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Blue Ridge Classic - Huge Classes and Great Fun

Judges: Steve Crabtree, James Hale, Jay Wood, Scott Thacker, Jackie Hale

Ringmaster: Don Baker

Announcer: Mark Farrar, Jr.

USEF Steward: Joyce Hamblin

Photographer: Howard Schatzberg

Videographer: Horse Videos, Inc.

Organist: Jane Frye

Veterinarian: Dr. Ginger Reagan

Stable Manger: Steve Wilson

Paddock Master: Dan Shirley

Farrier: Travis Herlocker

Show Secretary: Joyce Wilson

Entry Secretaries: Barbara Woodlief, Sue Imbaratto

MOS Tabulator: Linda Williams

Show Manger: Elizabeth Holmes


by Katherine Hansil


FLETCHER, N.C. – Huge is a great word to describe the Blue Ridge Classic. Now in its 14th year this show has become one of the last stops before Louisville and has continued to grow. This year, July 24-28, 2007, entries hit almost 700 including Saddlebreds, roadsters, Hackneys, Morgans, Friesians and academy with exhibitors coming from as far as California, New Hampshire and Wisconsin to as close as the Charlotte, N.C., metro area and all in between.


With as large as this show is in numbers, Manager Elizabeth Holmes, does everything to make sure that no exhibitor feels left out. In the Saddlebred, Hackney and Morgan divisions there are novice rider and limit classes. And in some of these classes for the Saddlebreds there were even splits as the numbers climbed over 23 entries. She added championships for qualifiers that had never had championships before like the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Championship, which had five strong entries.


With all the classes offered during each session it was imperative that the show ran smoothly. Holmes and her dedicated staff saw that everything was in order. It all started in the office with Joyce Wilson along with Barbara Woodlief and Sue Imbaratto making sure the entries were processed and trainers had put the right horse in the right class. One thing Holmes did to try to have more perfect entries sent in from the beginning was holding drawing for prize money. All the trainers with perfect entries were entered into a drawing with three levels based on the total number of entries they had. On Thursday night center ring drew three lucky winners. Taking home the extra money was David Barger, Greg O’Kelley and Christy Johnson.


The work does not stop in the office however. Dan Shirley did a great job seeing that there were as few gate holds as possible. Management even moved a few classes around to accommodate some exhibitors. The track held up well all week with only a single lost shoe requiring a time out to put it back on. With Bill Whitley off at the New England Regional, Don Baker was called in this year as ringmaster and in his first year he did a great job seeing that everything was attended to in the ring while announcer Mark Farrar called the classes and announced the ribbon winners.


The workings of the show were not the only things to which Holmes and her dedicated staff attended. Events were planned day and night throughout the week. Whether you were looking for coffee and muffins in the morning or waiting for the fabulous exhibitors’ party under the circus size tent, you always found fun.


The junior exhibitors had extra things to participate in as well. On Thursday a scavenger hunt was held with a long list of questions to answers and items to find like an old ribbon. To win you had to have the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time. Winning the 11 and under group was the team of Cheyenne Mabey and Holly Hein with Abby Bailey and Jessie McCurry earning reserve. Winning the 12 and over was the team of Megan Barrett and Bredin Rush with Jessica Jones taking home reserve. During Friday evening’s session junior judging was held. To participate you had to judge at least four different classes in four different divisions. You could judge as many as six with lowest and highest scores eliminated. Winning the 11 and under was Cheyenne Maybe and the 12 and over was Ashley Bradbury. Jazmine Jones was the overall winner and Meg Irvin oversaw the activities.


And then there are the little extras like the cooler filled with bottled water by the warm-up ring. On Friday night Mark Farrar held trivia questions with the winner taking home an 8x10 photo courtesy of Howard Schatzberg. Also on Saturday evening a Winner Take All $500 drawing was held when all the horses shown prior to Saturday were put into a box and a winner was drawn. Since the owner had to present to win, it took several draws before Claridge Freedom’s Spirit’s owner James Tomasello was called down to accept the monies. All during the week a fundraiser raffle was held for Taylor Shiflet. The winner received a 16x20 photo from Howard Schatzberg, Sandra Hall, Doug Shiflet or Shane Shiflet. Also there was a table to write a note in her book and take a picture that would be attached to the note. Her progress report was great as of that week she had stood up and is now able to talk some.


Another part that makes this show so great is the location. First the show grounds is in great order with five permanent barns, covered warm-up ring, outdoor warm-up ring and even temporary stalls that are under the livestock barns instead of hot tents. And when you are not at the horse show you can take a ride, in your car of course, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, dine at one of the many delicious restaurants, visit Biltmore Estate, go white water rafting or go to the Belle Chere outdoor street festival held in downtown over the weekend. There’s something for everyone.


Even with large numbers and everything tended to, you can’t have a great horse show without great horses and this year was no exception. The competition this year was stellar with many classes having world’s champions competing including Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe, Perfect Vengeance, Braveheart, Zildjian, Celebrity Marquee and On Target. The incomparable CH Blackberry Delight was there with Rachael Machamer having two pleasure perfect performances, proving he is one of the all-time greats. New teams were still to be found when Kathy Berger debuted aboard CH Yes It’s True to sweep the amateur three-gaited division. And in only their second show together, CH Mahvalous Asset and Paige Pennington had a comeback ride to win the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Three-Gaited Championship. To top it off you probably would not find a deeper Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class outside of Louisville with CH A Chance To Dance, CH My Grande, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees and CH Sweet Virginia all vying for the top spots.


With all these great things, you might wonder if the show had any issues. The only snafu during the show was following the Amateur Road Pony. All three judges walked out to judge the class, cards were turned in, the class was tied and ribbons awarded. Afterwards, management realized that Judge Steve Crabtree did not have his Hackney card and the class was retied based on the call judge’s card. The winner, Calvin Hobbs, kept the top spot, however second and fourth places switched with Twin Willow’s North Star moving to second and Cappuccino moving to fourth. After that class, management alternated Hackney judging duties between James Hale and Jay Wood.


As far as the overall show, only one thing was ever mentioned and it really was not a fault as much of a suggestion. Several trainers and exhibitors did express that the sessions can be lengthy and wondered if it might be sensible to start the show on Tuesday morning. If there were more time in between, or even in the mornings before the show, then there would be time to work horses instead of trying to fit it in during the sessions or working late into the night. A few years ago this same issue was brought up when the show began on Wednesday, which is why the show now starts on Tuesday evening. Some might argue if “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” With the show running like a top, a great facility and quality horses and ponies coming to compete in droves, what more could you ask for except for nice weather and this year that was even delivered with unseasonably cooler temperatures!


