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The Dixie Cup Celebrates 15 Years At The Park

by Diana Davidson

CONYERS, Ga. - The first full weekend in May featured many American classics in 2011. Saturday, May 7, 2011, featured The Kentucky Derby followed by Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8. For show horse exhibitors, The Dixie Cup celebrated its 15th year at the Georgia International Horse Park on May 5-7. The weather was picture perfect for the show with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures throughout.

This marked the 11th year since Saddlebred, Hackney Pony, Roadster and open classes were added to the 27-year-old Dixie Cup Morgan Classic to form The Dixie Cup. This year’s well-filled schedule included a division for the ever-growing list of Friesian competitors. The turnout was excellent with stalls and entries up from last year as a strong contingent of stables from throughout the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky as well as Pennsylvania were joined by several more new barns attending Dixie Cup for the first time. The Dixie Cup show committee and its many volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that Dixie Cup exhibitors enjoy a full complement of classes along with plenty of fun.

Southern hospitality and volunteerism continue to set The Dixie Cup apart from many other shows. The exhibitors from all breeds enjoyed the camaraderie and made new friends and renewed acquaintances. This year’s show also included several special presentations. On Thursday evening, Dixie Cup photographer Casey McBride was honored for 15 years of dedicated service to the show and received a well-deserved ovation. The Simply Southern Morgan Youth Club and The Dixie Cup presented Officer Ken Morgan and his dog Brassie with a check to help purchase Kevlar vests for the K-9 division in Conyers.

Friday night featured the always-lively Exhibitor's Party which took place this year at the nearby Hawthorn Suites with a large and festive crowd in attendance. A special highlight of the party was the induction of Mary Jo Schmidt as the newest member of The Dixie Cup Hall Of Fame. Mary Jo’s first trip to then Dixie Cup Morgan Classic over 30 years ago began a long and successful association. She was honored for her commitment to the show horse industry, her love for all breeds of horses and her total commitment to the industry as a trainer, judge, instructor and friend.

The Dixie Cup has been conscientious in its effort to make a difference. Its donations to and efforts on behalf of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Rockdale Special Olympics, 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 Rockdale Special Olympics including the 200 special Olympians who come to watch the horse show, the University of Georgia Veterinary School Building fund, and assistance to Georgia Horse Rescues. The vendor area behind the ringside tables was also the location of a book sale and silent auction that were organized and run by the Simply Southern Morgan Youth Club to raise money for community service projects.

The show featured two action-packed sessions a day plus a third session for Academy on Saturday afternoon. 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.

The management triumverite of Barb Goda, Tony Lee and 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, Doris Atchison, Jill Bertolani, Deena Castleberry, Austin Carter, Hariette Dye, Sarah Gallant, John Goda, Jr., John Goda III, Jill Kreider, Carol Martin, Shirley May, Sid Perryman, Taylor Vickers, Tricia Waclena, Bob Whitfield, Allison Wright, Bob and Paula Yeska, and Diane Wright round out the great group of committee members who volunteer their time to help make The Dixie Cup the successful and enjoyable show that it is.

The list of Dixie Cup show officials also included; Dodd Vickers (announcer), Casey McBride (photographer), Premier Horse Video (videographer), Paula Yeska and Diane Ayers (secretaries), Pat Webb (USEF steward), June Brune (organist), John Medicus (paddock), Austin Carter (ringmaster), Stanley Orr (farrier) and Dr. Ray Wright, DVM (veterinarian). The show ring judging duties were handled by Toni Knight-Utoft and Erlene Seybold, while Ann Genovese officiated in the dressage division and Brandy Johnson in the academy classes.

The 2011 Dixie Cup featured many memorable show ring performances highlighted below with full results in this issue as well as on our Web site at

The Morgan division featured numerous multi-titled entries along with some promising new combinations opening the season competing for top honors at The Dixie Cup. A pair of grand stallions from Broadmoor headlined in the park division under the direction of Dwayne Knowles. Pat Dills and MEM Heart And Soul carried home a pair of dynamic saddle victories, while Kathy Gutting matched up for her harness debut with Get Busy for a two stellar trips down victory lane. World Champion CHMH Spice Town Girl enjoyed rousing ovations as Dwayne Knowles guided the bold-moving Tony Lee entry to the Pleasure Driving Championship and the open victory. CBMF Immortal Belle turned in a pair of winning performances in her saddle debut in the Junior/Novice English Pleasure division. Kathy Gutting did a fine job catch driving Janet Morgan’s Libretto’s Bravado to top honors in the Classic Pleasure Driving division.

