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The Competition Continues At Tar Heel Classic


Judge: James Hale
Academy Judge: Peyton Hamilton
Ringmaster: Meg Irvin
Announcer: Gene Frye
Photographer: Sandra Hall
Organist: Jane Frye
Grounds Manager: Ken Vaughn
Show Chairman: Harvey Pons
Show Manager: Elizabeth Holmes
Show Secretaries: Betty Nellis & Sherri Lowe

by Katherine Hansil

STATESVILLE, N.C.- The 38th annual Tar Heel Classic was held May 4-6 at the Iredell Fairgrounds in Statesville, N.C. The tradition behind the show with its many world’s champions that have appeared is still held high. Numbers were down this year due, perhaps, to the threat of weather. Mother Nature is normally a factor at this outdoor show, but this year the drizzle on Friday evening was sandwiched in between two fabulous days for the exhibitors who traveled in from North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The show benefits the many charities of the Kiwanis Club of Statesville. On Wednesday and Friday evenings, the Kiwanis sponsored a welcome party for early arrivals and an exhibitor’s breakfast for everyone to enjoy. Plans are underway to make next year even bigger and better.

Topping the Five-Gaited Championship was Sydney Carter’s new horse Courageous Grace with trainer Lewis Eckard in the irons after an earlier red ribbon in the qualifier. Winning the qualifier was All Stirred Up with Peter Cowart in their only appearance for Sharyn Lackey and Stefanie Sanchez. Reserve in the championship went to the winner of the Carolina-Owned Five-Gaited class, Callaway’s Up A Creek, with Jerry Helms presenting for Ginger Wright. Reserve in the Carolina-owned qualifier went to My Diamond In The Ruff and Beth Barksdale.

Dora Huie was aboard Callaway’s Southern Cross for the win the Ladies Five-Gaited. Nancy Troutman presented her new gaited campaigner Caramaya to the reserve ribbon. Shop Till You Drop and Karen Comer had a comeback ride to win the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship. Receiving the red streamers in the championship after winning the qualifier was Topaz Taz and Julie Grubb. Dr. Christine Johnson and Check This Out garnered the red ribbon in the amateur qualifier.

The striking Fog with Steve Gassen was the winner of the Junior Five-Gaited for Tim Henry. Steve Hanks presented Morgan Feimster’s entry Roseridge’s Movin’ On for the reserve. Meghan Toms had back-to-back wins to sweep the five-gaited pony division aboard The Cash Connection for Harold Absher.

First Shot and Jamie Mullins went two-for-two in the open three-gaited division. Kim Holt was aboard Believer’s Beware for the reserve in the open championship after winning the ladies qualifier. Hollie Davidson presented Highpoint’s So Sassy to the win in the junior class. CH Sarah Katherine and Lauren Henderson turned in two great performances to sweep the three-gaited pony division.

Jamie Mullins returned to the winner’s circle, this time for Darlene Mannix, to sweep the open three-gaited park division with Tornaado’s Touchdown. CH Stars Fell On Alabama NM and Maura Dalton move up several notches to claim the reserve in the open championship for Carol Stafford. The flashy Unbreakable Heart and Stefany Bennett earned the red streamers in the qualifier. Cause A Commotion and Lynn Thompson were on top of their game to win the Junior Three-Gaited Park. Irreconcilable Difference and Ashley Ambrose were in for reserve for Elaine and Kevin Conklin.

Katie’s Dream and Britt Mitchell were picture perfect to win the combined Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Championship after an earlier win in the junior exhibitor qualifier. CH Callaway’s B. Gratz Brown and Karin Banks received the red ribbon in the championship after an earlier win the amateur qualifier. Silver River and Heather Hege earned the red ribbon in the junior exhibitor qualifier while Uwharrie’s No Dice and Barbara Baker were reserve in the amateur qualifier.

In their only appearance, Kalarama’s Gold Star and Kim Cowart made their way to the winner’s circle in the Open Fine Harness for Sherrie and Frank Gibson. In the junior class, the blue ribbon went to Roho’s Summer and Steve Hanks for Tamala and Luis Colon.

Steve Hanks was a force in the roadster to bike division. He trains the speedster Sour Grapes who won the amateur qualifier with owner Mark Catron and then returned with Hanks to win the open championship. Hanks was also in the bike to win the open qualifier, but with Matt T-Up. The Snowball Partnership owns this new roadster. Both red ribbons in the open division went to The Dark Side and Page Champion for Brad Bacon. Rebekah Cloninger had her time in the winner’s circle winning the Roadster Under Saddle with Diamond Hustler. She also presented Diamond Hustler to the red ribbon in the Amateur Roadster To Bike. Morgan Feimster was aboard Gun On The Run for the red ribbon in the under saddle class.

