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Shelbyville Always Draws A Crowd

by Leeann Mione

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. - There's not much to say about the unique touches that make the Shelbyville Horse Show special that hasn't already been said. It is a show unlike any other that occurs at this time of year and brings out the best of the best Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Roadsters and equitation riders. Some of them are getting in one more show before Louisville. Some of them aren't going to Freedom Hall, but want to show because they love it. Whatever the reason, Shelbyville always draws a crowd - be they two legged or four, owner, trainer, exhibitor or spectator.

Even the fact that it was unbelievably hot all weekend has already been said. It's been unbelievably hot during Shelbyville before. But even temperatures that neared 100 degrees didn't stop this grand tradition that draws the townsfolk like no other show can do.

Even though it has been said and been said many times, it is worth repeating that the great support from the residents of Shelbyville, Ky., is one of the "coolest" things about the show. A big crowd that admires and appreciates the efforts of both horse and rider/driver and also appreciates a good time just adds to the ambiance that is Shelbyville.

R.H. Bennett somehow over the years, with the help and support of many, has found a way to make a horse show that caters to the horses and people that show up to participate and caters to the people who come to watch as well.

Friday night's appropriately named "Appreciation Party" with live music and cash bar drew owners, trainers and exhibitors alike to share some camaraderie and unwind. Saturday night's blowout that usually rocks until late in the night and brings the "townies" out in droves has become a tradition with the residents of Shelbyville and is perhaps as eagerly anticipated as the Five-Gaited Stake.

Carl Irwin had the job of evaluating the 11 horses in the gaited stake as well as the other 51 classes offered. He had so much good horseflesh in front of him each of the four evenings, his job was made just that much more difficult.

Secretary Beth Snider, office personnel Sandy Backer and Peggy Henry, announcer Peter Fenton, ringmasters John Franzab III and Don Baker also all have difficult jobs but they are part of Bennett's master plan: surround yourself with good people and good things will happen.

Howie Schatzberg and Richfield Video, both respected, longtime providers of photography and video services once again worked hard to cement Shelbyville's reputation as a show that caters to the members of the industry first and foremost.

They both had plenty to photograph and capture on video as the action in nearly every class was fast and furious and perhaps provided a glimpse of what's to come on the green shavings of Freedom Hall.

The Five-Gaited Stake was a great class to end the weekend of competition with a really great group turning it on for the crowd and working hard to be named the champion.

Irwin worked them hard both ways of the ring but when he lined them up he decided he needed another look. The already enthusiastic crowd sent the volume level to the stratosphere as each of the four chosen by Irwin was called for a workout.

Platinum's New Look and Todd Miles had had a terrific go during the class and the sporty entry of Steven and Terri Chancellor looked strong and ready as he headed to the rail again. Memories Paragon, with Clark Clouse riding for Ceil and Kenneth Wheeler, Jr. had turned in an effort worthy of another look as well. The Midnight Hero, owned by Diana Schaefer, was named also as a standout in the deep class with AJ Bruwer up and they took their place on the rail to try and earn the nod.

"Girl power" however was the theme of the workout on this night, and Mary Gaylord McClean demonstrated her prowess at putting a horse right where it needs to be to maximize performance and attention from the judge. When Irwin turned in his card, the girls had it.

According To Lynn was named the stake champion, with Platinum's New Look earning the reserve. Memories Paragon and The Midnight Hero claimed the third and fourth ribbons respectively. McClean was smiling from ear to ear as she was greeted by Rob and Sarah Byers after the class.


The ladies division has consistently been one of the toughest for the five-gaited horses and at Shelbyville a really nice group put on a very good class in an effort to be named ladies champion. That honor was reserved for Zara Spook and Melissa Moore. They took the victory pass for owner Dr. Wendy Troyer. Sandy Currier rode Reedann's Talked About to reserve for Edmund Perwien of Bluebonnet Farm.

CH Callaway's Banner Headline has made a name for himself in several different five-gaited divisions and he was named champion of the amateur stake with Janet Kellett in the irons. Banner Headline represented DeLovely Farm with his victory. I'm Something Wicked, was anything but that on the way to second place with Jerome Rader up. They showed under the direction of Cedarwood Farm.