Tuesday Evening


Tuesday evening kicked off 14th annual Blue Ridge Classic with the competitive Show Pleasure Driving entries being the first to enter the ring. Fresh off wins at the Midwest Charity the high headed CH Shot With Glory with Elizabeth James-Lipscomb topped the class unanimously. Reserve honors went to the expressive I’m An Early Riser and Mary Lynn McMains. Earning a strong third were CH Harlem Heat and Lib Jones.


A thrilled Janet Kellett was aboard Secret Cash Deposit to capture the Amateur Three-Gaited Park blue. Reserve honors went to the striking black gelding At The Stroke Of Midnight with Lucinda Hartley. Rounding out the topped three was the high-headed Perfect Vengeance and Kaitlyn Grom.


In their first appearance of the week, two Morgans came through the gate for the Open Park Saddle. Winning the blue ribbon, the first of many to hang on the Bobbin Hollow banner, were Springhill Navigator and Nicola Varveris. Capturing the red ribbon for Barb and John Goda were JW Authority and Mallory Eldred.


In a large Open Fine Harness class the blue ribbon went back to the Happy Valley owned and bred Reveal. Carl Irwin was on the lines of the I’m The Prince son. Reserve honors went to the elegant chestnut The Social Butterfly with Bret Day on the lines for Candy Hyman. In her new division, bright Charming Dreams took home the yellow ribbon with Steve Joyce for Zandyland Farm.


The Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class is always one of the toughest classes on the schedule and this night was no exception as 10 teams made the gate call. Capturing the blue was the Hollow Haven team of CH Ninety-Eight Degrees and Susan Creekmore for Thomas Brock, Jr. The always-consistent CH Sweet Virginia with Barbara Woods garnered the red streamers. Earning a competitive third was another Hollow Haven Team, CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger.


The high-stepping Hackneys were next in the ring for their Open Harness Pony qualifier. Topping the class was Wait & See’s Whiz Bang with Robin Haynes. Earning the reserve title was Cascade and Sharon Chrisman.


There were four on the schedule for the Morgan Junior/Novice Hunter Pleasure. With a ground-covering performance, Spring Hollow Lady Grace and Cynthia Mulligan took the blue. Reserve honors went home with Like A Rock and Brittany McCathem for Nyokia Deweese.


Changing the pace, the road ponies burst through the gate next with their amateur drivers. Winning another blue for the Hollow Haven banner with a great performance were Calvin Hobbs and Kevin Ingram. A thrilled Renee McCall took home the red ribbon with Twin Willow’s North Star. Rounding out the top three in the competitive class was Regal’s Star Attraction LF and Jeoff Bodenhorst.


Things slowed down a bit with the glamorous Western County Pleasure horses and their riders entering the ring next. It did not last long as one of the first workouts of the shows was called for with a natural three-way tie between Wezatease, New York Fire and Performing Nightly. Capturing the blue after the extra work was the spotted Wezatease and Luanne Kilday. Jan Henderson was aboard New York Fire to accept the reserve ribbon with Performing Nightly and Kim Newell in for the top third.


Taking center stage next was the competitive Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure class. The punched up CH MMMBop had a fantastic performance with Amanda Dellinger to earn the blue. The flashy Our Silver Charm with George Anne Nash made their presence known to garner the reserve title. The hard riding Jessica Anderson aboard The Denali took home a strong third.


With a change in schedule the Morgan Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure was in next. Bobbin Hollow Farm brought a nice string of Morgans from Florida including the champion Boxford’s Tia Maria, ridden by Blanche Bauer. Cassidy Garwood and HPS Cool Commotion emerged as the reserve champions.

Picking up the pace again, the speed demons were back this time with their Limit Roadster To Bike entries. With his black and gold silks flying in the wind, Steve Joyce won the top honor with J.R. Martin’s Sue’s Bad Moon. David Cunningham was on the lines to earn the red ribbon with Slabtown Ruckus for Harry Chapman.


Making their first appearance the junior exhibitors were next in with their three-gaited show pleasure horses for the 13 and under division. With an outstanding performance CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time topped the competitive class with Allie Wellington presenting. Hanna Norwood was aboard the five-year-old bay mare Mountainview’s Truly Amazing to earn the red ribbon for Dr. Kim Blackwell. CH Trapp Mountain and Marcelle Richard rounded out the top three under the direction of Marjorie Judd.


The Friesians made their first appearance of the show in their driving division. The multi-titled Tessa Van De Zuiderwaa captured the blue with Bill Jackson on the lines for his wife, Pam. Earning the reserve title were Hiddee W and Ed Jackson for Hillary Earl.


Gracing the ring next was the Junior Three-Gaited entries. A Cinderella Story had a magnificent debut performance for trainer Bret Day. Hy Horse Farm owns this Gypsy Santana bred mare. It was a good night for Happy Valley bred horses when the Merchant Prince daughter Can’t Resist earned the reserve honors with Chad Cole presenting for Lillian Whayne.


Open Morgan English Pleasure honors went to GFF Riverdance with John Goda III in the irons for Barb and John Goda. Reserve honors went to another entry from Friday Farm, Faithfullee and Shannon Connard.


Surprisingly there was a lone entry in the Junior Three-Gaited Park class but Rare Vos did not disappoint as he put on a show for the crowd with Euchee Matthews in the irons. Owned and bred by Cynthia Kueker, this neat horse is by Periaptor and out of Kahlua Lightning, who is also the dam of Out Go The Lights.


The roadsters were back, this time for their under saddle qualifier. The multi-title Diamond Hustler with the hard riding Rebekah Cloninger aboard raced to the winner’s circle. The well-toned High Velocity captured the reserve title with Lindsey Greenwald for SGF Winning Ways Farm.


In the Adult Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony qualifier the sporty Pacifico’s Standing Ovation earned the top spot with Bob Anderson on the lines. Garland Presswood did a great job catch-driving Heartland Breaking News to earn the reserve title for Kay Marschel.


The amateur five-gaited teams hit the ring next with five entries. With a the crowd cheering them on Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe and Wendy Troyer turned in a great ride for the victory. The toppy and beautiful Whimsicality garnered the red streamers with Kaitlyn Grom in the irons. Earning a competitive third was the sporty Mountainview’s Starcatcher and Deborah Richardson.


Closing out the evening’s performance were five elegant three-gaited horses with their lady riders. Sue-She and Ericka Nelson had a stunning performance as they captured the top honor for Marilyn Gaiswinkler. Maria Gilman presented Detached to the reserve title for Susan Harris, with CH Sportster and Jackie Ware closing out the top three.


After the session ended everyone gathered down the hill at the Pony Express Café to indulge in the Build Your Sundae Bar.


