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The J.D. Massey Classic - Showcasing the Carolina's Competitive Spirit

Posted April 30, 2001

by Leeann Mione

CLEMSON, S.C., - The J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show continues to be an early season draw for those looking for first-rate competition, a very appealing schedule of classes, and true southern hospitality. The 68th annual J.D. Massey Classic, held April 18-21, at T. Ed Garrison Arena had all of those things.

More than 30 different barns were represented in the winner's circle after the judging panel of Nelson Green, Ray Krussell, and Don Judd turned in their cards. The panel had their work cut out for them, especially in the amateur, junior exhibitor, and pleasure divisions. Many classes were very large and very deep, setting the stage for what promises to be an intense show season this year in the Carolinas and elsewhere.

The schedule offered 126 classes including a full session on Saturday afternoon for the academy riders. Wednesday and Thursday had only one evening session each and on Friday, the break between the morning and evening sessions allowed plenty of time for exhibitors to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Saturday is always a very busy day at the show with 20 academy classes scheduled after the morning session. Ray Krussell judged the division which showcased a talented group of riders in both equitation and showmanship.

Entries were up again this year by more than 50 horses and totaled 743; the first time in show manager Ray Cloninger's association with the event that the number has exceeded 700. "I thought we had a great horse show," said Cloninger. "We had to put up just as many temporary stalls as we did last year even though we had a brand new barn for exhibitors this year. We had great horses, great competition and the crowd really got involved. They made it known to the panel when they agreed or disagreed with their decisions."

Cloninger had plenty of help to make sure things ran smoothly. Joyce Wilson ran the office as official show secretary, and was joined by entry secretary Barbara Woodlief. Dick Morgan was the announcer and Dale Stone was the organist. Ben Phillips was joined in center ring by J.D. Massey board of directors president Dan Shirley, and Frank Friddle, Jr., to serve as ringmasters. Glenn Petty served as the AHSA steward and Bob Burnett kept things under control outside the ring as the paddock master. Curtis Hamilton was the official farrier and Horse Videos, Inc. captured the action on video. Jamie Donaldson was the show photographer.

On Thursday evening, a special presentation was made by the J.D. Massey Classic board of directors to three young college students in the veterinary technology program at Tri-County Technical College. Board president Dan Shirley presented a donation of $1800 which will provide three full-tuition scholarships for the Spring 2001 semester at Tri-County Technical College for Lindsy Stewart, Rebecca Mayfield, and Shontale Melton.

On Friday night, Anna Johnson got the evening session started by singing the National Anthem a cappella. Johnson had already made an appearance in the show ring earlier in the show when she showed I've Arrived in the Open Roadster Pony qualifier under the direction of Winding Creek Farm. The pony's appearance in the ring proved to be his only appearance at the show because he became ill before the week was out. The evening concluded with an exhibitors party that was well attended and featured, for the first time, a live band that played beach music and blues and had the crowd on the dance floor. The well stocked buffet drew a long line of hungry attendees.

Saturday evening's championship session included two special presentations in addition to the fierce competition. Trainer Robert Scott was inducted into the J.D. Massey Classic Hall of Fame. Scott, a member of the J.D. Massey board, was joined for the presentation by his son Darren. Father and son operate Robert Scott Stables in Greenville, S.C.

Mrs. J.D. [Millicent] Massey and Marge Greenwell were named J.D. Massey Classic board members emeritus for their years of service and dedication to the show. Mrs. Massey also served as a platinum sponsor and joined a list of sponsors that included American Services, Inc., Century 21 Case & Associates, Inc., Chanticleer Farm, Innovative Inventory, Currie Horse Transport, Rudy Driscoll, Winding Creek Farm, West Wind Stables, Haywood Mall, Southern Venture, and Merial, Inc. Proceeds from the horse show went to benefit various programs supported by the Clemson-Calhoun Rotary Club.

The participation of so many barns from throughout the southeastern region of the country provided numerous highlights in the ring throughout the show.

