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Two Worlds Meet - Roaonke Valley

SALEM, Va. - The historically enchanting town of Salem opened it’s arms once again this year for the 31st Roanoke Valley Horse Show. It is a place where the Hunter/Jumper and Saddlebred worlds meet with one thing in common - the horses.

The quaint town of Salem and it’s neighboring city, Roanoke, really get into the spirit of the horse show. Several billboards could be seen dotting the roads proclaiming, “The horses are coming!”, while banners hung in the midst of downtown Salem. Roanoke, a favorite to many certainly has it’s own ambiance that is hard to describe unless you’ve been there.

Saddlebred exhibitors get a taste of a much larger crowd, which only adds to the excitement of the show ring, as spectators from all over come to enjoy the competition. The stands are full every night, making it feel like a true horse show.

The schedule at the horse show is a bit different than usual, as the Saturday night stake classes are over by 8:00 or 8:30, at which time, the much awaited Grand Prix is held. With 27 horses competing, and 11 of those making it to the jump-off, the 2002 Grand Prix certainly was exciting. Nonix Le Parc and Aaron Vale were the pair to come out victorious, taking home the esteemed win.

Another highlight of the week was the Jack Russell Terrier Races which were held in between the Junior/Amateur Owner Roanoke Jumper Classic and the evening session. People had talked about the races all week, and everyone was there to watch. Those little dogs really get into a good race.

The show committee had many activities outside of the show ring for exhibitors to enjoy. An exhibitor’s party was held after the show on Thursday evening, a junior exhibitor’s splash party was held at the Holiday Inn Hotel, a golf tournament was held on Wednesday morning, and a continental breakfast was available to all exhibitor’s every morning. Fran Crumpler held the judging duties for the Saddlebred and Hackney divisions.

Though numbers were down this year, and many regular exhibitors did not include Roanoke in their show schedule, nothing could shake that old-fashioned horse show feeling that Roanoke is famous for. Despite all that, many people stepped up to the plate and made stake night a real treat. Eight entries all vied for the gaited stake win with six entries gracing the ring for the walk/trot stake. With the enormous crowd and the large number of horses showing back, Saturday night was truly enjoyable.

Eight competitive entries trotted through the gate for the Five Gaited Championship with a huge crowd already waiting to welcome them. It was exciting to see so many entries in the championship, as the open divisions have been somewhat light this year. The exciting entry of Prairie Dancer and Paul Boone were truly a sight to take the tricolor for Alice Lydia and Kathy Berger. Berger had already taken the reins, riding this fine horse to the ladies qualifier blue.

The open qualifier heralded Katie’s Rob Roy and Shirley Trail in the winner’s circle. The Virginia-Owned Five Gaited class saw Bluebonnet’s Wild Thing and Joy Bowman for the blue.

Callaway’s Hannah Cole and Barclay deWet made a terrific show to earn the amateur title in the stake after their win in the amateur mare qualifier for Leatherwood Farm. Red Oak’s Robin and Emily Jarrett were called for the amateur stallion/gelding qualifier.

In the junior exhibitor stake, it was Callaway’s Rhapsody In Blue and Andrew DeGrace for the qualifier blue and tricolor for Deborah DeGrace.

Smith Lilly made quite a show with the well-known entry of Leatherwood Farm, Have You Ever for the tricolor in the junior horse stake. This pair had spectators on the edge of their seats last year and proved to do the same this year as well. Lilly seems to have a way with young gaited horses and guided Resplendent to the three-year-old blue for Sue Nifong and Silverlin Farm.

Visa Gold made quite a show in the Civic Center with his trusty partner, Shannon Harris in the irons to take the pony qualifier blue and stake tricolor.

Tim McGraw, no, not the country singer, but the horse with James Lawrence in the irons took the blue in the novice gaited class for Mary Schmidt.

Six extremely talented entries hit the gate in the Three Gaited Championship, making for a tough class. Matt Shiflet guided the winner to both the open qualifier win and the championship for Gaited Inc. That entry was a gorgeous bay by the name of Lace Elegant who is better than ever and right on the mark this season under the new direction of Diamond View Farm.

