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The Carolinas Kick Off Show Season at ASAC

by Merritt Pryor

CLEMSON, S.C. - Spring was right around the corner as the ASAC Horse Show kicked off the show season for the Carolinas on March 13-15, 2008. Numbers were up from last year as over 200 horses made the journey to the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena in Clemson, S.C. It was an exciting weekend around Clemson since it was the same weekend as the ACC Tournament. While one walked around the streets of Clemson they were bombarded with a sea of orange. The excitement of Clemson’s basketball must have moved over to the horse show as the exhibitors, trainers and fans filled the arena with good quality competition and excitement.

The officials consisted of Rick Wallen who made the trip from Marshall, Wis., to mark the cards while Peyton Hamilton served up his expert announcing skills. Ted Foreman made sure things ran smoothly in center ring while Sandra Hall took the winning photos. Dale Stone put each class to music. Beth Viering made sure everything was in order in the office as show secretary. Nancy Boone and Ted Foreman kept a watchful eye over the entire horse show as co-managers.

Beverly Shiflet met Harrison Shiflet after his win in the Open Five-Gaited qualifier with Anna Kirk's entry, Tobie McGuire

Three bold moving entries charged into the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena Saturday evening to compete for the Five-Gaited Stake. Only one of the horses, Red Hawk Red Hawk with Bill Schoeman, had been shown in the open qualifier to take home reserve in that class. The other two entries had been shown in the first annual Pink Ribbon Ladies Five-Gaited class. Sharon Avidon piloted Allied Heir Strike in the ladies class but turned the reins over to Sean Norris for the open championship. Julie Burmeister rode Ima Star Buck to the win in the ladies’ qualifier. Topping the championship class was Schoeman and Red Hawk Red Hawk. Burmeister and Ima Star Buck finished in reserve under the direction of Paul and Betsy Boone. Harrison Shiflet took home the open qualifier blue with Tobie McGuire for owner Anna Drew Kirk.

The first Ladies Five-Gaited Pink Ribbon class was held at the 2007 American Royal to help fight breast cancer and to promote the American Saddlebred breed. Since the Pink Ribbon class had such good reception, it is the goal of UPHA to have shows across the country step up and designate their Ladies Five-Gaited class as the Pink Ribbon class and to raise funds to fight breast cancer.

ASAC became the first show this year to support the cause and designate their Ladies Five-Gaited class as a Pink Ribbon class. The support was overwhelming. Four competitors entered the arena and each either had pink on their suits or as braids in their horse’s mane. The class was held in honor of Sandra Ackerman, who presented each rider with pink roses at the end of the class. Ackerman is the mother of Holly Ackerman, who shows Santana’s Montana and Vivacious under the direction of Breakaway Farms. Sandra Hall donated a trophy in honor of Mrs. Ackerman while Erin Hall gave each competitor in the class a silver charm bracelet. Each rider also received a special pink ribbon from UPHA. After Burmeister rode away with the blue, Deborah Richardson’s number was called out for the reserve with Mountainview’s Starcatcher.

The riders from Cheryl Baird Stables tied pink ribbons in their academy horse's mane to support breast cancer awareness

During the show, by selling the famous "flying pigs" and donating the money received to breast cancer research, the ASAC youth were also able to be involved with the cause. In addition to this, they sold pink ribbons to spectators and exhibitors around the show grounds and donated that money as well.

Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe and Dr. Wendy Troyer dominated the amateur division, picking up wins in both the championship and qualifier. Ginger Roseman and Apollo Gold finished in reserve in the qualifier and championship.

Rebekah Cloninger racked away with the tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship with CH Dusty Beau

Another dominating team in the junior exhibitor division was CH Dusty Beau and Rebekah Cloninger. This team proved it would be another exciting year for them after picking up wins in the championship and qualifier. Reserve in the championship went to Ghostly Blue and Stephani Turner under the direction of Jerry Tolliver. Megan Barrett rode home with the reserve ribbon in the qualifier with Got The Ticket.

Lewis Eckard had Beverly Ragsdale Kaczwara’s gelding, Dreamin’ Blue in top form to garner the blue streamers in the Novice Five-Gaited class. Reserve honors went to Leon Richardson and Ethereal.

Jerry Tolliver had the winning entry in the Junior Five-Gaited class with Callaway’s A Modern Hero for owner Brian Turner. Cloverleaf Nimrod and Bill Schoeman picked up the reserve.

Topping the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class was the bold moving stallion, Vitruvian Man. Owned by Lee and Cindy Wagoner; Pieter Snyman expertly rode the youngster to the winner’s circle.

