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The Best of Blowing Rock

by Katherine Hansil

The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is known for its ambiance, charm and also known for its weather. For the past several years, the clouds have settled over Blowing Rock, N.C., just in time for the show. This year with the exception of some early evening summer thunderstorms the weather was exceptional as Blowing Rock lived up to its charm with a lot of fun and competition for all exhibitors.

Now in its 82nd year and touted as the oldest continuous outdoor horse show in America, Blowing Rock Charity offers something for everyone including a party after each session on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday before the show began a wonderful Sunday brunch was held. Since there were no evening sessions, exhibitors had time to indulge in some of the fantastic restaurants and shopping in Blowing Rock while the younger exhibitors took time out at the much-enjoyed park in the middle of town.


The show was brought to a close on Sunday with a big performance from Willow Springs Superstar. Evan Orr piloted this bay four-year-old to the win for owner and breeder W.H. Maddy, Jr. Earlier in the show this team also garnered the blue in the Junior/Novice Five-Gaited qualifier.

In the amateur championship, Ima Star-Buck with Julie Burmeister topped the competition for the tricolor under the direction of Betsy and Paul Boone. This relatively new team also earned the blue ribbon in the ladies qualifier for Jerry Horoshuck. Winning the amateur qualifier was the Covie Creek-trained team of Shop Till You Drop and Karen Comer.

Moving up a notch for the win the in the junior exhibitor championship was Harlem's Moving Man and Drew Taylor Hewitt. Recently purchased, this was the first show for Hewitt to be paired with the bold moving bay. Earlier in the week Cash Lovell was in the irons to win the open qualifier.

Winning the junior exhibitor qualifier was another new team. The blue belonged to Callaway's Royal Carriage and Emily Stumbo. Most are accustomed to seeing this sporty horse with her sister, Denise Stumbo. According to Denise Stumbo she has handed over the reins and Callaway's Royal Carriage will be now Emily Stumbo's to campaign.

Junior exhibitors remained in the spotlight in the gaited pony class. Rebekah Cloninger turned in two confident rides aboard her flashy Jewelled Star to sweep the division for the Drowning Creek banner.


Hollywood Scandal put on a quite a show for the win in the Three-Gaited Championship. With trainer, Paul Boone in the irons, Hollywood Scandal was flawless with impressive motion for owner Kathy Berger. Berger also enjoyed success with this elegant mare winning the ladies qualifier. In the open qualifier the blue ribbon went to Latte and Steve Gassen in their only appearance. The graceful Grape Tree's Finest Fox with Barney Garrison aboard won the junior/novice class for Lisa McCall.

An excited Dr. Teresa Miller was greeted at the winner's circle by trainer Lori Ingram after moving up a place to garner the tricolor in the amateur championship aboard Periaptor's Dancing Star. Winning the qualifier was the well matched Omerta and Carol Reedy for the Meadow Wood banner. 

Sweeping the junior exhibitor division was the new team of Diamond Merchant and Allison Boozer. Jon Walker trains this pair, who ended their season at Blowing Rock. Royalty In Black and Allie Wellington highlighted the three-gaited pony division by winning back-to-back wins for the Drowning Creek banner.

Three-Gaited Park

For the second year in a row the tricolor in the open park championship went to Detached, owned by Susan Harris, with Lewis Eckard in the irons. This sharp gelding, by Finally Attached, also topped the eight-entry amateur qualifier with Harris in the saddle. Never Forget Me and Barry Stumbo won the open qualifier in their only appearance.

Carol Reedy continued her success by winning the amateur championship. Turning in a superb ride aboard Sir Country, Reedy was met in the winner's circle by trainer Nancy Troutman.

Meadow Wood continued to lead the park division as Deerhaven's Stay Tuned and Leandra Cogar moved up a notch to win the junior exhibitor championship. The qualifier blue went to Millennium Madam and Whitney Bennett for owner Mary Martha Litz.

Walk This Way earned the blue in the junior class with Suzy Shiflet in the irons. This neat chestnut is by For What It's Worth and out of Mommie Dearest.

Fine Harness

Topping the Fine Harness Championship was the high stepping Stuck On You with Phil Godsey on the lines for Dean Beam. In his first appearance in the division Stuck On You also won the open qualifier. CH Unforgiven and Karin Banks were a perfect picture of elegance to win the amateur qualifier.

Another new star in harness, Joker's Wild made his second appearance in harness, after debuting at Blue Ridge, with Ashley Walker. This team is now qualified to compete in Louisville's ASHAF Youth Fine Harness Challenge.

Show Pleasure

I'm Daddy's Girl and Ginger Reagan had a comeback ride for the win in the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship. This top performer is owned by Amy Roberts and trained by John Whalen. In the qualifier the blue went to In Heaven's Name and Susan Mims under the direction of Carol Addison. In the junior exhibitor championship the tricolor went to Shauna's Show Off and Christie Van As for Mary Martha Litz and under the direction of Andre Fourie. Winning the qualifier was Peridon's Astro Prince and Rachel West.

Last year Sometimes Gold and Jill White made a splash winning the novice rider and limit horse classes. This year they were on the top of their game winning the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, also the largest class of the show, and qualifier under the direction of Drowning Creek.


Winning this year's limit class was an excited Catherine Boles aboard Fire Number One. This talented team shows under the Winslow Stables banner. Apple Fritter and Christie Bennett topped the competition to win the novice rider class under the direction of John Whalen.

Drowning Creek continued to rule the show pleasure division as the team of CH It's Yabba Dabba Doo Time and Sydney Carter went two-for-two. This flashy team earned two victory passes in the junior exhibitor championship and the 14-17 qualifier. In the 13 and under qualifier the new team of Irene's Goodnight Kiss and Georgia Rae Gurney topped the competitive field under the direction of Suzy Shiflet.

