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The Dixie Cup

by Diana Davidson


CONYERS, Ga. - The Dixie Cup toasted some fine champions of the Southeast as it maintained its billing as the Champagne Show of the South. This show’s traditional Mother’s Day weekend dates make it a family event for many who attended. Exhibitors gathered on May 10-12 at the well-appointed Georgia International Horse Park for the weekend’s festivities. The Dixie Cup show committee and its many volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that Dixie Cup exhibitors enjoy a full complement classes along with plenty of fun.


This marked the seventh year since Saddlebred, Hackney Pony, roadster and open classes were added to the Dixie Cup Morgan Classic to form the Dixie Cup. In these years, the show has seen its list of exhibitors grow by leaps and bounds. In spite of a glitch in the calendar this year that overlapped several other shows on the same dates, a large contingent of stables from throughout the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee were joined once again by faithful Dixie Cup exhibitors from Broadmoor in Pennsylvania as well as Toree Hefner from Ohio and several other new faces.


While the dry weather that has caused serious wildfires in Georgia and Florida made traveling to and from the show difficult for some exhibitors, the weather in Conyers was sunny and dry save for part of Saturday afternoon and evening. Some heavy rain and thunderstorms prior to the evening session delayed the start of the final evening, but certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the exhibitors and spectators until the grand finale at 11:57 p.m.


Dixie Cup is well known for the its superb facility as well as the fine Southern hospitality offered. The exhibitors from all breeds enjoyed the camaraderie and made many new friends and renewed acquaintances as the show went on. The show featured two action-packed sessions a day in the show ring plus a third session for academy on Saturday afternoon. The dressage competition took place with many rides in its own arena on Friday. In spite of some long days of showing, everyone still found time for visiting, working horses, golfing, shopping and dining at many of the local restaurants or those in nearby Atlanta.


In addition to some world-class competition in the show ring, Dixie Cup also featured many other highlights. Friday night featured the always-lively exhibitors’ party at the Cherokee Run Golf Clubhouse with over 300 in attendance welcoming Dwayne Knowles into the Dixie Cup Hall of Fame. There were also numerous stable parties held during the show including several birthday, pre-Mother's Day and impromptu celebrations. This year’s show was held in memory of Jim Sudduth, who was a loyal supporter of many Georgia horse shows. Many of his friends gathered on Thursday evening for an ice cream social held in Sudduth’s honor.


Dixie Cup has been conscious in its effort to make a difference. Its donations to and efforts on behalf of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Horse Council and Georgia International Horse Park have certainly made a difference over the years. This year's show was held for the benefit of the Georgia Horse Council and the Rockdale Special Olympics with many of their members in attendance during the show.


The triumvirate of show co-chairs Barb Goda and Tony Lee along with show manager P.D. May were justifiably proud of this year's show and the strong support they have received from the ever-expanding list of Dixie Cup exhibitors. Rick Adams, Pat Borders, Evelyn Kuschell, Jill Bertolani, Hariette Dye, Sarah Gallant, John Goda Jr., John Goda III, Carol Martin, Shirley May, Sid Perryman, Rachel Scott, Taylor Vickers, Tricia Waclena, Allison Wright, Bob and Paula Yeska and Diane Wright rounded out the great group of committee members who volunteer their time to help make Dixie Cup the successful and enjoyable show that it is.


The list of returning Dixie Cup show officials also included; Dodd Vickers (announcer), Casey McBride (photographer), Bob Yeska (ringmaster), Paula Yeska and Patty McDonald (secretaries), Jane Blue (USEF steward), Stanley Orr (farrier) and Dr. Ray Wright, DVM (veterinarian). The show ring judging duties were handled Liz McBride-Jones and Mark Bodnar.


The 2007 Dixie Cup featured many memorable show ring performances highlighted below with full results available by clicking here.




The Morgan division featured numerous multi-titled entries along with some promising new combinations opening the season to compete for top honors at Dixie Cup. Many-time amateur champion CBMF Undeniable stepped up to the open division this year as Dwayne Knowles guided Kathy Gutting’s top performer to the Park Saddle blue and tricolor. Jessica Saft enjoyed working with the Friday Farm horses and riders, while she also directed John and Barb Goda’s JW Authority to the reserve park saddle honors. The world championship team of CN's Stylish Debut and Allyson Wandtke started the new season with a pair of stellar rides for the Amateur Park Saddle blue and tricolor for Cindy Nord. Gillfree Power Play returned to the site of his show ring debut to earn the Park Harness blue and tricolor with Sarah Gallant handling the lines for John and Barb Goda.


