Extra Dirty Martini and Randy Wilson win 2019 Virginia Maiden

Horse and rider receiving winners check.
Extra Dirty Martini and Randy Wilson won the 2019 Virginia Maiden at the Virginia Horse Center.

With a big pot of gold up for grabs just in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, about a dozen horses took to the Coliseum at the Virginia Horse Center on Saturday, March 16, for the 2019 Virginia Maiden — a Western Pleasure class for horses 3 and over who have never been shown.

In a format that is familiar to many who attend the largest of stakes classes such as the World Show, the horses were introduced one by one as they jogged down the center of the arena in front of the judges before the class began.

Vying for a total purse of $33,810, the class was formerly known as the Hylton Maiden Western Pleasure Class and is designed to encourage owners and trainers from pushing their young horses too hard.  The class has been the highest paying Western Pleasure futurities in the nation for the past several years.

The class is run like a slot class, with a $700 pre-entry fee due Feb. 15. After that, the entry fee increased to $1,000.

This year, it would be Extra Dirty Martini, a son of The Best Martini, that would take the win. Bred by University of Florida and out of Certain Mouseketeer, Extra Dirty Martini was ridden by Randy Wilson and is owned by Jennifer Moreau.

Complete results:


  1. Extra Dirty Martini, owned by Jennifer Moreau and shown by Randy Wilson; $9,000
  2. Shez Slippin Around, owned by William Hodges and shown by Bret Parrish; $6,000
  3. Tennessi Whiskey, owned by Rusty and Katie Green and shown by Dawn Baker; $4,200
  4. Moonlite Imagination, owned by Dawn Baker and shown by Brian Baker; $2,400
  5. (5/6 tie): Only Na Lexus, owned by William Dean Oliver and shown by Jay Starnes; $2,100
  6. (5/6 tie): ShezaEzRockinGoodbar, owned by Mac McGinnis and shown by Dustin Milsap; $1,680 and $1,500 for being the highest placing Intermediate Rider
  7. PSU Certain Hope, owned by Penny Osburn and shown by Christina Bantner; $1,560 and $1,500 for being the highest placing Limited Rider
  8. Invitation Bronzed, owned by Nicole Stickney and shown by Jeff Long; $1,350
  9. No Doubt Ima GoodOne, owned by Lori Partridge and shown by Brian Rastall; $1,320
  10. (10/11 tie) Jessica Rabbit, owned by Alexandra Chavez and shown by Andrew Sharp; $1,200
  11. (10/11 tie) Drunk On Ur Love, owned by Stephanie Windecker and shown by Jessi Irion

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Taft Dickerson rides Best on the Rocks to win Dave Higgins Memorial trophy

Taft Dickerson and Best on the Rocks accept the Dave Higgins Memorial trophy.

Taft Dickerson and Best on the Rocks won more than a Green Western Pleasure class on Sunday at the Virginia Quarter Horse Association’s Spring Breakout horse show at the Virginia Horse Center. They also won the chance to be part of honoring the late Dave Higgins, a VQHA hall of fame member who died last year after a car crash.

Taft Dickerson and Best on the Rocks lopes down the rail during the Green Western Pleasure class.

The VQHA honored the former show manager by awarding the Dave Higgins Memorial Trophy to the winner of the Green Western Pleasure class.

Dave Higgins, show manager of the association’s annual Virginia Classic horse show, died last year after being involved in a wreck on the way home from the April show. He later died of his injuries.

Best on the Rocks performed with a good cadence and pleasant expression throughout the class to unanimously win the class of eight under all four judges. He later that afternoon would also tie to win the Sr. Western Pleasure class.

Each competitor was asked to drop their horse’s bit for inspection by the judges.
The Green Western Pleasure lineup.
Horses lope down the rail.
A roan lopes on the rail.

Emily Jane Hilscher Memorial Show seeks sponsors/donations

Emily Jane Hilscher

Virginia Tech’s annual Emily Jane Hilscher Memorial Show has been scheduled for April 22-23 at the Alphin Stuart Arena in Blacksburg. The show is held in memory of Emily Jane Hilscher, a Virginia Tech equestrian team member and animal and poultry sciences freshman who was killed in the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Tech.

The horse show is run using donations from local companies, alumni and friends. All the money collected at the horse show goes to a scholarship fund for Animal & Poultry Science majors who represent good academic standing, amazing character and a strong work ethic. The show is currently seeking sponsors/donations. Visit http://kburke08.wix.com/ejhmhs#!boarding-options/cxxj or email kburke08@vt.edu for more information.
The show is one of two 4-H qualifiers in the southwest Virginia area and is also SWVHJA sanctioned. Saturday’s classes include over fences in the morning and hunter and dressage classes in the afternoon. Sunday features Western classes including pleasure, horsemanship, ranch riding, racking, trail obstacle challenge and speed. Find the class schedule here.

Western Pleasure comes with big stakes at Virginia Classic


A big-stakes western pleasure class will be at the Virginia Horse Center on April 9 as part of the Virginia Quarter Horse Association’s Virginia Classic Horse Show.

The Hylton Maiden 3-year-old and Over class takes place each year at the AQHA show and provides an incentive to wait for outstanding pleasure prospects to mature.

In 2015, the Hylton Maiden paid out $91,500. This year, $50,000 in added money will be put into the jackpot, making the projected payout for 2016 to be $31,500 to the winner, $11,570 for reserve and $8,455 for third. When calculated on a 20-entry average, even 10th place will recoup the $1,500 entry fee. (Click here to download an entry form for the 2016 Hylton Maiden. Click here to use the new online entry system for the 2016 Hylton Maiden.)

In addition to the jackpot, a $6,000 bonus will be awarded to the Highest Placing Intermediate Rider in the class and a $4,000 bonus will be awarded to the Highest Placing Limited Rider.

Judges for the Virginia Classic are Casey and April Devitt, Brad Kearns, Jeff Allen, Rick Christy, and Ryan Kail.

Entries are due by March 12; however, horses may be entered up until Friday, April 8 at 5 p.m. for a $500 late fee.

Past champions have included Taft Dickerson with Made By J (2015), Randy Wilson with Certainly On Sundi (2014), Jay Starnes with Zip By Machine (2013) and Kristy Starnes with Zippin Hot Machine (2012).