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The Band Played & The Rain Poured: Oklahoma Centennial

By Tiffany Gribben
Posted April 26, 2002
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Numbers were down this year for the 2002 Oklahoma Centennial Horse Show, held April 10-14 on the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. Three hundred and one entries graced the fairgrounds from twenty-two states including Alaska and Canada. Although numbers were down, Show Manager, Fern Bittner, said they were making big plans for next year. As the rains poured, exhibitors were thankful for the excellent facilities at the fairgrounds.

This year was one marked with some sadness and a great deal of courage as one name in particular was mentioned with great admiration and remembrance of days gone by. Oklahoma Centennial was the home show of the much loved, Peggy Richardson. Pictures of Richardson graced the office, and memories were spoken from many lips as the show progressed. Her riders could be seen proudly wearing T-shirts in loving memory of Peggy Richardson with her words on the back, “Winning happens as a result, rather than a goal.”

The Peggy Richardson Memorial Trophy, donated by Peggy Richardson Riders and Friends was presented to the Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Grand Champion, CH Sweet Virginia and Kelly Ricker. As a large group assembled in the ring to present the trophy to the winner, a speech was read to commemorate Peggy Richardson’s life.

Several activities were held for exhibitors to make the “Oklahoma experience” a good one. Wednesday evening before the first show session, a barbecue, sponsored by The Express Foundation, was held to unveil Horsin’ Around Oklahoma, life-size, painted resin horses. Each horse will be painted by a local artist, and then the horses will tour at key venues around the state through November, when they will then be auctioned for charity. Known to many, artist Jessie Pettie, was working on one of the horses through the duration of the show.

Friday evening held a Progressive Party which was hosted by several barns. Good food and good fellowship followed the evening performance for all to enjoy. Everything from a full-blown Mexican feast,to Cheesecake and cookies. Saturday was Family Day and the sixth annual Pet Parade. The Pet Parade was held Saturday afternoon after the morning session and was definitely one of the highlights of the show. Children and a few adults (Karen Medicus MAY have been seen showing her dog, RC, with Betty Cox at the lead) had the opportunity to enter one of four different categories - best trick, best costume, cutest dog, and best dog/owner look alike. Then, Saturday evening, Pizza Hut hosted a pizza party for all exhibitors after the last class.

DeLovely paraded through, yet another successful show, with many a blue ribbon. Not only did the excel in the equitation divisions, but had several performance blues as well. The Three Gaited Centennial Stake was hot with several competitive entries. Mary Jane Fredrickson’s beautifully talented entry, Delicious with Todd Miles in the stirrups took the tricolor as well as the blue in the qualifier to add to an already full DeLovely banner. Miles also presented the hot, Harlem’s Strong Will to the win in the Park Stake and the open qualifier for owner, Terri Dolan. Pagan Prince and owner, Diane Sembler were a hit to take the Three Gaited Ladies Stake.

Leslie Cox guided the bright eyed, Callaway’s Capitol Reporter to the Five Gaited Junior Exhibitor 17 and Under Stake tricolor as well as the qualifier blue. Between Cox’s tough riding skills and her horses talent, this team looks to be nearly unbeatable this year. Her equally talented sister, Betty Cox, with her grace and style took home the silver in the Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 Class and then again in the NHS Saddle Seat Good Hands.

Carolyn Gillespie has her hands full this year, showing in two divisions with two beautiful mounts. Aboard her new mount, Amandari, Gillespie rode for the gold in the USA Saddle Seat Medal Class as well as the UPHA Challenge Cup 14-17. She then used her skills to guide Fame’s Preferential Treatment to the tricolor in the Three Gaited Junior Exhibitor Stake and the qualifier blue. Jessica Harrison and CH As Hansome Does were smooth to take the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure/Equitation Medal as well as the Pleasure/Equitation 14-17 wins.

The Flynn sisters were at it again, although this time with new mounts. Gabriella was ever so elegant aboard her beautiful new mount, CH Evening Dazzle in their first appearance as a new team. This pair proudly took the blue in the UPHA Challenge Cup Walk/Trot 10 and Under. Alexandra also was aboard a different mount, although this horse is not new to the Flynn family. Alexandra, catch-riding Lady’s Bay Day, were unstoppable to take top honors in the UPHA Challenge Cup 13 and Under and the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and Under.

Heartland Hackney had a tremendous week. A major addition to their show string was the talented, Heartland Special Special, a new acquisition to Walt and Jackie Stred’s show string. Beth Campbell drove Heartland Special Special to the blue in the Harness Pony UPHA Classic for the Stred’s.

Jessie Kieren drove Heartland Elegant Dancer to the Hackney Pony Amateur Championship and the amateur qualifier for owner, Darrel Kolkman. Beth Campbell took the reins, driving Heartland Newsmaker to the winner’s circle in the Hackney Pony UPHA Classic for Kolkman. Kolkman then took the reins behind Heartland Celebrate Celebrate for the blue in the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving UPHA Classic. Heartland City Boy and Kolkman flew into the winner’s circle in the Roadster Pony Open. Kolkman then took the reins for a speedy win with Heartland Blue Rhapsody in the Roadster Pony Limit. And, finally, Kolkman led Heartland Picture Perfect to the win in the Roadster Pony UPHA Classic for owner, Mike Schallock.

Jack Magill Stables, making the trek from Texas, made a well worth trip. The Five Gaited Centennial Stake sported five entries and Jack Magill, aboard Reedann’s Jamboree bested the field to take the tricolor for owner, Byron Gifford. Full Color with Jack Magill at the lines took the top honors in the Fine Harness Centennial Championship for owners, Sharon and Cliff Seiler. Kansai with Jack Magill in the saddle were the Three Gaited Limit winners for B.R. Hecht/Tim McLane.

