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TNPHC Fuzzy Wuzzy Classic
Story and photos by Allison Armstrong Rehnborg
American Paint Horses are famous for their color, talent, and individuality. All three traits were on full display at the Tennessee Paint Horse Club’s inaugural show of 2020, March 7 and 8 at Clearview Horse Farm in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Classic boasted a full schedule of classes on Saturday and included a showmanship clinic on Sunday.
According to TNPHC president Connie Hunter, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Classic was the perfect start to the new show season.
“The number one thing people say about showing in March with us is they’re worried about the fact that they don’t have an indoor arena to ride in during the bad weather of the winter, or their horse doesn’t have his ‘show coat’ on,” Connie explained. “For this show, I took the approach that people should come as they are and not as they expect to be come spring and summer. Let’s get our enthusiasm up; let’s get our horses out and see what we need to work on to get ourselves and our horses back into shape. We had a really good turnout at this show of about 55 horses, so we’re excited about the start we got off to this year.”
The Fuzzy Wuzzy Classic was judged by Mike and Charlene Carter of Goodlettsville, Tenn., who both carry APHA judges’ cards. The show included both APHA and all-breed classes. The showmanship clinic, which was held as a fundraiser for the TNPHC youth club, was taught by Charlene Carter.
TNPHC member and exhibitor Lisa Bartlow of Dickson, Tenn., attended both events and enjoyed learning more about showmanship from Charlene Carter.
“I learned so much at the clinic and couldn’t wait to get back to my barn to practice everything I learned,” Lisa said. “Charlene is so knowledgeable. I thought I was pretty savvy at showmanship, but I picked up so much from her. I love showmanship because it’s this dance you have with your horse, but the tiniest of moves makes a difference.”
Lisa competed in the Novice Amateur division at the show with her horse, Ima Secret Kid, a 2002 sorrel overo gelding with one blue eye. Lisa has been showing “Ben” for approximately three years, and the pair won the high-point award in the walk/trot division in their club in 2019. With the start of the 2020 show season, Lisa decided it was time to challenge herself and Ben by entering Novice Amateur classes.
“It was a little scary to show in Novice Amateur for the first time, but I had to get it under my belt,” Lisa said. “I know I have a lot of work to do, but I learned a lot and now we can move forward. I showed in Novice Amateur halter and performance halter as well as showmanship, Western pleasure and horsemanship. We also showed in the open walk-trot class.”
In addition to enjoying the chance to compete with her horse, Lisa says the show was a great start to the season.
“A show in March can be hard for people because they might feel like their horses are too fuzzy or they’re not ready, but it was so good to see everyone,” Lisa said. “Our numbers for this show were up from last year’s March show, and it seemed like everyone there was excited for the next clinic and the next show on our schedule.”
Exhibitor Melissa Harris of Tin Roof Ranch Paint Horses in Rockfield, Kentucky, also enjoyed the chance to get back into the show pen with her horse, TR Lazy by Dezign. The 2018 snowflake red roan gelding by Lazy Luvah out of FSF Secret Dezign was bred by Melissa herself at Tin Roof Ranch. With four white stockings and a wide blaze, “Axl” turns heads wherever he goes.
“I’m a small breeder and I like to raise quality babies with good minds,” Melissa said. “I showed Axl at the 2019 Pinto World Show and we got a sixth place and a tenth place. I was so proud. He’s a very talented little horse and he just oozes with personality. I feel very blessed as a small breeder to have planned and produced him.”
At the Fuzzy Wuzzy Classic, Melissa and Axl competed in longe line, halter, color, and showmanship.
“It was a great no-frills way to get the horses out,” Melissa said. “The judges were very kind and having that laid-back atmosphere at the show was no pressure. It was a great, inexpensive way to get my young horse out to play.”
Melissa hopes to start showing Axl under saddle later this year with the help of trainer Robin Furnas of Furnas Show Horses.
“I’d love to show Axl at the Paint Horse Congress at the end of July or August,” Melissa said. “It’s my goal, but with two-year-olds, you just never know. I love working with babies like Axl because I’m also a teacher, so watching young horses grow and learn and develop is one of my favorite things.”
Under the direction of club president Connie Hunter, the Tennessee Paint Horse Club is looking forward to a great year of events.
“We really work on fundraising for our club so we can put on the kinds of shows that people want to come to,” Connie said. “The more people who come to our shows, the more show points are available for people to earn and that’s what people want to do. Putting points on your horse increases not only your horse’s knowledge, skills and hours, but also monetary value. Even if your horse’s next owner isn’t interested in showing, those points show that your horse is sound and can get along with other people and horses. I greatly appreciate anyone who comes out and chooses to spend their time with us at a show.”
For up-to-date information on the club’s upcoming events, join the Official Tennessee Paint Horse Club group on Facebook or visit www.TNPaintHorseClub.com.
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