Just as much has already been said about this most unique of horse shows, much has also been said about one of the division's most decorated contenders. Winner of the 2005 Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship Five O'Clock, with owner Chris Nalley on board, showed that he was right on target for more five-gaited honors when he and Nalley were named the amateur champions in their only appearance at Shelbyville.  I'm A Treat, another of Mary Gaylord McClean's proven gaited performers finished with the red ribbon in the amateur class from Premier Stables.

Marjorie Townsend and Cara Clara topped a nice group of junior exhibitor horse and rider teams to earn the tricolor for Everglades Farm. Nearly all the junior exhibitors that showed in the qualifier returned for the stake to make it an entertaining and competitive class. Future was reserve with Kelsey Nelson up for Carol Graham and Doug Nelson.

Carolina Cat and Brittany McGinnis were another multi-titled team that chose to come to Shelbyville before heading to the green shavings of Freedom Hall and their decision was a good one. They headed to the winner's circle in the junior exhibitor class in their only appearance. Stonecroft's Rumor Has It was reserve with Lindsey Shields up for Jennie Turner Garlington.

Chris Nalley wasn't done adding up the wins yet. He still had several young horses to watch in the ring, and Zippers & Snaps added to the blue ribbon count with the win in the Junior Five-Gaited class. Steve Wheeler rode for Jean and Chris Nalley. Conway and Larry Hodge claimed the reserve in the competitive 10-entry class for McDonald LLC.


Steve Wheeler went back to the winner's circle but this time it was with Voulez Vous in the three-year-old class. Like Zippers & Snaps, Voulez Vous is owned and bred by the Nalleys and topped a strong group of five for the win. Jim Lowry had a very good week at Shelbyville including his reserve in the three-year-old class with Major Buck for James Dodson.


Mooncharmer and Tyler Miles charmed the crowd on their way to the winner's circle in the Five-Gaited Pony class and added another win to the DeLovely total. Champagne In Winter, with Alyssa Lopez, was named the reserve champion.

Jim Lowry and Lace's Last Tango, along with the other four teams competing, made the Three-Gaited Stake a very nice class and Tango was the picture of elegance on the way to the winner's circle for Tri-Color Ventures. AJ Bruwer and Vicki Reed have had a very successful partnership over the years and Bruwer rode Reed’s entry Liberty's Magic to second place.

For the third year in a row, Pas De Deux was crowned the Ladies Three-Gaited Champion at Shelbyville. Rosemarie Fernandez rode for the win from Premier Stables. Annalize van der Walt and A Genesis took second for Gene van der Walt.

Renee Biggins met an ecstatic Cindy Carcione after Kalarama's Twister earned the title of Amateur Three-Gaited Grand Champion. Suddenly Single and Tate Bennett trotted up for second for Crabtree Stables.


George Knight Stables was represented in the winner's circle when An Heir Of Magic took the win in the amateur qualifier with Kim Skipton up for Michelle McCune. The amateur division at Shelbyville, like the open and junior exhibitor divisions showcased a world-class group, many of whom will return to Louisville to defend their titles.

Odyssey Man was the top junior exhibitor horse according to Irwin and Ali Judah was up for the victory pass in the stake for owner Terri Dolan. CH Royal Messenger, a consistent performer no matter the division, was reserve with Caroline Skinner. Skinner was directed by Melissa Moore.

Ostentatiously made a single appearance in the division with Brittany McGinnis and was named the blue ribbon winner in the qualifier. Odyssey Man and Judah were right behind in second place.


Heavenly Thunder was one of a trio of nice young walk-trots and Darrell Case was up for the winning ride for owner Nancy Leigh Fisher. My Miss Daisy Mae and John McKeown, of Meadowlake, took the red ribbon for Carl Fischer.


Heavenly Thunder and Darrell Case

Heir Two Millions took the blue in the three-year-old class. Dave Becker showed for Dale Becker.


Steve Wheeler had another nice young horse under him for a victory pass at Shelbyville in the two-year-old class. Lenore's Holler And Whine was first for John and Dorothy Lenore. Watch Me Strut took the reserve ribbon with Jim Lowry up for Rene Cortez.


Lost Token and It's Murphy's Law finished one and two respectively in the Three-Gaited Pony class. Ashley Biggins rode Lost Token and Erin Taylor was up on It's Murphy's Law.

