Tom and Sue Shone’s horse, Vision RB, is quite special, and it’s not just because he is a family pet.

The 8-year-old Arabian stallion, which is nicknamed Elmo, was named the United States Equestrian Federation’s Horse of the Year for 2005 in the Arabian Western Pleasure Adult Amateur class for accumulating the most points at horse show competitions from Nov. 1, 2004 to Oct. 31, 2005.

The horse earned 178 points in USEF’s Region 12, which is composed of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, putting him 14th place in the nation in the Arabian Western Pleasure Adult Amateur class. He earned 172 points in Region 14, which consists of Kentucky,

Ohio and Michigan and placed 12th in the nation in the Arabian Western Pleasure Open class, according to the USEF’s Web site.

Judges look for a calm horse during competition and one that walks smoothly and has presence, Tom, said.

“(The horses also) have to be well-mannered and quiet,” he said.

Elmo must demonstrate four gates during competition: walk, trot, canter and gallop. It is how the horse performs each gate that judges take into consideration when determining how many points he will receive.

Because he earned so many points last year, he will be competing in the Arabian national competition in Western Pleasure Open and Western Pleasure Adult Amateur classes in Louisville in October.

“When he goes to nationals he will be up against horses from the East Coast, West Coast and Canada,” Debbie Shone, Tom and Sue’s daughter and a trainer at Solitaire Farm in the Lucas area.

The Shones began working with Elmo when he was 3.

“He was really coming into a show horse at 4,” Debbie said.

Debbie carries treats she calls “horse cookies” in the pocket of her coveralls, and as she walks by Elmo’s stall he’ll come to the door and try to get her attention so she will give him a cookie.

Elmo is a gentle and friendly horse.

“All the clients love him, because he licks them,” she said.

Elmo comes from championship bloodlines, and the Shones plan for him to take his father’s place one day as breeding stock.

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