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The 66th Annual Midwest Charity Horse Show

by Bob Funkhouser, Christy Howard Parsons, Diana Davidson


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Three of the past four years the Midwest Charity Horse Show was voted the UPHA National Horse Show Of The Year. The 2007 edition quickly made you remember why it has turned into what would be called a dynasty in today’s sports world terms.


It has been said many times over, but this is one of very, very few shows that have it all and it all starts with facility. The Illinois State Fairgrounds “equine village” is simply the very best in the country when it comes to location, stabling, show arena and number of work areas. As a testament to the quality of the show grounds there were 700 horses showing and yet very few shoes were lost, even with concrete everywhere. Something has to be right in the work arenas and the show ring and that would be footing.


To go with the horseman friendly facility is a volunteer group that has deep feelings for this horse show and what it has meant to so many families over the years. There’s probably a little competitive spirit mixed in with their work. Not everything good in the Saddle Horse business is in Kentucky. From raising sponsorships, to media relations, to hosting nightly exhibitor feasts, the Midwest Charity board of directors and their committees, headed by president and show manager Judy Kjellander, don’t leave anything to chance. Paul Briney had established the groundwork for many years and now the new regime continues to plow full steam ahead.


“I was very pleased with the show,” said Kjellander. “The support of the exhibitors has been great and other than it being a little warm, it was a wonderful week. Some of these classes amaze me.”


The Saddle Horse community has embraced Midwest whole-heartedly; I wish the same could be said for the Morgan world. The show has made a strong push to bring more Morgan barns to the June 12-16 show, but outside trainers and owners just didn’t respond. Longtime patrons Diane Conrady, Indian Creek Farm, Merriehill Farm and Lowry Stables are keeping it going with quality, but the division has not been as strong as it was a few years ago.


Also making up the 700 plus horses are a small but faithful group of Arabians. They are especially entertaining–or frightening, depending on how you view it–when their costume exhibitors come charging through the gates.


Kim Cowart, Gary Garone and Maria Gilman had the best seats in the house as the judges of the Saddlebred, Hackney, equitation and roadster divisions. Sammi Hazen presided over the Morgan classes. They were joined in center ring by photographer Doug Shiflet, announcer Peter Fenton and ringmasters Billy Whitley and John Frye. It doesn’t get any better than that group.


Jackie Wold was back at her post at the in-gate where she worked with barn announcer Dave Morris and farriers Rick Medd and Marty Watts who thankfully weren’t called on too many times.


The worst that could be said about Midwest 2007 was that it was a little warm. The heat probably affected some of the championship classes with a few scratches, but overall it was another class act.


This year’s edition had an even deeper meaning for many of those closely associated with the production. The recent death of Patrick Antonacci was a heartfelt blow to many. They honored his memory by dedicating the 2007 show to “Mr. A.” Midwest has been a family affair for the Antonaccis for more than 30 years and that support continues as strong than ever.


Dr. Alfonso Strano and “Mr. A”


“Midwest meant everything to Dad,” said David Antonacci who has taken over the ring drag duties as well as some cooking responsibilities for the nightly parties. “I’m glad to be a part of this to keep it alive for him. Dad and Dr. Strano [who died in 2006] created the party idea and now I’m cooking all the pasta. It’s a great honor to follow them.”


The facility, the food, the awards, the attention to detail, none of it would matter if the exhibitors didn’t show up, but that was not a problem. Amateurs and junior exhibitors came with their best stock and the open ranks for aged horses certainly had its moments, however, the young stock is what makes Midwest such a special show each and every year. Countless superstars had their debuts or break out shows here.


Take Dr. Alan Raun for instance. His Reedannland stock fills every section of the young horses classes and have for years. Anyone remember Liz Kinney and One For The Road bringing down the house how many years ago? This year Reedannland trainer Louis Louw presented an array of future stars for Dr. Raun.


Reedannland is just one of many programs that bring dynamic young horses. Chuck Herbert’s Cedarwood Farm had the colt that was voted “Best Of Show” by the judging panel. Last year Herbert presented Glenview’s Excelalante (Designed x Tra La La) in two-year-old harness to create quite a buzz. This year he put the exclamation point on the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic.


Another UPHA Classic star, Fanciful Heir SS (Supreme Heir x Gettin’ Fancy) is the first foal raised by Toni Nastali’s Springside Stable. Tom Thorpe made the last pass in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic aboard the extremely expressive colt to a hearty round of applause from the appreciative audience.


Robert Gardiner and Harlem’s Showman made a huge splash at the 2006 Midwest Charity and finished last season as the Dabora/UPHA Classic Grand Champions at Kansas City. They returned to Midwest this year with an even stronger performance to take the Junior Three-Gaited title in impressive fashion.


The class of classes for the young horses turned out to be Thursday evening’s finale, the 10-horse Junior Five-Gaited Stake. Of the 10 entries at least seven four-year-olds appeared to have the quality and ability to be a part of any show string in the country. It was strong enough class that a few of the trainers were picking and choosing their spots while challenging other competitors. There looked to be a lot on the line for an early season class.


As good as this class was, in the end it was the high powered mare who won a world’s championship and Dabora/UPHA Classic Grand Championship last year taking all the first place votes. Catalyst’s Work Of Art (Catalyst x Artwork) proved she was for real at last year’s Midwest Charity with former trainer Jim Lowry. A year older and with even more steam in her engine, the high powered Junior Five-Gaited Champion was presented this year by trainer Andy Freseth for Nancy Leigh Fischer, a team that has been known to put great gaited horses together.


Challenging with several good passes Todd Miles and last year’s ASR Three-Year-Old National Futurity Reserve World’s Champion Pour Some Sugar On Me made it more than interesting for the reserve title. Always in the mix of a gaited class, Debbie Foley rode Callaway’s Karla for third place honors. Callaway’s Born To Ride, Callaway’s Dealbreaker, and Fight Night also took hard earned ribbons.


