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Good Times Abound At The Dixie Cup

by Diana Davidson

CONYERS, Ga. - The Dixie Cup welcomed exhibitors back to the Georgia International Horse Park on April 30–May 2. The Derby Weekend dates were a week earlier than Dixie Cup’s usual place on Mother’s Day weekend. This ended up as a bonus in the weather department with mostly clear skies and cooler than normal temperatures. 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.

This marked the ninth 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. In these years, the show has seen its list of new stables and exhibitors grow by leaps and bounds. Show ring entries were down just slightly as a strong contingent of stables from throughout the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee were joined once again by faithful Dixie Cup exhibitors from Pennsylvania and Ohio, along with several other new faces.

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 many new friends and renewed acquaintances. One of the highlights of the show was Friday’s Ladies Night, which was created to allow exhibitors from all disciplines to ride in support of cancer research. The addition of all-breed ladies classes in open western and open hunter (which featured four different breeds) in addition Morgan Ladies English Pleasure and ASB Ladies Five-Gaited brought everyone together for a great cause. In addition, cancer survivor Terri Johnson was presented with a gift from The Dixie Cup and UPHA Chapter 17 for her work with the breast cancer program and the pink ribbon program at several shows.

Dixie Cup has been conscious 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 of Horse Rescue support services in Georgia and the Rockdale Special Olympics with many of their members in attendance during the show. The vendor area behind the ringside tables was also the location of a book sale and stimulus consignment 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.

In addition to some world-class competition in the show ring, Dixie Cup also featured many other highlights. Friday night featured the always-lively exhibitors’ party at the Cherokee Run Golf Clubhouse with a large crowd in attendance. There were also numerous stable parties held during the show including several birthday parties, Kentucky Derby festivities and impromptu celebrations.

The triumvirate of show co-chairs Barb Goda and Tony Lee along with show manager 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, Dot Atchison, Jill Bertolani, Mike Bertolani, Pat Borders, Hariette Dye, Sarah Gallant, John Goda, Jr., John Goda III, Jill Kreider, Evelyn Kuschell, Carol Martin, Shirley May, Sid Perryman, Rachel Scott, Taylor Vickers, Tricia Waclena, Allison Wright, Bob and Paula Yeska and Diane Wright round out the great group of committee members who volunteer their time to help make 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 (secretary), Patty McDonald, Diane Ayers and Marion Schultz (office staff), Patt Webb (USEF steward), Stanley Orr (farrier) and Dr. Ray Wright, DVM (veterinarian). The show ring judging duties were handled Bo Lucas and Jim Lowry, while Ann Stover officiated in the academy classes.


The Morgan division featured numerous multi-titled entries along with some promising new combinations opening the season and competing for top honors at Dixie Cup. The Park Saddle and Park Harness Championship tricolors were proudly hung on the Bobbin Hollow Farm banner in their first trip to the Dixie Cup. Brooke Simpson and Springmill Navigator rode away with the Jack Be Noble Challenge Trophy, while Nicola Varveris and World Champion Celebrity Marquee matched up for the stylish tricolor drive. In her final show before maternity leave, Sarah Dye Gallant guided Gillfree Power Play to the Park Harness Reserve Championship to add to the Friday Farm banner.

DJE Answer To Destiny and Euchee Matthews continued their tricolor path to earn the Open English Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row. Following a memorable pink ribbon victory in the ladies class, Faithfullee and Jill Kreider returned to carry the Amateur English Pleasure Championship back to Friday Farm with stablemates Alansa’s Dark Knight and Shannon Connard in reserve.

The Varveris family enjoyed a sensational show as sisters Ariana and Alexandra each made a pair of victory passes directed by Lark and Woody Henry. Ariana teamed up with Marsha and Isabelle Shepard’s dynamic Mis Isabella for the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure victories, while Alexandra and True Gold matched up for dual wins in the Walk-Trot English Pleasure and Saddle Seat Equitation. GFF Riverdance and Anna Gibbons captured the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Reserve Championship for Friday Farm for the second year in a row. Anna Gibbons also did a fine job presenting CBMF Chasing Rainbows to the Junior/Novice English Pleasure blue and tricolor for Mike and Jill Bertolani. Barb Goda guided the sporty chestnut to the Mares In Hand blue, while she also presented Grand National Champion Dragonsmeade Andante to the Gelding In Hand victory for Sarah Gallant,

The Broadmoor contingent under the direction of Mike Goebig and Dwayne Knowles directed many winning teams including John Weslee and Leslie Minard who topped the Open Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the ladies class for 21st Century Morgans. Cathy Minard and JAJ Bel Shashar were on top of their game as they carried home the Amateur Pleasure Driving tricolor with a repeat victory as well. P.D. May and On Target enjoyed the applause from their cheering section when they added the reserve tricolor in the open championship following a blue ribbon drive in the amateur qualifier directed by Barb Goda. 2008 High Point Report Champion Graywood’s Lennox is back on the winning trail in 2009 with Harry Daughtry piloting to the open qualifier blue for Mary Daughtry. Mike Goebig introduced another promising homebred champion for Cindy Nord in CN Out And About to carry home the Junior Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor.

