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Mercer County

The Mercer County Fair and Horse Show is a longstanding tradition in Harrodsburg, Ky. Another longstanding tradition in Harrodsburg is Tom Moore in the ring at the Mercer County Fair. This year, his absence was felt by all in attendance, but most especially by his family.

Saturday night just before the stake class, Moore was honored with a moving tribute to his many accomplishments in the American Saddlebred industry. Daughter Melissa Moore was on hand to accept the accolades and daughter Melinda Moore was in the warm up ring, barely able to contain her emotions, as the announcer read the tribute.

Melinda was on Mallory Greaves' five-gaited mount Lucrative, but she rode up the ramp like it was the reigning World's Champion. The class was exciting with eight nice horses in the ring including the much talked about Adelita, owned by David Rudder and ridden by Larry Hodge. But the night belonged to the Moores. When Melissa met her sister in the winners circle to wish her congratulations, you could almost feel Tom's presence. Brothers Gary and Mason were also in the crowd to witness the special family moment.

All week long the Harrodsburg oval witnessed incredible horse after incredible horse. Classes were filled with Louisville caliber entries and Don Judd and Maria Gilman had their work cut out for them to mark the cards.

The five-gaited competition may have ended with a somber moment, but the rest of the week was filled with excitement.

George Knight Stables enjoyed a fantastic weekend of winners. Dianna Rannells led Another Man's Treasure to the Ladies Five-Gaited title for co-owners Knight and the Jean McLean Davis Trust. Vickie Reed and her Callaway's Misha were the reserve winners in the class.

Reed had her own victory pass to enjoy aboard Olympic Fire in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship under the direction of the Kalarama Farm. Laurel Nelson earned the reserve in the championship aboard Callaway's Annie C as well as earning the red ribbon in the qualifier behind Reneaux Collins and The Cunningham.

Mallory Greaves took another five-gaited entry owned by her father to the winners circle. She directed Spent A Fortune to the junior exhibitor win. Hayne Clifton and My Reason To Believe picked up the reserve win.

Seven top youngsters competed for Don Judd's attention in the junior gaited class. Todd Graham and the Platinum Stock entry, Downtown Strutter, were on their game to claim the top tie. Mitch Clark and Catamaran were the red ribbon recipients for owner Laurel Nelson.

George Knight posted another blue ribbon on the tack room door with Man of Conquest. Owned by the Jean McLean Davis trust, this talented youngster won the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stake. Earlier this season this team claimed the three-year-old title at the Bonnie Blue Horse Show. Larry Hodge directed the reserve winner, Katie's Leading Lady, an entry owned by Paul Rice.

Knight also won the novice class aboard Princess Shalimar, an entry owned by Kim Skipton. This Mean Machine daughter bested the class of 13 entries followed by A Touch Too Much, owned by Darryl Leifheit.

Tate Bennett and Tickle My Toes did it again. They topped the Five-Gaited Pony class for owner Jo Ann Griffin. Danny Dunn and Jewel's For A Lady were the reserve winners followed by CH I'm Mr. Blue and Will Harris, Scoot, Boot & Boogie and Rebecca Salley, Little Hot Spot and Meredith Schweitzer and Best of Memories with Hayne Clifton.

The three-gaited finale on Saturday night featured Brian Chappell in the winners circle aboard Globetrotting Princess an entry owned by Jim and Shawn Stachowski. Steve Wheeler and Winter Nights earned the reserve tie for owner and trainer Nelson Green.

The Jean McLean Davis Trust earned both top spots in the ladies three-gaited division. Melinda Moore directed Sir Andrew to the winning tie followed by Dianna Rannells and Bayou Belle.

Cathy Coleman made the trip from Austin, Texas, to earn both amateur three-gaited titles with Worthy Winner. This outstanding mount is directed by Paul Cates. Vickie Reed and Firecracker earned the reserve tie in the championship. Kelly Mount and Harlem's Town Scandal were reserve in the qualifier.

Caroline Gillespie also picked up two trophies in junior exhibitor three-gaited competition. Gillespie and Preferential Treatment won the titles under the direction of DeLovely and stablemate Alexandra Flynn and Quickview followed in the reserve slot in both classes.

If it's a junior class, that must be George Knight in the winners circle. The Junior Three-Gaited class featured Knight and I Am the Dream picking up the trophy. Frank McConnell did the honors for Willisbrook Farm to earn the reserve tie aboard Watermelon.

