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GoHorseShow.com Presents: BEST OF 2009
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See who won this year’s most prestigious honors as the BEST OF 2009 are crowned.

Now that 2009 has drawn to a close, it’s that time of year when GoHorseShow.com reflects back and remembers some of the year's best and brightest highlights both in and out of the arena. The Second Annual Best Of awards are intended to entertain readers and honor the leaders in our industry with some very well-deserved recognition. Please keep in mind, the Best Of 2009 accolades were not handed out lightly and, although we’re sure there are many deserving winners who we may have forgotten, the recipients of the of most of these titles worked very hard to accomplish such honors.

We have divided the awards in to five award categories: Horse Shows, GoHorseShow.com, Horse Show Fashion, Trainers and last but not least, Horses. So without further ado, may we present to you the 2009 Best Of winners.

****HORSE SHOW AWARDS****

Best Overall Horse Show Experience
Sun & Surf Circuit - Del Mar, CA

Exquisitely set just two miles from the Pacific Ocean, Del Mar Horse Park is home of the aptly named Sun & Surf Circuit in Del Mar, California. The state-of-the art facilities are just one of the many reasons... More >>

Best Horse Show You May Have Never Heard About
Lucky 7 Classic – Murfreesboro, TN

Expect the unexpected from this show in a quaint college town suburb of Nashville, Tennessee with a population of about 85,000. The show management, led by Dr. Patrick Kayser of Middle Tenn... More >>

Best Horse Show Facility
State Fair Park - Oklahoma City, OK

Since undergoing a multi-million dollar face lift that’s been in progress for the last couple of years, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City has found its way at the very top of the upper-echelon of horse show... More >>

Best Horse Show Tailgater
Jim McKillips

Armed with a brand new setup that would make any tailgater at the parking lot of an NFL game jealous, Jim McKillips of Beloit, WI almost needs a separate rig just to transport his tailgating equipment... More >>

Best Place to Celebrate an AQHA World Championship
The Ranch Steakhouse – Oklahoma City, OK

The Ranch is the best place in town whether you’ve just won a World Championship or just want to go have one of the very best meals Oklahoma City has to offer. Approximately 10 minutes north of the... More >>

Best Horse Show Bartender
Jeff Graves

Jeff Graves of Double Oak, TX is self-admittedly not much of a horseman. Lucky for him though, his wife, Tracy and daughter, Payton have enough of the horse bug in them for the whole family. That love... More >>

Best Place to Celebrate an APHA World Championship
Del Frisco’s then Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar – Fort Worth, TX

Del Frisco’s on Main Street in Fort Worth is the best place to see and be seen for Texas sized steaks but be prepared to spend the big bucks. But who cares? You’ve just won a World Championship... More >>

Best Place to Celebrate a Congress Championship
GoHorseShow.com Congress VIP Club

For years it’s been a major undertaking to try to find a place in Columbus to celebrate a Congress win…until now. Sure, GoHorseShow.com is the title sponsor of The Congress VIP Club, but there’s truly... More >>

Best Horse Show After-Party
Gold Strike Hotel – Tunica, MS

Although the Southern Belle Casino Party (Best Of winner in 2008) took on a bit more somber mood this year, the after party at Stage 2 at the Gold Strike Hotel was anything but. We tried to gather... More >>

Best Horse Show Dive Restaurant
Blue and White – Tunica, MS

Tired of the same ‘ole chain restaurants when you’re going up and down the road? The next time you’re in Tunica for The Southern Belle or any of Cody Fisher’s shows, don’t miss the Blue and White... More >>

Best New Hotel Policy
“Employees only behind the bar!!!”

Although we’re sworn to secrecy and won’t name any names…in fact, we won’t even divulge where it took place. We can, however, sum up the events that led to this new policy in 15 words or less... More >>

****GOHORSESHOW.COM AWARDS****

Best GoMag Ad
Brittany Boyd - November GoMag, page 16-17

GoMag featured thousands of great ads this year by some very talented graphic designers, so picking just one ad to call Best of 2009 made it pretty challenging. But when it came right down to it... More >>

Best Horse-Related Website
Masterson Farms

For capturing the sheer beauty and elegance that is Masterson Farms, Ken and Marilyn Masterson’s website wins our vote in this category. It’s worth visiting just to see pictures of the... More >>

Best GoHorseShow.com Tile
Vicky Holt Show Horses

Vicky Holt is the first person to admit she’s not the most technologically savvy. Even though she doesn’t have a website for her Argyle, Texas based training operation, she still manages to win the title of... More >>

Best GoHorseShow.com Banner
Show Me Again

Repeat web traffic is a business owner’s dream and Show Me Again proved this year that if you update it, they will come. As Show Me Again heads into its tenth year in business, it is still the industry leader... More >>

Best GoHorseShow.com Skyscraper
Pine View Farm

GoHorseShow.com added an exciting new advertising feature in the summer of 2009 and the first to say “Yes!” to this new offering were our loyal customers Debbi Trubee and Mike Farina at... More >>

Best Quote in a GoHorseShow.com Article
“I’ll do my best to limit my profanity, but you guys will probably have to edit the s*** out of this thing.” – Gerri Leigh Pratt

When GoHorseShow.com’s own Troy Compton sat down with Gerri Leigh Pratt of Winston Salem, NC for one of his famous On The Cart With Compton columns, the interview kicked off in only a way... More >>

Best International Use of GoHorseShow.com Technology
Maggie Bellville’s September Ad in GoMag

The wonders of being 100% digital never cease to amaze us. In early September, we happened to be watching the live show feed of the Select World from Amarillo, Texas on AQHA.com from... More >>

