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Blue-Gray Horse Show Goes on Rain or Shine

by Kerri McDaniel



Judge  Frank McConnell, Shelbyville KY

Horse Show Managers: Buddy Warden, Bluefield WV; Joe Vinciguerra, Bluefield, WV

Steward: Neal White, Cedar Bluff, VA

Veterinarian: Christie J. Boyd DVM, Wytheville, VA

Farriers: Billy Boggess, Peterstown, WV; Joe Blake, Beckley, WV

Photographer: Sandra Hall, Chesterfield, SC

Announcer: Wyatt Lilly, Princeton, WV

Ring Master: Bud Tolley, Princeton, WV

ASHBF of WV Secretary: Donna Overton, Vienna, WV


BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – The 39th annual Bluefield Blue-Gray Horse Show always serves as a local favorites’ horse show. Entries from the West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina areas were well represented this year. Bluefield’s Shriner Club runs the horse show every year, and it serves as one of their major fundraisers to benefit the Shriners Hospital Burn Units in their Cincinnati and Lexington hospitals. Friday and Saturday night encouraged crowd participation in the horse show, as “flying pigs” were being sold by ASHAV, with profits to benefit the Daisy Fund set up to help Taylor Shiflet. Friends and horse show goers also supported the Daisy Fund by participating in a raffle by Sandra Hall, who donated chances to win a complimentary 8x10, 11x14 and 16x20 photo of their choice.


One of the things that Bluefield has become famous for is its temperamental weather on horse show weekend, and this year was no exception. After stormy clouds for most of the day on Thursday, the rains held off until Friday afternoon when a huge cloudburst hit the show grounds, providing show management with the task of removing a massive “lake” of water surrounding the entrance to the ring. Exhibitors had no need to worry, however, as the water was all gone by show time Friday night.


Saturday night was highlighted with four Jackpot classes in the five-gaited, three-gaited, park and fine harness divisions with added money going to the winners of all these. Another huge draw of the Blue Gray Horse Show is its many classes for young horses, giving professionals and amateurs alike the chance to show off their young stock. The horse show always hosts the American Saddlebred Breeder’s Futurity of West Virginia Limited Weanling Jackpot class and this proved to be the biggest class of the show, with 12 nice entries strutting their stuff for the three-judge panel. In order to qualify for this class, stud fees must have been purchased at the 2006 ASHB of WV Stallion auction in February 2006. Receiving a nice payoff and a beautiful trophy the winner of this class was Diamonds And Orchids shown by Smith Lilly for owner Sue Nifong of Silverlin Farm. Sired by Nureyev and out of The Irish Orchid this filly was certainly a crowd pleaser as she put on quite the show. Reserve and third place in the class both went back home with Dickey Davis to Wytheville, Va. These nice stud colts were Fort Chiswell’s Special Edition and Fort Chiswell’s Silver Dollar shown to their titles by Bobby Dunn.




The Five Gaited Jackpot class was a great crowd pleaser as five nice entries answered the gate call. When all was said and done Smith Lilly racked out of the ring with great applause on this year’s champion, Platinum Crescendo, a ground covering bay owned by Platinum Stock Farm. Exiting the ring with the red streamers and rousing crowd support was the leg waving Champagne Property and Roger Meade, showing for owner Jan Frame.


The Amateur Five-Gaited Championship had Rebel Rooster and Maurice Matson racking out of the ring with the tricolor, moving up from a reserve finish in the qualifier. Reserve in the championship went to Carol Smith with Totally Courageous. Star Dreamer and Darlene Rose exited with the blue in the Amateur Five-Gaited qualifier.


Janelle D’Amato put on a solo performance in the Ladies Five-Gaited class with her Shamrock’s Free Step. Also making stellar shows in the ring on their five-gaited entries was Katherine O’Brien on SDR’s Calypso Rhythm who took both the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier titles and Little Lord Huntley with Andrea Wolkoff who swept the Five-Gaited Pony classes.


