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The Best of the Best from Midwest

by Bob Funkhouser and Michelle Krentz

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Quite simply, this is one of the most enjoyable shows of the year. The Midwest Charity Horse Show has the quality and quantity of a Lexington or Kansas City and there are some classes that are on par with Louisville. What makes it so enjoyable is that there are classes with several horses that will contend for victory passes at the above mentioned shows, yet everyone is not as uptight as they will be on the Red Mile, in Freedom Hall and in Kemper Arena.

Don’t get me wrong, the trainers, exhibitors and owners that make the trek to Springfield, Ill., are doing all they can to visit this show’s prestigious winner’s circle, but there is a different atmosphere than at the other big three. It seems like it’s more of an overall appreciation of fine horse flesh rather than the do or die attitude that can sometimes be a part of the others. Maybe some of it has to do with the unequalled hospitality and maybe some of it has to do with it being held in one of the best facilities in the country. But whatever it is, Midwest is the place to see many of the best going head to head in an exhibitor friendly atmosphere.

This was the 68th edition of the Midwest Charity Horse Show and its longstanding reputation, which has earned many UPHA National Show Of The Year titles, came shining through again. Manager Judy Kjellander and her experienced and dedicated officers, directors and committee members make up one of the most well rounded teams in the country. From involving the local business community to taking care of every detail for the horsemen and women who bring their best stock, they go all out in order to raise money for the COCO Children’s Cancer Fund.

"We couldn’t be happier with the quality of horses that showed here this week," said Show Manager Judy Kjellander. "The Saddle Horse classes were great and we still need to get more support from the Morgan and pony barns. Overall, I was extremely pleased."

Kjellander’s view of the show was right on the money. The Saddle Horse division was well filled and extremely competitive. What was lacking was depth in the Morgan, pony and trimmed equitation classes. For whatever reason it seems to be hard to get major Morgan barns to all-breed shows, even if it is under the best of circumstances, such as Midwest.

Ponies, well they’re another matter. Not long ago, Midwest was considered one of the top pony shows of the year. They seemed to come out of the woodwork. However, the trend across the country has been a downward spiral and it appears to have no boundaries or stopping point. If the pony trainers and owners can’t get together and have a solid horse show in this part of the country, there is serious trouble as the Midwest has always been the heart of the industry. This is a horse show story and not an editorial, so this journalist is not going to get on his soap box, but all those involved in the pony industry need to put the big picture at the top of their list and try to save a ship that may not be sinking yet, but sure is taking on a lot of water.

What keeps bringing many of the best Saddlebred barns in the country and some of the best pony and Morgan establishments to Springfield is the great equine village known as the Illinois State Fairgrounds. There is so much tradition among the rows of barns that line the streets adjacent to the famed coliseum. The coliseum’s permanent ring was made for showing horses and they do show well there. Next to the coliseum there are actually three places to work horses and warm up, two of them totally indoors and the other is covered so exposure to any inclement weather is just a short jaunt from those warm up areas to the coliseum.

Nationally renowned hospitality goes hand in hand with world-class show horses and ponies. There’s truly not another show in the country that rolls out the red carpet like Midwest. Each night following the last class, exhibitors stroll down the road that divides the barns and their destination is the Party Barn. Complete with tables, carpet and chandeliers, the Party Barn plays host to a wonderful dinner prepared by a core group of volunteers that have been cooking these great meals for years. Barbecue, pasta, chicken, each night is a different treat and on most nights a different band is playing out in the streets. It’s a great way to end a long day of showing.

Officials enjoy Midwest as much as the exhibitors do. This year, Marilyn Macfarlane, Michael Richardson, Gene van der Walt and Janet Barber served as judges. They were joined in the center ring by ringmasters John Frye and Don Baker; photographer Doug Shiflet who was assisted outside the ring by Jason Molback; announcer Tuffy Owens; and back again as organist was Groff Bittner. Jackie Wold was on her usual spot at the in-gate working with barn announcer Dave Morris to keep the flow going. Cheryl Rangel headed up the office staff. Seehorse Video was on hand for their free feed of the show that was met with great enthusiasm across the country, giving many other horse enthusiasts a chance to watch the action live.

From MyMy Singh debuting in lead line with former Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Callaway’s Forecaster to Debbie Foley winning her second Five-Gaited Championship of the year with Callaway’s Karla, there were many exciting moments to watch all week long.

Midwest is also unique in that it has the judges vote on a "Best Of Show" entry at week’s end. This has turned into a much-anticipated part of the show. The past winners have included Lady Vol, Glenview’s Excelalante!, New York’s Perfect Gift and Can You Hear Me Now. Three of those four were on hand for this year’s Midwest, still winning titles. This year the judges had plenty to choose from and their pick as Best Of Show went to CH Marching Orders, winner of the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship with Barbara Goodman Manilow showing from the Richard Obenauf Stables. Trainers Kenny Smith and Dick Obenauf had Marching Orders looking like a fresh three-year-old to win both the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and amateur over 15.2 qualifier.

The young horses at Midwest are always a treat and a few of them had to be in the running for Best Of Show honors. First there was Chuck Herbert’s Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Champion Nuttin To Lose, owned by Edward Elliott Jr. and Thomas Elliott. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of a Supreme Heir daughter, Nuttin To Lose was big and talented with so much expression for a two-year-old. This was a very special debut performance for the Cedarwood team and the Midwest audience.

Just a few classes later on Thursday evening, Dr. Alan Raun and It’s Dan The Man put their name in the hat for Best Of Show honors with their outstanding performance in the Junior Fine Harness class. A son of It’s Hammertime, this beautiful bay colt with effortless motion won his third junior stake of the year, this time with Dr. Raun showing for new owner Anna Marie Knipp.

New to Midwest Charity, Lionel Ferreira had several nice horses but it was his three-year-old gaited stallion, Marc Of Charm, who wowed the crowd and judges alike. Big and bold, he racked and trotted like a stake horse to make a most favorable impression for owner Riverdreams LLC. While there were plenty of young stars, these three stood out from the crowd.

"We just loved this horse show," said Ferreira who brought the England based Monnington Farm champions from Kentucky where they are summering at the old Redd Crabtree barn. "We’re planning on coming back every year."

Many share Ferreira’s sentiments. Each year there are those who try Midwest for the first time and become hooked. After all, what’s not to like about a great facility, outstanding competition and unequalled hospitality?


