National Show Horse Finals Celebrates 25th Anniversary
RELEASE: October 2, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Cindy Clinton
2008 was the 25th anniversary for the National Show Horse (NSH) Finals. The show was held September 17-20 in Springfield, IL. The weather could not have been better, and with over $200,000 in prize money available, you can almost always guarantee a good time with a lot of quality horses. This year was no exception. The judges were Cari Bartz, Gayle Lampe and Richard Petty.
The National Show Horse Registry (NSHR) was very pleased with the addition of the Hackney Futurity, Hackney Pony and American Show Pony classes to their show this year. The NSHR hopes to continue this relationship in the future. The addition of the ponies, horses and owners added to this already exciting show. And it was obvious the crowd enjoyed them.
Being the 25th anniversary, it was only appropriate that Gene LaCroix, the founder of the NSHR be inducted into the NSHR Hall of Fame, along with Bruce Wolf and Henry Brown.
One of the most popular classes is the NSH Stallion Row Jackpot Weanling Auction Class with over $43,000 being paid out this year. The champion who won $12,945.00 was My Starina BFV, owned by Christine Hasse. In order to be eligible for this class, competitors must have purchased an auction breeding that had been held previously at the show.
Equitation riders were a large part of the show. This year the champion in the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA)/NSH Challenge Cup was Bailey Strange, with reserve champion going to Deanna Luce. Strange then went onto to win the NSH Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & Under Grand Championship with Jordan Hodge being the reserve champion this time. $11,500 in scholarships were available to riders in this class.
Several raffles are held to insure that UPHA, equitation, and five-gaited horsemanship riders have a chance to win such items as saddle seat suits donated by Saddle Seat Connection, and DeRegnaucourt Ltd., lessons from leading equitation instructors, NSH lifetime memberships, riding boots, jewelry from Gorgeous Horse and many other items. There is also a very large silent auction held at the show to insure the scholarship money is available for the equitation winners each year. Thanks to Martha Murdock and Georgine Ryter, the people behind the raffles, and Faydelle Schott and her group for the very successful silent auction.
One of the special moments of the show was during the last class, the NSH Five-Gaited Grand Championship. The winner was Major Good, owned by Rosemarie Pelfrey, and shown to perfection by James Wallen. This class has been dominated by the Wallen family for many years, however it was only fitting that James ask his father, and teacher, Dick Wallen to make the final victory pass. Dick has been a supporter of the National Show Horse since the beginning and was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame. It is always a thrill to see Dick make another victory pass at the NSH Finals.
When attending the finals, attendees witnessed many different types of classes. Everything from in-hand to three- and five-gaited classes were offered. This is the final show of the National Show Horse season, and participants were always up for a celebration. The ribbons and trophies presented at this show were some of the best in the country. When the show is not going on, everyone was just enjoying the company of each other at the many different parties going on during the show.