Everyone at Impossible Dreams celebrated John Goda's win with Attache's Elegance in the Three-Gaited qualifier and Dylan Hines and Protector who swept the junior exhibitor park division

Three elegant walk-trot horses made the gate call for the Three-Gaited Stake. After a reserve finish in the qualifier, Pieter Snyman came back with CF Prowlers Rare Affair to garner the tricolor for owner Sandra Corney. Bill Schoeman took home reserve with Cloverleaf Red Baron after winning the Junior Three-Gaited class. John Goda III picked up the win in the qualifier with Jo Waddell’s flashy entry, Attache’s Elegance.

Brenda Pulis had her "game face" on as she park-trotted into the arena Saturday evening. Going up against two fellow West Wind barn-mates, Pulis had her mare, Spools Top Star RHF, in perfect form, coming off a win in the ladies qualifier. When the card was turned in a smile went across Pulis’ face as her number was called to the winner’s circle. Reserve in the amateur qualifier and championship went to Barbara Barrett and Soulmate. Sharon Avidon and Sacre Bleu picked up the reserve in the ladies’ qualifier under the direction of Sean Norris. The blue streamers went home to Alexis Braswell and Champagne’s China Doll in the amateur qualifier.

It was a great weekend for Jenna Norton and everyone at Harrison Shiflet Stables. Callaway’s Paisano and Norton never missed a beat to pick up the tricolor in the championship and blue streamers in the qualifier. The Admiral’s Helmsman and Savannah Norris took home reserve in the qualifier and championship.

ASAC was an exciting show for Saddlebred Rescue and those who stay up to date with the new horses that Pat Johnson and Nealia McCracken purchase each Monday at the New Holland, Pa., auction. Janelle D’Amato and everyone at Jansal Saddlebreds are huge supporters of Saddlebred Rescue. Dash For Cash, a black gelding that was purchased by Saddlebred Rescue and then adopted by Jansal Saddlebreds, made his debut at ASAC after spending time as an Amish driving horse. D’Amato had the flashy horse in top form as they took home the blue streamers in the Novice Three-Gaited class.

Bill Schoeman took home the tricolor in the park stake with Larry and Lori Schmidt’s high-headed entry, Wild With Worry. Jon Walker took home reserve with Sam and Anne Pratt’s entry, Paradise Delivery. Heath Hughes captured the spotlight in the qualifier with Tuffy’s Commander.

Marie Gwinn rode away with the blue streamers aboard VHF Midnight Empress in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park class under the direction of Boone's Farm

Two park horses made the gate call for the amateur park stake. Pam Atkinson and The Soul Heir had a comeback ride to garner the tricolor. Marie Gwinn topped the competition in the qualifier with her elegant black mare, VHF Midnight Empress.

The junior exhibitor park division was filled with new faces and veterans. Dylan Hines had two flawless performances to dominate the division with his flashy gelding, Protector. Hines was met in center ring for the ribbon ceremony by Jeannie Waddell and John Goda. Cara Wolf and her new mount Who’s Your Daddy earned the reserve spot in the championship under the direction of Peter and Kim Cowart. Reserve in the qualifier went to Rebekah Cloninger and My Mountain Heirs.

Pieter Snyman entered the ring in the one horse junior park class. He showed the young gray horse, owned by Sandra Corney, to the winner’s circle.

In the Open Fine Harness class, four elegant moving horses park-trotted into the arena. When Judge Wallen turned in his card, the winning entry was called out for Cowboy Up and Sean Norris. Reserve in the qualifier went to Quintus VanderSpuy and Dark Vader. The results were the same in the championship.

Three road horses sped into the arena for their stake class Saturday evening. Rae Lee Mills had Jason Stoltzfus’s entry, Joanna’s Lost, in top form to pick up the tricolor after a reserve finish in the amateur qualifier. Che and Andrew Mirabole at the whip finished in reserve in the stake and open qualifier. Steve Hanks picked up the pace with Eddie Case’s entry, Daddy Sang Bass when he topped the competition in the open qualifier.

Debra Clark was unstoppable in the amateur division. Under the direction of Jon Walker, Clark had two flawless drives with Where’s Reuben. Eddie Case drove Highway 66 to the reserve honors.

Rebekah Cloninger and Royal Count picked up the blue in the Youth Roadster To Bike class.

