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Wild West Fun at Carolina Classic

by Lauren Camp and Mary Daughtry

WILLIAMSTON, N.C.- The eighth annual Carolina Classic Benefit Horse Show hosted some especially nice entries this year. With 10 of the 50 states and some entries from
Canada represented, this show was both versatile and exciting. The event was staged at the state-of-the-art Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, located 30 miles from the picturesque North Carolina coast.

Show Manager Ray Cloninger out-did himself yet again this year, hosting the exhibitors’ party at the fun-filled Deadwood Ghost Town on Friday night. Deadwood, located only five miles from the show grounds, is a “wild west” ghost town, complete with train rides, line dancing, putt-putt and the best barbecue in the area. The party is always a big hit with exhibitors of all ages. Farrier Wayne Murray also provided his own entertainment for exhibitors by singing several popular country songs. Needless to say, he was the hit of the party.

A dog show was held on Saturday night before the show, with many of the exhibitors bringing their prized pooches out to compete under the excellent eyes of dog show judge Myra Williams. The 10 classes included costume class, dog that looks most like his or her owner and Best in Show. The top honors for Best in Show belonged to “Molly,” the extremely talented beagle of Dr. Teresa Miller. Molly’s tricks included jumping through hoops, dancing and saying her prayers.

The Carolina Classic benefits the Martin County Community College’s equine science program and other local charities. During the show a silent auction was conducted with the proceeds benefiting local charities as well.

Expert judge Patty Kent traveled from Chesapeake, Ohio to mark the cards and Wyatt Lilly announced. Tripping up from Flagler Beach, Fla., was photographer Bob Moseder to capture the winning moments, while Horse Videos did an excellent job of filming the classes. Serenading the exhibitors and spectators with melodious organ music was Robert N. Dunham from Wellsboro, Penn., while local ringmaster Carla Bowen looked after the welfare of all showing. Keeping things running smooth behind the scenes were show secretaries Joyce Wilson and Barbara Woodlief.


Although only two horses answered the gate call on Saturday night, the Five-Gaited Championship was anything but boring. Midge Hunt and Dr. Wendy Troyer battled it out, pass after pass, with the crowd cheering the whole way. New owner Dr. Wendy Troyer and the awe-inspiring Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe came out on top. “Dominoe” also claimed the first place vote in the five-gaited open class with new trainer Paul Boone on Thursday night.

Reserve in both classes belonged to Midge Hunt on the busy Bluebonnet’s Wild Thing for owners Joy and Robert Bowman.

The competitive five-gaited amateur division is always impressive and coming away with top honors in both the qualifier and championship was the lively He’s Real Good and ecstatic owner/exhibitor Mary Jane Curtis. Stepping into reserve in the amateur championship was Shamrock’s Free Step and Janelle D’Amato, with Black Berry and Kay Hardison taking reserve in the qualifier. Shamrock’s Free Step and D’Amato strode skillfully into victory in the Ladies Five-gaited class, leaving Justine Janzen and the young Jewellspell to take reserve.

As always a nice class of four entries came out to compete for the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship, however, the blue ribbon belong to the many time champion CH Dusty Beau and Rebekah Cloninger who also took blue in the qualifier. Coming out on top of the other three entries were SDR’s Calypso Rhythm and Katherine O’Brien in both the championship and the qualifier.

The ever-busy Midge Hunt topped off both the Five-Gaited Novice Horse class and the Five-Gaited Junior Horse class with spotless rides aboard Came To Party, owned by Dr. Kim Blackwell. Taking the red ribbon in the Five-Gaited Novice Horse class was Janelle D’Amato in the saddle for Jansal Saddlebreds, LLC on Sir Attitude. James River Rogue took reserve in the Junior Five-Gaited class with Dale Sloat in the irons for Sarah and Ron Miller.

Size does not matter, and this proved true in the Five-Gaited Pony classes. The junior exhibitors are awfully fond of their perky ponies and several nice entries turned up to compete for top honors in the pony classes. Flying into the winner’s circle was I Believe I Can Fly and Sarah Longworth who took reserve in the qualifier. The blue ribbon in the pony qualifier belonged to Rebekah Cloninger and Jewelled Star.


