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Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity Horse Show

by Deidre Davis

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The Chattanooga-Cleveland Charity Horse Show was held June 17-23 at the Tri-State Exhibition Center in Cleveland, Tenn., home of the Bess Neil Arena. The show was held to benefit Signal Center, whose goal is to strengthen families through services focusing on disabilities, early childhood education and self-sufficiency.

The show saw record temperatures reaching 100 degrees. Show officials decided to delay the start of the show on Friday and Saturday nights, hoping temperatures would drop as the sun set. The competition was as fierce as the weather, with some classes having as many as 18 entries and barns traveling from as far away as Oklahoma to show their horses.

John Champagne from Standardsville, Va., served as judge, with Blythewood Farm’s breeding manager, Richard Witt, serving as the ringmaster. Two multi-titled champions made their final show ring appearance during the show. World’s Champion Road Pony Lamborghini and CH K-Town Magic were honored with retirement ceremonies. Friends visited Lamborghini after the show during the progressive barn party on Thursday night and a party was held after the show Friday night to honor CH K-Town’s Magic. The party was made complete by the Chad Graham Band and a mechanical bull that bucked off juveniles, amateurs and the many trainers who dared to climb on it.

The show was once again put on by the Gaited and Pleasure Horse Council of Tennessee with the help of a wonderful show committee and many volunteers. Show Secretary Elizabeth Holmes kept everything running smoothly in the office and great southern hospitality was shown to all who attended.

The Five-Gaited Jackpot saw eight strong entries fighting for the win. When John Champagne’s card was turned in, it was Armon Effinger, who made the trip down from Indiana to show the strikingly handsome gelding Out In Dixie, making the last pass of the night. Mike Barlow and Manhattan’s Court Jester were reserve in the jackpot after being reserve in the novice class early in the week for owner Jimmy Johnson.

Janet Kellet and Callaway’s Duchess Of Caramac had to battle it out to win the Five-Gaited Amateur Championship despite a lost shoe. Unfortunately, the team lost their shoe again on the way to the winner’s circle and was unable to make a victory pass, but they did make a victory pass in the amateur qualifier. Worthy’s American Society and Cheryl Sotrop emerged with the reserve champion title in the championship. I’m Fantabulous and Kristin Bagdasarian won the ladies class for owner Beth Ann Rhoads, with Endolane’s Sydney, and Anne Neil was nipping at the heels to come in reserve for Blythewood Farm.

Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes was all smiles when her number was called out to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited tricolor aboard her talented mount CH Sprinkles. They also took the blue in the qualifier earlier in the week. Kelsy Olsen and her coal black champion, Blue Highway, were reserve in the championship, with Forever A Dream and Catie Ray taking reserve in the qualifier.

Kristen Bagdasarian rode Rebel Rooster for owner Kathleen Bagdasarian to win the Novice Five-Gaited class. The Five-Gaited Junior class saw the Bobby Turner-owned entry, Main Buck’s Vision, to the winner’s circle with trainer James Spriggs aboard. While Dr. Alan Ruan was busy showing at Midwest, Kelly Freeman guided Don’t Pasa Me By to the blue in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class for him.

The Three-Gaited Jackpot was not as strong as the Five-Gaited Stake, but Connie Blue had an outstanding catch ride aboard Megavolt to win for owner Debbie Tolliver. A Material Girl and Jeanie Waddell were reserve in the jackpot after winning the ladies class. The Betsy Webb Stables-trained entry, Worthy’s Pure Love, and Brittany McNamara emerged victoriously in the Three-Gaited Amateur Championship with Watermelon and Tammy Hancock coming in second. These ladies switched places from Wednesday night’s qualifier.

CH Keeper Of The Stars and talented jockey Jackie de La Parte put two more blue ribbons on the Judd Stables banner from the junior exhibitor three-gaited division. Lady Latte and Lexi Ruff were reserve in the championship with Buckles, Boots And Spurs taking second in the qualifier with rider Kelly Cooke. Callaway’s Viscount and Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes were winners in the Three-Gaited Pony qualifier and championship, with Alexis Landreth and CH Simbara’s Audacity taking reserve in both classes.

