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The Momentum Continues at Roanoke!

by Katherine Hansil

The Roanoke Valley Horse Show celebrated its 39th anniversary June 21-26 at the Salem Civic Center. The show is hometown favorite for the local spectators drawing huge crowds. Previously the show had been plagued by long and late sessions for the Saddlebred, Roadster and Hackney exhibitors but last year show management made some changes and this year continued the improvements to the schedule making it a well run and well received show.

Now in his second year serving as manager Peter Fenton believes "we are on the right track in bringing the Saddlebreds back as a major focus at Roanoke." The changes from last year brought people back and a few more returned from previous years. The increase in numbers along with top quality staff and volunteers that wanted to make sure the exhibitors’ needs were met brought together a great show, and it didn’t hurt that the weather was unusually bearable. The weather might not really be of interest to some but Roanoke is known for the heat especially with the stalls being on top of the asphalt parking lot of the Salem Civic Center. This year however, the humidity was lower and the nights were comfortable, making for a great show.

One of the biggest draws for the exhibitors is the local crowd. It is a great feeling to be showing with people you don’t even know cheering for you and class after class the crowd found their favorites and cheered them on. Another great perk was the exhibitor’s party that was held at a local country club for lunch on Thursday. And no one misses the great Jack Russell Terrier Races held on Friday night. This year Molly Boggs was back in the winner’s circle for the third time in four years. Owned by Whitney Bennett the speedy terrier only missed the top honor last year when she accepted the reserve spot.

The Five-Gaited Championship is always a thrill for the crowd and this year did not disappoint as six nice entries made the gate call. After the work was completed Judge Cates asked two to return to the rail and crowd loved it as the whole arena was ringing with cheers. It was a battle of brawn and beauty as Walterway’s Pardon Me with Smith Lilly and Fox Grape’s Dauntless with Lonnie Quarles went head to head. In the end the championship finished just like the qualifier with Dauntless making the victory pass for Fox Grape Farms and Pardon Me carrying out the red streamers for the Morgan family.

Fox Grape Farms also picked up a win with Parker Road and Dr. Owen Weaver in the Ladies Five-Gaited class with Fort Chiswell’s The It Girl and Alexis Braswell garnering the reserve. In the amateur qualifier the top spot went to Heir To The Moon and Lisa May in their only appearance together while Bluebonnet’s Wild Thing and Jesse Lynch earned the red ribbon. In the amateur championship Alexis Braswell had The It Girl in top form racking away with the tricolor under the West Wind banner. With a solid performance CH Spirit Of New York PSF and Brittany Kale were reserve.

Earning the top spot in a great novice class was the bold moving Captivating Charm with Matt Shiflet for Gaited Inc. In reserve were the striking black Rappe and Nancy Troutman.

Smith Lilly earned his time in the winner’s circle with the new star Blue Blue Lady. The bright mare topped the junior class for Cross Timbers Saddlebreds Inc. Reserve honors went to Locust Grove’s Big Kat and Abby Pratt. Winning the three-year-old title was Uwharrie’s Rare Gypsy and Suzy Shiflet for Uwharries Hills Farm.

Moving up for her qualifying reserve Miss Haviland and Sarah Martin won the Five-Gaited Pony Championship for Jon Walker Stables. Switching spots from the qualifying blue to the championship reserve was Undulata’s Kipling and Rebecca Doss.

Matt Shiflet continued his winning ways with a sweeping the open three-gaited division with the toppy Lady O’Lydia for Don and Phyllis Brookshire. With a win in the novice qualifier Here To Win and Bill Shiflet took home the championship reserve for Anne Holmes.

Matt Shiflet Stables earned another blue with the single winning performance of Lady Avalon and Whitney Bennett in the ladies. Kathy Cook presented her elegant Daimler to the reserve.

Alexis Braswell had quite a Saturday night not only did she win the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship but she also topped the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship in her debut aboard A Silver Charm. In their only performance Simbara’s Bountiful and Krysten Malcolm captured the qualifying blue under the Mercer Springs banner. Reserve in both amateur classes went to a hometown favorite The Chaperone and Carol Reedy.

Drew Taylor Hewitt had two nice catchrides aboard Dance On The Inside for the sweep in the junior exhibitor division for Uwharrie Hills Farm under the direction of Suzy Shiflet. Catherine Wheeler and Amelia Heir Cat have really come together this year and with two powerful performances they swept the three-gaited pony division. Reserve in both classes went to the multi-titled team of Powerful Tango and Dominique Bowlen under the direction of Kristen and David Cater.