A diverse, but extremely talented group of five horses with trainers from around the world came back to vie for the Five-Gaited Grand Championship tricolor on Saturday night. In the end it was the horse and trainer combination of Callaway’s Karla and Debbie Foley to take the top honors for Jo Ann Griffin. Earlier in the week, the 2008 Reserve World’s Champion mare was reserve in the mare class, but her power and speed matched with Foley’s go-getting determination could not be topped in the stake. The royally bred mare by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of The Mean Machine daughter, Callaway’s Twice The Spice, is a full sibling to two stars from last year, Callaway’s Rosemary And Thyme, who had great success in the junior three-gaited division with Bille Rae Graham and Pat McConnell, and Callaway’s Don’t Sass Me, who was the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mare Division I World’s Champion, also with Debbie Foley.

Jim Lowry showed that even in the heat of summer, he could be cool as a cucumber when he hopped on Fight Night for the first time ever and was able to finish in the reserve slot. Glenn T. Werry qualified the gelding by winning the amateur gentlemen’s class. David Nierenberg and the gelding’s breeder, Dr. Alan Raun, own the very successful Prize Contender gelding. Hailing all the way from England, Cloverleaf Master And Commander made a strong showing for third with South African native Lionel Ferreira aboard for the Bulmer family. A.J. Bruwer had The Light O’ Love looking good for the A.E. Nelson family for fourth, and Desiree DeVries showed the perennial crowd-pleaser, Grand Revival, to the pink ribbon for fifth.

In his first performance of the year, Bravo Blue was set and ready to get the stallion/gelding blue unanimously with Bob Brison aboard for Theresa Vonderschmitt. Last year’s Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion was still in top order, as he was able to lead a large field of seven extremely talented horses. A horse that Bob Brison took to his first two blues and was formally owned by Theresa Vonderschmitt, New York’s Real Magic was reserve in the stallion/gelding class with Neil Visser aboard for Hillcroft Farm. The big-motored blonde gelding was already a winner this year at Asheville Lions Club in the Limit Five-Gaited class.

When Dick Obenauf judged the Carousel Horse Show in Scottsdale in February, he saw Roman Marcos show a very special mare. That mare won the Open Five-Gaited class at Carousel, and by April, Barbara Goodman Manilow purchased her. That mare, Our Sweet Addison, had never been shown outside of New Mexico, Arizona and California, and very limitedly at that, until at Midwest this year, where she caused quite a stir winning the Five-Gaited Mare class unanimously with Kenny Smith aboard. Addison never put an ear back or a foot out of place and was rather exceptional trimmed in white and full of charisma.

For the third consecutive year, CH Callaway’s Born To Win and Gayle Lampe topped both Ladies Five-Gaited classes in high fashion, and as always with the crowd’s enthusiastic approval. With Lampe’s ear-to-ear smile and Born To Win’s impeccable ladies’ manners matched with his perfect headset and great motion, last year’s National Champion pair was still tough to beat. Mike Roberts and Zach Duffy train the winning team. Undefeated this year until Midwest, Pour Some Sugar On Me is another top competitor in the ladies division. Matched with Deborah Butler, just as the Def Leppard song makes you sing along, Pour Some Sugar On Me, made you stop and pay attention to her.

Just like the majority of the classes at Midwest, though, the two top horses were not the only Louisville-winning contenders. Each ribbon winner has a great shot at making a big impression on the green shavings. The other ladies ribbon winners were last year’s Junior Mare World’s Champion, Callaway’s Cassis, with Carol Hillenbrand; last year’s ladies’ Royal sensation, Bluebonnet’s Challenger, with Joan Cantrell; the always eye-pleasing Mosette with Katie Coup Younker; the first year adult pair of Katherine Abraham and Callaway’s Smooth Sailing; and the charming pair of Scott Pisarik’s El Matrero with Kelly Hulse.

The amateur ladies division was just as deep with household names from top to bottom. The owner-trainer team of Ellyn Dorsey and Lisa Strickland has produced one superstar after another, including in recent years, Just About Perfect, First Class Heir and Freakness among others. In 2007, shortly after Most Definitely Diamonds was reserve in the ladies mare class at Louisville with Tracy James, Lisa Strickland selected the remarkable mare for Ellyn Dorsey. Last year, Strickland and the mare won across the Midwest and finished up the year with a great reserve finish in the open mare class at the Royal. This year, however, it’s Dorsey’s turn. Dorsey and Most Definitely Diamonds made their debut showing this year at Indy to finish as the Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champions. Their championship class at Indy was solid, but their class at Midwest was perfect. The mare’s confidence, gameness, motion and precision, matched with Dorsey’s many years of showing experience, and Strickland’s instruction made for a picture perfect team to win the amateur ladies blue.

Last year’s Amateur Five-Gaited Gelding Division I World’s Champion, Arrowhead’s Dreamcatcher, looked every ounce a world’s champion in both his classes with Deborah Butler aboard. The Delovely-trained entry won the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited tricolor after a reserve finish in the qualifier. The multi-titled gelding had already won four classes prior to Midwest this year. He won both amateur classes at Pro-Am, as well as both amateur classes at Asheville Lions Club.

Already big winners at the Kentucky Spring Premier Horse Show, The Echo Of Thunder and Traci Massaro added another title to their 2009 list as they were the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champions under the direction of A.J. Bruwer. Jo Ann Griffin put in an expert catch-ride aboard First Chapter to round out the top three in the championship for Debbie Foley’s Silver Brook Stables. While The Midnight Hero and Diana Schaefer, Across The Sky and Jean Wood, Ylang Ylang and Sarah Rowland, Brookhill’s Passion Punch and Lauren Ashe and The New World Man and Whitney Anderson rounded out the ribbons.

As the judges turned in their cards in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship, there was much chatter throughout the crowd about whom the winner would be. Midwest has become the caliber of show it is because of classes such as this, where the competition is so great, that a class could really have three or more winners, and regardless of who the judges tie, the crowd could see where the judges were coming from. I’m Something Wicked came through the gate begging for the judges’ attention by having his neck cranked back, his knees way up and his ears straight forward, and that perfect form did not change throughout the class. Kalarama’s The Ultimate Choice, an imported stud from South Africa, had quite the following from those who saw him at J.D. Massey and Asheville Lions Club. And with his big, strong way of moving and his slick, fast rack, the judges seemed to be watching him too. The other horse the judges and crowd had their eyes on was The Daily Lottery. Clearly full of quality through and through as he was the Junior Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions just last year, the judges had their hands full. In the end, it was the qualifier reserve winner, I’m Something Wicked, and his elated owner, Theresa Vonderschmitt, to make the victory pass on Friday evening at Midwest with proud trainer Bob Brison meeting them in the winner’s circle. Reserve honors went to Kalarama’s The Ultimate Choice and Deborah Visser for The Ultimate Choice Group, with The Daily Lottery and Carol Hillenbrand rounding out the top three. All three horses each got a tremendous and deserving ovation.

In the qualifier, The Daily Lottery, the sensation that Mandy Martin made so famous last year, had the winning number. The strong-built chestnut gelding can rack up a storm, yet still maneuver in a point and shoot sort of fashion. John Conatser trains the racking machine.

