Skip to content

Southern States Regional Celebrates 35 Years

by Diana Davidson


RALEIGH, N.C. - Exhibitors from 22 states and Austria gathered for a Memorial Day tradition as the Southern States Regional Championship Morgan Horse Show celebrated its 35th anniversary. This year's edition featured outstanding competition at the James B. Hunt Horse Complex at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on May 23-26. Southern States is the AMHA Region 10 Championship Show and was once again sponsored by The Virginia Carolinas Morgan Horse Club. Southern States is the second of ten AMHA Regional Championship Horse Shows held throughout the country each season.


Each year many of the southern stables as well as those from the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Midwestern states mark their calendar for the Memorial Day weekend for a trip to Raleigh. The list of stables continues to grow each year with a number of first time stables and those returning after an absence adding to the lineup of top stables enjoying the competition this year. The show ring action featured many world champions vying for top honors alongside a promising group of youngsters and some very impressive new teams.


The show schedule was again well received with two sessions each day that left plenty of time to work horses, visit with fellow exhibitors and enjoy all of the Southern Hospitality for which the show is famous. This schedule also allows exhibitors to travel home on Sunday and enjoy Memorial Day at home. The week started off with some lovely cool weather, but by the weekend it felt like summer was just around the corner with rising temperatures and humidity.

The warm weather and hot competition in the show ring at Southern States certainly made it feel like the 2007 show season is in full swing. The box seats and grandstands in the arena featured a healthy crowd to cheer on the performers in nearly 200 classes. The attendees at the AMHA Judging School directed by Cindy Mugnier were also on hand to view the action. The Bridle Club which featured ringside tables and snacks at the near end of the arena was a popular place for people to mingle with old friends and make some new ones while enjoying the show at the club each evening.


Southern States was the site of numerous show ring debuts, team debuts, and debuts in new divisions by the likes of Will-O-Way Moment In Time and Jacqueline Clapp, Comiskey Park and Amanda McHatten, Get Busy with Dwayne Knowles for Kathy Gutting, AWS Fruition with Scott Thacker for Tall Tails Farm, Boston Dylan and Jarrett Burch, Playmor’s Town Commander with Krista Dent for David Lantz, Willowick Sister Susie with Mary Brannon for Kaye Bedell, Love Her Madly with Mike Goebig for Cindy Nord, RJMF Symphonic Music and Annie Morgan, Stonecroft Tribute with Jim Taylor for Donna Zimmerman, Night Out and Annie Thurber, Sacred Path Indiana Jones with Tim Roesink for Kourt Jester Morgans, Stony Pt Harlequin Romance with Cheri Barber for Pat West, and Favorite Son with John Warner for Morgan Horse Farm.


Southern States also attracted numerous 2006 Grand National and World Champions including JW That Special Flaire, CN’s Stylish Debut, Cabot First Confession, Gotti, Dragonsmeade Carnaros, BKC Valiant Star, Signed Sealed Delivered, Patchwork Simply Amazin, Sheza Bell, Gradell’s Wild Reflection, HVK Sweet Obsession, Bellisimo, About Last Night, Andrea’s Radiance, Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize, I’m Irish and Libretto’s Bravado.

Donna Zimmerman and Patchwork Simply Amazin


Once again this year, the Jackpot classes were a competitive highlight. The Saturday afternoon session featured the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship with Andrea’s Radiance and Sara Heffernan earning the $1,500 champion’s purse. The stakes were raised to conclude on Saturday night in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship where the jackpot of $5,000 was added to the class prize money with About Last Night and Carolyn Gibbard enjoying a show to remember by earning top honors of $3,500.


About Last Night and Carolyn Gibbard


To further encourage championship participation, Southern States added a door prize in each championship for the fourth year in a row. All participants had their numbers put in a hat and the winners were drawn during the lineup and announced prior to the class winners. A $50 cash door prize was awarded in each championship with $500 in the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship and $1000 in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship Jackpot.


