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The Southern States Regional - A Tricolor Memorial Day Tradition

by Diana Davidson

RALEIGH, N.C.- Exhibitors from 26 states gathered for a Memorial Day tradition at the 34th annual Southern States Regional Championship Morgan Horse Show. This year's edition featured outstanding competition at the James B. Hunt Horse Complex at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on May 24-27. 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 10 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 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 in Raleigh with high heat and humidity along with some strong evening storms.

The warm weather and hot competition in the show ring at Southern States certainly made it feel like the 2006 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 and Larry Bolen 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 Get Busy with Dwayne Knowles for Kathy Gutting, Queen’s Proud Mary and Sandy Hendrick, AWS Icon with Scott Thacker for Tall Tails Farm, CN Grand Style and Becky Sebastian, Elie Tahari with Cheri Barber for Louise Shane, Dantree Night Call with David Rand for Dantree Farm, KDS Kumite and Krista Dent, Kriskroft Keynote with Jim Lowry for Kriskroft Farm, HVK Primary Light and Fran Pugh, TTA Knight Of Glory with Amanda DuPont Pauli for Andrea Groeff, Nicoria and Jack Gatewood, Rebecca Boorstein and MXM Breezy Knight and Stony Pt Harlequin Romance with Cheri Barber for Pat West. Southern States also attracted numerous 2005 grand national and world champions including JW That Special Flaire, CN’s Stylish Debut, Queen’s Starfire, Intrepid Immortal Beloved, Mtn Laurel Election Day, Dreamaker Whatta Sight, Comiskey Park, Paradigm Hot Chocolate, Celebrity Marquee, Ultra’s Proclamation, Treble’s First Take and HVK Sweet Obsession.

Once again this year, the jackpot classes were a competitive highlight. The Wednesday evening session featured a grand finale in the Professional English Pleasure Jackpot where Comiskey Park and Jim Lowry turned in a brilliant performance to earn the top prize of $2,000. The stakes were raised to conclude on Saturday night in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship where the jackpot of $6,000 plus was added to the class prize money with Intrepid Immortal Beloved and Shelley Silber enjoying a show to remember by earning top honors following a three-horse workout.

To further encourage championship participation, Southern States added a door prize in each championship for the third 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 Professional English Pleasure Jackpot and $1,000 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 a young person who best exhibits strong character and exemplary sportsmanship, was presented to Kara Hose. It was certainly a big day for Hose who also was named the Southern States Senior Youth Of The Year winner. The Southern States Youth Of The Year contest was chaired by Tristanne Weber Childress, and the awards presentations were made in center ring on Saturday night. By earning the title of Senior Youth Of The Year, Kara Hose has the chance to compete in the finals in Oklahoma. Reserve honors went to Lillian Thompson with top honors in the junior division going to Victoria Daley with Rebecca Jones and Julia Harsh tying for 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 Friday night at the exhibitors’ party and celebration with retiring World Champion Tara’s War Eagle (see separate story).

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 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. They also offered a warm invitation to next year’s 35th anniversary spectacular.

Humphreys worked at the helm of this well-run ship alongside Glenn Petty, who brought a wealth of experience as incoming Southern States show manager. The list of Southern States officials also included; Kelly McFaul (show secretary), Sue Imbratto (assistant secretary), Pat Laws (ring secretary), Pete Whitlock (hospitality director), Steve Wilson (stable manager), Bill Whitley (ringmaster), Bill Carrington (announcer), Groff Bittner (organist), Mary Lynn Whitley (USEF Steward), Howie Schatzberg (photographer), Buddy Waggoner (paddock master), Wayne Murray (farrier), Richard Cochran (veterinarian) and Horse Videos, Inc. (videographer).