The Goodman/Manilow family has long showed great open and amateur horses at Midwest. And now for the past few years they have added several homebred young stars to the mix. Trained Dick Obenauf had the magic touch in the harness division winning the three-year-old open class and UPHA Classic with The New York Look and Ginger Blossom, respectively.


Top young ponies were also on display at Midwest. Making Saddle Horse and Hackney fanciers alike take notice, Prince’s Performer LF was a standout in the UPHA Road Pony Classic with Jeff McClean driving for Golden Creek Farms.


While young stars were a big part of Midwest’s success, they weren’t the only show in town and Saddlebreds weren’t the only breed. A part of Midwest as long as anyone can remember, Diane Conrady showed the oh-so-talented Morgan Park Harness Grand Champion Spiceolife Present Tense. A world’s champion as a two, three and four-year-old, this five-year-old stallion looked more than ready for the challenge of the open division this year.


Also pulling a four-wheel buggy, Dun-Haven Phenomenal did as much as any horse on the grounds en route to winning the Harness Pony Grand Championship. Rich Campbell and Maureen Lydon brought a handful of outstanding ponies from Majestic Oaks and this leg-waving grand champion was owned by Carl and Kathryn Nichols.


All-star classes included the Five-Gaited Mare Stake that featured Callaway’s Unsolved Mystery and Bob Brison on top with Richard Obenauf and CH She’s A Red Hot Chili Pepper in reserve among the several entries. The Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class was just as entertaining with a large group vying for the top spot which went to Todd Miles and the extremely popular Platinum’s New Look. They went on to handily capture the Five-Gaited Championship on Saturday night for the Steve Chancellor family.


When polling the Midwest attendees the Amateur Fine Harness qualifier was often mentioned as one of the best classes of the show. It was a repeat win for Mary Gise and CH Kalarama’s New Sensation. The great competition included Lady Vol, Coco Loco, CH Cary’s Moonraker, Harlem’s Santa Fe and Another Asset.


Right up there with the amateur harness class was the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship. The talent level was unbelievable with Betsy Thomas and World’s Champion New York’s Perfect Gift taking the unanimous decision from Carriage Lane Farm. Theresa Vonderschmitt and World’s Grand Champion Manila Thrilla had plenty of crowd support for their reserve grand champion finish. Also in the ribbons were a group of world’s champions that included Heir To A Star, Gypsy’s Say When, CH Callaway’s Halley’s Comet and Up Close & Personal WRF.


The excitement level was off the charts in the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship. Local exhibitor Tom Fiedler had the drive of a lifetime to win the championship streamers with Valparaiso over a field of multi-titled world’s champions. They were directed by the versatile team of Jim and Fay Lowry.


The Adult Show Pleasure Championship also turned out to be a “Top 5” class as 18 entries went head to head. Cowart, Gilman and Garone put eight entries back on the rail and when it was over, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees and Susan Creekmore defeated an all-star cast that included CH Uncle Abe, Teuschers, CH Just Special, CH My Grande and The Majestic.


Gaited horses were at a premium. The Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship was a great class with CH Carolina Cat winning the tricolor streamers over Callaway’s Lil Abner, CH Callaway’s Independence Day, Suki Snowlet, Tee’s Merlot and The Talk Of Lexington.


In other sections, Swish, CH Callaway’s Born To Win and Bono made championship victory passes. Bono’s was a bittersweet win as the multi-titled gelding slipped and fell while being cooled out and injured a hind ankle. With great teamwork and response from many fellow horsemen, the Bret Day trained champion was transported to Lexington that night and was successfully operated on at Rood and Riddle. All reports are that he could be back to work in six months.


On a brighter note Meaghan MacQueen experienced the thrill of a lifetime winning the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship among a group of world and national champions. MacQueen has been polishing her skills at Northern Tradition Farm and her railwork and individual workout proved to be outstanding.


Other equitation standouts included Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion Taylor Newton and Pleasure Equitation Grand Champion Victoria McHenry.


These were a few of the highlights that made Midwest 2007 another prime time event. To all of the show committee, volunteers, trainers, exhibitors and officials, this was another showcase for the show horse industry.


“When you leave here, you have a good idea of where you stand,” said DeLovely trainer Todd Miles. “It is early enough though that you go can go back and fix a few things.”


“We try to make it an exhibitor friendly show and I think this year’s ranked right up there with the past few,” said board member Jeff McClean. “We were extremely happy with the quality.


“This thing has snowballed. We had a little success and then we asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to make it even better?’ When people come up and say to us what a wonderful show it is it makes us all puff up a little bit and try even harder. Passion is a good word to describe it. For all of the volunteers it is a passion.”




Man oh man, Midwest was packed with high-powered gaited horses and the depth of some of those classes was spectacular. Many commented that it was one of the best open mare stakes they had seen in some time. Unfortunately for the spectators, most of those mares stayed in the barn on Saturday night.


Several days of heat did take its toll on some of Saturday night’s championships, especially in the open division. Only four entries came back for the stake after having strong qualifiers in both the mare and stallion/gelding divisions.


Winner of a strong stallion/gelding class on Wednesday night, Platinum’s New Look and Todd Miles put the exclamation point on a good week with a championship caliber performance in Saturday evening’s finale. This five-year-old gelding has proved to be a great addition to the Steven Chancellor family’s string. Topping Asheville’s Five-Gaited Championship a month ago, Catamaran was reserve to the white-faced gelding in both the championship and the stallion/gelding class for trainer Mitch Clark and owner Laurel Nelson.


The mare stake featured Bob Brison and Callaway’s Unsolved Mystery in the winner’s circle with a powerful show for owner Theresa Vonderschmitt. World’s Champion She’s A Red Hot Chili Pepper and Dick Obenauf accepted the reserve streamers for the Goodman/Manilow family. They were followed by Sheba’s Charm, Twice Charmed, Lady Bella and Pucker Up.


The parade of world’s champions continued with CH Callaway’s Born To Win doing just that in the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier with owner Gayle Lampe in the irons. Hustling every step of the way, Sixes And Sevens and Paula Briney worked their way to the reserve championship title. That slot had gone to Neva Van Ess and CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket in the qualifier.