Buena Vista turned a lot of heads with a powerful performance to win the park stake. With Wyatt DeHart riding for Victoria Bennett, he faced a proven group of six including reserve grand champion Hillside's Sensation with Mike McIntosh. Pat and Laura Lockwood's entry has also earned a winning reputation in the division and the park stake was a very competitive class. Both horses finished in the same order in the open qualifier.

You've Got Mail also faced a nice group of competitors in the amateur class. Patrice Watson O’Brien rode for the blue ribbon after a strong team effort. Blues Traveler and owner Sharon Moritz stepped up to take the second place ribbon in the class.


You've Got Mail and Patrice Watson O’Brien

The Fine Harness Stake was yet another class that showcased a really nice group of open contenders. So often, the open divisions lose numbers to the amateur and junior exhibitor divisions.

Surfer Boy, with George Knight driving, took the win for Georgia Herpin Baker to be named the grand champion. Walterway's Illegal Material was the reserve grand champion with Peter Palmer driving for Anne Holmes.

Hoof Prince and Janet Kellett put it all together to win the amateur class, which featured field of multi-titled and world's titled contenders. Hoof Prince was in top order for the win under the direction of DeLovely. Harlem's Santa Fe and Susan Bartlett have amassed a long list of wins and top ribbons in their career together and they took the reserve showing from Cedarwood Farm.

The enduring partnership of Mike and Nancy Spencer and Minna Hankin Mintz has been a very successful one in the industry and their success continued at Shelbyville. Dancing With The Stars won the junior class with Mike Spencer driving. Sister Sally and Kathy Capsuto have also been a highly decorated team for Escalade Stables and they added the reserve to their list of accomplishments.

Magic Fire Music, owned by Don Rich, was the top three-year-old and took the blue in the five-entry class with Peter Palmer driving. Rain and Capsuto were the reserve champions.

It was another blue for Tri-Color Ventures when Sir Raymond Ross was named the winner of the two-year-old class. Jim Lowry drove for the victory. Steel The Moment was second for Dr. Homer and Linda Beltz with Louis Blaze showing.

It's always nice to see a great group of young horses and Shelbyville seemed to have an abundance of them in several different divisions. With big crowds in attendance every night, the industry got to show off youngsters that will perhaps be stars of the future while beginning to make a name for themselves now. Quill topped the Roadster To Bike Stake for Holli McDowell with Melinda Moore turning in the winning drive. I Can Book was reserve with James Nichols for owner Jimmy Chancellor.

King Simcoe won the open class and topped four other entries in the process. Merrill Murray drove for Dr. Ty Thomas and Matilda Ewald. Sundance Image and Les Cunningham followed with the red ribbon for Lanny Judd.

Valparaiso was the amateur champion with owner Tom Fiedler in the bike under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry. Rum's Last Shot and Jennifer Robertson represented Infinity Stables and took the reserve.


Two Heartland ponies earned the top honors in the roadster pony division and Shelbyville hosted a lot of really good ponies in both the stake and amateur class.

Heartland Hiding Out was the stake champion with Mia Blevins Morris driving from Majestic Oaks. Jimmy Robertson drove Turbo Blue for John Maloney and they were reserve in the six-entry class.

Mia Blevins Morris (center) is congratulated

on her win by trainers Maureen Lydon and

Rich Campbel, husband Greg Morris,

and father Dr. T.J. Blevins


Heartland Production and Mary Gaylord McClean were the amateur champions after topping a deep group of seven for the win. Amadeus and Debbie Gabbert were second under the direction of Debbie Foley.


Twin Willow's Wild Thing won the single class for the harness ponies to be named open champion with Mary Gaylord McClean driving for Golden Creek Farm. Romeo's Best Girl and Kathy Buente were reserve from Richlon Farm.

The state of California was well represented at Shelbyville and Sandra Surber was just one of the reasons why. Heartland Candidate was another reason. They finished at the top of the class in the Open Hackney Pony class to add another blue to the Majestic Oaks total. General Mills and James Rosburg debuted with a second place finish for Pixie Dust & Steel.


Heartland Breaking News won the pleasure driving class with Kay Marschel and was followed in the ribbons by Once Upon A Time and Nancy Lassiter from Milligan Stables.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Stake Saturday night hosted six teams and it was Heirborne Express named to take the tricolor. Clark Clouse directed Justin Cowley to the victory. CH Callaway's Capitol Reporter and Katie Jarve, from Atherton, California, were right there to take reserve under the direction of Jennifer Dixon.