One of the highlights of the week for the youngsters competing was the presentation of the Cynthia Epperson Memorial Outstanding Youth Award. The award, which is presented to the young person who best exhibits strong character and exemplary sportsmanship, was presented to Annie Walker. The Southern States Youth Of The Year contest was chaired by Tristanne Weber Childress, and the awards presentations were also made in center ring on Saturday night. Hailey Garbee earned the title of Senior Youth Of The Year and now has the chance to compete in the finals in Oklahoma. Reserve honors went to Alanna Daley with top honors in the junior division going to Julia Harsh with Emily Scotton earning reserve.


Southern States is famous for its fine southern hospitality and this year was certainly no exception. When attending Southern States plan on being well fed and entertained. The entertainment got underway with a “Welcome To Southern States Social" following the last class on Wednesday evening. The good times continued on Thursday with an ice cream social sponsored by Harmony Sport Morgans prior to the evening session. The VCMHC Youth Group hosted a youth pizza party following the Friday morning session.


Friday night featured the Exhibitors Party in the party pavilion following the evening session. Everyone enjoyed the food, drinks and music sponsored by the show and friends. The night finished off with some great items up for bid with Bill Carrington putting on his auctioneer’s hat for the trips, jewelry and event packages. The festivities concluded with a pair of time-honored Saturday traditions. Everyone gathered following the afternoon session as Dr. and Mrs. V. Watson Pugh of Tara Farm fed the huge crowd at their famous Memorial Day picnic. The annual Southern States Hunt Breakfast sponsored by The Virginia-Carolinas Morgan Horse Club served as the grand finale following the final session on Saturday evening.


The success of Southern States is in large part due to the tireless efforts of its show committee, officials and volunteers. Southern States show chairman Julie Broadway Humphreys and VCMHC President Andree Vetrano were delighted with this year's show. They both addressed the audience on Saturday evening. They gave thanks to the volunteers, exhibitors, officials and staff along with supportive spectators for another great show. Vetrano also thanked Julie Broadway Humphreys for her leadership since 1999 and wished her well as everyone toasted her as the new AMHA Executive Director.


Julie Broadway Humphreys and Andree Vetrano


Humphreys worked at the helm of this well run ship alongside second-year Southern States show manager Glenn Petty. The list of Southern States officials also included; Kelly McFaul (show secretary), Sue Imbratto (assistant secretary), Pat Laws (ring secretary), Steve Wilson (stable manager), Bill Whitley (ringmaster), Bill Carrington (announcer), Jane Frye (organist), Joyce Wilson (USEF Steward), Howie Schatzberg (photographer), Buddy Waggoner (paddock master), JP Fuller (farrier), Richard Cochran (veterinarian), and Horse Videos, Inc. (videographer).


Lynn and Kathleen Peeples shared the Southern States judging duties in center ring, while Mickie Bowen, Susan Weidman and Darrell Meeks officiated in the sport horse divisions.

Highlights of the Southern States Regional follow. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

Park Saddle


The Park Saddle competition at this year’s show closed out with Mike Goebig presenting an entry of Cindy Nord to the Southern States Park Saddle Championship for the third year in a row. This time it was Love Her Madly heading down victory lane in expressive fashion carrying the tricolor. This followed the attention-capturing four-year-old mare’s victorious park saddle debut in the mare/gelding class. Broadmoor had not one but two headliners that are four-year-old park saddle horses, and they are 3/4 siblings as both are by Astronomicallee and out of the mother/daughter mares NBN At Your Command and So Vain (by Queen’s Vanity Flair). World Champion Get Busy, who is out of So Vain, followed up his memorable Southern States show ring debut of a year ago with more accolades as Dwayne Knowles guided Kathy Gutting’s dynamic stallion to the Junior Park Saddle blue and tricolor. Selvin Torrez introduced Liberation Really Redy as the Southern States Park Saddle Reserve Champion for owner Jessica Gentile.


