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Miniature horse is a champion

February 19, 2006|By LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

Carrousel's Star Over Texas, owned and trained by Don and Shirley Hovermale of Hagerstown, has enjoyed an incredible career and had another outstanding 2005 campaign.

The nine-year-old miniature horse has captured 616 blue ribbons in six years of competition and is a Hall of Fame member in Halter Confirmation, Driving and Obstacle Trail.

He needs just four points in the Jumper Division and three points in the Hunter Division in 2006 to join that elite class in those divisions.

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"There's nothing like him, he loves to compete," Don Hovermale said. "When we purchased him, our intent was to show him here and in area states but we never thought he would have this much success. He likes the shows, the attention - and he does pretty well for himself."

According to the Hovermales, Carrousel's Star Over Texas trains well and is all business on show days.

"He has been remarkable," Don's wife Shirley said. "He's been remarkable. He competed in 11 registered shows last year and still picked up enough points to finish second in the country in the National Division."

According to Shirley Hovermale, who handles "Tex" in the various events, there are three divisions for miniature horses: Area, National and Hall of Fame.

"We're in Area 1," Shirley Hovermale said. "That includes Ontario, the lower part of Canada, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia."

In 2005, Carrousel's Star Over Texas was the overall leading Hall of Fame performer in Area 1 with 204 points.

He captured the Country Pleasure Driving and Versatility Categories and finished eighth in the Hunter Division; third in the Jumper Division; sixth in the Obstacle Division; and 15th in the Roadster Division.

Carrousel's Star Over Texas competed in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

"We would love to compete in Maryland more but there's just not much available," Shirley Hovermale said.

In Area 1, the gelding was first overall with 5,379 accumulated points and - along the way - captured championships in the Country Pleasure Driving, Country Pleasure Driving Stakes, Open Halter Obstacles, Open Hunter, Adult Jumper, Open Versatility, Open Obstacle Driving and Golden Age Country Pleasure Driving; was fifth in the Open Roadster Division; and sixth in the Roadster Stakes.

In the nationals, Tex finished second in the overall point standings in the Country Pleasure Driving Class.

"I take my hat off to the champion," Don Hovermale said. "He must be some horse."

The Hovermales said miniature horse competition is becoming popular across the United States.

"At the nationals this year, there were 1,600 miniature horses registered," Don Hovermale said. "It's one of the top breeds in the country right now."

The Hovermales would like to see Tex earn his Hall of Fame points during the upcoming campaign and then compete in the nationals - held annually in Tulsa, Okla.

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