While this year’s Five-Gaited Grand Championship did not match last year’s big 10-entry class in size, it was no less exciting. The J.D. Massey crowd is always very supportive of the competitors and when the entries reversed to head for home, the cheers and applause from the crowd raised the excitement level to a fever pitch.

Cash Lovell brought back Vicki Byrd’s CH Jaunty Janette in an effort to defend their grand championship title from last year. They joined Claude Shiflet, riding Jack Heslep’s Executive Dunk; Paul Boone and Bel Cheval’s All That Jazz, owned by Bill Cannon; and Bill Schoeman on board Timely ‘N Stylish for owner Lori Schmidt.

All four entries worked well but in the end it came down to a battle between Shiflet and Lovell, both beloved favorites on the Carolina circuit. Executive Dunk put on a powerful display and Jaunty Janette was equally as explosive. When riders remounted after entries were stripped, it seemed the crowd was equally divided.

When the cards were turned in, the result was a unanimous decision all the way down the cards. Executive Dunk, with a beaming Claude Shiflet, took the victory pass and Vicki Byrd’s game mare earned the reserve tricolor. Bel Cheval’s All That Jazz and Paul Boone were third.

The Three-Gaited Grand Championship had just three entries. Peter Cowart was up on Pagan Prince, for Southwood Partners, winners of the Three-Gaited Stake at Pro Am just two weeks ago. They made it two in a row by earning the victory in a unanimous decision by the panel. In fact, all three places were unanimous in this grand championship as well. Paul Boone and The Jordan Heir claimed the reserve title for Jerry and Valerie Horoschuck and Jenny Kokenes rode her Katies Dream for the final ribbon under the direction of Johnny and Bo Lucas.

The Fine Harness Grand Championship showcased six entries vying for the tricolor and title. Janet Kellett and CH Crystal Illusion claimed the title for Alde-Mar Farms under the direction of trainer Bob Vesel. James Rosburg and By Honor Bound were the reserve grand champions, taking the tricolor back home to Florida for Pixie Dust & Steel, Inc. Rosburg showed under the direction of Ruth Gimpel Stables.

Cash Lovell Stables ended the week as the winningest barn in the performance division. Their winning streak began when Cash Lovell rode CH Absolutely A Lady to the blue ribbon in the open park class on Wednesday evening for owner Trish Murray Grout. On Saturday night, Grout herself rode to the tricolor in the Three-Gaited Park Championship.

Grout’s niece, Jessica Holmes, took several trips to the winner’s circle as well. She rode CH The Showstopper to the blue ribbon in the 14-17 Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited qualifier before returning to earn the reserve title in the junior exhibitor championship. Holmes went on to sweep the five-gaited pony division by riding Our Wild Irish Rose to the win in the qualifier and championship for owner Christy Absher. Jessica’s mother, Elizabeth Holmes, and Velvet Daybreak teamed up to take both reserve ribbons in the Show Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship.

The father and daughter team of Brooke and Jeoff Bodenhorst also made earning top ribbons a family affair under the direction of Cash Lovell. Brooke rode her new mount, Man On The Run, to the red ribbon in the Ladies Three-Gaited class and returned in the tough Amateur Three-Gaited Stake to earn the reserve tricolor. Jeoff Bodenhorst and Ferocia were the Amateur Roadster Pony Reserve Grand Champions and reserve champions.

Cash Lovell Stables assistant, May Klein, was in the irons for the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class with Champagne Raymond. Klein rode for owner Vicki Byrd. Byrd added to her winning total when she and CH Jaunty Janette won the Amateur Five-Gaited Mare class. Klein returned to the ring to earn the reserve with Shadowland’s The Prophecy in the UPHA Roadster Pony Classic for owners Ken and Shirley Davis.

Hunter Maddy and Catch The Spirit went to the winner’s circle in the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion class and then came back to take the victory pass in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony Championship. Miriam Wright also made it a clean sweep when she drove The Kentucky Connection to the blue and tricolor ribbons in the country pleasure driving division for Stephanie Wright.