While standing on the rail during the Roadster Under Saddle, the talk was about Barbara Matthews and her new mount, Eclipse. The team looked fabulous as they sped around the arena. When the card was turned in Jon Walker ran to center ring to meet the winning team. Reserve was awarded to Jennifer Johnson and American Explorer.

Karen Voerg dominated the open road pony division with her husband, Ricky, on the rail coaching and cheering. When the champion was called out, Voerg took one more pass with Rant N Rave KV while the crowd cheered. Reserve in the championship went to Twin Willows North Star and Renee McCall. Alyssa Burnett finished with the red streamer in the open qualifier.

Brenda Kelly was back in the show ring with Cappuccino. Although it’s a new year, this competitive team hasn’t changed from 2007 as they are still a dominating pair in the amateur division. Under the direction of Steve Gassen, Kelly garnered the tricolor and blue streamers. Reserve in the championship went to Shawn Carrol and Boxford On The Mark while Debra Clark picked up the reserve in the qualifier with Star Sweetheart.

Courtney Bebber is known for her outstanding rides aboard John Glenn and ASAC proved to be no different but in a new division. When Bebber hopped in the cart, the team dominated the junior exhibitor division. After her number was called out in the qualifier, a smile covered her face and as she exited the arena, she shouted, "That was awesome!" Bebber not only won both classes in the cart, she dominated the under saddle division as well. Kelsey Baird traded her Friesian for Twin Willow’s Storm Warning. The team picked up reserve in the championship and qualifier.

Reserve in the Road Pony Under Saddle Stake and AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony Under Saddle class went to McGee Bosworth and Twin Willow’s Unforgettable.

Tamara Arndt had her long tailed pony in top form in the Open Harness Pony class under the direction of Kim and Peter Cowart.

Ann Ramey Boyd had a smile on her face while she drove High Heels And A Smile to the winner’s circle in the Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Pony Stake and qualifier. Tara Arndt finished with the red streamers with Heartland Parade Time.

In the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake, Jenna Norton put on quite a show with her new mount, Desert Supreme Kid, to pick up the tricolor after a reserve finish in the qualifier. In their first show together the team made a flawless performance. Deborah Richardson rode away with reserve aboard the big gray entry, Doubletree’s Confederate Gray. This team picked up the win in the AOT Five-Gaited Show Pleasure class. Richardson also made her way to the winner’s circle in the qualifier with Spool’s Top Secret RHF. Reserve in the AOT qualifier were Shan Gentry and Gentry Crest’s Rainbow Connection.

Caitlin Hucker was undefeated in the English pleasure pony division with Cameo Stable's entry, Simbara's Stars And Stripes

Nikki Inmonen had a comeback ride aboard CF Not Tonight Chief in the park pleasure division. After a reserve in the qualifier, this team was in top form to garner the tricolor in the championship. Steve Gassen rode Sally Seidel’s entry, Undulata’s Bay Fantasy to reserve. The qualifier win went back to Cameo Stable’s tack room with Strike Up The Lights and Steve Joyce for owner Lesley Orr.

The Junior Park Pleasure class had three strong high-headed entries. Cydney Rae Cutchall and Nancy Boone’s entry, Kalarama’s Aristrocratic Lady were in complete sync to pick up the win. Haley Stone rode away with reserve aboard I’m Legendary.

Marie Gwinn had two more winning performances in the adult show pleasure division. She had CH A Chance To Dance looking great to pick up the win in the championship and qualifier. Reserve in both classes went to Deborah Richardson and Tornaado’s Storm Warnings.

After winning the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Pleasure class, Victoria Champion rode into the winner’s circle with Cadillac’s Crystal. Although ASAC was the first show for this team, they have made it clear they will be a team to watch in up coming shows. Under the direction of Boone’s Farm, Tess Sullivan and her new mount Mystic Affair rode away with the red tricolor in the championship. Ashlyn Hamilton bested the competition in the junior exhibitor qualifier with Precedence in their only appearance. Erin Ohning rode away with reserve in the qualifier.

Barbara Matthews took home the blue ribbon in the AOT Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class with CH Five Minutes More. The red streamers went home with Shannon West and With A Twist.

In 2002, Brenda Kelly purchased a chestnut gelding by the name of Bold Irish Spirit. The team picked up wins in the show pleasure driving division at Raleigh Spring, Blue Ridge and North Carolina State Championship. After the 2002 season came to an end, Kelly sold the horse. Apparently this horse never left Kelly’s mind as she got the opportunity to buy him back in February of 2008. After six years the team seemed as if they had not been apart for a day as they dominated the show pleasure division, picking up the tricolor in the championship and blue in the qualifier. Darren Scott drove away with the red ribbon in the championship and qualifier with Andromeda’s Status Quo.