Thursday night’s grand finale was perhaps the class of the show with each of the four horses competing in the Amateur Park Saddle class having earned Oklahoma victory passes just seven months ago. It was the youngster of the group, five-year-old BKC Valiant Star who drew rave reviews matched with Casey McDonald and prepared by David Rand to triumph in this phenomenal gathering of performers.


BKC Valiant Star and Casey McDonald


The crowd was assembled early for a grand schedule of Saturday evening classes starting off with the Amateur Park Saddle Championship with the same four riders back to entertain once again. With skill and determination Donna Zimmerman gave her dazzling Patchwork Simply Amazin a memorable ride to carry home the tricolor honors to the Memory Lane banner. Allyson Wandtke and her world champion partner CN’s Stylish Debut earned the roses for the second year in a row with a brilliant ride in the Ladies Park Saddle and came back just a night later to collect the amateur reserve tricolor for Cindy Nord.

Park Harness


World Champion JW That Special Flaire made his season debut at Southern States as owner Fran Pugh and the Tara Farm cheering section enjoyed a tricolor performance as the Southern States Park Harness Champion for the second year in a row. The chestnut powerhouse first entertained the crowd earning the junior blue guided by Judy Harris. Sheza Bell and Judy Harris are synonymous with Ladies Park Harness victory passes and they added another to their long list at Raleigh for Barbara and Arthur Jones.


JW That Special Flaire and Judy Whitney Harris


Morgan Horse Farm enjoyed a victorious trip to Raleigh as John Warner brought out their newly purchased Favorite Son to take the victory pass in the Open Park Harness in his only performance of the show. The Southern States Park Harness Reserve Championship ribbon also went back to the Morgan Horse Farm banner as John Warner guided bold performing Exceptionallee to the honors.


Just as the amateur park saddle competition was world caliber, the same was true of the amateur park harness. Donna Zimmerman enjoyed quite a show as she swept the amateur park tricolors, starting off the day on Saturday by guiding her world titled partner Evolution to the tricolor after a blue ribbon start in the qualifier. Jacqueline Clapp did a great job in her first show on the lines of world champion Will-O-Way Moment In Time as she earned the reserve honors with crowd-pleasing performances for PlayMor Farm.


The young horse competition in Raleigh was exceptional and exciting from start to finish. World Champion Signed Sealed Delivered started off the new season right where she left off as Dwayne Knowles guided Kim Germ’s phenomenal filly to the UPHA Park Harness Classic victory in her only performance of the show.


The Junior Park Harness Championship capped off the competition with MEM Bonnie Blue earning her second tricolor in as many shows. Tim Roesink introduced yet another youngster out of Miss Bluegrass to the winner’s circle as he made the winning drive for John and Nancy Hendricks’ Carreg Wen Farm. Judy Harris debuted JW Phantom to the reserve tricolor finish.

English Pleasure


The English Pleasure division was filled to the brim with many of last season's top winning performers as well as an exciting crop of youngsters. Taylor River Farm enjoyed a memorable trip to Raleigh capped off by their crown jewel Cartier earning the Southern States English Pleasure Championship with Sarah Gove in the irons. They started off with a picture-perfect performance to earn the stallion/gelding blue for proud owner Gay Gove. Shelley Silber was excited to see her future partner Sacred Path Indiana Jones perform as Tim Roesink guided the 2006 Three-Year-Old English Pleasure World Champion to the reserve honors in his debut for Kourt Jester Morgans.


Grand National Champion CBMF Infatuation debuted under saddle with victorious results. Mike Goebig directed Copper Beech’s lovely GLB Bell Pepper daughter to the English Pleasure Mares blue. Merriewold Diplomat and Katie Mair added a pair of blue ribbons to the Sterling Training Center banner as they topped the limit and ladies classes for owner Marie Frank.


