by Diana Davidson
REDMOND, Ore. - 2007 was a milestone year for the Far West Regional. The proud history of Far West was never more evident as the show celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 19-23. The Deschutes County Fairgrounds located in scenic central Oregon again hosted the AMHA Region 8 Championships at Far West.
The week was filled with many opportunities to showcase the Morgan breed and its proud heritage that have been enjoyed over the past 50 years at Far West. Far West has been and still is a show where the versatility of the Morgan breed is spotlighted in many ways with entries from throughout the western United States as well as Canada vying for top honors.
The success of Far West over the past 50 years has come thanks to the tireless efforts of scores of people who have worked to continue this proud tradition. While the 2007 Far West Regional was a tribute to all of the great shows, fabulous horses and wonderful people who are the fabric of the show’s history, it was also a bridge to a bright future.
This year marked a fresh new start for the show with the triumvirate of new show manager Barbara Dunham and co-chairs Marli Perry and Diana Pyle at the helm. These ladies stepped up to the plate with fresh ideas and the willingness to work together, be open to new ideas and help to continue the proud heritage of Far West. They certainly came through with flying colors as did the many volunteers, committee members and show officials who completed the winning team.
The list of top-flight show officials also included announcer Bill Carrington assisted by Houston Chatham, photographer Casey McBride, ringmaster Tim Schubert, secretary Kelly McFaul, USEF Steward Phillip Rice, paddock master Scott Beyl and farrier Skip Bickford. Steve Davis, Betty Gray and Donna Longacre (dressage) served as the judges at the 50th annual Far West Regional.
Show Manager Barbara Dunham was delighted with the results of the show and the great effort put forth by everyone. "I thought the show was great! I would like to thank the exhibitors and supporters of the show. I am extremely grateful to co-chairs Marli and Diana for all of their hard work, and to our great barn manager Rollie Bowers for all of his help. The fairgrounds personnel worked with us on the footing and helping to make the facility more user-friendly. We also had some great input from the trainers and that seemed to be the key. The party on Friday night was great, and we really appreciate Bill Carrington working with us as the show announcer and Friday night auctioneer along with bid spotters Mike Silver, Mark Bodnar and Rollie Bowers. It was just an excellent show.”
Co-chair Marli Perry added, “Our new show team really seemed to gel this year. We had a great time working together and we have some great ideas already for next year. We were so happy with the support we had from so many folks who want to see this show succeed and get back on track of being a premier event. The Morgan family is truly awesome! We would like to invite those who have been thinking about coming to Far West to give it some serious thought for 2008. We would love to have you come join us in beautiful Central Oregon next year.”
The breathtaking scenery, high desert climate and outstanding show ring competition have made Far West a favorite for many West Coast exhibitors since the show’s move to this location in 2000. The competition is perfectly placed with the panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains surrounding Redmond as the backdrop for the Far West Regional. The chamber of commerce must have ordered the weather with sparkling sunny, warm days and cool, clear evenings. The weather was ideal for many exhibitors who combine the horse show with a summer vacation enjoying a variety of tourist activities in Redmond and the surrounding area. They have the chance to take in over 200 classes of show ring competition and also use some of their time to play golf, go river rafting or fishing, or simply enjoy being a tourist.
The show ring competition certainly had some highlights courtesy of some of the West Coast’s top performing champions that included such Grand National and world champions as El-Toro, En Possession NKS, Movado, Futurity’s Such A Twist, Treble’s Spring Loaded, Firecrest E-Ticket, Festival Calypso, Tug Hill Gunns And Roses, Treble’s Mucho Uno, Pondview Tres Bien, WH Zimbabwe, Equinox Adelle, En Excess NKS, Kane Creek Kamikaze, Corrick, Goldencrest Black Diamond, Rum Brook Immortal Mystic and a host of others. There were also several new teams, debuting youngsters and horses switching to new divisions that drew praise, including Baccarat’s Visionary with Bill Grundmeyer, Cedar Creek With Bells On with Deborah Stevenson, FRF Outer Limits with Ryan Arcuri, Total Request and Stacia Klein, Mantic Flairboyant and Lauren Lang, Boston Big Whammy and Kris Johnsen, Twenty-Two Magnum and Tammy Mucklestone, Baccarat’s Instant Replay and Bill Grundmeyer, Pardon My Prince and Forest Nealon and Celebrity Cavalier and Lynae Ireland.