Woulda Coulda Shoulda and Aimee Austin topped off a nice class of three-gaited amateur horses for the blues in both the championship and the qualifier. Reserve ribbons went to Peri’s Wild Whisper and Sarah Miller in the championship, with Periaptor’s Dancing Star and Dr. Teresa Miller taking the red ribbon in the qualifier.

Three very showy entries showed up for the Three-Gaited Saddle Pony Championship. Elegantly stepping into the winner’s circle for both the championship and the qualifier was Royalty In Black with Allie Wellington in the irons. Taking the reserve ribbons in both classes was the snappy little pony Sarah Katherine and Lauren Henderson.


Destined for stardom on Saturday night in the Park Horse Championship were Certainly A Star and catch-rider Vickie Byrd. This striking pair also captured the blue on Thursday night in the qualifier. Reserve honors in both classes belonged to I Share The Secret and Cathy Hackney.

Four top entries made the gate call on Saturday night for the Amateur Park Horse Championship. Taking home the tricolor were Julie H. Simmons and Force Majeure who also won the blue in the qualifier. Capturing the red ribbon for reserve in both the championship and the qualifier was CH Harlem’s Black Magic and Gale Walton.

Katie’s Dream and Britt Mitchell won the blue on Saturday night in the Junior Exhibitor Park Championship repeating their performance from the Thursday night qualifier. Here’s Beanski and Lindsey Gettig finished reserve in both the championship and qualifier.


Absolutely elegant in the Fine Harness Championship and qualifier was the lively Catalytic and owner/driver Susan Hollowell. This Cash Lovell-trained team was simply striking, taking home the tricolor and the blue. Reserve honors in both classes went to Phil Godsey and Stuck On You.


Blazing down the straightaway for the Roadster to Bike Open Championship was Gun On The Run with Luis Angle for Steve Crabtree of
Elizabethtown, Ky. Gun On The Run also won the Open Roaster qualifier with trainer Steve Hanks in the bike on Thursday night.

Blue ribbons must be contagious at Steve Hanks Stables as The Dreamer and Sean Lassett sped away with the tricolor under Hanks’ direction in the Roadster Horse Under Saddle. Rebekah Cloninger and Diamond Hustler took reserve honors in both the championship and qualifier. These two junior exhibitors were a sight to see speeding around the arena with their very competitive entries.


Picture perfect to capture the tricolor in the Roadster Pony Championship was the pair of Cash Lovell and Perfect Offering. This lively little pony also won blue in the qualifier with owner/driver Holly Hale. Stepping up for second in the Road Pony Championship were Paige Owen and Let’s Take A Chance. Taking home the red ribbon in the qualifier were Vivacious E.F. and Harry Daughtry.

The junior exhibitors took center stage on Saturday night with their road ponies. Speeding down the stretch for victory was the multi-titled pony Zildjian with Caitlin Leith ably subbing for her brother Conner. Leith and Zildjian also came away with the blue ribbon in the qualifier. Allie Wellington and Hawkeye’s Chatter Box sped away with the red ribbons in both the championship and the qualifier.

Looking very stylish in her exquisite hats, driver Alexandra Foster captured the tricolor with Wait & See’s Postmaster in the Open Pony Pleasure Driving Championship, under the direction of Cash Lovell. This enchanting pair also picked up a blue in the qualifier. Jeanette Jones and her handsome pony Quorum’s E.F. drove away with reserve colors with two lovely drives.


Racking away with the tricolor in the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship were CH Social Worth and an exuberant Pam Austin. Also worthy in the qualifier, CH Social Worth went home with the blue. Lindsey Bryan and Callaway’s Southern Cross claimed the red ribbon in both the championship and qualifier.

The popular division of park pleasure was not a disappointment on Saturday morning. Coming away with the tricolor in the championship class was Jenny Glennon’s mare Trixie Chick, with Master Gold Card and Kerri Fersch taking reserve. Steve Hanks and the feisty little horse Yorktown’s Last Contract took home the blue in the Open Park Pleasure class on Thursday morning, leaving Kerri Fersch and Master Gold Card in reserve. Trixie Chick and Jenny Glennon won the blue in the Park Pleasure Junior Horse class, and Catherine L. Jenkins and Buenos Noches took home the red ribbon for her mother Connie Leonard.

The Pleasure Prospect class Thursday morning presented several nice young horses for prospective exhibitors. The blue ribbon in that class belonged to My Hershey’s Kiss and Marilyn Estes. Reserve ribbons in that class went to Tom Gentile and Stand And Shout.

