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Miniature horse to be honored at convention

October 29, 2006|by LARRY YANOS

Gaining Hall of Fame recognition in any sport is difficult, but Carrousel's Star Over Texas makes it look easy.

The 10-year-old miniature horse, owned and trained by Don and Shirley Hovermale of 4H Stables in Hagerstown, continued his winning career in 2006 by capturing American Miniature Horse Registry Hall of Fame honors in both the Hunter and Jumper classifications.

It adds to earlier Hall of Fame honors in Halter (2002), Country Pleasure Driving (2002) and Obstacle (2005).

"Tex is remarkable," said Shirley Hovermale, who trains and shows the miniature horse. "He enjoys the competition and is so versatile - doing well in many different classes. He's a real crowd pleaser because people see the effort he puts forth."

The miniature horse will be honored along with other Hall of Fame recipients at the American Miniature Horse Registry's annual convention in Reno, Nev., on Nov. 11.

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"There are very few miniature horses in the country who have Hall of Fame recognition in five different categories," Shirley Hovermale said. "He has also accumulated Hall of Fame points in Versatility, Roadster and Pleasure Driving but we're scaling back on the number of horse shows next year and it will be tough for him to reach the Hall of Fame levels in those categories."

To reach Hall of Fame status, 70 points are needed and some other criteria must be met.

Carrousel's Star Over Texas has gained lifetime points in Versatility, Roadster and Pleasure Driving.

Combine those with 374 in Country Pleasure Driving, 110 in Obstacle, 108 in Halter, 84 in Jumper and 79 in Hunter and he has accumulated more than 800 total points.

"We only showed seven times this year and he still gained 145 national points," Shirley Hovermale said. "He received one championship and five Reserve (second place) at the various shows."

While the 2007 show schedule for Carrousel's Star over Texas will be limited, the Hovermales expect to stay busy.

"We've always been active and involved with the local horse shows, they do such a grand job, and we'll take 'Tex' and the other miniature horses at the farm, to nursing homes and the like," Shirley said. "The folks really enjoy seeing them, it means a lot."

Don Hovermale has words of praise for the miniature horse.

'Loves to compete'

"There's nothing like him, he loves to compete and is the darling of the crowd," 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 attention - and he does pretty well for himself.

"Over the years, we've been offered a lot of money for him, but he was never for sale."

The Hovermales said Carrousel's Star Over Texas trains well and is all business on show days.

Shirley Hovermale said there are three divisions for miniature horses - Area, National and Hall of Fame.

"We're in Area 1," Shirley 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 2006, Carrousel's Star Over Texas was the overall leading Hall of Fame performer in Area 1. He competed in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware and Virginia.

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

"At the nationals this year in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there were over 1,000 miniature horses registered," Don Hovermale said. "It's one of the top breeds in the country right now."

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