Skip to content

Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity

By Kelley Colvin

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity Horse Show, formerly the Chattanooga Charity Horse Show, has changed its name to reflect a final destination for the 26 year-old event filled with Tennessee Saddlebred tradition. Now a featured event at the new Tri-State Exhibition Center in Cleveland, Tenn., supporters of the show have been loyal, following it from its beginning when it was held in Ooltewah, Tenn., then to the Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, Tenn., and now back to the Chattanooga area. Local crowds turned out to welcome exhibitors back and watch the newest chapters being written in the show’s history. Barbecue, roasted corn and the performances of some of the South’s top Saddlebred and Hackney competitors were all a part of an evening at the Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity Horse Show.

This year the show benefited Signal Centers, a community-based program that provides support for children and families with physical, educational and socioeconomic challenges. Children from the Center had the opportunity to not only watch the show, but they also met and fed peppermints to Saddlebred ambassador, Country Pleasure Champion K-Town Magic, while Vicki Gillenwater introduced them to the American Saddlebred.

In a distinctive break from the competition, the Mule Exhibition provided an entertaining and educational intermission as the audience had the opportunity to learn about the versatility of mules. Saddlebred exhibitors such as Key Everhart proved that riding gaited mules can present unique challenges when compared to riding gaited horses.

Exhibitors had the unique opportunity to visit two of the area’s most beautiful Saddlebred facilities as guests of Allan, Janie and Abby Jones, who hosted a welcome party at their Creek Ridge Farm on Tuesday night, and Sally Parker, who hosted lunch on Friday at her Cross Creek Farm. The crowd was thrilled when both farms showed off some of their upcoming stars.

Robert DeBord, David Peel and Sarah Barrow were chairpersons of this year’s show. Sam Brannon of Georgetown, Ky., judged all of the classes, which were held June 18-21. Announcer Thurmon Walden, organist Dale Stone and photographer Sandra Hall were center ring officials who have also been a part of the show’s tradition. Scott Snyder kept everyone in order at the entrance gate.

The Five Gaited Stake brought 11 entries to the ring to compete for top honors in front of a large cheering crowd. Several amateurs were willing to take on the trainers to win the jackpot – literally – in the $1,000 Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake. In the end, it was indeed an amateur that took home the honors as petite Sara McDonald rode Callaway’s Inspiration back from a second place finish in the amateur qualifier for the big win. Another amateur, Deborah Richardson, was right on her heels for reserve with the high-going I Will I Will, the TAG (Tennessee/Alabama/Georgia) Owned Amateur Champion.

Deborah Richardson had the “will” to win with yet another five-gaited entry. She rode her gorgeous stallion, Everything Will, to win both the Five-Gaited Amateur Championship and the amateur qualifier. A Woman’s Touch with Amy Hanson of Boaz, Ky., were Reserve Amateur Grand Champions after winning the Five-Gaited Ladies class.

Even though Jacquie-Joy Songer is still in the juvenile division, she has been winning at the Chattanooga Charity Horse for many years. This year was no different as she rode her family’s Tip Top Stables’ entry Coke Fizz to win both the Juvenile Five-Gaited Championship and open. Julie Moody, also a long-time exhibitor at the Chattanooga Show, riding Mac Dixie Dell was Reserve Juvenile Five-Gaited Grand Champion.

El Dorado’s Stonewall Jackson won the Five-Gaited Junior Horse class for Charles Osborne of Paradise Farm, Louisville, Ky. Kelly and David Mount’s Dr. Dunkenstein scored the slam dunk in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class with trainer Adam Clauson. Callaway’s Quazar claimed top honors in a large Five-Gaited Novice class with James Nichols riding for owner Gayle Jones of New Orleans, La.

In the Five-Gaited Pony division, Run For The Border with Hannah Padgett riding for Twin Lakes Farm won the championship and open with High Point’s Spellbound and Taylor Wilson finishing second.

The Three-Gaited Jackpot Stake is always one of Chattanooga’s most competitive classes offering a number of challenge trophies to the winner. Ragtime Lady Jazz with Dan Flowers for SGF Winning Ways Farm took home the silver and top honors. Callaway’s Collector’s Choice with trainer Heath Hughes of Maryville, Tenn., was named reserve champion for owner Peggy Brown.

Several nice three-gaited entries competed for top honors in the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship. It was Amy Hanson who guided her fancy Vison Heir to the winner’s circle. High-going Callaway’s Putting on the Ritz, winner of the Amateur Three-Gaited class, was reserve champion with Tracy Garcia. Shear Cameo and Cindy Woolfolk won the TAG-Owned Three-Gaited Amateur class. In the Ladies Three-Gaited class, Overjoyed and Jenny Styskal were the winners for Soquili Stables, LLC of Woodstock, Ga.

