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Exhibitors Show Spirit In St. Louis

Posted October 10, 2001

by Tiffany Gribben

LAKE ST.LOUIS, Mo. - With hearts heavy because of the tragedy that has struck our nation, exhibitors and trainers did not let themselves become defeated. Instead, they headed to the newly built, America’s Exposition Park, for the St. Louis National Charity. This was the third year in the beautiful facility. This was the second leg of this horse show, that traditionally begins with the Hunter/Jumpers. The first heat runs one week, followed by a week off, which is then followed by the Saddlebreds and Arabians.

The support for our country was evident by the many flags that were raised in center ring. Each evening the show was called to order by the singing of God Bless America as well as our National Anthem, which was then followed by a prayer. The love for a country in turmoil was seen in the many tears shed at this time each evening.

On Saturday evening two local police officers walked the crowd, passing a hat to collect money for the New York City Police Department. This fundraiser collected $1,572 in just a couple of hours.

A Dressage demonstration was held on Saturday evening by the Town and Country Equestrian Center. A freestyle to music dressage demonstration aroused much support from the crowd. Performing many advanced moves, the team Natalie Ottiger and Atache'4 rode to Imagine by John Lennon and I’m Proud To Be An American. It was a touching performance, which will not be soon forgotten by those who were fortunate to observe it.

Not only were the tragedies in our nation observed each evening, but the tragedies that struck this Missouri community close to home were observed as well. A memorial trophy was given in the Country English Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Championship for Scott Schrier, who was killed in a fatal accident coming home from Louisville. This trophy was presented by his parents.

A memorial trophy was also donated by Cascade Stables in memory of Ashley Curl, also killed in the accident. The trophy was presented by her parents, in the Saddle and Bridle’s American Saddlebred Pleasure Equitation Medallion Junior 2001 Finals. Ashley made the top ten in this same class in 1999 & 2000. She was triple qualified for the senior division this year and was entered to show. Ashley had ridden with Lynn McAllister for the last three years. “She will be greatly missed,” were the words of her father, not just by her family, but by fellow exhibitors and friends as well.

On Saturday evening, a tribute was made to long-time Saddlebred enthusiast, Sallie Wheeler, who passed away early in the week...“There is only one Sallie Wheeler.” This show began in 1977, and she had been a part of it since then. Not only was Mrs. Wheeler active in the Saddlebred industry, but with the Hunter/Jumpers as well. Her enthusiasm and support will be sadly absent from not only this horse show, but the many others that she supported and attended.

Everything was done to make this show a positive light in the midst of such darkness in our country. An exhibitors party was held on Friday evening following the last class. A therapeutic horsemanship presentation was held in-between the classes on Friday evening. A Tack Room award was presented. This year the hard-working team of Kalarama Farms were the deserving honorees.

Known as not only a journalist, but as a Saddlebred historian, Lynn Weatherman was inducted into the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame. He was a founding member of the show, and gave serious attention to achieving a show that would take its place among the great national shows.

For the complete show story see the printed edition of Saddle Horse Report dated October 8, 2001.

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