The largest turnout in the Morgan division came in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship where June Davis and Hollybrook Walk In Tall were the big winners. They were followed by the qualifier winning team of CN In Grand Style and Allyson Wandtke. The Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure blue featured a repeat win for CAC Mountain Laurel with Abbie Medicus taking over the reins following sister Sarah’s AMHA Saddle Seat Medal win. Doug Hawkins enjoyed a blue ribbon return to the show ring with Darlene Stodolski’s Willowick Will To Wynne.

Janet Morgan enjoyed a winning start to the season as she guided Libretto’s Bravado to the Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor under the Broadmoor banner. Cathy Minard and her dynamic Hollybrook Independence added the reserve tricolor to the Daughtry Stables banner as part of a great show for 21st Century Morgans. In addition to their tricolor ride June Davis and Hollybrook Walk In Tall also drove away with the Junior/Novice Classic Pleasure Driving win.

The world titled team of Mtn Laurel Election Day and Tony Lee earned Judge Lowry’s vote in the Open Western Pleasure Championship following a blue ribbon ride in the amateur qualifier. Anne Judd and Winterset Déjà vu Again jogged away with the reserve tricolor following the junior/novice win. Kathy Gutting and her handsome partner UDM Goldmine enjoyed a great start to the show season as they earned the open qualifier blue as well as the ladies open pink ribbon victory before finishing off as the amateur champions. Kaye Bedell was overjoyed with her reserve tricolor ride in her debut show with the handsome EKL Exotic Vision in the amateur championship under the direction of Mary Brannon.

Gulfwind Centerfold and Larry Bonnell teamed up for a polished performance to carry the Hunter Pleasure Championship back to Margaret McKnight Karrh. The always-consistent Monnington Soul closed out the show as the reserve champion in the open and amateur championships following a pair of qualifier blues with Mattie Rohs and Mallory Castleberry sharing the riding honors directed by Tricia Waclena. Shannon Scioscia had a memorable birthday including a blue ribbon ride on Cindy Nord’s sleek CN Shot Of Joy in the Open Hunter Pleasure class. Lauren Tyner and Merlot strode to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship to add to the Zebra Ltd banner. Jordan Gorman picked up the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat blue and tricolor coached by Renee Jones, while Connelly Grant collected the reserve tricolor.


The 2009 Dixie Cup came to a tricolor close with the Five-Gaited Stake as Kalarama’s Lady Bancroft and Lisa Rosenberger-Jones earned the crowd’s applause and the accolades to match their brilliant qualifier victory as they performed for Equestrian Investments of Tennessee LLC. After earning the blue and pink ribbons for the Ladies Five-Gaited victory Simeon and Jackie Hale racked away with the reserve tricolor on Saturday night. The Amateur Five-Gaited Championship tricolor also went back to the Creekside Farm banner as Kay Harrell and Coastal Caper matched for the tricolor ride after topping the qualifier. Kelly Kirkham and My Starissa collected the reserve amateur tricolor for Riverbend Farm. James Hale and Undulata’s Carla Sue put on a blue ribbon showing in the junior/novice class performing for Carla Pearman and Tommy Fagan.

The Three-Gaited Stake featured Jeanie Waddell and A Material Girl earning their second tricolor in as many shows to follow their dynamic qualifier blue. Last year’s tricolor winner, Cloverleaf Red Baron, picked up the reserve honors for The Good Group Equine LLC with Anel de Wet in the irons after Hannah Swanson was up for the junior exhibitor win. Callaway’s Sam Baker and Jenny Greer teamed up to carry home the Amateur Three-Gaited blue and tricolor. Kay Harrell and Tropical Heir followed in reserve for Pinetree Stables. Mary Miles Kinnard and Killer McCoy took a trip down victory lane in the junior/novice class. Alexis Landreth and CH Simbara’s Audacity added to their list of accomplishments as Lisa Rosenberger-Jones directed them to the Three-Gaited Pony blue and tricolor for the second year in a row.

