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The Shelbyville Horse Show has long been a jewel on the circuit, and this year’s judge, Jim Cherry, said this was maybe one of the best ever. “This was hands down the best horse show I’ve ever been to,” said Cherry, a longtime judge from California. “The depth in each class all week was great, but once it got to Saturday, the gaited and harness stakes were as good as it gets.” Cherry raved on Golden Creek Farm’s Beaulah Jean, driven by Jeff McClean. “That’s as good as I’ve ever seen her,” he said. Another Golden Creek Farm horse, CH According to Lynn, with Mary Gaylord McClean aboard, grabbed the show’s top prize in the Five-Gaited Stake class. “The harness, the Five-Gaited and the Amateur Stake were all as good as I’ve seen,” Cherry said. “The depth and quality of the horses was incredible. It was great fun to watch them.” Cherry went on to tab According to Lynn and Gaylord as the favorites at the World’s Championship Horse Show later this month in Louisville. “If the World’s Championship [Five-Gaited Stakes competition] is that good, I’ll be surprised,” he said. “The 13 horses that were in there were all fantastic.” The show also marked a big return to the ring by Edward “Hoppy” Bennett. Bennett was aboard WCH An Heir About Her to win the Three-Gaited Open Stake, his first trip in the show ring in more than 10 years. An Heir About Her has more World Championships than any three-gaited horse in history, so Bennett was well prepared. Although it had been a long time since he was in the show ring, Cherry said Bennett hadn’t lost his touch.
“She’s a wonderful mare that’s in a class by herself,” Cherry said of An Heir About Her. “And he [Bennett] presented her to me wonderfully.”