The amateur championships were the exciting climax of the Friday and Saturday evening sessions with nearly $20,000 in prize money offered between the English, western and hunter pleasure divisions. These wonderfully competitive classes were made possible due to the foresight and generosity of a group of dedicated Morgan owners and trainers. The results were spectacular with a trio of well-filled, competitive and exciting classes. It was a trio of world titled horses who earned the victory passes and the winner’s share of the purses for En Excess NKS and Julie Chan in hunter pleasure, Firecrest E-Ticket and Aimee Shriner in western pleasure and Pondview Tres Bien and Teri Rumens in the finale in English pleasure.
The well-attended and long-remembered parties at Far West are legendary. The 2007 edition of the exhibitors’ party was the Black Tie and Blue Jeans Affair co-sponsored by Bank Of America to commemorate the show’s 50th anniversary. The evening included a live and silent auction with some fabulous items to benefit the Youth Of The Year program, a moving presentation by the show’s beneficiary Sparrow Clubs USA, along with live music and dancing. There were several other barn and aisle parties throughout the week in addition to the annual dog show and several other competitions and meetings that set the atmosphere for everyone to work, compete and play together.
One year ago it was the hope that Far West would “set the course in a new direction as the show headed toward its 50th anniversary in 2007.” I am happy to report that the course has been righted and Far West’s ship is sailing straight ahead.
Highlights of the Far West Regional show ring competition follow. Complete results can be found by clicking here.
The Amateur English Pleasure Championship was a highly anticipated Saturday evening event as the Patron’s Purse class awarded $7,800 in prize money. The class drew a competitive field of seven top-flight teams as the gate swung open for the competition. The entries represented stables from Oregon, Washington, California and Canada with strong encouragement from their cheering sections. Judge Betty Gray had the call of the class and asked the competitors for one final trot as she had done in the qualifier before lining up the entries.
As the winning announcement was made, it was a very good night indeed for Fire Run Farm as Pondview Tres Bien and Teri Rumens took a trip to the winner’s circle to accept the tricolor honors. Trainer Elra Tonkin greeted the victorious pair as they were awarded the winner's purse of $3,900 and the applause of their cheering section. Shannon Connor and French Flambeau enjoyed a bold and determined ride to command the reserve championship and a strong ovation for their efforts. Cassie Stevenson and MEM Playboy matched up for the yellow ribbon following a big win on Thursday night in the eight-entry qualifier directed by Forest Nealon.
Teri Rumens and Pondview Tres Bien
The Open English Pleasure Championship was another Saturday evening highlight. En Possession NKS and Keith Nelsen turned in a stylish performance to earn the tricolor honors for the Lee/Woolley family after making the victory pass in the stallion/gelding class. Tim Arcuri had QVM Rocket Man performing on all cylinders to step up for the reserve tricolor after taking a trip down victory lane in the open qualifier for Quincy Valley Morgans. The English Pleasure Mares blue also went back to the Arcuri Stables banner as Shannon Connor was all dressed in blue to present LGH Destiny’s Treasure to a beautiful winning ride.
The Ladies English Pleasure Championship featured a tricolor repeat performance for the reserve world championship team of Matrix and Shannon Connor. They bested the field to earn another trip down victory lane for Tom and Stephanie Connor. It was a friendly family rivalry as the ladies qualifier featured Stephanie Connor and her world titled partner Man In Command taking command of the class to earn the victory pass. Reserve honors in both the qualifier and championship went to the sport new combination of JW Thinketh Blue and Cindy Stiers, who also made the victory pass in the novice rider class prepared by Cathy Grimes.
Stacia Klein stepped up to the challenge of the 14-17 age group and the riding assignment of Total Request to add the tricolor performance to a winning week for Arcuri Stables. In addition to their equitation victories Maxi Gumprecht and QVM American Icon also took the victory pass in their lone performance class of the week in the 14-17 qualifier coached by Yvonne Sekyra. Tyra and Jessica Geissinger turned in a stylish ride to collect the blue ribbon and medallion in the Youth English Pleasure.
The Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 13 & Under Championship again featured the awarding of the Mtn Laurel Maximilian Perpetual Trophy named for the late great Lee/Woolley family champion. Lauren Lang was excited to win the trophy and the championship to add to a great show. Here, she was paired with Bonnie Trimble’s Mantic Flairboyant for the tricolor as well as the qualifier blue under the direction of Elra Tonkin. PWF Keep The Roses and Krystal Blundell turned in a pair of bold rides to command the reserve honors under the Crown Morgans banner.
The Illahee banner was filled with blue ribbons and tricolors from Far West. Ultra’s Special Trademark enjoyed an undefeated week starring in the in hand as well as the English pleasure divisions. Forest Nealon rode Jan Van Dusen’s handsome bay to the Junior English Pleasure Championship and the four-year-old qualifier victory. Tammy Mucklestone teamed up with her handsome youngster Twenty-Two Magnum to turn in the reserve tricolor ride prepared by Yvonne Sekyra. Carmen Hobson rode Chelsea Norris’s animated Kane Creek Moonstruck to the Three-Year-Old English Pleasure victory.
The pleasure driving division featured some outstanding and entertaining competition including performances by Grand National and World title-holders and some new stars who look certain to earn their own. The open division featured Baccarat’s Visionary making a bold statement in his harness debut. The handsome son of Continental Vision earned the Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the stallion/gelding victory with Bill Grundmeyer introducing for proud breeder/owners Bill and Kathy Papola. Boston Big Whammy made his presence known in a new division as well with Kris Johnsen taking over the lines to garner the reserve tricolor as well as the gentlemen’s blue for Robert and Deborah Stevenson under the direction of Forest Nealon.
Kathy and Bill Papola with Baccarat’s Visionary
and Bill Grundmeyer
The mare class featured the elegant FRF Bridalveil taking a trip down victory lane with Elra Tonkin leading the way for Kurt and Teri Rumens and Fire Run Farm. Greg Ferguson guided the Babuik family’s animated stallion HBF Dynasty Flaire to top honors in the novice class.
The names Festival Calypso and Stephanie Connor are synonymous with ladies pleasure driving. The world championship team continued their Far West tricolor streak as they earned the Ladies Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the qualifier once again this year. Carole Bradford and her fronty Upper Echelon enjoyed two fine drives as well to carry the reserve honors back to Keith Nelsen Stables.
Stephanie Connor and her driving horses are certainly on target this season as they enjoyed another undefeated show at Far West. Dragonsmeade Carnegie Hall showed off his good looks and style on the way to top honors in the Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier.
The young horse competition featured an impressive field of promising performers including some memorable debuts. Baccarat’s Instant Replay enjoyed a debut as the Pondview Tres Bien daughter was the pride of Baccarat Farms when Bill Grundmeyer guided her to the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the three-year-old blue. Jennifer Lang is having a great time driving her stylish FRF Quintessa when they added the four-year-old blue as well as the Junior Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship to the Fire Run Farm banner under the direction of Elra Tonkin.
Promise Me The Moon showed tractability and willingness when she not only collected the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor with owner Crystal Sokolowski, but also collected the junior exhibitor championship with Jessica Sokolowski. Junior exhibitor qualifier winner PWF Keep The Roses and Krystal Blundell carried home the reserve championship tricolor.
Tug Hill Gunns And Roses and Catherine Hendrickson earned the lion's share of park saddle victories at Far West. The energizer bunny carried the open and ladies tricolors as well as the ladies and amateur qualifier blues back to the Cathy Grimes banner. Shannon Connor closed a show filled with great rides by carrying the Park Saddle Reserve Championship back to Arcuri Stables with Grandemeanor.
The Connor family cheered on FRF Outer Limits and Ryan Arcuri as they turned in an impressive debut ride to earn the Junior Park Saddle blue ribbon and medallion.
The Friday evening session closed with Intrepid Dynasty enjoying a tricolor finale at Far West. Keith Nelsen guided the world titled son of HVK Bell Flaire and Intrepid Immortal Beloved to the tricolor for the Lee/Woolley family. It was a tricolor sweep by the get of HVK Bell Flaire as Forest Nealon gave George and Glendel Campbell’s animated open winner Flairetation a bold drive for the reserve tricolor honors.
