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Blue Ridge Classic Celebrates Sweet 16



by Katherine Hansil and Shawn Fraser

FLETCHER, N.C. – Celebrating its sweet 16, the Blue Ridge Classic added another successful year to its reign. It is a great show with great numbers, great quality and great hospitality. Numbers were back up over last year’s, reaching over 800 stalls, which was almost its record. Classes were well filled for the Saddlebreds, roadsters, Hackneys, Morgans, Friesians and academy in the state of the art facility. Traveling far and wide were the usual suspects in attendance plus a few newcomers and barns who had not been in a few years, like Carriage Lane, Cross Creek Stables, High Caliber, Jansal Saddlebreds, Lowry Stables, Majestic Oaks, PlayMor Farm and Tunstall Stable, among others.

One thing this show offers that most do not is that even with all the "regular" classes on the schedule, Manager Elizabeth Holmes does everything possible to make sure that every exhibitor has his time to shine with novice rider and limit qualifiers and championships offered throughout the divisions.

With the rigorous schedule, it is important everything is in order, and Holmes and her dedicated staff did just to that. Show Secretary Joyce Wilson, and along with Barbara Woodlief and Sue Imbaratto, made sure the entries were processed and trainers had put the right horse in the right class. Once again, Holmes encouraged trainers to turn in perfect entries by holding a drawing for prize money. All the trainers with perfect entries were entered into a drawing with three levels of prize money. On Thursday night, the lucky winners were drawn in center ring. Debbie Foley took home the extra money in the drawing for barns with over 18 stalls. Carol Addison and Heather Boodey won the other perfect entry drawings. Morgan trainer Mary Brannon took home the $500 jackpot drawing.

A big attraction for the show is the hospitality. Events are planned day and night throughout the week. There is something for everyone including coffee and muffins in the morning, Monday’s Welcome Party, Tuesday’s Build Your Own Sundae Party, Thursday Progressive Barn Party—all which are capped off by the much anticipated exhibitors’ party under the circus size tent on Friday. This year, the party was put on by John and Erin Fann’s Event-Mix Promotions, with great food and tunes as well as a bad tie competition.

The junior exhibitors were kept busy with extra things to do as well with scavenger hunts and junior judging, all watched over by volunteer Meg Irvin. Winning junior judging titles were Haley Covey in the 11 and under and Tiffany Knox in the 12 and over, while Ellie Kangur and Anna Grace Whitworth topped the 11 and under hunt and Alexandria Cedrone won the 12 and over hunt.

The draw for the Blue Ridge Horse Show continues not only for the beautiful grounds, nice facility, grand hospitality and deep competition, but also for the area, especially if you enjoy river rafting, good food, golfing, sightseeing or maybe antiquing. There is something for everyone, making it a perfect destination for the summer show season.

Five-Gaited

Seven top horses burst through for the final gate call, the Five-Gaited Jackpot Championship. When the work began, it was two mares who battled it out with their lady riders. Debbie Foley had Callaway’s Karla in top form while they covered ground gait after gait all the way to the winner’s circle. This marks the second year in a row the powerful mare owned by Jo Ann Griffin has unanimously earned the top honor. Kalarama’s Lady Bancroft was full of vigor but Lisa Rosenberger-Jones made the task look easy while she masterfully piloted the five-year-old mare to the reserve title for Equestrian Investments of Tennessee, Inc. Not to be left out of the mix, CH Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe put on a show with Paul Boone in the irons for Wendy Troyer.

Mares and gaited horses seemed to be a theme for Silver Brook Stables as Debbie Foley was back in the ladies divisions with the awesome Callaway’s Annabel Allison. The magnificent mare is only in her first year of showing with a debut in this arena back in May earning a reserve title. Since then, she and Foley have been on a roll, earning wins at Midwest and Shelby County. This week was no exception when they swept the ladies division unanimously. Callaway’s Double Diamonds moved up for the reserve championship title with Mary Jo Schmidt presenting for Cantrell Stables. In the qualifier, the red streamers were carried out by Red Hot And Bothered and Midge Hunt. This was the only appearance for the team after just a few days after they swept the ladies division at the Asheville Invitation for the Bailey/Williams partnership.

Silver Brook added another tricolor to the banner when Jo Ann Griffin presented homebred First Chapter in the amateur ladies division. Griffin teamed up with the fancy mare back at Midwest, and on Friday evening it all came together for them as they topped the class with nods from all three judges after a reserve in the qualifier. Taking home the blue was the flashy And I’m Stickin’ To It who was also bred and raised by Silver Brook, both out of Foley’s beloved That’s My Story, and then sold to Susan Orton in 2008. On Wednesday evening, the spotlight belonged to Orton under the direction of Lewis Eckard who rode easily from gait to gait for the win. The team returned for the championship reserve.

Seven teams were on the schedule in the championship and qualifier in the amateur division. Riding hard to best the competition was Carol Hillenbrand aboard The Daily Lottery. Teamed together just this year after Hillenbrand retired the phenomenal Swish, they have began a successful career under the direction of John and Tammie Conatser with wins at Bonnie Blue, Midwest and now the sweep at Blue Ridge. Janet Kellett was thrilled with both of her rides aboard Callaway’s Duchess Of Caramac, capturing both reserve titles, with Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Ali Deutsch taking home two strong yellow ribbons.