Linda Fischer’s tricolor ride in the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Championship aboard Bono turned out to be bittersweet. While being cooled out, Bono slipped and fell injuring an ankle that required surgery. Reports were the surgery went well and the prognosis was good for a return to the show ring.


With white legs flying, Already Famous was a twice reserve champion in the amateur ladies division with owner Luanne Kilday aboard. It was a division filled with stars as Janet Kellett and CH Callaway’s Banner Headline were third in the championship followed by the lovely and legendary Glenda Pugh aboard Studcor Donatello; Madison’s champion The Midnight Hero, ridden by Diana Schaefer; and MGM Spring winner Talon with Sarah Thordsen, up.


A poster child for the heart and expression of the American Saddlebred, Swish continued his 2007 winning march with a unanimous decision in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship. They also made the last pass in the qualifier. Under the direction of Bob Brison, Theresa Vonderschmitt guided Red Flame Thrower to the reserve amateur championship while reserve qualifying winners What’s The Whoopla and Karen Coup finished in third.


Competition in the amateur gentlemen’s class was keen. Jerome Rader had the top ride aboard I’m Something Wicked. Gabe Deknatel and Tipsy Gypsy collected the reserve streamers ahead of Bill Marple and his newest amateur gentlemen’s entry Hartfelt Legacy, and Trond LaFleur on Fort Chiswell’s Royal Champagne.


There was no room for error in the junior exhibitor divisions. It was one world’s champion after another in the 12-entry championship, several with new riders this year. Already having had one full season under their girth, the DeLovely-trained Carolina Cat and Brittany McGinnis turned back many strong challengers to command the tricolor streamers after a blue ribbon trip in the 14-17 class. Tom Bombolis put together reserve grand champions Callaway’s Lil Abner and Faye Wuesthofen.


Continuing in the championship ribbons, 14-17 reserve winners Callaway’s Independence Day and Victoria McCune represented Randy Cates in third. Suki Snowlet, Tees Merlot and The Talk Of Lexington also made the ribbons with their respective jockeys Calee Dillon, Ali Judah and Patsy Loeb.


From the younger age group, hard riding Nick Neviaser and CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket returned to the La Fleur/Van Ess tack room with a blue prize. Morgan Brison was aboard Take A Guess for the reserve ribbon.


Among the 13 entries in the Novice Five-Gaited class Bret Day and Major Starbuck surfaced as the champions for Coe and Bill London. Virgil Helm and Contender’s Citation were next in line for a ribbon.


Quite possibly the best class of the horse show, Thursday evening’s Junior Five-Gaited Stake had 10 young entries going at it and the majority of them would be welcomed at anybody’s barn who wanted to compete on a high level. With unanimous first place votes, the 2006 world’s champion and Dabora/UPHA Classic Grand Champion Catalyst’s Work Of Art turned on the after burners to take the win home for Andy Freseth and owner Nancy Leigh Fisher.


Todd Miles and 2006 reserve world’s champion Pour Some Sugar On Me made some challenging passes to finish in the reserve slot for Deborah Butler. Debbie Foley and Callaway’s Karla made a strong run to command the yellow streamers ahead of Callaway’s Born To Ride, Callaway’s Dealbreaker and Fight Night.


Big, talented and expressive are attributes that most trainers look for in future champions and Ylang Ylang had the complete package. It was a most impressive UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic victory for the powerful bay mare ridden by Bob Brison for Theresa Vonderschmitt. Louis Louw was busy with several Reedannland youngsters including reserve champion Reedann’s Heir To Glory.


Making a big-time debut at Midwest as a harness two-year-old last year, Major Buck was back as a talented gaited colt to win the open three-year-old class for Jim Lowry and the Lowry/Dodson ownership. Louis Louw was again reserve, however, this time it was with the Wood/McNeish entry, Do You Dare.




There are so many different classes offered within the three-gaited division that it leaves a few of them light in numbers. The schedule is great for trainers in that it gives them many choices and allows them to separate clients if they have multiple walk-trot horses, but in the end it cuts down on large classes. The best part of this division was it had many world-class performers–some household names, others soon to be!


The open division was the lightest, as it has been nearly everywhere this year. Coming through with an extremely expressive performance, Liberty’s Magic paraded as the Three-Gaited Grand Champion with A.J. Bruwer in the irons for Vicky Reed. Liberty’s Magic had been reserve to Todd Miles and the big-doing Thunder Cloud Nine in the under 15.2 stake. Bruwer was the lone jockey in the over 15.2 stake, showing The Engraver for his wife, Wendy.


Coming from the junior exhibitor division, the new team of Caroline Skinner and CH Royal Messenger commanded three-gaited reserve grand champion honors for Sunrise Stables.


As they did last year, World’s Champion of Champions Marching Orders and Barbara Goodman Manilow were right on the money to take both ladies classes. They had to be good because the competition included twice reserve champions Sue-She and Erika Nelson and twice third place finishers Callaway’s Gold Reserve and Betty Cox. This type of talent is what makes Midwest Charity so special.


Fans were treated to another Midwest special on Saturday night with the Amateur Ladies Three-Gaited Championship. This was an all-star line up from top to bottom but when the dust settled, it was Freakness and Ellyn Dorsey standing in the winner’s circle to accept the tricolor streamers. It was a bold performance for the Lisa Strickland trained team. They had been reserve in the qualifier to eventual reserve grand champions CH Callaway’s Merry Go Round and Christy Bennett. In just her second year in the amateur ranks, Bennett continues to stay at the top in the best of company.


Ellyn Dorsey and Freakness
with Lisa Strickland


Following a reserve in the amateur 15.2 & under qualifier, Lynda Norman and the extremely talented Enough About You finished third in the amateur ladies championship with stablemates Royal Sweet and Michelle Hartman in fourth.


Friday night’s Amateur Three-Gaited Championship was the best of the walk-trot division. World’s champion after world’s champion passed through the gate and it was game on! Having had an excellent warm up with two winning rides at Bonnie Blue, Betsy Thomas and New York’s Perfect Gift came to Midwest meaning business. John Conatser had them tuned to perfection for the championship title as well as the amateur over 15.2 blue.


