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Shelbyville Horse Show Heats Up




by Leeann Mione

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. – Ask anyone who returns year after year to the Shelbyville Horse Show and you will most likely get a variety of answers depending on what day it is. Whether it is the great competition or the incredible hospitality, parties and entertainment, there just doesn’t seem to be a reason not to attend this show. It is easily at the top of the list of shows that work hard to make exhibitors, owners and trainers alike feel welcome and appreciated.


Manager R.H. Bennett and his crew along with untold numbers of community volunteers turn in a mammoth amount of work for many weeks both before and after the show to turn the Shelby County Fairgrounds into a beautiful site for a show, which is rich in history and tradition. Add to that a list of past, present and perhaps soon-to-be world’s champions in virtually every division, huge crowds, unbelievably elaborate parties and the atmosphere becomes almost euphoric.

This show is truly remarkable because from beginning to end, the happy mood is unshakeable. Those who come to Shelbyville year after year expect grand treatment and a great horse show and year after year they are not disappointed.

Those who attend Shelbyville for the first time may not know exactly what to expect but by the end of the week, most are hooked and become dedicated supporters. This is one of the few shows left that exemplifies the best of the best in the horse show world. The community shows up in droves night after night, not only to watch but also to offer their money and time to make this a well-supported endeavor.

Beth Snider, Sandy Backer and Peggy Henry run the office like a well-oiled machine and they had their hands full again this year with a huge number of entries and barns attending.

As a final tune up before Louisville, this show just can’t be beat. With evening only sessions and a schedule that is adhered to with military precision, it is a show that brings amateurs, junior exhibitors, young horses and industry veterans out in big numbers to showcase their skills.

In addition to the Friday and Saturday night parties, there were two special presentations. Friday evening, the 2006 “Bert” Eddington Sportsmanship Award was presented to Monica, Jeff and Grant Hagerman. Saturday evening, Jeff and Mary Gaylord McClean were given the Wakefield-Scearce Galleries Friends of the Horse Show Award.

This year’s event was dedicated to Martha Neel Riester, a longtime volunteer and supporter of the Shelbyville Horse Show. Riester passed away in April of this year.

Having afternoons free allows time to shop, eat or relax and also allows time to visit the many neighboring Saddlebred and Hackney barns.

Shamrock Farms hosted a brunch for any and all who wanted to attend Saturday afternoon at the facility in nearby Smithfield, Ky. It was just one of a number of fun things to do in historic Shelby County.

As the road to Freedom Hall gets shorter and shorter, this show was again an important stop along the way.

Saturday evening’s Five-Gaited Stake closed out an incredible weekend of competition with nine entries vying for the coveted tricolor on the road to Louisville. Judge Bill Waller had his work cut out for him as world’s champions and reserve world’s champions worked hard every step of the way.

When his card was turned in it came down to The Echo Of Thunder with Merrill Murray up for Alice Nunley taking the win. Only in training at Merlin Farm for 30 days before their first show together at Mercer County, Alice Nunley’s big-going black gelding was in top form with Murray for the victory.

I’m First and Nelson Green also turned in a powerful performance for Stonecroft Farm and they finished as the reserve stake champions.
The ladies and amateurs faced off in style in their divisions and showcased their talents well for the large crowd.

Callaway’s Banner Headline and Janet Kellett topped a competitive field to win the ladies class under the direction of DeLovely. Take Me Away and Mary Gaylord McClean were reserve from Premier Stables.

McClean took the top prize in the amateur stake with I’m A Treat after having won the equally competitive qualifier. Lakeview’s Rare A Phi and Misdee Wrigley claimed the reserve ribbon in both the amateur stake and qualifier under the direction of Kalarama.

Sunken Treasure and Lindsey Shields have been having a huge year with many wins already to their credit under the direction of Wyatt DeHart. They added the tricolor from the junior exhibitor stake to their total after topping a really strong group of competitors. They had already won the blue from the qualifier when they came through the gate for their second appearance at Shelbyville.