The junior exhibitor championship seemed to turn into bumper cars for a few seconds but holding steady throughout for the tricolor was Carmel Delivery with Kelsey Baird presenting for Meredith Dancer. In the qualifier, Mitch Tunstall solidly presented the bright A Legend In My Time to the victory for Shields and Associates. Garnering both reserve titles was CH Memories’ Paragon with Katie Morrison aboard.

In the competitive Novice Five-Gaited class, eight entries made the gate call. Topping the class was Callaway’s Melosa, who was like a big, powerful machine. He never seemed to move his head when he marched down rail after rail with Todd Graham. The fancy daughter of Callaway’s The Gipper, Callaway’s Local News, is well known for her success as a young harness horse with Bret Day. Over the winter she learned to rack, and now in her second appearance this season carried out the reserve title for Kurz Equine Investments LLC.

Debbie Foley continued to dominate the gaited division when she unanimously triumphed in the limit class with another That’s My Story heir, A Whole Different Story. This week, Louise Allen decided to hand over the training duties on Think I Will to long-time trainer Lewis Eckard to begin to prepare the flashy four-year-old for her granddaughter, Allie Wellington. After just a few days, Eckard decided to see what he had and burst through the gate, making a solid performance for the reserve title.

Numbers held steady when six competitive entries were on hand for the Junior Five-Gaited class. Break On Through lived up to his name when he continued to break on through the competition. Purchased after his Classic Finals win in 2008 by Mary and Michelle Krentz, the toppy chestnut has matured and come together nicely under the expertise of Bret Day. After earlier wins at River Ridge and Midwest, Day easily guided Break On Through to the unanimous victory at Blue Ridge. Debbie Foley was aboard Callaway’s Don’t Sass Me to earn the reserve title for Bill Walsh.

Matt Shiflet topped the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic with the daughter of First Night In and Dispel, Night Of Fun, for owner/breeder Julia Barnhiser-Patton. Mike Tunstall was aboard the High Hickory Farm-owned One More Kiss (Callaway’s Northern Kiss x Madame Cost A’Lot) for the reserve ribbon with an outstanding performance.

Little Lord Huntly and Cagle James have had an extremely successful season. Teamed up by Lewis Eckard, they swept the five-gaited pony division with two consistent rides. The trimmed in white Jewels For A Lady and Tanner Parham were solid to move up a notch for the championship reserve. In the qualifier, the red ribbon went to the hard riding Mitch Tunstall aboard I See Daylight. I See Daylight has made a great transition into the division in only their second show of the season for Barbara Von Borries. In 2008 they campaigned in the three-gaited pony division.

Three-Gaited

Seven seemed to be a magic number as once again seven elegant entries made the gate call for the Three-Gaited Jackpot Championship. It was a surprise for some when Matt Shiflet made his way down the chute aboard The Road Less Traveled. A sensation in this ring just a few months ago, The Road Less Traveled was recently purchased by Tom R. Brock to make his home at Hollow Haven. Saturday night Matt Shiflet was in the irons to present the wild-eyed, high-stepping gelding to the unanimous win. The swan-like Hallelujah Chorus and Tom Sworm were magnificent only to throw a shoe, recover and then throw it again. Sworm decided to finish the class with only the canter left. They finished carrying the red streamers out for Kimberly Jones. Bill Waller had High Time’s Northern Son marching to the top third spot with a strong performance for Sarah Wood.

CH New York’s Perfect Gift and Betsy Thomas changed things up a bit when they moved into the ladies division. With his high head and a parade-like trot, Thomas piloted him to the winner’s circle in the championship and qualifier unanimously. CH Mahvalous Asset and Marjorie Judd were back after a thrown shoe in the qualifier to claim the reserve championship honor. In the qualifier, the reserve went to Prophet’s Song in her debut performance with new trainer Maria Gilman and new owner Diane Sembler-Kamins. This was the only appearance for the lovely mare who was fresh off wins at Lexington and Shelby County under the Kalarama banner.

The flashy Kent Brockman made his first appearance of the season with Bridgett McNeese. Now under the direction of Bret and Susi Day, the team swept the amateur division unanimously. Susan Harris was thrilled with her pair of reserve-earning performances aboard her owned and bred I’m Southern under the Cameo Stable banner.

In the junior exhibitor championship, CH Heathermoor’s Prince and Emily Druckman has a comeback performance to move up to capture the tricolor under the watchful eyes of John and Tammie Conatser. In their last show together, CH Tantalize Me LCC and McKenna Slater were in top form to earn the reserve championship honor after a unanimous win the qualifier. This talented mare has a new teammate in Anna Grace Whitworth, who will show her at Louisville before moving her back to North Carolina under the direction of Christy Absher-Johnson. There are no other words to describe it but cute when Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes piloted The Great Gaspar to the qualifying reserve in her shiny, emerald green coat.

Bill Waller made his way to the winner’s circle aboard the striking Harlem’s Black Tie Affair unanimously for Jamie and Rita Hitchin. Reserve honors went to Chris and Heather Bowen’s Star Of The Millennium with Mary Orr in the irons.

