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North Carolina State Championship Charity Hosts Big Numbers

by Leeann Mione
Morgan divisional coverage by Mary Daughtry

RALEIGH, N.C. – The 49th annual North Carolina State Championship Charity Horse Show hosted a big number of Saddlebreds, Hackneys, roadsters, Friesians and Morgans at the Governor James B. Hunt Horse Complex at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

Nearly 400 horses represented North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Vermont, Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas, California, Ohio, Missouri, Alabama and Minnesota at this year’s show.

Newly crowned world’s champions and world’s champion of champions, repeat winners and new champions and beautiful futurity babies highlighted the competition and made this year’s show a rousing success.

Manager Ray Cloninger and assistant manager/ringmaster William G. Whitley were joined by show secretary Joyce Wilson and assistant secretary Barbara Woodlief to keep things running smoothly both in and out of the ring. Steve Wilson served as the grounds superintendent and Kent Moeller was the paddock manager.

Doug Shiflet was honored in center ring for his 25th year as official photographer of the North Carolina State Championship Charity Horse Show. Richfield Video was busy as show videographers and Groff Bittner was the show organist. Mark Farrar returned as official announcer. On Saturday morning he was called to announce the Tennessee Walking Horse classes which took place in the outside ring, so he was replaced by Franklin Freeman for Saturday morning’s classes.

Scarlett Mattson, along with Bill Munford, served as the USEF Stewards for the competition. Melissa Moore, Harold Angell and Nancy Troutman also did their part to keep the schedule moving as judges. Moore judged the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, roadsters, Friesians and equitation riders. Angell judged the Morgan division and Nancy Troutman returned again this year to judge the academy division which saw big numbers with many of the classes having to be split. David Herlocker again served as official farrier and Apex Animal Hospital was the official show veterinarian.

The show is proud of its traditions and has long been one of the favorites on the Carolinas circuit. Although plagued by hurricanes and other bad weather in the past, this year’s show enjoyed glorious weather to continue the tradition established last year.

Once again this year, the hall of fame inductions were not to be missed as two longtime supporters of the industry were inducted. Nancy Boone was joined by family, friends and peers for her Friday night ceremony and Neil Scruggs likewise, was joined by his family, friends and peers for his induction ceremony Saturday evening. (See separate story.)

Boone’s Farm hosted a great party with food and drinks at their stalls to celebrate the occasion Friday evening after the show. Neil Scruggs also had a great party in the Barnmaster Barn Saturday night to meet and greet the big group of well-wishers who attended.

Coffee and pastries were provided each morning by the horse show, and each evening an impressive buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres was offered to any and all.

There are so many reasons to put the North Carolina State Championship Horse Show on the list of must attend events during the fall calendar, not the least of which is the great competition in class after class.

The five-gaited division was full of quality and Saturday night’s championship turned into a battle among six qualified contenders. Naughty, winner of the open class returned with Lewis Eckard to take on Midnight Senor and Claude Shiflet, In Heaven’s Name and Jon Walker, Seajay Lewis and Greg O’Kelley, Warhawk’s RoHo and Steve Hanks. After just having won the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship, Smith Lilly was ready to take on the group with Callaway’s Four Leaf Clover to round out the group.

When Melissa Moore turned in her card, it was Four Leaf Clover named to head to the winner’s circle for owner Karen Thornhill after a powerful performance. Naughty and Eckard were named the reserve grand champions for owner Susan Orton, and Midnight Senor captured the yellow streamers and a huge round of applause as Claude Shiflet exited the ring with Melody Murphy’s entry. Warhawk’s RoHo, Seajay Lewis and In Heaven’s Name claimed the remaining ribbons in that order to close out a great weekend of competition at the state championship show.

Ima Star-Buck won the seven-entry ladies class with Julie Burmeister up for owner Jerry Horoschuck.

CH Breaking News and Megan McClure swept the amateur division by turning in two strong efforts amongst a talented group of amateur horses. Last year, CH Breaking News put West Wind in the record books at the state championship show when Peter Cowart rode to the Five-Gaited Grand Championship, making him only the second trainer in the history of the show to win the Five-Gaited Championship three years in a row. Margaret Rose, also from West Wind Stables was reserve in the amateur championship with Peggy Gillenwater riding.

The junior exhibitors put on two great shows in their division and kept the momentum of the five-gaited division going. Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Ali Deutsch won the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship after having won the qualifier under the direction of Boone’s Farm. Sarah Longworth had a busy week showing multiple entries and she teamed CH Diamond’s Hope to the reserve in both classes under the direction of Cash Lovell.

