• 63°

Long hours help produce good results

In just four years, a Lincoln County couple has become the proudowners of a well-known horse stable.

Robert Earl and Barbara Case have worked long hard hours sinceopening Case Farm Paint Horses, but the work has paid off with muchrecognition.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding,” said BarbaraCase.

The Cases, although new to the horse show circuit, have alreadyproduced two world champion paint horse stallions and many otherclose contenders.

One of their paint horse stallions, Skip Impressive, is atwo-time world champion, while Slightly Cool has been named worldchampion once and reserve world champion, which means second best,twice.

The stallions’ foals are eligible to compete in the futuritycategory, which judges the offspring of stallions. The stallionshave competed in halter and head and heel competitions.

Horses are taken to shows throughout the South to be judged onfitness and confirmation, which is the overall balanced look,explained Barbara Case.

“Their fitness would be their hair appearance and their eyeappeal,” she added.

The horses go through vigorous training in order to compete inshows because judges critique every aspect of the horse’sappearance.

“It’s just like an athlete,” said Barbara Case. “You have tofeed them right and condition them.”

The intense training for competition begins as early aspossible, she said.

“We wean the babies from their mother when they’re four monthsold and they start their regime for becoming show horses,” sheexplained.

She gives credit to their trainer, Charles Maxwell of LincolnCounty, for the success their horses have experienced.

“I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for him,” said BarbaraCase. “He’s got an eye for picking out halter babies and bringingthem up and getting them ready for show. Without him, I wouldn’thave the glory, the ribbons, the belts…”

Maxwell, who has been a horse trainer most of his life, and theCases work together to perfect horses’ exercise routines,appearance and obedience. They are also assisted by Sherrell Case,who is the barn manager when the Cases are out-of-town.

The horses need such high maintenance that they require as muchattention as children.

The daily program begins at 4:40 a.m. for Barbara Case, and withover 40 horses, it doesn’t stop until 10 p.m. The long hours arenecessary, she said, because the judges examine the horses soclosely during competition.

“They are looking for the perfect horse,” she said, mentioninghow sometimes horses must stand still for up to an hour duringjudging time.

The Cases hope their success continues to grow as the becomemore and more experienced and are able to breed more winninghorses.