The Amateur English Pleasure Championship featured a large and impressive field of top winning show stars. It was a memorable debut show for Comiskey Park and Amanda McHatten as they earned the tricolor victory pass for Kourt Jester Morgans. They started off with the amateur stallion/gelding win directed by Tim Roesink. The world titled team of Gotti and Kim Germ made the reserve tricolor pass for the second year in a row after a blue ribbon ride in the ladies amateur class. Christy Clark and Flintlock’s Testarosa had their engines revved up with a win in the Amateur English Pleasure Mares for Pete and Gael Jaeger.


Adriana Liberty and Ultra’s Proclamation enjoyed another flawless trip to Southern States. For the second year in a row, they captured the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship following blue ribbon winning performances in the 14-17 saddle and 17 & under driving qualifiers to add to the Rand banner. It was a tricolor sweep for Rand as Lookaway’s Hot Ticket and Moniqua Dube turned in a consistently bright ride to earn the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Reserve Championship in a grand field of ten entries.


The 13 and under division featured an outstanding field of young teams as Grand National Champions LA Ricochet and Annie Thurber stepped up from the walk-trot division in winning fashion. Max Liberty and Gradell’s Wild Reflection maintained their top billing in the walk-trot pleasure division earning the blue ribbon and tricolor victory passes directed by David Rand. Kara Hose and NBN Iron Will earned a trip to the winner’s circle in the youth class for Trotwood Stables.


Max Liberty with Gradell’s Wild Reflection


Krista Dent had Claridge Freedom’s Spirit looking through the bridle on the way to the Junior English Pleasure Championship following the blue ribbon ride in the four-year-old class for Claridge Farm. The get of Astronomicallee continue to impress as the white-trimmed Extremelee earned the reserve honors with Dwayne Knowles aboard for Tony Lee and Shingle Branch Farm.


Tim Roesink debuted another youngster for Kourt Jester Morgans in winning fashion as Cause Celebre, purchased at the CopperDragon Sale, made the victory pass in the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure.

Pleasure Driving


A fine group of proven champions along with a new cast of young challengers and newly paired teams highlighted the Pleasure Driving division. CBMF Ruling Class earned the highest honors as Ken Swanson directed the charismatic performer to the Southern States Open Pleasure Driving Championship after topping the stallion/gelding class for Holly Johnson, who hopes to be back on the lines soon following recent surgery. HVK Sweet Obsession turned in a stylish drive as Tim Roesink handled the lines of the reserve champion. The always-bright four-year-old mare earlier starred with owner Barbara Lindauer in the amateur mares and ladies classes with a pair of blue ribbon performances. Voodoo Vixen earned a trip to the winner’s circle in the Pleasure Driving Mares with Dan Pavan presenting for James Griffin.


CBMF Ruling Class and Ken Swanson


The amateur division featured a wealth of polished performances by top champions. Janet Morgan and RJM Roulette turned in a pair of polished and consistent drives to add the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the amateur stallion/gelding blue to the banner at Broadmoor. Nancy Hendricks is no doubt enjoying taking over the lines of her world titled Dragonsmeade Carnaros as she piloted the bold-performing stallion to the reserve tricolor honors in the impressive field of eight for Carreg Wen Farm.


Jarrett Burch matched up with his new partner World Champion Boston Dylan to drive away with the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving Championship for proud parents Steve and Lynn Burch. HRS Mirror Image and Justin Mullaney are maturing into quite a team as they collected the reserve tricolor for their proud family at Heatherstone Farm.


Richard Boulé has added another tricolor performer to the list of champions owned by Jeff and Gay Gove of Taylor River Farm as Sea-Vu Justified trotted away with the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship and the four-year-old blue. CBMF Stand By Me picked up the reserve honors with Tim Roesink guiding for Kourt Jester Morgans.


