Riders from Bluff Creek Stables and Gravel Hill Farms shined at the 2014 Dixie Cup, held May 1-3 at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
The competition started off with a bang for Liberty County barns when Bluff Creek owner Mary Anne Jones, riding Wins-down Cosmos, won the American saddlebred S&B shatner western pleasure championship and qualified for the national championship for the American saddlebred western pleasure finals Sept. 24-28 in St. Louis, Mo.
“It was a wonderful show with, definitely, many more horses than last year, and the quality was there as well … Great ribbons, great stalls and lots of our barn family to enjoy it with. Very enjoyable for us,” Jones said.
In addition to Jones’ championship-winning ride, four other riders from Bluff Creek Stables earned ribbons in their classes. Katy Maier, riding Glendales Daisy Belle, was second in the hunter division; Deanna Edgy, trainer at Bluff Creek, riding My American Soldier, was fourth and fifth in opportunity-hunter classes. Lori Harden, riding Twist of Fate, was third and fourth in saddlebred-performance classes.
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Rogers of Gravel Hill Farms, riding Supreme Property, claimed first place in the 12-and-under American Saddlebred Academy W/T showmanship class. Riding for less than two years, this was Rogers’s first national-show competition.
“When they called my name, I was confused. I did not realize I had won my class,” Rogers said.
“This was her second show on Supreme Property. She definitely has the confidence now after riding ‘Rocky’ (Supreme Property’s barn name) when he was very game to show. He is a very strong horse and they looked great together,” Gravel Hill Farms trainer Charles Durrence said. Samantha Hocking, riding Syb van de Laokshamhoeve, placed third both in the Friesian country English pleasure open and the Friesian English pleasure saddle-seat stake. Bobbie MacDonald earned a ribbon in the ASB English Country Pleasure Jr. Stake in a deep field of 12 competitors.
Gravel Hill Farms owner Alicia Floyd was happy with the results of this year’s show.
“Our horse and rider combinations really pulled through and did their best. It was rewarding for all of us,” Floyd said. “Our riders came away confident of themselves and their horses. We pulled ribbons in every class entered.”
More than 50 stables with a total of 215 horses participated in this year’s Dixie Cup.
In addition to riding events, the American Saddlebred Association of Georgia, produced by Cindy Hocking, hosted a non-riding horse competition at the state and national events so that barn families, friends and junior riders can participate in a show-judging competition. In this activity, ribbons are awarded as well with cumulative scores kept for the entire show season. In the junior judging division, Bobbie McDonald placed first, with Rogers placing second. In the adult judging division, Teresa McDonald placed first, with Tracy Rogers placing second.
For the next few months, the Liberty County barns will compete locally. The next show will be Friday, May 23, at Wildwood Stables in Jesup. The next state show will be in late June at the North Georgia Horse Show in Gainesville.