Bob Brison has done a wonderful job of putting Theresa Vonderschmitt and twice Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion Manila Thrilla together. They had great support for their amateur reserve grand championship. It was the same finish they had in the amateur over 15.2 qualifier.


Glenn T. Werry and World’s Champion Heir To A Star were third in the amateur championship and they were followed by World’s Champion Gypsy’s Say When and Andi Perry. The remaining two ribbon winners had won numerous titles as well: CH Callaway’s Halley’s Comet with Jessica Curl and Up Close & Personal WRF with Kate Baumann.


The leg-waving Carolina’s Top Gun made the victory pass in the Amateur Under 15.2 Stake. Jack Magill directed Joan Cantrell to the winner’s circle in that round.


What a season it has been for the Knollwood Farm team of CH Nelmar Tango 4 Ever and Emily Scharpf. In the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship the 14-17 winners defeated such teams as reserve grand champions and reserve 13 and under winners Lady Cinnamon and Maya Manilow; reserve 14-17 winners I’m Bewitched and Sara Singer; CH Steel In Love and Scott Pisarik; That’s Chicago and Katie Cunningham; and Katie Moeller with He’s My Beau. What a line up it was.


Earlier in the week Hunter Chancellor and The Attaché Orchid were a picture of perfection with a victory pass for DeLovely Farm in the 13 and under qualifier.


Jack Magill had a nice string of walk-trot horses. Besides Carolina’s Top Gun and I’m Bewitched for customers, he had his own Desert’s Supreme Dream, winner of the novice class that featured Missy Hughes and Hero’s Forever Ablaze in reserve.


Last year’s Midwest was the coming out party for a beautiful, black walk-trot colt named Harlem’s Showman. From that UPHA Classic title he went to Kansas City to close out the season winning the Dabora/UPHA Three-Gaited Classic Grand Championship.


Robert Gardiner and Harlem’s Showman returned to Midwest this year and were stronger than ever to win the junior title. Their stiff competition included reserve champions High Times Northern Son and Max Ciampoli. Their impressive resume included a reserve world’s championship in the Three-Year-Old National Futurity and a reserve in the Dabora/UPHA Classic Grand Championship with Ciampoli aboard for Jerald Miller. Winner of the Midwest’s three-year-old class in 2006, Callaway’s Happy Endings added to the depth and quality of the junior class with Tom Bombolis riding to the yellow streamers.


Robert Gardiner and Harlem’s Showman


This year’s winner of the three-year-old class was the Silver Brook Stables entry Always Remembered. With Debbie Foley on the rail coaching, Tracy James rode Always Remembered to the blue ahead of Man Of Liberty and Jennifer Townsend.


Midwest’s UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic has produced some truly outstanding stars over the past few years. This year’s winner has already been a Midwest star. Last year Glenview’s Excelalante had everyone talking as the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Champion for Chuck Herbert and new owners Schriver/Elliott. This year his performance was so impressive as the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic Champion he was voted Best Of Show by the judging panel. This prestigious award was initiated three years ago by the Midwest Charity board of directors and includes five Ben Franklins for the winning trainer.


Showing for Graham and Kinderknecht, Jim Lowry had a great go with Stonecroft Nightlight to command the reserve prize money from the UPHA Classic.




Moving to the park division, His Supreme Reflection kept his undefeated season going strong with two decisive performances. Andy Freseth rode the Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion and qualifying winner for Marilyn Gaiswinkler. Kent Swalla was right there with two good reserves aboard Gotcha Covered.


Cry Me A Rainbow was the first name called in the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Championship. Sarah John was the owner/rider of the newly crowned Midwest champion. Harold Denton and CH Shady Creek’s Genius marched their way to a reserve championship.


In the qualifying round CH Lady Maya and Barbara Goodman Manilow were the decisive winners of an extremely deep class. Lady Maya was pushed by reserve champions He’s A Royal Pepper and Nancy Leigh Fisher, followed by High Heat and Melody Adler in third.


There was no shortage of talent in the Junior Three-Gaited Park class. It’s been a good year of Magilla Gorilla and it got better with Robert Gardiner’s victory pass for Jimmy Orphanos. With several eye-catching passes, Max Ciampoli and Mac’s Blue Attack were second place finishers for Bullet Concrete Material Inc. Already with a few 2007 titles under their girth, Xitlatle and Louis Louw were third in a very nice class for Reedannland.


Fine Harness


Outside of Freedom Hall, Midwest Charity has as strong a harness division as any place in the country. Both the open and amateur sections provided prime time entertainment for the Midwest audience.


On Saturday night a large turnout found World’s Champion Gone Platinum with the tricolor streamers flowing from his bridle. John Conatser made the winning drive just as he did in the open qualifier for Mary Sally Aylward. Mike Roberts was twice reserve with I’m A Lucky Charm. Next in line for a championship prize was The Social Butterfly, the beautiful mare shown by Candy Hyman. All Buttoned Up, A Promise Fulfilled and Singsation rounded out the championship ribbons.


A strong group of household names competed for championship honors for amateur drivers on Friday night. Repeating their two victories last year, CH Kalarama’s New Sensation and Mary Gise swept the amateur division for Hollow Haven Farm. Newcomers Chris Kaplan and Lady Vol were reserve both times out. Making a fabulous Friday night show, Simbara’s Exclamation and Dr. Scott Cairns were a good third. Also in the ribbons were Another Asset, Harlem’s Santa Fe and Coco Loco.


One of the tried and true ladies of the harness division, CH Cary’s Moonraker did it again. This time it was Brittany Baird at the whip in the ASHA Youth Fine Harness Challenge. Reserve to the champions were Catrin and Patsy Loeb.


Grey Ridge Stables were part of the Midwest tradition this year. Bret and Susi Day brought several top performers including Junior Fine Harness Champion Open Arms, driven by Bret for Jeff and Janet Sterba. From the MBA Equestrians breeding program Pat McConnell guided Alicia Silverstone to a reserve finish.


