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Shelby County Fair and Horse Show


Judge: Debbie Foley

Manager: R. H. Bennett

Secretary: Beth Snider

Office Assistant: Sandy Backer

Announcer: Guy Shelburne

Ring Secretary: Georgia Shelburne

Organist: Gene Wright

Ringmaster: Don Baker

In Gate Manager: Brad Noel

Video Productions: Richfield Video

Photographer: Linda Wollaber

Farrier: James Quiram


by Claire Panke


SHELBYVILLE, Ky. - Ferris wheels and tractor pulls, pork chop sandwiches and corn on the cob, humid summer evenings and hot competition in the show ring - it must be county fair time again in Kentucky.


The Shelby County Fair, held June 20-23 in the heart of Saddlebred country, kicked off the annual Kentucky county fair circuit in grand style. With many of the greatest names in the horse industry residing within an hour’s drive of Shelbyville, plus the annual influx of Texas and West Coast exhibitors summering in the Bluegrass, entertaining competition was guaranteed every evening.


One of the great pleasures of county fair shows are the surprises one encounters there: it’s always intriguing to discover which horses will turn up in what classes, what young horses are making their debuts and which seasoned performers will find new divisions before Lexington and Louisville. Manager R.H. Bennett encourages his judges to tie horses quickly and schedules a modest number of classes each performance so the show is over at a reasonable hour, allowing plenty of time to trailer home or relax back at the tack room. Add to this the tradition of evening only classes, the fine facilities and smooth management and it’s easy to see why the Shelby County Fair remains a popular destination.


One of the best-received perks at Shelbyville is the Trainers’ Purse, a $100 bonus paid to the trainer of the winning entry in every class – provided the trainer has entered by the closing date of entries. Management expanded on this concept in 2007 by adding an additional bonus for the trainers of sixth place winners in 15 selected classes. These events were drawn from the Saddlebred, Hackney and roadster divisions, both junior exhibitor and open classes, affording many more people an opportunity for a piece of the action. Like the Shelbyville Horse Show later this August, the Shelby County Fair gives credit to the professional horsemen and women by announcing the trainer names for each winner.


Although the atmosphere of the 2007 show was easy going and happy, very much a celebration of fine horses and good fellowship, Shelby County Fair also solemnly acknowledged two sad events in the Saddlebred industry which occurred during the show: the tragic fire at the Tabor family’s 3-T Farm on Wednesday, June 20 and the passing of Eddie Leidenheimer from leukemia on Saturday, June 23. The Saturday evening stake night performance was dedicated to Leidenheimer’s memory.




Four speedy and closely matched entries answered the call for the Five Gaited Open Stake. Clark Clouse kept Elmo Greer’s lofty going and elegant Radiante in perfect form to claim the tri-color with Neil Visser and Here Come The Storm a good reserve for Jim Orr.


The Amateur Five Gaited Championship saw Indy Charity’s popular open grand champion, Shame On You, re-teamed with owner Maguire Hall. Maguire had Shame On You mounted up and powered up for a strong performance and the championship title. Beth Kunkel turned in a great ride on her pretty Starlet’s Commendable earning the reserve tri-color. Earlier in the week, the perfectly matched team of I’m A Treat and Mary Gaylord dominated the amateur five gaited qualifier in their only appearance. This was the second year in a row this duo won the amateur gaited class.


The Ladies Five-Gaited class saw a formidable group of nice horses competing for the blue. Top honors in this event went to the dynamic Rock Creek winner Zara Spook, shown by Melissa Moore for Dr. Wendy Troyer. Dena Lopez had Belle Reve Farm’s fine campaigner Courtier in gear for the red ribbon.


Good riding Ali Judah has the key to her Divine Renaissance and used it well to capture both the junior exhibitor preliminary and championship. Magnificent Scene was reserve in the championship for Chloe Goodwin while Sarah Sessoms and the cute Memorize captured the second prize in the junior exhibitor qualifier.


Rob Byers had the interesting newcomer Hall Of Famer in good form to take the blue in the novice class for the Jean McClean Davis Trust. Hot on their heels was the speedy Walterway’s Love Me Forever, owned by Singing Hills and shown by trainer Gene van der Walt.


The junior five-gaited class was hotly contended with Brian Chappell and the handsome Harlem Globetrotter’s Monsoon racking away with the blue ribbon. Jack Fair is the owner of this nice horse. Reserve was Tri Color Saddlebreds’ beautiful The Decisive Moment under the direction of Clark Clouse. More will surely heard from these two later in the season. The three year old event saw Tre Lee aboard another top youngster as Fox Grape Farms’ upfronted Fox Grape’s Dauntless made his show ring debut a winning one. Rick Cook and Twilight Maxamillion were a good reserve.