Callaway’s Independence Day and Laura Skinner, now under the direction of Sunrise Stables, turned in a good effort to claim the reserve tricolor for James and Judy Skinner.

Fiesta Fling and Kelsey Price were reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier under the direction of Bill and Kris Knight of Pleasantview Farm.

According To Lynn and Mary Gaylord McClean were the ones to beat in the junior class as they came through with their third win in as many outings this season. This class was yet another example of the incredible depth of not only this year’s Shelbyville show but the young Saddlebreds across the industry. Callaway’s Winning Ways, with Redd Crabtree in the irons, was reserve for Leatherwood Stud.

Many Pearls and Peter Palmer topped a really nice three-year-old class for Carl Fischer and Meadowlake. Tracey James was up on Silver Brook Stables’ reserve winner First Chapter.

Lowe Thompson and Jewels For A Lady, showing under the Field Stables banner, won the Five-Gaited Pony class for Yellow Rose Farm. Champagne In Winter and Alyssa Lopez were right there for reserve.

Thunder Cloud Nine turned in a strong effort on her way to winning a very deep nine-entry Three-Gaited Stake. Todd Miles rode to his second Three-Gaited Stake tricolor in as many weeks and he put Olen and Linda Wolford’s mare right where she needed to be for the impressive win amongst a very competitive group of entries.

Tre Lee had Boston Legal in good order to finish with the reserve tricolor streamers for Belle Reve Farm to add yet another top ribbon to the Belle Reve total for the week.

Rosemarie Fernandez and CH Pas De Deux topped a great ladies class to add another win to their impressive resume under the direction of Premier Stables. CH Sportster and Kate Bryan put together the reserve effort for Hugh and Marion Bryan.

CH Callaway’s Merry Go Round and Christy Bennett were right on target to win the Amateur Three-Gaited Stake and move up from their reserve in the qualifier. They took on a strong group of entries and came out on top under the direction of Kalarama Farm. Anitya Marlow and Amber Lager were in good order to finish with the reserve tie under the direction of Don Judd and Maria Gilman.

Multi-titled world’s champion An Heir About Her won the amateur qualifier with Tate Bennett riding for Everglades Farm.

Ali Judah has also been having a banner year both in the equitation and performance divisions and she was in the irons for the victory pass in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Stake with Kalarama’s Loose Lips, owned by Joan Hamilton.

Shelby Reimer, like Judah, is an experienced young rider and she showcased her skills by putting Wildly Chic in the right spot to finish in reserve for Happy Valley Stables. Reimer and Marion Hutcheson’s homebred entry had previously taken the victory pass in the qualifier.

Callaway’s Buttons and Bows has earned numerous wins and top ribbons for Bruce and Pam Milligan under the Premier Stables banner and did it again at Shelbyville. Nathan Stein rode for the reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

George Knight directed Charming Babette to the win in the talent-filled junior class for owner Barbara Osborne. Callaway’s Blue Waltz claimed the reserve for Carolyn Stuart.

Our Axel Rose and Neil Visser added another blue to the Kalarama total when Bill Waller named them the winners of the three-year-old class after a strong effort. Milady A La Lucie and Mike McIntosh were reserve for Judith Houk.

Walt Bullard rode Dripping In Diamonds to the blue ribbon in the two-year-old class to add another win to the George Knight Stables total. Roi Du Soliel, with Libby McLemore up, was reserve for Hallston Manor and Julie Andrew.

Alyssa Lopez was back with yet another top pony and this time she went to the winner’s circle when Callaway’s Kiss and Tell got the nod in the Three-Gaited Pony class for Double D Ranch. Cloudsplitter and Olivia Weber have been having a good year under the direction of Chris Reiser and they finished with the red ribbon.

