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JD Massey - A True Classic!


by Katherine Hansil

CLEMSON, S.C.— Several years ago you might have questioned the future of the J.D. Massey Horse Show. Once a huge show in the Southeast, the show had waned and numbers had become light. Last year the door opened back up as barns from more than just the Carolinas came and they had quite a show. This year in its 73rd year the J.D. Massey Classic was back to its glory with barns flocking from all over the Carolinas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The show was stocked with huge competition including previous winners from Louisville, Lexington and the American Royal. Classes were large including a total of 24 entries in the adult three-gaited pleasure division.

What makes this show a draw is not just the competition but also the facility and the area. Housed at the T. Ed Garrison Arena with four permanent barns and covered warm-up ring, this is one of the best facilities in the area. Locally you can visit Clemson University and the Botanical Gardens and also the historic town of Pendleton where you can find great food and neat shops.

The show began on April 19 and ran through the 22 with a full schedule for Saddlebreds, Hackneys, roadsters, equitation and academy. On Friday evening after the show, the Exhibitors’ Party was held with great food and music. Ray Cloninger and his talented staff kept the show running efficiently. This year the show benefited the Clemson/Calhoun Rotary Club and the J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show Scholarship for the Veterinary Technology Program at the Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, S.C.


Saturday evening was brought to a close with five talented entries returning for the Five-Gaited Championship. As the crowd got behind their favorites as each team geared up making great pass after pass. After further judging on the line-up the card was turned in and for the third year in a row the dynamic She’s A Red Hot Chili Pepper made her way to the winner’s circle. Sharyn Lackey and Stefanie Sanchez own this neat mare. Never laying an ear back, she worked tremendously for trainer Peter Cowart. Reserve honors went to another crowd favorite, Lakeview’s Rare Lee Seen with Quintus Vander Spuy. This bold-moving, ground-grabbing gelding moved comfortably through each gait, gaining more confidence and the crowd’s applause with each pass. A strong third went to Dr. Louis Johnson’s entry, Your Eminence. With Jerry Hutson in the irons, this talented chestnut turned in an outstanding show to round out the top three. In the open qualifier on Wednesday, seven entries went head-to-head with She’s A Red Hot Chili Pepper, Lakeview’s Rare Lee Seen and Your Eminence finishing one, two and three respectively.

West Wind kept their five-gaited domination going with back-to-back wins from CH Breaking News and Megan McClure. This marks the second year in a row this talented team has swept the division. West Wind added another blue to the banner with the solid performance from All Stirred Up and Stefanie Sanchez to win the Ladies Five-Gaited. In the Carolina Owned Five-Gaited, owner Brenda Pulis turned over her reins to Jackie Ware. Ware showed Howling Wolf to the blue for his proud owner.

Seajay Lewis and Dr. Brian Garrett had an awesome ride in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship giving the other ten entries a run for the money. Under the direction of trainer, Greg O’Kelley, this team continues to grow stronger and stronger, proving they are a top contender. They also garnered the reserve in the Carolina-owned qualifier. Reserve in the ladies qualifier went to the flashy team of Ima Star-Buck and Julie Burmeister under the direction of Boone’s Farm. They returned in the amateur championship to capture a strong third. Reserve in the amateur qualifier went to another flashy Boone’s team, Zara Spook and Dr. Wendy Troyer.

In the junior exhibitor championship, CH Dusty Beau and Rebekah Cloninger had a comeback ride turning up the heat in one of the best classes of the show. After a superb ride the team claimed victory for the Drowning Creek banner. CH Tigerlee and Ali DeGray settled down and turned in a tremendous ride to garner the red streamers. In the qualifier, CH Diamond’s Hope and Sarah Longworth topped the competition with a solid ride. Debuting Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Ali Deutsch proved they are a team to keep an eye on as they captured the red ribbon in the qualifier and returned for a strong third in the championship.