Winning the Junior Three-Gaited Park Pleasure was a new star for Cash Lovell Stables, Kalarama Amber. Purchased from Kalarama recently for Katie Young to campaign in the amateur three-gaited park, Mary Orr was in the irons earning the blue this week.

Adam's Way Just N Time and John Singleton were in the spotlight to sweep the large and competitive show pleasure driving division. This fairly new team is under the direction of Harrison Shiflet Stables. This team also was the first recipient of the Joan Whitesides Memorial Perpetual Trophy.The Cash Lovell Stables team of Worthy's Just Once and Alexandra Foster earned the blue in the ASHAF Youth Show Pleasure Driving Challenge. This team is now qualified and will compete in the finals at Louisville.

It was a successful week for Cash Lovell Stables as they added four more wins to their banner. Sweeping the 12 and under walk and trot pleasure division was the dynamic team of CH Much More Radiant with Sarah Martin in the irons. Emily Garrity was also in the spotlight with her pony Scotty's Lace. Garrity earned both victory passes in the three-gaited pleasure pony division aboard Scotty's Lace.

Country Pleasure

Moving up a notch, The Kentucky Connection and Katie Matthews were very pulled together for the Country Pleasure Championship under the direction of Betsy and Paul Boone.  The sporty
's Knight At The Apollo with Luanne Kilday won the qualifier and the amateur owned and trained qualifier. Freedom's Vision with Carolyn Teal aboard earned the judge's nod in the Novice Country Pleasure class.

Curly Day with Katie Scott bested the competition to win the 14-17 championship for owner Leslie Amrhein. In the qualifier the blue went to the Ingleside team of CH Hey Covington with Erin Breslin in the irons. Keeping up with her sister Emily Garrity, Jane Garrity also turned in two top rides aboard CH Santana's Night Moves. This well matched team swept the 13 and under division.

Ro-Day-O and Rheanne Greene were flawless to sweep the country pleasure driving division under the direction of Carol Addison.

An excited Pat Yeatts aboard Beaux's Radiant Empire earned both victory passes in the western division. Beaux's Radiant Empire proved his versatility and also won Saddle & Bridle's Shatner Working Western class with Erin Bolster guiding him through the course.

Best Impression topped the hunter/sport division with Andi Everett in the irons for Mary McElveen.

Road Horses

Sour Grapes and Mark Catron turned in an awesome drive to win the Road Horse Championship. Not only did they earn the tricolor but they were also the first winners to take home the Johnny Wellington Memorial Perpetual Trophy. The qualifying blue however belonged to Diamond Hustler with Gina Lail on the lines for Rebekah Cloninger. In the amateur qualifier the blue went back to
with the Avalon-trained team of Top Star Willie and Paul Misiewicz.


Razz Ma Tazz was a sight to sweep the open road pony division with trainer Lewis Eckard on the lines for Karl Bridgeman in a last warm-up before hitting the green shavings. In the amateur division Hallelujah and Brooks Fulton turned in a thrilling drive to best the competition in the championship. Rant N Rave KV won the qualifier with Karen Voerg on the lines.

Daddy's Little Girl and Hanna Norwood dominated the junior exhibitor road pony division as they won the bike qualifier and returned to win the under saddle class under the direction of Midge Hunt. Little River Farm owns this sporty pony. Winning the AHHS Medallion was the Drowning Creek team of China Princess and Dustin Deaton.

For the second year in a row Fitz's Mademoiselle had an exceptional show to win the Harness Pony Championship with Mrs. Landen Eckard on the lines. Earlier this talented pony won the qualifier with Gina Lail on the lines for Drowning Creek Farm.

In the Hackney Pony Championship Heartland Bandelero moved up a notch for the win with Dr. Gary Garison on the lines. The Covie Creek team of Breezeland's Moon N Stars with Charles Leonard teamed up for the qualifier blue.

Paul Misiewicz was back in the winner's circle this time with A Step Ahead. This Avalon-trained team swept the Hackney pleasure pony driving division.


This was the first year Friesians have been introduced at Blowing Rock. Winning the under saddle class was the Avalon-trained Rommy with Lisa Misiewicz.


Stephens College Scholarship winner Jennifer Roberts enjoyed a successful Blowing Rock. After perfectly executing the required work in the championship, Roberts left with the tricolor after previously winning the NHS Good Hands class.

Emma Nichols, instructed by Liz McBride Jones, won the UPHA Challenge Cup and USEF Medal. Cagle James, under the direction of Cash Lovell Stables, topped the UPHA10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation.

The trainer's equitation class is always a highlight at Blowing Rock. Christy Absher-Johnson, Midge Hunt, Suzy Shiflet and Jeanette Winslow, and Jon Walker put on very crowd pleasing performances. After rail work entries performed their own pocket patterns.

After Walker, Shiflet, Winslow and Johnson performed, Hunt announced her pattern was for all riders to switch horses and perform rail work once again. With a great applause from the crowd, they went back to the rail. When it was all said and done Midge Hunt earned the blue ribbon. Proceeds from this class were donated to the Ted Foreman Fund.


Saturday afternoon belonged to the academy stars with riders from Avalon, Boones Farm and Stables, Cash Lovell Stables, Cheryl Baird Stables,
Chestnut Lane, Countryside Stables, Cross Winds Stables, Deerfield Stables, G&I Broodmare, Garrison Stables, Harrison Shiflet Stables, Hibriten Stables, Holly Tree Stables, Jon Walker Stables, Little River Farm and Wind Crest Stables competing for top honors.

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