Mercer Horse Show Hall of Fame inducts Davis, Bradshaw

August 01, 2004

HARRODSBURG - Jean McLean Davis and the late Frank Bradshaw were inducted into the Mercer County Fair & Horse Show Hall of Fame Saturday night.

Davis and Bradshaw were honored in a ceremony before Saturday's championship program at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, joining the hall established last year to honor those who have made significant contributions to the saddlebred industry and the Mercer show.

Davis is one of the most recognizable and successful saddlebred owners in Mercer County and in the entire industry. Her horses won scores of world championships from the 1940s through 1990, and she produced three five-gaited world champions.

The first was Oak Hill Chief, who won in 1943, 1945 and 1946. Yorktown won three straight championships from 1970-72, and one of his colts, Man on the Town, gave Davis two more titles in 1989-90.


Davis won three consecutive ladies gaited stakes from 1971-73 with Big Time, and her three-gaited champions include Edith Fable (1945-46), Dear One (1973-74), Hometown Hero (1981-82) and Gimcrack.

She also won four consecutive ladies harness stakes at the World's Championship with The Encore from 1953-56 and three straight ladies walk-trot stakes with Sashay from 1954-56. Her daughter, Jamie, won junior exhibitor five-gaited championships aboard Rob Shriver in 1972, 1973 and 1975.

Davis purchased Oak Hill Farm just east of Harrodsburg in 1964.

Davis, whose first victory came at Portsmouth, Va., show in 1939, became the first female member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, and she remains the only equestrian in that hall.

She retired from the show ring in the late 1980s.

Bradshaw was involved in the saddlebred industry for over 50 years, following older brother Garland into the horse world and making a name for himself in the show ring from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Bradshaw won an unprecedented seven consecutive five-gaited grand championships at the World's Championship Horse Show, with six victories aboard My My from 1963-68 and one more with Valerie Emerald in 1969.

Bradshaw's influence extended to a number of young trainers, exhibitors and owners. His nephew, Mitchell Clark of Danville, continues the family tradition of saddlehorse breeding, training and exhibition.

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