Stephanie Connor and El-Toro followed up their sensational 2006 performances with an equally noteworthy 2007 season debut. They put on a magnificent performance to garner the Amateur Park Harness blue in their only performance of the show.
Deb Stevenson enjoyed a fabulous week on the lines of her champions at Far West. She enjoyed a memorable first time in the four-wheel buggy as she matched up with World Champion Cedar Creek With Bells On for a lovely victory in the Ladies Park Harness guided by Forest Nealon.
The in hand division started off the show ring action on Tuesday evening setting the stage for a tricolor show. The first of many tricolors for the Illahee banner came with Ultra’s Special Trademark’s performance as Grand Champion Gelding. Forest Nealon guided Jan Van Dusen’s smooth and showy bay to the tricolor following the three and four-year-old blue. Tim and Ryan Arcuri had Chuck Bartholomaus’s fancy Matchbox striking a pose as the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding. Keith Nelsen earned the first blue of the evening in the Two and Under Geldings with RBF Highlander earning the honors for Traci Coltrane. Celebrity Applause and Nancy Eidam continued their winning ways as they collected the Five and Over Geldings blue.
The mares were next on center stage with Nancy Eidam guiding Crown Decorum to the junior tricolor as well as the two-year-old win before closing out as the Reserve Grand Champion Mare. Promise Me The Moon and Crystal Sokolowski started off a tricolor week with the Reserve Junior Champion Mare award.
The Far West audience enjoyed a repeat performance by 2006 Grand Champion Mare Decadence. Keith Nelsen had Debra Woolley Lee’s expressive mare in top order to pose for the Five & Over, Senior and Grand Champion Mare honors. The 2005 Far West Champion Bells Masterpiece posed for the reserve honors in the five and over and senior, before a cast shoe kept her from returning with Tim Arcuri handling for Tom and Stephanie Connor.
The stallion competition brought the Tuesday evening session to an exciting finish. Pardon My Prince made owner Pamela Engblom’s dreams come true as Forest Nealon presented the son of RJM Pardon My French to the yearling blue, Junior Champion Stallion and ultimately Grand Champion Stallion honors. The well-named Mantic Spitfire posed as the Reserve Junior Champion Stallion with Jean Sauer handling the lead for Wes and Julie Bittner. It was a well-timed performance for After Eight as Nancy Eidam guided Eleanor Reesor’s three and four-year-old winner to the Senior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Stallion awards. Rum Brook Immortal Prince started off a winning week for the Bullard family by posing for the Five and Over Stallion blue as well as the Reserve Senior Champion Stallion honors.
The $5,800 Amateur Western Pleasure Championship was the grand finale of the Friday evening session with numerous world titled entries vying for top honors. The reigning Western Pleasure World Champion Firecrest E-Ticket and owner Aimee Shriner jogged away with the winner’s share of $2,900 and the crowd’s applause. Daryl Hopson directed the tricolor team who also earned a trip down victory lane in the amateur qualifier. Connie Melendy was delighted to be back in the ring with her beloved World Champion Corrick as they carried the reserve tricolor and a check for $1,160 to Garn Walker Stable following a blue ribbon ride in the Amateur Masters Western Pleasure.
Aimee Shriner and Firecrest E-Ticket
with trainer Daryl Hopson
The Open Western Pleasure saw BEF Ivan and Eitan Beth-Halachmy display their unique style to receive the nod from Judge Davis. They collected the tricolor as well as the under 15.1 hands and gentlemen’s blues for owners Malcolm and Jill Smith. World Champion Treble’s Mucho Uno was the toast of his cheering section as Daryl Hopson guided Rocky and Diana Schliefer’s handsome five-year-old to the stallion/gelding blue followed by the reserve tricolor.
The open qualifier medallion also went back to the Trafalgar banner as Daryl Hopson guided Charles and Liz Connor’s white trimmed Key To The Kingdom to the honors. Carmen Hobson matched up with Bellistic to carry the Western Pleasure Mares win back to Dan and Jan Unrein. The plethora of open qualifiers also featured a polished win by Heyday Royal Spirit and Erin Silver in the 15.1 and over class for Nancy Eidam.
