By: Dianne Sudbrock
For a record setting third time, Max Ciampoli, trainer at Jimmie Hite Stables near New Melle, has trained and presented a grand champion in the All American Weanling Cup Futurity. The Weanling Cup is an event within the All American Horse Classic that was held this past September in Indiana.
The Weanling Cup Futurity (a competition where the participants must be entered before they are born) is for saddlebreds less than a year old, usually around six months. Babies entered into the Futurity are eligible to participate in the Weanling Cup and Three-Year-Old Gaited competitions.
Max is the only handler to win Grand Champion in the Weanling Cup three times in the event’s seven year history. (He’s actually won four times in eight years, but the first year was for yearlings and isn’t counted in the official statistics.)
This year’s winner, Gypsy So Special (a colt from Gypsy Santana and Phancy Jamas) garnered over $38,000 in prize money for owners Wade and Flecia Fairey of Rock Hill, South Carolina.
In 2008 Max trained and presented Grand Champion The Phantom Force, owned by Paul and Rebecca Dieckmann, Columbia, MO; and the Reserve Champion The Blue Martini owned by Johannes and Sharon Evans, Lexington, KY. In 2007, Max showed The Cat Walk, a filly owned by Robert and Lynn Keys of Kentucky.
This year, 44 weanlings participated in the Weanling Cup, and Gypsy So Special was declared the winner by unanimous vote of all three judges – a rare feat. In 2007, The Cat Walk was also chosen by unanimous vote out of a field of 46.
The American Saddlebred is an aristocratic breed of horse which originated in the United States and is known for its spectacular high-stepping gait The babies that participate in the Weanling Cup competition are trained for 8-10 weeks before participating. Max receives numerous requests to train babies each year. Unfortunately, he’s had to turn some away and send some home because they just didn’t work out – usually due to size or ability.
Max is quick to share credit for his successful showings with Tina Glosemeyer – assistant trainer at Jimmie Hite Stables. “Tina helps with training and fills an important role in the arena as the Trailer.” During a show, the goal is to keep the horse within a certain space (an imaginary rectangle) in relation to the trainer. The trainer leads at the horse’s front left. The trailer follows at the right rear. Between the two of them, they teach the babies to keep pace and stay in alignment – not too far ahead or behind the trainer, and not too far to either side.
“We’re very lucky to have Tina,” Max said. Tina is a native of Marthasville, and currently lives in O’Fallon, Missouri. She has worked at Jimmie Hite Stables for about 13 years.
Max has been training and working with horses all his life. A St. Louis native, he started riding at age 4 and showing at age 7. When he first started out, he moved around the country, working at different stables with various breeds in an effort to learn all he could and perfect his training skills. He has worked with most major breeds, including Quarter Horses, and has been at Jimmie Hite stables for the past 26 years.
Jimmie Hite is a lifelong horseman and Saddlebred trainer with a long list of champions associated with his name. In August, 2003, he celebrated his 50th year of showing at the Missouri State Fair and was inducted into the Missouri State Fair Hall of Fame. Jimmie Hite Stables is located at 951 Foristell Road. The stable offers boarding, training, riding lessons, showing and sales of American Saddlebred, Hackney Ponies, Morgans and Arabians. For more information, call 636.828.5877.