Classic Colors and Stefanie Lackey Sanchez were just right to take the ladies qualifier blue to add to the West Wind banner. In the Virginia-Owned class, the fixy entry of Margo Feldman, The Sleeper, never faltered a step to take the blue. The amateur stake was yet another competitive stake. My Wicked Ways and Carol Reedy were just the pair to take both the qualifier blue and stake tricolor.

The newly formed team of French Silk Stockings and Allison Combs made yet another great show under the Mercer Springs banner, riding to the winner’s circle in the the junior exhibitor stake and 13 & under qualifier. Game of Superiority and Shaye Coleman were the ones to beat in the 14-17 qualifier, under the direction of Margaret Gardiner.

Claude Shiflet made a great show aboard Attache’s Touched By An Angel for the junior horse stake for Barbara Baker. Bill Shiflet then led Champagne Reve to the UPHA Three-Year-Old Classic win for Riley Shiflet, keeping it all in the family.

Level Loop’s Duchess of Earl and Charles Lee took top honors in the novice class for Margo Feldman. Dawn Juan GAF and Lauren Pyes made a superb show for the Three Gaited Pony qualifier and stake under the Cricket Hill banner.

Deerhaven’s Stay Tuned with Andre Fourie in the irons carried away with the open qualifier blue and stake wins in the park division, which was quite deep. Amanda O’Keefe and Bonnie Buck made two terrific shows for the amateur park qualifier and stake wins. The talented entry of Velvet Daybreak with Lynellen Gregory in the irons made a great show for the junior exhibitor championship win. Blue Ridge Miles and Kristen Fields were the blue ribbon winners in the qualifier.

The Fine Harness Championship heralded six entries. New York Trend and Kim Cowart made a beautiful show for the Fine Harness Grand Championship tricolor for Sharyn Lackey and Stefanie Sanchez. Sanchez was at the whip to take the blue in the amateur qualifier. The former Harness World's Champion returned to the harness division for the first time in 2002 to make a winning debut. Manhattan Madness and Larry Mckemy took the open blue for Virginia H. Gruenwald.

Shamrock’s Mint To Be and Jimmy Nixon made a great show for the junior class. Catalytic with Cash Lovell at the whip was right on target for the blue in the three-year-old class for Susan Hollowell. The two-year-old division saw the flashy, Shamrock’s Firestarter and Karin Folkers take the blue for Mr. and Mrs. Mike Knick.

Many talented equitation riders came from several different places to compete and qualify for the various national finals later this season at Roanoke. Devon Garone went home as the Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion after great rail work and superb pattern work for Fairfield South. She also took the blue in the 14-17 qualifier.

The elegant riding and Cricket Hill instructed, Kristine Higgins was the top rider in the USAE Saddle Seat Medal class and the UPHA Challenge Cup, completing both her pattern and rail work to perfection.

The beautifully riding, Tasha Rose Sandler was perfectly turned out for the NHS Saddle Seat Event win under the instruction of Shadow Run.

Being one of an exclusive group of male equitation riders, Kyle Gagnon seems to always catch your eye with his skill and determination. Those characteristics paid off for him, to take the blue in the 13 and under qualifier under the instruction of Cricket Hill.

In the 10 & under walk/trot class and the UPHA 10 & under walk/trot, it was the small yet mighty Alexandra Waller for the blue. This talented little lady is instructed at Shadow Run. In the pleasure equitation class, it was Pure Imagination and Andrea Gregory in for the blue.

The Five Gaited Show Pleasure division is proving to be one of the most competitive ones this season, and Roanoke was no exception. Fourteen entries vied for the tricolor in the championship. At the last moment they divided the class instead into an adult division and a junior exhibitor divisional championship because 19 entries were expected to hit the ring. Not only was this a large class, but a good one. In the end the judges selection was Classic Selection with Julie Simmons in the irons. Harlem’s Hot Scoop and Lisa Dabareiner were the qualifier winners.