Catie Hawley had a busy week in Greenville, showing CH In Neon ERB to the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 14-17 Championship title after winning the 14-17 qualifier. She also earned the blue ribbon, riding Bright Adventure, in the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion.

Two more reserve titles in the pleasure division went back to the Cash Lovell Stables tack room when Dr. Jenifer Geisler rode Johnny Rocket to the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure 36 and Over red ribbon. Bankshire’s Emerald Spring carried Jenna Miller to the second place tie in the 13 and under country pleasure class for owner Tommy Lovell.

Allie Wellington made her debut in the performance division and added two blue ribbons to the pleasure division win count with her Unique Santana. Wellington won both the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class and the 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class.

Ruth Gimpel directed the entries of James and Helen Rosburg and Cathy Blank to numerous wins during the week including Desert Prince's win in the Roadster Pony Championship and open qualifier with Gerald Moores driving for Pixie Dust & Steel. James Rosburg and Desert Fox teamed up to sweep the amateur roadster pony division.

Helen Rosburg joined the win list by winning the Hackney Pleasure Pony Driving Championship and qualifier with Rumor Has It. She also drove Santana's Night Moves to the tricolor in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship after winning the qualifier. By Honor Bound, the Fine Harness Reserve Grand Champion, earned the red ribbon in the amateur class with James Rosburg. Ruth Gimpel was up for the blue ribbon with Java Chip in the Junior Three-Gaited class for Cathy Blank.

Jon Walker directed his customers to numerous wins and drove his own entry, Quill, to the Roadster To Bike Championship tricolor and blue ribbon in the open class. He was up on The Master Showman for Mike Reed to win the Carolina-Owned Five-Gaited class.

Ashley Walker piloted Blue Ridge Miles to a clean sweep of the junior exhibitor park division for owner Beth Glover. Ashley continued her winning streak by taking the victory pass in the 13 and under pleasure championship, after winning the 13 and under class, with Next Day Heirs for Richard and Sherry Greaves. Sally Pyles topped the cards in the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Pleasure class with Tender Poison and Erin Kallman rode Answers The Call to the reserve in the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion and Gelding class.

Paul Boone and the customers of Boone's Farm and Stables went home from Clemson with a bounty of winning ribbons between them. The mother and daughter team of Ann Cannon and Leslie Cannon swept their respective divisions to earn four winning ribbons for the tack room wall. Ann Cannon and CH Americana's Jubilee were the Three-Gaited Pleasure 36 and Over Grand Champions and champions. Leslie Cannon and CH Devoted To The Cause won the Ladies Three-Gaited class before returning in the Amateur Three-Gaited Stake to take the tricolor and title.

Paul Boone drove John Elway to the win in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic and also took the reserve with Bel Cheval's' All That Jazz in the Carolina-Owned Five-Gaited class. Both entries are owned by Bill Cannon. Boone also earned the win in the Carolina-Owned Three-Gaited class with The Jordan Heir before returning to take the Three-Gaited Reserve Grand Championship title for Jerry and Valerie Horoschuck. Casey O'Grady carried Boone to the reserve tie in the Novice Five-Gaited class for Alice Lyda and Kathy Lyda Berger.

Brooks Irvin teamed The Talk Of Lexington to the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion and Gelding blue ribbon and Wendy Troyer rode CH Hank Heiron to the reserve in the Ladies Five-Gaited class. Rita Camp showed Heartline Hightime to both reserves in the Hackney Pleasure Pony Driving Championship and qualifier for Camp and Associates. West Gate Villain was the Amateur Roadster to Bike Reserve Grand Champion and reserve champion with Mike Gordon in the bike.

Shiflet Stables, with Claude, Harrison, and Matt Shiflet at the helm, led their big group of customers to a successful show. In addition to Claude Shiflet’s winning ride with Executive Dunk in the Five-Gaited Grand Championship, Matt Shiflet won the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class with Attache’s Touched By An Angel for Barbara Baker.