Hong Kong Fuey was a sight in the Novice Five-Gaited in his only appearance of the show. Smith Lilly expertly presented this explosive horse to the win for Samantha Hill. Reserve went to Gogita with Rick Felder aboard for Denise Stephens. In the junior class, Kim Cowart made her way to the winner’s circle aboard the striking black entry Apollo Gold for Ginger and Craig Roseman. Reserve went to the busy Charming Dreams with Steve Joyce in the irons for Zandyland Farm. Essence Of Heaven and Maria Gilman topped the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited for Barbara Woods with Watch Out Now and Smith Lilly in for reserve for Sue Nifong’s Silverlin Farm.

Rebekah Cloninger was back in the spotlight this time with back-to-back wins in the five-gaited pony division. She expertly showed Jewelled Star to the top honors. Both red streamers went to the hard-riding Camille Cowart in her debut show with Small Packages.


It was a new beginning for the young star You Move Me this week. Recently trimmed, this elegant mare marched to the winner’s circle not once but twice, claiming the Open Three-Gaited Championship and the novice qualifier. She was expertly presented to these wins by Smith Lilly for Robin McKenzie Vuillermet. Reserve in the championship went to the Pixie Dust & Steel entry An Heir Of Magic with Ruth Gimpel in the irons. This team also claimed the reserve title in the ladies qualifier. Winning the Ladies Three-Gaited was Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Maria Gilman presented this talented mare in their only appearance together for Jayo Family Corporation. In the novice qualifier, Grape Tree’s Finest Fox and Barney Garrison garnered the red streamers for Lisa McCall.

In the amateur division, Carla Ritzie presented Sue She this week and they looked as if they had been together forever. This well-matched team, trained by Jerry Hutson, paraded around the ring to garner the championship and qualifying title for Carl Holden. Reserve honors in the championship went to yet another new team as Brooke Jacobs turned in a great catch-ride aboard MJB High Fire for Hector Newton. In the qualifier, Jackie Ware presented the flashy Stonecutter to the reserve for Alexa and Rhonda Martini.

In the junior exhibitor division, West Wind once again was back in the spotlight. Camille Cowart had a busy week with three different divisions to compete. And on Thursday evening she actually had to show all three back-to-back. The second time seemed to be the charm as she and Heathermoor’s Prince rode to the blue ribbon. This young team returned Saturday to capture the tricolor. Earning two reserve titles was the Cash Lovell Stables trained CH The Showstopper and Margaret Morrison.

Detached and Lewis Eckard kept the blues coming back to the Drowning Creek banner with the win in the Carolina Owned Three-Gaited for owner Susan Harris. Reserve went to Diamond Merchant and Rance Boozer who was in the irons while his daughter, Allison, was busy with school.

Lovin’ Lass and Abby Jones also debuted this week. This beautiful team had a flawless first go to win the Junior Three-Gaited. In for reserve was Redhawk’s Lady Hawk and Bill Schoeman. Smith Lilly was back to the winner’s circle this time with the T & T Saddlebreds’ entry Heads Will Turn. Heather Boodey presented Let The Magic Begin to the reserve title for Jeanne Frazer.

Allie Wellington proved her riding skills with two exceptional rides aboard Royalty In Black. This team fresh off wins at Raleigh Spring Premier earned two more titles as they swept the three-gaited pony division. In the championship, Simbara’s Stars And Stripes with Jennifer Shell earned the red streamers while Cameo’s Carte Blanche and Anna Drew Jackson captured the reserve title in the qualifier.


Ten outstanding entries returned for the Three-Gaited Park Championship. Moving up a notch, Joker’s Wild with Jon Walker captured the tri-color for Jan and Bob Gunn. In the qualifier, the blue ribbon went to the high-headed Showboat’s Casablanca and Steve Joyce for Marian Hunt Bramlett. They returned to capture the red in the championship. Two strong thirds went to Cabochon Ruby, who is by Classic Memories, with Jerry Hutson in the irons for Martya Montgomery.

CH Justa Rascal and Megan McClure wowed the crowd in the amateur park division. CH Justa Rascal boldly marched down the rail for McClure pass after pass to sweep the division. Reserve in both classes went to the Cash Lovell Stables team of Town Cat and Brenda Paauwe Navori with two outstanding rides.