Garn Walker (Geldings and Amateur In Hand, Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, Classic Pleasure Saddle and Driving, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Seat Equitation, Road Hack and miscellaneous); Shirley O’Gorman (Park Harness, Park Saddle, English Pleasure, Pleasure Driving, Stallions and Mares In Hand, Saddle Seat Equitation and roadster); Tammi Batts (Dressage and Sport Horse Suitability); Marsha Himler (Carriage Driving and Sport Horse Ride/Drive); and George Wallace (Working Hunter, Hunter Hack and Bridle Path Hack) made up the judging panel.

Highlights of the Southern States Regional follow. Complete results can be found by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.


Park Saddle

The park saddle competition at this year’s Southern States closed out with CN's Stylish Debut carrying home top honors as the Southern States Park Saddle Champion for the second year in a row. Mike Goebig rode the expressive Cindy Nord entry to the tricolor a night after Allyson Wandtke teamed up with her world champion partner to earn the flowers in the Ladies Park Saddle. Queen’s Romeo showed off his athleticism for the Southern States audience to open the season with the Park Saddle Stallion blue. David Rand rode the charismatic entry of Queen’s River Farm to the reserve tricolor on Saturday night.

The Queen’s River breeding program enjoyed several stellar performers attracting a lot of attention in
Raleigh. Queen’s Victorian Lady and Sandy Hendrick were in perfect unison as they collected the Amateur Park Saddle blue and tricolor directed by David Rand. Kathy Gutting finished off another exciting week in Raleigh by adding the Amateur Park Saddle Reserve Championship to the Broadmoor banner aboard CBMF Undeniable.

It was a beaming Krista Headley who earned a trip down victory lane aboard the Junior Park Saddle Champion as Tara’s Firewalker enjoyed another victorious performance in the Raleigh arena to the delight of his fan club. The junior division featured a strong field of five impressive youngsters in the qualifier as BKC Valiant Star stepped up with a winning debut performance under saddle. Mike Goebig guided the Tony and Linda Brewer entry to the reserve tricolor just a day later.

The veteran show ring star Charlestown Michael carried the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle blue and tricolor back to Showcase Stables with a pair of top rides by Emily Vlisides.

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 was guided by Judy Harris. Selvin Torrez and the white-trimmed MSV Razzle Dazzle put on a bright showing for reserve honors. They also earned a trip down victory lane in the Park Saddle Mares and Geldings for Gina and Emily Torrez.

Judy Harris had a trio of park harness winning performers at Southern States. World Champion Sheza Bell added to her collection of blue ribbons with the Ladies Park Harness victory for Barbara and Arthur Jones. The Dragonsmeade Farm breeding program put another impressive youngster into the ring as Harris guided the HVK Bell Flaire daughter Dragonsmeade High Drama to the winner’s circle.

Queen’s Starfire showed off her world championship brilliance as David Rand guided the Rocky and Diana Schliefer entry to a pair of crowd-pleasing victories in the Junior Park Harness qualifier and championship.

The young horse competition in Raleigh was exceptional and exciting from start to finish. It was the name Get Busy that started it all off in his momentous debut to earn the UPHA Park Harness Classic victory. Dwayne Knowles was on the lines of the captivating black Astronomicallee son to earn the blue ribbon for a jubilant Kathy Gutting.

The Grand National championship pairing of Celebrity Marquee and Lauren Griffin added to the Bobbin Hollow banner as they drove away with the Amateur Park Harness Championship as well as the junior exhibitor blue with two dynamic showings.

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. CN Grand Style enjoyed a memorable debut show under saddle. Jim Lowry was the winning rider of the Southern States English Pleasure Championship for the second year in a row as he was aboard the white-trimmed chestnut for a bold ride to earn the title this year. Becky Sebastian matched up with CN Grand Style for an impressive victory in the Amateur English Pleasure Stallion/Gelding qualifier to collect the blue ribbon for Bonus Time Farm LLC.

The expressive Queen’s Loverboy and David Rand challenged for the reserve honors for Queen’s River Farm in the championship much as they did in the Professional English Pleasure Jackpot where they also finished reserve to a Jim Lowry trained and ridden entry. In the jackpot it was Grand National Champion Comiskey Park and Lowry who earned a trip down victory lane with the top honors and a check for $2,000, performing for Phil and Pat Baker.