Dick Obenauf was “Mr. Fine Harness” this week as he won both the UPHA Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Classic and the open Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. The Goodman/Manilow family’s homebred Ginger Blossom was his UPHA Classic winner. That was a nice class with the talented Ribbons And Reins in reserve with Carter Cox at the whip for Bill Phelps. Amanda Simpson and Callaway’s Cumulus got a nice hand for their third place finish.


Obenauf was back in the winner’s circle with The New Look marching to his second win of the year in the open three-year-old class. This was another impressive entry for the Goodman/Manilow family. Mike Roberts had the reserve winner in this class with Middendorf Farm’s Father McKenzie.


Spectators have been used to seeing Carter Cox bring nice young horses to Midwest and he continued to please. For Simbara Farm, Cox drove Simbara’s Sandcastle to the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness title. Jim Lowry presented the toppy Sir Raymond Ross to take a red ribbon back to Lowry Stables for Tri Color Ventures. Steve Ellis also had his share of fans for his third place finisher Mooi Mooi.


Simbara’s Sandcastle with Carter Cox




Springfield has a great history with road horses and their drivers. It was the stomping grounds for horsemen like Lloyd Teater, Max Parkinson, Rex Parkinson and Pres Oder. For several years now Raymond Shively has added his expertise and showmanship to the mix to keep that tradition alive in the coliseum.


Shively and World’s Grand Champion Big Red sent the sawdust flying again as they sped to the Roadster To Bike Championship and qualifying blue. On their heels in both heats were reserve champions Wuddacomover and Debbie Foley. Melissa Moore and The Gambler sailed to the winner’s circle in the ladies class for Leatherwood Farm.


The DeLovely touch was also felt in the Roadster To Wagon Championship and qualifier as Judy McNeish and Invincible Summer repeated their 2006 titles as Roadster To Wagon Grand Champions and qualifying winners. Steve Ellis drove Sonny Kadin to reserve in both events. Mark Turner and Power Ranger were the lone contestants for the Roadster To Wagon Appointment class to give DeLovely yet another blue.


Mark Turner


It was a different story in the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship in which Tom Fiedler and Valparaiso put it all together to out-trot the competition. Trainer Jim Lowry greeted them in the winner’s circle after a crowd-pleasing performance. There was first-rate competition as qualifying winner, World’s Champion Gingerbread Man was there in full force to take the amateur reserve grand championship back to Glenmore Farm with Glenn T. Werry. Third in the championship with Deborah Butler was the many times World’s Champion Dirt Devil. He was reserve in the qualifier with Judy McNeish catch driving.


Jonelle Gardiner and Dick Francis set sail in the Roadster Under Saddle Championship to pass the competition on the way to the winner’s circle. They had taken a reserve to Where Are We Now and Melissa Moore who were representing Aurora Farms in the qualifier


World-class pony competition was featured at Midwest to rival that of the Saddlebreds. Following the norm, the strongest turnout for numbers was in the roadster and pleasure sections.


In the road pony division, Mary Gaylord McClean claimed the championship as well as the open qualifier with World’s Champion Heartland Production. The 2006 Midwest road pony champions as well, this talented team bested a field of quality entries including multi-titled World’s Champion Heartland Sundust and Mary Gise who earned reserves in both classes after claiming earlier victories at Bonnie Blue this season.


Calvin Hobbs and Kevin Ingram claimed a unanimous victory in the amateur road pony competition for Delton Farms. They returned to claim the championship as well, adding two Midwest wins to their list of victories in 2007 that include Des Moines and Madison. The veteran combination of Seamair Strutter and Mike Schallock claimed the reserve honors in both classes for Star Hill Farm.


Another unanimous victory came in the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony class where Jeb Boyd and Heartland Painted Creation followed up their Asheville win with another victory pass for owner Luanne Kilday. Boyd and Painted Creation also earned a repeat victory in the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class. Ryan Vogt and Daddy’s Little Girl earned the reserve honors in the junior exhibitor road pony class. Rachel Machamer directed Heartland Carolee to the reserve honors in the Medallion for Delton Farms.


Fresh off wins at Chapter 5 and Springfield Junior League, Regal’s Memory Maker LF and Jeff Vogel earned the win in the Limit Road Pony class for Dan and Leah Light. Also moving quickly out of the limit division were Maureen Lydon and Kilbro’s Articulate, the reserve winners who claimed victory at Kentucky Spring Premier for owners Rudy and Sharon Lewis.


Maureen Lydon had the opportunity to showcase several nice young ponies at Midwest. Reserve three-year-old world’s champion Mr. Lucky Man is on a winning route in 2007 earning victories at Pro Am, Asheville and now Midwest in the Junior Road Pony class. Rick Wallen directed reserve champion Passing Lane for Star Hill Farm.


Jeff McClean and Prince’s Performer LF made their debut at Midwest, earning a unanimous victory in the UPHA Road Pony Classic. It was a dynamic early season performance for this new addition to the Golden Creek string. Dr. Alan Raun and Velvet King also made a great show to earn reserve in the large class.




Maureen Lydon’s next outstanding young pony was the property of Carl and Kathryn Nichols. Dun Haven Phenomenal lived up to his name by winning the limit harness pony class and returning to claim the unanimous decision in the Harness Pony Championship. Impress My Daddy and Glenn A Werry made a strong solo performance to claim the Open Harness Pony title and returned to earn the reserve finish in the championship.


Lynn Durant looked lovely behind Creation’s Wind Star to capture the Ladies Harness Pony title for owner Lisa Antalek. The team defeated last year’s champions, Conqueror’s Colleen LF and Mary Ellen Golich, who had to settle for the reserve finish.


Repeating as Amateur Harness Pony Champions, Mary Gaylord McClean and Shake Don’t Stir lit up the ring to claim both amateur harness pony titles. Perry Grieme and Senor may be in their first season together, but looked like seasoned competitors claiming reserve in both classes to the amateur harness pony world’s grand champions.