The team of Discover and Jenna Palmeri may have been a new team back at the Gasparilla Charity but this team has come far fast. With two more flawless performances this Judd Stables team swept the junior exhibitor park division, making an undefeated season thus far in eight classes. Both reserve titles went to another new team that debuted at Raleigh Spring Premier with a win. Kalarama Shiraz and Sarah Longworth continued to impress as they marched down the rail.

Steve Joyce brought out Zandyland’s new star Reedann’s Phine By Me this week. This huge but yet elegant chestnut made a grand show and is no stranger to success as he was the UPHA Three-Gaited Park Pleasure Classic Grand Champion in 2005 with Louis Louw. Dori Zandy purchased him last winter for her daughter Bree. This year he is being campaigned in the junior division by trainer Steve Joyce and is off to a great start winning the Junior Three-Gaited Park this week.

Fine Harness

Winning the Fine Harness Championship after an earlier win in the qualifier was Tiznow. Greg O’Kelley was on the lines of The Irish Connection-bred stallion for Dr. Brian Garrett. Reserve honors in the Open Fine Harness went to He’s Over The Edge and Peiter Snyman for Sandra Corney.

In their only appearance My Mother Mary debuted with her owner Lora Johnston on the lines. This young star paraded around the ring garnering the amateur blue ribbon.

Blythewood dominated the young horse classes winning not only the junior class but also the UPHA Fine Harness Classic. In the junior class, Sam Stafford expertly piloted Night Sight to the winner’s circle for Cedarledge Farm. Reserve honors in this seven-horse class went to Katie Brittian’s Out Of Town Man with Bill Waller. In the UPHA Fine Harness Classic, Stafford was back to the winner’s circle with the magnificent black stallion At Night. A Sweet Sachet and Steve Old earned the red ribbon for Delton Farms.


The daredevils of the show ring flaunted their racing colors in the roadster division. In the open championship, Eclipse and Steve Deutsch were unstoppable as they held form and increased speed from gait to gait. With his trademark green and white silks flying, Deutsch expertly guided Eclipse to the winner’s circle for the Jon Walker Stables banner. Reserve honors in both the open championship and qualifier went to Pistol Pete and Andy Allgood. Winning the open qualifier was Imagine That and James Rosburg for Pixie Dust & Steel.

Another Jon Walker Stables team had a comeback drive to win the amateur championship. Debra Clark took Where’s Reuben to a new level as they held the rail along with their form and then had everyone on the edge of their seats as they went from speed to speed to capture the tricolor. Reserve in the competitive class went to GCH Kentucky Wildcat with Jon Dabareiner on the lines for Fish ‘N Fun Farms. In the qualifier, Dr. John Songer bested the field of seven with his debut drive behind Highway 66. Eddie Case was in the bike for Mark Catron to garner the reserve ribbon in the qualifier with Sour Grapes.

Winning the Youth Roadster To Bike was The Natural with Michael Bacon on the lines for Fran and Kim Crumpler. Reserve honors went to Imagine That and Ali DeGray for Pixie Dust & Steel. In the novice qualifier, Eaton’s Guy took the spotlight with Page Champion earning the win for Beth Barksdale. The Dream Thief and Ruth Gimpel took home the red streamers for Pixie Dust & Steel. Pixie Dust & Steel added another title to their list with the win in the Roadster To Wagon from the team of Humdinger and James Rosburg.

Rebekah Cloninger had a great week and continued that success in the roadster under saddle division with Diamond Hustler. This well-matched team swept the division with two death-defying rides. Earning a pair of red streamers was I Would If I Could and Tina Gunby Smith.


It was nice this week to see quality and quantity in the pony classes and not just in the road pony classes. A sometimes-light division, all the classes were filled well.