Turning Pt Simply Divine and Mike Goebig added the English Pleasure Mares blue to the Broadmoor banner in their only performance of the show for Arnette Lindeen.

The Amateur English Pleasure Championship featured a large and impressive field of top winning show stars. The elegant pairing of Monnington Wish and Amanda Poirier proved that they can excel in the deepest of competition with tricolor rides at UPHA Chapter 14 and Vermont Spring Classic. They made it three in a row at Southern States as trainer David Rand once again greeted the tricolor team. Kim Germ and Gotti turned in a polished ride to earn the reserve tricolor in the 11-entry championship after earning the blue ribbon and flowers in the ladies class the previous night.

The Ladies Amateur English Pleasure class was the first of four qualifiers leading up to the amateur championship. It was Shelley Silber and her lovely four-year-old Paradigm Hot Chocolate who added to their victories from Tampa Charity and River Ridge with the blue ribbon ride for Kourt Jester Morgans. The multi-titled AFF Elusive Dream turned in a flawless performance with Jolynn Greenhalgh in the irons to earn the Amateur English Pleasure Mare win for the second year in a row, directed by La Mirage Stables.

Adriana Liberty and Ultra’s Proclamation continued their flawless season with a quartet of confident victories at Southern States. They captured matching tricolors in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving Championship following blue ribbon winning performances in the 14-17 saddle and 17 and under driving qualifiers to add to the Rand banner. It was the best of the north versus the best of the south in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship as Channing Ligas and HVK Acclamation brought their own undefeated string to Southern States. They came away with the reserve championship with an impressive ride of their own directed by Ian Ferguson and cheered on by proud mom Debbie Ligas.

The 13 and under division featured an outstanding field of young teams as Caitlin Howard and Almost Famous added to a winning week for the Howard family’s Sleepy Hollow Farm with the blue ribbon ride. Tim Roesink stepped aboard the fronty gelding to also add the stallion/gelding win.

The Scholl family enjoyed their trip south with numerous victories. Miranda Scholl and JLH Valerian topped an outstanding field to capture the Walk/Trot English Pleasure Championship. The dapper duo of Gradell’s Wild Reflection and Max Liberty gave their fans plenty to cheer about with their reserve championship performance.

The walk/trot pleasure qualifier saw Ariana Varveris earn the blue ribbon for the second year in a row. This time it was a winning catch ride aboard Merriehill Local Talent that netted the blue. Krista Dent had earlier ridden Local Talent to the winner’s circle in the Limit English Pleasure for Simply Southern.

World Champion Treble’s First Take and Mike Goebig opened the season in spectacular fashion earning the Junior English Pleasure Championship along with the four-year-old blue with owner Ann Hailey cheering them on. Jim Lowry directed a bright new entry in the three-year-old Kriskroft Keynote to the reserve tricolor for Dorothy Safanie’s Kriskroft Farm.

The get of Astronomicallee continue to impress as the white-trimmed Extremelee followed his victorious Dixie Cup debut with the blue ribbon ride in the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure with Dwayne Knowles aboard for Tony Lee and Shingle Branch Farm.

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. JAJ Bel Shashar added to his impressive list of show ring victories this year at Southern States. He closed out another great show for 21st Century Morgans by driving away with the Southern States Open Pleasure Driving Championship after topping the stallion/gelding class, guided by Jason Harrell. Tim Roesink handled the lines of the reserve champion for Kourt Jester Morgans as the three-year-old CBMF Stand By Me stepped up with a big Saturday night performance.

The Ladies Pleasure Driving blue and flowers were also captured by an entry of 21st Century Morgans. This time it was Leslie Minard and John Weslee who turned in an elegant performance to earn a trip down victory lane.