Topping the junior class were Sea Side and Janet Crampton. The homebred daughter of The Mac Attack and Tres Tres Jolie is owned and bred by John Wrather. Gabe Deknatel captured the reserve title the High Hickory bred Second Spring, who is by Worthy Son and out of CH My Sunday Shoes, Dekantel’s celebrated junior exhibitor five-gaited partner.

Maria Gilman presented Callaway’s Gentleman’s Agreement to the top honor in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class. The bright gelding by Callaway’s Capital News and out of Callaway’s Carina is owned by Gilman.

Moving up a notch for the unanimous tricolor in the Three-Gaited Pony Championship was Faizah. Drew Taylor Hewitt had the opportunity to present this high-headed, elegant bay under the direction of Suzy Shiflet for Linda Weber. Earlier, they carried out the qualifying reserve. Earning the reserve championship title was the multi-titled Callaway’s Kiss & Tell with Stephanie Brackett catch riding for Lenwood Farms LLC. Winning the qualifier was the ever-consistent Callaway’s Viscount with Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes in the irons.

Park

Unusually, the Park Jackpot Championship only had two entries but both came to show. Topping the class was Broadway And Forty-Second with Jeanie Waddell in the irons, while Brandy Johnson garnered the red streamers with Sweet Southern Comfort for Donald Brockman. In the qualifier, it was Master And Commander who marched to the winner’s circle with Maria Gilman presenting for Barbara Woods with Broadway And Forty-Second earning the reserve title.

For the second year in a row CH His Supreme Reflection and Jacqueline Manzo swept the amateur division for Kimberly Jones. Tom Sworm had the magnificent horse primed and ready for Manzo to march unanimously down victory lane. A pair of reserve honors went to the beautiful Meadowlark Jubilee with Morgan King under the Judd Stables banner.

Confidently Brianna Meyer piloted First Class Heir to unanimous victories in the junior exhibitor championship and qualifier. The team has had an awesome first season, winning six out of seven of their classes with a single reserve under the Hollow Haven banner. Earning a pair of reserve titles was the charismatic CH Kalarama’s Shiraz with Drew Taylor Hewitt.

Designed For Blue was on top of his game with Jim Lowry as he park-trotted pass after pass for the Junior Three-Gaited Park win for Tri Color Ventures, Inc. Reserve honors went to Ridgewood’s Hat Trick with Billy Greenwell in the irons for Billy and Kelley Greenwell.

Fine Harness

It was a battle when the Fine Harness Jackpot Championship entered the ring on Saturday evening. Three magnificent entries marched through the gate. Lace’s Last Tango was extraordinary with Jim Lowry on the lines for the unanimous win for Tri Color Ventures. Living up to her name, Elegant Dreamcatcher elegantly trotted down victory lane for Lynda Freseth in the open qualifier for owner Tom R. Brock. The striking and talented CH Revolver was in the mix as well with two outstanding performances with Bret Day for the qualifying and jackpot reserve titles for Dr. Robert Pugh.

Earlier in the week, it was Priscilla Marconi directing the high-headed, leg waving Lace’s Last Tango to the unanimous win the amateur class. Carrying out the red streamers in the amateur qualifier in their only appearance was Ah! What A Night with Linda McCorkle in her return to the show ring and on the lines for Shirley Giraudo. Topping the ASHAF Youth Fine Harness Challenge was Wish Came True and Rebecca Hart, owned and trained by Janelle D’Amato at Jansal Saddlebreds.

Julie Balai was thrilled with her young mare’s performance in the Junior Fine Harness class. Bred by the late Bib Jones, the bright bay Ila Brown, by New York State and out of Devine Brown, got her jitters out just a few days ago at the Asheville Invitational and during Blue Ridge, she solidly marched down the rail and into the winner’s circle with Steve Joyce at the helm.

In another debut performance, the expressive Callaway’s Lilly Blue unanimously earned the blue in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic with Debbie Foley on the lines. The mare by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of CH Lilly Black is owned by Tillman Stables. Reserve honors went to Rusalka (Adriatic x Attaché’s Joan B.) with Gerald Moores presenting for Nona Scoville. The debuts continued when Bret Day presented Stonecroft Minuet (Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man x Dance Smartly) to the top honor for Dr. Robert Pugh. Leah Sworm directed Tesoro (Designed x Worthy’s Treasure) to the reserve ribbon in his first show ring appearance for owner and breeder Dr. William Edgar.

Roadsters

Trio Bolero G loves this ring. Back in the spring he turned up the heat and this week he was back as strong as ever. He is well known not only for his speed but also his precision as he masterfully trots the turns with Debbie Foley on the lines. In their only appearance of the show, they unanimously won the jackpot championship. Iamnotacow came on the scene strong earlier this year at Pro-Am and since then has continued to mature with Jon Walker at the helm. Walker presented the Debra Clark-owned star to the reserve jackpot championship honor as well as the win in the limit qualifier.

Another speedster who was on a roll was Valparaiso. With Tom Fiedler back on the lines after the Lexington Junior League open championship win with Jim Lowry, Valparaiso was in form to sweep the amateur division with a pair of unanimous wins. Jon Dabareiner was behind Postmaster Mike for the reserve amateur championship title after an earlier reserve in the novice qualifier. In the amateur qualifier, the red streamers were carried out by Debra Clark having her own fun piloting Where’s Reuben under the direction of Jon Walker and Billy Greenwell.