Hometown favorite Abby Jones was cheered on by many Cleveland fans as she rode her lovely black mare Viola Madden to win the Juvenile Three-Gaited Championship for Allan Jones’ Creek Ridge Farm. Anne and Sam Stafford train the Jones’ champions at Blythewood Farm. Another SGF Winning Ways Farms entry, Worthy’s Hale Bopp and Lauren Greenwald were named reserve champions in the good class of horses. Capture The Magic and Jacquie-Joy Songer won the Juvenile Three-Gaited qualifier earlier in the week, adding another blue ribbon for Tip Top Stables.

Marion Hutcheson’s Happy Valley Farm has brought many of its young champions raised at the Rossville, Ga., farm to compete at the Chattanooga Charity over the years. This year, Eddie B. Womble showed Yes I’m a Pirate to win the Three-Gaited Junior class. Bill Schoeman showed another nice young horse Luxury Tax to win the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited division. The Three-Gaited Novice class winner was American’s Wing with Eden Michael riding for Callie Smith of Paducah, Ky.

Shelby Reimer obviously inherited riding ability from her parents Brian and Susan Reimer. Shelby rode her cute three-gaited pony Return To Innocence to win the Three-Gaited Pony Championship and open class. Champagne’s Supreme Fox and Rachel Etheridge were reserve grand champions.

In the Fine Harness division, Bill Schoeman showed John and Cheyenne Bagley’s entry Cape Town Talent to the championship win. Xuxa and Janet Crampton finished reserve for the Ed Perwien’s Bluebonnet Farm. A True Gentleman and Phillip Casenburg claimed top honors in the Amateur Fine Harness division.

Coverage of the horse show was prominent in local newspaper, The Cleveland Banner. The victory pass photo of It’s “00” Duce and Dan Flowers’ in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class was featured on the front page. Another Happy Valley Farm entry, I Saw You First was shown by trainer Carl Irwin to win the Junior Fine Harness class.

Former World’s Champion Happy Now is still beautiful and talented. She won the Open Three-Gaited Park Championship and qualifier with Brian Reimer showing for Magnolia Farm. Irish Epic and Phillip Jackson were reserve grand champions for new owner Laura Green of Knoxville, Tenn.

In the always competitive Amateur Park division, another Texas entry, the impressive Phi’s Phortune Teller and Karen Frickey-Nalle won the championship honors in addition to the amateur qualifier. Melinda Young, US World Cup alternate, proved her abilities as she put in a good ride on Going To The Sun for reserve in both classes.

Watching the Juvenile Three-Gaited Park Championship might have left the audience seeing double as two gorgeous bay horses, half-brothers by Attache’s Born Believer, were crowned champion and reserve. Believer’s Beware and Mitchell Bernheim won the championship, followed by the juvenile qualifier winner Wild-Eyed Believer and Carly Duggan.

Two competitors battled it out for the top awards in the Five-Gaited Pleasure division. Liquid Princess claimed the prize the first trip with rider Charlotte Kurtz, but it was Deborah Richardson who came back with the popular Cheers Cheers to win the championship title for Richardson Stables. In the junior exhibitor division, Only Magic Will Do had the right kind of magic to win both the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier with Brittany Fox. Linsey Greenwald and Sarah Robert were right on their heels racking and trotting to finish a strong second in both competitive classes.

In a strong class of horses, Cadillac’s Crystal was shining with good-riding Christy Schnetzler, who was thrilled with her back-to-back wins in the Adult Show Pleasure class and championship. Always in top ribbons in the Tennessee arena, Fiesta LTD was reserve champion with Crystal Brown-Seals. Pretty, bright Samuel Adams and Amy Rives crossed over from equitation to performance winning the Juvenile Show Pleasure Championship and the 14-17 qualifier. Wind Cruzer and Sammy Smith were reserve grand champions. Jigsaw Johnny and Ashton Hale put the pieces together to win the 13 and under class for Nancy Moreno of Houston, Texas.

An outstanding class of 16 Show Pleasure Driving entries competed under difficult conditions, but Deborah Richardson put Bi-Mi Magic Winter through the crowd to win the Championship and Open qualifier. Already a champion in other pleasure divisions, this lofty, attractive horse is right at home in the driving division. Another newcomer to the Show Pleasure Driving division, the elegant mare A Blessing finished second in both classes with driver Vicki Gillenwater for Scenic View Farm.

Another entry of Amy Rives, Bourbon County Rose and Adam Clauson were the winners in a nice, large class of Show Pleasure Prospect horses. The Junior Pleasure Prospect winner was Plumyami and Brian Reimer. Nancy Vantrease trained her flaxen mane and tail horse Just Imagine That to win the Show Pleasure Amateur Trainer class and Debbie Tolliver showed Three’s The Limit to win the Show Pleasure TAG Owned class. Alexandra Howard showed her skills to win the large Show Pleasure Novice Rider class riding Howard and Schmidt entry Reedann’s Phandango.