Kathy Cook, from Mountain View Stables, put Classic Native Dancer into the winner’s circle in the four-entry junior horse class. Smith Lilly added another five-gaited title to his impressive list when Watch Out Now was named the winner of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic for owner Sue Nifong.

I Believe I Can Fly and Sarah Longworth were the Five-Gaited Pony Grand Champions and qualifier winners to close out the gaited division and add two wins to the Cash Lovell total.

Jon Walker brought a big group to Raleigh and had a great show with wins in numerous divisions including his wins in both the Three-Gaited Championship and open class with Joker’s Wild, owned by Bob and Jan Gunn. You Move Me and Smith Lilly took the reserve streamers in the stake and open qualifier for Robin McKenzie Vuillermet.

MJB High Fire and Phyllis Brookshire teamed up to win the ladies class for owners Heck and Carol Newton.

Woulda Coulda Shoulda and Aimee Austin, directed by Mary Ann Harris, were unstoppable on their way to the winner’s circle in the amateur class, then returned to win the championship as well for Dan and Brenda Austin. Detached and Susan Harris were right there for both amateur reserves under the direction of Lewis Eckard.

The new team of CH Mahvalous Asset and Caitlin Leith made quite an impression with their sweep of the junior exhibitor division. They were met by trainer Heather Boodey in the winner’s circle and Leith was all smiles as she took the victory passes with her new teammate. First Shot and Jordan Banner claimed the reserve tricolor in the junior exhibitor championship.

Smith Lilly rode his second UPHA Classics champion of the weekend when Moore named Heads Will Turn the winner of the UPHA class for T & T Saddlebreds.

Golden Market has been unstoppable since winning his first world’s championship as a weanling in 2004. Smith Lilly headed once again to the winner’s circle when Sue Nifong’s two-year-old was named the winner of the Carolina Futurity Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class.

Allie Wellington hadn’t come down from cloud nine since winning the Three-Gaited Pony World’s Champion of Champions title with Royalty In Black. She turned in two winning rides at Raleigh and swept the three-gaited pony division under the direction of Drowning Creek. Callaway’s Viscount and Katherine Randall were named the reserve grand champions for Brookdale Farms LLC.

CH Justa Rascal, fresh off the stallion/gelding amateur park reserve world’s championship title with Megan McClure, swept the park division at Raleigh with Kim Cowart up for Megan McClure and Beth Arndt. Forty-Two Karats and Mary Jo Schmidt claimed the reserve title in the open championship for Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rozzo.

Marie Gwinn and Promise To Dance added two wins to the Boone’s Farm total when they were selected by Moore as the winners of both the amateur park championship and amateur qualifier. Dr. Kim Blackwell was directed by Midge Hunt to the reserve title in the amateur championship with Mountainview’s Truly Amazing.

Sarah Longworth and Kalarama Shiraz, with several wins and reserves already to their credit this season, claimed the top honor in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Championship after a huge move up in the ribbons. Longworth topped six other riders for the title. Katie’s Dream and Britt Mitchell won the junior exhibitor qualifier and returned in the stake to claim the reserve tricolor.

Heir Slinger and Dana Harris teamed up to win the largest class of the park division, the junior horse class. They bested a field of nine teams to earn the blue ribbon.

Andre Fourie drove Shamrock’s Asagi to the win in the Open Fine Harness class for Vickie Keatley and Jennie Graham then returned in the Fine Harness Championship to claim the tricolor as well. Spanish Tap and Claude Shiflet were the reserve grand champions for Nick Antich.

Janelle D’Amato and Waiting Heir won the Amateur Fine Harness Championship for Jansal Saddlebreds. Tiznow and Dr. Brian Garrett won the amateur qualifier under the direction of Greg O’Kelley.

The Chocolate Drop Kid and owner Brenda Brewer had only shown together once this season before coming to the state championship show but they looked like seasoned veterans as they took the blue in the Junior Fine Harness class, showing from David Barger Stables.

Steve and Hollie Davidson made a big impression in the Carolina Futurity classes again this year including Hollie’s winning drive with License To Chill in the Carolina Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class for owner Sharon Price.

Steve Hanks drove Matt T Tup to the Road Horse Championship after they had previously won the limit horse class for owner Eddie Case. A trio of road horses competed in the championship. Where’s Reuben won the open class qualifier for owner Debra Clark before returning to take the reserve tricolor in the championship with Jon Walker driving.