Debbie Foley continued to dominate the division when she debuted S Sparrow Express for Jason Schrock in the limit qualifier for the reserve title. The team returned to pull out all the stops for the win in the novice qualifier unanimously. Rebekah Cloninger was on the lines to sweep the youth division with Royal Count for the Drowning Creek banner.

With red silks trimmed in stars flying, Susan Whitaker swept the under saddle division aboard Road Kill. Reserve championship honors went back to the Buffalo Creek banner with Eclipse and Barbara Matthews while the Cameo Stable-trained Sue’s Bad Moon with Callie Culbertson carried out the red streamers for J.R. Martin in the qualifier.

Ponies

Once again like back in the spring at Bonnie Blue, it was the boxer and the ballerina going head to head in the open division. This week it was the bold moving Stat powering down the rail, unanimously sweeping the division with Maureen Campbell on the lines for Dr. Robert Pugh. Receiving both reserve titles was the beautiful speedster Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF. Andy Freseth piloted Priscilla Gise’s pony, who recently swept Midwest Charity’s open division.

For the fourth year in a row, Calvin Hobbs came with his A game to sweep the amateur division with the last three years’ victory passes belonging to Kevin Ingram for James Dellinger. Luanne Kilday took over the lines from her son, Jeb, behind Heartland Painted Creation, earning both reserve titles. Regal’s Star Attraction LF and Jeoff Bodenhorst garnered both yellow streamers in the competitive division.

The cute factor went head to head in the junior exhibitor division when the top three drivers probably don’t weigh as much together as an average adult. Winning out this week was Charles Gassen who piloted Cappuccino for his proud grandmother to the championship and AHHS Medallion wins. Kirstie Buerkley, well known for her drives behind Dun-Haven Grandiose, earned a pair of reserves with this season’s new teammate Old Memories. Audrey Sloan, with her blue silks and braids flying, carried out both yellow ribbons behind Sweet Impression.

Maureen Campbell was back to the winner’s circle in the limit class with the solid moving Kentucky Hot Brown for Holt Oaks Farm. John Wrather was behind Prince’s Performer LF for the reserve title. Abbott Wilson topped the junior class with Pam Thomas’s Romeo’s Fanfare LF who is only a three-year-old. Majestic Oaks continued to dominate with a one-two punch in the UPHA Road Pony Classic with Entitlement and Maureen Campbell earning the top spot for Tom Caisse and Steve DeBolt while Holli McDowell directed homebred Crystal Creek’s Hallmark to the reserve title for Kathryn Nichols.

Holli McDowell earned her time in the spotlight when she expertly piloted the powerful Nashville Cat to the wagon win for the Goodman/McMackin partnership. Gerald Moores was on the lines for the reserve with Little Miss Sunshine for Joseph Mingione.

Majestic Oaks added another set of ribbons to their banner when Pure Country and Samantha Johnson swept the under saddle division with two solid performances for McDowell/McMackin. Power Of Attorney and Drew Love moved up to capture the reserve championship title while Wait & See’s Postmaster and Drew Taylor Hewitt earned the qualifying reserve for Vernon and Jennifer Foster.

After a busy breeding season came to a close, Kathryn and Carl Nichols sent Crystal Creek’s Commander back to work under the direction of Rich and Maureen Campbell. Making his first appearance of the season, he never dropped an ear as he unanimously marched to victory in the championship and qualifier with Maureen Campbell on the lines. John Wrather was behind the multi-titled Seamair Sensation for both reserve titles.

Heartland Expectation and Mary Gise have come together nicely in their first season together. The celebrated champion added the sweep of the amateur division to the list with two showy performances. Earning reserve in both classes was the cocky Oliver Twist with Charlotte Wrather on the lines.

Heartland High Tech might have been the only pony in the class but it was hard to take your eyes off the magnificent pony while he paraded around the ring with Maureen Campbell in the viceroy. He carried out the winning streamers in the qualifier and championship classes for Heartland Hackney.

John Wrather made his way to the winner’s circle with the talented Seamair Simply Awesome in the championship and qualifier in the amateur Hackney division. Janet Crampton directed the multi-titled pony and driver. Under the watchful eye of John Whalen, Heartland Twice As Nice and Katherine Whitlow claimed both reserve titles.

Pacifico’s Standing Ovation and Bob Anderson made their return to the show ring several weeks ago at Tanbark. This week they were back again with two outstanding performances to sweep the Hackney pleasure driving pony division. Under the Hollow Haven banner they captured both titles unanimously. The AHHS Medallion winner, Hawkeye’s Chatter Box, with Allie Wellington, returned to the championship for the reserve title. Reserve in the adult qualifier went to Match Maker and Elsa Hackett while Cherry Royale and Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes were reserve in the AHHS Medallion. Topping the limit qualifier was the eye-catching chestnut Bear Creek’s The Chosen One with Linda McCorkle on the lines for Chretien/Morell. Reserve honors went to Knight’s Holiday Singer and JoAnn Fair.

