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Cooking Up Competition and Chili at JD Massey

by Katherine Hansil

CLEMSON, S.C. - The J.D. Massey Classic celebrated its 76th anniversary April 15–18, 2009, at the T. Ed Garrison Arena in Clemson, S.C. Drawing barns from all over the Carolinas, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, the showed offered top competition. The show does a great job of managing the schedule so everyone has time to enjoy the area, whether it be dining in Pendleton or going to the Azalea Festival in Pickens. This year management stepped up the hospitality to offer events after each evening sessions with one of the highlights being the Chili Cook-off on Thursday evening. Barns not only brought chili but also decorated tables and aprons. Earning the Best Chili title was Marian Hunt Bramlett from Milestone Farm. Brooke VanderSpuy of Lenux Stables followed up for the reserve. Topping the hottest category was Cash Lovell Stables with Harrison Shiflet Stables in for reserve. Cheryl Baird captured the best decoration category with High Caliber and Lenux Stables tying for reserve. Earning the Overall title which judged the chili, decorations and theme was Harrison Shiflet Stables’s Gastro Stimulus Package.


The show was brought to a close with two powerful five-gaited horses battling for the championship tricolor. With a mighty performance, Red Hawk Red Hawk was called to the winner’s circle for the third year in a row. Bill Schoeman presented the stallion to the honor after an earlier reserve in the qualifier for the Schmidt/Schoeman partnership. Reserve honors went to Vickie Byrd’s new contender, Twice Charmed, with Mary Orr in the saddle after an earlier reserve in the ladies qualifier. Evan Orr enjoyed the spotlight with a single appearance aboard CH Memories’ Paragon, winning the open qualifier for Katie Morrison.

Sweeping the ladies division was the flashy CH Ima Star-Buck with Julie Burmeister up for Jerry Horoshuck for the Boone’s Farm banner. Stablemate Leatherwood’s Hats Off with Ali Deutsch captured the reserve championship after Betsy Boone had a flawless catchride to win the Carolina owned qualifier. Whitney Bennett also had catchriding duties to garner the red streamers in the Carolina owned class with Tobie McGuire for Anna Kirk under the Harrison Shiflet Stables banner.

Boone’s Farm continued to dominate the division when CH Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe and Wendy Troyer battled out not only a full class, but a two-horse workout to earn the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship. Reserve in the championship went to CH Diamond’s Hope and Sarah Longworth. This hard riding team topped the amateur qualifier under the High Caliber banner. Megan McClure was back aboard CH Breaking News in the amateur qualifier with a confident ride for the red ribbon in their only appearance.

Drew Taylor Hewitt had a huge ride aboard Callaway’s Ball Of Fire in the junior exhibitor championship. With a comeback performance, this team racked away with the tricolor for Donna and Jack Finch. Camille Cowart was aboard the sporty Captain Roseridge to earn both reserve titles. The qualifying blue was also hung at West Wind Stables after CH What’s The Whoopla and Caitlin Leith bested the competition in their only performance. Cagle James has really come together with Little Lord Huntly and this week swept the pony division. Reserve honors went to I Believe I Can Fly and Sarah Martin.

The South African-bred Kalarama’s The Ultimate Choice made his U.S. debut on Friday with an outstanding performance. The handsome, talented bay topped the novice class with Neil Visser for owner The Ultimate Choice Group. Don and Phyllis Brookshire’s Catalino captured the reserve title with Matt Shiflet in only his second career show.

The toppy Imperial Asset was in top form for the Denver/Junior Five-Gaited win with James Lowry presenting for Barbara Goodman Manilow. It’s Saturday Night Live matured over the winter and, with Kim Cowart, earned the reserve title for Beth Arndt. Matt Shiflet made his way to the winner’s circle in the junior class with another young star that developed well over the winter, Think I Will. Shiflet was in the irons for All Well Farm. Bill Schoeman claimed the reserve title with Cloverleaf Elegant Belle.


Stonecroft Nightlight was stunning on Saturday evening with James Lowry as he marched down the rail and into the winner’s circle for Karrie Graham and Dwaine Kinderknecht. Earlier in the week they qualified with the open reserve. Matt Shiflet brought back the reserve Carolina owned titleholder, Lady Avalon, for the championship reserve for Phyllis and Don Brookshire. Winning the open qualifier in a single appearance was High Time’s Northern Son with Bill Waller in the irons for Sarah Wood.