With the amateur classes being on back to back nights some shuffling was done by some teams so they could have a night off and several of those teams came back to test the waters in the open championship. It was a great decision for the Breakaway Farms-trained Surprize Surprize and Donna Whatley. On Thursday, this team bested a field of ten in the amateur qualifier. They decided to wait until the open championship on Saturday to bring this Canadian import back to the ring. Fresh as ever, this pony showed each speed with ease to capture the Road Pony Championship title with Donna Whatley on the lines. Reserve in the open championship went to the sporty Razz-Ma-Tazz and Lewis Eckard for Karl Bridgeman. Winning the qualifier was Seize The Moment with Ruth Gimpel on the lines this time for Pixie Dust & Steel. Wait & See’s Gypsy Heir and Chris Gantley captured the red ribbon in the open qualifier in their only appearance for Christy Gantley.

Boxford On The Mark and Dr. Wendy Troyer were just that, on the mark, in the amateur championship. They turned up the heat and sped away with the win. Earning both red ribbons was the consistent performer Heartland Wonderful Miss and Abby Jones for Creekridge LLC. In the junior exhibitor division, Sweet Impression and Marli Dabareiner went two-for-two to sweep the division. Zildjian and Conner Leith were a sight to capture a set of red streamers.

Hawkeye’s Chatter Box and Lewis Eckard earned the blue in the UPHA Road Pony Classic for Allie Wellington. This talented pony is being readied for Wellington to show in the junior exhibitor division. Reserve honors went to the new star Regal’s Star Attraction LF and Jeoff Bodenhorst that first impressed the crowd in this very arena at ASAC.

With a comeback ride, Heartland Masterpiece and Tori Newberry captured the win in the Road Pony Under Saddle Championship with Shadowland’s Ishtar and Macy Campbell in for reserve. Winning the AHHS Medallion class was Heartland Yankee and Rachel Rafolski with DRS First Lady and Sindy Keeler in for reserve.

In the Hackney Pony Championship, the high-stepping Sumatra with Chris Gantley claimed the tri-color for LeAnn and Steve Golden after an earlier reserve in the qualifier. Winning the qualifier was the elegant Black Merlin with Debbie Koning on the lines for David Crockett. This team returned to earn the reserve championship title with yet another consistent performance.

Gantley and Koning dueled once again in the harness pony division. With two outstanding performances Seamair Sensation swept the division with Chris Gantley on the lines for Ann and Gene Gallmeier. Debbie Koning expertly piloted her new Boxford Bobbi Sox to both reserve ribbons for David Crockett.

Heartland Parade Time and Tamra Arndt earned a pair of titles with their sweep in the hackney pony pleasure driving division under the direction of Kim and Peter Cowart. Reserve in both classes went to the junior exhibitor team of Wait & See’s Postmaster and Alexandra Foster.

Show Pleasure

Mandy Dellinger had quite a successful week aboard her five-gaited show pleasure entry MMMBop. For the second year in a row this team swept the five-gaited show pleasure division. Earning a pair of reserve titles was the flashy liver chestnut Turn On The Heat with Nancy Churchill aboard. Callaway’s Maelstrom and Caitlin Leith returned in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Show Pleasure with a super ride to claim the tricolor. In the qualifier, the blue went to the new team of Heir Spring and Amelia Wallace. The handsome In An Instant with Josh Wall aboard earned both reserve titles.

Chickadee’s Miracle made owner Elizabeth McGowin proud as he swept the three-gaited park pleasure division with two different riders. In the qualifier, trainer Steve Joyce was aboard the young star by Periaptor for the blue ribbon while George Ann Nash turned in a great ride for the win in the championship. Reserve championship honors went to Andrea Everett’s new horse, My Tee Time, with Betsy Boone in the irons. In the qualifier, Cloverleaf Armageddon with Bill Schoeman received the red streamers for Judi Kerr. In the junior class, Cheryl Baird was thrilled with Callaway’s Letter To Editor’s win for Lori Hoelscher. Reserve honors went to Queen Lafite and Smith Lilly for Bill Beckley.