The quality in the gaited division did not stop at the adult division. In fact most of the juvenile horses could have fit right in with the best of the best that showed in the aged rider classes. And although they may have many years less experience than some of the best amateurs in the business, there is no doubt that the juvenile gaited division is home to some of the best riders. Faye Wuesthofen had herself the comeback ride of all comeback rides in the juvenile gaited stake to come from a fourth place qualifier finish to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship aboard her noble steed, CH Callaway’s Lil Abner. A world’s champion team last year, Wuesthofen rode hard in hopes of repeating that title again this year. Reserve in the stake class went to the 14-17 qualifier winner, Stravinsky. Brittany McGinnis showed the long-necked, long-legged, all around brilliant horse to the blue ribbon in the qualifier. There are going to be some good showdowns to come.

There may be no rider in the business more determined than Angela Darrow to get everything out of her horse. Riding, pushing, feeling, working every step of the way, Darrow and her star, Freaky Links, are always knocking at the door. With her trainer, Scott Matton, cheering her along, this pair was in the top three in both of their classes. The flashy white-legged horse, Already Famous, did not put one foot out of place in either of his classes to earn him a reserve finish in the 14-17 class and a white ribbon in the tough stake class with Taylor Lafarge. Reserve in the 13 and under class, Callaway’s Exception To The Rule and Maya Manilow picked up the pink ribbon in the championship, while The Talk Of Lexington and Patsy Loeb were sixth, and the 13 and under winner, Callaway’s Case Closed and Jessica Wuesthofen, were seventh.

Not a soul got out of their seats when the Novice Five-Gaited class entered full of potential and talent. Debbie Foley continued a successful week aboard Callaway’s Annabel Allison, a full sibling to Callaway’s Ricky Ricardo, with whom she won a reserve world’s championship in the junior five-gaited division in 2005. Annabel Allison has the signature slick rack that Foley seems to put on all her gaited horses, but in no way does she lack anything at the trot. Her legs can wave with the best of them, and her neck is set on high, making her a horse you cannot help but look at. Without Any Doubt elicited a lot of crowd enthusiasm with his massive size and motion as well as Jack McGill’s expert showmanship. Bill and Coe London own that exciting reserve winner.

When announcer Tuffy Owens warned the crowd not to start making their way down to the party barn because an exciting junior gaited class was coming in, he did not disappoint. With 11 entries in the class, it would be easy to get lost in the crowd, but one horse was able to break through. Named for the famous The Doors song, Break On Through, broke through the crowd with navigator Bret Day aboard to win the blue. With so much talent of her own, enough to make her a multi-world’s grand champion, it is no wonder that CH Hollywood Excellence quickly became a Hall of Fame broodmare. Henry Hudson is a true illustration of his dam’s qualities mixed with qualities of his sire, I’m A New Yorker. The dark chestnut gelding was another standout in the junior division with Neil Visser aboard the reserve champion for Paul and Thea Treiber.

If you asked anyone who was at the Midwest Charity Horse Show to name their top five favorite horses of the show, there is little to no doubt that Marc Of Charm would be included in that list. To begin to describe him, his pedigree must come first. The young stud is by Santana’s Charm, and true to his name, he looks remarkably similar to his grand-producing sire. His royal blood, however, does not end there. His dam is by the relatively unknown stud, Mountjoy’s Incredible, but she is out of Yorkshire Pudding, the dam of Reedann’s Top Gun, Castle Bravo, Northern Blues and Deep Blue, among others. Marc Of Charm is big and strong, yet refined, fast, precise and aggressive, all while being well-mannered. As just a three-year-old, there is little to fault him on, and with master showman Lionel Ferreira aboard, the sky is the limit for the young stud, not only for his show ring career, but for his career in the breeding shed as well. Marc Of Charm was the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited champion for Riverdreams LLC.

Madeira’s Fame looked polished beyond his years to make his show ring debut with Zach Duffy aboard for Gayle Lampe. The colt, by Madeira’s Caramac and out of a Roseridge Heir mare, looks to have all the qualities of a true show ring star, and will be one to follow this year.

Nuttin’ Doing is another fine example of the quality stock that Undulata’s Nutcracker keeps producing. The chestnut colt out of a Periaptor mare was the reserve world’s champion as a yearling with Peter Palmer, and he is now racking quite nicely with Neil Visser for Elisabeth Goth. The nice Nutcracker colt won the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic. Already a winner twice this year, at Des Moines and Chapter 5, Locust Grove’s Big Kat and Bob Brison picked up another title by winning the red ribbon in the classic class for Larry and Judy Schultz.


After a very successful run in the five-gaited division, Conway is now sporting a roached mane to take on the three-gaited division. The half sibling to Ya-Ya and Ylang Ylang seems to be thriving in his new division as he won the Three-Gaited Championship and over two class with Neil Visser aboard for Sara McDonald. A strong reserve in both classes went to Romance In New York and Kenny Smith. Proud owner Kristen Pettry was on hand to cheer for the crowd-pleasing mare.

Last year’s under two world’s champion, VHF Belle Epoque, was in top form with owner Robert Gardiner aboard to continue in her winning way. The exciting, but elegant mare was already the Three-Gaited Grand Champion and qualifying champion this year at Devon. Vicki Reed’s big-motored, Liberty’s Magic was second in the under two class with A.J. Bruwer aboard.

Most of the time when an outstanding young horse is purchased, it takes the ability of being in the right place at the right time. Some could say that about Susan Halverson’s purchase of Cataclysmic, but those involved in the pairing of the team know it was fate. In the fall of 2007, Halverson lost her beloved Wing Admiral, and she, her family and her Winsome family were absolutely heartbroken. Months later, she was still recovering from Wings’s death and was just taking the occasional lesson. During one of those visits to the farm, she watched the then three-year-old Cataclysmic, known around the barn as Leo, being worked. It was love at first sight. And in a true storybook manner, Leo lived in Wings’s old stall; it was meant to be. With the death of Wing, her family considered taking a break from the Saddlebred business for a while, but Leo got them hooked again.

The Halversons purchased Leo at the beginning of his four-year-old year. Terri Anne Ullman and the earth-shattering gelding showed across the Midwest, picking up blue ribbons at every show they went to. At Louisville the pair, took on the toughest of competition to finish fourth in the Junior Three-Gaited Championship, but the magic really happened that fall at Mane Event. Ullman qualified the gelding to win the Junior Three-Gaited class, but Halverson returned aboard Leo to win the Three-Gaited Ladies Championship.