Tim Roesink had quite a string of youngsters as he gave the crowd something to cheer about in the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic with the appropriately named LBJ Uptown Girl. The DBA Street Talk daughter showed off her good looks and stylish presence for Ann Hailey and Copper Beech LLC. The three-year-old division was outstanding as Jim Taylor debuted the expressive Stonecroft Trilogy son Stonecroft Tribute to the blue ribbon in the Wednesday’s three-year-old class for Donna Zimmerman.


Kaye Bedell cheered on her elegant young filly Willowick Sister Susie as Mary Brannon drove her to the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Championship in her debut show. Jim McCleester guided HKS Flirtatious Spirit to the reserve honors for Howard and Catherine Stump. The two-year-old qualifier featured Stoney Point Harlequin Romance filling the arena with his presence on the way to the blue ribbon in his only performance of the show with Cheri Barber handling the lines for Pat West and Bill Shean.

Classic Pleasure


The $5,000 Southern States Classic Pleasure Saddle Jackpot Championship closed out the 2007 show on a high note. A grand field of 14 answered the call with quality keeping up with quantity. When the dust had settled, it was the world champion team of About Last Night and Carolyn Gibbard who earned the distinction of carrying home the tricolor along with the winner’s share of $3,500. The winning team also topped the mare class directed by Tim Roesink. The Grand National Championship pairing of Sandcastle Spittin Image and Whitney Hazen turned in a polished ride for the reserve streamers following a blue ribbon ride in the limit class for PlayMor Farm. Donna Zimmerman closed out a show to remember with the yellow ribbon aboard the always-consistent CSH Corydon’s Eclipse, who earlier topped the stallion/gelding class.


The list of championship ribbon winners continued with the winners of the ladies class, Coventry Isabella and Gina Torrez in fourth. After a second place finish in the stallion/gelding class, Sir Levi and Brooke Mercier collected the pink ribbon. Queen’s Loverboy and Kendall Steffen followed in sixth, but their ride was also worth $1,000 as Kendall’s name was picked for the door prize.


Hylee’s Dancing On Heir and Nichole Mitchell earned a trip down victory lane in the AOTS Classic Pleasure Saddle for Morgan View Farm. Following their winning team debut at Dixie Cup, CN In Grand Style and Allyson Wandtke added a pair of Southern States blues in the junior saddle and driving classes for Cindy Nord.


The eight-entry Classic Pleasure Driving Championship pitted a pair of world champions to battle for the tricolors. Janet Morgan and her new partner Libretto’s Bravado earned the nod as they carried the tricolor back to Broadmoor following a blue ribbon drive in the ladies class. Med-E-Oka Nobel Prize and a red-clad Jacqueline Clapp drove away with the reserve tricolor following a winning drive in the stallion/gelding class for PlayMor Farm. Mtn Run Saint Cristofer and Debbie Pavan picked up the yellow ribbon in the competitive championship field. Jeff Gove and Jellico Colors And Honors added the white ribbon to the Taylor River banner after a winning drive in the limit class.

Western Pleasure


The Western Pleasure competition featured a wide array of top winning horses along with some outstanding new teams and entries to the division. Chase Manhattan and Cheri Barber carried the Southern States Open Western Pleasure Championship back to Pat West, who earned her own tricolor with her handsome stallion the following evening as Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Champion. It was a pair of gorgeous stallions earning the open tricolors as RJM Pardon My French and Jennifer Hazen teamed up for the reserve tricolor following a blue ribbon ride in the stallion/gelding class for PlayMor Farm.


Pat West and Chase Manhattan


Caitlin Harrison and Mtn. Laurel Election Day repeated their flawless rides of a year ago as they triumphed in the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship as well as the ladies amateur qualifier directed by Dwayne Knowles. DVF Heart Lite and Amy Sargent picked up the yellow ribbon in the championship following a pair of blue ribbon performances in the amateur stallion/gelding and AOTS classes. Lauren DuPont and Windward’s Mariana added the amateur mares blue to the Windward banner. Loretta Brown and Goldtree Menolly jogged away with the top honors in the amateur masters class.