Five walk-trot horses came through the gate Saturday night to contest the Open Three Gaited Stake. Elizabeth Shatner and Boston Legal turned in a bold yet perfectly measured performance to ride away with the tricolor. Reserve honors were captured by Gerhardt Roos aboard La Matrera for Hollett Farm & Stable.


The explosive SJ The Smart Lady and Georgia Bulmer served notice they will be a team to reckon with in their new division by capturing both the amateur championship and qualifier. Laura Lee Samford and her handsome Dunay got the nod for second in the qualifier while King of the Blues WVF and Terri Dolan were named reserve in the championship.


If there is a classic team in the ladies walk-trot division it would have to be the elegant duo of CH Pas de Deux and Rosemarie Fernandez, who added the ladies accolades here to their impressive resume. Hollywood Agent and Renee Rinzler were stylish for second


The three gaited championship and qualifier for the junior riders went to the sporty duo of Number One Girl and Lindsay Hensler for Horizon Saddlebreds. The reserve tri-color went to Sam's Candygram and Samantha Rolfes, with the red ribbon in the preliminary going to the good team of Like A Rocket and Jackie Schutt.


A Genesis and Annalize van der Walt were the sharp winners of the novice class for Gene van der Walt. Danette Musselman had Scott Bennett’s Bubblegum marching up for reserve honors. The junior class boasted an abundance of quality and ability with several horses in contention. Sporting a lot of trot, Carl Fischer’s exuberant, white trimmed My Miss Daisy Mae and trainer John McKeown could not be denied the blue ribbon in this class. Brian Chappell and the elegant Worthy’s Pure Love were close behind in second.


Singing Hills had a promising blue ribbon winner in the two year-old class with Hyacinth Bouquet, shown by Annalize van der Walt.  The three-gaited pony class was a perfect exhibition for the darling Callaway’s Kiss & Tell and petite Alyssa Lopez.


The Three Gaited Park Stake was full of hard riding competitors determined to carry off the tricolor. Another Bay was brilliant and athletic under Neil Visser’s expert guidance for John & Sara McDonald. Maguire Hall had the bold and colorful Catalyst Commander in fine form to capture the reserve. Owner Sara McDonald was aboard Another Bay for a good win in an excellent amateur park class. High Heat and Melody Adler were finished strong for second. The open division was another good class in this division with Mike Tunstall and Santana Snow impressive to nab the win for Glasscock Inc. Foxy Camilla and Morgan Reiser were hot on their heels for second.


Fine Harness


The airy going Surfer Boy was back in harness and ready to exhibit his high, four-cornered park trot for driver George Knight and owner Georgia Herpin Baker to bring home the victory in the Fine Harness Open Stake. Making a good impression for reserve honors was Periaptus Victorius, Rick Cook on the lines for Frank and Ronda Cook.  Top honors in the amateur harness class went to the very handsome duo of Dances On Air and owner-driver Sharla Deuschle. Julianne Wilson and her Magic Under the Stars were in for a good reserve.


Four youngsters contended the three year old harness event. Marching off with the blue was the impressive Stonecroft Sweet Confection under the guidance of Nelson Green for Stonecroft Farm. Reserve was Billy Jarrell driving the aptly named So Apropos for owner Betty Jarrell. The junior class saw a smooth, blue ribbon exhibition from Laurel Hill’s Pennies From Heaven and Martha Murdock for Jerry Reeder. With his culinary inspired name, Hold The Onion could only be from the breeding program of Carl Fischer. This talented two year old took well to the harness division under the guidance of Peter Palmer.




Melinda Moore had the dynamic Quill in high gear to claim the road horse championship, proving they will be as competitive to bike in this year as they were under sale last season. Arragorn sped away with the reserve honors for Sam Brannon and Owner Elizabeth Caldwell.  The open roadster was a victory for the powerful Valiant with Mike Felty at the lines for Benjamin and Lyssa King with Danny Bugg and Sky Tower right behind for second.


The amateur event was the largest road class in the show, with 5 amateurs driving hard for the blue. When the dust settled it was the striking duo of Stylish Stepper and Ty Thomas trotting away with the top honors. Danny Bugg and TKO worked hard but had to settle for second.  In the under saddle roadster event the appropriately named At Full Throttle and Megan Todd sped away with the blue ribbon. Monster Mash and Alyssa England hung tough for Rob and Julianne Wilson be named reserve.




The ultra high stepping General Mills and Gene van der Walt topped a big class of cobtails to capture the open hackney pony class.  Betty Featherstone had a perfect drive with Heartland Summer Storm to take second. The elegant Heartland Beautiful Dreamer nabbed the open harness pony title for Maureen Lydon and owner Darrel Kolkman. Regal’s Pride LF, driven by Randy Harper for Karen Frickey, had to be content with the red ribbon.