Wednesday Morning


After a good opening night, the Wednesday morning session picked right up with a competitive Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class. Leading the way to victory lane was Always Remembered, a talented youngster shown by Tracy James for Silver Brook Stables. This was the second outing for James and Always Remembered, the first being a victory pass at Midwest Charity. With wins at Gasparilla, Pro-Am and Chattanooga, Walterway’s Valedictorian and Maria Gillman didn’t make it easy for the champions while finishing in reserve for Barbara Woods.


Ann Hailey’s Copper Beech Morgan Farm breeding program is becoming far-reaching. Kelsey Thomas rode CBMF Danger Zone to top the Open Morgan Hunter Pleasure class while Krista Dent and Bear Brook Noble Bar commanded reserve honors. It’s been a great year for CBMF Danger Zone who has had blue ribbon performances at Mid-A Morgan, Citrus Cup, Tampa and Gasparilla.


Natalie Armstrong Grunnan was the next star to grace the Blue Ridge Classic winner’s circle. Her blue ribbon ride came in the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 & Under class where Kerry Jefferies was reserve.


Before taking two Classic Pleasure Saddle titles, RJH No Doubt wore the blue streamers from the ring in the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving class. Following closely in reserve were Hollybrook Independence and Cathy Minard.


Continuing a trend that is emerging in all parts of the country, the Pleasure Equitation division was much larger than the trimmed sections. Topping a big class of competitors in the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation class was sharp riding Reagan Huguley under the direction of her proud mom and trainer, Courtney Huguley. Caroline Jonsson, from Zubrod Stables, turned in the reserve performance.


A class that has also grown in most parts of the country is the Junior Exhibitor Park. There was a long list of stars in the Blue Ridge Classic class with none other than Brookhill’s King Of Kool at the top. Rachel Machamer was aboard for Mr. and Mrs. Guy Smith. Also no stranger to the top, Protector was the reserve champion with Dylan Hines in the saddle.


Protector and Dylan Hines


Another nice group of pleasure equitation riders were up next, this time for the 13 & under age group. The first name called out by announcer Mark Farrar was Kim Mueller under the direction of Heather Boodey. Next in line for a prize was Cheyenne Mabey for the Cardinal Farms banner.


Amateur Morgan Western Pleasure honors went to Andrea Morrison aboard Barbet Pistolero. Next in line for a prize was Sir Black Ty N Tails with Maria Cavender tall in the saddle.


While Blue Ridge had its share of household names, it also had an abundance of those still trying to prove themselves, or at least prove themselves in a new division, as evidenced by both the Limit Country Pleasure and Limit Show Pleasure classes being split.


Section A of the Limit Country Pleasure class went to CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard and Deborah Richardson with Hasani and Amy Roberts in reserve. The blue in Section B was awarded to Horace Taft, an entry owned and ridden by Janet Sterba. Reserve honors in that one went to Simbara’s Stars And Stripes, ridden by Dori Zandy.


Showing for Marilyn Macfarlane, Julia Goldman rode Arend T to the top of the Friesian Junior Exhibitor Saddle Seat Pleasure class. Kelsey Baird and Hoera Boszorg II picked up the red streamers.


You knew it’s getting close to Louisville time when you watched the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 14-17 qualifier. A large cast of more than qualified contenders included champion CH Blackberry Delight (Rachel Machamer), reserve champion CH My Special Sultan (Stephanie Lockyer) and third place finisher Stonecroft Ring Leader (Tara Grom).


CH Blackberry Delight and Rachel Machamer

greeted by Lynda Freseth


The Freseths’ Hollow Haven Farm has enjoyed the hospitality and competition at the Blue Ridge Classic for the past few years and they were back with a championship string. One of CH Blackberry Delight’s stablemates, CH The Shadow Knows, had a good warm up for Louisville with a Blue Ridge victory pass. Linda Meyer was again in the saddle for the Adult Country Pleasure win. Reserve streamers went the way of Marie Gwinn and VHF Bay All Day.


The south has long been known for its competitive Three-Gaited Pleasure Pony classes. On this day it was Walterway’s Mighty Hifalutin making the last pass for Tiara Terra. Jayne Major was aboard Holiday Brew for a second place finish.


Covering a lot of ground, Wasabi and Lewis Eckard took the Carolina Owned Five-Gaited blue for Lois Roberson. Greg O’Kelley rode Dr. Brian Garrett’s Callaway’s Credence to claim reserve.


It wasn’t the largest AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class ever, but you would be hard pressed to find one outside of the National Finals with four nicer ponies. The Heather Boodey trained Zildjian led the parade of champions with Caitlin Leith turning in another winning drive. Driving for Ann Fitzpatrick’s Rigby’s Green, J.P. Stilz drove the celebrated World’s Champion Buckwheat to reserve honors while Jeb Boyd and world’s and national champion Heartland Painted Creation finished in third. In fourth was a pony with a long and remarkable record, Aisle Party. He was driven by Stephanie Leidenheimer.


The first of two blues awarded in the Limit Show Pleasure class landed on the bridle of Jet Lee, an entry ridden by Alexis Braswell. Following in reserve was The Irish Tempest with Jessica Epley. Section B found Callaway’s Northern Fling and Melody Murphy in the winner’s circle ahead of Americana’s Wings and Paige Pennington.


Friday Farm has long been a big supporter of the Blue Ridge Classic. Representing the Goda family’s Friday Farm, On Target marched as the Morgan Amateur Pleasure Driving Champion with P.D. May at the whip. Already having won under saddle earlier in the session, Blanche Bauer and Boxford’s Tia Maria returned in harness to take reserve.


Marie Gwinn had just cooled down from her reserve ride in the Adult Country Pleasure class when she jogged through the gate with Monsignor to take the Country Western Pleasure blue. Following the champions were, among others, reserve champions Lion King and Deborah Richardson.


A fluid performance from Like A Rock and Brittany McCathem earned a victory pass in the Morgan Ladies Hunter Pleasure class. Pressing the champions were reserve winners Spring Hollow Lady Grace and Cynthia Mulligan.


Zubrod Stables was well represented in the Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 class as the highly decorated Jacqueline Beck was awarded the blue ahead of another consistent champion, Lindsay Haupt.


Walnut Way Farm had a good morning when Marilyn Macfarlane and CH Music Of The Heir closed out the session with a winning performance in the Open Park Pleasure class for Robin Haynes. This large and competitive class produced Strike Up The Lights and Steve Joyce in reserve for Lesley Orr.