This Texas group also took home some wins in the pleasure divisions. Data with Bernie Hecht at the lines took the tricolor in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and the blue in the qualifier. Raindrops On Roses and Sharon Seiler took the blue in the Show Pleasure Novice class for owner, Diane Sembler.

Cryst-A-Kell enjoyed a winning week. Blake Powell made a beautiful ride for the tricolor in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship aboard her sturdy mount, Heir To The Throne. Maureen Gordon and Arctic Lites definitely lit up the ring to take the blue in the Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 14-17. Callaway’s Carnegie Hall and Elizabeth Coup were unstoppable to take the victory lap in the Show Pleasure Limit Horse division.

Things sped up for Cryst-A-Kell in the roadster divisions. Royal Count with Dale Hanson in the bike swept away with the tricolor in the Roadster To Bike Championship as well as the Roadster To Bike Amateur blue. Hanson also led Wildcat to the blue in the Roadster Pony Amateur for Walnut River Saddlebreds.

Things were in high gear at Patty Milligan Stables. Owen Weaver expertly guided the talented Himalaya to the Five Gaited Amateur Stake and amateur qualifier for Fox Grape Farms.

She’s The Bess and Susan Olcott certainly were “the bess” to top the field in a very competitive 10 horse Three Gaited Park Amateur Class and then again the the amateur stake.

The talented team of CH Sweet Virginia and Kelly Ricker were at it again, to take the win in the Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Championship and also in the 13 and under qualifier. In the Country Pleasure 18 and Over division, it was Dixie Surprise and Suzie Pickford to take home the blue ribbon.

If attitude truly does matter, Tara Remphrey was the tough little rider to have it all in the Walk/Trot Equitation 10 and Under Class, happily taking home the blue.

Peggy Richardson Stables, under the direction of Liz Cortwright and Dana **** had added several blues to their banner. Cortwright guided the beautiful, Reedann’s Phancy Phootwork to a well-deserved blue in the Three Gaited Ladies for owner, Barb McCune. Cortwright then guided the talented, Champagne Shenanigans, to the Five Gaited Ladies Stake and ladies qualifier for owner, Mollie Bennett. Cortwright didn’t get much rest as she was back in the saddle, this time aboard Bandolino to take the blue in the Three Gaited Park Pleasure Open for owners, Twyla and Sarah Gray.

Shaka Zula and Maguire Hall made an exciting show for the Three Gaited Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under blue. Katy Parr and Perfect Tempo hit just the right tempo for their tricolor in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and the blue in the qualifier.

Erin Hisey took top honors in the Saddle Seat Equitation Novice Any Age/All Breeds Division aboard London Express.

Paul Cates Stable added several blues to their banner in Oklahoma. Paul Cates guided Care To Dare to the Three Gaited Junior Horse win for Cathryn Coleman. Then Coleman took the reins with the talented entry, Worthy Winner, to take the Three Gaited Amateur Stake tricolor and the amateur qualifier blue. Coleman then changed gears a little to take the lines behind Distraction for the Fine Harness Amateur Championship win.

Supreme Wind Dancer and Stephanie Ritter made a good team to take the Show Pleasure Adult Championship and the 18 and over qualifier. Quickly Done and Katherine Mudge were unbeatable in the Harness Pony Amateur Championship and amateur qualifier.

All the way from New Orleans, Cascade Stables made the trip to take home several wins. The hot new team of Lauren McMichael and Mr. Bayleigh were truly a sight to take the Three Gaited Park Pleasure Amateur win. This beautiful team then changed gears to take the tricolor in the Pleasure/Equitation Championship. Helena Moreno had the blue ribbon ride in the Adult Saddle Seat Medal.

Champagne Bob and Holly Nalty had a terrific show to take the blue in the Show Pleasure Five Gaited Class. In the Five Gaited Limit class, it was Rick Judd aboard the talented, necky, Soulfull Warrior to take top honors for CoCo Judd.

Bluebonnet enjoyed several wins at Oklahoma. Janet Crampton guided the sporty, George Foreman, to the Five Gaited UPHA Classic win for Ed Perwien. Crampton then took the lines behind Xuxa for the blue in the Fine Harness Junior Horse Class for Ed Perwien.

In the Open Fine Harness division, it was Nogales and Charlotte Wrather to take the blue. Walnut Way took some blues back to Kentucky. Heartland Ringmaster with Marilyn MacFarlane at the lines was a sight to take top honors in the Hackney Pony Championship and open qualifier for owner, Randi Wightman.

Twin Willow’s Broadway Joe with Margaret Schmitt at the lines sped into the winner’s circle in the Roadster Pony Amateur Championship and Roadster Pony Junior Exhibitor 17 and Under for Marilyn MacFarlane.

As far as Morgans were concerned, Avalon, had quite a week. Phil Fountain kept busy, taking home the tricolor in both the Morgan English Pleasure Centennial Championship with the sporty entry, Cabot Carte Blanche and then again later that evening in the Morgan Park Saddle Centennial Championship with the extremely talented NAS Simpatico, for owner Robert Jones M.D. NHS Rickenbacker with Phil Fountain at the lines trotted their way to the Morgan Pleasure Driving Junior Horse Championship tricolor as well as the win in the qualifier, for owner Nancy Murdock. FCF Tatiana and Sally Lyle had a winning ride for the blue in the Morgan English Pleasure Ladies Division. In the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving Division, it was Tara's Lalique with owner, Rhonda Lytle at the lines to take home the win.

For the complete show story, see the printed edition of Saddle Horse Report dated April 22, 2002.

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