Mary Orr presented the magnificent CH Our Charming Lady to the sweep in the ladies division in their first appearances of the season for Donna and Jack Finch. Homebred Your Lucky Stars captured both reserve titles with Deborah Koning presenting for David Crockett.

Juliette’s Deja Blue and Andrea Athanasuleas began their season in top form with two winning performances in the amateur division. Terri Dolan confidently presented the talented Odyssey Mann to a pair of reserve titles under the Kalarama banner. Jenna Norton and the striking Callaway’s Paisano easily graduated to the adult ranks, winning the Carolina owned qualifier with a flawless performance.

Deborah Koning continued the Crockett Springs success by topping the Novice Three-Gaited with Little Piece Of My Heart. Bill Schoeman presented the Red Hawk Red Hawk son Cloverleaf Red Baron to the reserve ribbon for The Good Group Equine LLC.

Another Red Hawk Red Hawk son was in the spotlight, this time in the junior class with trainer Quintus VanderSpuy. With his lofty trot, Cloverleaf Turner Jake captured the blue for Nancy Chauvin. Reserve honors went to Copperbeach LLC’s Won For Gipper with James Lowry in the irons.

Maria Gilman presented the expressive Callaway’s Gentleman’s Agreement to the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited win with Such A Memory and Bill Schoeman claiming reserve for Lori and Larry Schmidt.

Surprisingly there were no junior exhibitor three-gaited entries but the junior exhibitors had their time in the limelight with their ponies. Caroline Anderson had two great rides aboard the little machine CH Cameo’s Carte Blanche to sweep the division for the Cash Lovell banner. Young star Anna Grace Whitworth showed Attache Allure to both reserves under the direction of Christy Johnson.


With two consistent performances, I Saw You First swept the open park division with Bobby Burgess in the irons for Ben McDaniel. Reserve honors went to Crockett Springs’s Bright Memories with Deborah Koning.

CH Another Bay is a machine. At the age 19, he still is at the top of his game, and with Sara McDonald expertly piloting him they swept the amateur division. The flashy gray Sugar Coated and Marie Gwinn, now in their second show together, confidently rode to a pair of reserve titles.

In the junior exhibitor division CH Justa Rascal and Camille Cowart bested the competition, repeating their 2008 championship win and also picking up this year’s qualifying win. Reserve championship honors went to stablemate Who’s Your Daddy and Cara Wolf. Reserve in the qualifier went to the high-headed CH Kalarama Shiraz with Drew Taylor Hewitt.

James Lowry was back to the winner’s circle in the Junior Three-Gaited Park. A bright and toppy bay, Santa Ana Wind, by Santa’s Charm and out of (SA) Pay-Stick Yoko’s Whisper, made his under saddle debut marching down the rail to win the blue for owner Tri Color Ventures, Inc. Adam Clauson presented homebred Ashado (Slam Dunk H.G. x Worthy One’s Love) to the reserve ribbon.

Fine Harness

With four returning for the Fine Harness Championship, it was the largest of the open stakes with a combination of amateur and junior qualifiers. Just as in the amateur qualifier, Lace’s Last Tango was victorious. Priscilla Marconi was on the lines of the handsome son of Arborlane Tango’s Wee Pee and CH Sultan’s Leather & Lace who showed off his lofty, parade-like trot without ever backing an ear. Kim Stewart directed Cash Lovell’s Mr. Naponleon Dynamite to the reserve championship title after an earlier reserve in the junior qualifier. Winning the junior qualifier was Tribeca, a son of I’m A New Yorker and Rare Southern Grace, with Matt Shiflet on the lines for Gaited Inc. Another homebred star emerged from Crockett Springs as Deborah Koning directed Salemtown’s Irreplaceable (Salemtown X Kalu Lily) to the UPHA Classic win.


Deborah Koning was back to the winner’s circle with a comeback drive behind Scruff. The team raced to victory in the Roadster To Bike Championship after a reserve in the qualifier. Holding form and proving speed, Cookie Monster drove away with the reserve honors with Steve Hanks in the bike for Mark Catron. Earlier, Catron directed the sporty horse to the amateur blue ribbon.