CH Music Of The Heir with Marilyn Macfarlane


Wednesday Evening


It was a perfect evening for a horse show as the sun set and the cool mountain air drifted in, the competition heated up.  Starting off the evening was the Road Pony To Wagon class that had great participation at Louisville last year. This was the first time for the class to be held at Blue Ridge and there was only one entry, however it happened to be the 2006 World’s Champion Razz-Ma-Tazz owned by Karl and Phyllis Bridgeman. Once again Lewis Eckard was behind this sporty pony putting on a show for the crowd. In appreciation of their applause, the truth to be known on a bet, Eckard stood up in the wagon as he exited on his victory pass.


The 11-horse UPHA Park Pleasure Classic was the next in the ring. Topping the field was the flashy Free Bird TS by Star Material. Tracy James was in the irons for Tillman Stables. Reserve honors went to the Desert’s Supreme Admiral bred Got No Shame with Lynda Freseth presenting for Bonnie Kegley and Jeff and Kelly Williamson. The striking Bibbidi Blackidi Boo and Joe Elam earned a nice third for Jan Prows.


Tracy James and Free Bird TS


Four elegant equitation riders made the gate call for the USEF Medal qualifier. Capturing the win was Rachel Machamer aboard CH Titleist Symbol under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. Eleanor Watkins earned the reserve aboard Marie Claire instructed by Zubrod Stables.


Next on the schedule was the Amateur Fine Harness. Marching into the winner’s circle for the second year in a row was the multi-titled CH Kalarama’s New Sensation with Mary Gise on the lines for Priscilla Gise. Earning reserve honors was the showy Callaway’s Carnegie Hall with John Wrather.


The Callaway’s Blue Norther bred Callaway’s Karla had a superb show with Debbie Foley in the irons for Jo Ann Griffin to unanimously win the Junior Five-Gaited title. Capturing the reserve title was the sporty Essence Of Heaven with Don Judd for Barbara Woods.


Seventeen horses made the gate call for the Novice Rider Country Pleasure qualifier. Pam Quick was thrilled when her number was called out for the win aboard A Promise Keeper. Kim Grom was aboard Callaway’s Torch Bearer garnering the red streamers with Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam and Christina Waddell rounding out the top three.


Parading through the gate were three nice teams for the Open Hackney Pony. Fancy Ribbons was in top form to earn the win with Marilyn Macfarlane on the lines for Randi Wightman. Reserve went to Willowood Balladeer and Charles Leonard for Bill Weavil.


The Morgans made their first appearance of the night in their Ladies Western Pleasure with Sir Black Ty-N-Tails earning the blue with Cynthia Skipper presenting for Dan Cavender. Stablemate Barbet Pistolero with Andrea Morrison captured the reserve title for Cynthia Skipper.


Eleven talented horses marched in next for the added Open Three-Gaited Park qualifier. His Supreme Reflection was on the money for the win with Andy Freseth in the irons for Robert and Marilyn Gaiswinkler. The sporty Ya-Ya earned the reserve title with Dena Lopez for Dorothy Anderson and Elizabeth Shatner. With a nice show Roseridge Steven Kyng and Jessica Verrill rounded out the top three for Judy and James Motley.


The pace picked up when Westgate Villain sped to the winner’s circle with Mike Gordon on the lines. With green silks blazing, Eclipse and Stephen Deutsch claimed the reserve title.


The celebrated CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson added another win to their long list. This great team had a pleasure perfect drive to win the country pleasure driving qualifier. This makes five wins in six years in this class and last year they did not attend. The crowd applauded when the flashy Heirithmatic’s number was called for the reserve title. Ann Fitzpatrick had a super catch-drive for Donna and Orlando Smith.


Even though they were the single entry in the Morgan Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving, Hollybrook Walk In Tall and Harry Daughtry gave it their all winning the blue for June Davis.


The junior exhibitors were back this time with their five-gaited mounts. The work was done and the lineup completed when the judges decided to call six teams back for more work. Making the work out were The Apprentice, She’s Fancy Free, It’s More Than Likely, Roseridge’s All Mine, Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Our Saturday Night. Cory Vetter rode hard aboard the high stepping She’s Fancy Free besting the group of girls to win the blue ribbon. The new team of The Apprentice and Bree Zandy had a great performance earning the reserve title. Finishing out the top six were Roseridge’s All Mine and Rachel Kelly, Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Ali Deutsch, Our Saturday Night and Cydni Simmons and It’s More Than Likely and Adrienne Fitch.


The majestic Friesians were in next for their under saddle class. Topping the class was the awesome Tessa Van De Zuiderwaan with Jocelyn Brock presenting for Pam Jackson. Inne and Cheryl Baird earned the reserve for Kim Davidson.


Two Devore Stables teams battled it out in the Five-Gaited Pony. Winning the blue was Jewels For A Lady and the hard riding Tyler Devore. Caroline Walker put in a great ride aboard Our Sonflower to earn the reserve ribbon.


The numbers were back when 13 came through the gate in the Junior Park Pleasure. Earning the blue was the A.E. Nelson owned Our Maggie Mae with Bret Day. Reserve honors went to Entitlement and Andy Freseth for Barbara Baron. The Pool Boy and Lewis Eckard earned a strong third for Susan Orton.


The lady riders were back for the Morgan English Pleasure. The talented True Gold captured the blue with Nicola Varveris presenting for her daughter, Ariana. Captivation Of Fox Ridge and Emory Sykes earned the reserve for Martha Perry.


The Amateur Three-Gaited was a great class with five nice entries vying for the title. In their debut performance CH Yes It’s True and Kathy Lyda Berger had a super ride for the win. Sightline and Holli Esposito were sensational to claim the reserve title.


The junior exhibitors were back, this time thrilling the crowd with their speed in their Youth Roadster To Bike. Topping the class was Royal Count and Rebekah Cloninger. Reserve honors went to Exit 80 and Jeb Boyd.


The ladies were back to close out the session with their five-gaited mounts. The sporty Courtier topped the competitive class with Dena Lopez in the irons for Belle Reve Farm. Earning reserve and much crowd support were My Teddy Bheir and Anne Judd with Ima Star-Buck and Julie Burmeister rounding out the top three.


Thursday Morning


Thursday morning began with the Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation. Two Friday Farm teams were focused on the top honor and when the card was turned in it was Shannon Connard aboard Faithfullee called to the winner’s circle. Stablemate Anna Gibbons riding TFC Champagne Charlie claimed the reserve.


Not offered at very many shows is the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Driving. However at Blue Ridge it has been a successful addition over the past couple of years including this one with four teams making the gate call. Topping the class was the Wayne and Cathy Hackney trained In My Father’s Eyes with Samantha Hocking at the whip. Reserve honors went to the Zubrod team of May Day Masquerade and Joseph Jansen.


