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Shelbyville - One-Of-A-Kind Kentucky Weekend

by Bob Funkhouser

Ky. - Shelby County, as well as Shelbyville has a strong American Saddlebred heritage, but not quite as strong as the impact the horse and the horse industry has on the area today. And on the first weekend in August, that impact is at its greatest with the 16th Annual Shelbyville Horse Show in town.


Revitalized by the Bennett family now a decade and a half ago, Shelbyville has been a model, new-age horse show with an old-age feel. Its beautiful show grounds and wooden grandstand scream of a picturesque county fair of days gone by when horses played a primary role for transportation, working, and entertainment. The large numbers of local citizens who attend the show also scream of days gone by, days when communities rallied around events such as this.


“This is the only show I go to that has so overwhelming support from the community. Now there may be some out there, but this is the only one I go to with this kind of support,” said show secretary and do-it-all person, Beth Snider. “If it wasn’t for the community, I don’t know if there would still be a show. Everyone from the politicians, to the business owners, to the residents get involved. I walked in front of the bleachers one night during the show and I didn’t know half the people sitting there. We have different groups that volunteer work at the show, and we in turn make donations to their causes. We also have a very hard working Board made up of non-horse people, other than R.H. [Bennett].”


Some have described Shelbyville as a four-day party with a horse show on the side. Others have described it as an extremely competitive small show with a great social schedule. It is what it is and both views would be accurate. The timing and location have made it a favorite, not only for the Bluegrass horsemen and women, but also from far reaching areas. Barns from Oregon, California, Colorado, and Texas were a part of the scene in addition to the mainstays from Kentucky and Indiana. They all come for the non-stop fun and great tune up before the “nerve-racking” week on the green shavings a few weeks later.


Music for the horse show, music for the parties; Shelbyville goes all out. Sometimes it is debatable which is more popular, the well-manicured show ring, or the well-stocked Pavilion? In any event, both work well together to make this a summer showcase not to be missed.


A busy man in official roles in Kentucky this summer, Kim Crumpler determined the 2005 Shelbyville champions and there was plenty of high caliber stock from which to choose. Don Harris and Lucrative made one last stop before Louisville to win the Five-Gaited Stake which found Larry Hodge and Belle Divine in reserve.


The ladies gaited class featured a really strong group of stars which was led by Elisabeth Goth and Callaway’s Casanova. Then you had the likes of Have You Ever, Take Me Away, Here I Am Again, Feel The Thunder, and It’s More Than Likely.

Mary Gaylord McClean and I’m A Treat turned up the engines to sweep the amateur division and again, the water was deep. The beautiful stallion, Lakeview's Rare-A-Phi commanded reserve honors with Misdee Wrigley, while Nic de Wet and Wild Wonderful left with the yellow streams still ahead of a good group. In the qualifier it was Swish, Lakeview’s Rare-A-Phi, Time Well Spent, Wild Wonderful and Callaway’s Kit Carson behind I’m A Treat.  It can’t be much more competitive than that in Freedom Hall.


Enjoying the deep competition, California trainer Bruce Dixon sent Julia Martin and CH Callaway’s Arbitrator to the winner’s circle twice in the junior exhibitor gaited division. Also a visitor from far away, Kayla Wooters was twice reserve with Home Grown Tomato.


The quality didn’t slack off in the young horse classes. Angelene and George Knight led the way in the Junior Five-Gaited Stake with Don Harris and Heirrison Ford in reserve.


Harris was on top in the large three-year-old class in which Belcort Farm’s entry, Travel In Style, turned back the challengers. Among them, Melinda Moore and Fort Chiswell’s Royal Affair were reserve.


Gaited pony contenders finished with Miss Outta My Way and Ivy Johnson on top. Behind them were Tate Bennett and Homecoming Heir, as well as Alexa McWilliams and Callaway’s Exception To The Rule.


The van der Walt family made a big splash at Lexington Junior League a few weeks earlier and their success continued at Shelbyville. Annalize van der Walt rode Mr. Revere to the Three-Gaited Championship. Lance Williamson and the athletic April Hi Lite followed.


All eyes were glued on the ring in both amateur walk-trot classes. It doesn’t get much better than the group that went head-to-head in this section. Sarah Rowland and the history making An Heir About her continued their winning ways while marching to the winner’s circle in both classes. Amateur Three-Gaited Reserve Grand Champion and reserve amateur qualifying winner CH Royal Messenger was right there both times with Michelle Groomes providing the good rides. Ladies champions Pas De Deux and Rosemarie Fernandez finished third in the great class with Lexington Amateur Three-Gaited Reserve Grand Champions Bad Moon Rising and Caroline Kamer in fourth.


Signature Stables celebrated Romantic Manifesto and Victoria Willock winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship ahead of reserve grand champions Chelsea Ruxer and Send Her Roses. Cryst-A-Kell Farm’s Callie Smith rode Who Needs Mama to win the qualifier and Richmond DeHart was behind her with First Shot.


Straight from the winner’s circle of the Junior Three-Gaited Stake at Lexington, Renee Biggins and Boston Legal added Shelbyville to their list of wins for William Shatner's Belle Reve. Darrell Case and Thunder Cloud Nine finished second in the strong class for Olen Wilford.


The newly purchased and newly named Cocktail Ring did something no other horse has done thus far and that is to defeat New York’s Perfect Gift. Ceil Wheeler was riding the champion and Renee Biggins was aboard the reserve champion.


With quality galore, Intoxicating Heir made the last pass as the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited Champion for Brenda and Jim Strause. Steve Wheeler and He’s The Real Deal commanded reserve honors.