The amateur division featured a wealth of polished performances by top champions. Jack Gatewood took over the lines of daughter Amy’s two-time Amateur English Pleasure World Championship partner Nicoria and earned winning results with the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the amateur stallion/gelding blue. Last year’s tricolor pairing of Janet Morgan and RJM Roulette turned in a polished and consistent drive as well to capture the reserve championship honors and add to the banner at Broadmoor.

Tim Roesink had quite a string of youngsters as he presented the Junior Pleasure Driving Champion for the second year in a row. This time it was Grand National Champion HVK Sweet Obsession who carried the honors back to owner Barbara Lindauer. The bold-moving bay started off the week with a bright showing to earn the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic victory. Dantree Farm added a dynamic youngster to its string of champions as their homebred Dantree Night Call earned a well-received victory in the Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving followed by the Junior Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship, driven by David Rand.

It was a positive judgment for Judgement Day as Mike Goebig guided the Stonecroft Byzantine son to the Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving blue in his show ring debut for Judith and Kim Swartz.

Krista Dent had a bright new star in the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Champion KDS Kumite who claimed the tricolor with an expressive performance. Following a tricolor start to the show in-hand, Whitmorr American Beauty showed off her good looks for the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving blue and reserve tricolor with Tim Roesink presenting for Mary Morrette.

Classic Pleasure

The $6,000 plus Southern States Classic Pleasure Saddle Jackpot Championship closed out the 2006 show on a high note. A grand field of 16 answered the call with quality keeping up with quantity. Following some intense rail work, the entries were lined up to back and strip. Following the lineup, Judge Garn Walker asked three entries to go back to the rail for the only workout of the show.

In numerical order, Med-E-Oka French Morocco and Laurin Johnson, Coventry Isabella and Gina Torrez and Intrepid Immortal Beloved and Shelley Silber were called back to the rail. When the dust literally had settled, it was the world champion team of Intrepid Immortal Beloved and Shelley Silber who earned the distinction of carrying home the tricolor along with the winner’s share of $5,000. The winning Kourt Jester team also topped the ladies class directed by Tim Roesink. Gina Torrez and Coventry Isabella stepped up with a determined ride to carry home the reserve tricolor in this memorable class. Following a winning ride in the stallion/gelding class, Med-E-Oka French Morocco and Laurin Johnson added the yellow ribbon from the championship.

Lynn Muir and Merriehill Prom Night turned in a stylish ride to collect the blue ribbon in the Classic Pleasure Saddle Mares for the second year in a row for WSS Prestwick Farms, LLC under the direction of Lowry Stables. La Loma Wild Command and Trisha Brutus came away with a blue ribbon and a world of confidence from their winning ride in the Limit Classic Pleasure Saddle coached by Kris Cole. Terry King enjoyed a trip to the winner’s circle matched with her homebred King-Lehr’s Friar Tuck in the Junior Classic Pleasure Saddle under the Lookaway Farm banner.

Elise Merrill and RJH No Doubt enjoyed a winning transition to a new division as they collected the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor with two outstanding rides. It was a tricolor sweep for Bobbin Hollow Farm entries as Lauren Griffin guided RW String Of Pearls to the reserve tricolor for Lark Henry.

It was another memorable Southern States for Fran Pugh highlighted by an emotional retirement of World Champion Tara's War Eagle. While this great champion will never be replaced, Pugh was able to come up with a new champion for this division as she borrowed grandson Carl Johnson’s World Champion HVK Primary Light. It seemed like déjà vu all over again as Pugh drove down victory lane in the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. They started off with the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving blue directed by Ken Swanson. Coalition Royal Billing and June Davis continued their winning ways at Southern States with the blue ribbon drive in the stallion/gelding class followed by the Classic Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship.

The sleek, black Voodoo Vixen and Jim Griffin took a trip to the winner’s circle in the Classic Pleasure Driving Mares. Give A Little Whistle and Josh Miller turned in a stylish drive to carry the Limit Classic Pleasure Driving blue back to Whistle Stop Farm under the direction of Scott Thacker.