This year, Halverson has been the sole jockey, already earning blues from FASH and Madison. But the once in a lifetime horse proved he has what it takes to take on some of the most decorated ladies’ horses in the country as he won both classes at Midwest. Halverson could not have been happier with her rides, and Ullman could not have been more proud of the pair she polished to perfection. Reserve in both ladies’ classes went to CH New York’s Perfect Gift. The grand four-time world’s champion needs no introduction as he has been one of the best in the business since his Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited debut to a world’s championship in 2004. With his owner and breeder, Elizabeth Thomas, aboard, this was another very special combination trained by John Conatser.

When the announcer called off number 338, Michelle Hartman’s face lit up with happiness and a touch of surprise. Not so shockingly, however, her wonderful gelding, Up Close & Personal WRF had won the Amateur Ladies Three-Gaited Championship with her aboard. Reserve in both classes went to Kathy Capsuto Walker’s recent purchase of Simply Stella. Simply Stella won the Junior Three-Gaited class at Indy with Mark Utoft aboard. Kathy Capsuto bought her and took her to Rock Creek where they were reserve in the tough ladies class.

Three years ago, Bob Brison showed a bay gelding in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class at Midwest that caused quite a stir. The following year, Chuck Herbert showed that same gelding in the three-gaited classic, and the horse became a sensation. That year at Louisville, Barbara Goodman Manilow bought the gelding after his reserve world’s grand champion finish in the walk/trot stake. This gelding is of course, Glenview’s Excelalante!, and he was still as sensational as ever to win the amateur ladies class.

A world’s champion of champions in the amateur three-gaited division last year, CH Marching Orders again looks to be unbeatable in the division this year. For the third year in a row, CH Marching Orders and Barbara Goodman Manilow were the Ladies Three-Gaited Champions and Grand Champions, but their honors did not stop there. The grand gelding looked so exceptional, that he was named Midwest’s 2009 Best In Show.

After a third place finish in the over two class, the exotic Gossip Girl captured the reserve place finish with Dr. Meg Knowles in the irons. Mayo Moctezuma trains the flashy and animated pair. Another many times world’s champion, CH Manila Thrilla was in top order to finish with the red ribbon in the over two class with Theresa Vonderschmitt. Vonderschmitt was also reserve with Mr. Center Stage in the under two class. Bob Brison trains both of her outstanding horses.

For the second year in a row, it was the great pair of Size Me Up and Deborah Visser to win the ladies under two class. Size Me Up is by Tornaado, and out of Annie Up, the grand park mare that Butler won the Amateur Park Mare class with at Louisville in 2001.

Bill London was in a class of his own to win the Amateur Gentlemen’s Three-Gaited class aboard Stonecroft All That Jazz. The flashy I’m A New Yorker gelding is a full sibling to the juvenile five-gaited star, Naughty, and is owned by Maureen Jenner’s Marlstone Farm.

A Travelin’ Man continued his completely undefeated show career by winning both 14-17 Three-Gaited classes with always-smiling owner, Ellen Medley Wright. The fine gelding who began his career as a Two-Year-Old Fine Harness World’s Champion with Dena Lopez, also won the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class with her the next year. Then just last year, he was the Junior Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions with Todd Miles aboard. Now this year, he and Ellen Medley Wright are setting the standard for the juvenile walk/trot division. Reserve in both classes went to a horse that is no stranger to success, CH Callaway’s Merry Go Round. With Wright’s barnmate, Tyler Miles, aboard, Merry Go Round, looked to be a new star in the juvenile division for Dorchester Farms under the direction of Kalarama. A reserve world’s champion in the amateur gentleman’s division just last year with Glenn T. Werry, CH Heir To A Star was back in the juvenile division with Faye Wuesthofen to round out the top three in the championship. CH Heathermoor’s Prince, another world title-holder was third in the qualifier with Emily Druckman aboard.

Marjorie Townsend is a lucky girl to be able to be aboard one of the greatest three-gaited mares ever, CH An Heir About Her. The grand mare was picture perfect to win the 13 and under championship under Hoppy Bennett’s direction after a reserve finish in the qualifier. CH Tantalize Me LCC moved up a slot from the qualifier to be named reserve in the championship with McKenna Slater up under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. Last year’s Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions, She’s My Desire BH was back in the winner’s circle, this time with Sarah Werry’s step-sister, Jessie Wuesthofen, in the 13 and under qualifier.

Looking very much like his successful sire, Gypsy Santana, Gypsy’s Bragging Rights won the Novice Three-Gaited class with Zach Duffy aboard for Chris and Michael Kaplan. Reserve in the nice class of novice horses went to Stock Up, a nice four-year-old by Select Stock, shown by John Conatser.

Twelve years ago, Lisa Strickland showed The Super Nova to the Junior Three-Gaited blue at Midwest. The grand gelding went on to win six world’s championships. This year at Midwest, Strickland showed a very exciting filly, Hilheiry Duff. Could it be déjà vu? The Supreme Heir daughter waves her legs in a fluid, yet very sporty manner, and she has a neck that sets in an unreal position. Mimi Bahcall owns the breath-taking filly. Lionel Ferreira has another exciting young horse in DCS Miss You Got It All. The chestnut filly has almost only South African horses in her pedigree, and has all the motion you would expect from a South African horse, with elegance to match it. The Bulmer family owns the nice up and comer who was reserve in the junior class.

Already the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class winner at Oklahoma, Sir Robin Hood won the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class at Midwest with Zach Duffy aboard for Middendorf Farms. Another fantastic example of Tom Galbreath’s legendary breeding program, Sir Robin Hood is by Sir William Robert and out of a CH Will Shriver mare. A full sibling to the 2005 Weanling Breeder’s World’s Champion Undulata’s Nuts And Bolts, Undulata’s Just Plain Nuts put in a great show for the red ribbon in the three-year-old class with Jim Lowry aboard for Margaret Strano.

Expert rider Ceil Wheeler met trainer John Conatser at the winner’s circle aboard Prom Dress to win the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic top prize money. Going a big trot with lots of expression, it was a strong class for the Midwest champions as Virgil Helm applied the pressure riding Memories’ Jazz Queen to the red ribbon for the filly’s owner and breeder, Roberta Rassieur.

Fine Harness

Last year’s Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Junior Fine Harness horse, Elegant Dreamcatcher, was at the top of her game again to win the Fine Harness Stake with Lynda Freseth at the lines for the Brock family after a reserve finish in the qualifier. Respectfully Yours, last year’s Junior Fine Harness National Champion, was reserve in the stake class after a third place finish in the qualifier with John Conatser at the lines for Bill Clem. Another of Lionel Ferreira’s almost solely South African-bred horses won the qualifier. The dark bay gelding who can really lift his knee, Jonazell Mighty Spirit won the qualifier under the ownership of the Bulmer family.