The road pony classes at Shelbyville were well supported. Trotting off with championship honors in the championship event was The Man, Wendy Winstead on the lines for long-time exhibitor Gary Dickherber. Regal’s Mysterious Stranger LF and owner/driver Jack Tatum took the reserve tricolor. In the qualifier the order of finish was reversed.


The amateur roadster class proved a victory for the cute Pure Country, Megan Todd driving for Holli McDowell and Lisa McMackin. Kentucky Hot Brown and Melissa Holt stepped up for reserve. The road pony under saddle class proved a real crowd pleaser as the ponies and their young riders competed “full steam ahead”.  The mighty duo of Alyssa Lopez and Heartland Little Gem proved invincible in this event as they carried off first prize. Nathan Stein was the competitive runner up teamed with Cowboy Magic for Maureen Lydon. The junior roadster pony class saw the impressive Hightower crowned winner for Tom Lowry and owner Golden Creek Farm.  Close behind were Heartland Summer Heat and Juan Rios for Darryl Kolkman.


Match Maker and Mollie Kregor displayed their blue ribbon style winning the pleasure driving class for owner Rick Daigle. Dan Hall and High Life Pride took home the red ribbon from the class.




Five gaited pleasure horses poured into the ring for their grand finale.  The Great Gazoo had the quality and performance to stand out in the crowd, capturing the stake for Alexandra Wille-Irmiter and William Woods University.  All The Moves and Lindsey Sowell displayed all the right moves to garner the reserve champion title. Intriguing Masterpiece, piloted by Nicola van der Walt for Singing Hills, proved the best in the qualifier where The Great Gazoo had to settle for second.


Already earning several blues earlier in the year, Joan Hammond’s Captain Kaos took yet another blue in open park pleasure with Jannie Giles in the irons. The junior park pleasure class proved another triumph for That’s Exactly Right and Amy Dix Rock. These two have made winning a habit. Right behind them was Fort Chiswell’s Blue Memories and Jackie Tanner for Teresa Vonderschmitt.


Set The Night On Phire and Alyssa England were smoothly elegant to claim the Adult Three Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Rob and Julianne Wilson are the proud owners of the champion. The pretty chestnut Scarlet Evening and Susan Olcott took home the reserve. Top honors in the adult preliminary went to the appealing pair of LeAnne Huls and Wisp of Heir, a team to watch in future. The stately My Southern Charm and Brooke Jacobs were a convincing second.


Justin Cowley and Liberty’s Ooh La La made it two for two in the junior exhibitor three gaited pleasure and championship with a pair of bold rides for Liberty Saddlebreds.  Stepping up to the reserve in the championship was Saddlebrook Farm’s Superior One and Lindsey Shields. The red ribbon in the qualifier was earned by the duo of The Petite Princess and Mollie Kregor.


Looking better than ever, the team of The Last Straw and John Scheidt continued their dominance of the pleasure driving division by nabbing both the qualifier and the Show Pleasure Driving Championship. Second in the qualifier was the elegant UPHA National Champion Dancing Up A Storm LCC and Kathy Capsuto, while Periaptus Infinitus and Charlotte Goodman were good reserve champions in the stake.


Flaxen mane flying and never putting an ear back, Callaway’s Winning Number was twice the winning number for Christine Broder in the adult country pleasure and championship. Kiowa Kid and Cindi Long claimed the reserve tricolor in the stake while Happenstance and Le Ann Bruce took home the red ribbon in the adult class. My Old Kentucky Rose and Samantha Weber triumphed in the junior exhibitor country pleasure division, with Worthy’s Saint Patty and Sydne Huntoon taking home the reserve honors. Highpoint’s Prince and a happy Megan Todd scored the blue ribbon in the junior exhibitor qualifier for owner Charlotte Goodman.  The handsome Optimum Black was second with Lauren Kelly riding for Margaret Cordes.


Ms Greta Garbo was all dainty elegance as she marched to the country pleasure driving qualifier and championship. Moe Anson was on the lines for both classes. The versatile Highpoint’s Prince and Megan Todd earned reserve in the two events. One of the cutest classes in the show was the walk-trot pleasure class. Young Dakota Reiser and Highpoint’s Grandee made a dashingly endearing pair winning it for owner Shannon Hafer. Peyton Miller earned the red ribbon on What A Girl Wants.




A smiling Alexa Stumler was poised in her victory in the Pleasure Equitation 17 & Under.  Getting the nod for second was Alexa Morton, who came back to capture the UPHA Challenge Cup and a berth at the finals at the All American Classic. Kaitlin Ramsey was second in the UPHA, also earning a trip to Indianapolis. The well-filled UPHA Walk & Trot class featured a winning ride from Kolette Weaver. Bringing back the red ribbon was Madison Hawes.


This concludes the highlights from the Shelby County Fair Horse Show. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

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