Jeanie Waddell enjoyed a stellar show with her new entries as she guided the athletic Broadway And Forty Second to the winner’s circle for the Three-Gaited Park blue and tricolor to add to a great show for Impossible Dream Farm. Ronnie Payne did a great job with the dynamic I’m In Command to garner the junior/novice blue and the reserve tricolor for Lester Harmon. The entries from James Hale Stables had a lock on the top spots in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park competition as Ashton Hale gave General Spirit a great ride to earn the tricolor with stablemate and qualifier winner Illicit and Barbara Thureson in reserve followed by qualifier reserve Callaway’s Midnight Madness and Vivienne Von Baillou in third. The new team of Gigolo Joe and Hannah Swanson earned a trip down victory lane in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park under the Ward Stables banner.

CommanderInChief.Com had the winning address in the fine harness division for the second year in a row. Crystal Harmon handled the lines of the handsome white-trimmed chestnut for the blue and tricolor. In addition to his own victories, CommanderInChief.Com sired the promising Two-Year-Old Fine Harness winner The Masked Price with Crystal Harmon presenting for Lester Harmon. William Dooley directed Summertime Snip to the reserve tricolor for Dee Dee Gordon. Mike Barlow debuted a promising performer in junior/novice winner, Worthy Charm, for Suzanne Mayo.

Frank Jones and CH Data Dot Com topped the competition at Dixie Cup for the second year in a row as they switched gears in polished fashion to garner the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure honors this year to add to the Creekside Farm banner. Madeira’s Sunset News and Crystal Harmon put on two fine rides to capture the reserve honors in this large and competition division.

Society Lane’s Prince Of Charm made a winning transition to the park pleasure division as James Hale made the blue and tricolor victory passes for Liz Smith. Last year’s tricolor winner, Rare Vos, and Euchee Matthews added the reserve tricolor to the Horseshoe Farm banner for Cynthia Kueker. James Hale also directed the junior/novice winner in Tanya Schilling’s Worthy’s Can’t Touch This. Daniel Walthers tipped his hat to his fan club as he guided Bonita Baile to the Amateur Park Pleasure blue and tricolor honors. Brenda Cormier and Rock Ripper claimed the reserve tricolor.

Following a blue ribbon debut in the show pleasure division at JD Massey, Last Gift and Bonnie Bishop teamed up for a tricolor ride in the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake for Susan Whittington under the direction of Carol Addison. Talk Radio and Jan Henderson nabbed the reserve honors for the second year in a row following the winning ride in the adult qualifier. CH Radiant Success and Kaylee Norman opened the season in winning fashion to earn the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure tricolor as well as the 13 and under blue under the direction of Impossible Dreams Farm. CH My Special Sultan and Rachel Rofolski captured the reserve tricolor after a blue ribbon ride in the 14-17 qualifier for Christy Parker and Nancy Fortner.

The Show Pleasure Driving Stake featured Narcisse and Christy O’Donnell earning their second tricolor of the season after a blue ribbon drive in the qualifier. Imperative and George Ann Nash nabbed the reserve streamers for Ron Makarewicz. Christy O’Donnell closed out a winning show on the lines of Country Pleasure Driving Stake winner The Indian Princess to add to the Zebra Ltd banner. Kelley Hollowell matched up with Azoria to carry home the reserve honors.

The Adult Country Pleasure Stake featured the second tricolor ride of the evening for Marie Gwinn as she matched up with VHF Bay All Day to top the large and competitive field. Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam and Christina Waddell collected the reserve tricolor for the second year in a row under the Impossible Dream Farm banner. Highpoint’s Fancy Cat and Toree Hefner repeated their blue ribbon ride from a year ago in the qualifier. Bouquet O’Hearts turned in a pair of picture perfect performances to earn the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Stake tricolor as well as the 14-17 blue for the second year in a row with Jackie Taylor taking over the riding assignment for R Farm. Preordained and Katey Lichtenstein matched up for the reserve honors. The limit class featured Fox In Clover and Judy Sanders earning a trip down victory lane with a dynamic ride directed by Lisa Rosenberger-Jones.

Marie Gwinn started off a tricolor Saturday night with a stellar ride aboard Monsignor to best a large field in the Country Western Pleasure Stake following a blue ribbon ride in the qualifier. Winsdown Cosmos and Mary Anne Jones jogged away with the Shatner blue and finished off with the reserve tricolor under the Bluff Creek banner. Mountainview’s Manhattan Beach and Evanne Floyd carried home the ASB Hunter Pleasure tricolor as well as the classic blue ahead of qualifier winner Carowill’s American Idol and Tara Evans who finished in reserve.


The Roadster To Bike Stake featured a tribute to Bobby Taylor as a trophy in his honor was presented for the second year in a row to the grand speedster Martell with Rick Adams guiding the crowd-pleasing entry Ed and Ann Moore. Barbara Matthews and Eclipse turned up the heat with a pair of blazing fast rides to capture the Roadster Under Saddle blue and tricolor under the Buffalo Creek banner.