A Best In Show winner at Midwest just a year ago, Lady Vol went on to be the Ladies Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions. This year, Lady Vol repeated her two Amateur Fine Harness wins at Midwest with proud owner Chris Kaplan at the lines. The extremely elegant, yet bold pair of Lace’s Last Tango and Priscilla Marconi danced to the reserve finish over CH Cary’s Moonraker and Margo Baird and Simbara’s Exclamation and Dr. Scott Cairns who finished third and fourth respectively in what was a very competitive class.

With a heat index of 100 and above at times during the show, it was not surprising that the crowd could be at times a bit lethargic, but when It’s Dan The Man entered the ring, that was certainly not the case. He absolutely brought the house down. With every pass he made, the crowd got louder and louder. Dan was the man, and he won the junior class unanimously with 82-year-old legend Doc Raun at the lines for Anna Marie Knipp’s High Spirits Farm. Dan’s caretaker, Glenn T. Werry, met him in the winner’s circle to put his blue ribbon on. Dan is really something special, the way he sets his head and the way he moves his legs are undeniably remarkable, but just standing there, he is one of the most handsome and regal horses you will ever see. Reserve in the junior class went to She’s Amber Delight, a nice-moving Catalyst baby. Amber Delight was reserve as a weanling at the Wisconsin Futurity, and she went on to have much success as a three-year-old last year in harness, including a reserve finish in the Fine Harness Classic at Midwest last year. Heather Linzmeier was at the lines for Doris Thorwald, the owner and breeder of the lovely mare.

Last year’s ASR Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Sweepstakes winner, Roberta Belle won the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class with her owner and breeder, Kathy Capsuto Walker. Roberta Belle is by Sir William Robert and out of CH Dancing Up A Storm LCC, who was a grand harness horse for Kathy Capsuto Walker for many years. Vivian Ward, by VHF The Licorice Drop Kid and out of an Attache’s Liquid Asset mare, was reserve in the nice three-year-old class with Robert Gardiner.

In A Nutshell made a grand winning show ring debut, taking the top prize in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic with Bob Brison at the lines for B & T Vonderschmitt LLC. The flashy chestnut gelding is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the many times world’s champion mare, CH Heir Style. Last year’s ASR Kentucky Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness World’s Champion, Dressedfortheparty, was reserve with Chuck Herbert for Edward and Thomas Elliott. The flashy chestnut mare is by Designed and out of the Hall of Fame mare, One Parting Kiss, the dam of Undaunted, Shut Up And Kiss Me (who is the dam of Kiss Of The Zodiac and Ro & Me’s Kiss And Tell) and Pucker Up, among others.

Chuck Herbert was also at the lines for the Edward and Thomas Elliott entry of Nuttin’ To Lose. Putting his name in the hat as one of the most exciting stars of the show, Nuttin’ To Lose is a gifted and stretchy colt by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of a Supreme Heir mare. The young gelding made his show ring debut to the blue by winning the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Reserve in that class went to 2007’s ASR Kentucky Futurity Weanling World’s Champion, Undulata’s Dream Team. The royally bred stud colt is also by Undulata’s Nutcracker and is out of the World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited Mare, CH Garland’s Dream. Dream Team was driven to the red ribbon by Bob Brison and is owned by Theresa Vonderschmitt.


In a very competitive class, Lynda Freseth looked to be having a ball aboard First Class Heir to win the Park Grand Championship. Brianna Meyer has already won every juvenile class she’s gone in on him at Mid-America Spring, Bonnie Blue and Asheville Lions Club, and Freseth just added to the trophy cabinet. A relative newcomer, the bay delight Tom Lewis won the qualifier and was reserve in the championship with Jim Lowry aboard for Jack Boos and Jane Deske. With Piper Granger Borgedon as a mom to be, Tom Thorpe is showing Phillip Martinelli, and he is doing so with great success. The flashy gelding was reserve in the Open Park qualifier.

Traci Massaro made a stellar comeback ride after finishing third in the amateur qualifier to top a huge field of amateur park horses to win the Amateur Park Grand Championship. A.J. Bruwer trains "Cookie" and Massaro. Reserve in the championship went to the gravity defying pair of CH To Die For and Meredithe Steinhauer under the direction of Rick Wallen. Barbara Goodman Manilow’s blond beauty, The New York Look, marched his way to the winner’s circle in the qualifier over Bob Griffin’s big and bold, CH The Foxy Prince and Jennifer Hartner. Major Buck and Kathryne Stief had a great ride to finish up in third in the Amateur Park Championship under the direction of Jim Lowry.

Last year’s Reserve National Champion Open Park horse, The Paper Princess JJW, made a successful switch to the juvenile division with the awesome-riding Breanna Lukan aboard. The mare bred, raised, owned and shown to a Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Mares World’s Championship by Jay Wood is still at the top of her game in her new division. Paired with another great rider, Morgan Brison, Undulata’s Lost And Found was reserve in both classes for Soquili Stables. He’s My Beau and Katie Moeller rounded out the top three in both juvenile classes. He’s My Beau has been a major competitor in the juvenile three-gaited division, but just as many are doing with the addition of the juvenile park class at Louisville, the Moellers decided to grow his mane out.

Designed for Blue is certainly designed for blue ribbons. With her perfect conformation, high motion and perfect headset, it is no wonder that the filly by Designed and out of a Blue Norther mare made her show ring debut a winning one. Jim Lowry showed the nice filly to the Junior Park blue for Tri Color Ventures. Crazy For Cats also had a successful show ring debut to win the red ribbon in the junior class with Rick Wallen aboard for Mike Schallock. The Black Horse and Kenny Smith put in a good show for third for Barbara Goodman Manilow.


Multi-titled World’s Grand Champions Big Red first showed at Midwest with Pres Oder to win two emotional Roadster To Bike classes. Since then, the unbelievable chestnut has won every class he has entered, including Midwest, every year since then with Raymond Shively. Big Red and Shively did it again this year to win both classes with their usual crowd-pleasing performances. Reserve in the stake class went to the ladies class winner, Trio Bolero G and Debbie Foley. Trio Bolero G was the Roadster To Bike National Champion last year as well as the USTA Classic World’s Champion. Aquasport and James Nichols were reserve in the open class and ended up in the third position in the championship for Annadale Fram.

Thunderbolt and Judy McNeish sped to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship after a reserve finish to Trio Bolero G in the ladies class. Valparaiso won the Amateur Roadster to Bike class with Tom Fielder and was reserve in the championship, burning up the ring in the process.

Roadster enthusiast Judy McNeish was also in the winner’s circle in the Roadster to Wagon classes with Invincible Summer. This is the eighth year in a row that the horse has won both Roadster to Wagon classes. The speedy pair is trained by Delovely. Another Delovely horse, Raising The Bar, won the Roadster To Wagon Appointment class with Mark Turner at the lines for Delovely.

