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Equine Obituary - Shelby Stonewall



All Show Horse

Shelby Stonewall

BY BOB FUNKHOUSER

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.

1.

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

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