division, the area has offered a steady stream of national champions. In one show ring match-up at the Region 12 Championships, soon-to-be-legends Magnum Psyche and Versace faced off as yearlings. Both were bred and foaled in the Southeast. ONE GEOGRAPHY, MULTIPLE ERAS It is natural to ask: which was more fun—the innocence of the 1960s, the meteoric atmosphere of the 1980s, or the challenging competition of today? Ann Stover demurs. She enjoyed showing with her daughter Beth (“a fourth generation horsewoman and she’s better than all of us”) in the old days and she still does. “It’s just as much fun now as it ever was,” she says, “but it was a totally different kind of thing early on.” Jean Blackstone agrees. She has seen the region from 82 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES
Clock Tower in Perry Georgia, home of Region 12 Championship Show.
the viewpoint of a small owner, and in the heyday of the 1980s as a large owner, when her Onyx Arabians offered a roster of 125 horses. “I miss the camaraderie and singleness of purpose that we all had,” she admits, “but it’s still fun to show Arabian horses, and I still promote them at every opportunity. It’s a different kind of fun now, but it’s been a wonderful life.” Stover considers the years of going to shows. “You watched your friends grow up and grow older, and then you watched their children. The people in this life that we have are my family.” Unknowingly, she echoes Blackstone, and maybe that’s the secret behind much of Region 12’s success. “It has been a wonderful life. I think some of the greatest people on earth are right here.”
July 2014 issue