Anna Gibbons was a frequent visitor to the winner’s circle as she rode a trio of victorious entries for Barb and John Goda’s Friday Farm. TFC Champagne Charlie starred as the Amateur English Pleasure Champion as well as the open jackpot reserve champion, GFF Riverdance swept the classic division, and Gillfree Power Play made victory passes in park saddle. Grande "L" Farms brought home tricolors with two lovely mares as Sarah Dye Gallant drove LNT Miss Muffet and Boxford Ivana under the Friday Farm banner. Abbie Medicus and CAC Mountain Laurel added the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship to a stellar week for the entries from Friday Farm.

Willowick Farm continued a fine season as CBMF Seal The Deal followed wins at Pro-Am and Citrus Cup with a pair of victory passes with Doug Hawkins driving to the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Irene Hawkins. Following his victorious Citrus Cup debut, CBMF Sinatra drove away with the blue streamers in the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving guided by Mary Brannon for Willowick Farm. There was no bigger smile than Darlene Stodolski’s as she rode Ultra’s First Class Male down victory lane in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Stake. Laurie Faust had a great show with her handsome MLB Capo Di Capo as they collected the reserve streamers in the amateur western pleasure division.

Melinda Dennis and Hyland Acres Mystique were back in the winner’s circle as they topped the English Pleasure Jackpot Stake as well as the ladies class with dynamic performances. Dennis also directed Chestatee Sentinel and Christina Garner to blues and reserve tricolors in the English and classic pleasure divisions. Melinda Dennis and her colorful BDM Aruba’s Destiny jogged away with open western blue, while Isabella Bertolani did a great job to ride away with the reserve tricolor. Isabella Bertolani also made the victory pass in the UPHA Challenge Cup with a poised ride. Melinda Dennis was aboard the Bertolani family’s CBMF Chasing Rainbows for the Hunter Pleasure Stake reserve honors.

The Morgan entries from Impossible Dream Farm kept up with their Saddlebred counterparts in the wins column. Let’s Roll was on a roll as John Goda, III rode the handsome bay to the Open Western Pleasure Stake victory while owner Carol Downs won the amateur stake and the Chris Hilgenberg Memorial Trophy presented in his memory by his family. Downes also enjoyed cheering on her blonde and beautiful MEMC Graffiti, who earned the blue and tricolor victories in the open hunter division with John Goda, III aboard.

Tricia Waclena directed several top entries including a trio of top performing hunter pleasure winners. Morgan Wright and Monnington Soul teamed up for the victory pass in the junior exhibitor hunter pleasure, while Hylee’s Somethingtotalkabout and Anna Beeber topped the amateur class for Janet Irish-Felter. Cedar Creek Zanzibar and Carla Meyers added the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Stake reserve tricolor steamers to the Rosewood banner. Alexis Acres The Scotsman was a big winner in the dressage and sport horse in hand with Tricia Waclena presenting for Rachel Scott. RWD Direct Class earned blue and tricolor honors in the OTAB Sport Horse Under Saddle division with owner Tricia Waclena.


The 2011 Dixie Cup came to a tricolor close with the Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake as Lisa Jones and Wicked In A Winning Way continued their winning ways besting a competitive and entertaining field of seven entries. They began the week with the open blue for Frank Jones. Frank and Lisa Jones gave the Dixie Cup audience plenty to cheer about as WC Kenny Dawson made the victory pass in the Junior/Novice Five-Gaited. Frank Jones enjoyed his time in the winner’s circle as he guided CH Spirit Of New York PSF to the Amateur Five-Gaited blue and tricolor in addition to earning the first leg on the David and Florence Zimmerman Challenge Trophy donated by the Zimmerman family to honor their parents, including Florence Zimmerman who recently passed away after an accident. Mrs. Zimmerman was always "head groom and cheerleader" for Ashley at every show. The winning five-gaited contingent directed by Lisa Jones also featured Widespread Panic, who was reserve in the amateur championship following the ladies blue with owner Jenny Greer. Coastal Cruiser and Jim Harrell followed up their blue ribbon debut at Pro-Am with a repeat performance at Dixie Cup in the Three-Year-Old Five Gaited with an entertaining performance.

