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GETTIN' HOT at Carolina Classic

by Sadie Killian WILLIAMSTON, N.C -- When temperatures reach the 90’s, a little rain goes a long way. At the Carolina Classic Horse Show, held June 12-14 at the Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, Thursday evening’s session was put off for a few minutes due to a severe thunder and lightning storm. After an extremely hot day -- all days were HOT -- the strong burst of rain was quite refreshing.

With the passing of the storm, barns from nine states converged for good competition in Williamston, a very small town about an hour-and-a-half east of Raleigh. While not a huge show, the barns that did come to the top notch facility brought nice horses and had a ball in and out of the show ring. A couple of major barns that have supported the show since its inception about five years ago elected not to come, slightly effecting class sizes and numbers in general. Judd Stables took the long trip to Midwest while Drowning Creek was missed as well due to Lewis Eckerd judging Gold Cup.

Some of the Saddlebred barns that did support the young show once again included Ingleside, Boone’s Farms and Stable, Magnolia, Silver Run, Midge Hunt and Chestnut Lane. These barns were joined with many other Carolina-circuit barns as well as an impressive number of Morgan exhibitors. Tara Farm, Hollybrook and La Mirage were just a few Morgan barns that brought some high caliber horses to the show. Speaking of La Mirage, trainers Jason Harrell and Chet Sowle sponsored a fabulous party on Friday evening that featured catered barbecue and live music. The turnout was terrific and everyone thoroughly appreciated La Mirage’s generosity in hosting such a great party.

In addition to Friday evening’s party, the Carolina Classic Horse Show had much to offer. There was an ice cream social Saturday evening -- another great way to cool off -- and a welcome breakfast held at the Holiday Inn after Thursday evening’s show. While show manager Ray Cloninger and his terrific staff did a great job making this show laid back and fun, they also made sure some true good came out of it...this year the show again benefited the Martin Country Community College Equine Scholarship Program.

FIVE-GAITED The show’s grand finale, the Five-Gaited Championship, ended with great excitement for Cove’s Creek. With overwhelming crowd approval, Judge Lana Gilpin tied Dwight Jenkins, Jr. and Light A Fire racked away as champions. Bluebonnet’s Wild Thing and Joy Bowman put forth great effort for reserve. Pepperman and Heather swept the competition in the open gaited class.

Unfortunately, there were no entries in the amateur stake, as lone qualifier entry Light A Fire and Dwight Jenkins elected to show back in the open stake.

With great support from the Magnolia team, Social Worth and the very talented Pam Austin won the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship where Visa Gold and the tough riding Shannon Harris captured the reserve.

Topping the cards in the Five-Gaited Pony Stake was Cassi Rath, who accepted the tricolor aboard her trusty mount Small Packages. This pair was riding for The NELCO Companies under the direction of Bill Rogers. After winning the qualifier, Morgan Berger and the Dreamcatcher topped off a successful week in Williamston with the reserve championship.

THREE-GAITED The lean Three-Gaited Championship left Lori Ingram and Dr. Teresa Miller’s bright entry Salvation in the winner’s circle.

The amateur competition picked up slightly as four entries made the gate call. Nancy Gordon rode her fancy mare She’s An Asset to perfection and captured the tricolor after collecting the blue earlier in the week. This team is directed by Boone’s Farm and Stable. Leatherwood’s Larkspur and Cameron Miller turned in the reserve performance.

Awesome Image and Alexis Gainey was another team inspired by the great support of Magnolia. This nice combination finished as the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Grand Champions. Jessica Coley and Unlock trotted away with reserve.

The Three-Gaited Pony Stake was taken by Bay Of Fizz and Samantha Bebeau. This cute pair is trained by Heather Boodey at Ingleside Farm.

After a top ride in their qualifier, To The Pointe and Suzie Shiflet had the support of the crowd as they were named the Open Park Champions. Husband and show photographer Shane Shiflet captured the great moment on film prior to the pair’s winning exit. Highpoint’s Power Play and Gordon Ingram garnered the reserve for owner Dr. Lisa B. Shorter Oakes.

Two entries came head to head in the Amateur Park Stake. Reversing the order from the qualifier, the bright and big-trotting Lucky’s Revelation was tied with a very happy Amy Roberts up. This team is trained by Chestnut Lane. Lunenburg’s Irish Storm and Aileen Stables finished off a nice week in Williamston with reserve.