PJM Sho-Bree-O and Allyson Hughes posted tricolor honors with a smooth and steady performance in the ladies championship after earning the victory in the mares class for the third year in a row. Jennifer Hazen and Highland Ridge Daniel are formidable new team as they proved by winning the ladies qualifier and taking the ladies reserve tricolor back to PlayMor Farm. Dan Pavan and Tara’s Nominee took a trip down victory lane in the gentlemen’s class for Sharon Owen.


Spencer Conklin and Tara’s Zeus brought their winning ways to Raleigh as they added the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure blue and tricolor to the West Coast Morgans banner. George Liberty and Iron Forge Aire Borne continued their tricolor steak as they added the reserve honors to a great show for the Liberty family. The next generation horsemen of Grove Pointe were crowd-pleasers as Tate and Connor Roesink each made victory passes in the walk-trot and leadline classes with Millenium directed by Shayna Butts.


Another product of the CopperDragon Sale took a trip down victory lane as Dragonsmeade Taylor Made topped the Junior Western Pleasure Championship presented by Michelle McCleester for Anne Byrd Donaldson. Following a blue ribbon performance in the junior qualifier, Guha’s Dream Come True and Amanda DuPont carried the reserve tricolor to Sid and Sharon Guha. Cheri Barber directed Gail Latlief’s sleek black Coutscroft Diamond Blaze to the winner’s circle in the Limit Western Pleasure.

Hunter Pleasure


The Hunter Pleasure division featured a number of top winning champions making their season debuts along with a host of new faces. Dreamaker Whatta Sight was a big winner at Southern States again this year for Robert and Jane Thompson with Amanda DuPont presenting. They closed out the show with the Southern States Open Hunter Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row following a repeat win in the mare class. STM Victory’s Sharpshooter and Jennifer Hazen had perfect aim for victory lane as they topped the stallion/gelding class and collected the reserve tricolor for PlayMor Farm.


Eleven top-flight teams answered the call for the $2,500 Amateur Hunter Pleasure Jackpot Championship. The reserve world championship pairing of Andrea’s Radiance and Sara Heffernan rose to the top with a stylish performance to collect the winner’s share of $1,500 after hanging matching blues from the amateur mares and ladies amateur classes on the Taylor River banner. Kara Hose and Penncrest Philosopher King collected $500 as the reserve champions after winning the ladies class for Trotwood Stables. Bethanne Metts was the lucky winner of $500 as her name was selected for the door prize in the amateur championship.


Andrea’s Radiance and Sara Heffernan


HKS Lord Of The Dance continued his winning ways for Heatherstone Morgans as Lisa Mullaney Brown rode the handsome amateur stallion/gelding winner. Emory Sykes enjoyed her time on victory lane with JAJ Capriole Sir Walter as they earned the blue ribbon in the AOTS class to the delight of their fan club.


The Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship featured the largest class of the show with 15 teams including several world champions vying for tricolor honors. Lauren Knupp did a great job positioning Kane Creek Oregon Reign to earn the victory following a blue ribbon ride in the 14-17 qualifier coached by Katie Mair. D Bar J Habakkuk and Elizabeth Fawcett paired up for the reserve tricolor after a victory pass in the youth class for the Hose and Fawcett families. Annie Thurber enjoyed her first show in the hunter division as she matched up with Night Out to collect the yellow ribbon for Jennifer Grey. Katelyn Merrill and The Lion King added to an impressive season in this division as they finished up with the white ribbon in the championship following a victory pass in the 13 and under class.


Zoie O’Neill and H-Vee Hawk’s Saralaine made an adorable pair as they carried the Walk-Trot Hunter/Western Pleasure Championship back to Trotwood Stables. Representing the cowboys, Tate Roesink and Millennium jogged away with the reserve tricolor to the applause of their fan club.


Cabot First Confession was a frequent visitor to the winner’s circle as Katie Mair directed Steve and Lynn Burch’s lovely mare to the UPHA Classic and junior qualifier wins on the way to the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship. Michelle McCleester guided the up and coming Heatherstone Last Dance to the reserve tricolor for Lisa Brown.