Taylor Shiflet rode Wind Racer to the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17 Championship tricolor after earning the reserve in the 14-17 qualifier. Shiflet rode for owner Anna Drew.

The Bagdasarian sisters, Kristen and Stevie, put Shiflet stables in the winner’s circle three times between them. Stevie Bagdasarian rode Admiral’s Gifted Miss to the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier wins. Kristen Bagdasarian rode Cartel to the Three-Gaited Pleasure 18-35 tricolor after claiming the reserve in the qualifier.

Linda Harris rounded out the ribbon count for Shiflet Stables by earning the reserve grand championship and reserve championship with Caramac’s Capital Gain in the junior exhibitor five-gaited division.

Clear View Stables, under the direction of trainer Tammy DeVore, came away from Clemson with six wins, all of which went to Lucinda Hartley riding three different horses. Hartley was crowned the Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion and NHS Good Hands Champion with A Touch of Pizzazz.

Trink Or Treat carried Hartley to the victory pass honors in the AHSA Medal and the UPHA 17 and Under Challenge Cup. Moet finished out the win count by earning the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake tricolor and junior exhibitor qualifier blue ribbon.

Mallory Greaves and CH Heir Style teamed up to put Clover Leaf on the winners list when they rode to victory in both the Three-gaited Pony Stake and qualifier. Carl Nichols added to the blue ribbon count as well by driving Magic Bay to the Harness Pony Championship and amateur qualifier. Magic Bay also earned the red ribbon in the open class with Nichols.

Bill Waller rode Renaissance Lady to the win in the Five-Gaited Mare class for Carole Worthington, and Jessica Saft, riding Highpoint’s Take Notice, won the 17 and under equitation class.

Laura Hundley and No Jacket Required were the amateur park reserve grand champions and reserve champions. Jessica Singleton also earned two reserves in the park division when she teamed CH El Presidente to the junior exhibitor reserve tricolor and red ribbon. Julie Moody gave Clover Leaf the one-two punch in the 17 and under equitation qualifier when she was named the reserve winner with Awesome Image. Moody also claimed the UPHA 17 and Under Challenge Cup reserve.

Kim and Peter Cowart were busy putting West Wind Stables entries in the winner’s circle. Pagan Prince, in addition to earning his second Three-Gaited Grand Championship win in a row, was also the 15.2 and under winner. Peter Cowart rode for owners Southwood Partners. Callaway’s Smart Angle, another Hess family entry, was the Five-Gaited Stallion and Gelding Reserve Champion with Peter Cowart up.

Peter Cowart rode Stefanie Lackey Sanchez’ and Sharon Lackey’s brand new purchase, New York Trend, to the blue ribbon in the Novice Five-Gaited class. Sanchez and Classic Colors won the Amateur Three-Gaited class.

Laura Lee Samford’s Promiscuous was the Three-Gaited Over 15.2 winner with Peter Cowart, and Cara Clara was the reserve winner of the Junior Five-Gaited class with Cowart riding for Spencer and Billie Jo Mains.

Johnny Wellington joined his daughter, Allie Wellington, on the winner’s list when he rode CH Carolouise to the Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Championship title. The championship class proved to be one of the highlights of Saturday evening and featured a formidable field of entries. Wellington had previously ridden the mare to the reserve in the amateur mare class, for All Well Farm, under the direction of Drowning Creek Farm. Wellington also drove Free Agent to the Amateur Roadster To Bike Grand Championship and championship.

Sarah Sessoms and Fiddle Street came back from their reserve in the English Pleasure Pony class to take the victory pass in the stake for yet another winning ribbon on the Drowning Creek tack room wall. Lewis Eckard finished out the win count by driving Seize The Moment to the UPHA Roadster Pony Classic win for owner Susan Harris.

Bobbie Welch made her debut with Kilbro’s Fire Devil to earn the win in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic. Welch represented Winding Creek Farm in the winner’s circle. The ladies of Chanticleer Farm and their ponies also teamed up for several wins and reserves under Chris Gantley’s direction.

