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Mid-Summer Keeps Rockin’ and Rollin’ Right Along

By Deidre Davis

ALPHARETTA, Ga. - This year the Mid-Summer Classic Horse Show’s theme was "Rockin’ in the 1950s". Held once again at Will’s Park Equestrian Center in Alpharetta, Ga., manager Bruce Payton made sure Mid-Summer was better then ever. This year Euchee Matthews made the trip up from Florida to handle the judging duties, Justin Davis stepped in as ringmaster, legendary organist Dale Stone kept things lively with his organ playing, and Doug Shiflet was on hand to catch the winning moments. Barns from all over Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina made the trip to Alpharetta to take part in the fun.

Lisa Jones and her Creekside Farm group had a weekend filled with blue ribbons. Alexis Landreth swept the Open Five-Gaited division for the second year in a row on her powerhouse mare Kalarama’s Lady Bancroft. Denise Trethaway won the Three-Gaited Jackpot Stake and the amateur/juvenile qualifier aboard Jumbalini. Callaway’s Sam Baker marched out with the tricolor in the Adult Show Pleasure Championship with owner Jenny Greer in the irons. Greer’s daughter, Maggie, followed in her mom’s footsteps to win the English Pleasure Walk/Trot 12 & Under qualifier and championship aboard Café Express.

Brian Reimer watched from his perch on a golf cart with a broken leg while wife Susan put multiple young ladies into the ring to bring home great ribbons. Heather Colley and her bold chestnut mount Slap Shot trotted away with blue streamers flying in the Juvenile Park qualifier. Taylor Price and her pony, Jose Cuervo, won the Road Pony Stake after taking reserve in the amateur/juvenile classes behind stable mates Public Defender and Georgia Shannon. Public Defender came back with Alyssa Allen in the saddle to top the Road Pony Under Saddle class. The talented pair of Taylor Price and Strike Up The Lights earned two reserve ribbons in the Juvenile Country Pleasure division. Miss Fancy Town carried two different riders to red ribbons in the Three-Gaited division: Alyssa Allen in the juvenile class and Valerie Hall in the amateur/juvenile championship.

The mother and daughter team Courtney and Reagan Huguley had a great weekend with their Stepping Stone Farm entries. Hannah Abrams and the ever so stunning Daybreak’s Silver Mine topped the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class. Abrams also finished second in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the 17 and under class, as well as winning the Pleasure Equitation class. Anna Banasiewicz and The King’s Will took the blue ribbon back to Alabama in the Novice Rider Country Pleasure class. Miriam Reagan garnered two red ribbons with Alvin Ailey in the Country Pleasure Driving division. Reagan Huguley and her impressive mount, It’s Alabama, earned the blue and the tricolor in the Amateur Park division. Reagan had a smile that could be seen all over the show grounds when she exited the ring after her debut ride in the Road Horse Under Saddle class with veteran show ring star Detanator.

Christy Parker of Pine Haven Stables guided her talented group to take many top ribbons. Nancy Fortner guided Fire Sale to the winner’s circle in the Adult Country Pleasure qualifier and championship as well as We Be Jammin in the Country Western Pleasure qualifier. Glider’s Supreme carried Megan Bailey to two blue ribbons in the Juvenile Country Pleasure division. Georgia equitation star Rachel Rafolski added another blue and tricolor to her collection in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the 17 and under class. Rafolski also rode Raisin Cookie to the reserve ribbon in the Juvenile Park class.

The hometown group from Ward Stables earned their share of top ribbons, with Sidney Matheny winning the Juvenile Show Pleasure qualifier and championship with her flashy mount Long John’s Hi Lite. Jan Henderson and her beautiful black star New York Fire were in the winner’s circle in the Country Western Pleasure Championship, as well as in the lead line class with grandson Jay Love aboard. Amanda Ward guided Gigilo Joe to the second place ribbon in the Open Park class and Nightie to the blue in the Open English Pleasure Championship. The Costume class is always a highlight at Mid-Summer and this year was no exception. The kids from Ward Stables took their spotted lesson pony and dyed her pink, so she could be the "Beauty School Drop Out" from the movie Grease. Complete with bathrobes, curlers and slicked back hair, they danced away with the blue ribbon.

Renee Jones and her Morgan View Farm group took multiple blue ribbons home to Macon over the weekend. Emily McCallister and her young mare Maynegate Bella Fiori received a blue ribbon in the Morgan Hunter Pleasure class and a red ribbon in the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Jackpot. Emily Sheridan and Hylee Dancin On Heir made four trips to the winner’s circle in the English Pleasure Walk/Trot qualifier and championship and the Saddle Seat Equitation Walk/Trot 10 & Under qualifier and championship. Skylar Hitchinson also took home four blue ribbons aboard Midas Golden Touch in the Morgan Walk/Trot 11 & Under Pleasure qualifier and championship and the Morgan Walk/Trot Equitation 11 & Under qualifier and championship. The Morgan View Group completed the Costume class, receiving second place through sixth place, with Cleopatra, a clown, an Indian, an Egyptian princess and a ‘50s rocker girl.

Though thunderstorms loomed overhead and the heat was almost unbearable at times. The women of Georgia and surrounding states dominated Mid-Summer to make it an outstanding show that was enjoyed by all who attended.

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