Denise Trethaway and Cappuccino returned to Dixie Cup this year to sweep top honors in the Amateur Three-Gaited division with charismatic performances directed by Lisa Jones. It’s all in the name as We’re Having Fun Now and Melissa Heres-Rosenberger bested the large and entertaining field in the Five-Gaited Pleasure division to capture the blue and tricolor honors. Melissa also had a lot of fun riding Highland’s Surprise to the Working Hunter Over Fences class. CSF Supreme Memories and Maggie Greer matched up for the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure blue and tricolor cheered on by Judy Brown.

Heathermoor Farm brought a fine string of horses and riders to Dixie Cup including Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake Reserve Champion Digger Dan as Richie Fernambucq rode the charismatic entry of Elizabeth Ghareeb. Stephanie Fox and Illicit matched up for dual victory passes as they swept the Amateur Three-Gaited Park division for Anthony Fox. The team of My Diamond Blues and Elizabeth Grigsby made the victory pass in the Walk-Trot Pleasure class with a confident performance. Worthy’s Hale Bopp and Lindsay Slemmons added to their record as they swept top honors with two stellar performances in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure division.

Kady Knight and Think I Will are enjoying a stellar debut season and following reserve tricolors from Gasparilla and Raleigh Invitational they racked away with top honors in Dixie Cup’s Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake. Alexandra Ennis and Simbara’s Stars And Stripes entertained with the their reserve performances in the English Pleasure Pony division.

Boone’s Farm made their Dixie Cup debut with an outstanding string of horses and riders. Anna Grace Whitworth and CH Callaway’s Carnival In Rio carried home the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited blue and reserve tricolor with a pair of bold rides for Tammy Whitworth. Barbour Childress enjoyed a memorable debut with Undulata’s Susan McGee as they captured the Three-Gaited Stake following a blue ribbon ride in the junior/novice class directed by Paul and Betsy Boone. Miraculous Odds and Amy Cedrone enjoyed the applause of their cheering section as they topped the Walk-Trot Pleasure Stake. CH Selvaggio and Laura Cedrone matched up for the victory pass in the Show Pleasure Driving and added the reserve tricolor to the Boone’s Farm banner. Anna Grace Whitworth made two more trips to the winner’s circle as she guided Attache Allure to the English Pleasure Pony top honors. Tammy Whitworth took her own trip down victory lane as she matched up with Endolane Symphony in the Limit Country Pleasure class.

Catherine Stephenson matched up beautifully with Jeff Shelley’s four-year-old The Pearl Of Noir to make the victory pass in the Ladies Three-Gaited and adding the reserve streamers from the Three-Gaited Stake.

Following a victory pass in Pro-Am’s novice class, Raindrop’s Not My Worry and Euchee Matthews added the Dixie Cup Open Three-Gaited win for owner/breeder Alicia Davis. Matthews and The Sun’s Out had a bright performance to top the Open Park Pleasure. In the Junior/Novice Park Pleasure, Matthews guided Globetrotter’s Class Act to the tricolor and qualifier blue for Robert and Barbara Walla.

Jeanie Waddell guided the athletic Broadway And Forty Second to the winner’s circle for the Three-Gaited Park Championship for the third year in a row following the victory pass in the qualifier. Callaway’s Embarkation and John Goda, III as well as Grey Smoke and Christina Wadell added to the Impossible Dream banner with their reserve tricolor performances. From the open division, Impossible Dream entries This Way Out, Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam, and NKS So Fine.

James Spriggs and Wild With Worry had a pretty wild fan club as they garnered reserve honors in the Open Three-Gaited Park division for owners Larry and Lori Schmidt.

Cardinal Farms made a tricolor return to Dixie Cup with several top amateur and junior rider teams. Kalarama’s Music Man and Kiana Warren topped the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park and added the reserve tricolor in the competitive Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stake. Charlotte Kurtz and Upton Sinclair enjoyed a stellar victory in the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure qualifier for Scarlett Mattson. Haunting and Amy Hein successfully defended their titles of a year ago as they remained at the top of the competitive Adult Country Pleasure division earning the blue and tricolor for Dan and Jeana Hein.

Susan Reimer had quite a cheering section as she made her show ring return following her recent illness as she rode the grand Columbia Buckaneer to win the crowd-pleasing Parade class. It was a special class as in addition Doug and Susan Norton of Briarcreek Farm were presented with an award to thank them for bringing the Parade Classes to the shows in Georgia. Doug and Susan generously provided the equipment for the entire class presented at the Dixie Cup. Brian Reimer introduced The Red Hot Kid to the winner’s circle in the Junior/Novice Three-Gaited Park for owner Barbara and Georgia Shannon. Valery Lang Hall and Lenox Square celebrated a big win as they topped the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake under the Reimer Stables banner. Niki Price and Miss Fancy Town were fancy indeed as they topped the competitive Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake.