Carson Howard did a good job of keeping up with sisters Caitlin and Courtney as he teamed up with CSH Corydon’s Eclipse to win the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor for Sleepy Hollow Farm. Kathy Pierce and CBMF Touch The Stars were reaching for the stars as they earned the blue ribbon in the Junior Classic Pleasure Driving.

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. OO Right As Rain and Jordy Johns were right as rain in the eyes of Judge Garn Walker as they carried the Southern States Open Western Pleasure Championship back to Sarah Hudson. Chase Manhattan’s fan club cheered on their favorite as Cheri Barber guided Pat West’s magnificent stallion to the stallion/gelding victory as well as the reserve tricolor.

The mares earned their share of top honors as well, including a top winning pair from the state of Florida. PJM Sho-Bree-O and Allyson Hughes continued their winning path with dual blues in the ladies and mares classes for the second year in a row with polish and consistency. Cheri Barber and the elegant Gradell’s Delightful Wish added the Junior Western Pleasure blue and tricolor to a winning season for Drs. Jerome and Shirley Modell. Gloria Howell guided Bright Leaf’s Cannon Heir to the reserve titles in the junior division for Vicki and Mary Cannon.

Last year’s junior exhibitor winning team of Caitlin Harrison and Mtn Laurel Election Day made a smooth transition to the next level with a trio of winning performances. They closed out with the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship following matching blue ribbon rides in the amateur stallion/gelding and ladies amateur qualifiers directed by Dwayne Knowles. It was a big week for the western entries from Florida as Lora Dunlap and UVM Windfall jogged away with the Amateur Western Pleasure Reserve Championship as well as the blue ribbon from the amateur masters class.

Bethanne Ridgeway Metts and Radiance In Harmony teamed up for a victory pass in the Amateur Western Pleasure Mares. The AOTS Western Pleasure featured a blue ribbon performance for Johnson’s Libby Lee and Hailey Garbee. Iron Forge Red White And Blue and Jordy Johns displayed their colors for top honors in the gentlemen’s and limit classes for Stone House Stables.

Jill Eide and Where The Sidewalk Ends brought their winning ways to Raleigh as they added the Junior Exhibitor Western Pleasure blue and tricolor to the Stone House Stables banner. Adriana Liberty showed her versatile riding skills as she matched up with brother George Liberty’s Iron Forge Aire Borne for the reserve honors.

Courtney Howard enjoyed a pair of trips to the winner’s circle as she guided Claridge Nobl Ricochet to the Walk-Trot Western/Hunter Pleasure blue ribbon and tricolor encouraged by the Grove Pointe cheering section. Representing the hunter side, H-Vee Hawk’s Saralaine and Zoie O’Neal brought reserve honors back to Trotwood Stable.

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-Pauli presenting. They closed out the show with the Southern States Open Hunter Pleasure Championship following matching blues in the ladies and open mares qualifiers. HKS Lord Of The Dance continued his tricolor ways for Heatherstone Morgans as Michelle McCleester rode the handsome stallion/gelding winner to the reserve championship.

Jordy Johns donned his hunt attire to guide Troika’s Marko Polo to the winner’s circle in the gentlemen’s class for David Jensen.

World Champion Carmen Miranda enjoyed a victorious show ring return as owner Jamie Fiocco rode her to the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship following the amateur mares win. FCF Valparaiso and Jennifer Cooley reprised their role of a year ago earning the reserve tricolor as well as the ladies amateur blue. These titles were in addition to the amateur stallion/gelding win under the Lowry Stables banner. The youth blue also went back to Lowry Stables as Paradigm Power Surge and Sara De Gregorio stepped up to the next age bracket in winning fashion.

The Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship featured a tricolor finale to a great show for Ashley Dragan as she matched up with the smooth striding LCS Strategicallyspeaking for the tricolor under the Showcase Stables banner for Linda Groat and Laurence Stern. Emma Thompson and her bold performing BL Hana Bak Ibsen teamed up for the reserve tricolor.

The 14-17 qualifier saw Caitlyn Scholl and Trial And Error top the field with a polished ride. Rebecca Boorstein enjoyed a great show paired with MXM Breezy Knight that included the 13 and under blue, performing under the Lowry Stables banner for Equilateral Enterprises Inc.

Amanda DuPont-Pauli introduced another promising young hunter in TTA Knight Of Glory to earn the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship as well as the first year green win for Andrea Groeff. World Champion EKL Command The View started off the season with the UPHA Hunter Pleasure Classic win as well as the Junior Hunter Pleasure Reserve Championship with Fay Lowry aboard for Robert and Catherine De Gregorio.

Four Fields Mai Tie and Amy Daniels paired up for a pair of blue ribbon rides in the limit and junior classes over a strong field of entries.

In Hand

The in-hand competition got the Southern States Regional off to a rousing start on Wednesday morning. The mares were the first to enjoy center stage and it was the stylish Elie Tahari who enjoyed the runway as the Yearling Filly winner and Junior Champion Mare. Cheri Barber was on the lead of the three-quarter sister to Stonecroft Byzantine for owner/breeder Louise Shane. Tim Roesink started off a winning show for Grove Pointe Stables as he guided the well-named Whitmorr American Beauty to the Two-Year-Old Mare and Junior Champion Mare wins as well as the Reserve Grand Champion Mare honors for Mary Morrette.

Fire Pink’s Cozette kicked off a winning show for La Mirage Stables with the winning presentation in the Four-Year-Old Mare, guided by Chet Sowle for Beth Johnson and Fire Pink Morgans.

Judy Harris enjoyed a winning return to Southern States starting off with the Five and Over, Senior and Grand Champion Mare wins on the lead of Sheza Bell performing for Barbara and Arthur Jones. Voodoo Vixen cast her magic spell for the Reserve Senior Champion Mare honors for Jim Griffin.

Jim Griffin also collected the Three and Four-Year-Old Gelding blue with Mountain Run Windtalker with Dan Pavan on the lead.

JAJ Bel Shashar enjoyed another stellar Southern States for 21st Century Morgans as the showy bay posed for the Five and Over and Grand Champion Gelding honors. Mike Slomkowski and Showcase Stables brought a number of tricolors back to Michigan from Raleigh starting off with the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding title with Ability.

The stallion in-hand division closed out Wednesday morning's schedule of in-hand classes with Cheri Barber bringing out yet another impressive yearling. This time it was owner/breeder Pat West who cheered on Stony Pt Harlequin Romance to the Yearling Colt victory as well as the Reserve Junior Champion Stallion title.

The Tall Tails Farm breeding program introduced another exceptional youngster at Southern States this year in AWS Icon. This stunning colt sired by World Champion Continental Vision and out of World Champion Prediction announced his arrival winning the Two-Year-Old and Junior Champion Stallion titles as well as the Reserve Grand Champion Stallion honors presented by Scott Thacker.

Selvin Torrez started off an impressive show for owners Charles and Elizabeth Wyandt by leading Whitemud Summer Stars to the Three-Year-Old Stallion blue.

Tara's Firewalker returned to the site of his show ring debut to add more accolades to his impressive résumé. The handsome and athletic son of World Champions HVK Bell Flaire and Tara's Anasazi posed for the Four-Year-Old, Senior and Grand Champion Stallion titles with Ken Swanson on the lead for proud owners Krista and Nate Headley. The Born To Boogie son MCC Lady's First Dance collected the Five and Over Stallion blue along with the Reserve Senior Champion Stallion honors with stylish performances for David Glick under the direction of Jim McCleester.

Southern States featured a full selection of amateur in-hand classes with the mare division first to compete on Saturday morning. Hollybrook Harmony and Teresa Scheid made the winning presentation for the four and under blue along with the tricolor with five and over winner Voodoo Vixen in reserve for Jim Griffin.