Steve Demjen had HS She Be Bad stroking for the Park Championship title for Jackie Hawkes. Topping the qualifier was The Paper Princess JJW and Harrison Shiflet for Joan Sonnabend in a single performance. Reserve in both outings went to the beautiful S’More Undulata and Kim Cowart for Patricia Misko.

Reedann’s Heir To Glory and Brittany Kale have only been together for short time but they are well matched and come ready to show. With two solid performances they swept the amateur park division. CH Our Silver Charm and George Anne Nash had two strong performances making pass after pass for both reserve titles.

CH Justa Rascal and Camille Cowart are on a roll with a perfect season to their credit. Now after four shows they have four sweeps in the junior exhibitor park division for the West Wind banner. The bright Cape Grace and Owen Binnie might be a young team but they give it their all earning them a pair of red ribbons.

The talented son of Designed, Mark Of Design, carried home the blue ribbon in the junior park class with owner Lisa Worrell Whittle in the irons. Reserve honors went to Lady Morticia and Lonnie Quarles for Dr. and Mrs. J.B. Miller III.

Mercer Springs continued its winning ways in the fine harness division. CH Mother Mary marched down victory lane with Anita Simpson beaming on the lines in both the championship and open qualifier. Smith Lilly had his turn at the whip winning the three-year-old class with the CH Call Me Ringo x Queen Lafite daughter Call Me For A Date’s debut for owner/breeder Bill Beckley. Back in the open division Fox Grape’s Limitless and Joe Ellington took both red ribbons home under the Andre Fourie Stables banner.

Where’s Reuben and Jon Walker returned in the Roadster To Bike Championship with a flawless drive, which is a huge feat in this small ring. The moved up from their qualifying reserve to win the championship for Debra Clark. Winning the qualifier was Jesse James with Harry Chapman. In the amateur qualifier it was Eclipse taking the blue with W.H. Maddy, Jr., catchdriving for James Hale under the Jon Walker Stables banner. Jon Dabareiner sped away with the reserve honors in the open championship and amateur qualifier, where Postmaster Mike raced away with the blue. Eclipse and Postmaster Mike went head to head again in the under saddle class with Eclipse wearing the blue with Jocelyn Brock and Postmaster Mike debuting with Marli Dabareiner for the reserve.

Bo Lucas made a pair of victory passes in the open road pony division with his new pony Heartland Double Trouble. Championship reserve honors went to Blue Grass Impression and M.L. Gray for Rees Woody, while Black Jack and Sherri Surface were reserve in the qualifier for Stanley and Sharyn Lang.

Let’s Take A Chance and Holly Hale triumphed in both the amateur championship and qualifier. Runaway and Cynthia Jackson had a comeback drive for the reserve championship honor while Heartland Landmark and Harry Chapman were reserve in the qualifier.

Rare Wine was back to the ring in the junior exhibitor division carrying pintsize Christopher Chase Tibbs to the winner’s circle in the Medallion to bike qualifier and junior exhibitor championship. Winning the AHHS Youth Medallion Under Saddle class was Edgar with Kathleen Chapman in the irons.

Heartland Unique Design and David Cunningham made the victory pass in the novice road pony class with Joyanna and Amy Roberts collecting the red ribbon.

For the third year in a row the flashy It’s Showtime topped the Open Harness Pony Championship with owner Tamra Arndt on the lines. This West Wind trained team also won the open qualifier.

Under the watchful eye of John Whalen, Heartland Twice As Nice and Kathleen Whitlow won both the Hackney Pony Championship and open qualifier for the second year in a row.

Tamra Arndt was back in the spotlight with her longtime partner Heartland Parade Time in the pleasure driving division. With a pleasure perfect performance the team swept the division for the fifth year in a row. Championship reserve honors went to Heartland Dynasty and Elizabeth Kuykendall, while Annabelle Lee and Deborah Barron were reserve in the qualifier.

Jenna Norton had a successful week with Desert Supreme Kid. The team had two great rides to sweep the adult five-gaited show pleasure division. Racking away with both reserve titles was Hoochie Coochie Blues and Lisa Dabareiner. In the junior exhibitor division CH Sunken Treasure and Stephanie Brackett have found their groove and swept the division. Both reserve honors went to the sporty Mojo with Megan Bush Barrett.

Fort Chiswell’s Prince Charming moved up for the Park Pleasure Championship win with Burt Honaker in the irons. Earlier they earned reserve in open qualifier. CH CF Not Tonight Chief and Nikki Immonen had a comeback rider for the championship reserve for Lisa Austin. Winning the qualifier in their only performance was Santa Ana Wind and Matt Shiflet for Gaited Inc.