The Junior/Novice Five-Gaited class was won by Smith Lilly on the bold moving four-year-old True Blue Cat for Lisa Lucas. Reserve in the class went to the black Totally Courageous with Carol Smith. The Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class only had two entries but both were of immense quality. Smith Lilly took the blue with Platinum Stock Farm’s entry Callaway’s Azul, and trotting off with the reserve in this class was Direct Effect with Todd Graham up for Fred Clark.




The huge bay Java Chip wowed the crowd in the Three-Gaited Jackpot class to garner the win with Todd Graham up for Karen Blankenship Shumate. Reserve in the class was Callaway’s Compatible, the mare who took the blue in the junior/novice class earlier in the weekend with Leslie Tickle up for the Platinum Stock Farm. Reserve in the junior/novice class went to Shirley Trail with Bay My Way for Bill and Susan Griffith.


Janelle D’Amato added two more blues to her tack room with wins in both the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier with Sir Attitude. Winner of both the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier were Willie Stop and Sarah Allred with Lindsey Merrill and Final Reward garnering the red streamers in both classes.




Leslie Tickle enjoyed a great ride and home crowd support with her victory in the Three-Gaited Park Jackpot on her stately bay, Mountainview’s Steel My Heart. Reserve in the class went to Kalarama’s Perfectly Regal with Melvin Taylor.


The Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Park Championship and qualifier were both well-filled classes. The championship honors went to Callaway’s Cinnamon Bay and Andrea Wolkoff who moved up from their reserve in the qualifier to take home the tricolor for Platinum Stock Farm. Reserve in the championship and winner of the qualifier class were Shamrock’s Asagi and Christie Van As, showing for Vickie Keatley and Jennie Graham. The Junior Park class had Cat’s My Daddy putting on a very nice performance, taking the blue with Smith Lilly for Hawley Tool Sales.


Fine Harness


Another very nice entry shown by Karen Blankenship Shumate took the win in the Fine Harness Jackpot. Celtic Storm marched down the straightaway for his victory pass to great crowd support. Reserve in the class went to another crowd favorite, Callaway’s Four Leaf Clover with Karen Thornhill.


The junior/novice class was won by A Lifetime of Dreams with Shirley Trail on the lines for owner Margaret Moles.




The Open Roadster to Bike Stake only had two entries but people were certainly cheering them on and getting behind who they liked. The judge’s nod for the blue went to Joanna’s Lost and Rae Lee Mills speeding away to victory for Jason Stoltzfus. Reserve in this class went to the winner of the Roadster Under Saddle class, Success Soleil, with Bobby Jones for Jansal Saddlebreds.




Heartland High Alert had a successful weekend when he captured the Open Road Pony Stake with Rae Lee Mills on the lines, and earned the blue in the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony qualifier and the reserve championship title in the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Championship with John Paul Jones piloting him to victory. Reserve in the Road Pony Stake went to Cindy Jackson and her pony Rare Wine.


Speeding off with the victory in the Amateur Road Pony Championship was Cat Power and Jim Smith and winning the amateur qualifier were Extremely Intimidating and Mark Shumate.


Moving up from a reserve title in the qualifier, the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Championship went to an excited Leigh Kauffelt with her pony Rolex.


Commanding the ring by themselves Heartland Diplomat and Sandy Zirkle took home the Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Championship. They also garnered the qualifier blue with reserve in that class going to The Joker’s Wild and Laura Harman.




Maurice Matson had a banner weekend when he took home the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship win, moving up from a reserve in the qualifier with the beautiful Finally Free. Reserve in the championship went to Holy Hannah and Dr. Tony Miller. The qualifier was won by local favorites Callaway’s New Day and Megan Graham. Allison Combs racked Summit Up to the win in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship in perfect form. Reserve in the championship went to the qualifier winner, Yes I Have with Carissa Marshall in their debut ride. Callaway’s Sea Horse racked away with the red streamers in the qualifier for Rebecca Klenk.


The Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship and qualifiers were both well filled classes and Paula Monty piloted the sporty Capsaicin to the blues in both classes for owner Maurice Matson. Reserve in the championship were Doubletree’s Queen Of The Dance and Vicki Williams. Reserve streamers from the qualifier went home with Millennium Madam and Candace Bennett up for Mary Martha Litz. The Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship went to a thrilled Kasey Trent on Mega Star who moved up from a reserve finish in the qualifier. The qualifier blue was garnered by Heads Will Turn with Andrea Wolkoff catch riding for Barby Thornton. Reserve in the championship was captured by Dana Ellington and The Oberoi.


Carissa Marshall earned another blue this weekend with her horse Swoosh in the Novice Rider Show Pleasure class. The blue in the amateur owned and trained class went home with an excited Ashley Linkous aboard her Fort Chiswell’s Spanish Music.


The Show Pleasure Driving Championship was small but two nice entries made the gate call. In both classes Stone Captive and John Trail captured the blue with reserve titles going to Nordic Prince.


The English Pleasure Pony Championship and qualifier were both won by Kendell Stuart and Will’s Princess with beautiful rides.


Pleasure Prospect Four Years Old and Under was a nice class with Burt Honaker and Enchilada garnering the blue for Miriam Hirshon. Reserve were Palie O Malley and Gary Altizer.


Dre Fourie certainly made his parents proud with a great win in the Pleasure Walk and Trot class on his horse Irish Hill’s Mountain Star. Reserve were Dixieland Express and Sierra Comer.


Country Pleasure


Country pleasure always is a popular division at this show and this year proved no different. The Adult Country Pleasure Championship tricolor went home with an ecstatic Lisa McKenzie who marched to victory on her horse Maximum Mischief. Reserve titles went to Lennox and Vicki Williams. The qualifier blue was won by My Chesapeake Bay and owner Debbie Dyson.


Marching to victory in both the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier were Katie McDaniel and Mountain View’s Mr. York. Both reserve titles were won by Kendell Stuart and FCF Cool Q Baby.


Anita Simpson and Really Worth It were in top form to win both the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier titles.


The Western Country Pleasure Championship was a well-filled class and had Natalie Cole and Synnova Hayes garnering the tricolor win. Reserve in this class went to the winner of the qualifier, Sultan’s Secret Reflection with Debi Hedin.




Lindsey Merrill put on quite the exhibition to garner the win in the Saddle Seat Equitation 17 and Under class. The Walk and Trot Equitation Championship and qualifier were both won by Hannah Knapp in perfect form on her horse Maggy





The American Saddle Horse Breeders’ Futurity of W.Va., hosts many classes at Bluefield every year. The Three-Year-Old Under Saddle class only had one entry, but it was certainly a sight. Golden Market and Smith Lilly marched away with the blue for Sue Nifong.


The Open Two-Year-Old In Hand class had Marcelino Ramirez taking home both first and second place with American’s Fancy Gift and American’s Treasure respectfully for the Summers Family Trust. Ed Simpson captured the win in the Amateur Two-Year-Old In Hand class with Susan O’Shea.


The Open Yearling Jackpot boasted eight nice entries. The winning title was taken home by Just Out of Reach and Rick Walker for the Edgewood Saddlebreds with reserve going to Guinness and Smith Lilly for Sue Nifong. The Open Yearling Futurity title was won by Rick Walker and The Irish Bay with Grayson O’Shea and Ed Simpson winning the red ribbon. The Open Yearling class was won by Rick Walker and An Exotic Illusion. The Amateur Yearling Futurity also went home with Ed Simpson and his horse Calico Creek.


Dickey Davis’s entries not only commanded great performances in the Weanling Jackpot, they also dominated the open weanling divisions. Hez An Asset and Fort Chiswell’s Special Edition were a one-two punch in the WV Futurity Open Weanling class and Fort Chiswell’s Aristocrat won the Amateur Weanling Futurity.


This concludes the highlights of the Blue-Gray Shrine Horse Show. Complete results can be found by clicking here.


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