The world championship team of Movado and Jennifer McFall enjoyed a victorious season debut in Redmond. They jogged away with the Ladies Western Pleasure blue and tricolor over a large and competitive field of entries for proud owner Sandra Nelson. Kathy Papola and Futurity’s Such A Twist continued their tricolor streak as the world titled team jogged away with reserve honors under the Baccarat Farms banner. Kathy Papola also took a trip down victory lane in the ladies amateur class matched with the white trimmed Baccarat’s First Issue prepared by Ron Smith.
Maxi Gumprecht enjoyed a stellar show in several divisions, including western pleasure where she matched up with the smooth performing Glacier Dreamblue for the 14-17 tricolor coached by Yvonne Sekyra. Multi-World Champion He’s Simply Marvelous is back under the direction of his original trainer Carmen Hobson with Elyse Brill enjoying the ride as they collected the 14-17 blue and reserve tricolor.
Passport To Morocco and Kelsie Houghtaling enjoyed a trio of western pleasure victory passes earning the tricolor in the 13 and under division along with matching blues in that qualifier as well as the youth qualifier. The world titled team of Cheyenne Rumens and Temptation’s Answer added the 13 and under reserve tricolor cheered on by the Fire Run Farm crew.
Angelica Lengyel was all smiles as she paired up with Affinity One N A Million to make the victory passes with the Walk-Jog Western Pleasure blue and tricolor under the Avichouser banner. David Silver and Neariver Savannah Miss were the toast of Silver Mesa Stable as they earned the reserve honors for Bill and Marilyn Nicks.
Tammy Mucklestone was the winning cowgirl in the Novice Rider Western Pleasure as she matched up with tried and true Mallory Square for a steady performance. Tina Strickler gave Primera Winchester a fine ride to add the Novice Western Pleasure blue to the Keith Nelsen banner for owners William Bond and Meri Beth Berberet.
SA Kashmiri and Garn Walker followed up their tricolor team debut at Del Mar with another impressive victory in the Far West Junior Western Pleasure Championship to the delight of owner/breeder Lexie Ellsworth. RBF Royal Navigator and Keith Nelsen turned in a solid ride to carry the reserve tricolor back to Traci Coltrane. This deep division featured a third place finish in the championship for four-year-old qualifier winner World Champion Kane Creek Kamikase and Carmen Hobson, who performed for owners Dan and Jan Unrein. Daryl Hopson introduced another promising youngster to the winner’s circle as Harlington’s Farquar triumphed in the three-year-old class for Linda Staples.
The distinction of a $5,800 added purse just gave more excitement and even more entries to the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship competition. When the stakes are high, the world titled team of En Excess NKS and Julie Chan turned up the intensity as they did here to earn the tricolor and the winner’s share of the prize money. They earlier topped the largest class of the show as 21 entries filled the ring in Wednesday’s amateur qualifier to the delight of the Garn Walker Stable cheering section. Top riding Merin Maggi matched up with Café Chocolate to carry the reserve prizes back to owner Denise Groom and trainer Cathy Grimes.
En Excess NKS and Julie Chan
Kimberly Shahon enjoyed a stellar victory with Harlington’s Chelsea as they topped the ladies amateur qualifier. Natalie Jensen teamed up with Katherine Smith’s top performing Equinox Adelle to add the youth blue to the Dragonfire Farm banner.
The Ladies Hunter Pleasure Championship featured a tricolor sweep for Dragonfire Farm. Jennifer McFall piloted VCF Naughty But Nice to the top prize for Katherine Smith after besting the field in the qualifier as well. Natalie Jensen matched up with CHC Blue’s Shining Star to carry the reserve tricolor back to Sandra Nelson, who earlier rode the smooth performing bay to the winner’s circle in the amateur masters class.
The Open Hunter Pleasure Championship featured a repeat tricolor for the popular World Champion WH Zimbabwe. Under the direction of Julie Adams he topped the championship as well as the open qualifier for Valencia Creek Morgans. Garn Walker put the handsome chestnut Chintimini Bravo Charlie through his paces to collect the reserve tricolor as well as the 15.1 and over blue cheered on by Melissa Walker.
WH Zimbabwe and Julie Adams
with owners Diane Hastie and Tom Wilson
Chehalem Cassanova and Macey McCallion earned a trip to the winner’s circle as Jennifer McFall greeted the winning team in the stallion/gelding class. The get of WH Zimbabwe followed their sire to the winner’s circle as VCF Sahara Sunset and Julie Adams topped the mare and novice classes for Valencia Creek Morgans.