The first year green class saw Graywoods Oliver and Tristanne Childress collect the blue ribbon for Jennifer Kaczmarek. Highland Ridge Daniel showed off his versatile talents as he added the limit hunter win to his western pleasure titles with Jennifer Hazen in the irons.

In Hand


The In Hand competition got the Southern States Regional off to a rousing start on Wednesday afternoon. The mares were the first to enjoy center stage and it was the stylish Stonecroft Liza who enjoyed the spotlight as the Yearling Filly winner and Junior Champion Mare. Cheri Barber was on the lead for excited new owner Erica Dorwart. The Tara Farm breeding program started off the show in the winner’s circle as Ken Swanson guided Tara’s Foxfire to the Two-Year-Old Mares and Reserve Junior Champion Mare awards.


The combination of two of Tall Tails Farm’s world champion performers Liberation First Star and Prediction produced AWS Fruition, who is indeed well named. AWS Fruition made her presence known in her show ring debut as Scott Thacker presented the elegant and athletic chestnut to the Three-Year-Old, Senior and Grand Champion Mare honors. Sheza Bell and Judy Harris showed off their inimitable style collecting the Five & Over Mare win as well as Reserve Senior and Reserve Grand Champion Mare awards for Barbara and Arthur Jones. Willowick Center Stage continued her winning ways for Kaye Bedell as she made the winning presentation in the Four-Year-Old Mares guided by Mary Brannon.


Mary Brannon switched leads and was right back in the winner’s circle as she presented the flashy chestnut Noble Wishes to the Two & Under Geldings win for Jean Jones. Anne Morgan’s sleek chestnut Rage turned in a fine showing in his new division to win the three and four-year-old class on the way to the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding honors shown by John Warner. CBMF Ruling Class struck a winning pose at the head of the class as Grand Champion Gelding. Ken Swanson presented Holly Johnson’s GLB Bell Pepper son to the tricolor following the five and over win. 


The Stallion In Hand division closed out Wednesday's schedule of in hand classes with two sons of the late Man About Town LPS making their presence known. In his show ring debut PlayMor’s Town Commander (Man About Town LPS x HRH Sheba) earned two trips to the winner’s circle with his Yearling Colts victory as well as the Junior Champion Stallion title under the direction of Krista Dent for owner David Lantz. The Grande “L” breeding program was back on victory lane as LNT King Arthur posted the Two-Year-Old Stallions win as well as the Reserve Junior Champion Stallion honors shown by Cheri Barber for Lyn Talmadge.


Nate and Krista Headley were delighted with their newly purchased GLB Leader Of The Band as the son of Futurity French Command and GLB Bell Of The Ball posed for the Three-Year-Old Stallions win as well as the Reserve Senior and Reserve Grand Champion Stallion awards guided by Ken Swanson.


Selvin Torrez and Whitemud Summer Stars enjoyed a blue ribbon return to the winner’s circle as they brought the Four-Year-Old Stallions blue to owners Charles and Elizabeth Wyandt.


The Five and Over Stallions featured the show ring return of three-time World Champion Stallion LPS The Boogie Man (Man About Town LPS x Honeytree’s Simply Unique) with David Rand on the lead for Mitch and Nancy Ramsey. It was certainly a treat for all in attendance to see the magnificent black stallion pose for the blue ribbon as well as the Senior and Grand Champion Stallion honors which were featured throughout the week on the local news in a clip promoting the horse show.


Southern States features a full selection of Amateur In Hand classes with the mare division first to compete on Saturday morning with Windward’s Cassiopeia and James Griffin collecting top honors for Marci Cesanek. Griffin was right back on the lead of his sporty Mtn. Run Saint Christofer to capture the Amateur Grand Champion Gelding honors followed by reserve champion Face The Nation and Dan Redman. Hubert Hall and his well-known Noah’s Intimidator must have intimidated the competition as they were in a class by themselves to earn the stallion championship. Milady’s Melody and Teresa Scheid topped a large field to pose with the amateur hunt/western in hand. June Davis and Coalition Royal Billing successfully defended their victory in the Justin Morgan Standard class for the third year in a row.