Joanna’s Lost took the victory pass in the amateur championship with Rae Lee Mills in the bike for Jason Stoltzfus and topped a field of five for the win. Eclipse and Steve Deutsch won the amateur qualifier before capturing the reserve in the amateur championship.

The Road Horse Under Saddle Championship showcased five of the seven entries that had earlier competed in the qualifier and like the bike classes, the under saddle horses entertained the crowd and had them cheering for their favorites. High Velocity and Lindsey Greenwald won the championship for SGF Winning Ways Farm and was followed in the ribbons by Rebekah Cloninger and Diamond Hustler. Open Road Horse winner, Eclipse, won the under saddle qualifier with Carolyn Brock in the irons for Steve Deutsch to continue a great week for Deutsch and Jon Walker Stables.

A trio of roadster ponies competed in their open championship and Razz-Ma-Tazz was unstoppable on the way to the win with Lewis Eckard driving for owner Karl Bridgeman. Razz-Ma-Tazz had previously won the open qualifier with Eckard. The team of Vivacious E.F. and Harry Daughtry have been a fixture at the top of the road pony division in the Carolinas for years and they turned in two reserve efforts for Mary Daughtry.

Cappuccino and Brenda Kelly are another team that has made their mark in the roadster pony division with many amateur titles to their credit. At Raleigh, they added the amateur grand championship title to their list when Moore called them out as the winners under the direction of Steve Gassen. Regal’s Star Attraction LF, only a junior pony, and Jeoff Bodenhorst won the amateur qualifier before returning to take the reserve in the amateur championship.

Newly crowned World’s Champion Zildjian headed to the winner’s circle twice at Raleigh with Conner Leith showing under the direction of Heather Boodey. They won the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony Championship and qualifier. Catch The Spirit and Dustin Lassett took two reserves for his grandmother Jean Myers. Lassett drove under the direction of Steve Hanks.

Perfect Offering was yet another newly crowned world’s champion that made the trip to Raleigh to compete and Drew Taylor Hewitt headed to the winner’s circle after number 450 was called out to win the Roadster Pony Under Saddle Championship. John Glenn and Courtney Bebber, directed by Steve Gassen, were reserve in the championship. China Princess and Kinsey Broome took the top honor in the Roadster Pony Under Saddle qualifier for owner Dustin Deaton.

High Horizon’s Gold Dust and Charles Leonard represented Covie Creek Stables in the winner’s circle twice during the week. Leonard drove for owner Bill Weavil to capture the Harness Pony Championship and qualifier wins.

Heartland Parade Time and Tamra Arndt have been having a great first season under the direction of West Wind Stables and they swept the Hackney pony pleasure driving division to add two more wins to their total. Wait & See’s Postmaster was the pleasure driving reserve grand champion with Alexandra Foster driving for Vernon and Jennifer Foster.

The pleasure division was large and competitive at this year’s show and riders had to work hard to stay clear of the crowd and turn in a strong effort to impress Moore.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship saw all six adult riders from the qualifier return in hopes of earning the tricolor. Courtney Maness turned in the ride of her life to capture the tricolor and earn her first win with Pepper Man under the direction of Suzy Shiflet. Meet Mr. Big and Phyllis Brookshire won the adult qualifier with a strong team effort and were named for the reserve streamers in the championship.

Summit Up and Allison Combs, still on a high from watching her horse He’s The Man win the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship at Louisville, teamed up for the tricolor ride in the junior exhibitor championship. CH Callaway’s No Problem and Dustin Lassett took the reserve for Jean Myers after a powerful performance. Pam Austin and CH Social Worth have been consistently at the top of the junior exhibitor five-gaited division and the junior exhibitor five-gaited pleasure division under the direction of Mary Ann Harris. Austin made her final ride as a junior exhibitor a winning one as she headed to the winner’s circle in the qualifier in her only appearance at the show due to a prior school commitment.

My Tee Time and Betsy Boone took on the open park pleasure division, which was full of nice entries, and they came out on top both times. Boone rode for owner Andrea Everett to capture the Park Pleasure Championship and open class blue ribbon. Trainer Jamie Mullins rode Mountainview’s Dark Penny to the reserve title in the open championship for owners Kirk Simpkins and Steve Hamby.

Competition at the World’s Championship Horse Show in the young horse classes was exceptional this year. At the North Carolina State Championship, that was true as well. The Junior Park Pleasure class was the largest of the park pleasure division with 11 entries and The Pool Boy went to the top of the card with a strong performance for owner Susan Orton. Even more impressive, the three-year-old had previously won the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic with Lewis Eckard up.