Judy Holden was the happy winner of the under 15.1 class as she rode her sporty Brookhaven Whaminatcha to the top honors directed by Ginger Mullendore. Bora Bora and Linda Sieverkropp teamed up for a ride down victory lane in the novice rider class performing for Lee Kubbernus.
Talk Of The Town LPS and Lauren Gorfinkle enjoyed another tricolor trip to Redmond as they bested the field in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 14-17 Championship as well as the qualifier. It was a tricolor sweep for Garn Walker Stable as Elizabeth Holmes matched up with her smooth striding Fortuneaire for the reserve honors in the competitive field.
Passport To Morocco and Kelsie Houghtaling excelled in the hunt as well as western divisions when they earned the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 13 & Under blue and tricolor for proud parents Steve and Lynne Houghtaling. Precious M Fleet Command and Sara Hyman carried the reserve honors back to the Avichouser banner.
Angelica Lengyel and Affinity One N A Million also proved their versatile talents as they topped the Walk-Trot Hunter Pleasure Championship and qualifier to the delight of their fan club. Linel Mullendore and Properly teamed up for a pair of reserve performances under the direction of Ginger Mullendore.
Goldencrest Black Diamond continues to turn heads as the sleek black gelding bred and owned by Kris and Inge Johnsen added the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship and four-year-old blue to the Illahee banner under the riding talents of Jennifer McFall. Michelle Osburn piloted Dream Tymeless Beauty to the reserve honors with consistent performances for Terry Johnson.
The equitation divisions provided some excellent competition for riders in all seats from the youngest lead-liners on up. Versatile Maxi Gumprecht earned tricolors in all three seats riding three different horses under the direction of Yvonne Sekyra. Matched with the fronty QVM American Icon, Gumprecht earned the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship as well as the 14-17 blue. Irish Expression was her tricolor partner in the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship as well as the 14-17 win in addition to the blue ribbon performance in the showmanship. Gumprecht’s polish and style also carried over to the western division where she jogged away with the reserve tricolor aboard Glacier Dreamblue.
The Saddle Seat Equitation division also featured matching blue ribbon rides for Natasha Rodley as she piloted Pacific Rim Take Aim to the UPHA Challenge Cup and AMHA Saddle Seat Medal under the Arcuri Stables banner. Krystal Blundell and PWF Keep The Roses added the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 & Under win to their performance honors coached by Nancy Eidam.
The Davies sisters added several equitation ribbons to the K Lyn Farm banner when Robyn was named Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Champion, while Skye received the Walk-Trot Saddle Seat Equitation blue and tricolor.
McKenzie Van Osdol was the happiest winner of the week as she beamed with joy when she was named the Western Seat Equitation Champion as well as the 14-17 blue ribbon winner coached by Jenna Rankin. Meagan Harn turned in a precise ride to earn the AMHA Western Seat Medal with Iron Forge Aire Command.
Kelsie Houghtaling added the Western Seat and Hunt Seat Equitation 13 & Under wins to her many performance victories with Passport To Morocco. She also was named Hunt Seat Equitation Reserve Champion in addition to earning the AMHA Hunt Seat Medal.
Maddy Pitts was all smiles as her number was announced at the Walk-Jog Western Seat Equitation Champion. She bested reserve champion Angelica Lengyel who topped the qualifier and also added the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation Championship with Affinity One N A Million. It was a tricolor sweep for Avichouser Stables when Sydney Hyman was named reserve champion after topping the qualifier in the Walk-Trot Hunt Seat Equitation aboard Precious M Fleet Command.
Megan Jurasek earned the winning scores to earn the AMHA Reining Seat Medal as well as the AMHA Dressage Medal.
The Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship closed out the division on Saturday evening with the crowd-pleasing team of Rum Brook Immortal Prince and Shelley Bullard adding the tricolor to earlier victories in the open saddle qualifier. In addition Melissa Bullard drove the typey stallion to matching medallions in the open and stallion/gelding classic driving qualifiers. Cecily King was all smiles as she picked up a hard-earned reserve tricolor with WIZ Showsonsation in the large and competitive Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship after making the victory pass in the Youth Classic Pleasure Driving. Lauri Huston and Ms. Dinah Might repeated their victory pass of a year ago as they again earned the Classic Pleasure Saddle Mares win directed by Yvonne Sekyra.