From MJO Stables, the new team of Forty-Two Karats and Brenda Oakes made the victory pass in the Limit Rider Three-Gaited Park to the delight of their fan club.

Soquili Stables brought a pair of impressive Undulata’s Nutcracker get to the Dixie Cup winner’s circle. Allison Walker was in the irons of Soquili’s Christmans in July for the Park Pleasure Stake victory. Jacqueline Ware was on the lines of Soquili’s The Nutcracker Prince to capture the Show Pleasure Driving Stake tricolor.

Barbara Matthews has enjoyed numerous Dixie Cup victories over the year and this time it was the Best Day Ever as she rode the dynamic performer to the blue and tricolor honors in the Amateur Park Pleasure division.

Nancy Fortner and Glider Supreme matched up for reserve tricolor honors in the Adult Country Pleasure to add to the Pine Haven banner. Saturday night’s Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured a tricolor sweep for Pine Haven riders as Ashley Brandies earned top honors followed by Isabelle Leslie. Rachel Rafolski moved up the adult division in smooth style as she matched up with CH SS Lies & Alibis to earn the tricolor as well as a pair of qualifier blues coached by Christy Parker. Nancy Fortner and Steeling Home also added the blue and tricolor from the OTAB Western Pleasure division for Indian Summer Farm.

Harrison Shiflet Stables made their first trip to Dixie Cup and took home the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Reserve Championship with Callaway’s Compatible with Jessi McCurry riding for Katherine Singleton.

Carol Addison directed Susan Whittington and Last Gift to blue and tricolor in the Country Pleasure Driving division as they perfected their performances. Addison also drove her own Early Surprise to the Morgan Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving blue.

Marie Gwinn and her handsome new partner Sir Don Juan enjoyed the trip down victory lane as they jogged away with the Country Western Pleasure tricolor in addition to the qualifier and Shatner wins. Gwinn and her longtime partner CH Monsignor have a made a winning transition to the Country Hunter Pleasure division where they earned the blue and tricolor as they have in each of their three shows this season.


The crowd-pleasing Roadster To Bike Championship featured a blazing tricolor victory for Major Deal and Larry Jenkins as they carried home the Bobby Taylor Memorial Challenge Trophy to owner Chappy Chapman following a blue ribbon drive in the amateur class. Martell and Rick Adams added the reserve tricolor to the Fairhope banner following a victory pass in the open class for Ann and Ed Moore.

Rant N Rave and Karen Voerg once again topped Dixie Cup’s Road Pony Stake. Voerg also matched up with Seamair Premiere for a pair of victory passes in the Amateur Roadster Pony division.

The Crystal Creek entries of Carl and Kathryn Nichols enjoyed another steallar show at Dixie Cup. Crystal Creek’s Hallmark topped the Roadster Pony qualifer and added the reserve championship with Eduardo Lopez. Lopez also guided the athletic Dun-Haven Riverdance to the blue and tricolor in the Harness Pony division. Carl Nichols matched up with Crystal Creek’s Charm to add the Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Pony blue and tricolor to the Crystal Creek banner.

Also from the Crystal Creek breeding program, Crystal Creek’s Patriot and Brian Reimer drove away with top honors in the Junior/Novice Road Pony for owner Kim Burnsworth.

The Road Pony Under Saddle division was outstanding as five well-matched teams vied for top honors. Aragorn and Hannah Hirschorn blazed a path to the winner’s circle as they picked up the tricolor as well as the qualifier blue for Karl Hirschorn.


The Hirschorn Family and their string of top Friesians headlined the new division with their strong support. Hannah Hirschorn and the magnificent Watse topped the Saddle Seat division with Axcel and Heather Hirschorn in reserve. Heather was also aboard Seffen B to earn the blue in the Country Pleasure division. The English Pleasure Walk-Trot division saw Hannah match up with Atse Van T West for top honors followed by sister Haley aboard Bauke Fan Harns.

The Saddle Seat Country Pleasure Stake featured Inne and Kim Davidson earning top honors followed by stablemates Udeman and Rhonda Cofer.

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