Carolinas Show Hunter Hall of Fame

2020 Nominees

Every effort has been made to ensure the following biographical information is correct; however, the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.

Show Hunters

All Mine with Holly Hayes. Photo by James Parker

All Mine with Holly Hayes. Photo by James Parker

All Mine was an extremely successful Large Junior Hunter. He was a bay Thoroughbred gelding that in the early 1990s was owned by the Roger Young Stables of Camden, SC, and ridden by Holly Hayes, nee Orlando.  Holly said, “I only rode ‘Monty’ at the shows. Sometimes we’d get in a jump school beforehand. He was a big, brave, scopey horse that I just had to sit chilly on and let him do his job.” At home she recalls that Roger was the only one that rode Monty.  He’d hack him out on the trails in a big western saddle, no ring work or jumping, that was their routine. In 1992, All Mine was Champion and Grand Champion in the Large Junior Hunters at the PNHS, Champion at the NHS, and Reserve Champion at the WIHS. In 1993, he was Champion and Grand Champion Large Junior Hunter at the NHS, as well as Reserve Champion at the WIHS. After his career with Orlando ended, All Mine was sold to Shady Side Farm in Memphis,TN, where Neely Bates took over the ride. They successfully competed in the Junior Hunter division a year, and then the Younger Amateur Owner Hunter division before he was retired in 1998. Through out his career, All Mine amassed 8,587 USEF points in the Junior Hunter division. All Mine spent his retirement years with Bates’ other famous Junior Hunter Charade. “The two were turned out together and were like Frick and Frack,” joked Shady Farm manager Nick Bishop, “they were competing for the title of most spoiled horse in the country.”


Charade with Scott Hofstetter. Photo by Buck

Charade was a registered Appendix Quarter Horse foaled in Florida in 1985. He started his show hunter career with Nardeen Henderson and Peg Seals in VA in 1991. In 1992, he won many championships in the VA and MD area and ended the year as Reserve Second Year Green Hunter Champion at the WIHS. In 1993, he was purchased by Bud and Jean Rae Holmberg for their daughter Helen, and moved to their Fox Knoll Farm in Southern Pines, NC. 

Under the training of Don Stewart, he went on to many wins in the Small Junior Hunter division with Helen, and the Regular Working Hunter division with Scott Hofstetter. In 1993, in the Regular Working Hunter division, he was Reserve Champion at the PNHS, and, in the Small Junior Hunter division, he was Champion at the WIHS, and Reserve Champion at the NHS, winning the stake class at all three shows. In 1994, he was Regular Working Hunter Champion at Duke Children’s, and the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Charade was also Small Junior Hunter Champion at Raleigh Indoors and Reserve Champion in the Small Junior Hunter division at Suncoast International in Tampa.

In 1995, he was sold to Neely Bates and continued his winning career with Neely in both the Junior and Amateur Owner Hunter divisions. From 1995 to 1999 he racked up wins at shows all over NC, SC, FL, TN, KY, MI, OH, CT, MD, PA, DC, and NY. Highlights included being Small Junior Hunter Reserve Champion at Devon, Ox Ridge and Kentucky National Indoors. In 1998, he was Amateur Owner Hunter Champion or Reserve at both the Detroit and the Motor City Horse Shows, Ocala, Memphis, Brownland Farm, Charleston, Blowing Rock, Biltmore, and the WIHS. Among his many wins in 1999, he was the Amateur Owner Hunter Reserve Champion at Palm Beach Masters in Wellington, FL. Charade retired at the Bates’ Farm in TN, where he lived out his life cared for by Nick Bishop, who had been his groom since December of 1992, when he first drove to VA to pick Charade up for the Holmbergs.  Charade passed away at 32 years of age, Neely said, “He never had a bad day in his life.”


Leisure Time with Val Haynes. Photo by Buck

Leisure Time was a 16.3 hand brown Thoroughbred gelding that Jack Towell remembers as “beautiful and elegant. A big horse with good bone that reminds you of todays Warmblood.” Leisure Time was stabled in Tryon, NC, at the old Comoco Farm. In the early ‘80s, he was trained and shown very successfully in the professional divisions by Valerie Haynes. In 1982, he was Second Year Green Working Hunter Circuit Champion at WEF and Second Year Green Working Hunter and Grand Green Working Hunter Champion at the PNHS.  After the NHS that year, Leisure Time was very close to being the AHSA HOTY Second Year Green Working Hunter Champion but needed some additional points. According to Val’s partner Ronnie Tetterton, one more show at Ramblewood in Aiken, SC, put Leisure time over the top as he won all four classes. Not only did he end the year as the AHSA HOTY Second Year Green Working Hunter Champion, he earned enough points to be AHSA HOTY Grand Green Working Hunter Champion.

