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All's Well In Big D

by Terri Harkins

LAS COLINAS, Texas – Deep in the heart of the Dallas at the Ft. Worth Metroplex, the Big D Charity Horse Show’s competitors converged upon the Las Colinas Equestrian Center for four days of intense competition. This year’s show ran May 1-4. Celebrating its thirty-fourth anniversary, the Big D Charity Horse Show once again proved to be an enormous success. Big D has successfully raised over $385,000 for Metroplex charities. This year’s charity was Camp John Marc, which helps children with chronic illness and major physical disabilities. This camp enables seriously ill children a chance to spend a week in a special camp and allows them to feel “normal," and gives their parents a much needed reprieve.

In true Texas tradition, the show was filled with food, fun and a welcoming atmosphere. The Junior Exhibitor Luncheon, sponsored by NTSHA, was held Saturday to nourish the hungry crowd. The spectators and exhibitors were able to get involved with the Amateur Judging Contest, which this writer participated in. Becky Taggart coordinated this easier said than done event. It was very interesting to see the point of view of the Judge’s post, and the difficulty of that position.

Saturday night the show paused for a moment to honor two great champion Saddlebreds. A special retirement ceremony was held for CH Alvin’s Mr. America and CH Fashion’s Spring Moon. These two beautiful bay horses were brought to center ring for the last time. Many kind sentiments were expressed as these two champion horses made their last victory pass. Show Manager Russ Walther cooked up a delicious Texas barbecue for the Retirement/Exhibitor party that was held Saturday after the evening performance. When asked about his special barbecue rub he said, “It’s my own secret rub recipe." The party was a huge success, which brought out the majority of exhibitors, especially after smelling the mouth-watering aroma for the entire day.

“I couldn’t have done it without my great staff," said Walther, show manager, when asked how everything at the horse show went. He further stated, “I have the most intelligent, hard working staff you will ever find.” The organizational duties went to Maryann Meiners as Show Secretary. Scott Matton of Wisconsin took on the duties in center ring as the Saddlebred and Saddle Seat Equitation Judge. When asked how he thought the competitors were doing Matton stated, “They sure are turning them out nicely down here.”


Focused intensity is the only way to describe the coveted Five-Gaited Stake. Dirt flew and spectators cheered as four very talented horses and riders made a large show ring seem exceedingly small. As all competed heartily for the win, history repeated itself, as it did in the Open class; the sole blue ribbon went to Rivanti Cock Robin and Paul Cates for Alia Dare Farm in South Africa. The hard earned reserve honors went to Jack Magill and Reedann’s Jamboree for owner Byron Gifford.

The Five-Gaited Ladies class sent Becky Taggart for Jack Magill Stables into the winner’s circle for an exciting ride on Sunken Treasure. Reserve honors went to Marjorie Judd on Tambark’s String Of Pearls for owner Diane Mary Louw.

The amateur stake was an exciting and stunning tricolored win by Fred Curry on Marjorie’s Johnny B. Goode. Reserve champion was Certainly A Star ridden by Debbie Beard for Jack Magill Stables.

Jack Magill Stable had a great show as once again Debbie Beard made her way into the winner’s circle on Certainly A Star in the Five-Gaited Amateur qualifier. Reserve went to Fred Curry on Marjorie’s Johnny B. Goode for a wonderful ride.

One of the most exciting competitions was the junior exhibitor class. This very competitive bunch of four riders racked their hearts out for the first place ribbon. Endolane Top Cat and Kelly Ricker were tied first by Scott Matton. Forbe’s Fortune Five Hundred and Forbes Lipschitz took home the red ribbon.

Not to be outdone, the Five-Gaited Junior/Novice Horse had four energetic entries. After a beautiful ride, Desert’s Favorite Memories and Jack Magill made their way into the winner’s circle. Jan Myers and Joan Cantrell own this flashy horse. The beautiful bay horse Eldorado’s Stonewall Jackson received the red ribbon for Paradise Farms with Trent Capps in the irons.


One of the most talked about horses on the show grounds was the properly named, gorgeous black gelding Blacklisted. After a near miss during the call for the lineup, Blacklisted and Lonnie Quarrels claimed both wins in the Open and Stake classes for owner Susan Olcott and Milligan Stable.

Giving Blacklisted a run for his money, Callaway’s Thomas C. Reynolds and Mike Breggemann received a well-deserved reserve championship in the stake. The Open Three-Gaited reserve honors went to Michael Beasom on The Hulk for owners Randy and Dody Dent and Victory Lane Farms.

It was no surprise as Joan Cantrell and the stunning Pretty Well Armed topped the Ladies and Amateur Stake. Reserve honors went to Irish Ruckus and Terri Harkins for trainer Debbie Graves and Shenandoah Stables. Irish Ruckus took home a blue ribbon in the amateur class with Stephanie Corbin in the irons.

A solid four entries were trotting in search of the junior exhibitor championship. The team of New York Star and Hayley Houston turned back the other challengers to take championship honors. This team took the reserve ribbon in the qualifier. Merchant’s Perfect Picture and Anne Crivillee received the reserve championship for a solid ride. In the qualifier the blue ribbon went to Michelle McCune and I Am The Dream.