Zach and Pete Wandtke cheered on their mom,

Allyson Nord Wandtke, as she earned top honors

with CN’s Stylish Debut and CN In Grand Style.


Dixie Cup Hall Of Fame inductee Dwayne Knowles closed out a flawless show by guiding Ray and Cathy Minard’s sporty JAJ Bel Shashar to the English Pleasure Championship following the qualifier blue. John Goda III gave GFF Riverdance a polished ride for the reserve tricolor after earning a trip to the winner’s circle in the novice class. The sharp chestnut Extremelee returned to the site of his debut a year ago to earn the Junior English Pleasure blue and tricolor for the second year in a row with Dwayne Knowles in the irons for Tony Lee and Shingle Branch Farm.


Alicia Davis and her handsome homebred Raindrops Chisum added to their winning resume with dual victory passes in the Amateur English Pleasure qualifier and championship directed by Euchee Matthews. Nichole Mitchell and Hylee’s Dancing On Heir matched up for the reserve honors for Morgan View Farm. Alicia Davis also matched up with Raindrops Good As It Gets for a pair of winning rides in the Classic Pleasure Saddle qualifier and championship cheered on by co-owner Jean Rothe. Chestatee Sentinel and Christina Garner carried home the reserve tricolor honors.


Channing Ligas enjoyed her first trip to Dixie Cup with a quartet of winning rides. She guided HVK Acclamation to the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure blue and tricolor, and with a quick change she matched up with Monnington Soul for the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure blue along with the amateur/junior exhibitor championship. In the English pleasure competition Faithfullee and Shannon Connard reprised their role as reserve champions for the second year in a row following a blue ribbon ride in the Road Hack class.


Mary Brannon followed up a stellar season debut show at Citrus Cup with another impressive show at Dixie Cup for Willowick Farm. Kaye Bedell and her handsome performer KGA Picasso collected the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue, while Mary Brannon returned to direct the toppy bay to the Open Pleasure Driving Championship. Brannon had Jean Jones’s dynamic Lamborghini In Black daughter Everlast Black Cashmere primed for the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the three-year-old blue. Willowick Farm also introduced their colorful Ultra’s Tea Party to the winner’s circle in her Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving performance.


Stonecroft Wish Me Well represented the Morgan contingent of MJO Stables with a pair of victorious performances. Owner Chauncey Felker drove the bold bay to the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship, while Mary Jo Schmidt was in the irons for the Ladies English Pleasure victory.


Lyniece Talmadge enjoyed cheering on her Grande “L” Morgans as they performed in Conyers. Peter Falso started off the show by earning the Two and Under Mares In Hand blue with the Belalugosi daughter LNT All Gussied Up. Boxford Ivana enjoyed a blue ribbon show ring return in the Ladies Pleasure Driving with Jeanie Waddell guided the fronty bay for Grande “L”.


The Talmadge family enjoyed Mother’s Day weekend

as Rowan and James Talmadge earned blue ribbons

 in the leadline class, while other Grande “L” horses

 enjoyed victory passes as well.

(top row) Elizabeth and Lyniece Talmadge

 (bottom row) Clio, Rowan, Robert & James Talmadge.


Barb Goda was delighted with her clients’ recent CopperDragon Sale purchases. CBMF Chasing Rainbows earned an in hand mare blue for Mike and Jill Bertolani, while Dragonsmeade Andante posed for the in hand gelding win for Sarah Gallant. The junior exhibitor classic pleasure blue also went back to the Friday Farm banner as Sarah Medicus and CAC Mountain Laurel matched up for the win. The Bertolani family enjoyed a fun and successful show for the whole family as Mike Bertolani matched up with Whitemud Forever Sunbeam for the Classic Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship.


