Rosburg total for the week. Vega drove Limited Edition to reserve in the championship class for Golden Creek Farm.

Monteleone wasn’t done winning yet. She added two more victories to her total when CH Mastercraft’s Namesake LF won both the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship and qualifier under Vega’s direction. Charlotte Wrather teamed Boxford Courageous Spirit to the reserve tricolor.

Beetlejuice and Madison Pope won the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic for Lisa Hillmer and Madison Pope. The also won the AHHS medallion class.

The pleasure classes for the five-gaited, three-gaited pleasure and country pleasure horses were deep and competitive and the driving horses had their fair share of competitive classes as well. The Celebration ring is quite large, but it also has a very low wall that can make it feel like the audience is almost in the ring with the horses.

The five-gaited pleasure horses had a great group to compete with and doing their job at all five gaits, put on a terrific show both times, but when it was over, it was Eddie Norris and I’m Fantabulous named as the grand champions and champions from Jack Magill Stables. Just Heavenly and Denton were right there for the reserve grand championship title.

Eden Michael met Callaway’s Quasar and Mary Kate Harpole in the winner’s circle after they swept the junior exhibitor five-gaited division for Donna and Mary Kate Harpole. La Sir Top Hat and Mollie Kregor teamed up to take reserve in the championship for Rebecca Westberg.

Magill and The Fabulous Truth won the Park Pleasure Championship after having already won the Junior/Novice class for owner Kathy O’Brien, both of which were well filled and competitive. Licorice Drop Lass, with Melinda Young showing for Walnut River Saddlebreds, exited with the second place tie in the championship from Herbert.

Magill also won the open class but this time he was riding Desert’s Supreme Dream, his own entry.

Winner of the All American Three-Year-Old Cup just a few short weeks ago, Belle Reve’s Lady Elizabeth topped the UPHA Park Pleasure class to add another win to her total with Tiffany Wheeler riding.

Harlem’s Worldly Lady and Ronnie Graham won the Park Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. They were followed in the championship ribbon count by CH Society Lane’s Prince Of Charm and James Hale who showed for Liz Smith.

The show pleasure division, as is typical these days, was huge and CH Sweet Virginia was up to the challenge. Barbara Woods rode to both adult division wins under the direction of Don Judd and Maria Gilman. War Faire and Crystal Sanders stepped up to take the reserve championship title under the direction of Eden Michael.

Mollie Kregor again was named to take two more victory passes. She did a great job with Ashlyn Farm’s entry That’s Exactly Right. They won both junior exhibitor 14-17 classes from Premier Stables. Alison Harpole and CH Lookin’ Yonder were the reserve grand champions.

William Nalty and Vuarnet teamed up to add two more wins to their total from Cascade Stables. They won both the 13 and Under championship and qualifier with two top rides. CSF Supreme Memories and Maggie Greer showed for Judy Brown and finished with the reserve tricolor under the direction of Lisa Rosenberger Jones.

Deborah Richardson is always busy showing her various mounts at Alabama and this year was no different. She captured several tricolor titles by the end, including her sweep of the AOT Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier with I’m Legendary. Highpoint’s Royal Flame and Elizabeth Harris were reserve in the championship.

Chandler Bell rode her mom’s horse The Dancing Bear to the win the Alabama Owned Three-Gaited Pleasure class to add another win to the Infinity Stables total.

Silhouette Of Roses, with Dr. Cheryl Tilghman and Zero Mostel, with Barbara Gordley gave Cascade Stables the one-two finish in the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship amongst a talented group.

Roseridge’s It’s Called Love and owner Karen West won the qualifier under the direction of Mike and Kathy Barlow.

Victoria Papai and Showcountry’s Shadow Chaser won the Walk and Trot Pleasure 13 and Under Championship and Infinity rider Jordyn Isgrigg won the qualifier with CH Olympic Charm. Can You Even!, with Jack Elwell, was reserve in the championship from Marvin Ward Stables for Bill and Lisa Waller.

Select Me and Lauren Byrd swept the pleasure pony division for Kim and Lauren Byrd and Midnight Snack was reserve with Shelby Floyd for Barbara Jozwiak.

Lovely Addition and Donna Kerns Smith were twice victorious in the show pleasure driving division under the direction of Tim Henderson. Heart Of Steel and Patricia Bonati were the reserve grand champions.

Deborah Richardson teamed Tornaado’s Storm Warnings to the wins in both the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and adult qualifier for Richardson Stables to keep her big week going. Amy Hein added the reserve tricolor to the Hein family count with Haunting.

Tommy Benton directed Trey Watson and Worthy Valedictorian to the win in the competitive Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship, which hosted a big group of talented young teams. She’s Exquisite and Kendall Schue were next in line for a ribbon in the championship. Channing McWilliams added another win to Cindy McWilliams’ total with the winning ride in the junior exhibitor qualifier aboard Stone Captive.

The Devil You Say was the AOT Country Pleasure Grand Champion and champion with Richardson in the irons. They were followed in the championship ribbon count by Win Your Heart with Megan Van Dyke for Lexi Ross.

Callaway’s Show Me State and Vicki Gillenwater were only in Alabama long enough to win both the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier before Gillenwater had to head back home to Tennessee. Jacques VanNiekerk directed Gillenwater to her wins. Page Six and Patrick Scott took the reserve streamers in the championship for Maranatha Stables.

Deborah Richardson closed out her week with a sweep of the western country pleasure division. She rode Undulata’s Sentinel News to the championship and qualifier. After Sunset and Terry Johnson were the reserve grand champions for Iron Horseshoe Farm LLC.

Daylight’s Regal Look won the ASB In Hand class with Peter Mace showing for Barbara Von Borries. Also in the in-hand division, Juliette’s Champagne In The Park and owner Karon Bowdre won the ASB Yearling class.

Old South’s Black Label and Jeff Leech won the weanling open class for Jacks and Farrow.

Clark Clouse rode Love The Blues to the win in the two-year-old snaffle/full bridle class for the three-gaited youngsters. Clouse showed for Carolyn and Stephen Henderson.

The Alabama Futurity featured a nice group of yearlings and weanlings and two babies split the wins in the four classes offered.

Stocky Lady and Jack Feist won both the Alabama Futurity Open Yearling class and the amateur futurity class for Feisty Foals. Old South’s Black Label won both the open and amateur weanling futurity classes with Jeff Leech showing from Winsalot Farm.

Hannah Abrams won the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and Payton Walker won the Walk and Trot 10 and Under Championship and UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup.

Koti Weaver showed CH Sports Night for the first time ever and won the Pleasure Equitation class, showing from Infinity Stables.

Jamison Baker won the Pleasure Equitation Medallion to close out the equitation division.

Gypsy’s Dream Boy and Regina Head won the OTAB English Pleasure class for Webster and Harris and Undulata’s Sentinel News switched gears from the western division to win the OTAB Hunter Pleasure class with Deborah Richardson.

The academy riders gathered Saturday morning and they showed up in big numbers to compete in front of judge Anna Chandler-Simpson.

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