It was another young pony class, and here came Maureen Lydon again. This time it was The Remington, a youngster owned by T.J. and Juliet McDonald who also claimed victory at Indy Charity this season. Mitchell Clark showcased his own Seychelle to claim the reserve honors in the Junior Harness Pony class.


Tom Lowry and Mastercraft’s Promoter LF claimed the UPHA Harness Pony Classic for the second year in a row for owner Dan Light. This talented team also claimed the junior road pony world’s championship as a three-year-old last year. Darrel Kolkman presented his own Heartland Exclamation to the reserve honors.


World-class competition continued in the cob-tail division. Jeff McClean and Regal’s Trademark LF claimed the Hackney Pony Championship. This talented youngster claimed the UPHA Classic victory at Midwest last year and then went on to claim the Junior Hackney Pony World’s Championship. California favorites Sandra Surber and Heartland Candidate were the strong reserves in the championship.


World’s Champion Hackney Pony Nabucco and Mary Campbell and World’s Champion Junior Hackney Pony Regal’s Trademark and Jeff McClean went head to head in the Open Hackney Pony qualifier. Nabucco claimed the victory and Regal’s Trademark LF had to settle for the second place tie this time.


Deborah Jahn directed Heartland Alluring to the win in the Limit Hackney Pony class as well as the ladies. These wins are added to an already growing list of wins at Des Moines and Great River.


Heartland Elise and Mary Gaylord McClean defended their title as Midwest’s Amateur Hackney Pony champions defeating Royal Canadian and Muffy Ernster to defend their title. Elise and McClean returned to claim victory in the championship as well, this time with Jahn and Heartland Alluring earning the reserve award.


Patsy Loeb directed Lightning Up to a nice solo performance in the AHHS Youth Medallion Hackney or Harness Pony class to add to their win at MGM Spring earlier this year.


In a Saturday night show down, Donna Beck and Wait & See’s Raspberry were the victors in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship representing Cornerstone Stables amid a class of five top entries. Mary Campbell and Man On The Town had claimed the victory in the qualifier. Also, Judy Kjellander and Cherry Royale returned in 2007 to claim reserve in both Hackney Pleasure Driving classes.


River Ridge champions Rose Marie Wheeler and Seamair Dear Sir earned two titles at Midwest. They won the AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Driving Pony title and the Junior Exhibitor Stake. Fitz’s Phantom and Nicole La Roussa claimed the reserve finish in both classes for owners Jim and Mary Yonker.


Linda Fischer Wheeler and her daughter

Rose Marie with trainer Fran Crumpler



Kurt Antonacci made a nice presentation of Wild Iris to claim the limit title for owner Susan Murray.


Glenn T. Werry presented Extremely Supreme for owner Muffy Ernster to earn reserve honors in both the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic and the junior class. Kelsey Herbert directed Heartland Stepaside for Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman to win the junior class. Darrel Kolkman directed Heartland Fortune Maker to the win in the UPHA Classic.




There’s no tougher competition in the country for pleasure horses than the Midwest region and that is certainly highlighted in the results from this year’s Midwest Charity.


From the Virgil Helm Stables, She’s Gone Blonde swept the five-gaited adult show pleasure division winning both the qualifier and the championship with unanimous decisions. Lisa Duncan made the winning ride for TNT Investment Enterprises, Inc., to continue their undefeated season including wins at Chapter 5 and Springfield Junior League.


Riding from the A.J. Bruwer Stables, Kurt Antonacci directed the reserve champion Doubletree’s Quixotic in the championship for owners Sam and Vicki Reed. Tom Petty and Husker Du earned the reserve honors in the adult qualifier for the Royal Scot Stables.


In the junior exhibitor section, Claire Talley and The Champagne Tiger continued their string of wins from Oklahoma Centennial and Big D with a win in the junior exhibitor five-gaited show pleasure qualifier. The Randy Cates-trained team had to settle for second in the championship however, when River Ridge champion Inphallible and Lori Jordan claimed the victory. Andrew Slater and Ridgefield’s Excessive earned reserve honors behind The Champagne Tiger in the qualifier.


The Junior Park Pleasure class featured exciting young horses. Last year’s Midwest UPHA Park Pleasure Classic winner The Rock Star and John Conatser returned in stellar form to earn the reserve honors for Locksley Hall LLC. Todd Miles bested the outstanding field to claim victory aboard Fool For You, an expressive and talented entry owned by Lynda Norman who started the year with a victory at Pro Am.


A unanimous decision in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic for Fanciful Heir SS and Tom Thorpe set the show grounds buzzing with excitement. Owner Toni Nastali enjoyed the attention for her first home-bred youngster. Fanciful Heir also won at Great River earlier this season. Another exciting youngster in the class, Proof Perfect and John Conatser attracted a great deal of attention on their own. This entry owned by High Hickory Farm has already claimed victory at Bonnie Blue, and added the reserve at Midwest to their resume.


The judges had such an exciting group of 18 adult three-gaited show pleasure contenders in the championship on Saturday night that they wanted to see more of them. Eight world-class entries were asked for a workout and all had moments of brilliance.


In their debut season together Susan Creekmore and the many times World’s Champion CH Ninety Eight Degrees outshined the competition in the workout to claim victory. The team has earned victories already at Bonnie Blue, and after a fourth place finish in the qualifier, they rebounded with an outstanding performance to win a hard-fought class. Thomas Brock Jr., owns the entry.


World’s Champion CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger Bordegon claimed reserve honors in the tough championship. This team had earned a reserve in the 18-38 qualifier behind CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger, another of the talented world’s champion teams in the final workout.


The remaining six entries in the championship workout were Teuschers and Barbara Goodman Manilow, CH Just Special and Carol Hillenbrand, CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger, The Majestic and Kelly Williamson, Callaway’s Northern Fling and Melody Murphy and Wrapped in Roses WRF with Coe London.


The adult 39 and over qualifier featured Barbara Goodman Manilow and Teuschers making the victory pass. The second win of their season (they won FASH as well), this home-bred star bested a field of competitors that included last year’s Midwest champion CH Just Special and Carol Hillenbrand. Just Special and Hillenbrand claimed victory at Bonnie Blue earlier this year, and earned the reserve finish at Midwest.