Janet Morgan introduced her newest partner to the winner’s circle in their Dixie Cup debut as Libretto’s Bravado trotted away with the Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. Two additional blue ribbons from the classic division were hung on the Broadmoor banner as Allyson Wandtke matched up with the bright and bubbly three-year-old CN In Grand Style for the junior/novice classic pleasure saddle and driving wins.       Sir Black Ty N Tails enjoyed another winning show at Dixie Cup as Cynthia Skipper guided him to the Western Pleasure Championship while owner Marie Cavender rode away with the amateur blue and tricolor. Tricia Waclena introduced JMS Aarianna Allen to the show ring at Dixie Cup earning the reserve open championship, while Jennifer Crafton was in the saddle for the amateur reserve tricolor. The novice and open classes saw Barbet Pistolero and Andrea Morrison top the field to earn the victories for Cynthia Skipper. Jessica Saft gave GFF Special Illusion a top ride to bring the ladies blue back to Mike and Jill Bertolani.


Nichole Mitchell and Arts N Entertainments put on two ground-covering performances to carry the Hunter Pleasure Championship and the amateur blue back to Morgan View Farm. Tricia Waclena was justifiably proud of RWD Direct Class as she excelled in the hunter and dressage divisions earning three blues and two reserve tricolors in hunter pleasure as well as two blue ribbons and the Introductory Level Dressage Championship.


Isabella Bertolani did a great job showing two horses to top honors at Dixie Cup. In the Morgan division, she matched up with Arduns Yankee Royal to earn the Walk-Trot English Pleasure and Saddle Seat Equitation blues under the Friday Farm banner.




The 2007 Dixie Cup came to a tricolor close with the Five-Gaited Stake as Bill Schoeman directed Chief’s Top Commander to the tricolor honors. The bright chestnut was reminiscent of his world grand champion sire as he earned the qualifier and championship wins for Samuel Webster. Chris Mart Peypers and Kenora made a bright showing for the reserve honors. The junior/novice class was the largest of the division with James Hale and Simeon racking away with top honors in the hotly contested event.


Emma Grubb and A Muse Me enjoyed a smooth performance to carry the Amateur Five-Gaited tricolor back to the Pine Haven banner. The qualifier winning team of Sonique and Crystal Harmon carried the reserve tricolor from the ring. Undulata’s Kipling and Shelby Reimer combined forces to make headlines in the five-gaited pony division earning the blue and tricolor ribbons for Soquili Stables under the direction of Randy Stoess.


Randy Stoess collected tricolor honors at

Dixie Cup directing the entries of Soquili Stables.


CH Bernie’s Spirit and Kim Williams added the Open Three-Gaited Championship honors to their long and successful career. It was a tricolor sweep for the amateur riders as Valery Hall and CH Viper claimed the reserve honors following the winning performance in the amateur qualifier. The well named Attaché’s Elegance and John Goda III earned dual blue ribbons in the open and junior/novice classes to the delight of owner Jo Waddell.   


Caitlin Leith and CH Mahvalous Asset continued their winning ways with a pair of stellar rides to collect the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited tricolor as well as the junior exhibitor blue directed by Heather Boodey. Sky High Money and Natalie Sanchez enjoyed two fine rides of their own to earn the reserve honors in both outings prepared by Steve Old.

Chris Leith congratulated daughter Caitlin
following her winning ride aboard CH Mahvalous Asset

 in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited competition.


The charismatic Worthy One’s Rhythm carried the Three-Gaited Park Championship back to the R Farm banner as Liz Duggan stepped in for Blair Redlhammer who suffered a slight injury a day earlier. Callaway’s Blue Roses and James Hale carried the reserve honors in this deep division back to Mary Ann Railey. In the qualifier, it was the pairing of Saber and Crystal Harmon who bested the field for the blue ribbon for Lester Harmon.


Brenda Oakes was the jubilant winner of the Amateur Three-Gaited Park blue and tricolor. She teamed up for the wins aboard Ms. Amber Merchant for the second year in a row under the direction of Mary Jo Schmidt. The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park class saw Protector and Dylan Hines turn in a dynamic ride for the blue before adding the amateur/junior exhibitor reserve tricolor to the Impossible Dream Farm banner.