The sporty entry CH The Bodega Bay, with Tasha Rose Sandler in the irons was the one to beat in the junior exhibitor championship, taking home the tricolor to Shadow Run. My Hatteras and Devon Garone took the blue in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

In the Park Pleasure Four-Year-Old division, it was the sporty Callaway’s Star Bright and Lewis Meadows for the blue for Paul Monty. In the three-year-old class, Cindy Lou Who and Kim Cowart were the ones to beat.

The show pleasure divisions were strong as usual. Highpoint’s Top Hat and Holli Ciardiello were the tricolor ribbon wearers in a field of 12 in the adult championship as well as taking the blue in the 18-40 qualifier. Spool’s Top Star and Dianne Tambussi were the blue ribbon winners in the 40 & over qualifier. Shamrock’s Versace and Heather Tobey took the Virginia-Owned qualifier for Rebecca Tobey.

Santana’s Cheer Me On and Jenna Fields made a terrific show for the junior exhibitor 14-17 qualifier and 14-17 championship. In the 13 and under qualifier and championship, it was the talented team of Hakeem The Dream and Elizabeth Dirth for the blue.

CH Santana’s Night Moves and Miriam Adams made a great show for the driving qualifier and championship titles. This pair became a team after the Asheville Lions Club Show. The sporty CH Herculean and Shaye Coleman made a great show for the ASHAF Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Challenge.

Will’s Willy and Kathryn Fulper made their trip down victory lane in the Open Walk/Trot Show Pleasure class for Margaret Gardiner. In the pony division, it was Santana’s Flaming Dawn and Ali Deutsch in for the win for Davis Road Farm. My Brown Eyed Girl and Whitney Bennett were the blue ribbon winners in the qualifier.

In the Adult Country Pleasure Championship, My Fair Prince and Susan Hanna took top honors after their win in the adult qualifier. By Design and Terry Wilson were the ones to beat in the Virginia-Owned class.

The sporty Cartel, with Stevie Bagdasarian in the irons was unbeatable to win the junior exhibitor championship and 14-17 qualifier for Kristen Bagdasarian. I’ll Tell You What and Mallory Newcomb took the 13 and under qualifier for Cindy Dougherty.

In the driving division, it was Wild Rumor and Jim Bailey in for the tricolor win for Cathy Bailey. Redneck Romeo with Mary Schmidt at the whip was the blue ribbon winner in the qualifier.

In the Western Country Pleasure Championship, Beaux’s Radiant Empire and Pat Yeatts were the team to beat. Sultan’s Secret R and Debra Hedin took the blue in the qualifier as well as the Shatner western pleasure class.

Boogieman with Beth Barksdale at the whip were the speedy team to take the tricolor in the Roadster Horse Grand Championship and the amateur qualifier.

Bent Tree Farm enjoyed a successful week with their talented ponies. Vindicator with Karen Waldron at the whip were a sight to take the tricolor in the Harness Pony Championship and amateur qualifier. Night Editor, a son of Vindicator, showed his good genes with a win in the Open Harness Pony class with Mark Wilson at the whip for Bent Tree Farm.

Ooh! La La was elegant as can be to take the victory pass in the Hackney Pony Championship and open qualifier with Karen Waldron at the lines. In the pleasure division, it was Cover Story and Brenda Rappaport in for the tricolor and qualifier blue for Wireless Valley Farms.

Rare Wine and M.L. Gray raced their way to the winner’s circle in the road pony championship for Reese Woody. Heartland Sundust with Gary Garone in the bike was the one to beat in the open qualifier. In the amateur championship and qualifier, it was Coach Light’s Shockwave and Cindy Jackson taking the silver.

The junior exhibitor division championship and qualifier saw Stingray Jr. and Austin Harrison racing away with top honors for the Dr. Ron Arrick Family. Twin Willow’s Promise and Mark Wilson were the novice winners for Austin Harrison. C’est Moi and Christie Van As took home the AHHS Youth Medallion Roadster Pony Under Saddle win for Bent Tree Farm. Heartland Diplomat and Jayme Zirkle took the blue in the AHHS Youth Medallion Driving class for Sandy Zirkle.

The Friesian division was extremely strong with five horses in both qualifier and stake. In both classes, it was the gorgeous, Floris and Karen Waldron to take the silver back to Bent Tree Farm.

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