With 23 entries scheduled for the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship management decided to split the class and have two championships. In the first division, 12 entries made the gate call. After the rail work and line-up were completed, Judge John Conatser asked for more work from CH My Grande, CH Sweet Virginia and Viola Madden. With each horse putting on a magnificent show, the competition was tight. After the workout was completed CH My Grande and Mandy Dellinger were called to the winner’s circle for the second year in a row. Reserve honors went to CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods with Viola Madden and Abby Jones rounding out the top three. In the qualifier, CH My Grande and CH Sweet Virginia earned first and second respectively. Then 11 more entries made the gate call for the second championship. Winning the class was the team of Only Blues and Kelly Mount. This was an especially thrilling win since they had not been able to show since last summer, but they are back stronger than ever now. Reserve went to Kalarama Amber and Katie Young. This team earlier in the week won the novice rider class for the Cash Lovell Stables banner. Reserve in the novice rider qualifier went to The Irish Tempest and Jessica Epley under the direction of Harrison Shiflet Stables.

CH Future Treasure was back to the ring as well this time back in the show pleasure division where he and Victoria Woodruff swept the 14-17 division with two outstanding rides. Reserve in the championship went to Seismic Force and Amy Greenberg while Irish In Lights and Jenna Norton garnered the red streamers in the qualifier. In the 13-and-under qualifier, more work was also required as Certainly A Star, CH My Special Sultan and Harlem’s Moving Man returned to the rail. When all was done, Certainly A Star with Katie Morrison aboard made their way to the winner’s circle. The stunning black CH My Special Sultan with Stephanie Lockyer earned the red while the cute team of Harlem’s Moving Man and Drew Taylor Hewitt rounded out the top three. These teams returned in the championship to capture the same ribbons.

CH Five Minutes More with Barbara Matthews were in top form to win the Amateur Owned and Trained Show Pleasure class. In reserve was the toppy Callaway’s Crown Jewel and Luanne Kilday.

Moving up several notches to win the 12-and-Under Walk-and-Trot Pleasure Championship was the precious team of Native Kat and Madison Cheatham. In the qualifier, the blue went to the Stepping Stone team of Prince Town BH and Andrea Simpson. Winning a pair of reserve titles was the consistent performer CH Empress In Black with Rachel Tankersley.

Emily Garrity had a comeback ride aboard Scotty’s Lace to win the Three-Gaited Pleasure Pony Championship. In the qualifier, the win went to Santana’s Flaming Dawn and Camille Cowart. Sunkissed Supreme and Megan Barrett earned both red ribbons for the Barger Stables banner.

In the Show Pleasure Driving Championship, 12 top entries made the gate call. With a comeback drive Candle Dan and Carl Nichols earned the tri-color in their show in their new division. This bright, bold moving chestnut brought a whole new level to this division this week under the direction of Lisa and Bill Waller. Being the only junior exhibitor in this large class did not deter the talented Cassi Rath from getting her job done. She expertly piloted Just As Unique to the reserve championship title for the NELCO Companies. In the qualifier, the blue ribbon went to Big Show and Kevin Ingram in their first appearance in this division for Robin and Scott Pulliam. Reserve in the qualifier went to Callaway’s Tobar with James Rosburg on the lines for Pixie Dust & Steel.

Country Pleasure

Fourteen teams returned to vie for the Country Pleasure Grand Champion title. CH Riva Diva made her entrance into the division for new owners Donna and Jack Finch. With Catie Hawley aboard, this talented mare made two flawless shows to sweep the division. League Of Nations and Dori Zandy were at the top of their game in this division, also new to them, to earn a pair of red streamers for the Cameo Stable banner.

I’m Good To Go and Ali DeGray had a successful show to move up a notch to win the 14-17 championship. Reserve honors wet to L.A. Gulf Breeze with Jenna Norton presenting for Carolyn Teal. Winning the qualifier was the competitive team of CH Santana’s Night Moves and Jane Garrity.

The cute and talented Cheyenne Mabey returned aboard Highpoint’s Hot Wired with a comeback ride to win the 13-and-under championship for proud owner and friend Chelsey Stone. All I Do Is Dream and Cara Wolf also improved their show moving up several notches to garner the reserve grand champion title under the direction of Midge Hunt. In the qualifier, the blue ribbon went to Phantom Eyes and Natalie Penegar. This team trained by Hollie Davidson also earned the red ribbon in the novice rider class. Reserve in the qualifier went to Miss Tiger Woods and Macy Campbell. Winning the novice rider class was CF Chief’s Stereotype and Erin Ohning for Sydney Croley.