The Junior Exhibitor Park Stake also featured two entries battling it out. Beale Street moved up a notch to take the tricolor with seasoned rider Sydney Carter on board. Costa Fortune and Tatum Faithful happily accepted reserve.

FINE HARNESS Gladys Night and Randy Cole had the ring to themselves, but surely took advantage of the situation making two very nice presentations for supportive spectators in Williamston. This fancy black mare by Shamrock’s Santana is owned by Linda Blair.

PLEASURE Always a pleasure to see in the winner’s circle, Susan Whittington and Harlem’s Babe Ruth worked the ring to perfection and took home the Show Pleasure Driving tricolor. CH Video Magic and Linda Blair also had a nice show and finished with reserve.

Three out of four entries showed back in the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. A dominating force at Carolina Classic, Chemistry and Alicia Wray finished as champions. Pat Jenkins rode Enchanted Dance to reserve.

Adding to their impressive resume, CH My Korbel and Victoria Woodruff were on task for the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. Heather Boodey greeted the pair for the victory pass. Makers & Seven was ridden to the reserve finish by Laura O’Brien.

As with many shows, numbers really picked up in the pleasure division. With class sizes somewhat small, it was refreshing to see five in the Adult Show Pleasure Championship. It was also refreshing to see Court Dance and Paul Otto taking their turn as adult champions. Go For The Gold and Alicia Wray were next in line for reserve.

Four came back from the seven-entry Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure qualifier where the always impressive CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time and Sydney Carter were crowned champions. This tricolor went back to the Woodbridge banner. Heirs Above and Marcy Scardino were reserve. The bold-riding Cassi Rath swept the 13 and under competition. Under the direction of Bill Rogers, Rath rode Man Of The House to the 13 and under championship where Callaway’s Jane Randolph and Kristen Thomas took reserve.

The Walk and Trot 12 and Under English Pleasure Championship was quite competitive as six little riders came out in full force. Patience Ergish expertly rode CH Harlem’s Black Magic to the tricolor for owner Beth Watson. All I Do Is Dream and Cara Wolf were on the cards for reserve.

Boone’s Farm and Stable collected the top ribbon once again in the English Pleasure Pony Stake. Here, Santana’s Flaming Dawn and Ali Deutsch contributed to the barns great week with the win. Well-deserved reserve honors went to Sunkissed Supreme and Megan Bush Barrett.

The Country Pleasure Driving Championship featured three nice entries vying for victory. CH Asa’s Wild Card was the lucky winner with Susan Mutter at the whip. Moving up a spot from the qualifier, Amanda Baldwin drove Mr. Cat Ballou to the reserve.

The Country Pleasure Championship was deep with nice entries. Muff Purvis showed her beautiful bay A Gracious Plenty to perfection and captured the tricolor. The tried and true CH Java Sea turned in the reserve performance in this 11-entry class. Amy Roberts was up for the reserve.

Have A Great Day lived up to his name and swept the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Country Pleasure Championship. Moving up several spots from their first go, Jena Coley rode Have A Great Day to the spectacular finish. Reserve in the eight-horse class was Emory’s Star Man and Paula Pridgen.

The 13 and under championship featured only three, indicating it possibly would have been more competitive to combine the junior exhibitor championships. Regardless, Sky Lite City lit up the ring with Fahlon Faithful riding for Jenny Lovin. Stepping down from an earlier victory, Hey Covington and Erin Breslin were next in line, accepting reserve for owner Karen Glenn.

Faithful Farm is the home of Liquid Trust, who turned heads for the Western Country Championship. Tatum Faithful guided this elegant bay gelding to the win where Bust Impression and Mary McElveen made a pretty show for reserve.

HACKNEY PONIES One word comes to mind regarding the Hackney Pony and Road divisions at Carolina Classic...La Mirage. Making their way into this neat division, La Mirage had several cute ponies emerge through the gate at Williamston. Jason Harrell greeted Tete-A-Tete and Cathy Minard in the winner’s circle as they were announced the Harness Pony Grand Champions.

Paul and Betsy Boone directed Rita Camp to a great finish in the Pleasure Pony Driving Championship. Making a big comeback, Camp presented Heartland Hightime to perfection while Andrea Adams also put forth great effort behind the lines of Excessive. This fancy duo claimed reserve.

ROADSTERS The Boones also added the Roadster Horse tricolor to their banner. Mike Gordon and his popular road horse Westgate Villain sped their way around the ring as the lone, but very exciting, entry.

Jason Harrell had tons of fun in the Roadster Pony Championship. Driving for Dee North Marno Morgan Farm, Harrell drove Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the tricolor victory.