The big Three-Gaited Park Stake was a deep class full of multi-titled competitors and when it was over, Libby McLemore was headed for the winner’s circle with The Proof Is In The Heir for Hallston Manor. Pernickety! and Bruce Dixon have also had a great season in California for owner Alison Benz, and their success continued at Shelbyville with the reserve tie in the stake.

Ya-Ya and Dena Lopez won the open class for Dorothy Anderson with a powerful performance and they were followed in the ribbons by The Proof Is In The Heir and McLemore.

Sara McDonald and Another Bay won the amateur class which was also full of top entries. Hidden Agenda and owner/trainer Joy Rodak took the red streamers.

Gothic Revival and Melissa Moore topped a good group in the Fine Harness Stake to add the tricolor to the Sunrise Stables total.
Moore drove for Tri-Color Saddlebreds. Periaptus Victorius and Gerald Moores finished in second for owners Frank and Rhonda Cook under the direction of Ricky Cook.

Harlem’s Santa Fe added another win to her long list of career victories with owner Susan Bartlett when she was called out as the winner of the amateur class. Nurse Goodbody’s move to the harness division has proven to be a successful one and John Scheidt piloted the mare to the reserve finish for Stonecroft Farm.

The sensational Castledream and Larry Hodge were unstoppable on their way to the win in the Junior Fine Harness class for Misdee Wrigley and Hillcroft Farm. They faced a talented group of four-year-olds on their way to the blue ribbon. Headhunter and Redd Crabtree were reserve for Crabtree Farms.

Joan Lurie was behind three-year-old winner Heavenly Thunder for owner Nancy Leigh Fisher and they were followed in the ribbons by Sister Sally and Kathy Capsuto from Escalade Stables.

The two-year-old class, with nine entries, was the largest class of the fine harness division and like the others was yet another example of the depth at Shelbyville in virtually every division for the young horses.

Travelin Man and Dena Lopez won the class with a strong effort for owner Susan Whittington. Rain was in top form with Kathy Capsuto to take reserve for Escalade Stables.

William Shatner and his Belle Reve Farm had a great week at Shelbyville and he headed to the winner’s circle in two of the three roadster to bike classes. Spill The Ink entertained the crowd on the way to winning the open stake and All Glory took the blue in the amateur class.

Royal Count and James Nichols were right there for the open stake reserve title. Nichols drove for Penny Lane Farm.

Melissa Moore also continued the Sunrise Stables winning weekend with the blue ribbon effort in the open class. Moore drove The Gambler to the winner’s circle for Leatherwood Farm. Royal Count was the reserve champion.

Geronimo and Anna Marie Dempsey took the red ribbon in the amateur class.

Annalize van der Walt, of Singing Hills Stable, drove Fire Devil to win the single entry Roadster Pony Stake for owner Bobbie Welch.

Old Memories loves being a roadster pony and he turned in a strong effort with Elise Johnson to win the open class under the direction of Majestic Oaks. Beaulah Jean and Jeff McClean were the reserve champions for Golden Creek Farm.

Mary McClean and Heartland Production won the amateur class, which was the largest class of the roadster pony division. Amadeus and Debbie Gabbert were the reserve champions under the direction of Debbie Foley.

Twin Willows Wild Thing and Jeff McClean won the Open Harness Pony class for Golden Creek and were followed in the ribbons by Impress My Daddy and Gene van der Walt for Bill and Barbara Blacklaw.

Majestic Oaks was represented in the winner’s circle again when Oliver Twist took the title in the Open Hackney Pony class with Mia Blevins Morris. Romeo’s Miss Mariah and Jeff McClean were reserve in the competitive class.

Kathy Capsuto handled the drive with Callisto to win the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving class for owner Gail Asch. Joy Lazarus met the winning team in center ring for their victory pass. Once Upon A Time and Nancy Lassiter were reserve under the direction of Patty Milligan.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Stake showcased a very competitive field after a great qualifier earlier in the week. Child Of The Times went to the top of the class with Christine Broder in the stake under the direction of Ed Bennett. Marmalady and Fatima Wazir followed up their reserve in the qualifier with the reserve in the stake under the direction of John and Renee Biggins. Stonewall’s Stargate and Patrice Watson were on top of their game to win the qualifier under the direction of Premier Stables.