Four white legs and a blaze helped sporty chestnut K-Town Magic stand out in the mud and in the largest class of the show, the Adult Country Pleasure Open class. Under clear skies, he returned Saturday night with Vicki Gillenwater to claim championship honors, adding another Chattanooga championship title to his winning record. This division seemed to be the place for flashy chestnut Saddlebreds, including reserve grand champion For Reference Only shown by owner Tracy Garcia.

Abby Jones had another opportunity to wear the tri-color when she showed her winning Country Pleasure horse, talented Roaring Gap, to win both the Juvenile Championship and the 14-17 division. Julie Moody and Bitters were reserve grand champions. Attitude Matters was the winner in the 13 and under division.

Donna Plumb drove the multi-titled Ricochet Memories to win the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier for Soquili Stables. Although usually riding a gaited horse, Frank Jones drives equally as well and showed Rich Prince to reserve in both classes for owner Mary Jane Gregory.

Deborah Richardson and I’m A Starmaker were winners in the Amateur-Owner Trainer Country Pleasure class and Preordained shown by veterinarian Vickie Honeycutt won the ASHAT (American Saddle Horse Association of Tennessee) Members class.

The Country Western Pleasure division is always strong at the Chattanooga Horse Show and this year was no exception. Great Belles Of Fire and Joy Warren won the Country Western Pleasure Championship and qualified for the finals by winning the William Shatner Western Pleasure. Deborah Richardson was reserve grand champion after winning the Western Country Pleasure Open.

Mud and standing water did not get in the way of St. Patrick and Kim Workman as they had two strong drives to win the Roadster Pony Open Championship and the amateur qualifier. A consistent winner on the Southeastern circuit, St. Patrick is trained by Phillip Jackson at Longvue Farm in Loudon, Tenn. Rhythm Ann and Lib McClellan were the winners in the open qualifying class.

Picture Perfect was just that as she not only won the Amateur Roadster Pony Championship, but was featured in a WDEF-Channel 12 television segment with owner/driver Vicki Gillenwater. Although this was only the young pony’s second horse show, she acted like a pro during her class as well as in her television debut. Jacques VanNiekerk trains the Scenic View Farm competitor.

Abby Jones had a big smile on her face despite a little mud to win the both the Open Juvenile Roadster Pony class and championship with Heartland’s Wonderful Miss for Creek Ridge Farm. Frank Polley and Seamair’s Twice as Nice were reserve in both classes.

Marching away with yet another Pleasure Pony Driving Championship and open title was the popular lofty-going former World’s Champion Cascade and Sharon Chrisman of Athens, Tenn. Vicki Gillenwater had her snappy It’s All About Me in perfect form to be reserve grand champion and reserve open champion.

All bets were on Big Casino and Dana Ferrigno as they won the Harness Pony Open and Championship honors. Gab Chrisman of C&C Stables put together the winning combination from Athens, Tenn. Dixie Jubilee and Tina Smith were reserve in both classes.

Heath Hughes had the Hickory Lane Farm entry Heartland Showcase in flawless form to win the Hackney Pony Championship and Open. Riding or driving, Allison Moore is competitive, and she proved it again claiming the reserve championship driving Lisa Bible’s Seamair’s King Classic.

A sharp new road horse, Shawnee was as fast as he was talented to win the Roadster to Bike Championship and open class with trainer Sam Stafford driving the Blythewood Farm entry. Always a top competitor in this division, Eyes Wide Open and owner/driver Wayne Hackney were reserve champions. Top Star Willie was the winner of the Amateur Roadster to Bike. Adding another Chattanooga Roadster Under Saddle win to her credits, Beth Pittman is always at the top of this class. This year she showed Martell to the victory for Edan Farm.

Trained by Kathryn Moore and Lisa Bible at Bridle Path Farm, Wishes Fulfilled and Alyssa Phillips may have been smaller, but no less impressive as they won the Pleasure Pony Championship. Natural Resource and Lindsey Taylor were reserve champions for Mia and Maddie Wilson. Lookin Ready and Amber Patterson were the winners in the Pleasure Pony Open.

In the Saddle Seat Equitation division, Callie Smith of Paducah, Ky., was the winner of the both the 10 and Under Walk and Trot class as well as the UPHA Challenge Cup event in the same division. Emily Barker won the Saddle Seat Equitation for riders 11-17. Qualifiers in the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion division were Blake Powell in the 14-17 and Sarah Baggs in the 13 and under. UPHA Pleasure Equitation Challenge Cup winner was also Sarah Baggs.

This concludes the highlights from the Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity Horse Show. Complete results follow and may also be found by visiting our web site at

More Stories