Carl Irwin rode the big, bold Be Advised to win the Novice Three-Gaited class for Happy Valley Farm. Janet Crampton-Herd and the cute little mare named Sea Side won the Junior Three-Gaited class for owner Charlotte Wrather. Owner and trainer Maria Gilman was proud of her ride on Callaway’s Gentleman Agree to win the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class.

The breath taking team of Master And Commander and Maria Gilman were in perfect order to win the Three-Gaited Park Championship and qualifier for owner Barbara Woods. Ashley Walker guided My Minuet to reserve honors in both classes for Creekridge LLC. Judd Stables put another winning combination together with Meadowlark Jubilee and Morgan King capturing the amateur blue and tricolor. Inherit The Stars and Susan Wallace took the reserve tricolor in the championship, and Reagan Huguley and It’s Alabama received the red ribbon in the qualifier.

Proud trainer Heath Hughes met Hannah Badgley in the winner’s circle after she won the Junior Exhibitor Park Championship aboard Doubletree’s Captivating. They were second in the qualifier. Schuller and Christine Thomas carried out the blue in the juvenile qualifier. With the park division growing in popularity, the Three-Year-Old Park class saw five entries that are all sure to be future stars. When the numbers were called it was Randy Stoess and Soquili’s Sugar And Spice who headed to the winner’s presentation for Soquili Stables. Kristin Bagdasarian and Guy From Vegas took the red streamers home for Kathleen Bagdasarian.

The fine harness division was a little light compared to what it was in Chattanooga last year, but still saw several top quality entries. The hometown champions from Blythewood Farm dominated the division this year, with Anne Neil and Magical Promises making the victory pass in the Fine Harness Jackpot. Abby Jones and Lovin’ Lass made a single appearance to win the amateur harness class. Pedro Martinez drove Alma Cox to the blue in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class for owners Creekridge LLC.

There were only two horses in the road horse division this year, but both were stars by their own rights. Shane Mullens and the fast trotting Magical Beginning burned down the rail to take the tricolor and blue in the open division for owner Kristen Bagdasarian. Lisa Bible drove the talented Rompaway Travis to reserve in both classes, and Alissa Phillips took a turn in the buggy to win the amateur class for owner Kore Yoder.

Janet Crampton-Herd’s Burnscroft Farm had champions in almost every pony class offered at the show. John Wrather drove Prince’s Performer LF to victory in the Open Road Pony class, Herd took over the lines to win the championship for owner Charlotte Wrather. Charlotte Wrather drove her seasoned champion Oliver Twist to the winner’s circle in the open and qualifier win in the harness pony division. Dutch Mark was the winner in the Open Hackney Pony class and championship, driven by David Mendoza for Charlotte Wrather.

Virginia Polly drove the wild going Seamair’s Twice As Nice to the Amateur Road Pony Championship under the direction of Jimmy Womble of Mountain View Stables. The hometown favorites of Heartland Wonderful Miss and Abby Jones made a victory pass in their only performance of the week in the Amateur Road Pony qualifier.

Charles Gassen and Cappuccino definitely played up the cute factor when the big going pony trotted into the ring with his small driver at the lines. They were the winners of the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony qualifier and championship. Taylor Price and her cute pony, Jose Cuervo, were reserve in both classes for Brian Reimer Stables. The Reimers also put the winning team in the ring in the Road Pony Under Saddle class, when Nancy Leslie and Heartland Yankee sailed through the gait.

Victoria Gillenwater’s pony, Picture Perfect, lived up to his name when he carried out the blue and the tricolor in the Hackney pony pleasure driving division. Picture names seemed to be the theme in the division when Portrait Of A Lady and Barbara Pippin were called out as reserve champions in both classes for owner Paul Pippin.