The Junior Park Pleasure class was full of talented entries and it was the DeLovely Farm-owned General Spirit that headed to the winner’s circle with Mike Felty in the irons. Madge Bass rode The Heir To The Kingdom to the red ribbon for owner Liz Connor.

The show and country pleasure divisions for both the adults and junior exhibitors are arguably two of the most consistently competitive divisions in the Saddlebred industry. Shelbyville, like so many other shows this year, proved that to be true with big classes full of proven campaigners.

CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver added another pair of victories to their total this season with a sweep of the adult three-gaited pleasure division. Showing under the direction of Toni Knight of Biggins Stables, they topped a big group of multi-titled entries in both the adult championship and adult qualifier.

Lookin’ Yonder and Laura Dozer were reserve in the championship under the direction of James Nichols of Cryst-A-Kell Farm. The Muffin Man and Kim Langdon took the red ribbon in the qualifier and finished with the yellow streamers in the championship under the direction of Mike McIntosh.

New York Style and Maguire Hall proved they were the team to beat in the junior exhibitor championship after winning the qualifier. They made it two for two when they were called out as the grand champions from Milligan Stables. CH A Magic Spell, another Dixon Stables entry that has been having a great year on the west coast, turned in a strong effort with Katie Jarve up to finish as the reserve grand champions.

Breathe and Aliyah Asch have also made the move to Kentucky for the summer a successful one and they teamed up to take the reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier to add to their totals so far this year.

Selvaggio and Xuxa swapped places in the show pleasure driving division and each came away with a first and second prize by the end of the week.

Priscilla Marconi and Selvaggio were the grand champions under the direction of Indian Creek after their reserve in the qualifier. Xuxa and Ed Perwien were met by trainer Sandy Currier when they won the qualifier before earning the reserve in the championship.

Big Show and Yasmin Wazir were right there to take the tricolor in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship for owners Scott and Robin Pulliam. They faced a strong group for the win. Midtown Man and Christine Broder were the reserve grand champions in the deep class.

CH The Billy Bob and Cheryl Friedman Allison have earned numerous titles together in several different divisions. They just keep going and going and at Shelbyville, they topped a great adult qualifier to add yet another blue to their long list of wins. Broder and Midtown Man followed in the ribbon count.

CH Heir Style and Dakota Reiser won the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship for Robert and Carole Worthington under the Reiser Stables banner. Win Your Heart and Emily Williams followed up their reserve in the qualifier with the reserve grand championship effort from Premier Stables. Amy Hein and Phi Phalutin won the junior exhibitor qualifier.

Hitman’s Special Delivery, with Eddie Lewis driving, won the Country Pleasure Driving class for Moonship Productions. Ms. Greta Garbo and Moe Anson have had much success as a team and they were right there to finish with the red ribbon for Anson and co-owner Gail Kline.

Emily Abbott and Walterway’s Redeemed continued not only a great week for High Spirit Farm but a great season so far. They turned in a poised performance to take the win in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, directed by Abbott’s mom Kathy Conflenti and trainer Mike McIntosh. Brittany McGinnis, herself a well-known and successful equitation rider from DeLovely Farm, took the reserve tie with Amandari.

Macey Miles, riding Aces and Eights, won the UPHA 10 and Under Walk and Trot Challenge Cup from DeLovely Farm to add yet another victory to their total. Bo Ashlyn Cates was reserve with No Exceptions under the direction of her dad Paul Cates.

Natalie Combs teamed More Than Likely to the blue ribbon in the Pleasure Equitation class for Tom and Janet Combs. They were followed in the ribbons by Lauren Kelly and CF Prowler’s Last Madness, owned by Robin Haynes.

This highlights the 2006 Shelbyville Horse Show. Complete results can be seen by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.

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