Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

Nov/Dec  2006

Cover Story


VBF's Warning Label

Rockin’ Double J Farm, owned by Jim and Judy Mezzanotte, in Monroe, NC is pleased to feature
our stallion, VBF’S Warning Label, and introduce trainers, Brenna Mills Law and Phil Austin.

Warning Label is our pride and joy. He began his show career as the 2001 RMHA International Futurity Stallion Two Year Old Colt. He followed that with multiple wins in 2003:

  • RMHA International Conformation Champion – 4 Year Old Stallion

  • RMHA International Grand Reserve Conformation Champion

  • RMHA 4-Year Old Stallion High Point Champion Under Saddle

In addition to those titles, he won many state and regional championships. However, in 2004, he became sick and could not finish out the show season. He also missed the 2005 show season. He was making his comeback in the 2006 show season; however, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, we decided to make a change and found ourselves without a trainer in the middle of the show season.

Thus the call to Brenna Mae. A lot of Mountain Horse people will remember her as “that little girl” who rode for the late Al Prewitt of Fayetteville, N.C.   Al had introduced us to Brenna when we first got into the horse business. She helped us out immensely in the beginning. While we had lost touch and had not spoken to her in quite some time, she promptly returned our call. We asked if she would be willing to help us out.

As most of you know, not many trainers will take your horse in the middle of the season. However, Brenna didn’t fit into that category. She spoke with Phil Austin of Phil Austin Stables where she trains and gives riding instructions, and called us back within the hour. Yes, they would do whatever they could to help us.

To say we were excited and grateful would be an understatement. Brenna is the first female to win the Rocky Mountain International on the well-known Tom’s Pride in 1994. She also won the 1995 Mountain Pleasure Horse World show with his sire, Vergeland Jake.

Phil Austin Stables may be a new name to Mountain Horse people, but Mountain Horses are not new to Phil Austin Stables. It is located in Kannapolis, NC about 20 minutes from Charlotte. The training facility is on a 25 acre farm that Phil purchased 25 years ago. Phil Austin is the owner and head trainer of the facility and has been training gaited horses for over 30 years. He is also an accomplished gaited farrier. He has shown gaited horses throughout the East coast.

It is easy to see why Phil and Brenna are successful with the horses they have in training. They work the horses every day. Perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate Phil’s determination is to relay a short story.

A man brought a horse to Phil on a snowy Saturday in December. A week later the man called. He began the conversation with “I know you probably have not been riding him…” Phil stopped the man and replied, “Yes I have and I have him gaiting.” When the man arrived he saw a small path between the barns where there was no snow. Phil had worked the horse in a sunny area, gaiting him back and forth until the snow was completely melted.

Phil Austin Stables has large, well maintained pastures, a beautiful pond and an extremely organized 160 foot indoor riding stable, as well as the original smaller barns. The main barn has 12 stalls, 3 cross ties, wash bay, office, full bath and tack room. The facility also has a full size show ring in which they hold spring and fall annual shows.

We are extremely pleased to have Brenna and Phil training and showing Warning Label, as well as all of our other horses. We are definitely looking forward to 2007!



Jim and Judy Mezzanotte

1523 Tom Williams Road

Monroe, NC  28112


Phone: 704-651-1223 (Jim)

Phone: 704-651-1445 (Judy)

Phone: 704-283-9141 (Barn)