After a career filled with great accomplishments, Caroline Gaker added another as the Southern States Equitation Grand Champion matched again with Wind Blu Supreme Fantasy. John Warner coached them to the UPHA Challenge Cup victory as well. Lauren Hogge presented Unfaithful to the reserve tricolor following a blue ribbon ride in the 14-17 age group.


Following a stellar walk-trot career Annie Thurber stepped up to the next level winning the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and Under with LA Ricochet under the direction of Katie Mair. Kelly Venza earned a trip to Oklahoma with her AMHA Saddle Seat Medal victory coached by Kris Cole.


Stevie Meder had a memorable trip to Southern States as she was reunited with Manchester In Demand, who was ill earlier in the week, to earn the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship after catch-riding The Lion King, thanks to a gracious loan by Katelyn Merrill, to the blue in the 14-17. Lauren Knupp and Kane Creek Oregon Reign turned in polished performances to carry the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal and reserve tricolor honors back to the Sterling Training Center banner. The 13 and under class saw Emma Thompson score the blue ribbon coached by Marci Cesanek.


Emma Thompson


Jessie Pearson leapt to the win in the AMHA Hunt Seat Over Fences Medal. Emily Elizabeth Scotton earned the top score in the Dressage Seat Equitation, while Annie Walker earned the AMHA Dressage Medal. Spencer Shelby Conklin qualified for a trip to Oklahoma with the victory pass in the AMHA Western Seat Medal aboard Tara’s Zeus and also earned a victory pass in the Western Seat Equitation. Zoie O’Neill added the Walk-Trot Equitation blue to the Trotwood Stables banner.


Rebecca Jones collected the Fitting & Showmanship blue for the second year in a row matched with FCL Just A Miracle.



The big ring at Southern States is well suited to the roadster competition. The Roadster To Bike Championship closed out the week with HVK March Flaire covering ground to cross the finish line to collect the tricolor following the qualifier blue with Sammi Hazen on the lines. Jim Taylor introduced Boxford Bulls & Bears to the fast-paced competition as they drove away with the reserve honors for Shipyard Point Morgans. RJMF Symphonic Music and Anne Morgan matched up for the crowd-pleasing wins in the roadster under saddle competition for Robert and Jean Morgan.


The Southern States Sport Horse Award highlights the versatility of the Morgan with points accumulated in the carriage, dressage, working hunter and sport horse ride/drive competition. This year's winner I’m Irish earned several top ribbons on his way to the award for the second year in a row for owner Lora Dunlap and trainer Valarie Siemer. Severn Hill Good As Gold and Kate Holloway made a clean sweep of the Working Hunter High Point Awards. The Carriage Driving High Point Championship top honors went to TW Ever Ready and Robin Foster for the second year in a row.


The dressage competition featured High Point Champions; Junior Rider Champion and Training Level Champion Jamie Michelle Clark with PTR Wish In Time, and Senior Rider Champions Gloria Riperton with Statesman’s Lovely Legacy and Charlotte Marcincowitz-Rogers with Statesman’s Courage.


The sport horse competitions also featured winning performances by Providence Warpaint and Beth Wiener, Spring Hollow Dark Shadow and Laura Brown, Sir Remington and Jessie Pearson, SEP Peter Pan and Carol Brown, LH Ben Johnson and Alanna Daley, Samac’s Heart Of Gold and Jamie Clark, FCL Just A Miracle and Rebecca Jones, Heather Independence and Patrick Wilcher, Johnson’s Libby Lee and Hailey Garbee, and CN Command Attention and Kristine Komosa.

More Stories