Brian Chappell showed a nice youngster in Mega Volt to earn the novice title for the Gregory Lane Stables. Todd Miles directed the aptly named The One You've Waited For to the reserve honors for Beth Clifton.

Rebecca Salley made a beautiful victory pass aboard Saheira Miss to earn the Three-Gaited Pony title for the Antares Farm. Christy Brown and London Lights were the reserve winners for Charley Brown.

Melinda Moore's new entry, Carey's Moonraker, earned the Fine Harness Championship title in a six horse class. Sally LaPlant directed Donna O'Keefe's entry, Final Solution, to the reserve tie in the championship and the winning tie in the amateur class. Cathy Coleman directed Distraction to the reserve tie in the qualifier.

Nelson Green had If I Had A Love in top form to earn the Junior Fine Harness title for the Alpha-Sun Stables. Redd Crabtree and She's Exquisite were reserve winners for Leatherwood Farm.

Eleven entries showed in the Three-Year-Old & Under Fine Harness Class. Neil Visser topped the crowd with Paul Rice's entry, Susan Co-Ed. Rob Tanner and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes won the reserve ribbon for the Jayo Family Corporation.

An amazing 19 entries were on hand for Friday night's Five-Gaited Pleasure Class. Corbin Smith directed the beautiful black Bongo to the top of Judd's card for Candace Meili under the direction of John Conatser. Cats Don't Dance and Sally Jackson picked up the reserve tie in what could have easily been a Louisville class.

Dakota Willimon catchrode Still Champagne to win the smaller Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship for owner Ashley Pollock. Megan Loescher and Wild Cody were the reserve champions for owner Debby Cook.

Stacie Williams and CH Born To Be Blue are lighting up victory lanes all across the country. This time it was Harrodsburg's adult pleasure championship for Dr. and Mrs. David Williams. Mary Gaylord McClean and The King's Man earned the reserve honors for Stonecroft Farm.

Seventeen entries made the gate call for the adult pleasure qualifier. Judy Werner and her I'm Simply Radiant earned the victory pass under the direction of DeLovely. Carolyn Garrett's CH Sultan's Hot Copy earned the reserve tie under the direction of George Knight.

The junior exhibitor ranks were equally numerous. Barrett Clifton and Laguardia swept the division winning the championship and the 14 & under qualifier. Emma Fortenberry and Spike Leigh were reserve in the championship under Mike McIntosh's direction after winning the 14-17 age group. Andrew Garrison and Court Dance earned the reserve in the older age group. Jordan Hardison and CF Super Early were reserve in the 14 & under class.

Dr. Randall Finken commanded the only Show Pleasure Driving Class. River Dance earned the winning tie in the 10 entry class under George Knight's tutelage. Barbara Fischler and Callaway's Tell All were reserve under Armon Effinger's direction.

Christy Parsons and Callaway's Cassandra earned their first winning ribbon in the Country Pleasure Championship after earning the reserve tie in the adult qualifier. This happy team is directed by the McConnell Stables.

Linda Sullivan and Stonewall's Magnificent Prince won the adult qualifier under John Conatser's direction. Another talented Conatser team, Corbin Smith and The Chicago Sun Times were reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier as well as in the country pleasure championship. Maggie Nugent and Sky Born picked up the winning trophy in the junior exhibitor qualifier for Thomas Nugent.

The six entry Country Pleasure Driving Class featured Millie Pyles and What's On Second in the winners circle. Bill and Nancy Becker met the winning team to pose for the presentation picture. Joyce Cashman and Prince O'Lee were the reserve winners.

Amanda Bell's CH HMS Royal Winds topped the Open Park Pleasure class under the direction of Todd Graham. Katy Hannah and Top This were at the top of their game to earn the reserve ribbon for Dr. Mary Lou Koran.

The newly married Kris Price and Bill Knight put several winning entries into the ring. Linda Beltz and Bullet Proof topped the Western Pleasure Class followed by Barbara MacClements and Global Status.

What a show DeLovely had and what a show Raymond Shively puts on in any road horse class he enters.

Invincible Summer was the undisputed Roadster to Bike Champion with wins in both open bike classes. Debbie Foley pushed them all the way with The Dark Side, the reserve winners in both classes for Dr. Bill Hemminger.

The Ladies Roadster to Bike class featured five entries and Melinda Moore posted another blue ribbon on the tack room door with Gingerbread Man, an entry owned by Chappy Chapman, taking the victory. Joan Hamilton did a fabulous job of driving Misdee Wrigley's Guess Who to the reserve win with an aggressive and impressive performance.