The geldings were next, with the tricolor going back to the La Mirage banner with five and over winner Face The Nation for owner Dan Redman, while Sir Levi and Brooke Mercier picked up the reserve honors. 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 five and over stallion blue as well as the stallion championship. June Davis and Coalition Royal Billing successfully defended their victory in the Justin Morgan Standard class of a year ago.


After a career filled with great accomplishments, Ashley Dragan is entering her final season as a junior exhibitor with focus and determination. Matched with Stonecroft Make A Wish, Dragan and trainers Mike and Ann Slomkowski have begun what looks to be a memorable season. Dragan showed the complete picture on the rail and the workouts to earn the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the UPHA Challenge Cup and 14-17 blue. Following a winning ride in the AMHA Saddle Seat Medal, Caitlyn Scholl showed off her skills to be named Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Champion coached by her mom Heidi Scholl. Displaying versatility as well, Scholl also topped the Hunt Seat Equitation 14-17.

Little sister Miranda Scholl showed off her riding abilities as well to earn matching blues in the Walk/Trot Saddle Seat Equitation and Walk/Trot Hunt/Western Seat Equitation. Pert Carley Pavan earned a trip to the winner’s circle with a bold ride aboard Windward’s Cassiopeia in the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and Under.

Southern States was a show to remember for Rebecca Boorstein as she matched up with her new horse MXM Breezy Knight to be named the Hunt Seat Equitation Champion as well as the 13 and under winner coached by Jamie Gerardi. AMHA Hunt Seat Medal winner Elizabeth Fawcett finished off with the Hunt Seat Equitation Reserve Championship under the Trotwood Stables banner.

Jill Eide added the Western Seat Equitation blue to her list of accomplishments aboard Where The Sidewalk Ends. Spencer Shelby Conklin qualified for a trip to Oklahoma with the victory pass in the AMHA Western Seat Medal aboard Tara’s Zeus.

Annie Walker earned dual blues in the Dressage Seat Equitation and AMHA Dressage Medal competing with Rose Valley Roman. Rebecca Jones collected the Fitting and Showmanship blue 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 Sting and Bill Silber buzzing across the finish line to collect the tricolor following the qualifier blue as part of a victorious show for Kourt Jester Morgans. Grace Steere had a great time showing her newest speedster JW Raire Review, and they revved up the jets to show off for their fans with the reserve honors.

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 and Lora Dunlap earned several top ribbons on their way to the award. The Working Hunter High Point Awards featured novice and Overall Champion CN Command Attention and Kristine Komosa for Cindy Nord, Working Hunter Champion Ensbrook Evita and Amanda DuPont-Pauli for Kathy Pierce and Low Hunter Champion MXM Breezy Knight and Jamie Gerardi for Equilateral Enterprises Inc.

The dressage competition featured High Point Champions Junior Rider Champion Kim Fullerton and Indian Summer Firefly, Senior Rider Champion Lora Dunlap and I’m Irish, Intro Level Champion WH Masai and Pat West, Training Level Champion Rose Valley Roman and Annie Walker, Second Level and Above Champion CN Get The Touch and Kristine Komosa for Cindy Nord, Sport Horse Suitability Champion I’m Irish and Lora Dunlap. The Carriage Driving High Point Championship top honors went to TW Ever Ready and Robin Foster.

The sport horse competitions also featured winning performances by Strike It Rich and Sally Lawing, BPF Majesty’s Command and Isabel Wilcher, FCL Just A Miracle and Rebecca Jones, Hollybrook Tiphany’s Legacy and Victoria Daley, FCF Valmont and Spencer Shelby Conklin, Statesman’s Courage and Gloria Ripperton, October Radiance and Susan Walker, Chosum Harmony and Suzette Boiselle and AHD Blue Moons Eclipse and Megan Bliss.

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