Matt Shiflet also presented The Cowboy Casanova to the winner’s circle in the Junior Park Pleasure for Don and Phyllis Brookshire. Grant Shiflet was aboard Yes By Golly for the reserve title for Joan Sonnabend. Nikki Immonen was back to the ring in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic class aboard the magnificent Don’t Know Nuttin’. They wore the blue down victory lane for Suzanne Wright. Matt Lightner presented Grand Kid to the reserve for Muff Clark.

My Stiletto was in top form to win the competitive Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship after an earlier qualifying reserve. Ceil Wheeler was aboard the bright chestnut for Janet Sterba. Ooh Yes I Can and Andrea Wolkoff had a comeback ride earning the reserve championship honor for McDaniel Saddlebreds. The high-headed Stocco stole the spotlight in the qualifier winning the class with Amanda Murchison.

With Bells On never put an ear back in a pleasure perfect performance winning the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship with Mackenzie Hall. The team also topped the 13 and under qualifier. Brookhill’s Kool As Ice and Ellie Kangur also had two great shows for the championship and 13 and under qualifying reserve titles. Winning the 14-17 qualifier was the hard riding Anna Hudson aboard Jennifer and Dan Joiner’s Proof Perfect. They returned for a strong third in the championship. Reserve in the 14-17 went to tried and true CH The Chesapeake Bay and Austin Hazelwood.

Lady Gabriella and Emma Sanchez had two nice rides sweeping the 12-and-under walk-and-trot pleasure division. The magnificent CH Radiant Success with Sallie-Mason Wheeler claimed both reserve titles. Sweeping the open walk-and-trot pleasure division was the spunky team of Magic Mahogany and Libby Bowen.

The flashy Color Me Fox moved up winning the Pleasure Pony Championship after an earlier qualifying reserve with Austin Hazelwood. The King’s Firestorm and Alexandra Rapadas topped the qualifier and returned for the championship reserve.

With two nice drives CH Callaway’s B. Gratz Brown and Karin Banks swept the show pleasure driving division under the Meadow Wood banner. Linda Redding was at the whip behind Shady Creek’s Sensation for both reserve titles.

After two outstanding rides Donna Finch piloted CH Riva Diva down victory lane in both the championship and qualifying class in the adult country pleasure division. Callaway’s Paisano has easily moved into the division claiming the championship reserve title with Jenna Norton. Earning the qualifying reserve was Callaway’s Cinnamon Bay and Dr. Jennifer Makem for Joe Woeppel.

CH Mahvalous Guy and Randi Barnes moved up for the junior exhibitor championship tricolor for the second year in a row. CH Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Laura Plant carried home the blue ribbon from the qualifier. Earning both reserve titles was Curly Day and Samantha Stratton for Lesley Cox.

Debbie Marcum was at the whip behind CH Dr. Deker sweeping the country pleasure driving division, while CH Stevie Nicks and Pat Yeatts accepted both reserve titles.

Winning the western championship was Cosmic Sunfire and Judith Gandarillas after a reserve in the qualifier. Topping the qualifier was Shamrock’s Versace and Anna Hudson for Rebecca Tobey. They returned for the championship reserve. Melinda Warden was aboard Ronan for the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure blue ribbon with The King Of Wishful Thinking and Melanie Carroll earning the red ribbon.

Ellie Kangur was in top form aboard Doubletrees Aqua Blue for the USEF Medal and Saddle Seat Equitation wins. Stablemate Libby Bowen returned to the ring for the UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup blue ribbon. Anna Hansil aboard Easter Hero captured the 10-and-Under Walk-and-Trot Equitation blue and a reserve in the Challenge Cup.

Stormy Seas wowed the crowd in the Friesian division sweeping the under saddle classes with Suzanne Wright aboard. The team heralds from Chestnut Lane.

Saturday afternoon belonged to the Academy riders. Winning titles in their classes were: Courtney Kim, BJ Fourie, Kaeleigh Shutts, Abigail Tabor, Ainsley Ruley, Haley Mauldin, Frankie Sue Snider, Presley Clark, Jamie Houck, Morgan Coulter, Jordan Brock, Jeanne Guthrie, Sydney Beason, Kathy Hall, Audrey Stephenson, Telisha Coulter, Rachel Whitt, Micah Geary, Julie Forehand, Mickey Kangur and Rachel Sanchez.

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