The Virginia Horse Center welcomed more than 120 horses to the final Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show of the season in November.  Thoroughbred ex-racehorses and those bred to race that have successfully transitioned into their secondary career, competed for more than $7,500 in purse money.

First and second place ribbons in the $1,000 After the Finish Line Hunter Stake were earned by horses owned by Clover Grove of Virginia.  Top honors went to Harvest Moon March, a 2002 son of Tank out of Dixieland Affair who raced three times as a 3-year old.  Second place went to Have a Heart, formerly known as Grabachek, a 1998 unraced son of State Dinner out of Lizzy Ryan.  Angee Quattro Kerns rode both horses under the guidance of Clover Grove trainers Luanne Leonard and Britni Johns Cash.  They were greeted in the winner’s circle by Dawn Mellen, President of After the Finish Line, who sponsored the Hunter Stake.

The winner of the $1,000 Virginia Horse Center Jumper Stake was Spencer Road, a 2006 unraced son of Slew City Slew out of Snars Good Fortune.  Spencer Road is owned by Royal Crown Stables of Pennsylvania.  This is his first year in the show ring and he was piloted to the win by 19-year old Gillian King who is trained by her father, Douglas King. 


The coveted Hunter and Jumper Style Awards were given to the horses who in the judge’s opinion displayed the best style over fences for their discipline.  The Hunter Style Award, sponsored by Horse Cents, Inc. of Kentucky, went to the unraced mare, Parker’s Redemption, a 4-year old mare by Parker’s Storm Cat out of Spiritofcrazyhorse, owned by Joyce Corcoran of Maryland and shown by Billie Rae Croll of Virginia. 

The Jumper Style Award, sponsored by North Shore Designs, Tom & Nancy Ginaven of Virginia, went to the 14-year old mare, Castlellen, formerly known as Window Table, by My Cielo out of Weekend Spree, with owner/rider Blair Barbieri, also of Virginia.

Special 2011 series end awards were presented at this show.  The W. A. “Jimmy” Croll, Jr. Memorial Trophy for the High Score Monmouth Hunter was awarded to Ash Hill, formerly known as My Regal Smile, by Ops Smile out of Regal Nigel, owned by Babbie Wanamaker and ridden by Susan Sisco, both of Pennsylvania. 

The Powerful Storm Memorial Trophy for the High Score Suffolk Hunter was awarded to Mischief Managed, formerly known as Tap Room, an unraced son of Tapit out of Wawota, owned and ridden by Billie Rae Croll.  

The What If Memorial Trophy for the High Score Pimlico Hunter went to Well Spent, formerly known as All Game, by Game Quoit out of Squirt Can, owned and ridden by Krista Hodgkin of Virginia. 


The Sandivore Memorial Trophy for the High Score Santa Anita Hunter went to Pickin N Singin, by Unbridled’s Song out of Spontaneous, owned and ridden by Christina Welker of Kentucky. 

Money Makes Money, a son of Talk Is Money out of Soak, was chosen as the winner of the R. Huey Versatility Award, donated in honor of the retired R. Huey by Hannah Ong of Maryland.  This award is for a horse that came off the track and has excelled in at least two other disciplines.  Money Makes Money, also known as Mr. Kitster, with owner/rider Karen Benson of North Carolina, has competed in Hunters, Jumpers, Extreme Cowboy Challenges, trailriding, rounding up cattle and performing bridleless.

This show series endeavors to positively impact the lives of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses across the United States.  At each show, a portion of the entry monies received for the Blue Horse Charities Pleasure Hunter Division is donated to Blue Horse Charities in memory of John Hettinger.  All of the proceeds from silent auctions throughout the year have been given to After the Finish Line, a 501 (c) 3 funding non-profit for Thoroughbred rescue and rehabilitation.  
Save the dates of March 16-18, June 8-10, and November 2-4, 2012 for  the fourth year of Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows at the Virginia Horse Center.  

For more information about this show series: or (540) 293-7994.  

(Photos by Danny Young/Action Shots Photography)