Hanks was in the bike earlier in the schedule to win the open qualifier with Jean Myer’s The Dreamer. Myer’s grandson, Dustin Lassett, was behind The Dreamer for the Youth Roadster To Bike reserve title. Winning the youth qualifier was the proven performer Royal Count who was expertly driven by Rebekah Cloninger.

Under the Lowry banner, Valparaiso was in top form in the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship. With Tom Fiedler on the lines, Valparaiso moved up a notch to triumph in the championship. Matt T Up and David Crockett carried out the red streamers. Git R Done, also from Crockett Stables, went three for three as Deborah Koning piloted the speedster to wins in the Roadster Under Saddle Championship and qualifier and the Novice Roadster To Bike.

Andrew Mirabole sped to the winner’s circle in the wagon division in the championship and qualifier with Dancin’ For Dollars.


For the second year in a row Majestic Oaks made the trip to Clemson with a nice group of ponies and this year their teams carried home all three open championships including the Road Pony Championship. The top honor went to Dr. Robert Pugh’s Stat. Maureen Lydon expertly directed the expressive speedster down victory lane. Earlier in the week, Pugh was in the bike for the reserve in the amateur qualifier.

Taking over the driving duties for Rebekah Cloninger, Lewis Eckerd was behind the high-stepping Smackdown to win the qualifier. Racing to both reserve titles was the Golden Creek Farms entry Regal’s Prophet LF with Abel Vega.

Fresh off wins in this arena only a month ago, Jeoff Bodenhorst confidently drove Regal’s Star Attraction LF to a pair of wins in the amateur division. In only their second show together, Alexandra and Jessie Pettie captured the reserve championship title under the direction of Abel Vega.

In the junior exhibitor championship, Turbo Blue and Brett Van Gorden had a comeback drive to garner the tricolor under the direction of Helen and Jimmy Robertson. Sweet Impression and Audrey Sigmon returned to capture the reserve championship title. Earlier this team put together a powerful drive for the AHHS Youth Medallion victory for Joe Cook. Reserve in the AHHS qualifier went to the multi-titled Heartland’s Curtain Call and Lindsay Jones for the Cash Lovell banner.

Maureen Lydon was back to the winner’s circle in the Limit Road Pony with Boogity Boogity. The trimmed in white pony never put an ear back as he effortless showed speed and form for owner Ashlyn Farms LLC. Amy Roberts debuted with Joyanna in their new division to carry out the reserve title for Kismet Ventures LLC.

The bright chestnut Heartland Funny Girl was in top form with Peter Cowart on the lines for Caitlin Leith to win the UPHA Road Pony Classic. Reserve honors went to Dr. Robert Pugh’s new pony, Heartland Silver Lining. Topping the Road Pony To Wagon was Slick Willie with Marita Mirabole on the lines, while Eddie Case directed Celebrity Affaire to the reserve.

Moving up a notch, Perfect Offering and Jake Butts raced to the winner’s circle in the Road Pony Under Saddle Championship for proud grandmother Sharon Anderson. Reserve honors went the winner of the AHHS Youth Medallion Under Saddle, Heartland Wonderful Miss. Under the direction of Majestic Oaks, Megan Todd debuted this talented pony in her new division with ease for Creekridge LLC.

Majestic Oaks continued their success with two outstanding drives from Juliet McDonald. For the second year in a row, McDonald piloted her charismatic pony, The Remington, to the Harness Pony Championship and qualifying honors. From West Wind, It’s Showtime and Tamra Arndt marched down the rail to earn both reserve titles. With her lofty trot, Regal’s Norma Jean LF triumphed in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic with Abel Vega on the lines for Stephany Monteleone.

Dominating once again, Majestic Oaks directed their third open championship titleholder to the winner’s circle in the Hackney Championship. In an outstanding class of Hackneys, Heartland Candidate and Sandra Surber turned in a flawless performance to win the championship and qualifier for the second year in a row. Abel Vega was back in the viceroy togarner a pair of red streamers with Golden Creek Farms’s Limited Edition. Another entry for Sandra Surber, Heartland Spindazzle topped the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic with Maureen Lydon presenting.

The pleasure driving division was another strongly competitive pony class. With two exceptional performances Mastercraft’s Namesake LF and Stephany Monteleone swept the division. Heartland Parade Time and Tamra Arndt had a comeback drive to earn the reserve championship title. The junior exhibitor team of the group Hawkeye’s Chatter Box and Allie Wellington claimed the reserve in the qualifier.