Susan Johnson and General Mills were the Hackney Pony Grand Champions and qualifying champions for Johnson’s mom Elise Johnson. Elise Johnson came to the J.D. Massey Classic just long enough to show Old Memories to the blue in the Open Harness Pony class. She then turned the lines over to daughter Anna who showed Old Memories to the reserve grand championship. Chris Gantley drove G.I. Jane to the win in the Hackney Pony UPHA Classic for Susan Johnson to complete the Chanticleer win count.

Sam and Janet Kellett’s Alde-Mar Farms claimed the winning tricolor in the Fine Harness Grand Championship with CH Crystal Illusion. Janet Kellett had previously driven to the blue in the amateur class. Alde-Mar trainer Bob Vesel rode one of the most talked about young horses on the grounds, Callaway’s Banner Headline, to the Junior Five-Gaited title. New York’s Royal Flush, with Mari Smith riding, earned the Amateur Three-Gaited red ribbon for Alde-Mar.

Will’s Willy, owned by Margaret Gardiner, was victorious in the 13 and under country pleasure championship and qualifier. Jesse Lynch rode for both wins. CH Attache’s Spirit Commander and Amy Merricks scored a big win when they were named the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Grand Champions for Chatham Hall.

Katie Matthews has moved up to the adult ranks this season and she and CH Shadow Boxer proved to handle the transition just fine. They were directed to a sweep in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and adult class by trainer Catherine Boyd of Magnolia Stables.

Dan and Brenda Austin, owners of Magnolia, watched daughter, Pam Austin, team Scotty’s Lace to the reserves in the Three-Gaited Pony Stake and qualifier. Pam’s sister Aimee earned the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14-17 red ribbon riding Woulda Coulda Shoulda.

Tracey Isreal’s wins with Ivy League in the Adult Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier were especially remarkable because the mare is in foal to Zovoorbij Commander In Chief and is due to foal in June. Isreal also earned two reserves at Clemson when she and Rasheed were named the Country Pleasure Driving Grand Champions and Champions under the direction of Steve and Julia Joyce of Cameo Stable. Dori Zandy took the victory pass with Tipitina in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stake, and Worthiness, with Steve Joyce up, was the open park reserve champion for owner Florida Pain Institute.

Phyllis Brookshire got things rolling with The Cajun Moon by winning the Junior Park Pleasure blue ribbon under the direction of Johnny and Bo Lucas. She earned another win when she rode Jet Set Style to the title the Ladies Five-Gaited class before being named the Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champion. Johnny Lucas drove Worthy's Southern Tradition to the reserve in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic for Hector and Carol Newton.

Garrison Hodges, granddaughter of Joan Whitesides, won both the walk and trot challenge cup and the 10 and under equitation class under the direction of Barney Garrison Stables. She rode Whitesides' entry, CH Calle Lily, to both wins.

Bill Schoeman showed Timely 'N Stylish to the win in the Open Five-Gaited Stallion and Gelding qualifier for owner Lori Schmidt. Schoeman also took the victory pass with Cape Town Talent in the Open Fine Harness class for John and Cheyenne Bagley.

Brent and Brooke Jacobs, earned top ribbons for the Werk Way Stables tack room with several different entries. Brooke rode CH Bright Lights RWF to the 18-35 pleasure blue ribbon and was the adult challenge cup reserve champion. She also rode Royalty In Black to the Junior Park Pleasure reserve. Brent Jacobs presented Ro-Day-O to the Three-Gaited Park Reserve Grand Championship.

Chestnut Lane, led by trainer John Whalen, had numerous ribbons for the new tack room curtains by show's end. Rockin' The Blues, owned by Lisa Gumenick and Meadowlark York, was the 14-17 country pleasure champion with Kaitlin Heisey before earning the 14-17 reserve grand championship. Heisey also showed her Phancy Jamas in the Three-Gaited Pleasure Novice rider class and earned the reserve ribbon.