Marie Gwinn had a busy and successful week at Raleigh showing multiple entries to top honors in several different divisions. She topped the huge Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship, which hosted 16 entries, with her A Chance To Dance. Dickey D, shown by Ginger Reagan and owned by Doris Crumpler, was the reserve grand champion under the direction of Page Champion.

One of the most poignant moments of the show came when number 174 was called out as the winner of the 14-entry Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 14-17 Championship. It truly took a minute for it to sink in as Kerrie Fersch and her parents, as well as trainers Paige Owen and Myra Williams realized that Master Gold Card had just been named the grand champion in the extremely competitive class.  Thomas Edison and Stephanie Miller also made their mark in the division with a strong effort for the reserve grand championship title to add another top ribbon to the Mercer Springs Farm total.

Mary Ann Harris met Madison Bissette and Irish Charisma in the winner’s circle after they won the 13-entry qualifier for the 14-17 riders which was every bit as competitive as the championship.

The 13 and under riders also faced deep water in both their championship and qualifier. Hanna Norwood and Out All Night were elated with their victory in the 11-entry championship under the direction of Midge Hunt, especially since Norwood topped 11 other teams to win the novice rider class earlier in the week and Out All Night just turned four years old. Norwood rode for owner Blythewood Farms.

Allie Wellington kept her great show going by earning the blue ribbon in the 12-entry qualifier for the younger riders. Wellington showed her ever-consistent CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time to the blue then returned in the championship to finish as the reserve grand champion.

Don’s Champagne Style and Rachel Koerner topped the Local Pleasure Horse class which featured six entries.

The first-year team of Stephanie Brackett and CH Much More Radiant topped a big 10-entry Walk and Trot Pleasure 12 and Under Championship under the direction of Cash Lovell Stables. Native Kat and Madison Cheatham were the reserve grand champions and were directed by Jon Walker. Picabo Street and Drew Love took the blue in the 12-entry qualifier for the walk and trot pleasure riders.

Christy Absher Johnson directed Meghan Toms and The Cash Connection to their win in the English Pleasure Pony Championship which featured seven hard riding young exhibitors. Sunkissed Supreme and Megan Barrett finished as the reserve grand champions from David Barger Stables. She’s Some Kind Of Wonderful won the pleasure pony qualifier with owner Megan Graham in the irons to top six other teams for the blue ribbon.

Ann Cannon and John Elway were the ones to beat in the six-entry Show Pleasure Driving Championship to add another tricolor to the Boone’s Farm total. CH Harlem’s Babe Ruth and Susan Whittington won the qualifier before being named reserve in the championship. Alexandra Foster and Worthy’s Just Once won the Youth Show Pleasure Driving class which featured a pair of contenders.

The country pleasure division, like the show pleasure division was split by age group, and the adult riders in their classes faced big numbers as well. CH Riva Diva and Donna Finch, in only her second show out of the academy division, were unstoppable on their way to victory in the competitive 13-entry adult championship after having also won the 12-entry qualifier. Toree Lewis-Hefner and Highpoint’s Fancy Cat have numerous titles to their credit and continued their successful season with the reserve grand championship in the competitive class.

Simone Lovell and Simbara’s Son Of A Gun won the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17 Championship after competing in the novice rider class. Caitlin Leith continued her great show by riding Irish Cappuccino to the reserve streamers in the championship. Suzy Shiflet met Nikki Capps and Walk This Way in the winner’s circle after they won the qualifier, besting a pair of contenders for the blue ribbon.

Brooke and Quintus VanderSpuy had a big week at Raleigh. Not only did they direct Peyton Draheim and Attaway’s Mystified to a huge win in the 10-entry Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Country Pleasure Championship and nine-entry qualifier, but Brooke celebrated her birthday with a get-together at the Lenux Stables stalls Friday evening after the show. Phantom Eyes and Natalie Penegar were the reserve grand champions after their strong effort for Daybreak Horse Park.

It’s Night Time and Michelle Holbrook added another win to the Blythewood Farms total when they were named by
Moore to head to the winner’s circle in the nine-entry Novice Rider Country Pleasure class.

Anyone who watched Anita Simpson win her section one reserve world’s championship at Louisville could appreciate her sheer joy with her aptly named Really Worth It as they lit up the green shavings under the direction of Mercer Springs Farm. At Raleigh, Simpson’s smile was just as big as she took the victory passes in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Ro-Day-O and Rheanne Greene captured the reserve tricolor.