The country pleasure division has always been a large one in the Carolinas and ASAC proved to be no different. Sweeping the adult division with wins in the championship and qualifier was Shady Creek’s Sensation and Linda Redding under the direction of Chestnut Lane. Marie Gwinn rode away with reserve aboard Monsignor in the championship while Cynthia Farris Kelly took home reserve in the qualifier with Out In The Open.

Another dominating team in the country pleasure division was Abby Bailey and Leatherwood’s Fanfare. This team earned top ribbons in the championship and qualifier in the junior exhibitor division. Natalie Penegar aboard Phantom Eyes rode away with reserve ribbons in both classes under the direction Hollie Davidson and Cross Winds Farm.

After spending a year in training with Paul and Betsy Boone, Pam Quick made the decision to take A Promise Keeper home and train him herself. It paid off in the AOT Country Pleasure class as this team earned the blue ribbon. Barbara Matthews trotted away with reserve with Endolane Supreme Admiral. Hannah Badgley and Admiral Stonewall Fox topped the novice rider class.

Ro Day O with Annette Greene and Blue Right Through with Sharon Price took turns taking victory passes in the country please driving division. Price took home the win in the qualifier while Greene drove away with the tricolor.

Deborah Richardson was back in the winner’s circle with Mister Bayleigh in the country western division. This team swept the division, earning wins in the qualifier and championship. Marie Gwinn and VHF Bay All Day and Freedom’s Vision with Marni Cothran picked up reserves in the qualifier and championship.

Lindsey Newsome had her hunter horse, A Piece Of The Roc, in perfect form. The team took home the blue streamers in the country hunter class. Reserve was awarded to Lisa Jordan Pearce and Mountainview’s Manhattan Viscount.

Victoria Champion, Sally McEwen and Vanessa Patch made victory passes in the equitation division. Champion topped the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, McEwen the Pleasure Equitation and Patch in the walk/trot 10 & under.

Jansal Saddlebreds - A Big Supporter of Saddlebred Rescue, Inc.

Like many farms across the Carolinas, Jansal Saddlebreds made their 2008 show ring debut at ASAC. Not only was it the beginning of a hopeful show season for the farm, it was a special show for another reason. This event marked the return to the show ring for Dash For Cash, a horse that had recently been adopted from the Saddlebred Rescue. Jansal Saddlebreds is located in Mocksville, N.C., and is owned and operated by Janelle D’Amato, Bobby Jones and Kathy Mellious. They began adopting horses from Pat Johnson and Nealia McCracken’s Saddlebred Rescue Inc, a 501 (c) non-profit charity, in 2005. Since then Jansal Saddlebreds has adopted or fostered around 25 horses.

Johnson and McCracken were at the New Holland, Pa., auction late last year when they came across a very flashy black gelding that had no interest in being an Amish driving horse. It was then that Johnson called D’Amato and told her about their newest "treasure". Come to find out, this horse was registered and had been in training with Melinda Moore and Clark Clouse. D’Amato told Johnson to send him to North Carolina as they are always up for helping a horse in need and ready for a challenge. After being in training for the past few months, the decision was made that Dash was ready for the show ring. Dash For Cash made a winning 2008 debut in the Novice Three-Gaited class with D’Amato in the irons.

Johnson stated, "Janelle and everyone at Jansal are absolutely wonderful. They support everything we do with Saddlebred Rescue from working with horses that need to gain weight, to finding homes for the ones that are ready for adoption. They have also brought new people to the Saddlebred industry that normally could not afford a high dollar show horse. Instead they have rescued horses and are now working them into the show ring in the performance division. Nealia and I are so proud and excited about everything Jansal has done to support Saddlebred Rescue."

Not only has Jansal Saddlebred received praise for their help with Saddlebred Rescue from Johnson and McCracken but also from Virginia Foxx, a member of Congress. Fox had the opportunity to read an article in The Davie County Enterprise-Report about Jansal’s involvement with the rescue program. She expressed her admiration of the farm for what was being done to help these horses by saying, "You are performing a very important function and I admire you for being willing to do it." She also sent a quote written by Edward Everett Hale that sums up their dedication to Saddlebred Rescue,

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
What I can do, I should do.
And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."

Not only does the quote apply to Jansal Saddlebreds but to everyone that is involved with Saddlebred Rescue.

For more information about how you can become involved with Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. please contact Pat Johnson at (908) 304-3560 or visit

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