Samantha Hocking with In My Father’s Eyes


Equitation was back on the schedule this time for the adults. Winning the blue was the poised Kevin Ingram riding CH Hayden Fox. Sara Roberson from Heads Up earned the red ribbon.


The popular 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class was next. Holly Hein was determined to do her best in the competitive class and rode away with a unanimous blue aboard Law Me. Kaylee Norman was aboard Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam capturing the reserve for Jeanie Waddell. Alvin Ailey and Harley Campbell had a nice ride under the direction of Christy Parker to earn the yellow ribbon.


The next victory pass belong to the animated Raindrop’s Chisum and Alicia Davis. Reserve honors also went back to Florida with the West Coast Morgan team of HVK Flaire Park and Glenn Winograd.


Raindrop’s Chisum and Alicia Davis


Caroline Jonsson was polished to earn her second win of the week. Riding Heir Brained Scheme she won the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Amber Pitts under the direction of Anne Judd received the red ribbon aboard Answered Prayer.


Seamair Simply Awesome was just that, awesome, for John Wrather as he piloted the pony to the winner’s circle in the Amateur Hackney Pony. Reserve honors went to the Buffalo Creek trained Heartland Designed and Garland Presswood.


Mallory Greaves had a great catch ride aboard Jewel Fire to win the blue ribbon in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Show Pleasure. It seemed to be a theme that when there were two Devore teams in the ring together, they earned the top two spots but in this class, Devore earned the top three spots with Catch The Moon and Cydni Simmons earning reserve and Walterway’s Headline Material and Grace Ann Walker rounding out the top three.


It would be hard to find a better group for the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation anywhere as this class was full of young talent. Cagle James was in top form to earn the top spot aboard L.A. Blues for the Drowning Creek banner. Fresh off wins at Lexington, Caroline Cherry with her new partner CH In Neon ERB earned the reserve with Kaitlyn Creekmore captured a strong third riding Imagination Station.


Mixing things up a bit, the Limit Road Pony burst through the gate with the sporty Seamair’s Nobility taking home the blue with Chad Cole at the whip for Bluegrass Technologies. Claiming reserve were Twin Willow’s North Star and Renee McCall.


Bret Day was in the irons to earn the next win by presenting Timeline. Debuting in his new division, the five-year-old was a star to win the Limit Three-Gaited class. Reserve honors went back to Impossible Dream with Attaché’s Elegance and John Goda for Jo Waddell.


Kelsey Thomas and CBMF Danger Zone had a repeat performance adding a second blue ribbon to the West Coast Morgan banner with the win in the Morgan Amateur Hunter Pleasure. Like A Rock and Brittany McCathem earned another reserve for Nyokia Deweese.


Wezatease and Luanne Kilday were called back to the winner’s circle for the second time this week winning the Saddle & Bridle Shatner Western Country Pleasure. The golden Freedom’s Vision and Alison Teal garnered the red streamers.


Beth Watson was thrilled to hear her number called to the winner’s circle next. She won the Morgan Limit Classic Pleasure riding Glorious Answer for Connie Marshburn. Claiming the reserve for the Friday Farm banner were Whitemud Forever Sunbeam and Jill Bertolani.


The David Cunningham trained Boxford Grand Expectation topped the Limit Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony with Elizabeth Kuykendall on the lines. In for reserve were Heartland Stetson and Sallie Turner.


The multi-titled Hollybrook Indian Brave and Mary Daughtry had a nice drive to win the Morgan Open Pleasure Driving. Reserve honors went to the Phil and Gloria Blevins owned They Auhl Adore Me with Myra Williams on the lines.


Dr. Rebecca Babcock presented Manhattan’s Review to the next blue ribbon with a smooth performance in the Hunter Country Pleasure. Taking home reserve was Piney Flats with Jessie Green.


The Morgans were back this time for the Junior/Novice English Pleasure. Winning the top honor was the impressive Coleridge Freedom’s Spirit with Krista Dent presenting for Beatrice and James Tomasello. Thunder Tiger Eye and Allison Stein scored the red ribbon.


Five nice entries made the gate call for the ASHAF Youth Show Pleasure Driving Challenge. Taking a break from California, Castille Rath was back on the lines to win the top honors with Just As Unique for the third year in a row. A Lil’ Wild and Blanche Bauer earned the reserve ribbon for Lark Henry.


The Morgan 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure closed out the afternoon with the adorable team of HVK Noble Flame and Ariana Varveris capturing the blue ribbon. The Heads Up team of Battier and Anika Frank garnered the red streamers.


Thursday Evening


Proving this is a show that is never short of equitation riders, eight riders graced the ring for the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup. Sally McEwen had the winning rail and pattern work score to capture the win under the direction of Jennifer Alvis. Amber Pitts earned another reserve aboard Answered Prayer.


June Davis guided Hollybrook Walk N Tall down victory lane next in the Morgan Junior/Novice Pleasure Driving Championship.


In the Junior Fine Harness Supreme Spotlight commanded the spotlight as Dena Lopez piloted this handsome Supreme Heir son. Supreme Spotlight is from the breeding program of Kay Marschel’s De Nevue Farms. Earning the reserve was Merchant Prince son Be Advised with Carl Irwin on the lines for Happy Valley Farms.


Blue Ridge has extended its Friesian division this year adding among other classes a Junior Friesian Under Saddle. Winning the class was Hoera Boszorg II with Kelsey Baird.


In a very competitive class, Hometown Commander topped to the Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Country Pleasure with an outstanding performance. Brianna Meyer has been campaigning this multi-titled champion for Delton Farms this season. From the Zubrod string Sing My Song and Kristin Smith earned the reserve ribbon.


Callaway’s Kiss & Tell and Alyssa Lopez had the winning number in the nine pony Three-Gaited Pony qualifier. The leg waving Callaway’s Viscount and Katherine Brook Randall earned the reserve ribbon with Simbara’s Audacity and Alexis Landreth rounding out the top three.


There is nothing like debuting with a young horse as an amateur and winning the class in unanimous fashion but that is exactly what Lucinda Hartley aboard A Bolt From The Blue did. This Attaché’s Thunderbolt son bred by Cindy Maloney and Iris James topped the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic. Tracy James was in the irons to capture the reserve ribbon with the Silver Brook owned Without Any Doubt. Maria Gilman picked up the yellow ribbon with the flashy Walterway’s Church Me for Barbara Woods.


Diamonds I Am and Ashley Morgan Bradbury may have been the single entry in the Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Three-Gaited class but they did not disappoint as they made an outstanding show in their first appearance under new trainer Rob Turner.