The incredible CH Blackberry Delight continues to dominate any show ring he enters. Under the direction of Rachel Machamer, the multi-division world’s champion claimed 14-17 titles in the show pleasure division this year for owner Shannon Sewell. The overall level of competition in these two classes was outstanding. The world’s champion team of Thea Ervin and The Grand Master rose to the occasion and gave two energetic reserve performances to add to their rides at River Ridge and Asheville this season.


The 13 and under classes also featured world’s champion after world’s champion. CH Wind Cruzer and Callie Smith claimed victory in both Midwest classes to add to their Asheville wins. Maya Manilow and CH CF First Light Of Dawn earned the reserve honors in the championship. Another of the world’s champion performers in this class, CH Star Spangled Steel and Ashley Baird claimed the reserve honors in the qualifier and third in the championship.


Last year’s Midwest Three-Gaited Park Champion First Class Heir and Glenn T. Werry captured both of the Illinois Resident Three-Gaited Show Pleasure classes with a unanimous decision in the qualifier. Cathy Klasek and Square Dance earned reserve honors in the Illinois Resident Championship while Sarah Shakespeare directed I’m Taken to the reserve finish in the qualifier.


The top two novice riders are working hard to gain experience this season. Eva Heniges and CH LaGuardia have already shown nine times this season including wins at IASPHA Spring and Madison, and now have captured a coveted Midwest title for owner Meridyth Munns. Dr. Jane Keil and Perazzi have shown eight times including the Midwest reserve finish and a win at Great River.


The junior three-gaited show pleasure classes featured Eileen Nemetz and Callaway’s Investigative Reporter making two victory passes for owner Richard Nemetz. Lauren Bohne and He’s Got It All made the nice reserve finish in the championship. Claudia Gardner Sipp and Phoebe Hansen claimed the reserve in the qualifier for Stonewall Farm.


Elizabeth James Lipscomb drove CH Shot With Glory to a unanimous victory in the Adult Show Pleasure Driving 39 & Over class and returned to claim victory in the championship as well. This was the second consecutive year for their championship drive. This one was under the direction of Hollow Haven Farm. Indy champion Selvaggio and Priscilla Marconi earned reserve honors in the championship for owner Lois Vartanian. Brendan Heintz drove Firecracker Jack to the reserve honors in the 39 and over qualifier for Sam and Vicki Reed.


Elizabeth James Lipscomb


The 39 & Under Show Pleasure Driving qualifier only featured two entries, but Paul Healey and Callaway’s Candy Apple made it a class to watch with Brittany Logan and Havana Harry making a strong reserve finish.


The ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Challenge featured Nicole LaRoussa and She Phloats On Heir earning the blue to add to their earlier season win at Madison. Nick Neviaser and The Mystery Machine earned reserve honors in the class.


World’s Champion of Champions CH The Shadow Knows and Linda Meyer continue to cast beautiful shadows at Midwest. The talented team began the week with a unanimous decision besting a strong field including reserve champion CH Catch The Fever and Sally Pavel. Meyer returned to claim the championship victory as well, this time with Illinois Resident Country Pleasure Champion Concrete Blonde and Kristen Pettry earning the reserve finish. Nancy Berger and Salt Heir earned the reserve finish in the Illinois Resident class.


CH The Shadow Knows and Linda Meyer


World’s Champion League Of Nations was a sight last year with former owner Dori Zandy. New owner Emily Druckman proved that League Of Nations would be just as outstanding in the junior exhibitor division. The talented team debuted to two unanimous decisions in outstanding competition. Sarah Werry and CH He Walks On Water kept the level of competition at a high level by earning both reserves after winning classes at Madison a few weeks ago.


Nancy Anderson and CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny have been winning at Midwest since 2002. Since that time they have won both Country Pleasure Driving classes in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and now in 2007 with a unanimous decision in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. The perfect pair has gone on to wins at Louisville as well in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.


The field didn’t concede the class by a long shot. Eddie Lewis drove Hit Man’s Special Delivery to the impressive reserve championship for Moonship Productions LLC. This Midwest title almost felt like a blue, but the team has already added blue ribbons to the 2007 resume at Asheville. Jayne Tillman and CH Hard Days Night TS started with a winning foundation at Mid America Spring and left Midwest with impressive reserve honors.


A new exciting team in the western division is Luanne Kilday and O Ain’t I Somethin. Starting the season with wins at ASAC, Raleigh, J.D. Massey and Blowing Rock, the team already appears as a seasoned competitor. They captured unanimous decisions in both Country Western Pleasure classes. FASH and Great River Champions Harlem’s Mojo and Toni Nastali earned a strong reserve championship. Mary Strohfus and CH Impressive Ruler added a Midwest reserve finish in the qualifier to an impressive resume that includes 17 2007 classes so far including 11 first and second place finishes.


Another unanimous decision came in the Shatner Western Pleasure class. Amy Weiler directed Magic Ovation to the win ahead of Tom Neese and King’s Lady In Black.




Meaghan MacQueen was the lady of the hour on Saturday night when she delighted instructors Tom Thorpe and Bob Griffin with an outstanding workout to claim the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. MacQueen defeated an outstanding field of entries including World’s Champion Brittany Ann McGinnis who had earlier claimed the USEF Saddle Seat Medal for the second year in a row at Midwest, World’s Champion Ellen Medley Wright who earned a unanimous decision in the 14-17 qualifier and Rachel Machamer finished in reserve in the 14-17 qualifier and fourth in the outstanding championship class.


Junior equitation rider Taylor Newton enjoyed a stellar show with wins in the NHS Good Hands class as well as the 13 and under qualifier and the 13 and under championship. Abigail Mutrux was the reserve champion in the championship. Callie Smith claimed the reserve finish in the qualifier. And Faye Wuesthofen was reserve in the NHS class as well as earning the title in the 14-17 UPHA Challenge Cup.


