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Midsummer Classic -- The Fun Shines Through



by Vicki Gillenwater

Rain could not dampen the spirits of the members of the East Tennessee Saddlebred Horse Association as they hosted their Midsummer Classic Horse Show from July 31- August 2 at the Walter State Community College Great Smokey Mountain Expo Center in White Pine, Tenn. When driving rain on Saturday night made it difficult to get from the barns to the indoor arena, exhibitors and show officials worked together, dried off a little tack and a few horses and proved that even under adverse conditions, the spirit of fun shined through. ETSA members worked tirelessly to make sure that area exhibitors enjoyed hospitality and an opportunity to compete in a low-key setting, perfect for practice right before Louisville.

Tom Lee of Keysville, Ga., judged the event. ETSA member Ray Bible served as ringmaster keeping the show running smoothly, while Lil Miller did an outstanding job announcing the show.

In a good class of entries, the Open Five-Gaited Stake victory was presented to Jan Frame riding Champagne Property. Jerry Tolliver showed the Ann Boyd entry Doubletree’s Admiral D for the reserve title. Tommy Richardson is almost always in the winner's circle at Tennessee shows. ETSA was no exception as he guided Meet Your Match to win the Novice Five-Gaited Stake and He’s Come Undone in the Junior Five-Gaited Class. Richardson also showed Night Of A Thousand Stars to win the ASB Style Racking Stake. Samantha Hill of Hong Kong was another winner in ASB Racking Division in the Open and Amateur Stake classes riding Blue Crush. Hill showed her flashy Alianca to execute five gaits with perfection to win the Juvenile Five-Gaited Championship. Julie Moody with her Mac Dixie Dell put in a great ride to win the Juvenile Five-Gaited Open and claim the reserve juvenile championship title. In the Amateur Five-Gaited division, I’m Charmed was just that to win the open and championship classes with Connie Jesse of St. Paul, Va.

Bill and Lisa Waller always bring champion horses to compete at this local show. The Stump family had the opportunity to watch Bill show Aaron Stump’s beautiful Undulata’s Perfect Gift to win the Open Three-Gaited Stake at this show near their hometown. The Marrying Man with owner Bill Phelps of Bluff City, Tenn., claimed top honors in the Amateur Three-Gaited Open and Championship. Tammy Hancock put in a strong ride on The Golddriffter be Amateur Three-Gaited Reserve Champions.

The high-going chestnut Joshua Supreme and trainer Bruce Williams won the Three-Gaited Novice division and finished second in the Open Three-Gaited Stake. Champagne was the toast of choice in the Juvenile Three-Gaited division, Rachel Etheridge showed Champagne Supreme Fox to wear the tri-color while Taste of Champagne and Christina Kottmeyer were the winners in the qualifier. New York Revenuer and Danny Elam showed a bright future as winners of the Junior Three- Gaited class.

Phillip Casenburg of Knoxville, Tenn., drove Vickie Casenburg’s entry, A True Gentleman to the victory in the Open Fine Harness Stake. Linda Hendricks was thrilled with Jerry Tolliver’s win with her Casindra’s Image, a horse that she raised, in the Junior Fine Harness Stake.

A Perfect Design and trainer Heath Hughes were the winners of the Three-Gaited Park Full Mane and Tail Championship for owner Hoss Brown of Bulls Gap, Tenn. Laura Green’s Irish Epic, with trainer Phillip Jackson, won the Three-Gaited Full Mane and Tail Open class. Made Of Steel and Sandra Whittington were Grand Champions in the Amateur Park division followed by Deborah Richardson and Irish’s Danny Boy, winner of the Amateur Open Park class. Dianna Pearson took time out from her horse show duties to win the Amateur-Owner-Trainer Three-Gaited Park class with Bobbye’s World.

Deborah Richardson and Cheers Cheers were the toast of the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship and were awarded top honors. Winners of the Five-Gaited Pleasure Open, Heather’s Champagne and Karen Thornhill were reserve champions. Sammie Judd and Commander’s Firecracker were winners of the American Saddle Horse Association of Tennessee sponsored Member’s Five-Gaited Pleasure class.

The ASB Show Pleasure division is large and competitive at every horse show, and this show was no exception. The elegant mare A Blessing with Vicki Gillenwater was outstanding in her new division and claimed the ETSA Member Show Pleasure class and the Adult Show Pleasure Championship. When the mare’s name was called out incorrectly, fans yelled “it’s A Blessing” throughout the building to correct the mistake causing it to sound somewhat like a church service. Crystal Brown-Seals showed her gorgeous white-trimmed black horse, Moore Than Likely to win the Amateur-Owner-Trainer class. Debbie Grant of Ringgold, Ga., won the Adult Show Pleasure qualifier riding All Heir.