Trotting away with the next blue ribbon was the impressive KGA Picasso and Kaye Bedell in the Morgan Adult Classic Pleasure. Reserve went to the thrilled Laura Austin aboard RAM Wham Bam Precision for her proud mom, Brenda Austin. 


With 26 horses on the schedule for the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Show Pleasure the decision was made to split the class. Winning the first class was the multi-titled CH Future Treasure with Chandler Gray riding for Vonda Goff. Another grand horse that is no stranger to the spotlight, S.S. Lies And Alibis earned the reserve ribbon with Katie Boysen riding under the direction of Christy Parker. In the second section Susan Estes debuted aboard VHF York’s Coppertone adding another blue to the Hollow Haven banner. Reserve went to the Boone’s Farm trained My Tee Time and Andy Everett.


Mia Wilson guided Seamair’s Nobility after an earlier win with trainer Chad Cole to another blue ribbon, this time in the AHHS Youth Road Pony Under Saddle Medallion. The Steve Gassen trained John Glenn earned the reserve with Courtney Bebber.


Mia Wilson aboard Seamair’s Nobility


For the second year in a row Tom Galbreath’s entry has won the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Last year Bret Day guided the expressive Mosette to the winner’s circle. This year Mosette’s full brother, Mozzarella, earned the victory with trainer Dena Lopez on the lines. These young stars are by Sir William Robert and out of Sadie’s Lady. Paul Cates directed Sigh to the reserve for Alta Dare Farm.


Tara Grom was in the irons to earn the next blue ribbon ride aboard Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage in the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Country Pleasure class. Taking home the reserve were Callaway’s Blue Agate and Emily Burglass with Phi Phalutin’ RR and Amy Hein rounding out the top three in the 10 horse class.


The Alicia Davis and Jean Rothe owned Patchwork Legend with Euchee Matthews captured the blue in the Morgan Open Western Pleasure with a smooth and steady performance. Barbet Pistolero earned the reserve with Andrea Morrison.


The 14-17 riders were back this time with their three-gaited horses. Having a tremendous ride was Jackie de la Parte aboard the swanlike Keeper Of The Stars. This Judd Stables trained team topped the class unanimously. Reserve honors went to the talented Jacqueline Beck riding Supernatural Charm under the direction of Susi and Bret Day. CH Mahvalous Asset and Paige Pennington picked up the competitive third spot.


Winning the added Novice Five-Gaited was the expressive four-year-old Most Definitely Diamonds with Tracy James in the irons for Silver Brook Stables. Earning the reserve title were French Resistance and Steve Gassen.


Celebrity Marquee was victorious in the Morgan Open Park Harness with Lauren Griffin on the lines. Reserve honors went to the Barb and John Goda owned Gillfree Power Play.


Dena Lopez was back to the winner’s circle in the fine harness division. This time she presented the dynamic A Travelin’ Man to the winner’s circle. This high-headed and lofty going son of Tornaado (SA) is owned by Susan Whittington. Paul Cates was on the lines to claim the reserve with Madeira’s Will.


Fog had a super performance to close out the session with Lewis Eckard to top the Limit Five-Gaited for owner Becky Rankin. Major Starbuck earned the reserve with Bret Day in the irons for Coe and Bill London.


The fun was not over for the evening as the much anticipated Progressive Barn Party was held with great eats and drinks found all over the grounds. You could grab hors d’oeuvres at Heads Up or pizza at Grey Ridge. If you were in the mood for a Mexican fiesta then you stopped by Ingleside! And if that was not enough there were more great fixings to be found at Blue Willow, C&C Stables, Deerfield Stables, Fairhope Stables and Pine View Stables.


Friday Morning


First on the schedule on Friday morning was the added Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving Championship. The sporty He’s The Real Deal topped the competitive class with Kayla Mears presenting, moving them up a notch from the qualifier. Castille Rath presented the dynamic Just As Unique to the reserve title for NELCO Companies.


He’s The Real Deal and Kayla Mears

Eight entries marched through the gate next for the Open Three-Gaited Park Pleasure Championship. CH Music Of The Heir was a sight once again as she commanded the spotlight with Marilyn Macfarlane. This bright chestnut never put an ear back when she made the trip to the winner’s circle for her proud owner Robin Haynes for the second year in a row. Erica Savary had a great ride aboard CF Not Tonight Chief to earn the reserve title for Lisa Austin.


The Morgans made their first appearance of the morning with two precious teams competing for the 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure Championship. Winning the blue ribbon were HVK Noble Flame and Ariana Varveris under the direction of Lark Henry. Anika Frank for Heads Up captured the reserve title with Battier.


Ariana Varveris aboard HVK Noble Flame


With a solid ride Manhattan’s Review and Rebecca Babcock scored the top spot in the Hunter Country Pleasure. Earning the reserve title were Piney Flats and Jessie Green for Nancy Fortner.


The young stars were back this time aboard their Saddlebreds for the 12 and Under Walk and Trot Show Pleasure Championship. Topping the competitive class with a unanimous win was the flashy Law Me with Holly Hein. Reserve honors went to Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam and Kaylee Norman for the Impossible Dream banner.


The driving horses were back for the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. As in the qualifier, it was the impeccable CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny earning the top honor with Nancy Anderson on the lines. Capturing reserve was Heirithmatic with Ann Fitzpatrick presenting for Donna and Orlando Smith.


The five-gaited ponies burst through the gate next with two Devore teams once again battling it out. The winner’s circle spotlight belonged to Jewels For A Lady and Tyler Devore with Our Sunflower and Caroline Walker earning the reserve. After the ribbons were awarded both teams took a victory lap as Walker not only celebrated her reserve championship but also her 13th birthday.


Tammy DeVore stands with

Tyler DeVore and Caroline Walker


The equitation riders were next in for the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup. Lindsay Haupt was in top form to earn the blue aboard Kiss Of The Zodiac. Reserve honors went to the Hollow Haven instructed Rachel Machamer.


Five competitive ponies made the gate call for the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. With an outstanding drive Oliver Twist and Charlotte Wrather captured the tricolor under the direction of Janet Crampton. Reserve honors went to the sporty Heartland Breaking News with Garland Presswood on the lines for Kay Marschel. Also earning top ribbon was Ali and Gwen Stableford. What made this day even more special for Stableford was she celebrated her 90th birthday.


Oliver Twist and Charlotte Wrather

 met by trainer, Janet Crampton


Euchee Matthews teamed up with Patchwork Legend earning the next victory pass. This team had their winning ride in the Morgan Junior/Novice Western Pleasure for Alicia Davis and Jean Rothe. GFF Special Illusion and Mallory Eldred claimed the reserve honor for Mike and Jill Bertolani.