The junior/novice competition received a lot of attention as Lonnie Quarles once again made his way into the winner’s circle on Scarlett Evening. Sandy Reed had a great ride on Callaway’s Thomas C. Reynolds to receive the second place honors in an extremely tough class.

In review of the show ring competition, the Park stake turned out to be one of the best classes of the show. Everyone involved had to be pleased with the six entries that competed for Saturday night’s prize. She’s The Bess proved to be the best of six as Susan Olcott took home the championship awards. Cathryn Coleman and Distraction powered their way to the reserve championship. In the amateur class, Distraction went home with the blue ribbon, while She’s The Bess had red.

The Park Junior/Novice winners, Bonnie Brown and Osetra, for Andrea Finger gave the Jack Magill barn yet another blue ribbon following an exquisite ride. The new team of Amberwood’s Lillie Langtry and Stephanie Corbin received the reserve ribbon in their debut for owners Ed and Chris Osborough and Debbie Graves as trainer.

Fine Harness

Thursday night and Saturday night both opened with Fine Harness. Both nights Jack Magill and the beautiful black gelding named Romantic Manifesto took the championship and the qualifying blue for owner Debbie Beard. Reserve grand champion honors went to Preaux with Mike Breeggemann at the whip for Pamela Hester. Breeggemann drove Sandy Marples’ Lager in the qualifier for the red ribbon. Lager went to the winner’s circle for a nice win in the amateur class with Bill Marples.


The Five-Gaited Show Pleasure classes were tied identically from first through fifth with the stunning CH Mariachi and Jan Myers defining pleasure and show with wins in both classes. My Admiral Peri and Kiley Bush rode hard to win reserve in the championship and qualifier.

She Bop and Becky Taggart topped judge Scott Matton’s card for the Show Pleasure Driving Stake Championship, just as they did in the qualifier for Jack Magill Stables and owner Debbie Beard. Rachel Shupp and Begin The Times trotted hard and came up two places from the qualifier to receive the reserve championship for Shenandoah Stables and trainer Debbie Graves. Reserve in the open class went to Neat Ned and Francine Navarro-Huval.

Stephanie Ritter and CH Supreme Wind Dancer made their way from reserve in the qualifier to defeat five other competitors for the championship of the Adult Show Pleasure competition. Reserve championship honors went to Vail and Joann Bunde; this team received a blue ribbon in the qualifier.

Eight teams returned for the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Stake. Two-times world’s champion CH Sweet Virginia received the championship with a flawless performance with Kelly Ricker in the irons. Deep in competition, A Bay Asset and Lauren McMichael finished strong to receive the reserve championship.

Solidly focused on the win for the Park Pleasure Stake, Corporate Focus and Dr. Owen Weaver received the championship ribbon for a grand ride. Liz Cortwright, assistant trainer for Milligan’s Stable, had a rock-solid performance on Keep It Simple to receive the reserve championship title. Keep it Simple received the win in the open class. Beau’s Fair Play and the talented Michael Beasom took reserve for Valley View Farms in that spirited class.

One of the big upsets in the show was the Country Pleasure Driving Stake with Rachel Shupp and the beautiful bay gelding Heart O’Santana tying first for the Championship Stake representing Shenandoah Stables and Debbie Graves. Reserve champion Globemaster’s Energizer with Laurie Rebik at the whip received first in the qualifier. Crescendo In Black and Jan Myers placed third in that same qualifier and did not show back for the championship.

The Country English Pleasure Stake had six entries competing for the blue. Windhover’s Royal Rythym and Diana Satterlee established the championship after a grand ride. Reserve champion Heart O’Santana and Rachel Shupp held off the competition for the tricolored ribbon.

In the Western division, The American Flag and Suzanne Bradshaw jogged and loped skillfully to receive the championship title and the first place ribbon in the qualifier. In a very close battle, Winsdown Cosmos and Donna Skinner had the reserve championship and reserve in the qualifier. Cosmos and Skinner won the Shatner Western Pleasure class hands down. This team rides with Shenandoah Stables and Debbie Graves. Reserve winner in the coveted Shatner competition was Mackenwoods Tam O Shatner and Taylor Smith Jacobsen for owner Dr. Fraser Mackenzie.


In a sole performance, but non the less a beautiful one, the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship went to Anne Crivillee, riding for Debbie Graves.

The Adult Equitation class was added on the last day of competition. Bill Marples remarked, “I have never had an equitation lesson in my whole life!” Bill took home the blue ribbon for first, with Sandy Reed coming in second.

The coveted Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Medallion went home with Blair Barrett on Great Belles Of Fire for Bluebonnet Farms and Janet Crampton. Second place was Kristin Nielson on Powder and Smoke.

The UPHA Challenge Cup 14-17 put Lauren McMichael in the winner’s circle. She rode Mr. Bayleigh flawlessly. Reserve was Emily MacDonnell and Heart O’ Santana in a close second.

UPHA Challenge Cup 13 and under had seven eager competitors. Ella Bright beat out the competition to receive first place. Kristin Nielson tied for reserve honors.

This concludes the highlights from Big D. The complete results can be found in the results section of this website.

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