Simply bewitching in black CH Five Minutes More and Barbara Matthews trotted into the winner’s circle for the tricolor in the Adult Show Pleasure Championship topping a field of seven. This team also took home the blue in the qualifier on Thursday night. Sometimes Gold and Jill White picked up the red ribbon in the championship, with Laugh Out Loud and Kimberly Crist taking second in the qualifier.


Top honors in the Show Pleasure Novice Rider class went to Callaway’s North Wind and Melanie Bennett, with Patricia Beam and Callaway’s Hot Lead made a nice show for reserve.

Under the direction of Heather Boodey the dazzling team of CH Future Treasure and Victoria Woodruff danced away with a win in the Show Pleasure 14-17 Championship. Red ribbon honors belonged to the team of CH Wing’s Main Attraction and Adrienne Fitch. Top honors in the show pleasure qualifier belonged to Irene’s Good Night Kiss and Georgia Rae Gurney, with the red ribbon going to Pam Austin catch-riding CH Wing’s Main Attraction.

Moving up to first in the Show Pleasure 13 and Under Championship was the Cash Lovell-directed pair of Harlem’s Moving Man and Drew Taylor Hewitt. This pair took reserve in the qualifier to the Lewis Eckard-trained pair of CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time and Allie Wellington. Reserve in the championship belonged to Partagus and Hanna Norwood.

Margaret Poovey and CH Dr. Deker captured the tricolor on Friday night in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and in the qualifier on Thursday night. Reserve in both classes was the pair of Waiting Heir and Janelle D’Amato.

A very competitive class made the gate call on Saturday morning for the Adult Country Pleasure Championship. Coming away with top honors was the self-trained duo of CH Harlem’s Jamaican and Barbara Matthews. Reserve honors went to Whitney Hahn and My Fair Prince. This Paul Boone-trained team took top honors in the country pleasure qualifier. Reserve in the qualifying class went to another Boone’s Farm-trained entry, The Kentucky Connection and Katie Matthews. Eight entries made the gate call for the Country Pleasure Novice Rider class. The new team of Donna Finch and CH Riva Diva looked simply smashing for first. The red ribbon in this nice class went to CH Hey Covington and Markie Schall.

The beribboned CH Santana’s Night Moves and rider Jane Garrity strode away with the tricolor in the Country Pleasure 14-17 Championship. This pair took reserve in the qualifier. Topping the other 10 entries in the championship was the duo of Stand And Watch and Sara Roberson. Not surprising, the qualifying class was the largest of the show with 12 competitive entries. Top honors in this class belonged to Irish Cappuccino and Caitlin Leith.

The younger age group of the country pleasure horses showed early in the evening on Friday night. Championship ribbons went to the too cute team of Cara Wolf and All I Do Is Dream, with reserve honors going to Summer’s Vintage and Haley Covert. All I Do Is Dream also claimed the blue ribbon in the qualifier with CH Hey Covington and Markie Schall taking home the red ribbon.

The tricolor in the Country Pleasure Driving class belonged to A Promise Keeper and Lauren Ashley Camp. This pair took reserve in the qualifier to the lofty Worthy’s Just Once and Alexandra Foster.

A very competitive class of youngsters made the gate call for the Walk and Trot 12 and Under Championship. The tricolor in this class belonged to the radiant CH Much More Radiant and rider Stephanie Brackett. This adorable pair took home the blue in the qualifier as well. Reserve in both classes went to Austin Hazelwood and The Chesapeake Bay.

Top honors in the English Pleasure Pony Championship belonged to Emily Garrity and Scotty’s Lace. This pair took home second in the qualifier, leaving Skyhawk’s Painted Lady and jockey Natalie Watkins to grab top honors in the Open English Pleasure Pony class. Reserve honors in the championship belonged to Corrina’s Star and Sarah Martin.

A unique class of Local Pleasure Horses included a sidesaddle entry of Symbol’s Supreme Eclipse and Holly Henson. The blue ribbon in this class belonged to Angie Wilson and Rex’s King David FSF, with the red ribbon going to R. Top Gun and Jamie Keener.