Once again the young stars were back for the UPHA 10 and Under Challenge Cup. Cagle James had a strong and polished ride to earn the blue aboard L.A. Blues under the direction of Lewis Eckard. Reserve honors went to the Zubrod instructed Caroline Cherry with her new teammate CH In Neon ERB. Rounding out the top three was Kaitlyn Creekmore riding Imagination Station.


The junior exhibitors presented the Friesians for their under saddle championship. Winning the tricolor was Hoera Boszorg II and Kelsey Baird. Earning the reserve honor was Arend T and Julia Goldman for Marilyn Macfarlane.


Nineteen entries were on the schedule next for the Limit Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Paige Pennington had an exceptional ride aboard Americana’s Wings to win the competitive class in unanimous fashion. Reserve honors went back to the L.M. Turner Stables banner with Charm’s Choice and Erica Rae Faulkner. Wrapped In Roses WRF and Coe London scored the top third with Showboat’s Casablanca and Marian Hunt Bramlett finishing in the fourth spot in the large class.


The Show Pleasure Driving Championship was next on the schedule. Winning the class with a unanimous decision were CH Shot With Glory and Elizabeth James-Lipscomb. The expressive I’m An Early Riser and Mary Lynn McMains captured the reserve title.


The western country pleasure horses made the next gate call with their silver adornment gleaming and their riders’ attire sparkling. Topping the championship class was the fancy Lion King with Deborah Richardson. Capturing the reserve honor were Monsignor and Marie Gwinn.


 The three-gaited pleasure ponies were back to the show ring for their championship. Moving up a notch, Holiday Brew and Jayne Major topped the class for Lillian Young. Reserve honors went to the Jon Walker trained Walterway’s Mighty Hifalutin with Tiara Terra.


Cheyenne Mabey was the single entry in the 11 and Under UPHA Challenge Cup but she did not let the crowd and judges’ attention bother her as she had solid rail and pattern work under the direction of Desiree and Adam Clauson for the blue ribbon.


The Limit Country Pleasure Championship was next on the schedule with 16 horses set to compete. It was a great morning for Deborah Richardson as she earned her second tricolor this time with CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard. Horace Taft and Janet Sterba had a solid ride to earn the reserve title with the sporty Platinum Asset and Roberta Hirshon rounding out the top three.


The junior exhibitors were back for their Morgan Classic Pleasure qualifier. Lark Henry trained the winning entry of RHJ No Doubt and Elise Merrill. Reserve honors went to Glorious Answer and Natalie Tetterton for Connie Marshburn and Natalie Tetterton.


Lewis Eckard had his time in the limelight when he piloted Stargazer’s Warrior LF to the winner’s circle in the Junior Road Pony for Susan Harris.


The novice riders were back for their country pleasure championship with 12 set to compete. With unanimous support from the judges Crystal Creek’s Strawberry Jam topped the class with Christina Waddell riding for Jeanie Waddell. An excited Brittany Keel presented CF Star At First Sight to the reserve with Keen Memories and Kathryn Reaves in for a strong third for Line Share Farm.


Taking center stage next were the Hackney ponies for their championship. The talented Fancy Ribbons was in top form to earn the tricolor with Marilyn Macfarlane presenting for Randi Wightman. Fresh off great ribbons on the Red Mile Seamair’s Simply Awesome and John Wrather captured the reserve title.


The Junior Park Pleasure Championship was next in the ring with six competitive entries. Winning the class unanimously was the sporty The Pool Boy with Lewis Eckard in the irons for Susan Orton. Carrying the reserve title home was Entitlement with Andy Freseth for Barbara Baron. Girl Gone Wild and Kelly Mount rounded out the top three from the Mount Saddlebreds breeding program.


The Pool Boy and Lewis Eckard


Eighteen novice rider entries were on the schedule for their three-gaited show pleasure championship.  One of the newest teams to the Hollow Haven, VHF York’s Coppertone and Susan Estes had a pleasure perfect performance to top the large class. The junior exhibitor team of Highpoint’s The King’s Son and Jamie Weisbach captured the reserve title for the Zubrod banner with My Tee Time and Andy Everett rounding out the top three.


The Hackneys were back for the Amateur Harness Pony qualifier with two top entries. It was great morning for Charlotte and John Wrather as Wrather added a second blue to the Burnscroft banner, winning with Seamair Sensation. The Lisa Heres-Rosenberger trained Neon Dion earned the reserve title with Lib Jones on the lines.


Management gave the opportunity for the youth roadster to bike teams to take one more turn on the track in their added championship. Blazing a trail to the winner’s circle for the second time was Royal Count and Rebekah Cloninger. Garnering the reserve honors was Exit 80 and Jeb Boyd.


Friday Evening


The equitation riders started the evening session with their NHS Good Hands Event. Winning the class was the Barb Goda instructed Katelyn Chatham aboard Ivy Raymond. Kerry Jefferies captured the reserve title aboard The Ballroom Blitz under the direction Karin F. Smith.


The speed demons were back for their Roadster Under Saddle Championship. Rebekah Cloninger began her evening session right were she left the afternoon session, in the winner’s circle. She presented Diamond Hustler to the top prize for the Drowning Creek banner. Reserve honors went back to Texas with High Velocity and Lindsey Greenwald.


The Morgans made their first appearance of the evening in the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. Cathy Minard was on the lines of the impressive Hollybrook Independence to capture the tricolor with Whitemud Forever Sunbeam and Mike Bertolani earning the reserve.


The elegant three-gaited horses made the next entrance into the show ring with their lady riders. The high-headed Sue She marched down the rail for Ericka Nelson earning the unanimous win. CH Sportster had an awesome show with Jackie Ware in the irons to capture the reserve title.


The wins continued to come for Hollow Haven as they won a second in a row with the Adult Country Pleasure Championship. The well-mannered and very talented CH The Shadow Knows was perfect for rider Linda Meyer as they garnered the tricolor. Living up to her name Co-Ed’s Impressive Lady earned the reserve title with Holli Esposito in the irons for Mrs. Paul Rice.


There was a sea of black shirts at the far end of the ring during the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Championship supporting the Ingleside team of Zildjian and Caitlin Leith as they made their way to victory lane. Reserve honors went to the toppy Heartland Painted Creation and Jeb Boyd.


The Ingleside gang sported Zildjian t-shirts
to support Zildjian and Caitlin Leith


The junior exhibitors were back to the ring this time for their Three-Gaited Park Championship. In a unanimous decision the flashy Brookhill’s King Of Kool and Rachel Machamer captured another tricolor for the Hollow Haven banner. Dylan Hines was aboard Protector to earn the reserve title.