Karen Moody showed her many times champion Jamoca to win the large ASB Show Pleasure Driving Open and Championship honors. Seven Hill’s Ricochet and Dr. Gene Reason were reserve champions. Kathryn Rodosky showed the lofty-going Aidan Hobbs to win the ASB Park Pleasure Open and Championship honors. Heath Hughes showed The Secret Weapon to win the Junior Park Pleasure class.

It seemed that every juvenile rider at the show was entered in the pleasure division and judge Tom Lee had additional workouts in some classes to make his final decision. The second place finishers in the qualifiers got tough to win their championships. Worthy Shamrock’s Supreme and Amy Guyman were crowned Juvenile Show Pleasure Grand Champions. Raise the Roof and Brittany Tutle were reserve for Queen’s Saddlebred Farm, LLC after winning the Juvenile Show Pleasure Open class. Worth’s Chicago Hope and Jennifer Holdren were the big winners in the Juvenile Country Pleasure Championship followed by Julie Moody and Bitters who were the winners of the Juvenile Country Pleasure Open class.

In the Country Pleasure Driving division, Cheryl Rhoton of Blountville, Tenn., drove Fiona to win the Championship and the Open titles. Man in Charge with Debbie Dyson were crowned Country Pleasure Grand Champions. He’s So Handsome was handsome to win the Adult Country Pleasure class with Susan Chadwell. I’m A Starmaker and Deborah Richardson won a large ETSA Member Country Pleasure Class and didn’t seem to mind the storm one-bit to claim reserve in the Country Pleasure Championship. Putting in a great performance, Carol Hyatt and Breezin’s Nightshade were winners of the Ladies Country Pleasure class. Aggie Bane was thrilled with her win with her pretty gray country pleasure horse Reynolds Rap in the Amateur-Owner-Trainer Country Pleasure class. Ashley Willed and Rocky Mountain News were winners of the Natural Country Pleasure class.

The Western Country Pleasure Division was one of the larger divisions of the show. As Catch Can was once again in the winner’s circle with owner/rider Deborah Richardson. Breezin’s Legs Diamond and Jody Thomas were a beautiful pair for the reserve title in the championship and open classes. Elegant Glow and Carol Coffman were winners in the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western class. The Open Hunter and the Saddle and Bridle Hunter Classic classes were also won by Jody Thomas, this time riding Baccardi Breezer for Jody and Lizabeth Thomas of Churchhill, Tenn.

Top-riding Allison Moore, daughter of Bridle Path Farm trainer Kathryn Moore, showed that she is a competitor in every division by riding Roe Junction to win the Roadster Under Saddle class and driving him to win the Amateur Roadster Horse Stake.

Vicki Gillenwater drove her flashy, high stepping young pony Picture Perfect to win the Open Roadster Pony Stake and the Junior/Novice class under the direction of Jacques Van Nickerk of Scenic View Farm. Rhythm Ann and Lib McClellan put on a great show to finish reserve in the Open Stake. Mike Moody had his Given Time in high gear for a flawless performance to win the Amateur Roadster Pony Open and Championship title. Kim Workman was right on his heels for the reserve championship honors with her St. Patrick. K & J’s The Harley Sportster sped off with the blue in the Roadster Pony Under Saddle Medallion class piloted by Brit Gentry while Kari Jackson drove Coachlight’s Shockwave to the Medallion Driving class win.

Heath Hughes continued his winning streak throughout the Tennessee circuit with Hackney Pony Open and Championship winner Heartland’s Showcase. Popular Sharon Rhoton added another driving victory to her list by showing Peach Brandy to win the Harness Pony Open and Championship.

In the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving division, Paul Pippin had his flashy Portrait of Lady in perfect form to win the championship title and qualify for the finals by winning the AHHS Medallion class under the direction of Betsy Webb. Portrait of a Lady follows in the footsteps of her gorgeous dam, Painted Lady, by winning Tennessee championship honors. Sharon Rhoton and Twin Oak’s Phoenix were reserve champions. It’s All About Me and Vicki Gillenwater repeated the previous year’s title by winning the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Open. Alissa Phillips rode Royal Oak’s Parader to win the AHHS Youth Roadster Pony Medallion class.

Catie Ray Clark and Supreme Commander D were awarded the Saddleseat Equitation Grand Championship title. Emily Barker and Cadacus Dom were reserve grand champions. Rebekah Etheridge of Rogersville, Tenn., showed Santana’s Going Places to win the Saddle Seat Equitation 10 and Under Walk-Trot class and championship.

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