2018 Circle G Classic
By Shelby Layne Ridgway
Arkansas Quarter Horse Association’s 2018 Circle G Classic was a cold one. The show had six judges and started in Tunica, Mississippi on Friday, April 6 and ran until Sunday, April 8. The “spring” weather was not as expected as it was spitting rain and blowing wind up to 20 mph. One day the wind chill was 16 degrees; a stark difference from the 70 and 80 degrees normally felt at Circle G. Luckily, Tunica Arena has a large indoor pen with heaters, so the exhibitors managed to get a little warm.
Even with the cold weather and storms, the class sizes were great. The largest class of the show was the Amateur Ranch Riding with 24 and 20. There were also 20 in Open Ranch Riding, 17 in Amateur Reining, 17 teams in Amateur Sorting, and 15 teams in Open Sorting. Several other classes that had multiple points included Level 1 Amateur and Youth Ranch Riding, Open Trail, Youth and Open Reining, Open Performance Halter Geldings, Green/Level 1 Western Pleasure, Open Barrels, and Select Western Pleasure.
Thanks to the Circle G Classic sponsors, over $3,000 in cash and prizes were awarded throughout the show. All-Around and High-Point Champions in Open, Amateur, Youth, Select, Level 1 Youth, and Level 1 Amateur received $250 CASH and an ArQHA hat, and the High-Point Small-Fry Champion received $100 CASH and an ArQHA hat. There were random draws for $50 CASH from entries in Penning/Sorting, Halter, English, Ranch Riding, Speed, Reining, Trail, and Western Pleasure as well as random drawings for ArQHA bootjacks from all entries.
All-Around and High Point Champions
- Open – Hope By Certain owned by Semmie Wicker
- Amateur – Dr. Kat Draughon with Absolute Purple Haze
- Youth – Sidney Dunham with Hez Purely Dynamic
- Select – Candy Workman with RR Certainly Invited
- Level 1 Amateur – Kim Landa with Delicate Details
- Level 1 Youth – Zach McCarver with MS Red Devil
- Small Fry – Jack Fancey with VR Makin Waves
The $50 random draw winners were Danny Roberson (Penning/Sorting), Dr. Kat Draughon (Halter), Suzanne Cook (English), Angela Newton (Ranch Riding), Jennifer Marie Arnold (Speed), Howdy Smith (Reining), Ann Baker Jones (Trail), and Amy Black (Western Pleasure). Random Draw ArQHA Bootjacks winners were Robert DeLude, Zach McCarver, Bailey Whitby, Megan Tutor, Jack Fancey, Ellie Wilburn, Mark Dunham, and Wayne Watlington.
Thanks to the Circle G Classic sponsors for supporting the association and allowing ArQHA to give such great awards: Mike and Mary Jo Lewis, H&P Ranch, Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo, The Beaty Family, Boatwright Land Company, Judson Smith Performance Horses, Morton Buildings, Inc., Pearson Show Horses, Wicker Farm, Shelby Layne Photography, Williams Quarter Horses, and Matthews Quarter Horses.
Be sure to join ArQHA for the last show of the 2017-2018 show season, the Memorial Day Circuit featuring the Stanford Happening in Tunica, Mississippi on May 25-28. There will be a saddle, added money classes, and over 15 buckles awarded throughout the show. Stanford Happening classes will include $500 added Open Ranch Riding, $500 added Non-Pro Level 1 Horse and/or Rider Western Pleasure, 11 and Over Level 1 Walk-Trot, and 10 and Under Walk-Trot. Returning for the fourth year will be the Blind Horsemanship Challenge where riders get 60 seconds to look at the pattern before turning around and executing it. Last year, over $1,000 was paid back to the Blind Horsemanship exhibitors. Remember all Stanford Happening classes and Small Fry classes are open to all breeds. ArQHA saved the best show for last, so you won’t want to miss it!