The 2008 UPHA Road Pony Classic National Champion looked even better than last year, filled with maturity and a lot of confidence. Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF won the Open Road Pony Grand Championship and qualifier with Andy Freseth at the lines for Priscilla Gise. Adding greatly to the excitement of the division, Dun Haven Majestic Motion sped away with the reserve in both classes with Rick Wallen for Denise Steinhauer. Third in both classes went to Twin Willow’s McDreamy. Only a four-year-old, McDreamy has already had exceptional performances at Des Moines and UPHA Chapter 5.

Last year’s world’s champion of champions and reserve world’s champion of champions met again at Midwest this year. Last year’s Amateur Road Pony Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, Regal’s Trademark LF, won both amateur classes over the current Amateur World’s Champion of Champions, Calvin Hobbs. Mary Gaylord McClean was at the whip for Trademark, while Kevin Ingram was at the whip for Calvin Hobbs. Meredith Steinhauer put in two crowd-pleasing performances in both classes with Thunderation for third.

The Wizard LF sped away with the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony blue and the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony blue under the direction of Gib Marcucci. Knolland Master Kard was second in the junior exhibitor class with Craig Cates, while Heartland Carolee was reserve in the AHHS class with Max Kaplan. 

Popular veterinarian Dr. Hank Clemmons got to take a break from working on horses at the show to watch one of his own make a victory lap. His pony, Top Secret LF, won the Limit Road Pony class with Jay Wood.

After a reserve finish in the UPHA Road Pony Classic, Twin Willow’s Logan S topped the Junior Road Pony field with Kathy Capsuto Walker. WW Truly Fancy and Dr. Alan Raun were reserve in the junior class for Randy Wells. Heartland Dressed To Impress indeed impressed the judges and the crowd to win the Road Pony Classic with Darrel Kolkman at the lines.

Harness & Hackney Ponies

Last year’s Harness Pony World’s Grand Champion, Heartland Expectation, lived up to all the grand pony’s expectations and was crown the Harness Pony Grand Champion and ladies champion with Mary Gise. The Open Harness Pony winner, Mastercraft’s Promoter LF, was reserve in the stake with Jeff McClean. Jeff’s wife, Mary, was reserve in the ladies class, but won the Amateur Harness Pony Championship. Conqueror’s Colleen LF and Mary Ellen Golich were reserve in that class.

Muffy Ernster continued a winning season with Creation’s Windstar to win the Amateur Harness Pony blue over the AHHS Youth Medallion Hackney or Harness Pony Champions Lightning Up and Patsy Loeb.

Two very nice ponies showed up for the Junior Harness Pony class, Estoban and Making Waves. In the end it was Estoban and Anna Marie Knipp to be crowned the champions, while Making Waves and Gib Marcucci finished in reserve for Larry Schultz. Making Waves did, however, win the UPHA Harness Pony Classic over Night Heiress and Rick Wallen for Mr. and Mrs. Mike Schallock.

Heartland Undeniable was a star in his new division. After starting the year as a harness pony, and being the Junior Harness Pony Reserve World’s Champion of Champions last year, Undeniable is already fitting in quite well as a cob tail. After a reserve finish in the open qualifier and a blue in the limit class, the half sibling to Heartland Rainsong and Heartland Alluring won the Hackney Pony Championship with Dr. Alan Raun, after qualifying in the other two classes with Kate Frieberg. Reserve in the championship went to the qualifier winner, Regal’s Lucifer LF and Jeff McClean. Just last year, this team was the Junior Hackney Pony Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. 

Fresh off their open win from Rock Creek, last year’s Hackney Pony Mares World’s Champion, Heartland Elise, won the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship and qualifier with Mary Gaylord McClean at the lines. Reserve in the amateur qualifier went to Follow Suit and Gary Dickherber.

In the Junior Hackney Pony ranks, it was last year’s Reserve National Champion UPHA Hackney Pony Classic winners, Lovie Smith and Gib Marcucci for Muffy Ernster. Last year’s Reserve World’s Champion Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony, Red Tide, won the Hackney Pony Classic with Tom Lowry at the lines for Golden Creek Farm. Heartland Accolade made his debut to the show ring to garner a reserve finish with owner Darrel Kolkman at the lines. 

Stacey Swalla could not have been happier to win the pleasure pony championship and qualifier with Heartland Little Gem under the direction of her husband, Kent "Skip" Swalla. The Bellview Acres-trained entry of Extremely Supreme was reserve in the championship with Mary Narko after a reserve place finish in the limit class with Brendan Heintz at the lines. The limit pony winner, One More Time, and Anna Marie Knipp were reserve in the pleasure pony qualifier. 

For the second year in a row, Honest Impression and Garrett Weiler were the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Pony Grand Champions. Weiler and his pony finished reserve earlier in the week under the reserve grand champions, Queensbury Debutante and Patsy Loeb, in the junior exhibitor qualifier and the AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Pony Under Saddle class. Loeb showed the nice pony under Rick Wallen’s direction for the Queensbury Farm. 

For the second year in a row, Heartland Showboat and Kelsey Herbert were the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic Champions under the direction of her dad, Chuck Herbert. Heartland Breakin’ The Code and Darrell Kolkman were reserve in that class. 

Five-Gaited Pleasure

Pleasure horses came strong from all points on the map with a good mix of veteran stars and talented new comers. Gaited pleasure horses were at a premium and there was a change of scenery at the top when the dust had settled in the championship. Continuing their already illustrious career, CH Chandler and Lisa McClaren pulled out all the stops and topped a large and decorated field to win the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship under the direction of Country Meadow Farm. Already the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Champions at Bonnie Blue and Madison, Gotta Be Charmed won the qualifier in their first year competing in this division. That team shows under the Hollow Haven banner. Reserve in both classes went to the sporty Callaway’s Dealbreaker and Betts Coup Younker under the supervision of Mike Roberts Stable.

Gotta Be Charmed finished up third in the championship, while Love Bite and Elisabeth Goth finished in a strong third in the qualifier. Cool Down Papa and Kathy Scherer looked great to garner a fourth place ribbon in both classes, while the Indy Charity Grand Champions, Walterway’s Believe In Me and Corbin Smith, were fifth in both classes.

There was a flip-flop in the juvenile division with the first and second place horses. Coming back from a good reserve in the qualifier, the newly Kalarama-trained entry of CH Ridgefield’s Excessive and Andrew Slater finished the show as the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Champions. Just a few years ago "Enzo" won the adult championship with Slater’s mom, Pamela, in the irons. The electric pair of Take A Guess and Morgan Brison looked as good as gold to win the juvenile gaited pleasure qualifier under the direction of her father’s Fairview Stables. The team came back to be crowned the reserve grand champions. Other ribbon winners included the Delovely-trained entries of Suki Snowlet and Calee Dillon, She’s Gone Blonde and Callie Smith and A Cloudburst and Alexandra Lawson; the Knollwood-trained entries of He’s Heirresistible and Loretta Mulberry and The Whole Town’s Talking and Katie Koeppel; the Richard Obenauf Stables-trained entry of Husker Du and Maya Manilow; Cara Clara and Majorie Townsend and Such A Sport and Joey Neumann.