Pleasure

Large numbers came for all of the pleasure and country pleasure classes. You might worry when a show has novice rider and limit classes with respective championships possibly diluting the mix. But it worked at Blue Ridge since each was well filled, including the seven that returned for the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. With two flawless rides, the flashy Desert Supreme Kid won not only the championship but also the qualifier with Jenna Norton. Norton had the flashy gelding moving with ease from gait to gait under the direction of Harrison and Beverly Shiflet. Frank Jones and CH Data Dot Com moved up a notch with a solid performance for the reserve championship honor. Vickie Byrd debuted aboard her new purchase, Callaway’s Ball Of Fire, scoring the qualifying reserve in their only appearance.

Claire Talley was beaming when her number was called to the winner’s circle in the junior exhibitor championship aboard the ever consistent, always showy CH The Champagne Tiger. Earlier the Randy Cates-trained teamed carried out the red streamers in the qualifier. Racking out with the qualifying blue was Drew Taylor Hewitt aboard CH Sunken Treasure. A team that has amassed title after title, they had one more great go for new owners the Brackett family. It was their only appearance as Stephanie Brackett stepped up to practice during the rest of the week. Katie Boysen is a rider who has come so far so fast. Under the direction of Christy Parker, Boysen has been working hard to learn the dynamics of showing a gaited horse and this week it all came together aboard CH Executive Dunk. With a comeback ride in the junior exhibitor championship from their junior exhibitor qualifier, Boysen beamed when she garnered the reserve tricolor. During the middle of the week, it may have been Boysen and "Dunk’s" reserve performance in the limit qualifier that gave them confidence in the championship. Who knows but it whatever it was, it worked. Winning the limit qualifier and returning for strong third in the adult championship was the little powerhouse Hoochie Coochie Blues with Lisa Dabareiner.

In the competitive open park pleasure division, you had to have a horse that was consistent but still showy to stand out. Callaway’s Embarkation was just that. The bright, handsome chestnut never put a foot out of place while he marched down the rail at the trot and easily transitioned to the walk and canter for Jim Lowry. Only a five-year-old, the Callaway’s Blue Norther son swept the division for owner Tri Color Ventures, Inc. Nicki Immonen had CH CF Not Tonight Chief in all the right spots to move up a notch to capture the reserve tricolor for Lisa Austin. In the qualifier, Colleen Brown-Crone’s owned and bred Amazing lived up to his name with Mike Tunstall in the irons for the reserve.

Jim Lowry continued to dominate the park pleasure division when he swept the junior championship and qualifier with another entry from Tri Color Ventures. Debuting several weeks ago with a win at Midwest, Sir Richard Dale (Sir William Robert x Completely Elegant) came to show this week with a square trot and beautiful headset. He topped the division with two unanimous wins. Scooter Scheurich was aboard the standout Mr. Wildcat, who is also by Sir William Robert out of the Catalyst mare Callaway’s Carey Shannon, with his flaxen highlights earning both reserve titles for Cascade Stables.

Last year’s section two uncut tail Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Champion Mahvalous Knight made his way back to the show ring for new owner Barbara Matthews and new trainer Mike Barlow. If you remember the horse, it is a striking black high-headed gelding and if you know Barbara Matthews you know that is what drew her to the horse. Barlow has done a great job taking the horse into is three-year-old season and with a solid performance unanimously won the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. Mike Tunstall debuted the toppy Perfection Me to the reserve ribbon. The full sister to CH New York’s Perfect Gift (I’m A New Yorker x CH Undulata’s Perfect Gift ERB) was all show horse in her first appearance for owner/breeder Glasscock Financial Services LLC and looks to be one to keep an eye on in the future.

A class that continues to gain momentum is the Park Pleasure Driving. With six entries on the schedule in the qualifier and five in the championship, there seems to be a need for more shows to offer the class that is open for trainers to show a horse that might be being prepared for an amateur driving in the pleasure driving division. With the success of the under saddle side of park pleasure, one would hope this class will continue to grow in popularity. Last Man Standing has been a star as a young fine harness horse and most recently under saddle at River Ridge. This week he went back to his driving roots for the qualifying win, in his only appearance with Bret Day at the whip for Fish Sisters LLC. After a reserve in the qualifier, Sophisticat and Steve Joyce stepped up for the championship win for Michael and Amy Stinnett. Championship reserve honors went back to Virginia with Fish ‘N Fun’s entry, Transformer, with Greg O’Kelley on the lines.

The adult three-gaited show pleasure division was full of great horses’ names like Callaway’s Northern Fling, The Grand Master, CH Thundersnow and CH Teuschers. Just like at Midwest, however, CH Teuschers and The Grand Master battled it out in the qualifier and the championship. After a reserve in the qualifier, Thea Ervin came back riding hard despite having a broken arm, which she also had in the qualifier. Ervin called on The Grand Master as they marched through the gate and he responded to carry her to the unanimous championship win. In the qualifier, the top honor unanimously belonged the great team of CH Teuschers and Travis Van Zetten and in the championship they returned for the reserve title. Callaway’s Northern Fling and CH Thundersnow rounded out the top third and fourth spots in both classes. Barbara Matthews earned her time in the winner’s circle in the amateur owned and trained class with her beloved CH Five Minutes More with CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard and Deborah Richardson garnering the red ribbon.