Making the family proud, Ashley Biggins and Simbara’s Cara Mia defeated stable mates Lost Token and Yasmin Wazir for the Three-Gaited Pony title.


Mike Hylton once again teamed up with Romanov to win the Fine Harness Championship for Kathy Snyder. Joan Lurie showed Nancy Leigh Fisher’s Mister Splish Splash to reserve grand champion honors.

Like the gaited and walk-trot sections, the Amateur Fine Harness class was tremendous. For Escalade Stables, Kathy Capsuto drove Dancing Up A Storm to take a great blue prize into
Louisville. Among their challengers were reserve champions The Great Gaspar and John Scheidt.


Speaking of Scheidt and Don Spear, the Stonecroft breeding program continues to pay big dividends. Dianna Rannells presented Stonecroft Sincerely to pick up the blue in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Sandra Currier and Unlisted Number were second among five.


Another long-time owner/breeder, Carl Holden and his family were thrilled with their Junior Fine Harness Champion Peri Town. Selvaggio was the reserve winner driven by Darrell Case for Priscilla Moore.


Still riding high from his Lexington Junior League Five-Gaited Championship, Lionel Ferreira drove Gothic Revival to win the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Joan Lurie made a good presentation with Thunder Crackin to take reserve in another deep class of young horses.


Another Lexington winner who did well at Shelbyville was Tax Man. Melinda Moore turned in two winning rides for Jeff Councilman. Shady Creek’s Sensation applied the pressure as the reserve grand champion with James Nichols riding. It was their second reserve. Carol Hillenbrand’s In My Heart was right on the money for the amateur title. Deborah Visser was second with Pocketful Of Magic.


World’s champion Braveheart didn’t let anyone catch him in the Roadster To Bike Championship with owner/driver Marilyn Macfarlane at the whip. Jimmy Robertson was hot in pursuit with Fly By Night, an entry from High Hickory Farm. Ray Garcia made the winning drive in the open class with Alliance Stud’s Valiant.


Amateur roadster honors went the way of Penny Lane Farm. Dale Hanson piloted Royal Count to the winner’s circle, while Kenneth Wheeler drove The Gambler to reserve for Leatherwood Farm.


Lamborghini was the star of the Open Road Pony class. Mitch Clark donned the silks for Laurel Nelson. Tracy James and Shooting Star turned in the reserve performance among several entries. They came back to take grand champion honors for Jeb Boyd. Sandra Dorsett’s D.D.’s Fashion Model was the reserve grand champion.


The world’s champion combination of Mary Gaylord McClean and Heartland Production set sail to claim the amateur blue. Red streamers went to Debbie Gabbert and Amadeus. McClean was back in the winner’s circle with Heartland Elise. This leg-waving mare has been on a roll since Midwest. With a strong reserve finish at Lexington, Heartland Newsmaker was the reserve winner for Gene van der Walt.


Robin Haynes was preparing Wait & See’s Whiz Bang to return to Freedom Hall to try and reclaim his 2004 titles. They won the Open Harness Pony class which had several stars including four-year-old Neon Deon who was reserve for Golden Creek Farms.


Kenny Wheeler provided Callisto with a catch drive to win the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony class for the Asch family of California. Another California resident, Sandra Surber, was reserve with Heartland Entitled.


Child Of The Times came back from a reserve finish in the Five-Gaited Pleasure qualifier to win the grand championship. Patrice Watson and Stonewall’s Stargate also moved up one spot to take the reserve grand championship. Chris Nalley and Callaway’s Rockaway sported the blue from the qualifier.


Steal My Thunder and Cindy Sherman Siders were two for two as the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Grand Champions and qualifying winners. Emily Lee and Hola Buenos Heiress stepped up for the reserve grand champion title.


On their way to Louisville to close out Tate Bennett’s last junior exhibitor year, world’s champion My Good Bye was also two for two in the junior exhibitor pleasure division. Mary Jane Gregory was the proud owner and Peter Palmer the trainer. Having a good week at Shelbyville, Kayla Wooters rode the reserve grand champion Finally Yours.


There were several sweeps among the pleasure entries. Dr. Randall Finken and River Dance kept the streak alive winning both of their driving classes. Callaway’s Head Over Heels was the two-time reserve winner with Nancy Lassiter.


Coming off a victory pass at Mercer County, Jackie Tanner and The Woodsider entertained again as the Junior Park Pleasure champions. Darrell Case had the reserve winner in Charismatic Ken.


Make it two classes and two wins for Midtown Man and Chris Broder as well. Theirs came in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Tara Duff and Val-Hallelujah were still ahead of a large group for reserve grand champion honors.


Not to break the norm, Kayla Wooters was aboard Undulata’s Paper Doll to collect both junior exhibitor country pleasure titles. Lindsay Haupt and Vida Eraser went home with the reserve tricolor.


Another blue ribbon for the California contingent went the way of Tabasco Sauce and Julia Martin. Eddie Lewis and Hit Man’s Special Deliver were next.


The equitation division wrapped up another successful Shelbyville show with Emily Abbott riding as the grand champion under the direction of Mike McIntosh. Yasmin Wazir turned in the reserve ride.


Veteran Blair Barrett collected yet another Pleasure Equitation blue. This time Lindsay Haupt was the reserve champion. Haupt did make the victory pass in the UPHA Challenge Cup, while Kelsey Morgan was the winning rider from the UPHA 10 & Under Walk and Trot event.


Complete results can be seen on this web site by going to clicking on Show Results.



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