Marie Gwinn was back in the winner’s circle to add yet another championship title to her total at Raleigh when Monsignor was named the winner of the Western Country Pleasure Championship. The pair also won the qualifier which gave them three divisional sweeps at the show. Liquid Trust and Tatum Faithful have been consistent performers in the western division and they turned in the reserve grand championship team effort for Faithful Stables.

Symbol’s Supreme Eclipse topped a pair of competitors to win the Hunter Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier with owner Holly Henson up. Cosmic Sunfire and Judith Gandarillas took the reserve ribbon.

The equitation division was very light with only four riders total at the show. Emma Nichols did her part, along with instructor Liz McBride Jones to support the division and she rode CH Worth A Scene to the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and 17 and under qualifier blue.

Cagle James and Seattle Song followed up their reserve world’s championship in the nine-year-old equitation division at Louisville by winning the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation class at the state championship, as well as the 10 and Under UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup class.

The Carolina Jackpot and futurity classes are one of this show’s biggest draws, and gorgeous young horses paraded in class after class to entertain the crowd.

Sue Nifong has long been recognized as one of the industry’s most prolific and award-winning breeders at her Silverlin Farm. Her young Saddlebreds earned numerous honors at North Carolina including Guinness’ (The Irish Connection x The Kentucky Kitty) win in the eight-entry Carolina Jackpot Weanling class with Smith Lilly handling. Guinness also won the Carolina Futurity Weanling Open class. Springerle, sired by VHF The Licorice Drop Kid and out of the (SA) Zovoorbij Commander In Chief mare African Dixie was named the weanling jackpot reserve champion with Steve Gassen showing for Flecia Fairey. Wade Fairey had previously presented Springerle to the win in the amateur weanling futurity class.

Krista Dent scored a huge win when The Northern Cross topped a big group of yearlings to win the Carolina Futurity Open Yearling class for Garry McBride. Sired by Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of The Divine Enchantment, The Northern Cross bested a field of 12 for the win.

I’m All In won the 15-entry Carolina Jackpot last year and kept the winning ribbons coming when Steve Davidson headed to the winner’s circle in the Carolina Futurity Amateur Futurity for Cross Winds Farm. The yearling sired by Supremacy’s High Time and out of the CH Caramac mare Callaway’s Briolette was bred by North Carolina amateur exhibitor Sharon Anderson. Davidson also showed I’m All In to the blue ribbon in the ASGN Yearling In Hand class, which featured 11 high stepping entries.

A trio of two-year-olds competed in their Carolina Futurity Two-Year-Old In Hand class and A Superior Night went to the top of the class for Paul and Betsy Boone. Paul Boone presented the colt, sired by Joan Hammond’s CH Superior’s Successor and out of Take Me Out by CF First Night Out.

Ashley Walker and Jocelyn Brock represented Jon Walker Stables when they earned the tricolor and reserve ribbon respectively with the Friesians of Shady Nook Farm. Walker rode Tessa Van De Zuiderwaan to the winner’s circle and Brock piloted Gregor Von Eichenhof Oldenburg to reserve. Walker and Tessa had previously won the Friesian Saddle Seat Pleasure Open class and she also rode Gregor to the win in the Friesian Saddle Seat Park Open class.

The Morgan division has long been supported by a faithful group of owners, trainers and exhibitors, many of which who show at the state championship as a final warm-up for the fast approaching Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show in Oklahoma.

Broadmoor, Tall Tails Farm, Scott Thacker Stables, Flintlock Morgans, Woodbridge Farm, Tara Farm, La Mirage Stables, Daughtry Stables, MJO Stables and Krista Dent Stables all came to support the division and went home with wins and/or reserves from Judge Harold Angell.

The Raleigh audience certainly enjoyed seeing the exceptional Morgan park horses this year. Mike Goebig, of Broadmoor, made two outstanding rides on CN The Master’s Flyte to win the Open Park Saddle class and championship for a very pleased owner Cindy Nord. Goebig’s pupil, Kathy Gutting, also had two excellent shows on her CBMF Undeniable to take reserve in the championship and won the championship last year. Goebig also presented the winner of the junior park saddle class, Whitemud Dixie Dance King, for Rhoda J. Hoenmans.

Tara’s Firewalker was a good second in the junior class ridden by trainer Ken Swanson for Krista Headley.