Got No Shame and Rachel Machamer came back to win the 14-17 championship. With Machamer directing the high-headed chestnut pass after pass, they carried out the tricolor for BRK Equestrian LLC. New to the division this season and warming up with titles at Indy Charity and Midwest, Stonecroft I’m Radiant and Rebecca Boorstein are making a name for themselves. This week they topped the 14-17 qualifier and returned for the championship reserve. Fresh off wins at Lexington, CH New York Style and Ben Ferreby garnered the reserve in the qualifier with a strong third in the championship for the Walnut Way banner.

Hollow Haven continued to amass titles in the 13 and under division with the one-two finish in the championship and qualifier. The bright Heir’s Halo matched up with Kaitlyn Creekmore and was pleasure perfect to sweep the division while stablemate CH Shamrock’s Asagi with Brianna Meyer captured both reserve titles. North Carolina favorite CH My Grande and Cagle James were in the mix for two yellow streamers.

The always competitive Native Rose and Madison McCall had two solid performances under the direction of Cheryl Baird for the sweep in the 12 and under walk and trot pleasure division. Magic Mahogany and Libby Bowen had a comeback ride to claim the reserve championship for the High Caliber banner while the Zubrod-trained Plumyumi and Maisie Benefield earned the reserve in the qualifier.

The Bill Shiflet-trained An Heir Of Grace and Alex Sandifer were standouts in the novice rider division, winning the championship and qualifier unanimously for Anne Holmes. The eye-catching Daybreak’s Silver Mine with Victoria Champion moved up for the reserve championship title for Janice Parker under the direction of Courtney Huguley. Reserve in the qualifier went back with Dazzling Delivery and Katie Greenwell for Ashley Walker.

A huge applause from the Heads Up seats went out when A Dramatic Man’s number was called out for the limit championship win. With Bailey Bennett in the irons, the handsome chestnut wore the tricolor out with pride for John and Deborah Foley after the reserve in the qualifier. Gloria Heath and Top Gun’s Mandate had a comeback ride for the reserve championship honor under the direction of Bill and Lisa Waller. Topping the qualifier was I’m Simply Divine. Trainer Heather Boodey asked Jenna Norton to fill in for the ride aboard this bold moving horse for Kelly Vernon since she could not make the trip.

Sunkissed Supreme and Allie Poovey were cute as a button when they swept the pleasure pony division under the direction of Mary and Evan Orr. Another flashy standout, Santana’s Twist And Shout with Kholette Weaver carried both red ribbons back to Signature Stables.

The ever solid, CH Titleist Symbol not only topped the ASHAF Youth Pleasure Driving Challenge class but returned with a top performance for the Show Pleasure Driving Championship win. Winner of the adult qualifier, CH Just Special and Katherine Rainbolt were pleasure perfect under the direction of Randy Cates, returning for the championship reserve title. The bold moving I’m An Early Riser with Mary Lynn McMains scored the qualifying reserve under the direction of Marjorie Judd.

The well matched team of League Of Nations and Carol Hillenbrand here on top of their game in the adult country pleasure division. In the championship and qualifier, the toppy chestnut with his trademark tail blowing behind him triumphed unanimously with Hillenbrand confidently sending him down the rail. Fresh off wins at Tanbark, the new Hollow Haven team of Jessie Cole and Amanda Dellinger captured both reserve titles with two consistent performances. Topping the amateur owned and trained class was Harlem’s Knight At The Apollo and Luanne Kilday, with A Promise Keeper and Pam Quick in for reserve.

With the sweep at Lexington on their list of titles, Callaway’s Summer Solstice and Carissa Marshall have become the fresh face in the 14-17 country pleasure division. This week was no exception when they added another pair of wins to their resume. With a comeback ride, Bree Zandy directed Harlem’s Miss Abigail through the class with ease to the reserve championship title for Julia and Steve Joyce. CH S.S. Lies And Alibis and Katie Boysen were solid for the qualifying reserve and a strong third in the championship.

Laura Plant got it all together aboard Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage with a consistent performance for the 13 and under championship win. In the qualifier, the blue went to the Brian and Susan Reimer-trained Strike Up The Lights with Taylor Price. Ingleside was well represented with Alex Ennis piloting Man Of Hour Dreams to both reserve titles.

Kendall Adams moved up a notch aboard Mondial to win the Junior Exhibitor Walk & Trot Country Pleasure Championship for Haley Stone. In the qualifier, William Nalty showed off his performance skills for the win aboard Optimum Black. They returned for the championship reserve.

It was a sweep for Highpoint’s Grandee and Lisa Austin in the novice rider class. The sporty chestnut carried Austin to both wins with pleasure perfect performances under the direction of John Whalen. Both reserve honors went to Judy Sanders and Fox In The Clover. The sweeps continued when Deborah Richardson presented the talented Tornaado’s Storm Warnings down victory lane in the limit championship and qualifier. Karen Blankenship Shumate was aboard the punchy HS Marakesh’s Prodigy for a pair of reserves.