In Bold Print and Mike Barlow impressed the Dixie Cup audience to carry home the Fine Harness blue and tricolor to Melissa Scrushy for the second year in a row. Tom Lee guided the sporty youngster VHF The Burning Flame to the reserve tricolor. The Happy Valley breeding program was well represented in the winner’s circle in the Junior/Novice Fine Harness by Be Advised with Carl Irwin on the lines. It was I’m In Command and Bill Schoeman who turned heads with a blue ribbon drive in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness for Lester Harmon.


Shelby Reimer showed off her versatile skills at Dixie Cup adding the Open Park Pleasure Championship to her record with a stellar ride aboard Erika Clements’ Radiant Event. Trixie Chick and Jenny Glennon added the reserve tricolor to the Ingleside banner. The open qualifier featured a blue ribbon performance for the elegant Bouquet O’Hearts with Blair Redlhammer in the irons for R Farm.


Snap To It and Barbara Thureson matched up for a pair of victory passes as they topped the Amateur Park Pleasure qualifier and championship directed by James Hale. It was a tricolor sweep for entries trained by Hale as Harlem’s Moonstruck and Martha Wilhelm matched up for reserve for Carole Downs.


Seajay Lewis made a smooth transition to the five-gaited pleasure division as Brian Garrett teamed up with the sleek bay for the blue and tricolor awards prepared by Greg O’Kelley. Blue Crush and Key Tucker came back strong on Friday night to earn the reserve tricolor.


Barbara Matthews enjoyed her trip to Dixie Cup as she finished off with the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row with CH Five Minutes More after winning the qualifier. Rock Ripper and Brenda Cormier nabbed the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Reserve Championship in this competitive division.


Katie Boysen enjoyed two trips to the winner’s circle with her new partner, the celebrated SS Lies And Alibis. Christy Parker directed the well-matched team to the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure tricolor as well as the 14-17 blue. Shelby Reimer and her colorful partner Columbia Buckaneer carried home the reserve honors.


The Show Pleasure Driving Stake featured CH Harlem’s Babe Ruth and Susan Whittington hitting a home run for the tricolor following a blue ribbon drive in the qualifier directed by Carol Addison. They were followed in both outings by Wild Worries and Sandra Justice under the colors of James Hale Stables.


The Adult Country Pleasure Stake featured Highpoints Fancy Cat and Toree Hefner adding the tricolor to their busy season of showing. Krissia and Christina Waddell turned in a polished ride to earn the reserve tricolor. The qualifier featured a winning ride for the multi-titled pairing of VHF Bay All Day and Marie Gwinn. Tropical Sno was spotted in the winner’s circle as owner Maggie Costigan presented to the blue.


Play Date and Taylor Price were the toast of Fairhope Stables as they captured the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Stake with a determined ride. Mountainview’s Manhattan Beach and Evanne Floyd stepped up with the reserve tricolor ride. Shannon West and With A Twist made one of their victory passes of the week in the 14-17 qualifier. It was Cha Ching Cha Ching in the 13 and under class as Allie Walker showed her dynamic chestnut to the win.


Shelby Reimer showed Callaway’s Show Me State the way to the winner’s circle as they drove away with the Country Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor directed by Randy Stoess for Soquili Stables. Telemark’s Choice and Kristen Weisblat added the reserve tricolor to the Avalon banner.


Monsignor and Marie Gwinn continued their winning ways as they jogged away with the Country Western Pleasure blue and tricolor. New York Fire and Jan Henderson matched up for a polished ride for the reserve tricolor after the win in the limit class. Nancy Fortner and her multi-titled Piney Flats jogged away with the Shatner Western Pleasure blue for the second year in a row.


Manhattan’s Review and Rebecca Babcock were three for three in the ASB Hunter Pleasure division as part of a very successful show. Cha Ching Cha Ching picked up the reserve tricolor for the second year in a row with Allie Walker.




The roadster to bike division featured World’s Champion Ashland racing away with the blue and tricolor as Kathy Barlow enjoyed her time on the lines of the impressive speedster owned by Howard and Bobbye Six. Pistol Pete and his namesake Pete Reeves sped away with the reserve streamers for himself and co-owner Arlie Fiveash. Highway 66 and John Songer started the season on a winning note capturing the amateur blue for Tip Top Stables.