Park pleasure is a division that is becoming more and more popular each year, mainly due to the fact that it gives trainers another class to show a horse that may not ready for an amateur or juvenile yet. Tommy Richardson and I’m Legendary won the Open Park Pleasure qualifier and championship, looking like a champion that will be seen in winner’s circle across the country in the future. Spend The Night and Key Waller gave two strong performances to earn the reserve titles in both classes for Blythewood Farms. The Park Pleasure Junior/Denver/Novice classes saw another champion bred by Soquili Stables when Randy Stoess and Soquili’s Rhythm And Blues trotted out with the blue ribbon. Bill Waller and Halle Hallelujah were second in this outstanding class for owner Marge Cassell. Yet another good class in this division was seen when the three-year-olds were shown. Simbara’s Seriously Simon and Kristen Bagdasarian were the winners this time, with Ashley Walker taking the red ribbon aboard Odeon for Blythwood Farm. The Park Pleasure Driving class saw another Blythewood-trained entry win the tricolor and blue ribbons, this time with Chris Schubert driving Outright. Elegant Song and Kendall Blue were reserve in both classes for his parents, George and Connie Blue.

The pleasure division was stronger than ever this year in Chattanooga. Judge Champagne had to take a second look to sort through the big classes, some of which had as many as 18 horses in them. The five-gaited pleasure division saw last year’s Five-Gaited Open Champion to victory in the adult pleasure qualifier and championship this year when CH Data Dot Com and Frank Jones made blue ribbon rides. Saturday Night Magic and Debbie Tolliver were on top of their game to earn the reserve ribbons in both classes. Bryce Smith had Manhattan Fizz in top form to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship. Catapult Shot and Sarah Strong were reserve after having won the qualifier on Wednesday night.

The adult show pleasure division saw Barbara Woods and CH Sweet Virginia in the winner’s circle for the fourth year in a row. This talented team is trained under the direction of Judd Stables. The hard riding Deborah Richardson was reserve in both classes with CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard. Judd Stables put another champion in the ring. Jayne Majors and Mo Rhythm won the Juvenile Show Pleasure Championship and the 14-17 Show Pleasure qualifier. Alyssa Allen and Royal Worries were the blue ribbon winners in the 13 & Under Show Pleasure class, with CH My Special Sultan receiving the red ribbon with catch rider Olivia Dixon in the irons for Christy Parker.

The Show Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship saw multi-titled champion CSF Supreme Memories pulling a buggy this week to win the qualifier and championship with John Wrather on the lines for owner Judith Brown. Photo Prince and George Ann Nash were reserve in both classes for Happy Valley Farm.

Lexi Cox and Kalarama’s Amber represented Bill and Lisa Waller’s Cloverleaf Farm to win the Show Pleasure Walk & Trot 13 & Under qualifier and championship. Crimson King and Effie Evans emerged with the red ribbon in the qualifier for owner Joseph Evans, and hard riding Kaitlin Hughes was reserve in the championship aboard Radio Flyer.

The big bay horse, as several people referred to him, also known as Torando’s Storm Warning, and Deborah Richardson marched down victory lane in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship. George Ann Nash and I’m Just Curious followed up to receive the reserve honors. Heirlee and Skylar Ruff took home the tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship after having been reserve in the qualifier behind Strike Up The Lights and Taylor Price. The seasoned champion CF Private Night Out took his owner and driver, Janet Kellett, to two more wins in the Country Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship, under the guidance of trainer Bob Vessell.

Deborah Richardson showed her versatility with her new western pleasure horse, Undulata’s Sentinel News. The pair won the Shatner Western Pleasure class, and then came back a few classes later to win the Hunter Country Pleasure class. The pair also won the Hunter Pleasure Championship Saturday afternoon. Richardson was back in the winner’s circle aboard the Lion King to win the Western Pleasure qualifier and championship. Jan Henderson and New York Fire were reserve in the qualifier and O Ain’t I Something took reserve in the championship with Luanne Kilday in the saddle.

Christy Parker-Cordell put Ashley Brandies in the ring Saturday night to win the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Nina Hobbs carried out the blue ribbon in the 17 & Under Equitation class. Cloverleaf Stables had another blue ribbon to brag about when Shea Summers won the Equitation 10 & Under Walk & Trot class. Katie Boysen, also under the direction of Parker-Cordell, rode hard to win the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation class.

Show Manager David Peel put on a wonderful horse show where new stars appeared and old stars said goodbye, all with a dose of fun and southern hospitality. What other show can say the highlight of the week was a mechanical bull wearing championship roses?

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