The qualifier was considerably bigger, with 13 entries, and when Irwin turned in his card it was The Great Gazoo named as the blue ribbon recipient for William Woods University. Alex Wille-Irmiter was up for the win. Intriguing Masterpiece and Nicola van der Walt trotted up to take the reserve.

The park pleasure division featured only one class - for the four-year-olds but it was a good one. Nine very nice junior horses came through the gate to be judged by Irwin and when it was all over, it was Talladega Red named as the winner with Dena Lopez in the irons for Kay Marschel. Madge Bass was all smiles when Liz Conner's entry Juliet's Phantom Stock was tied for reserve.

CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz-Tolliver added two more wins to their already impressive career resume when they won the nine-entry Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier under the direction of Biggins Stables. My Southern Charm and Brooke Jacobs were reserve for Werk Way Stables. CH Just Special and Carol Hillenbrand claimed the red ribbon in the qualifier under the direction of Carriage Lane Farm.

The junior exhibitors, like the adults, put on two great shows for the crowd and the depth of the show pleasure division as a whole was very good at Shelbyville. With Louisville right around the corner, the battles for world's titles should prove to be some of the best of the week.

CH A Magic Spell put Katie Jarve in the winner's circle to continue her great weekend at Shelbyville when Irwin named them the junior exhibitor grand champions. Breathe and Aliyah Asch gave the state of California a one-two finish when they were called out as reserve grand champions.

Jordan Mattingly and Sports Night have also been having a very good season under the direction of Infinity and they continued their win streak with a victory in the junior exhibitor qualifier. Coventry's Starbucks turned in the reserve effort with Rachel Kelley up for Maurice Matson.


Jordan Mattingly and Sports Night


John Scheidt exited the ring with a huge grin after The Last Straw was selected as the Show Pleasure Driving Grand Champion for Stonecroft Farm. CH Rose To The Occasion and Kendal Fields won the qualifier and took the reserve tricolor in the eight-entry class under the direction of Steve Crabtree. Dancing Up A Storm was reserve in the qualifier with Kathy Capsuto driving. By the time Capsuto showed back in the championship, her name had changed to Kathy Capsuto Walker, as she and David Walker were married earlier in the day.

Val Hallelujah returned from reserve in the Adult Country Pleasure class to win the championship with Tara Duff in the irons for Tamarack Farms. Happenstance and Leann Bruce won the qualifier and returned in the stake to finish as reserve grand champions.

Moonstruck In Kentucky faced a talented group of 10 in the junior exhibitor championship and came out on top with Olivia Strano riding to victory. They had taken reserve in the qualifier earlier in the week. Worthy's Meant For You and Joy Ballard were the reserve grand champions with their team effort. League Of Nations and Emily Druckman added their blue ribbon from the qualifier to the Carriage Lane tack room wall when they bested a big group of 15 in one of the biggest classes of the show.

Hitman's Special Delivery and Eddie Lewis teamed up and won the Country Pleasure Driving Stake for Moonship Productions. Showing under the direction of Silver Brook Stables, Lewis topped a proven group for the win. Callaway's Better Than Ever was the reserve grand champion with Sharon Moritz driving for Corrine Stith.


Hitman's Special Delivery and Eddie Lewis


Gail Kline met Moe Anson and Greta Garbo at the out-gate after they won the Country Pleasure Driving qualifier. As co-owners of Greta, Kline and Anson were all smiles with her winning performance. Highpoint's Prince was reserve with Charlotte Goodman showing under the direction of Ricky Cook at Don Harris Stables.

Emily Abbott herself is all about charm and she successfully defended her win from last year… this year riding All About Charm to the win in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. All five riders were poised and elegant and they kicked off the Saturday night session in great style. Caroline Skinner, instructed by Melissa Moore, was the reserve grand champion with Callaway's Maverick.


Emily Abbott and All About Charm


Natalie Combs won the 17 and under challenge cup with The Code Man, owned by Terry and Ron Woodruff.


Macey Miles joined her brother Tyler on the list of winners from DeLovely at Shelbyville. She rode Aces & Eights to victory in the 10 and under walk and trot challenge cup. Alice Rowland and Show Biz Time represented Everglades Farm with their reserve finish.

This highlights the 2007 Shelbyville Horse Show. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

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