The incomparable CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny had two magnificent drives with Nancy Anderson on the lines to sweep the country pleasure driving division. This is an accomplishment they have completed for the last six out of seven years and the year they did not win, they did not attend. In their debut performance, Certain Style and Rebecca Sebastian had two excellent drives to garner the reserve titles for the Lowry Stables banner.

After a win in the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure, Royal Crest’s Dancing On Stones topped the Western Country Pleasure Championship with Susan Hoskins. Winners of the amateur qualifier, Monsignor and Marie Gwinn, always a standout with his markings and her attire, returned for the reserve championship. Gwinn also presented VHF Bay All Day to reserve in the Shatner class. Luanne Kilday directed O Ain’t I Somethin’ to the amateur qualifying reserve. Marvin Ward was aboard Melinda Jenkins’s Highpoint’s Ultimate Lady for the win in the open class while the beautiful Winsdown Cosmos carried out the red streamers with Mary Anne Jones.

Evanne Floyd was astride Mountainview’s Manhattan Beach to move up a spot for the Hunter Country Pleasure Championship win for her mom, Alicia Floyd. Winning the qualifier and returning for the championship reserve was Undulata’s Sentinel News and Deborah Richardson.

Equitation

The poised Eleanor Watkins captured the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship title under the direction of the Zubrod team. Ingleside-instructed Kim Mueller captured both reserve titles. Another rider from Zubrod, Jordyn Broten showed off her skills in the UPHA Challenge Cup and NHS Good Hands, winning both unanimously. Broten also earned the reserve in the USEF Medal. Up and coming Ellie Kangur, from High Caliber, earned the reserve in the UPHA Challenge Cup. Rachel Machamer was picture perfect for the USEF Medal win and then proved her talent again for the Pleasure Equitation Championship. Jamie Weisbach was directed by Zubrod to the Pleasure Equitation qualifier and then returned in championship for the reserve. Alexandra Ennis, another Ingleside rider, earned the reserve in the NHS Good Hands and a strong third in the Pleasure Equitation Championship. Zubrod directed the young star Alexa Stumler to the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup and the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion win. Kaitlin Kelly earned the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup reserve and the Pleasure Equitation reserve. From High Caliber, Meredith Macy rode hard to the Medallion reserve.

William Nalty had quite a week in the walk and trot division. With solid performances he won the championship and UPHA Challenge Cup and carried out the red ribbon in the 10 and under qualifier. Hailey Mercurio was in great form to win the 10 and under qualifier and returned for the reserve in the championship. Instructed by Brooke VanderSpuy, Haley Griffin captured the UPHA Challenge Cup reserve.

Morgans

Donna Zimmerman had a successful week competing under the PlayMor Farm banner, including the sweep in the park saddle division. Aboard the fancy CBMF Clear Victory, Zimmerman marched to victory in the championship and qualifier for PlayMor Farm LLC. Anna Gibbons was aboard Barbara and John Goda’s Gillfree Power Play for both reserves. Barbara Goda was on the lines in the harness division with Gillfree Power Play to sweep the division.

Rebecca Boorstein also had a great week under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry. Aboard the sporty HVK Flash Back, she captured the English Pleasure Saddle Championship after an earlier win in the junior exhibitor qualifier. The Goda-owned Faithfullee garnered the reserve championship with the hard riding Isabella Bertolani in the irons. Shannon Connard had her turn aboard Faithfullee for a pair of reserves in the open and junior exhibitor qualifiers. Winning the open qualifier was stablemate GFF Riverdance with Anna Gibbons presenting. Jennifer Hazen had her time in the spotlight when she presented the high-stepping Bellisimo to the ladies win for the PlayMor Farm banner with CAC Mountainlaurel and Sarah Medicus picking up the reserve.

Donna Zimmerman was back to the winner’s circle aboard Stonecroft Byzantine with two pleasure perfect performances in the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. This great team also won the qualifier. Karen Shields directed Key Criterion to a pair of reserve titles for Dr. and Mrs. James Shields.

Isabella Bertolani made her way down victory lane to move up a notch from the qualifier in the Junior/Novice English Pleasure Saddle Championship aboard JW Authority for Barbara and John Goda. Stablemate Dragonsmeade Andante and Anna Gibbons garnered the reserve championship for Sarah Dye Gallant. Winning the qualifier in their only saddle appearance was PlayMor’s Rodeo Drive and Jennifer Hazen. Proving their versatility, this team drove to a pair of wins in the pleasure driving division as well.

Barbara Goda directed Dr. P.D. May to the amateur pleasure driving sweep with his longtime partner On Target. In the junior/novice driving division, it was PlayMor’s Shall We Dance and Jennifer Hazen carrying out the tricolor and blue ribbons.

Continuing to dominate, Donna Zimmerman bested the competition in the classic pleasure saddle division, winning the championship and adult qualifier aboard Narragansett Spirit. With a comeback ride, BW Shrek and Betsy Buchanan earned the reserve championship while Hollybrook Walk In Tall and June Davis were reserve in the qualifier. In their only performance appearance, Cabot Carte Blanche and Audrey Lowry had a superb show for the junior exhibitor win. The cute team of Anika Frank and Battier garnered the reserve title for the Heads Up banner. Winning the junior/novice class was Century Mardi Gras and Eva Busboom for Laine and Randall Vincent. Willowick Will To Wynne and Harold Hawkins earned reserve for Darlene Stodolski.