Show Pleasure

In the well-filled Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, CH Stonewall’s Stargate and Stefanie Sanchez were dazzling. The team made pass after pass to move up a notch from their reserve in the qualifier and carry out the tricolor. Trading ribbons with the team was Midnight Senor and Melody Murphy. This Matt Shiflet-trained team took Raleigh by storm just a few weeks ago in the division debut and came this week with their "A" game for the qualifying win and reserve titles. Earning both strong third places was last season’s crowd pleasing junior exhibitor team Desert Supreme Kid and Jenna Norton.

Drew Taylor Hewitt had one of the best weeks of her life when she got to show four different horses, earning five titles and proving her talents as a rider. Adding to her list of titles, she and CH Sunken Treasure turned in two solid performances to sweep the junior exhibitor five-gaited show pleasure division. Making them work for it was The Apprentice and Bree Zandy under the direction of Julia and Steve Joyce. Zandy had The Apprentice in top form to earn both reserve titles.

Schuller and Maria Gilman turned in a great ride with pass after pass, capturing the Park Pleasure Championship title. Earlier, the solid performer Recoup, with Brooke Jacobs, won the qualifier. With consistent performances, the high-headed Callaway’s Embarkation and James Lowry garnered both red streamers for Tri Color Ventures.

Wendy Coley has a new star this season in Harlem’s Simply Irresistible. With Cydney Rae Cutchall in the irons, the striking, dark beauty triumphed in the Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure. Reserve honors went to Margaret MacGregor’s Sophia Galloway with Adam Clauson presenting. Christy Johnson presented homebred My Wild Gypsy Rose to the Junior Park Pleasure win.

Moving up a notch in the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship was the flashy Callaway’s Northern Fling. Whitney Bennett had the honors of catchriding Melody Murphy’s star in the championship while Murphy claimed the reserve in the qualifier. CH Tax Man and Peggy Councilman topped the qualifier with a pleasure perfect performance in their debut in this division. The Kalarama team returned for the reserve championship title. Last Gift and Bonnie Bishop earned a strong third in the championship for Susan Whittington after an earlier win in the maiden qualifier. Reserve in the maiden qualifier went to Join In The Dance and Amy Roberts in their first appearance. Winning the AOT qualifier was Irish Rampage and Darren Scott.

Lauren Wendel was all smiles when her number was called to the winner’s circle in the 14-17 championship. She presented the multi-titled CH My Special Sultan to not only the championship win but also the qualifier under the direction of Christy Parker-Cordell. Just As Unique and Cassi Rath had two nice rides to take both reserve titles back to Silver Run Stables.

CH My Grande and Cagle James were on a roll. Fresh of a pair of wins at Raleigh, this team bested the competition once again at J.D. Massey in the 13 and under division by winning the championship and qualifier. Drew Taylor Hewitt catchrode Brookhill’s Kool As Ice to the reserve championship title for Tom and Mickey Kangur while the CH Pistolero and Anna Grace Whitworth claimed the qualifying reserve.

Taking another title back to Christy Parker-Cordell’s Pine Haven Stables was Callaway’s Sweet Daddy and Ashley Brandies as they topped the novice rider qualifier. Reserve honors went to Mo Town Memories and Stephanie Breeden.

In the 12 & Under Walk & Trot Pleasure Championship, CH Santana’s Night Moves and Shea Washburn moved up from their qualifying reserve to claim the tricolor for the High Caliber banner. Winning the qualifier and returning for the championship reserve was Native Rose and Madison McCall. High Caliber added another tricolor to their banner with the winning performance of Sunkissed Supreme and Allie Poovey in the Pleasure Pony Championship. From Cash Lovell Stables, The Admiral’s Genie and Ashley Stewart topped the qualifier and returned for the championship reserve.

From Cameo Stables, Reedann’s Phine By Me swept the show pleasure driving division with two solid performances with Ginger Reagan on the lines for Marion and Hugh Bryan. The youngster Star Sighting moved up for the championship reserve while CH Selvaggio and Bonnie Koch claimed the qualifying reserve.