Park Pleasure

In the junior ranks, it was Sir Richard Dale and Jim Lowry to take home the blue for Tri Color Ventures in the horse’s first ever show ring performance. The gorgeous, fronty gelding by Sir William Robert and out of the winning five-gaited mare Completely Elegant, who is also the dam of the Werry’s stud Go To Win and the winning park mare Hollywood Electra, is sure to be a show-stopper in the future. Reserve in the class went to Prime Time Player and Lisa Strickland. Saddlewood Farm owns the handsome chestnut gelding by Pat McConnell’s stud, Hoops, and out of the Finally Attached mare, Less Attached, who is also the dam of the winning park horse Phillip Martinelli.

Besting a large class of magnificent three-year-olds, Ro & Me’s Satori took home the tricolor with Rachel Birgells for Amy Weiler. Mayo Moctezuma hopped off his mount to help ear up the Trust Fund offspring that is trained by him. Liz Kenney rode the nice black mare by Mystery Writer and out of a Sultan’s Great Day mare, Mysterious Memories, to the reserve ribbon for Dr. Alan Raun. Rounding out the top three in the large class was The Agateer and Tracy Garcia. The Agateer is out of the stunning mare Callaway’s Little Dipper, who was a world’s champion walk/trot horse as a two-year-old, and by Periaptor.

Show Pleasure

Four years ago at the Midwest Charity Horse Show, Thea Ervin tried out a horse. The year before, that horse was the ASHA National Three-Year-Old Futurity World’s Champion with Bob Phillips. Since Ervin tried out that horse, The Grand Master, they have racked up one world’s championship, one reserve world’s championship and countless wins across the country. With her move to the adult ranks just last year though, the blue ribbons did not come quite so easy. That is until their show at Midwest this year where they made two absolutely breathtaking performances to top a field of 15 horses to win the Adult Show Pleasure Grand Championship after a reserve finish in the 18-38 qualifier. Her win with "G" though was extra special, not just because it was her first Midwest Charity win with him, but also because this is where her family decided to buy him four years ago. The picture perfect pair is trained under the direction of Bret and Susi Day’s Grey Ridge Farm, along with the help of their assistant, Trey Soard.

The undeniable CH Teuschers was reserve in the championship after winning the 18-38 class with his always dapper owner, Travis Van Zetten, aboard. The tall and animated chestnut gelding trimmed in white was last year’s Adult Show Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions. The decorated pair is trained by Andy and Lynda Freseth’s Hollow Haven Farm. Third in the championship went to the 39 and over winners, Harlem’s Moving Man and Joan Cantrell for Kim Lafargue. The large bay gelding made good, strong passes to gain the judges’ attention. Reserve in that class went to the exciting bay gelding, Sapphire On Ice, and Katherine Meints with their trainer, Toni Knight Utoft, cheering their every move on the rail.

With countless world’s championships to his name, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees is a champion through and through. His size, his attitude, his headset, his motion, it’s all perfect, and the match of him and his owner, Katherine Randall, could not be better. Under the direction of Joe Elam and Julie Kaufman, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees won both 14-17 show pleasure classes. Reserve in the championship went to the Jim and Faye Lowry-trained entry of Stonecroft I’m Radiant and Rebecca Boorstein. Last year, that horse had great success in the pleasure driving and adult show pleasure divisions with former owner, Karrie Graham. Rachel Machamer expertly catch rode Got No Shame to the red ribbon in the qualifier for Jeff and Kelly Williamson and Bonnie Kegley.

A reserve world’s champion last year with Jessie Wuesthofen in the 13 and under pleasure division, CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool is looking even better than ever. The high headed, knee lifting gelding who is a full sibling to one of Wuesthofen’s other mounts, CH She’s My Desire BH, could not be beat at Midwest to win both 13 and under show pleasure classes under the direction of Delovely.

Coming off two big wins from Big D, Supreme Spotlight and Ashley Bryce made a great show for the reserve finish in the 13 and under class. Only a four-year-old, Heir’s Halo has impeccable manners that allow him to compete with the truest of campaigners with his tiny rider, Kaitlyn Creekmore aboard. The Hollow Haven-trained team finished reserve in the qualifier.

After a reserve finish in the qualifier, the grand gelding Stonecroft Serengetti and Kristen Pettry topped a competitive field in the Illinois Resident Show Pleasure class under the direction of Country Meadow Farm over qualifier winners, Carameaprize and Wendy Carney who were reserve in the championship under the direction of Carney’s fiancé, Ray Krussell. Third in both classes went to SJ Denmark’s Geronimo and Toni Nastali under the direction of MBA Equestrians.

In the Novice Rider Show Pleasure class, Prince’s Black Tie Affair had the support of the judges and the crowd to win. The black and white pinto gelding has a great headset and motion to spare. Jessica Randall rode the nice gelding for Chuck and Jackie Browning. Reserve in the class went to the lovely Supreme Heir son, Are We Their Yet and Kelly Stewart.

Last year Sarah Luft and The Bourne Supremacy won the Junior Show Pleasure Championship, but this year it was Luft’s sister-in-law, Stacy, to win with her family’s Oak Grove’s M’Lady In Red. The pleasurable yet exciting mare is by Sir William Robert and is out of a Supreme Hi Lite mare. The reserve place finisher in the championship and the qualifier winner, Mr. Wildcat is also a son of Sir William Robert and is out of a Catalyst mare. Scooter Scheurich showed the flaxen mane and tail gelding. Already the Junior Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Champion and champion at Madison, Mojito was reserve in the qualifier with Sarah Lindner for Scott and Carol Matton. Mojito is by Simply Majestic and out of the winning show pleasure mare, Commotion In Motion.

Karrie Graham’s new horse for the season could not be more aptly named. When Graham went to try out the mare, A Cinderella Story, at Grey Ridge Farm this winter, Graham quickly fell in love. She and Cinderella are one of the most fun to watch pairs, because it is hard to tell who is having more fun, the horse or the driver. The mare never puts an ear back, and Graham never stops smiling. Trainers Jim and Faye Lowry and Graham’s husband, Dwayne Kindernect, along with their black poodle, Chloe, cheered on the pair as they won the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and 39 and over class.

The 38 and under winners, CH Titleist Symbol and Rachel Machamer were reserve in the championship under the Hollow Haven banner. Winners from Des Moines and Great River, Callaway’s Cumulus and Susan Aschenbrenner put in a great performance for reserve in the 39 and over class under the direction of Amanda Simpson.

