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2012 Germantown Charity Horse Show, June 5-9


The Germantown Charity Horse Show got off to a great start with moderate temperatures on Tuesday and no rain for the week! The show’s performances held a variety of attractions, hunter/jumper classes all day, evenings starting with a specialty class, followed by a variety of breeds and disciplines of competition classes. This is the 12th year the show has raised funds for The Exchange Club Family Center. The Center, founded in 1984, has a variety of family services to help prevent child abuse and neglect by replacing abusive behavior with effective parenting skills. The Exchange Club Family Center offers programs and services in three major areas: family violence, parenting education, and anger management. Last year, the center served over 4,000 clients and family members in the Mid-South area, according to their website. It is one of 76 Exchange Club Centers in the nation. For more information about the Exchange Club visit:

Tuesday evening’s first class was the GCHS Hunter/Jumper Versatility Challenge, a class designed for horses to show in two rounds: a hunter round and a jumper round, with the fence styles different in each round. The top horse in both classes received the Keepsake Perpetual Trophy, named in honor of the 1990 Dutch Warmblood Keepsake, who began her career winning in the Regular Working Hunter division, then moving on to the Jumper ring, where she won numerous classes while still competing with her amateur rider in the hunter ring. Winner of the hunter round was Andrew Kocher riding Thinks Like A Horse. Belle Fulmer’s Godspeed won the Jumper round. Thinks Like A Horse placed third in the Jumper round.

Next, the tone changed from serious competition to whimsical, as the Rachel Smith Memorial Costume Event brought out children and ponies dressed up in all kinds of themed costumes parading through the arena.

Following that, the tone changed to elegant, as ladies and gents, dressed to the nines, drove their polished horses, and carriages in the Single Horse Carriage Pleasure Driving class.

Afterwards came the Open Western Pleasure class. Later were more driving classes, and saddle seat classes.

Wednesday’s evening performance began with the Welcome Stake Open Jumpers – 1.40m – II,2a, the winner receiving the Jerome Robertson Memorial Challenge Trophy. Richard Cheska’s Quick Tempo was the winner, with Timothy Maddrix riding Claudia Styslinger’s KT Cher to second place. Whitney Owens captured third place on S&L Shoe Guru. And Andrew Kocher placed fourth on Claudia Billups’ Fantastico W.

Once again audience members got out their “cute meters” as the youngest exhibitors were led into the arena for the Lead line class with more than a dozen of the cutest children and ponies around. A couple didn’t ride the whole class, one finding more fun playing in the sandy arena, and another choosing to lead his pony. The judge’s decision was tough, so everyone got a blue ribbon.

The remaining Wednesday evening classes featured Tennessee walking horse classes, three-gaited and five-gaited American Saddlebred horses, Hackney ponies, fine harness classes, and the always exciting Roadster to Bike classes. “Let ‘em go road gait!”

Thursday’s evening performance started with the WIHS/NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, followed by the Harold Walker, Jr. Gambler’s Choice. This is an exciting jumper class, as each fence has a point value and riders can choose their own course in attempts to rack up the most points within the time limit. The show paid tribute in a memorial to former GCHS President Harold Walker, Jr. Andrea Lugar designed and built, with assistance from husband Larry, the class trophies – one perpetual and the other for the winning rider to take home. Andrew Kocher took home the Gambler’s Choice trophy, with the high point ride on Cheenookee.

Something new on Thursday night was the Carriage Driving Scurry Races class, in which carriage drives negotiated cones obstacles as fast as they could, simulating the marathon phase of a carriage driving event. Dr. Ruth Wilburn of Olive Branch, MS became the clear leader the class, driving Rollingwoods Cookie Thief, but several challengers followed.  The last team to go was Joanna Wilburn, driving, appropriately, Rollingwoods Berry Last one, who came barreling into the arena with plans to beat her sister’s time. It was an exciting round as Joanna raced through the cones at a gallop, clearing them all, but with a slightly slower time than her sister. Rollingwoods Cookie Thief had won!

Following the driving scurry races were Tennessee walking horse classes, American Saddlebred classes, and another Roadster to Bike class.

Friday night’s early evening classes began with the elegant $2500 Pony Hunter Classic (second round), followed by the $5,000 Germantown Hunter Classic, with spiffed horses and riders wearing their most formal shadbelly coats.

Emma Lemke, riding Lakeview Laddie, was the Pony Hunter Classic winner, putting another feather in the cap of trainer Frank Hernandez at Heritage Park Equestrian Center near Rossville, TN. Mary Claire Ray was second on Caption, and Audrey Muscari was third on Orlando.

In the Germantown Hunter Classic, Holly Labry cleaned up with first and second places on Red Rooster and Ruby, respectively. She is trained by Phoebe Sheets. Andrew Kocher placed third on Thinks Like A Horse, and Jack Nash was fourth with Nevermore.

Next, the show went to the dogs, with the Carriage Pleasure Driving Best Carriage Dog class.  Chrissy Saylor’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown was top dog in this class, with Chrissy driving Cosmo.

The Roadster to Bike classes were a crowd favorite, especially when the horses change direction and the announcer says: “Shift them into high gear! Show at speed!”

Late Friday evening around 11:00 p.m. another exciting class woke up the remaining spectators – the Speed Racking Horses. Roy Coln riding Miss Mississippi took top honors, followed in second by Ricky Cupp riding Hoochie. Bobby Parks placed third on Big Mac’s Thunderbolt. Ricky’s dad, Joe Cupp, placed fourth on his black horse Renegade.

Jacob Parks placed fifth on Bobby Park’s Falcon’s Blue Ribbon.

The highlight of the week’s events came Saturday night with the $25,000 Grand Prix of Germantown. Last year, the class was interrupted just before its culmination by a strong thunderstorm that sent the audience scurrying to the nearest shelter. But Michael Tokaruk literally rode out the storm on Lord Byron, the last horse to go in the jump off, during the pouring rain and thunderstorm for a thrilling sweep of the Grand Prix! He won first place last year on Castle Point Farm’s Roger Rabbit and second place on his own horse Lord Byron.

Tokaruk was back again this year with Lord Byron. The course was tough, with only four clear rounds. Andy Kocher had the first clear round on Fantastico W and there wasn’t another clear round until Andy Kocher piloted his second mount, Puppet Master, to a clear round. Then came Tokaruk with Lord Byron showing a third clear round. Whitney Owens had the fourth clear round on S&L Shoe Guru.

The course was changed for the jump off, with Andy Kocher the first to go. He set a tough pace to beat with a clear round in 40.664 seconds. The other exhibitors weren’t willing to swap places, so there was a brief “intermission” as Andy got his second mount ready for the jump off. With a rail down here and there as the other riders sped around the course, Tokaruk and “Lordy” showed the audience how it’s done with another clear round in just over 36 seconds! Tokaruk won the Grand Prix of Germantown for the second year in a row! This year the only thunderstorm was the roar of applause from the audience! Andrew Kocher placed second on Claudia Billups’ Fantastico W and third on her other horse Puppet Master. Whitney Owens was fourth on S&L Show Guru.

The show concluded with Saturday night’s championship classes in equitation, Shetland ponies, Hackney ponies, Tennessee Walking Horses, American Saddlebreds, and Roadster to Bike. Complete horse show results are available at:

The 2013 Germantown Charity Horse Show will be June 4-8 with some new classes in the works. For more information about the Germantown Charity Horse Show, visit

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