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The Dixie National


By Tommy Brannon

The Dixie National Quarter Horse Show, “The Southern Classic,” one of the largest AQHA shows in North America, took place February 11-17, 2013 at the Fairgrounds and Equine Center in Jackson, Mississippi. This is one of the most well run and organized shows anywhere. Two indoor arenas, The Kirk Fordice Equestrian Center and the Mississippi Coliseum, were utilized simultaneously with almost continuous action for the entire show. The judges this year were  Kim Myers, Steve Meadows, Bennie Sargent, Rhonda Replogle, Sandy Jirkovsky, Tony Burris, Larry Little, Debora Jones-Wright, and Buddy Fisher.  Entries were up this year, with 225 classes and over 1000 horses coming from 19 states. Despite the high numbers, there was ample stabling and trailer parking on the grounds.

New classes added this year were Lead line, Ranch Pleasure and Boxing. Lead line is a cute family class popular at many other types of shows. Parents, grandparents and friends all took the opportunity to snap photos of the very young riders. This class may be only the starting point for many cowboys and cowgirls of the future.

Ranch Pleasure Competition was a new class to AQHA starting in 2012. As per the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations:  “The horse’s performance should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse. This class should show the horse’s ability to work at a forward, working speed, while under the rider’s control.” 

The Boxing class is designed for nonprofessional riders to get started in cow horse reining. The rider has to perform the rein work, as in other types of rained cow horse classes, but the cow is only boxed in one corner of the arena.

There were some really nice prizes awarded at this year’s competition. In addition to over $100,000 in prize money and $10,000 added money for freestyle reining, Harris trophy saddles and silver buckles were given to the Amateur All-Around, the Amateur Select All-Around, and Youth All-Around winners. In English classes the All-Around award, the Novice Youth, and Novice Amateur High Point award received “Dixie Dollars.” Not to be confused with Confederate money, Dixie Dollars are a special currency for purchases at the trade mart.

Owners and riders from Mississippi had additional opportunity for prize money. The Mississippi Championship Western Pleasure and Mississippi Non-Pro Championship Western Pleasure had $500 and $300 in added money, respectively.

The trade mart had over 100 vendors. One could purchase just about anything for horse, rider and farm. Items ranged from tack, trucks, trailers, hot walkers and barns, to show clothes, boots, and furniture. With this many vendors in one place, one could compare different brands and types of horse and stock trailers, tractors, trucks, saddles and tack by just walking a few feet between displays. The glitz and glitter of show clothing on display was just about blinding.
Not only could one purchase everything for the horse, one could purchase a horse. Western Kentucky Horse sales of Bowling Green, KY conducted a horse auction on Saturday February 16 on the show grounds. Some really fine animals changed ownership! 

By far, the Freestyle Reining competition was the most popular class. Held in the coliseum to a full house on Friday night, this class is always entertaining with clever themes and costumes and lots of spins and slides. Sarah Lynn Locker riding Chexamillion was the non pro winner, with a score of 292 ½ ; she took home $2214. Not bad pay for a fun ride!  

Complete results of the show are available at:

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