Alicia Silverstone has made a smooth transition from being a high-powered open fine harness horse to a juvenile pleasure driving horse. She proved this by winning the ASHAF Youth Pleasure Driving class with the "A" in MBA Equestrians, Ashley Baird.

Country Pleasure

The adult country pleasure division was not as large as it has been in previous years, but the caliber of horses was still as good as ever. Last year’s reserve world’s champion of champions and Midwest’s grand champion, League Of Nations topped both classes with proud owner Carol Hillenbrand aboard under the direction of Carriage Lane Farm. Reserve in both classes went to a Midwestern favorite, The Bourne Supremacy and Sarah Luft.

Another reserve world’s champion of champions from last year, CH CF First Light Of Dawn won both Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure classes with loving owner Maya Manilow. This is the second year in a row Manilow and "Danny" have won the Juvenile Country Pleasure Championship. Already winners from Chapter 5, Alice Rowland and Callaway’s Winning Number were reserve in both classes.

Kristen Pettry could not be topped in either Illinois resident championships as she won the show pleasure championship with Stonecroft Serengetti and the country pleasure championship with Concrete Blonde. Reserve in the championship went to Pettry’s sister, Donna’s, main student, Maya Manilow, as she was aboard her family’s homebred horse, Lady Suzanne. Lady Suzanne is by CF First Night Out and out of her mom, Barbara’s, world’s champion gaited mare, CH Lady Luck BG.

A half sibling to the world’s champion country pleasure mare, Kabu, My Point Of View won the Illinois Resident Country Pleasure class with excited owner, Susan Narko, aboard. The winning duo is trained by Lynn Durant. Des Moines’s 39 and over country pleasure winners, Oh Night Divine and Cathy Klasek were reserve in that class under the direction of Mark and Toni Utoft.

For the amazing eighth year in a row, CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny won the Country Pleasure Driving Championship with Nancy Anderson at the lines. The undeniable mare still looks as grand as ever under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. A reserve world’s champion in this division last year, CH Hard Day’s Night TS is as perfect as ever. Owner Jayne Tillman showed her beloved "Baby Ringo" under the direction of Ray Krussell. After a reserve finish in the qualifier, the lovely pair of He’s Got It All and Lauren Bohne finished up with a great third place ribbon in the championship. The most reliable catch-driver in the business, Brendan Heintz showed Supreme Platinum to a great white ribbon in the championship for June and Lisa Antalek, while Brittany Baird had her CF Night At The Castle rocking in his new division for fourth in the qualifier.

The Knollwood cheering section cheered so loud for In The Zone and Susan Honkamp that the announcer had to repeat himself, and Honkamp was still in shock. The always pleasurable pair did not only win the Country Western Pleasure Championship; they were also the Shatner winners. Proud trainer Carol Matton put the ribbon on "Rowdy" before both victory laps. The qualifier winners, Whiskey Tango and Joetta Smith, were reserve in the championship. Harlem’s Mojo and Toni Nastali were reserve in the qualifier, while Champagne’s Treasure and Barbara Southgate were reserve in the Shatner class.

Saddle Seat Equitation

Almost every year there is one equitation rider that seems to be untouchable. This year, that rider is Faye Wuesthofen. Not only does she have perfect form and a knack for completing flawless patterns, but paired with Kiss Of The Zodiac, she has a charisma that cannot be made or replicated. This star-studded team trained by Delovely continued their undefeated season by winning the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal. Delovely actually had the top three riders in the championship with Taylor Newton and A Sweet Sensation in the reserve spot, and Ellen Medley Wright and Kalu’s Can’t Stop The Magic who won their age group earlier in the week, in third. Knollwood’s Angela Darrow rounded out the top four in the championship aboard her beautiful mare, Tango ‘Til Dawn after a reserve finish in their age group.

Darrow’s Knollwood barnmate Nick Maupin could not have been happier with his equitation debut with his new horse, Coco Mojo, whom he bought at Midwest just last year. The dynamic pair won the Good Hands class as well as the Senior Challenge Cup. Delovely’s Sarah Lawson was reserve in both classes aboard Feng Shui.

DeLovely also dominated the junior division with Belle Owen and Chanti’s Prayer winning the junior championship, their age group and finishing in a good reserve in the Medal class. The Kent Swalla-trained entry of Kailin Elizabeth Baechle and Devote were reserve in both junior classes. Delovely’s Macey Joan Miles and Courtney McGinnis had the one-two punch in the 13 & Under Challenge Cup class.

The walk and trot division came down to the battle of the boys. Zac Cutting topped the 10 and under age group and UPHA Walk & Trot class under the direction of Sheri Brandl, while William Nalty finished strong in reserve under the direction of Cascade Stables. Nicholas Sunder showed off his riding skills to win the UPHA Exceptional Rider Challenge Cup class.

Delovely even dominated both Pleasure Equitation age groups with Brittany Ann McGinnis, her sister Courtney and Abigail Mutrux. Aboard Soli Deo Glori, Brittany Ann McGinnis had her signature long legs in their perfect position, along with the rest of her body’s perfect form, the form that won her the Triple Crown just two years ago. Along with her exciting partner, the pair won the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation Championship and age group to continue their undefeated season.

Deanna Lanigan has been one of pleasure equitation’s top competitors since she began showing in it as a 12-year-old. Matched with Oh What A Feeling for the last two years, Deanna Lanigan does not go unnoticed. Just as all of Scott and Carol Matton’s riders know how to work a ring, Lanigan is no exception. "Cartman" and Lanigan never once got covered up in the giant classes they entered, earning them two reserve place finishes in the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation Championship and age group class.

Always a top threat in the high-tail equitation division, Rachel Machamer moved to the pleasure equitation division this year, and so far that has been a great decision as she won both of the huge classes she entered. Aboard her chromed chestnut gelding, All About Charm, Machamer won the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup and the Pleasure Equitation Medallion under the direction of Lynda Freseth. Shelby Hader and her Summerize, better known as Grady around Knollwood, were reserve in the Challenge Cup class.

Abigail Mutrux was the 13 & Under Pleasure Equitation Champion after placing reserve earlier in the week in the medallion. Paired with her bold moving partner, Blackboard, Mutrux has a relaxed authority to her that makes her a unique, but top competitor in the division. Courtney McGinnis won the 13 and under age group with the equitation legend, Amandari. The vibrant team was also reserve in the 13 & Under Challenge Cup.

Caroline Moeller has an unmatched strong look about her that allowed her to stand out in the deep pleasure equitation classes. This gift allowed her to win the reserve honors in both the 13 & Under Pleasure Equitation Championship and the age group.

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