By: Brittany Bevis
Yesterday, at the 2013 Oklahoma Holiday Classic, a very special event took place to honor the memory of a fellow competitor and horse-lover, Ashley Huntington, who passed away earlier this year following a longtime battle with a chronic illness. Shortly after Huntington’s death, a goal was set to raise a minimum amount of $25,000 to fully endow a memorial scholarship with the American Paint Horse Association.
Although the loss of our beloved friend and competitor was still fresh in everyone’s minds, the mood during the Ashley Huntington Memorial Calcutta class was certainly more celebratory than somber when the horse community came together to help raise a whopping $27,595. With an accompanying online auction that saw registered bidders from 24 states and a generous crowd during the calcutta class, the amount raised to fully endow Huntington’s memorial was exceeded by more than $2,500. Some of the stallions listed in the online auction included The Big Sensation, John Simon, Chromed Up, All Time Fancy, Hot Ones Only, VS Code Red, Hot N Blazing, Zippos Sensation, Hubba Hubba Huntin, VS Flatline, Double Up Investment, Original Cowboy, and Greatmindsthinkaluke.
Eight riders competed in the memorial calcutta class. The winner was Katie Mitchell aboard RL Sudden Style. The pair was purchased by Floyd Danley, who donated his 50% of the winnings back to the foundation. This resulted in approximately $9,650 being raised during the class alone.
Although the minimum funding requirement for Huntington’s Memorial has already been met, fundraising efforts aren’t stopping any time soon. This evening, a silent auction will be held to benefit Huntington’s Memorial Fund in conjunction with the annual Oklahoma Holiday Classic New Year’s Eve bash.
Meanwhile, the competition will continue in Oklahoma City through Jan. 2nd. The December 29-30 four-judge Paint-O-Rama was judged by LeAnn Williams, Mike Ochetto, Sally Puzacke, and Brent Harnish. The December 30-31 four-judge Youth and Amateur POR is being judged by Rob Meneely, John Anderson, Rhonda Replogle, and Eric Hubbard. The January 1-2 four-judge POR will be judged by Sue Stafford, Lori Gordon, Rick McLain, and Gary Hersom.
Thanks to Tonya Gralla we have some initial circuit champion results from the show. Click here to view some fun candid photos from the show as well.
Preliminary Circuit Champions: (unofficial)
Masters Amateur Showmanship and Hunter Under Saddle- Colleen Bull and Timeless Assets
Amateur Trail- Desarae Gilley and A Sudden Legacy
Junior Trail- Chad Christensen and Friends With Benefits
Walk Trot Youth Trail, Showmanship, and Hunter Under Saddle- Lauren Gralla and RL Sudden Style
Amateur Aged Geldings- Sally Griffin and Mister Redesigned
Best of Show Halter- Fred Tabor and Brookstone
Youth Halter Mares- Dominick Heibing and Classy With Curves
Open Weanling Mares and Weanling Filly Futurity Champion- Katie Mitchell and Xcellent
Amateur Walk Trot Hunter Under Saddle, Showmanship, Trail, and Equitation- Dr. Marlene Miller and I’m A White Sensation
Open Western Riding- Tim Wildes and Sensational Dee
Senior Trail- Carly Veldman and Don’t Try This At Home
Novice Amateur Trail- Felicia Steinweiss and Expressive Rock Star
Stake Race- Tonya Gralla and RL Sudden Style
Youth 13 and Under Trail and Showmanship- Mary Camp and Zippos Redemption
Green Trail- Arturo Maestas and Endless Sensation