HARRISBURG, Pa. – With tears welling, Donald Patterson from Greene Meade Belgians in Waynesburg, Pa., paused to take in the moment.
His mare, Greene Meade Bess, had just been named supreme draft horse at the 50th Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg Oct. 6.
The mare won supreme honors from a field of 246 draft horses competing at this year’s KILE.
What you work for. The title meant more to Patterson than most spectators understood.
“This is the third time she’s won it, and that’s an all-time record,” Patterson said. “It’s a heck of a big deal. It’s what you work for.”
The 9-year-old mare also won the title in 2005 and 2002.
Unanimous. The three judges unanimously selected Greene Meade Bess as the supreme, taking into account action, movement, conformation, presence and breed characteristics. The judges were Ryan Burger of Willard, Ohio; Rod Derrer of Milan, Ill.; and Scott Morrision of St. Louis, Mo.
Homebred. Owned and bred on the farm, Greene Meade Bess has been an All-American Mare for two consecutive years. As a 3-year-old, she competed on the Oak Haven’s Hitch and won a national championship.
Greene Meade Bess won her class at every show this year, including Ohio State, Indiana State, Southern Ohio and now KILE.
The mare will compete at Great Lakes in Lansing, Mich., and in Louisville, Ky., later this fall.
Winning tradition. The mare is shown by Tim and Tom Lemley, who have been with Patterson’s farm for more than a decade.
Sired by Orndorff U2 Charie, she has produced five foals, which have also been successful on the show circuit. The next prospect mothered by Greene Meade Bess is due in February 2007.
Patterson has been raising Belgians for 21 years.
Contenders. The Supreme Draft Horse competition featured all mares this year, representing the Best of Breed from the Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire halter shows.
The other contenders for supreme honors were: Clydesdale: Solomon’s Asti, Greenwood Farms/West Edge Acres, Charles Cryderman, Richmond, Mich. Percheron: ER’s Lou, Chad Cole, Pennwoods Percherons, Centre Hall, Pa. Shire: Skelton Sophie, Tayson Shires, Tom Taylor, Whitney Point, N.Y.
Other Belgian winners. Darrell Drain of Lakefield, Ontario, had a clean sweep of the Belgian champion stallion classes with two of his entries.
Ordorff’s UC Encore was first named champion senior stallion and then grand champion stallion. Stoney Lake Elvis won champion junior stallion as well as reserve grand champion stallion.
Winning reserve champion senior stallion was Mountaineer Eclipse, exhibited by Harold and Linda Aston of Cameron, Md.
Reserve champion junior stallion went to SB Power Play, exhibited by Brian and Jodi Winkler of Creston, Ohio.
Sunnybrook Victory, exhibited by Duane Miller of Apple Creek, Ohio, received both reserve senior and reserve grand champion mare titles.
Millville’s Ruthie, exhibited by the Nebergall Bros from Arthur, Ill., won champion junior mare. Reserve champion junior mare went to SB Xena, exhibited by Brian and Jodi Winkler.
Craig and Chris Hammersmith of Defiance, Ohio, exhibited the champion gelding.
More than 95 Belgians competed.
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