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Spirits Soared At Southeastern

Posted October 2, 2001

by R. T. Hudgins

CONYERS, Ga., - Spirits and entries were up at the 30th annual Southeastern Charity Horse Show, held Sept. 19 - 22, 2001 at the beautiful Georgia International Horse Park just outside of Atlanta.

Despite the national tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as the passing of several key and endeared members of the show horse community, exhibitors kept their chin up and knew that their fellow Americans and loved ones would want them to carry on.

And carry on they did! A record number of horses filled all the available stalls at the horse park and necessitated show management to put up two tents to house the increase in entries.

“We were up 40 horses over last year,” George Anne Nash, show chairman, said. “It is definitely the most horses we have ever had here or even at Will’s Park.”

The show continues to thrive due to the hard and enthusiastic work of the volunteer horse show board and the members of the Junior League of Atlanta, who’s charitable efforts are supported by the show’s proceeds. Show manager Jim Ruwoldt and chairman Nash have been involved in the show all of its 30 colorful years.

Southeastern’s signature red carpet of hospitality was again rolled out. The junior league members staffed the popular ringside club and served dinner and drinks each evening to anyone who made a contribution to the charity show. The show committee served breakfast to the trainers and their staffs each morning and the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia served lunch on Wednesday in the attractive courtyard in the center of the stable area. The show again threw a big exhibitor’s party Friday evening at the park’s golf club house complete with music and food. Saturday was again the junior league’s family day. The league members gave pony rides, painted faces, held stick horse races and other activities for the kids.

Dodie Stockton was inducted into the Southeastern Hall of Fame. The gracious Southern lady and her family have been long-time and successful exhibitors from Georgia. A tribute to Stockton adjoins this article.

The winning was spread out figuratively and literally as more than 35 stables from eight different states left with blue ribbons awarded by judge Ricky Harris. Ruth Gimpel from Florida, Peter and Kim Cowart and Paul and Betsy Boone from North Carolina, Bill and Lisa Waller from Tennessee, and Bobby Gatlin and Brian and Susan Reimer from Georgia had especially good shows with multiple blues won.

More than one blue ribbon was also seen hanging on the tack drapes of Judd Stables, Blythewood Farms, Pete Reeves Stables, Cryst-A-Kell Farm, McConnell Stables, Buffalo Creek Farm, Grey Ridge Farm, Bill Schoeman Stables, Cardinal Farms, Jon Walker Stables, Tim Henderson Stables, Fairhope Stables, Omega Farm, Beth Pittman Stables, Horseshoe Farm, Erik Kirsch Stables, and Chrissy Lloyd.

Tip Top Stables, Castle Hills Farm, James Hale Stables, Cleveland Park Stables, Calibogue Stables, Quail Hollow Farm, Oak Lane Farm, Jeanne Waddell, and Barbara Goda also left with a hard-to-win Southeastern blue ribbon.

The show continued with its open jackpot stakes. Horses did not have to qualify and the prize money was increased. With the show’s close proximity to the close of Louisville, trainers had the option of showing their horses one time. The jackpot format also added to the excitement of Saturday evening as spectators saw several top contenders hit the ring for the first time.

For the complete show story see the printed edition of Saddle Horse Report dated October 1, 2001.

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