2018 Final Thank You

By:  Steeple Bell

Now that a winner has been named, and the "porch" celebrations have concluded, we need to thank the many people who made this all possible. Some are out front and visible every day, while many others do their jobs behind the scenes but all are necessary for the smooth running of the field trial.

No one is more out front than the judges. Jim Crouse of Dixon Ky., Jadie Rayfield of Mount Pleasant S.C., and Dr. Rick Carlisle of Ames Plantation rode the judicial duties throughout the varying weather this year's renewal experienced. We appreciate these gentlemen's dedication and decision.

Another who rides every brace, up front with the judges, is the official trial reporter. William Smith returns this year in this capacity, and we all anticipate his reports. While we all have been following along on the website and face book page for the daily notes and photos, nothing compares to sitting back in the rocking chair to read the written report for the actual brace by brace, blow by blow discussion published each year in The American Field (and available here on the website).

Still, others anticipate the complete video of this year's trial to get all of the details. This will be the 30th year that Brad Harter has made them. Brad is ably assisted by Larry Garner and Ken Blackman. See the list of sponsors for his website link to purchase a copy.

Each day Jamie and Dee Evans take the basic notes from the reporter and photos from Brad's team to post on the brace by brace synopsis found on the website and face book updates. Jamie takes a number of these photos himself, too. Their other duties are too numerous to go unappreciated.

The marshals are in their saddles for every brace, too. Keeping the gallery gathered up and on course is quite a chore for a trial of this size. This year's marshals were Ryan Braddock, Chris Weatherly and Charlie Frank Bryan.  They were assisted by mounted security personnel Kelly Green, Joe Thompson, Zack Parsons, Chris Kelley, Johnny Pattat, Dustin Kee, Jacob Jenkins and Kerry Kimery.  Paramedic Greg Tapp was riding every brace, just in case. 

On the ground is the head of security, Aubrey Green. The road gallery requires as much wrangling as the horseback gallery. The road crossings are manned by Marilyn Woody and Moses Allen from Fayette County sheriff’s department. Photographer Vera Kingery Courtney captures all that the road gallery has seen. 

The barn crew are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. Their behind the scenes duties are perhaps the most under-appreciated. They are James Morrow, Albert Jenkins, Robert Polk, Mark Yearwood, Steven McKeen, Roberto Garza, Tyler Searles, and Dillon Goudy. 

Kerry Kimery of Double K Farms was the rental horse wrangler again this year, and has been for the past 25 years. He was helped by his daughter Dr. Kerri Kimery-Breeden, Katy Dunn, and Squeaky Powell. 

Much more visible to the visitors of the plantation is Matt Backus who makes the announcements before each breakaway. 

Larry Teague is up early each day to open the Rhea Clubhouse, turn on the heat, and make the coffee. The clubhouse hostesses are volunteers from the neighboring communities. They are: Betsy Jones, Julie Fisher, Mary McAuslin, Judy & Patrick McKeen, Geneen O’Bryan, Angie Rose, Margie Schultz, Alice Tate, and Pam and Gerald Wade.

Lastly everyone appreciated the sausage and biscuits provided each morning in the Rhea Clubhouse by Grand Junction First Baptist Church.  Brother Troy Styers and Bobby Hanna were on hand each morning to assist.