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Tanbark....The Show For Everyone!



by Sally McCue Grieme

SPRINGFIELD, Minn. - Over 300 entries gathered at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to make the 49th annual Tanbark Cavalcade of Roses a successful event. Although tornadoes threatened the area twice during the week, both horses and exhibitors made it through the show unscathed! Tuesday evening before the show, several tornadoes ravaged the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, missing the fairgrounds and on Saturday night, warnings were underway during the championship classes. "The show must go on" rule applied, and classes went undelayed. Although warm up was difficult with torrential downpours, exhibitors and officials handled the situation well, and the show ran smoothly.

Year after year, Tanbark is called "the show for everyone" because they host such a wide variety of classes. This show is oriented toward the Saddlebreds and ponies, but hosts a full roster of equitation and academy classes as well. The ring at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds is one of the nicest for competition and many of the finest barns in the Midwest are on board for this show.

As always in this part of the country, hospitality is paramount, and this show is no exception! Wednesday night was National Horseman's cheesecake party. On Thursday night, exhibitors were treated to a spaghetti dinner at the Volz Stables. Native Minnesotan, Cary Volz and her staff were on hand to host the party and make sure no one left hungry! Friday night was the annual exhibitor's party following the performance, and Saturday morning, Center Pointe Farm was the center of activity for the exhibitor's breakfast. A beautiful buffet was provided by the folks at Center Pointe Farm prior to the Saturday morning show. In addition to the parties, a silent auction was held, which turned out to be quite a success again this year.

Show manager Donna Williams was excited about the turnout at the 49th edition of Tanbark. "We're actually up in numbers over last year, but I think besides the numbers, the overall quality of horses really improved as well," Williams said. She added that people really enjoy the "family" atmosphere at Tanbark. "It's really fun to see exhibitors bring their small children, dogs....the entire family comes and enjoys themselves."

When asked what makes this show a success, Williams did not hesitate. "So many members of our horse show committee have worked together for many years. Everyone does their job, and they do it well, and everyone gets along."

Next year will be Tanbark's 50th anniversary, and Williams said plans are already in the works. "We have several ideas, it will definitely be something special," she added.

For the past several years Tanbark has benefited the "We Can Ride" therapeutic horseback riding and driving program. Through this program, people with special needs and challenges increase their independence and confidence. Each evening, participants and volunteers provided a demonstration of their accomplishments on horseback. It is truly amazing how therapeutic and healing the horses we all love so dearly can be!

This year 129 classes were held throughout the four-day event. The judges for all events this year were Michael Craghead of Livermore, Calif., Sandra Lilly of Princeton, W. Va., and Steve Allred of Winston Salem, N.C.

Some of the show ring highlights included Andy Freseth and Downtown Strutter winning the Five-Gaited Championship for Nancy Leigh-Fisher. Kenny Smith presented Mahvalous Asset to the reserve honors for Royal Scot Stables.

Minnesota trainer Tom Scott was aboard One Worth Lady for the Three-Gaited Championship. Roger and Jeff Radunz were the winning owners. Rick Wallen had the reserve grand champion in Star Hill Farm's The Border Star.

Returning to the division where she started out so glamourously, Callaway's Head Of Heels captured the Fine Harness Championship and amateur qualifier. Desiree DeVries was at the whip of reserve grand champion Miz Ann Emily BH.

Dr. Alan Raun and his Reedannland steeds were back in full force. Callaway's Potpourri was their Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Champion with sharp riding Anne Skiba in the irons. Kristen Pettry and the many times champion Cash Back took reserve grand champion honors back to Royal Scot Stables.

Donna Beck had the top drive in the Harness Pony Championship with her Wait & See Winter Hawk. Woodlane Farm's Heartland Dear One marched to the reserve championship streamers.

Heartland Sundust and Priscilla Gise left the competition in the dust for the Road Pony Championship and qualifier. Mike Schallock was on their heels with Heartland Picture Perfect.

Linda Zelm was the top rider from the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship with Nothin But Spice. Beth Roth claimed reserve honors riding Rare Justice.

When the tricolor was awarded in the Ladies Three-Gaited Championship, it went to qualifying winner Times Mirrored ERB, again catch ridden by Carrie Warner for Barbara Mielke. The Open Park Horse Stake also returned to Hollow Haven Farm with Teddi Renee Estes and Delay. Ray Manahan and Toy Story finished as reserve grand champions.

Adult Show Pleasure competition was extremely deep. Fresh off a win and a reserve grand championship at Midwest Mary Jane Gralton and A Magic Spell continued their winning streak with a tricolor ride at Tanbark. Scott and Carol Matton directed their winning performances. Under the direction of Dick Obenauf, Claudia Gardner and the home-bred CH Bella Marietta emerged from the line up with the reserve grand championship.

Tom Scott was back in the winner's circle with The Orion taking the Park Pleasure Championship for Donna Williams. Lyle Wick had the reserve champion in Maggie Verver.

From the Country Pleasure Driving Championship Nancy Anderson and Callaway's Pretty Penny displayed their winning form pass after pass. The closest competition came from Glendales Royal Irish and Kathy Rhoades.

Anderson's husband, Bob, likewise had two winning drives taking the Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier with world's grand champion Pacifico's Standing Ovation.

From Knollwood Farm, Michelle Krentz delivered another flawless ride to capture the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Her closest competition was the sharp riding Mandy Martin of Northern Tradition Farm.

These were just a few of the highlights from the 2002 Tanbark competition. Complete results of the show follow, or you can view the results on our website at www.saddlehorsereport.com.

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