In 1983, Leisure Time was once again Circuit Champion at WEF, this time in the Regular Working Hunter division. After another victorious year, he was AHSA HOTY Reserve Regular Working Hunter Champion and qualified his owner Elizabeth Frady in the Amateur Owner Hunter division at all three indoor shows. Leisure Time was known as a beautiful mover with numerous wins in the under saddle classes. Judy Sutton, who was a good friend of Val Haynes, remembers Leisure Time well saying that “Leisure Time was unbeatable at the 4-foot height. Through his Green and Regular Working Hunter years with rider Val Haynes, their styles matched perfectly. Val was able to gallop to the jumps and get the most out of this wonderful Thoroughbred.  He was truly a beautiful and special horse.”

Lyphard Cay with Sherry Robertson. Champions at the 1993 NHS.

Lyphard Cay with Sherry Robertson. Champions at the 1993 NHS

Lyphard Cay was a Thoroughbred, bred and foaled at Fairview Farms in Landrum, SC, in 1983. Tony Wallace, head trainer at Fairview Farm, sent him to Dave Kelly as a four-year-old, recognizing he would make a better show horse than race horse. Tim Grubb started him in the First Year Green Working Hunter division for then owner Marilla Van Beuren. Dave Kelly then persuaded Sherry Robertson to buy him in a deal she could not refuse.

Early on she had Michael Matz ride him in the jumpers, but he had a difficult lead change. Using what Sherry called “the Dave Kelly technique,” Sherry was able to finish the change herself, and after that he was never ridden by anyone else again. Sherry said, “I saved all the jumps for me, he was the best one I ever had. If you did not miss you were the winner.”

Nicknamed ‘Piggy’ for how he enjoyed making a mess in his stall, Sherry reported that he was quite the character; he could be mean on the ground but once you got on him he was all business. Sherry said, “He never needed a warmup class, never stopped, and loved to go to horse shows. He was my Idle Dice.” Highlights of his Amateur Owner career included Champion or Reserve at the 1992 PNHS and the NHS, 1993 Champion at the WIHS and NHS and 1995 Champion and Grand Champion at Devon. He was Champion at the Autumn Classic, Cleveland Hunter Jumper Classic, Garden State, Greater Cincinnati Classic, Lake Placid, Tampa, and two-time WEF Circuit Champion. In 1997 Lyphard Cay’s last show was at WEF, where true to his style he won a class.

According to Sherry, “He was never formally retired. He spent his retirement at my farm in Edgemont, PA.,  living like a show horse, turned out each day and groomed when he came in.”


Naute Mia with Gordon Wright

Naute Mia as a five year old was owned and shown by Miss Jean Cochrane. In 1951 he was Young Hunter Champion at the prestigious 46th Annual Piping Rock Horse Show in New York, as well as at Greenwich, Ox Ridge, and Fairfield.  In 1955, then owned by Jarret Schmid’s Saxon Woods Farm, he was Working and Conformation Hunter Champion at the Boulder Brook Horse Show with Schmid in the irons. Gordon Wright was the trainer and occasionally shared the ride with Schmid. In 1956 Jarret Schmid purchased J. Arthur Reynolds property on Hunting Country Road in Tryon, NC, as a winter home, renaming it Saxon Woods Farm. In 1960 Jarett Schmid took up permanent residency in Tryon and brought her horses with her, continuing to ride and show Naute Mia. He was retired, after winning 43 championships and 222 blue ribbons, at a formal ceremony at the WIHS in 1962. Included in those championships were Working Hunter Championship titles at the PNHS, NHS at Madison Square Garden, and Toronto. Jarrett was said to have enjoyed hilltopping Naute Mia during his retirement.

Elma Garcia Award
Awarded to an exemplary Adult Amateur/Children’s Hunter

Devise with Maddie Gardner & Jack Towell (1)
Devise with Maddie Gardner & Jack Towell

Devise was imported by Mindy Darst in 2000 and in her early years was in training with Skip Thornbury, Hunt Tosh, and Robbie Hunt. Maddie Gardner, who at the time trained with Robbie, tried Devise in 2003. There was an instant connection so her parents bought the mare as a Christmas present. Only 13-years-old, Maddie had just one year showing a medium pony in the Short Stirrup division under her belt. Devise was her first horse. Maddie’s mom said “Devise took care of my daughter. She was the epitome of a children’s hunter: Honest, easy, beautiful jumper, gorgeous mover, and very sweet.” When they began training with Jack Towell, Jack told Maddie to let Devise make all the decisions because she was smart and knew what she was doing.  