It's always great fun to watch Danny Bugg in the ring. He directed Air Force One to the Amateur Roadster to Bike title followed by Ty Thomas and Stylish Stepper. Melinda Moore later stepped into the irons to earn the reserve tie in the Roadster Under Saddle Class with Air Force one. Danette Musselman and Lady Hawke garnered the winning tie in the exciting under saddle class.

Katie Raque had two winning drives with Sweet Lips in the Youth Roadster to Bike and novice classes. Robin Steinhelmer and The Tin Man earned the reserve in the youth class. Tammy DeVore and For Goodness Sakes picked up the red ribbon in the novice class.

It was Raymond's time to shine again in the winners circle. Shively and Free Agent picked up the Roadster to Wagon win in a hard fought battle with veterans Milward Dedman and Lucky Wallingford also in the fight.

A fantastic eight entry road pony class had Mitch Clark and Lamborghini in the winners circle for owner Laurel Nelson. Jeff McClean was pushing all the way with Material Girl, an entry of the Golden Creek Farms, to earn the reserve ribbon.

Debbie Foley had Amadeus and Debbie Gabbert just right to earn the amateur road pony title. Together they also earned the Junior/Limit Road Pony title. Brooke Jacobs and Fit to Be Tide earned the reserve finish in the amateur class. Tom Lowry and Golden Creek's Kilbro's Artsy Craftsy were reserve in the junior/limit class.

Dakota Willimon and DunHaven's Grandiose earned the junior exhibitor medallion under Delovely's instruction. Caroline Kamer and Heartland Flirtation were the reserve winners in a good class under the Infinity banner.

Jerry Cummins trained both the Hackney Pony Champion and the Harness Pony Champion. Heartland Decora and Paul Adams earned the Hackney Pony Championship in a six entry class. Joe Buerkley and Gemmy King were the reserve winners in the cobtail championship.

Cummins himself directed Whiz Bang to the Harness Pony Championship for owner Betty Featherstone after finishing in reserve in the qualifier behind Mary McClean and Joan Jett for Golden Creek Farms.

Larry Bacon's Sophia was perfect to earn the open hackney title in their only appearance. Betty Featherstone and Patent Pending earned the reserve tie in the open class.

Brooke Jacobs topped both pleasure pony driving classes with Wonmore Diamond Gem. Already with wins at Rock Creek and Lawrenceburg, this team is loaded for Louisville. Christy Weaver and her Neon Cowboy were a tough team to beat, earning the reserve finish in the championship. Jacqueline Beck and Pride's Perfection were the reserve winners in the earlier class.

DeLovely riders were in top form for equitation competition. Betty Cox added the Equitation Championship and the UPHA Challenge Cup titles to her resume aboard Callaway's Gold Reserve. Tasha Rose Sandler won the reserve equitation championship as well as the 14-17 equitation class title under the direction of Nancy Becker.

Kelsey Price topped the 13 & Under equitation class followed by Jessica Keys. Keys was also reserve in the NHS Good Hands class which was won by the Tammy DeVore trained Lucinda Hartley.

Jessica Harrison followed stablemate Betty Cox in the UPHA Challenge Cup finish as well as winning the Pleasure Equitation competition.

Gabriella Flynn topped a tough 12 entry UPHA Walk and Trot 10 & Under Class under the DeLovely banner. Shelby Gregory had a strong reserve finish under McConnell Stables' direction.

The Pleasure Medallion featured Emily Williams in the top spot followed by Allie Pinkerton, both riders at the Rock Creek Riding Club.

Joe T. Smith topped the Yearling Class with a Worthy's Son Day colt, Eternal Son. Jack and Cathy Wilson own the winning entry. Cappy Wheeler and Whenever earned the reserve tie for the C & L Stables.

Perhaps one of the highlights of Harrodsburg isn't a Saddlebred class at all - but the Racking & Pacing classes always draw a crowd to the rail to watch the excitement. This year Rawhide and Kevin Orberson topped the Open class but the reserve open winner Comet and Lester Smothers came back on Saturday night and opened up a can of ....... well, they won. It was lots of fun.

Harrodsburg is all about fun. Whether it's the brand new riders in the academy division, the past and future world's champions in the ring, the horsemen three deep along the rail, or the mystique of a legend in the air, a good time is certainly had by all.

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