Dressed in a dazzling gold top in the Classic Pleasure Championship, Jacqueline Clapp and Med E Oka Nobel Prize captured the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship, a repeat performance from the qualifier. Championship reserve honors went HPS Cool Commotion and Cassidy Garwood, while Hollybrook Walk In Tall and June Davis garnered the reserve in the qualifier.

Parading out with the tricolor in the Western Pleasure Championship were Ultra’s Bright Lites and Mary Brannon. Earlier this team topped the junior/novice qualifier. Melinda Dennis presented the open qualifier winner BDM Aruba’s Destiny to the championship reserve. Dennis also presented Outside The Fire to the ladies reserve. Winning the ladies qualifier was Winterset Déjà Vu Again with Anne Judd. Lauren Tyner, under the direction of Anne Judd, swept the amateur division to earn a reserve in the open qualifier. The amateur reserve championship title went to EKL Exotic Vision and Sylvia Kaye Bedell while Her Highness Ms. Zinfandel and Darlene Stodolski were reserve in the qualifier. Hylee Hill Street Blues and Kristen Cole were in the mix for the junior/novice reserve title for Paul and Nancy Jo Smith.

Earning a hat trick in the hunter division was the elegant Cabot Betty White with Rebecca Sebastian. The Lowry-trained team topped the championship, open qualifier and amateur qualifier with three flawless performances. In her return to the show ring, SPR Music By Starlight earned the championship and open qualifying reserve titles with Jennifer Hazen for Donna Zimmerman. They also captured the junior/novice blue ribbon. Winning the ladies class and reserve in the amateur qualifier was Queen’s Protocol and Nichole Mitchell for Deborah Ligas. Caroline Powell directed MMFM Scarlett to the junior exhibitor win with stablemate Maynegate Bella Fiori and Emily McCallister earning reserve. Melinda Dennis was back to the show ring with The Short Stop for the reserve in the junior/novice hunter class.

The precious team of Hylee Dancing On Heir and Emily Sheridan were victorious in the 12 & Under Walk & Trot Championship and qualifier. Connelly Grant moved up to earned the reserve championship title aboard MMFM Scarlet while March Militaire claimed the qualifying reserve title.

Audrey Lowry showed off her equitation skills with a polished performance for the equitation blue ribbon. Reserve honors went to Bronwyn Frank, instructed by Heads Up. Emily Sheridan topped the 10 & Under Walk & Trot Equitation class.

Friesians

This year in conjunction with Blue Ridge, the IFSHA held its Eastern Regional Championship with points going towards its annual awards program. Marwyn Of Shady Nook Farm had a successful week winning three for three. With Meredith Dancer aboard wearing her new silvery coat, the majestic Friesian won the Saddle Seat Pleasure Championship after an earlier win in the qualifier. Marwyn also carried Kelsey Baird to the win in the Walk & Trot Saddle class in their only appearance for Rein Dancer Farm. Arend T with Ben Ferreby topped the amateur qualifier and returned for the championship reserve for Marilyn Macfarlane. Reserve in the open qualifier went to Auke van der Himmen with Gerald Moores up for Leslie Elliot while Loek B and Mindy Van Hellemont scored the amateur reserve.

Kim Davidson presented Inne to the win the Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier while friend Diane Ohning aboard Jasper fan Marksate claimed both reserves.

Tierra Terra moved up a spot for the Walk & Trot Pleasure Championship win aboard Maurice van de Zuiderwaard for Shady Nook Farm with Messor and Cathy Hackney capturing the reserve for Keith Johnson.

The turnouts in the pleasure driving are always something to watch with the shiny chrome, some with lanterns and others not. With the regal Waeltsje pulling a beautiful turnout, Jon Walker masterfully presented her to the win in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier for Nancy and Jade William’s Jade’s Royal Friesians. Sally Lawing was on the lines behind Ozark P.F. for both reserve titles. Lawing also presented her magnificent Friesian to the carriage win as well. Reserve in the carriage class went to Heense van Stoeterij Seren and Charles Crowe.

Academy

Saturday morning belonged to the academy riders, which made it nice for barns that have been competing all week to have a session off. Winning titles in their classes were: Kate Redding, Mickey Kangur, Anna Banasaweicz, Peyton Draheim, Lauren Jansen, Katherine Fuller, Catherine Helm, Olivia Beaty Knox, Donna Wesslen, Shannon McNamara, Madison Cheatham, Haley Tolliver, Heather Bowen, Laura Cedrone, Carley Packard, Tiffany Knox, Dee Kegley, Graham Troxell, Jamie Bo Lucas, Sydney Beason, Caroline Dickson, Payton Nicole Shiflet, Parker Todd, Lily Shope, Maelee Dudan, Lillian Boyd, Kellett Hughes, Audrey Kim and Georgie Wilson. When all the qualifying classes were completed the show held the championship classes with the following capturing titles: Olivia Beaty Knox, Catherine Helm, Jill Stanberry, Tiffany Knox, Jamie Bo Lucas, Kellett Hughes and Anna Banasaweicz.

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