The annual Dixie Stables Spring Horse Show has become a rite of passage in Liberty County.
After 41 years in business and 36 shows, the event draws saddle seat equestrians and show barns from throughout the Southeast to Allenhurst. Dixie Stables owner Lynn Pace could not have been happier with the participation at this year’s show, which was held March 22.
“We were thrilled with the number of horses and exhibitors at our Spring Show,” she said. “New teams are coming together, experienced teams are improving and we had several riders competing for the first time. It is great to see our circuit thriving.”
To add to the prestige of this year’s event, the judge for the competition was John Goda, owner and trainer at Impossible Dream Farms in Cedartown. With more than 20 years in the horse industry, Goda has won more than 15 world and national championship titles. In addition to judging the event, Goda conducted a clinic following the show for all the local riders.
Competition at this year’s show was much deeper than in years past. The number of classes in both academy and performance divisions were more evenly split. The academy division had 19 classes of competition, and the performance division had 13 classes.
Sydney Prindiville of Bluff Creek Stables won the academy walk/trot/canter championship class, while Bailey Bryant of Dixie Stables took second place. Two Dixie Stables riders finished in the top-four of the academy walk/trot championship division. Emily Eigner was third, and Lily Darsey placed fourth. Tehya Bly and Myah Bly, both of Bluff Creek Stables, were fifth and sixth, respectively.
Katy Maier of Bluff Creek Stables won the hunter pleasure championships. Rachael Griffis of Dixie Stables won the saddlebred show pleasure championship. Sara Kate Garret of Bluff Creek Stables won the saddlebred country pleasure championship, and Kay Henderson from Dixie Stables was reserve champion in the saddle-seat equitation championship. In the performance class open divisions, Carlie Jones, riding for Gravel Hill Farms, won the open hunter pleasure class. Kay Henderson of Dixie Stables won open English pleasure.
Riders from Bluff Creek Stables, Dixie Stables and Gravel Hill Farms are competing in the Pro-Am Benefit Classic, which runs through Saturday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.