A nice class turned out for the Open Western Country Pleasure Championship. Looking like a rhinestone cowgirl Tatum Faithful and Liquid Trust loped into the winner’s circle to claim the tricolor. This pair also claimed the blue in the qualifying class in the Friday morning session. LH RAH Roaring Revenue and Judith Ferguson Gandarillas took home reserve to Hayes, Va., in both classes. However, this team returned to take home the tricolor several classes later in the Western Country Pleasure Championship. Reserve in this class belonged to Fahlon Faithful and Sky Lite City. Top honors in the qualifying class went to Summer’s Vintage and Britt Mitchell, with Varsity’s Timepiece and Rachel Pahnke taking home the red ribbon.

Judith Ferguson Gandarillas was a busy lady on Friday showing both in western and in the Hunter County Pleasure Championship. Her trusty steed LH RAH Roaring Revenue claimed the tricolor in this class, with Symbol’s Supreme Eclipse and Holly Henson in reserve. Henson and Symbol’s Supreme Eclipse took home top honors in the qualifying class with LH RAH Roaring Revenue in reserve.


Striding elegantly into the winner’s circle in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was Morgan King aboard Piesporter. Top honors in the 10 and Under Walk/Trot Equitation class belonged to the jubilant Anika Frank, under the instruction of Heads Up Academy, with reserve going to Cagle James. The enchanting team of Cagle James and Seattle Song returned in the Walk/Trot Challenge Cup to claim top honors with reserve going to Anika Frank and Battier. Jamie Keener and R. Top Gun picked up the blue ribbon in the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation class with reserve honors going to Sarah Jordan Armstrong and Sky Lite City.


In the English pleasure division trainer Leigh Zalzneck made a blue ribbon debut with Kay Williford’s newly acquired Bear Brook Noble Bar in the open class. La Mirage scored a one-two finish in the junior exhibitor classes with AFF Elusive Dream taking top honors in both classes. Victoria Woodruff presented this eye-catching entry for Randy and Cynthia Flynt. Reserve in both classes went to Natalie Tetterton and LRF Patrick Henry. On Saturday night the open championship tricolor went to Captivation Of Foxridge. This elegant gelding is owned by Martha Perry, trained by Harry Daughtry and shown by niece Emory Sykes.

Thirteen-year-old Sykes had just a few days to get up to speed on her aunt Martha and great aunt Mary Daughtry’s horses due to the Daughtry Stables’ “super jockey” Beth Kelly being sidelined with serious injuries sustained in a trail riding accident. Sykes rode Hollybrook Sudden Impact to five blues in the western division including the Open Western Championship.

Sykes rode her own JAJ Capriole’s Sir Walter to win both the junior exhibitor hunter classes. Sykes’s cousin, Jessica Page, made her debut on a Morgan by winning the amateur qualifier, the amateur championship as well as the open championship on FRF Center Stage. This bold moving bay mare is owned by Pat Wyatt and the team is coached by Martha Perry. Reserve in the open championship went to HSM All That Jazz with Elizabeth Ann Witte riding for her grandparents Dr. Arthur and Gay Chesson. This formidable team had earlier won the open and limit classes. June Davis and Waseeka’s Bold Queen Anne were reserve in the amateur championship.

Mary Daughtry and Hollybrook Indian Brave made three victory passes in the driving division: the amateur qualifier, open qualifier and the open championship. Natalie Tetterton and Glorious Answer were the winners of the junior exhibitor pleasure driving class and the amateur championship under the LaMirage banner.

The handsome black gelding RAM Wham Bam Precision and Laura Austin were letter perfect to win both the Open Classic Pleasure Saddle class and the championship for trainer Mary Ann Harris and a very happy Austin family. Coalition Royal Billing and June Davis were reserve in both classes and garnered their own blue in the Classic Pleasure Driving class. Madison Pleasant and RGR Goldfinger made two trips to the winner’s circle in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle classes under the direction of Paige Owen and Myra Williams of Heads Up Academy.


Winners in the burgeoning academy division included: Nancy Hamilton, Alexis Daigneault, Julie Luedtke, Sarah Major, Jackie Grabner, Madison Millis, Kristy Montgomery, Meredith Macy, Bonnie Hudgins, Amber Burner, Abigail Hamilton, Ellie Kangur, Jordan Parham and Rhett Parham.

This concludes the highlights from Carolina Classic. Complete results can be found by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.


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