In the 10 and under ranks, Kaitlyn Creekmore gathered both the UPHA Challenge Cup and the 10 and under class. This talented young lady has also claimed wins at Old Dominion and Bonnie Blue this season. Ariana Cerecedes earned the reserve finish in the 10 and under class while Rose Marie Wheeler claimed second in the UPHA Challenge Cup.


The 13 & Under Challenge Cup class went to last year’s Midwest 10 and under winner, Belle Owen, with a unanimous decision. Caroline Skinner earned the good reserve finish.


It was great to see Lauren McMichael back in the ring. We last saw her in 2004 in five-gaited equitation, but she delighted her friends with a win in the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup class. Kevin Ingram made sure it wasn’t all about the ladies with a strong reserve finish.


Nick Sunder was the only entry in the inspirational UPHA Exceptional Rider Challenge Cup.


Pleasure equitation ranks were just as tough. Victoria McHenry finished in second in the 14-17 qualifier after winning it last year, but she came back tougher than ever and claimed victory in the Pleasure Equitation Championship. Nick Maupin earned the reserve finish in the championship after earning a unanimous decision in the 13 and under class earlier in the week. Caroline Moeller was reserve in the 13 and under class and the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup.


Mallory Hartigan bested McHenry to claim the Pleasure Equitation 14-17 title to add to her wins at Great River and Madison.


Cori O’Brien added a Midwest win in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup to previous wins at MGM Spring and Madison.


Angela Darrow repeated her last year’s win at Midwest by once again claiming the Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Ashley Loethen earned the good reserve finish.


Rose Marie Wheeler added another win to her list that started this season at River Ridge in the 10 & Under Walk/Trot Pleasure class.




While the numbers were on the light side, this year's Morgan competition at Midwest Charity featured some outstanding quality with a number of world champion performers headlining the division. World Champion Spiceolife Present Tense returned to Midwest for his season debut. Owner David Walker was on hand to watch his magnificent stallion again earn the Park Harness Stake victory with Diane Conrady on the lines.


In addition to bringing some impressive American Saddlebreds to Midwest Charity, Lowry Stables also entertained the audience with several top-winning Morgans. Lake Holiday Magic debuted in victorious fashion in the UPHA Park Harness Classic with Lowry directing the entry bred and owned by Jim and Shula Dodson. The Open and Amateur Park Saddle Stake tricolors also went back to the Lowry banner as Ultra’s Dark Angel and Katherine O’Connor matched up with a pair of brilliant rides for Laurette Walsh. Futurity’s Miss Munitions and Becky Krupp added to a winning show for Jim and Shula Dodson as they topped the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Krupp also introduced Tommy Bolt PGA to the winner’s circle in a new division as they swept the Classic Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. The world titled pairing of Cabot Carte Blanche and Ebby Lowry earned two more wins as they captured the Classic Pleasure Saddle blue and tricolor for proud parents Jim and Fay Lowry. The variety of Lowry Stables champions also included Crestfield Hi Command and Susan Brown as they swept the open and amateur qualifiers on the way to the Hunter Pleasure Championship.


The Indian Creek banner was likewise filled with top ribbons from the Morgan, Saddlebred and pony divisions. MEM Exotica returned to the site of her saddle debut of a year ago to again earn star billing as Shanna Gish rode the bold performing Tri Color Ventures entry to the Open English Pleasure Championship as well as the ladies qualifier win. Priscilla Marconi and her world titled partner WSG Circumstan’l Evidence again showed their domination with winning performances in the Open Pleasure Driving qualifier and championship. Show manager Judy Kjellander took time off from her official duties to once again guide Dragonsmeade Virtuoso to the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor. Kristopher Hufferd was a look-alike to proud papa Kurt as he took the victory pass in his first time in the four-wheel buggy in the Amateur Park Harness with NDT French Impressionist. SpringMill Morgans enjoyed another victorious trip to Midwest as SpringMill Souvenier and Shanna Gish topped the Junior English Pleasure, while AMHF Bal Du Masque jogged away the open and amateur western pleasure blues and as well as the reserve tricolor presented by John Huse.


Stan Bodnar brought a pair of impressive youngsters to Midwest. Bred To Boogie, a full brother to the incomparable Born To Boogie, carried the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic top honors back to Epona Morgans LLC. Bodnar also readied four-year-old CBMF Fully Loaded for Brittany Rae Balletto with a winning debut in the Open English Pleasure qualifier.


Mark and Stan Bodnar not only showed
Morgans at Midwest, they drove the injured Bono
to Rood and Riddle Clinic in
Lexington. They
delivered Bono at 3 a.m.
and returned to
Springfield to show horses
the next day.


Donna Pettry Smith matched Maya Manilow up for a blue ribbon ride in the Morgan division as she rode Auhl That Jazz to the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure win. Jason Gershman also tried his hand with the fancy chestnut for the English Pleasure Reserve Championship.


TE Bea Mi Thunder and Ashley Hellemann turned in a polished performance to earn the nod in the competitive Western Pleasure Championship for Diana Vannaken. Rocking Horse Morgans directed Royal M Kodi and Kalie Bozarth to the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving blue. They also earned numerous reserve titles with Merriehill Isabella in park and ICS Georgia Breeze in several divisions.


Kathy Mayes introduced CHF Majestic Fire to the winner’s circle in the Junior Pleasure Driving performing for George Prior. Alex Lawson and Claridge Armani teamed up to earn the victory pass in the Morgan/Arabian Saddle Seat Equitation in addition to the Amateur English Pleasure Reserve Championship for Margaret Williams. Melissa Bates and Nothing But The Truth earned the reserve ties in the Classic Pleasure Driving competitions.


This concludes the highlights from the Midwest Charity Horse Show. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here for Saddlebred results and clicking here for Morgan results.


Also seen at Midwest Charity:


Nancy and Tom Scott


Nancy and Chuck Herbert


Ringmaster John Frye ad son


Priscilla Marconi and Missy Hanover


Christy and Luise Bennett

Ali Judah receives some finishing
touches from her father, Mike.

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