Rant N Rave and Karen Voerg bested the field in the Road Pony Stake for the second year in a row following the open qualifier win. Ann Reeves handled the lines of Unexpected Lovin for the reserve honors for Arlie Fiveash, while Fiveash matched up with Rocket Man for the reserve performance in the amateur stake. Melissa Scrushy enjoyed a winning start to the season with two victorious drives on the lines of Cirque Du Soleil in the amateur division directed by Mike and Kathy Barlow. Rick Adams guided Crystal Creek’s Emperor to the junior/novice blue with a sharp performance for Kathryn Nichols. Heartland Masterpiece and Tori Newberry matched up for the Road Pony Under Saddle blue and tricolor as they blazed across the finish line for Ann Reeves.

Arlie Fiveash and the handsome Vindicator son, Nike, sprinted to the winner’s circle with stylish drives for the Harness Pony blue and tricolor for Pete and Ann Reeves. Gwen Stableford enjoyed two victorious drives with Heartland Elegant Touch in the Pleasure Driving Pony competition under the Buffalo Creek banner. Rythum Of The Century and Macy Summerville followed in reserve.


Saturday night’s Saddle Seat Equitation Championship featured a stellar victory for the polished pairing of Rachel Rafolski and The Worthy Prince coached by Christy Parker. Anna Gibbons displayed her style and skills to earn the USEF Medal and 14-17 blue as well as the reserve tricolor under the Friday Farm banner. Isabella Bertolani stepped up from the walk-trot division with CH The Excelsior to earn the UPHA Challenge Cup as well as the 13 and under blue to the delight of the Friday Farm cheering section.

Madison Waddell was in command of the ring as she piloted CH Discover to the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation blue and tricolor to the delight of the James Hale Stables cheering section. Kay Cashin and CCR’s IC Baron matched up for a pair of confident reserve rides coached by Jeanie Waddell and John Goda III. Reagan Huguley showed off her skills to earn the Adult Equitation blue and tricolor with Lindsay Dasher following in reserve.


The Open English Pleasure competition featured Jeanie Waddell matching up with the sporty Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam for the tricolor as well as the novice blue. Nancy Sealy and The Crimson King followed in reserve for Joseph Evans. Jeanie Waddell also guided Willowbrook’s Bold Design to the open qualifier win, while owner Mary Wilson matched up with her sharp spotted performer for the adult walk-trot blue and tricolor. It was a family affair as Wilson’s husband, William Matthews, rode Columbia’s Storm Goddess to the reserve honors.

Barbara Matthews added the AOTR English Pleasure blue to her winning weekend as she rode Endolane Supreme Admiral down victory lane. Kendall Adams couldn’t help but smile when he was announced as the winner of the Walk-Trot English Pleasure Champion with Mondial to the delight of Fairhope Stables and many cheering friends. Effie Evans and The Crimson King matched up for the reserve tricolor. In addition to their equitation wins, CH Discover and Madison Waddell added the walk-trot qualifier blue to the James Hale Stables banner. Cloverleaf Cairo and Jennifer Spurlin enjoyed a trip to the winner’s circle in the novice rider class.

The open competition also featured a wonderful addition of several impressive Andalusian Horses. Larry Bonnell introduced the handsome three-year-old HD Corazonador to the winner’s circle to capture the Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Don and Carol Brotherton. TB Trueno and Simone Brown matched up for the reserve honors. Bonnell also matched up with Halagado to top the Junior/Novice Hunter Pleasure for John Brown. Cathy Wilson and her bold striding Favorita FF topped the Sport Horse Under Saddle.

Friday night’s Ladies Hunter and Ladies Western classes featured a ring filled with outstanding representatives of many breeds. The Hunter Pleasure featured a blue ribbon debut for The Short Stop with Melinda Dennis providing a top ride for Tricia Waclena. The pink and blue ribbons in the Western Pleasure saw UDM Goldmine and Kathy Gutting add to a winning show with a lovely ride down victory lane.

Beau’s Black Beauty and Nichole Mitchell match up their talents to capture the blue ribbon in the hunter over fences class for Rick and Valerie Adams. RWD Direct Class and Tricia Waclena added the novice sport horse blue to the Rosewood Farm banner while Mattie Rohs topped the hunt seat equitation. Nike Five Time and Kathleen Saunders proudly carried home the blue ribbon in the road hack competition.

The Saturday afternoon session belonged to the up and coming riders and drivers in the academy division. The prized blue ribbons in the well-attended competition went to Patty Lichtenstein, Dawn Mavromatidis, Hannah Abrams, Amber Litsey, Elizabeth Moore, Maggie Greer, Lyla Walker, Sara Kate Garrett, Dionna Landreth, Sarah Castleberry and Elaine Murray.

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