Best Overall Ad Campaign
Kaplow Insurance Agency by Market Street Marketing

In order to have a true ad campaign, it takes more than just a handful of GoMag ads throughout the year to make a big impact. It takes a great website, great magazine ads, great tile and banner... More >>

Best Ad Designer
Jadasa Jablonowski aka “Dasi”

It truly pains us to have to name a single favorite in some of these categories, but this is “Best Of 2009” so there’s no taking the easy way out. This category is especially tough because the graphic... More >>

****HORSE SHOW FASHION AWARDS****

Best Custom Saddle Design
Harris Leather’s Custom Saddle for Annelise Kimmel

Visit or call Harris Leather and Silverworks in State Road, NC, tell them you want a custom show saddle unlike anything anyone else has ever seen then sit back and let Phil and Eddie do the rest... More >>

Best Custom Show Clothes Designer
Paula’s Place

She has a client list that reads like the who’s who of the Quarter and Paint Horse industry. She is commonly referred to as “an artist,” “workaholic,” “perfectionist,” and “the most creative person... More >>

Best New Company
Good Ride

Making its debut at the All American Quarter Horse Congress this year, Hannah and Ronnie Casper’s latest brainchild was all the rage. The Good Ride mantra; “From an Ocean Tide to an 8 Second Ride... More >>

Best English Tack and Clothing Retailer
The Hitching Post

John Hall at The Hitching Post is the hands-down winner in this category. Located in the heart of horse country in Middletown, Kentucky, The Hitching Post has been serving the needs of equestrian... More >>

Best Western Show Clothes Retailer
Connie’s Customs

Connie’s Customs has been a mainstay in this category for over a decade and dominates this year when it comes to quality, selection and customer service. Whether you’re looking for a fancy hand painted... More >>

Best Halter Show Clothes Retailer
Macy’s

If you’re a woman showing at a big show in a halter class and you need a new outfit to really look the part, Macy’s is your best bet. Macy’s? Yep, Macy’s. Their vast selection of unique, yet classy and stylish... More >>

Best Western Hat Retailer
Kendalls Western Hats

Quality, selection and most of all, customer service are the driving forces behind Kendalls Western Hats located in Pavo, GA. Proprietor Brook Parrish along with his wife Beth have built Kendalls into... More >>

Best Dressed Female
Sharnai Thompson

Forget about one measly year of 2009. Sharnai Thompson has made a life-long career of being the best dressed exhibitor in the show pen. Often imitated but never duplicated, Sharnai’s style is hers and... More >>

Best Dressed Male
Kenny Lakins

Fashion and males don’t often collide in the same sentence when it comes to horse shows. Let’s face it, the guys got lucky in the couture department. Throw on a starched shirt, a scarf (sometimes) and... More >>

****TRAINER AWARDS****

Best Assistant Trainer
Shannon Curl

They say every successful person knows how to surround themselves with great people. The horse training business is no different and it can be argued that behind every successful trainer is... More >>

Best English Trainer
Beth Case

Chances are if you ask Beth Case who she thought was the best English trainer in 2009, she would run out of names before she mentioned her own. Maybe that’s one of the things we like most about her... More >>

Best Halter Trainer
Ted Turner

Ted Turner of Thackerville, OK has more World Championships to his name than any other trainer in the horse show industry. That’s an honor that might just live on forever as Ted continues to thrive in the... More >>

Best Western Pleasure Trainer
Rusty Green

It’s no secret that 2009 was a career-defining year for trainer Rusty Green. His domination in the western pleasure arena actually started in November of 2008 with his first ever World Championship... More >>

Best All-Around Trainer
Highpoint Performance Horses

Walk down Highpoint’s aisle at any major show and the horse’s names read like the who’s who of the AQHA record books: Harley D Zip, A Certain Vino, Sleepin In The Rain, Show Diva, Must Be A Detail... More >>

Best Job in the Horse Show Business
Steve Meadows for Hylton Quarter Horses

Winning the award for the second consecutive year, Steve Meadows of Hylton Quarter Horses is one lucky guy. In a position as a private trainer, which for most other farms has a relatively high... More >>

****HORSE AWARDS****

Best Halter Horse
RPL My Te Cheerful

RPL My Te Cheerful (aka “Henry”), owned by Vern Habighorst of Phoenix, AZ won the Youth World, Open World, Select World and Congress in Youth, Limited Amateur, Amateur and Open AND... More >>

Best English Horse
Hot Ones Only

The three year old bay stallion by Invitation Only enjoyed a year that most horses are lucky to accomplish in their entire career. Four AQHA World Championships, five Congress Championships... More >>

Best Pleasure Horse
A Certain Vino

If you were a betting man heading into 2009, you’d say that there was no way A Certain Vino could repeat his complete and total domination of the western pleasure pen that he enjoyed in 2008... More >>

Best All-Around Horse
The Krymsun Kruzer

Okay, so you win the All-Around Junior Horse and All-Around English Horse titles at the Arizona Sun Circuit and at some point you think, “Let’s see if he likes to jump?” That’s pretty much how it went... More >>

****THANK YOU****

Best Person We Need to Thank
Betty Wells

As GoHorseShow.com has grown into year two of its existence, the list of people we REALLY need to thank has grown exponentially. From our loyal readers who took our hits to an all-time high of over 18 million in December to our unbelievable advertisers who, if it wasn’t for them, GoHorseShow.com would be nothing (and we do mean NOTHING). From the multiple people who believed in us from day one and supported everything we said we would do to the naysayers who have since come forward and admitted their newfound appreciation and respect for us. If we know one thing for sure from 2009, it is that we have so much and so many, many, many people to be thankful for... More >>

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