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Tropical Fun at Mid-South Spring Premier

by Reagan Huguley

Mid-South Spring Premier was the place to be at the Celebration Arena in
Decatur, Ala. This is always a fun and hospitable show and this year was no exception. The show hosted a good number of quality horses from throughout the Southeast. Friday night’s entertainment featured a Hawaiian luau with a hula-hoop contest, volleyball games and tropical music. As always, Charles Byron was everywhere at once, making sure exhibitors’ needs were met and this exceptionally well-run show went without a hitch. The exhibitors experienced moderate rainfall and chilly weather during the beginning of the show, but that did not affect the competition as Judge Martin Teater presided over the well-filled classes.


This year’s Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake was as competitive as ever. Suzanne Hubbard rode Mountainview’s Nite Dancer for Kaye Bowles Durnell to the winner’s circle followed up by Callaway’s Holy Moly with Rachel Seifert in the irons.

The crowd cheered as Starlets Commendable entered the ring with Beth Kunkel, who gave two jaw-dropping performances to take the Amateur Five Gaited Stake and qualifier.
Tabasco’s Chili Pepper and Fraser MacKenzie were crowned the reserve grand champion, and Sandra Fox with her new mount I’ve Been Dared took the red in the qualifier.

Daughter to
Sandra, Brittany Fox, and her flashy black gelding He’s Come Undone won the junior exhibitor championship after taking the reserve earlier that week. Taking the reserve in the championship was Midnight Spice and Kaitlin Winegardner who had the pleasure of taking the victory pass in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

Deborah Richardson had a fantastic week, starting off with her win aboard Callaway’s Said And Done in the Novice Five-Gaited class. Armon Effinger presented Vintage Ninety-Nine to the reserve. Taking the blue in the Junior Five-Gaited class was Future So Fine with Ed Millet in the saddle. Judge Teater tied Last Shot of Tequila under the direction of Julia Lecroy for the win in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class. With only one entry in the five-gaited pony division, Hannah Padgett had two very nice rides on Run For The Border to capture the tricolor and the blue ribbons.


In the Three-Gaited Jackpot Stake, James Nichols rode the elegant Sipping Champagne to the tricolor for Thea Ervin, and Love To Dance ridden by Joyce Webster took the reserve.

Steva Austill was all grins and giggles after being crowned the Amateur Three-Gaited Grand Champion aboard A Promised Jewel. Squash Creek, ridden by Vickie Honeycutt, placed reserve after winning the qualifier. One entry answered the gate call for the junior exhibitor division. Emily Schwebke and Soulmate had two fantastic rides to be named the champions of that division.

Kalarama’s Sparkle Plenty and Jon Wallace took the blue in the Junior Three-Gaited class. Sonar Sue and Katherine Conner won the Three Gaited Pony Championship and qualifier.


James Nichols made a strong performance in the Three-Gaited Park Championship riding Shady Creek’s Sensation for Gayle Jones followed by Magic Water and Todd Walker to take the reserve. Janet Crampton-Herd rode Carolina Emerald Kay for a victory pass in the open park qualifier.

Deborah Richardson unleashed her “secret” with Secret Cash Deposit, who was overwhelmingly declared the Amateur Park Grand Champion and Champion. Reserve in both amateur classes went to Sin City Lights and Melanie Stivers.

Suzanne Hubbard had an outstanding ride on
Denmark’s Encore to win the blue in the junior park class, and Cataprophet ridden by Jon Wallace earned the red.

Fine Harness

Light in entries but not in quality, the Fine Harness Stake champion was Nefheirtari driven by Virginia Polley, and the reserve champion was Callaway’s Carnegie Hall with John Wrather at the lines.

Roadsters and Ponies

Steve Crabtree raced his way to the winner’s circle in the Roadster to Bike Championship and qualifier, driving Dancin for Dollars. I Can Book booked his way to the reserve ribbon in both classes with James Nichols in the sulky. The champion in the Amateur Road Horse class went to the famous Ché with Andrew Mirabole in the bike. Judy Harrison and Risky Business drove for the reserve. Husband and wife team swept the Roadster Under Saddle class with wife Alison Walker and Big Show claiming the blue over husband Todd Walker and Sight Unseen who took second.


It was no surprise that Surprise Me and Jessie Pettie won the Road Pony Championship. Frank Polley, who chose not to return in the championship, had an outstanding drive with his pony Seamair Twice As Nice to win the Open Road Pony class. Amateur Road Pony Champion was Seamair Philosopher and Richard Bornemeier. The reserve champion was Edgar with Rachel Seifert at the lines.

Harness/Hackney Ponies

Harness Pony Championship and qualifier went to Romeo’s Best Girl LF and Abel Vega. Reserve in both classes was Cascade and Sharon Chrisman. Abel Vega also took the Hackney Pony Championship and qualifier with Highlander. Luv Ya Baby and Jessie Pettie were named the grand champions and champions of the pleasure driving pony division. Wild Wind driven by Charlotte Wrather took the reserve in both classes.


Between The Lines and Gwen Korfhage were declared the top of the five-gaited pleasure division, winning the championship after being reserve in the qualifier behind Deborah Richardson and Callaway’s Confidant.


Laura Dozer and her mount Lookin Yonder had two outstanding rides to be crowned the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Champions and Champions. Wisp of Heir ridden by LeAnne Huls took the reserve championship ribbon, and Zeitgeist ridden by Virginia Polley picked up the red ribbon in the qualifier.


The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship tricolor went to Hans Solo and Nicole McSweeney who was reserve in the 13 and under pleasure class behind Romantic Magdalena and Madison Mahaffey. Love Shack and Samantha Lemberg won the blue in the show pleasure 14-17 division, with Evening Event and Ben Gray close behind. Sultan’s Miracle Man and Alyssa Barrett topped a field of 10 to win the Novice Rider Show Pleasure class. Everest ridden by Lisa Eriksen was tied for the red ribbon.


Double Click made his driving debut as the Show Pleasure Driving Grand Champion followed by Romantic Magdalena. These two stellar driving horses played reverse roles in the qualifier.

The Lion King was the king of adult country pleasure division, winning both the championship and qualifier. Followed up both times were Honey Brown and Deborah Richardson. A tough field of competitors entered the gate in the junior exhibitor division but in the end, Southeast’s well-known Americana’s Flight and Alexis Braswell claimed both titles in this highly competitive division.


These are some of the highlights from Mid-South Spring Premier. Complete results may be viewed by clicking on Show Results.

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