Country Pleasure

Jessie Cole and Andrea Athanasuleas are putting their mark on the adult country pleasure division under the direction of Matt Shiflet. The team bested the competition in the largest classes of the show to garner the tricolor and blue ribbon streamers. The incomparable CH Riva Diva captured both reserve titles with Donna Finch in the irons.

Bree Zandy was back in the spotlight aboard Julia and Steve Joyce’s Harlem’s Miss Abigail to sweep the 14-17 country pleasure division with two solid performances. Margaret Morrison presented Connie Leonard’s Buenos Noches to both reserve titles.

Holly Hein had a comeback ride in the 13 and under championship aboard Haunting for the win in her first season after graduating from the 10 and under walk and trot equitation division. The cute team of Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Laura Plant topped the qualifier and returned for the reserve in the championship. Reserve in the qualifier went to Precedence and Erin Blackenbecklor.

VHF Bay All Day and Marie Gwinn carried out the blue in the AOT qualifier with Toree Hefner and Crimson’s Dance Card in for reserve. Topping the novice ridge class was Glider Supreme and Lindsay Dasher for Christy Parker-Cordell. Reserve honors went to Silver River and Heather Hege.

Moving up a spot from their qualifying reserve, CH Holy Fruit Salad and Cashlyn Lovell were picture perfect for the Country Pleasure Walk & Trot Championship. In the qualifier, stablemate Kalarama’s Memorable and Emily McKay captured the win. They returned for the championship reserve.

Sweeping the country pleasure driving division was the Boone’s Farm trained team of Startalyst and Ann Cannon. The high-stepping CH Dr. Deker with Deborah Marcum garnered both reserve ribbons.

Marie Gwinn was back to the winner’s circle not once but twice this time with Monsignor. They captured the Western Pleasure Championship and the Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Pleasure qualifier. Championship reserve went to O Ain’t I Something Special and Luanne Kilday who won the qualifier. Winning the limit qualifier was Highpoint’s Ultimate Lady with Melinda Jenkins. Freedom’s Vision earned two reserve honors in the limit with Carolyn Teal and qualifier with Marni Cothran. Cothran also showed Zion’s Jubal to the reserve ribbon in the Shatner class.


Sarah Martin had her dream come true when she debuted in the equitation division this week. At Raleigh, Martin was surprised after Saturday evening’s session with a new horse, CH Hayden Fox, and this week she topped the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equitation Medallion and UPHA 13 & Under Challenge Cup under the direction of Kathryn Rodosky at Cash Lovell Stables. Under the direction of Desiree Clauson, Amy Hein had two polished performances to garner the red streamers in the championship and Pleasure Medallion. Ellie Kangur successfully graduated from the walk and trot equitation division under the direction of Mary Orr to win the qualifier and the reserve in the UPHA 13 & Under Challenge Cup. Caroline Brown, under the direction of Liz McBride-Jones, garnered the reserve title in the qualifier.

Cashlyn Lovell, aboard Aces & Eights, had two outstanding rides to win the UPHA Walk & Trot Challenge Cup and the 10 & Under Walk-and-Trot Equitation. Shea Summers debuted aboard Maximum Bob under the direction of Lisa and Bill Waller for both reserve titles.


The majestic Friesians were well represented this week. Sweeping the walk and trot division under the direction of Cheryl Baird was Tessa D and Tracy Estes while stablemate Robert Of Shady Nook Farm and Kelsey Baird earned both reserve titles. In the walk, trot and canter division, Baird also directed Marwyn Of Shady Nook Farm and Meredith Dancer to the sweep. Auke Van Der Himmen and Leslie Elliot turned in two solid rides for the reserve titles under the direction of David Chretien.


One of the best things about this show is it does not try to sandwich the academy session in between two performance sessions. Saturday morning and into the afternoon was dedicated to the riders from various riding programs throughout the Carolinas. Winning top ribbons were: Kate Redding, Peyton Drahiem, Melinda Tedder, April Hughes, Rachel Baker, Olivia Knox, Sydney Cearley, Shannon McNamara, Tiffany Knox, Carley Packard, Isabel Wood, Ainsley Marion, Charly Rhoden, Jozy Unal, Mallory Mansfield, Courtney Kim, Sydney Beason, Amy Cedrone, Elyse Moore, Chloe Marion, Lillian Boyd, Gracyn Mansfield, Audrey Kim, Tatum Tucker, Felicia Elliott, Paige Mahoney and Samantha Dunn.

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