In the road pony division it was three-for-three for the Holly Tree Stables banner as Steve Gassen presented John Glenn to the win in the open qualifier. Brenda Kelly was on the lines to win the amateur qualifier with Cappuccino, and Catch The Spirit and Dustin Lassett won the junior exhibitor class. Fitz’s Something Special and Cody Davidson earned the tricolor in the junior exhibitor championship, while Shadowland’s Elijah and Tori White garnered the red ribbon in the qualifier. This team also won the under saddle qualifier. Winning the under saddle championship was Shadowland’s Ishtar and Macy Campbell after an earlier red ribbon in the qualifier.

Shelia Lail was on the lines to sweep the harness pony division with Fitz’s Mademoiselle for Drowning Creek Farm. High Horizon’s Gold Dust and Charles Leonard earned both red ribbons for Bill Weavil. Sweeping the Hackney division was Mr. MacGillicudy and Renan Carter for Charlotte Carter.

Pick Me First and Donna Lockett debuted in their new division, winning the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. This team also earned the red ribbon in the qualifier. Winning the qualifier was CH Callaway’s No Problem and Dustin Lassett. Earning the red ribbon in the championship was Love On The Rocks BR and Debra Lillycrop.

The new team of Emanating and Dr. Melinda Snyder moved up a notch to win the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Winning the qualifier and the red ribbon in the championship was another new team, It’s The Rage and Elaine Conklin. CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time and Allie Wellington both celebrated their birthdays with two picture perfect rides to sweep the junior exhibitor three-gaited show pleasure. Worthy’s Can’t Touch This and Meredith Dancer earned both red ribbons in their first show of the season.

The pretty Miss Posie topped the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Prospect class with Steve Gassen presenting for Brenda Kelly. Reserve went to Heir Slinger and Dana Harris. Amy Johnson was aboard Night Of The Party to win the novice rider class with Loves Ta Dance and Trina Chastney receiving the red ribbon.

CH Unforgiven and Karin Banks debuted in their new division to sweep the show pleasure driving with two outstanding performances. Reserve in both classes went to Endolane Symphony with Betty Lou Herter on the lines, returning to the show ring after a long absence as an exhibitor. Winning the Pleasure Driving Pony was Hollywood Sweetheart and Sage Schweickert.

The new team of CH Hey Covington and Tess Sullivan swept the walk-and-trot 12-and-under pleasure division. Mountainview’s Knightly Memories and Meghan Crider earned the red streamers in the championship as well as a sweep of the walk-and-trot equitation division. CF Chief’s Red Hot Girl and Harley Campbell earned the reserve in the walk-and-trot pleasure qualifier. Tori White and Candy Kisses earned two trips to the winner’s circle in the English pleasure pony. The new team of Arzu and Brittany Parnell earned both red ribbons.

The Kentucky Connection and Katie Matthews turned in two perfect rides to sweep the adult country pleasure division. Shamrock’s Versace and Heather Dudley made their entrance into the division to garner both red ribbons. Rosewall’s Duchess Of York and Nicole Peer had a comeback ride to win the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship for Oak Hill Academy. Campari & Soda with Charles Semones earned the reserve title in the championship for Charlotte Carter. In the qualifier, the Cross Winds Farm teams were the one-two punch with Phantom Eyes and Natalie Penegar wining the blue and Double Your Fizz and Courtnie Tant receiving the red streamers. By Design and Terry Wilson made the trip to the winner’s circle in the amateur owned and trained class with The Irish Wildman and Dana Harris in for reserve. Consauga and Kirk Simpkins won the Country Pleasure Driving for Darlene Mannix.

Greger Von Elchenhas Oldenburg and Ashley Walker with Gerwin Von Elchenhas Oldenburg and Maura Dalton put on a show thrilling the crowd with the two beautiful Friesians owned by Pam Jackson. They finished first and second respectively.

Saturday afternoon belonged to the academy division with riders from Cross Winds, Covie Creek, Mountainview, Jon Walker Stables, Boone’s Farm, Calibogue, Drowning Creek, Wind Crest, Hamilton Stables, Oak Hill Academy, Emerald Ridge and Deerfield competing, among others. Winning top ribbons in their classes were: Audrey Sigmon, Luann Brooks, Renee Hall, Ara Pearson, Allison Anders, Meghan Bryant, Carley Neihaus, Areanna Torrens, Clara Hortan, Kinsey Broome, McKenzie Bryant, Laura Tinsley, Abby Tomlin, Christy Stovall, Tina Johnson, Aimee Taylor, Autumn Green, Lorie Triplette, Kristi McCully, Morgan Omps, Olivia Knox, Jazmine Jones, Alex Cedrone, Tiffany Knox, Abby Traywick, Kayla Wilson, Abbey Rainwater, Jessica Jones, Taylor Cooley, MacKenzie Todd, Jade Schweickert and Brittany Olinger.

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