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A Lively Shively Tradition

Raymond and Lillian Shively hosted their annual “Lively Shively” Christmas party on Saturday, December 18th, 2004. This annual Christmas open house was held at their beautiful DeLovely Farm in Rockport, Ind., in celebration of not only the holidays, but of the record-breaking year that their clients shared this past 2004 season.

DeLovely Farm is located just off of Highway 66. As I made the turn off of 66, I was greeted by the home of Lesley and Todd Miles, all decorated for Christmas. Continuing down the road I came upon DeLovely Farm. As if a trip to the Shively’s on a typical day would not have been big enough a treat, the farm is even more of a sight on this day with its holiday decorations welcoming you.

Upon arriving, I was greeted by Todd Miles who was eager to show me around the farm. DeLovely Farm is a grand facility. From the wood walls of the arena, to the tack rooms, to the stalls, everything is immaculately kept. The decorations for the party were incredible. The entire farm was dressed up in Christmas trees, lights, garland, and holly, thanks to the hard work of Lesley Miles. Tables and chairs were set up in the arena, as well as a buffet from the local bed and breakfast, The Rockport Inn. As I spoke with Todd and continued on our tour, he mentioned the fact that they invite the local businesses that they work hand in hand with all year long. He stresses the importance of the people in the area to come together for the holidays, as well as the importance of the community recognizing what DeLovely Farm really does, and being proud to be a part of such a program.

As customers, community members, and peers arrived, they were greeted by Lillian and the entire DeLovely staff. Food, beverages, and Christmas Carols, sung beautifully by Lesley’s good friend, Elizabeth, were all enjoyed by guests. As the party progressed, Santa dropped in with gifts for the children and the awards ceremony begins.

Each year Lillian and Raymond hand out awards to their clients for their outstanding accomplishments in the past season. One special “Customer of the Year” award is also given each year. This award is voted on by the staff only. Qualities that are taken into consideration are sportsmanship, personality, involvement, and in the case of this year’s winner, a good sense of fashion. The award for the customer of the year was presented by Karen Medicus to a very excited, Theresa Vonderschmitt.

Following these awards was the Lively Shively horse presentations. This is the now famous tradition of surprising riders with their new horses for the upcoming season. Three young ladies were presented with horses this year, big red bows and all.

Upon retirement of the beloved Callaway’s Will Gillen, Alexandra Flynn had been borrowing her sister, Gabriella’s, horse CF First Light of Dawn. This has proved to be a good match for Alexandra, but has kept Gabriella from showing him. As Lillian announced the first horse, she commented on how this was going to make two young ladies happy. Todd brought in Kalu’s Can’t Stop the Magic and Alexandra’s face lit up. This big bay horse was purchased from the McClaren family of Country Meadows Farm. “Louie” will be Alexandra’s horse for the upcoming show season. CF First Light of Dawn will also return to Gabriella, who is very excited.

The second presentation was made to a surprised Abby Mutrux. Abby showed Brittany McGinnis’s Worth the Trip this season and did extremely well. Her grandmother decided that “Smith” was going to be Abby’s Christmas present. She was so surprised that she was nearly speechless. This duo will also be showing in the upcoming season.

The third and final presentation was also a pleasant surprise. Todd brought Callaway’s Capitol Reporter into the arena and worked him. This was a treat for everyone there as the horse is a fantastic performer. Previous owner, Theresa Vonderschmitt presented her horse to new owner, Ellen Medley Wright. Ellen was thrilled and so was “Snoopy” as Theresa taught Ellen how to feed him his favorite treat, bananas. Ellen and Capitol Reporter will be showing in the juvenile five-gaited division this summer.

As the presentations wrapped up people moved towards the stage where familiar faces, Gabe Deknatel and Chad Graham were behind the guitars. Showing horses is clearly not the only talent that these two guys have. The combination of Chad’s vocals and Gabe on the guitar had guests dancing and singing for the rest of the night.

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