Skip to content

Equine Obituary - Shelby Stonewall

All Show Horse

Shelby Stonewall


A gaited horse, a park horse, a walk-trot horse, no matter what he did, CH Shelby Stonewall did it with pizazz. It might not have always been perfect but it was always with his ears up and his eyes nearly popping out. The multi-titled gelding lived that way his whole life, even long after his world’s champion show ring days were over. He recently died at the L.M. Turner Stables, his last trainer and owner. Shelby was 33.

Bred by the Edgar Agle Estate and first owned by Elliott Bonnie, Jr., Shelby Stonewall was Ohio bred being by Truly Stonewall (Stonewall’s Beau Peavine x Truly A Princess BHF) out of a Vanity’s Sensation of Crebilly daughter. For Willard Partnerships, Ellis Waggoner brought Shelby Stonewall out as a junior gaited horse, their best ribbon being reserve at St Louis National.

Jack Noble and Ed Millet had a few classes aboard the gelding in 1988 and late that fall he was purchased by Ann Moore with Ray Pittman as trainer. From 1988 to 1992 he was campaigned as a gaited horse, primarily by Beth Pittman, winning classes at Southeastern Charity, Gasparilla, Tampa and Pro-Am.

New England owner/exhibitor Laura Shaw had liked the gelding and wanted him in her string. With trainer Rob Turner they made arrangements to buy him through the 1992 Fall Tattersalls Sale.

“Laura really wanted him although I told her she would never be able to ride him,” said Turner. “When he came in here he was a different cat. He didn’t care much for people. Beth [Pittman] had moved him to park and then we trimmed him. I first showed him at the UPHA Spring Premiere and he won both classes. That was the first time I thought I had a nice horse. He was erratic, but he got better and better the longer I had him.”

Turner also won the Three-Gaited Championships at Bonnie Blue, Syracuse International and Eastern States that year, highlighted by a reserve world’s championship in the Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under Stake. The next year they won eight of 10 classes, everything except Louisville. 1995 proved to be their year, staring with UPHA Chapter 14’s third consecutive Three-Gaited Championship. There were two wins at Children’s Benefit before Turner’s and Shaw’s dreams came true and Shelby Stonewall was named Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under World’s Champion. They defeated the likes of Callaway’s Career Girl, Lullaby Magic and Like Fine Wine. They were third back in the World’s Grand Championship behind CH Spring High with Tom Moore and Winter Day with George Knight. The next year Turner and Shelby were defeated in the under 15.2 stake by Bob Gatlin and Americana’s Jazzman. They were third again in the World’s Grand Championship, this time behind CH Winter Day and Americana’s Jazzman.

Shelby retired the following year and lived the life of a king at the L.M. Turner Stables in Brentwood, NH. With all the hours they had spent together a special bond had formed between horse and trainer. 

“There wasn’t much let down in him,” added Turner. “I tried trail riding him bareback with Holli [Esposito] and one of her old horses one day. I had to lead him back to the barn.

“When I was showing him he was electrifying every day. I jogged him mostly and it was all you could do to jog quietly. At the horse show we didn’t warm up. The timing had to be just right. I got on and walked to the ring and hopefully the gate opened and we trotted right in.”

Turner had figured out how to do things on Shelby’s terms and in return Shelby gave his all every time out. It was a great relationship that lasted until the gelding’s final days.

“He had a great life!” said Turner.


CH Shelby Stonewall paraded down the rail with Rob Turner as the 1995 Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under World’s Champion.

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • A Blast From The Past

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you a series of past feature stories on some of the greats of our sport. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. Read More
  • Future Forum: The Up and Coming of Young Trainers

    Enjoy the first in a series on young trainers! Read More
  • Foals N Focus – Week Nine

    In this, our next to last week of the #foalsNfocus photo contest, the bar was really raised with several quality shots submitted. Once again, the “hope” of foals is what many in this country need with so much unrest... Read More
  • Dr. Scott Bennett Remembered

    Thursday, June 4th is a sad day in the American Saddlebred/Hackney/Morgan show world as Dr. Scott Bennett, a 2017 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, lost his brave battle with cancer... Read More
  • Class of 2020 Yearbook

    Saddle Horse Report presents the Class of 2020 Yearbook. We are proud to feature some of the 2020 graduates who are and will be a major force in the show horse industry. We know their talent and perseverance will help carry them on to many successes ahead. Read More
  • Time to Nominate

    Do you know a UPHA member that should be acknowledged not only for their success in the show ring but also their contributions to UPHA and our industry? Nominate them for the 2020 UPHA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards by June 15, 2020. Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Data Points Are Telling

    When I get ready to leave the house for the day, I am checking the data points regarding the weather before I leave so I know what I need for the day.  Those data points are: What is the temperature? Is it raining or going to rain? Is there a strong wind? Is it humid? And so on.   Read More
  • Summer Dreams Reopens Show Season

    Katy Texas was the site of the first show back in business after the pandemic brought a sudden halt to all normal activities, including horse shows. May Chadick and her team at Vantage Point Stables did a great job of providing exhibitors a chance at normalcy with all of the safety protocols in place.  Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Connecticut Morgan

    Plans for the 60th anniversary of the Connecticut Morgan Horse Show are on hold until next year. While we miss being there this week, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from the 50th anniversary in 2010. Read More