World’s Champion Zildjian and Caitlin Leith took on all comers in the exciting Roadster Pony Championship as they added the impressive tricolor to their AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony victory prepared by Heather Boodey. Mike Barlow introduced Heartland Black Tie Affair to the winner’s circle in the open class and added the reserve tricolor performance with Darrel and Sandy Kolkman’s dynamic four-year-old. Many-time champion Rant N Rave and Karen Voerg had the crowd cheering as they bested the field in the amateur/junior exhibitor class in their only performance of the show.


The Road Pony Under Saddle featured a tricolor sweep for the entries of Ann Reeves as Heartland Masterpiece and Tori Newberry sped away with the blue and tricolor while Anna Gibbons matched up with Blue Grass Cash for the reserve honors.


Mike Barlow introduced another impressive youngster for the Kolkmans as Heartland Makin My Way stepped up with for the Harness Pony blue and tricolor. In the cob-tail division, it was Ann Reeves and Highlander who exhibitor for the blue and tricolor awards. The perfectly matched team of Ali and Gwen Stableford earned Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship with a tricolor toast from their many fans. The qualifier winning team of Heartland Rare Treat and Ann Reeves added the reserve tricolor in this competitive division.




Saturday night’s Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured a stellar victory for the polished pairing of Kim Mueller and Tip Rogers. They displayed winning style and skills to earn the tricolor and Pleasure Equitation Medallion directed by Heather Boodey. Mallory Eldred showed poise and determination to capture the reserve tricolor under the Friday Farm banner. Anna Gibbons earned a pair of trips to the winner’s circle for Friday Farm as she posted the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal and UPHA Challenge Cup victories. Isabella Bertolani and The Excelsior put on two fine rides to earn the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation blue and tricolor much to the delight of their proud family and friends at Friday Farm.


Isabella Bertolani made parents Jill and Mike

very proud in her winning rides aboard The Excelsior.


The USEF Saddle Seat Medal featured a big win for Shannon West as she earned a trip to the finals. Allie Walker was the happy winner of the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 & Under teaming up with Cha Ching Cha Ching. Two-time 13 and under winner Katie Chatham stepped up to the 14-17 division in winning style aboard Ivy Raymond.




The Open English Pleasure competition featured Barbara Matthews’s first of two tricolor rides on Saturday. Here, she matched up with Endolane Supreme Admiral for a pleasurable winning ride. Lisa Misiewicz teamed up with her magnificent Friesian, Rommy, for the reserve tricolor after Liz Duggan rode him to the qualifier blue. Liz Duggan made another trip to the winner’s circle in the Novice English Pleasure as she guided Gheradelli to top honors for Pam Roush.


Stephanie Sanchez had a big cheering section as she rode Ultra On 42nd Street to the winner’s circle in the Novice Rider Pleasure directed by Steve Old. The AOTS English Pleasure featured a victory pass for Royal Crest’s Stone Coal and Kelly Hollowell.


Alexandra Ennis and Santana’s Flaming Dawn matched up perfectly to earn the blue ribbon and tricolor honors in the pleasure pony division to the delight of the Ingleside Farm cheering section. Alexandria Walker put her precious spotted pony Sebastian through his paces to collect the reserve honors.


The Walk-Trot Pleasure 12 & Under featured a pair of winning rides for the adorable combination of Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam and Kaylee Norman as they performed for Jeanie Waddell and Impossible Dream Farm. They were followed in both outings by Long John’s Hi Light and Nancy Leslie showing for owner J. David Chestnut.


All Heart MTA and Tara Evans bested a diverse field to earn the Ladies Hunter Pleasure blue. Manhattan’s Review and Rebecca Babcock started off a winning show with a polished win in the Hunter Pleasure with Fences class. Century Le Baron and Emilie Wells enjoyed dual blue ribbon rides in the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure and Equitation classes under the Morgan View banner.


The Saturday afternoon session belonged to the up and coming riders in the academy division. The prized blue ribbons in the well-attended competition went to: Hannah Badgley, Ciera Pitts, Megan Barajas, Taylor Beals, Sabrina Lutz, Beverly Neal, Lyla Walker, Leigh Bishop, Shay Cook, Abby Medicus, Annette Schoeman, Claire Badgley and Raine Hines.    


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