Carol Fletcher and Whitemud Touch Of Blue enjoyed a trio of visits to the winner’s circle as they swept the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship following matching blues in the ladies and stallion/gelding qualifiers. WWF Trade Mark and Genevieve Carlino followed up a blue ribbon ride in the youth class by carrying the Ladies Classic Pleasure Saddle Reserve Championship back to the Cathy Grimes banner.
The Grand National Champion team of Rum Brook Immortal Mystic and Lauren Lang continue to impress in their new division as they swept top honors in the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle qualifier and championship. Elra Tonkin guided the perfectly matched winning team with proud parents Jennifer and Cary Lang cheering them on. Pacific Rim Sneak Preview and Lindsey Thomas matched up for the reserve tricolor ride as well as the blue ribbon drive in the junior exhibitor division.
The top honors in the walk/trot classic division went north of the border as the tried and true Canalta Squire King and Skye Davies carried the blue and tricolor back to K Lyn Stables.
The Grand National Championship team of Treble’s Spring Loaded and Deb Stevenson started off the season in winning fashion. They drove away with the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship as well as the junior qualifier win. It was a tricolor sweep for the entries from Illahee as Gordel’s Paramount Command and George Campbell teamed up for the reserve tricolor following a repeat victory in the gentlemen’s class once again this year.
Arcuri Stables introduced a bright new combination in Celebrity Cavalier and Lynae Ireland as they topped the field in the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship. Inge Johnsen and Goldencrest Aleksis added more impressive ribbons to the record when they collected the Classic Pleasure Driving Mares win as well as the Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving Reserve Championship coached by Forest Nealon.
Far West features a wide array of classes to suit the versatile Morgan breed. The show started off with the dressage competition on Tuesday in the newly covered Sagebrush Arena. The top scores went to World Champion Equinox Adelle, Alias, Mantic Isles Magician, Rogue Hills Woodsman, Iron Forge Blues Command (First Level Champion), WH Zimbabwe, Chintimini Starburst (Second Level Champion), Idleknot Courageous (Third Level Champion) and Starbucks Precisely Right (Training Level Champion).
The Sport Horse Suitability classes followed with winning performances by Mystic Isles Magician, Idleknot Courageous and Blacksaddle Witchy Woman.
The Trail classes were featured to begin the competition in the indoor arena on Tuesday with ECF Mirage and Gina Bressler delivering the championship to Kathleen McCall while open qualifier winner The Bronze Promise and Erin Silver maneuvered to the reserve tricolor. Holiday Kate Lin and Susan Poe earned the amateur blue while He’s Simply Marvelous and Elyse Brill collected dual blues in the junior exhibitor and novice classes.
The reining competition followed with entries bred and owned by Chris and Janet Morris and trained by Doug Sande sweeping the division with Spring Diva posting the winning score in the open class and championship with Nantucket reserve in both. It was Privilege who showed his versatility winning the novice class.
World Champion Samac’s Black Tie Affair and Cathy Grimes enjoyed a large cheering section as they drove away with the Carriage Driving Championship as well as the reinsmanship blue for Alton Page. Morningside Cassandra and Doug Coats continued to impress with their array of equipment as they finished off with the reserve tricolor following the American Heritage and Disciplined Rail wins.
Sutton's Dark Twist and Liz Goldmann earned a pair of carriage qualifier blues in the double jeopardy. Don Curtis and Okan Storm King earned the top prize in the fault and out, gambler’s choice and timed cones classes. Rogue Hills Woodsman and Jamie Hardy drove away with the blue ribbon in the Driving Dressage.
Elra Tonkin showed off her versatile talents as she made the trip to the winner's circle in the Road Hack competition with Rogue Hills Curtain Call for Richard and Beverly Olson.
Also seen at Far West:
Pam Engblom, Jan Van Dusen, Deborah
and Cassie Stevenson, Forest Nealon and
Inge and Kris Johnsen celebrated a winning
week at Far West under the Illahee banner.
Stephanie and Shannon Connor
both enjoyed several victorious
performances at Far West.