Devise and Maddie were champion at their first show in April 2004. Over the next four years Maddie and Devise would win at shows in Wellington, Atlanta, Tryon, Aiken, Blowing Rock, Camden, Biltmore, Greensboro, Raleigh, Pinehurst, Roanoke, Charleston, Queen City (Charlotte), and Zone 3 Finals. The combined total of champion and reserve titles (43 tricolors), Classic wins, and Circuit Championships between 2004-2008 was impressive including TR&HC Grand Champion, NCHJA Grand Combined Children’s/Adult Hunter Champion, WCHR SE Champion, Aiken Spring Classic Circuit Champion (3 times), Blowing Rock Charity Challenge of the Champions qualifier (3 times), NCHJA and SCHJA Year End Champion (4 times), NAL and WIHS Children’s Hunter qualifier (5 times), USEF HOTY Zone 3 Children’s Hunter Champion (4 times) and Reserve Champion (1 time).

Devise lived in Waxhaw, NC, the entire time the Gardners owned her until Maddie left for college. She was then leased and sold to the Mateo family for their daughter Meredith. Meredith showed Devise successfully for several years in the Pre-Children’s Hunter division before she was retired at Reflections Farm in Charleston, SC. The Blowing Rock Pre-Children’s Hunter Championship trophy was donated and named in Devise’s honor.

Just Matt with Liza Boyd. Photo by James Parker

Just Matt with Liza Boyd. Photo by James Parker

Just Matt, a Thoroughbred gelding by Our Diplomat, has been owned by Alison and Peyton Thorp since 2003. From 2003-2015 ‘Matt’ was shown primarily by Alison, winning too many ribbons to count. He was also shown a few times by Alison’s daughter Peyton as well as professionals Liza Boyd and Daniel Geitner. During his twelve year show career ‘Matt’ proved to be a versatile horse.

He was successful in the Pre-Adult, Pre-Green, First Year Green, Amateur Owner, Adult Amateur, and Children’s Hunter divisions. ‘Matt’ was Champion and Reserve champion in the First Year Green division in Ocala, and won top ribbons at Devon in both the First Year Green  and the 3’3″ Amateur Owner divisions. Furthermore, he won top ribbons at WEF in the 3’3″ Amateur Owner division. ‘Matt’ did the majority of his showing in the 3′ divisions. He was a master in the Adult Amateur and Children’s Hunter divisions. Some of the shows he was champion or reserve champion in the Adult Amateur or Children’s Hunter divisions were at HITS, WEF, Aiken Spring Classic, the Atlanta Classic Shows, the Aiken PSJ Shows, the SCHJA Show, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, and the TR&HC Horse Show, where he was Grand Adult Hunter Champion and winner of the Director’s Trophy in 2007.

‘Matt’ retired from showing in 2015.  According to Alison, “He is turned out in Camden, enjoying the good life.”

Merlin's Magic with Jennifer Smith.Photo by Anne Gittins

Merlin’s Magic with Jennifer Smith. Photo by Anne Gittins

Merlin’s Magic was a striking dapple grey gelding, owned and was ridden by Jennifer Smith of Green Creek, NC.  He was a Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross, purchased by Jennifer as a green broke three year old.  Jennifer trained him herself with the assistance of Brad Spragg of the Atlanta Hunt Club and then Jack and Liza Towell of Finally Farm in Camden, SC.  Liza remembers Jennifer and Merlin’s Magic as having a great partnership and being very successful. Merlin’s Magic was champion or reserve all over the Southeast in the Adult Amateur Hunter division.  With limited showing from 2001-2003, he was champion or reserve 13 times.  Merlin’s Magic, a beautiful mover, not only won over fences but many under saddle classes.  

In 2004, he was champion or reserve at 6 consecutive horse shows, one being the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity horse show, where he was Grand Champion Adult Amateur  Hunter. Jennifer remembers scoring a 92 in one class at a show in Conyers, Georgia, her highest score ever. As she walked out of the ring one of her classmates said, “I’m not sure why you got a 92, that should have been a 100.” During his career, Merlin’s Magic won classes in Ocala and Wellington with over 35 entries in each class.  “Nick”, as he is known  around the barn, was retired in 2007 at the Smith’s Green River Farm in Green Creek, NC.