Chet Sowle drove the pretty mare Fire Pink’s Cozzette to the blue in the park harness class for Beth Johnson.

The high-headed bay gelding Captivation of Foxridge and Beth Kelly scored two big wins in the Ladies English Pleasure class and the English Pleasure Championship for owner Martha Perry and trainer Harry Daughtry. This was Kelly’s first show after a serious accident back in June and she made it a resounding success. AWS Candlelight and Scott Thacker were the reserve champions for Tall Tails Farm LLC.

Sunny Acres In A Flash and Jane Mitchell, directed by Mary Jo Schmidt, topped Harold Angell’s card in the junior exhibitor class before taking the reserve ribbon in the combined Amateur/Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship. Arboria Invictus and Leah Ling were reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

CN A Touch Better and Sally Lawing made a pair of victory passes in the amateur qualifier and the amateur/junior exhibitor championship. This sharp gelding is trained by Krista Dent. Give A Little Whistle and Josh Miller picked up the red ribbon in the amateur qualifier.

Battier and Anika Frank lit up the ring in the English Pleasure Walk and Trot 12 and Under class. This very competitive team is coached by Myra Williams and Paige Owen at Heads Up Academy.

The blue ribbon in the novice class was awarded to Flintlock’s Testarosa and Tristanne Weber Childress for Pete and Gael Jaeger. Give A Little Whistle and Josh Miller were second.

Three nice junior horses vied for Judge Angel’s approval and getting the nod was another Broadmoor entry, Love Her Madly, with Mike Goebig showing for Mary Todd Kaercher. AWS Candlelight and Scott Thacker were second.

Hollybrook Indian Brave made two heads-up shows to win the open qualifier and the Open Pleasure Driving Championship with owner Mary Daughtry. It was announced after their win that Daughtry and “Cochise” were making their sixth pleasure driving tricolor victory pass.

The amateur driving classes were filled with talented horses and elegant ladies. JAJ Bel Shashar was expressive and powerful as he trotted to the winner’s circle in the amateur qualifier with excited owner Cathy Minard. RJM Roulette and Janet Morgan were second in this class, making it a one-two finish for Broadmoor entries. Results in the amateur championship, however, were reversed for Morgan and Minard. It was RJM Roulette making the victory pass. The reserve grand championship honors went to the elegant youngster John Weslee with Leslie Minard showing for 21st Century Morgans under the direction of Harry Daughtry.

The junior driving class finish was the same as the Junior English Pleasure class. Love Her Madly and Mike Goebig were awarded the blue with AWS Candlelight and Scott Thacker in second. KDS Kumite was a real powerhouse for Krista Dent as they won the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving class. CN In Grand Style and Dwayne Knowles were second for Cindy Nord.

Two Virginia ladies came to North Carolina with their black western geldings and carried off most of the prizes in this division. Salem Total Eclipse and Elizabeth Abernathy took the blue in the amateur qualifier as well as the tricolors in the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure Championship and the Open Western Pleasure Championship.

Savenac’s Commodore and Sheila England were first in the open class and reserve in amateur and open championships. Second in the open class went to Fox Hall Mercedes and Patsy Hester.

Thirteen-year-old Emory Sykes rode her Great Aunt Mary Daughtry’s Hollybrook Sudden Impact to the blue in the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure class as well as a second place in the amateur qualifier.

Two elegant and bold moving bay mares made the hunter pleasure classes very entertaining to watch. In the open and amateur qualifying classes, Carmen Miranda and Jamie Jaeger Fiocco trotted to the winner’s circle. Emory Sykes rode Pat Wyatt’s FRF Center Stage to second place finishes in both classes. In the hunter pleasure championship, however, FRF Center Stage claimed the tricolor with Beth Kelly in the irons. Carmen Miranda was the reserve champion.

Ram Wham Bam Precision lived up to his name as he won both the Open Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship and qualifier. “Sporty” was ridden by Laura Austin and trained by Mary Ann Harris. Stonecroft Endless Love and Betsy Buchanan were reserve in both classes.

MLF Glory Bound and Julia Haggerty made the blue ribbon ride in the junior exhibitor saddle class just ahead of RGR Goldfinger and Madison Pleasant.

Coalition Royal Billing and June Davis made the victory pass in the Open Classic Pleasure Driving class. Stonecroft Endless Love and Betsy Buchanan were second in this class, but came back to win the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. Coalition Royal Billing finished as the reserve grand champion.

This concludes the highlights of the 49th annual North Carolina State Championship Horse Show. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

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