The amateur road pony championship picked up with four showing back. Mary Daughtry and the very lively and beautiful Vivacious were the champions as Star Sweetheart and Laura Cowan finished reserve for Mrs. Sheltan Pittman.

EQUITATION The always smiling Aimee Austin had a great weekend in Williamston. Austin and her big, trusty chestnut Woulda Coulda Shoulda performed superbly in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, bringing home the tricolor to Magnolia Stables. Austin also won the USAE Medal Class.

Another exciting sight at the Carolina Classic horse show was Carboness and Jennifer Roberts, as they are coming together wonderfully in their first season together. Together, this sharp duo took the NHS Saddle Seat Event and the UPHA Challenge Cup 13 and Under class. Carboness and Jennifer Roberts are instructed by John Whalen and Anne Judd at Chestnut Lane.

Kristen Thomas was another face we saw in the winner’s circle last week. Riding Bi Mi Champagne Tate, the confident young rider won the UPHA Challenge Cup 17 and Under class.

The three-entry Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation 17 and Under class went to Misty Hall, who rode Song Material to the top finish.

For the walk and trotters, the poised little rider Kate Lovejoy was in the spotlight as she captured the UPHA Walk/Trot Challenge Cup 10 and Under class and the 10 and Under Walk/Trot Saddle Seat Equitation class. MORGAN The Morgans that showed up at Williamston were truly very nice. Tara Farms had a terrific show, ending with a trip down victory lane in the Morgan Park Saddle Stake with Holly Johnson riding the bold Med-E-Oka Noble Prize. Hollybrook also had a great of their numerous top ribbons included the reserve ribbon in the park saddle class with Sally Lawing riding Strike It Rich.

Adding to the Morgan Park Saddle Championship, the very versatile Med-E-Oka Noble Prize led the way with Frances Pugh enjoying her victorious drive in the Morgan Park Harness Stake. Ladies First and Chet Sowle were reserve for Loblolly Farms.

Unfortunately, there were no entries in the open pleasure driving championship and only one in the amateur championship. Under the direction of Tara Farms, Carl Johnson drove the handsome HVK Primary Light Light to the win for Holly Johnson.

Krista Dent exhibited the very fancy Silversides Toy Soldier for Talmadge Silversides in the English Pleasure Championship. Taking her place on the other side of the rail, Dent directed Sally Lawing to the Amateur English Pleasure Championship with the very sharp AKM Manhattan. HVK Flaire Park and Glenn Winograd turned in the reserve performance in the four-entry championship.

Catch riding for Carol Grosz, Jessica Holmes moved up a couple notches from the qualifier and won the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Stake with Merrihill Wish Me Well. KHF Bleeding Heart and Ashley Clanton happily accepted reserve.

The Junior English Pleasure Championship had Hollybrook Walk N Tall in the spotlight. Krista Dent was the winning rider and trainer for owner Joyce Metters.

Top contender Tara’s War Eagle and Frances Pugh were as good as it gets for the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. Also looking nice, Cavu Command and Anna Hormann took reserve for Donna Fiaschetti. Giving it another shot, Cavu Command and Anna Hormann showed again in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. This time they exited as champions.

The Classic Pleasure Championship was filled with quality. Michelle Moore rode the lovely LC Baywatch to victory for her mother Diane Tanguay. Bud The Wiser and Sue Stroud did not go unnoticed as they earned the reserve spot.

RAM Wham Bam Precision and Christie Bennett were on top of their game for the win in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Championship. Ovation Persnickety and Kara Schneider were looking good for reserve.

The three-entry Western Pleasure Championship ended with the elegant Swan’s Genuine Trust in the winner’s circle with Beth Tew riding for happy owner Kay Williford. Elizabeth Abernathy rode the pretty Salem Total Eclipse to reserve. Abernathy and Salem Total Eclipse redeemed themselves later as they took home the Amateur Western Pleasure tricolor. Kon Max’s Aero Commander and Katherine Maxwell had a solid ride for reserve.

The Hunter Pleasure Championship ended with Beth Tew taking another victory pass. This time Tew rode Chief In Command to the win for owner Katie Faron. A few more showed up for the amateur championship with MLF Calamity Jane and Angie Picton taking the top spot while LHP Empress In Command picked up the reserve for Ashley Lewis.

The above highlights the Carolina Classic Horse Show. Complete results follow and can also be seen, searched and printed from our web site at

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