Toree Hefner presented the neat mare Highpoint’s Fancy Cat to the win the Amateur Owned and Trained Country Pleasure. Reserve honors went to CH Harlem’s Jamaican and Barbara Matthews.

CH Shamanic Dream and Helen Rosburg continued their winning streak from the Florida circuit to sweep the country pleasure driving division with two exceptional drives. Hometown Commander and Kevin Ingram were in top form earning both reserve titles for Delton Farms.

In the Western Country Pleasure Championship, Monsignor and Marie Gwinn were picture perfect to earn the title after an early red ribbon in the qualifier. Winning the qualifier and the Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Country Pleasure was Callaway’s Son Of A Son and Alicia Patrick. Reserve in the Shatner class went to Worthy Of The Moment and Luanne Kilday.


Emma Nichols aboard her new teammate CH Worth A Scene was polished as ever to win the coveted Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Instructed by Liz McBride-Jones, Nichols also won the USEF Medal Class. Reserve in the championship went to the winner of the NHS Good Hands, Ariana Corrigan aboard I Do Believe In Spooks. This team shows under the direction of Lisa and Bill Waller. Reagan Huguley aboard Merciless won the 14-17 qualifier while Rachel Rafolski aboard Highpoint’s Attitude won the 13 and under qualifier. Victoria Champion aboard Party Night won the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup under the direction of Courtney Huguley with Ariana Corrigan in for reserve. Reserve in the NHS Good Hands went to Morgan King aboard Piesporter while Reagan Huguley was reserve in the USEF Medal.


Elise Boykin was aboard Mojave to win the Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equation Medallion under the direction of Heather Boodey. Reserve honors went to Courtnie Tant riding Double Your Fizz.

Brooke Jacobs and Kevin Ingram dueled in the USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal. Winning the class was Jacobs riding Callaway’s Show Me When. Ingram received the red ribbon aboard CH Hayden Fox.

Hannah Knapp riding Nothin’ But A Good Time won the 10-and-Under Walk-and-Trot Equitation under the direction of Ruth Gimpel. Cagle James aboard Seattle Song captured the win the in UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup under the watchful eye of trainer Mary Orr. Earlier this team earned a red ribbon in the 10-and-under class. Reserve in the UPHA class went to the Chestnut Lane team of Vanessa Patch and CH Java Sea.


The magnificent Friesians were on hand to wow the crowd with their beauty and presence. Sweeping the division was Tessa van de Zuiderwaa with Ashley Walker riding for Pam Jackson’s Shady Nook Farm. A pair of red streamers went to Maverick with Cheryl Baird presenting for Diane Ohning.


Saturday morning belonged to the academy riders and after the session Judge Gayle Lampe stayed to give an academy clinic with riders getting time for one-on-one instruction. On Saturday evening, the High Point Academy Instructor award was sponsored by Liz McBride-Jones to honor the most successful instructor of the division. The first recipient of this award was Courtney Huguley of Stepping Stone Farm.

The top riders in their respective divisions were: Denise Patch, Kari Lawson, Donna Finch, Ara Pearson, Kristin Sain, Christy Gordan, Tiffany Hager, Sydney Rowell, Morgan Barney, Abby Tomlin, Holli McLeod, Tina Johnson, Hillary Earl, Morgan Marler, Rachel Baker, Sydney Croley, Meredith Macy, Morgan Keith, Aimee Taylor, Janie Donaldson, Hannah Abrams, Virginia Waddell, Haley Davis, Tiffany Knox, Madison McCall, Mary Lillian Tessman, Audrey Sigmon, Whitney Vandiver, Savanna Deschamps, Kayla Wilson, Madison Hunt, Allie Poovey, Abby Kissenberth, Ellie Kangur, and Bethany Outen.   

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