Cole Rosenbaum, riding Martha's Highlite, went home from J.D. Massey as the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 13 and Under Reserve Grand Champion. Champagne Pommery and Rebecca Deutsch earned the titles of reserve grand champion and reserve champion in the 13 and under pleasure division. Jennifer Brown added to the list of top ribbons for Chestnut Lane in the pleasure division when she and Oh Gee Whiz claimed the reserve tricolor in the 18-35 championship. Oh Gee Whiz is owned by Mrs. Alice Lyda and Kathy Lyda Berger.

Victoria Woodruff put Ingleside Farm on the list of winning barns when she rode The Gold Drifter to the blue in the 13 and under pleasure class under the direction of Heather Boodey. Santana's Flaming Dawn won the English Pleasure Pony class and was the reserve grand champion with Justine Janzen on board. Supreme Mischief, owned by Paul Otto and shown by Deana Edwards, was the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure Reserve Champion.

Mighty Yo Yo, co-owned by Ann Reeves and Arlie Fiveash, was the Roadster To Bike Reserve Grand Champion. Ann Reeves drove under the Pete Reeves Stables banner. Hillary Allgood and Blue Grass Cash won the under saddle youth medallion class and claimed the reserve in the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion. They finished out the weekend by earning the reserve tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony Championship.

Marie Gwinn teamed Hurricane Swamp Fox to the win in the Country Western Pleasure Championship after taking the red ribbons in the qualifier and Shatner class. Gwinn then switched gears and rode CF Star At First Sight to reserve in the Amateur Trained Three-Gaited Pleasure class.

Steve Hanks directed Luanne Kilday and CH A Step Of Time to the Amateur Three-Gaited Park win and Kilday also catch-rode Callaway's Crown Jewel, for Kim and David Goodrum, to the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship reserve tricolor.

Summer's Vintage was the Country Western Pleasure winner with Chrissy Lloyd and returned in the stake to earn the reserve title. Sam Brannon, of Brannon Stables, drove Bright Memories to the Junior Fine Harness blue ribbon for owner David Crockett. Crockett's roadster pony, Night Owl, was shown by Nancy Brannon to the open reserve grand championship title. Nancy Brannon co-owns the pony with Crockett.

Cleveland Park Stables, in addition to winning the stall decorating contest, earned the blue ribbon in the Novice Three-Gaited class when Mary Lou Greenwell showed Tap Town for owner Juliet Cromer.

Martell was the Road Horse Under Saddle Champion for Ed and Ann Moore's Edan Farm. Beth Pittman was up for the victory pass.

Darren Scott had plenty of reasons to celebrate by show's end. He rode Royal Son Of York to the win in the Amateur Trained Three-Gaited Pleasure class early in the week. On Saturday night Scott joined his father, Robert Scott, in center ring for Robert's induction into the J.D. Massey Classic Hall Of Fame.

Gorgeous and Talented carried Donna Fox to the win in the Novice Rider Country Pleasure class for Donna and Keith Fox. Marni Cothran rounded out the list of blue ribbon winners with her entry Zion's Jubal. Cothran rode to the Amateur Trained Country Pleasure blue ribbon.

Other top ribbons went to Megan McClure and It's Me Again, the Five-Gaited Pony Reserve Grand Champions under the direction of Wind Crest Stables. Jacqueline Ware and The Excelsior claimed the reserve in the 14-17 pleasure championship and were followed a short time later by Cheryl Friedman and CH The Billy Bob. Friedman rode to the reserve tricolor in the 36 and over pleasure championship. Susan Hanna and My Fair Prince, also directed by Carowill Farm, were the Adult Country Pleasure Reserve Grand Champions.

Amanda Blair and Video Magic earned the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Reserve grand Championship from G & I Broodmare Farm. Sarah-Ann Howell, riding CH Reason's Supreme, went home from Clemson, S.C., as the Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Grand Champion, instructed by Liz McBride-Jones.

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