Kelsey Thomas was thrilled with her win in the Morgan Open Hunter Pleasure Championship with CBMF Danger Zone. Reserve honors went to Bear Brook Noble Bar with Krista Dent presenting for Kay Williford.


Having a phenomenal ride aboard Another Hot Summer Night, Jenna Norton earned the next victory pass. Besting eight entries this team moved up from the qualifier to capture the Three-Gaited Pony Championship. Callaway’s Kiss & Tell and Alyssa Lopez had a great show to garner the reserve title.


Another Hot Summer Night and Jenna Norton


Ashley Walker was feeling better and returned to the show ring aboard the majestic Tessa Van De Zuiderwaan to win the Friesian Under Saddle Championship for owner Pam Jackson. Hoera Boszorg II and Kelsey Baird took home the reserve title for proud mom and trainer, Cheryl Baird.


The pace picked up with the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship bursting through the gate. Westgate Villain and Mike Gordon were on the money to bring home the tricolor. With an outstanding drive Stephen Deutsch claimed the red ribbon with Eclipse.


Rachel Machamer had a great night. With already one tricolor this evening, she added to that when she presented the incomparable CH Blackberry Delight to the win in the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship unanimously. Tara Grom and her newest teammate for the season, Stonecroft Ring Leader, moved up to capture the reserve title with CH My Special Sultan and Stephanie Lockyer rounding out the top three.


Alicia Davis topped the Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Championship with sporty Raindrop’s Chisum. Having a nice performance True Gold and Nicola Varveris earned the reserve ribbon under the direction of Lark Henry.          


Thirteen entries were on the schedule next for the 13 and Under Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Allie Wellington turned in a standout ride aboard the flashy CH It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Time to captured the tricolor. The multi-titled CH Trapp Mountain earned the reserve with an excited Marcelle Richard. Rounding out the top three was Mountainview’s Truly Amazing with Hanna Norwood presenting for Dr. Kim Blackwell.


The competitive Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship was next to hit the gate with seven nice entries. Moving up from the qualifier, Perfect Vengeance was a sight, making pass after pass with Kaitlyn Grom to win the class unanimously. Reserve honors went to Secret Cash Deposit and Janet Kellett with At The Stroke Of Midnight and Lucinda Hartley earning a strong third.


Perfect Vengeance and Kaitlyn Grom


Racking down victory lane in the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship was CH MMMBop with Amanda Dellinger. CH Social Worth had an electrifying performance with Aimee Austin in the irons to capture the reserve title for Magnolia Stables. The new team of Callaway’s Jack Frost and Sherry Frankel-Deal had the top three spot in their debut show together with The Denali and Jessica Anderson riding hard to earn the white ribbon in the 13-horse class.


Next in was the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship with two teams returning. CH Yes It’s True and Kathy Lyda Berger now in their second show ring appearance together had a powerful performance to earn the tricolor. With one of his best shows of the season Amber Lager was a sight for Anitya Marlowe to earn the reserve title.


With huge crowd approval They Auhl Adore Me and Myra Williams were called to the winner’s circle next in the Morgan Open Pleasure Driving Championship for Phil and Gloria Blevins. The multi-title Hollybrook Indian Brave with Mary Daughtry claimed the reserve.


Thirteen lucky entries made it back to compete for the top honor in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. The judges did not require extra work and after the cards were turned in it was the four-year-old Roseridge’s All Mine with the hard riding Rachel Kelley called to the winner’s circle where trainer Tammy Devore met them. Devore Stables also earned the second top spot with the new team of Our Saturday Night and Cydni Simmons. Another new team with only a few shows to their credit, The Apprentice and Bree Zandy garnered the yellow streamers with She’s Fancy Free and Cory Vetter claiming the top fourth top.


The Amateur Road Pony Championship was stacked with talent. The well-matched team of Calvin Hobbs and Kevin Ingram added another tricolor to the Hollow Haven banner with a strong performance. Regal’s Star Attraction LF really lights up in this ring. Earlier this season this young pony won the Asheville Lions Club Championship and this evening he did not disappoint his owner and driver, Jeoff Bodenhorst, when they earned the reserve championship title. Finishing third was the hard working Twin Willow’s North Star and Renee McCall. Capturing the white ribbon and the crowd’s support was the sporty Cappuccino with Brenda Kelly.


The session closed with the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship. Once again Courtier had a solid performance making great passes for trainer Dena Lopez to win the tricolor for Belle Reve Farm. My Teddy Bheir and Anne Judd gave them a run for the money and with the crowd’s applause they garnered the red streamers.


After the session closed the famous Blue Ridge Classic Exhibitors’ Party was held down the hill under the party tent.  Everyone showed up in mass to dance to the tunes spun by the D.J. and munch on all the great food with the party going on well into Saturday morning.


Saturday Morning


Saturday morning began with a full schedule of academy classes including splits in some of the younger age groups. The session began with a tribute and a moment of silence for Bethany Vaughn who rode with Rocking S Farm and was tragically killed in an unlikely riding accident (see separate story). Riders came from programs at Blue Willow Farm, Bobbin Hollow, Boone’s Farm, Bluff Creek, Cheryl Baird Stables, Chestnut Lane, Cross Winds, Deerfield Stables, Forever Farm, Hamilton Stables, Hawkewood Farm, Heathermoor, Ingleside Farm, Lenux Stables, Paul Cates Stables, Pine View Stables, Rocking S Farm, Stepping Stone Stables and Zubrod Stables. Winning top ribbons in their divisions were: Katie Prows, Denese Patch, Taylor Henderson, Deborah Lechner, Ara Pearson, Ann Quick, Caitlin Skaradzinski, Natalie Swimmer, Ruth Major, Kayla Wilson, Donna Wesslen, Sarah Townsend, Jodee Greenway, Kathy Blankenbecklor, Casey Nichols, Anna Wilkins, Christina Prows, Jazmine Jones, Cayla Tabb, Olivia Knox, Savannah Deschamps, Paige Russell, Maureen Kelly, Whitney VanDabar, Mikal Williams, Melissa Tuttle, Alexandria Cedrone, Hannah Grace Abrams, Anna Grace Whitworth, Jamie Bo Lucas, Haley Griffin, Isabel Von Busch, Anna Leigh Amrein and Audrey Sigmon.


Saturday Evening   


With a change of schedule, first through the gate on Saturday evening was the Morgan Open Park Harness Championship. Adding another win to their week, Celebrity Marquee and Lauren Griffin had a spectacular show under the direction of Lark Henry. Sarah Gallant was on the lines earning the reserve title with Gillfree Power Play with Barb and John Goda.


Earning a third title this week, Seamair’s Nobility topped the Road Pony Under Saddle Championship with Mia Wilson in the irons for Bluegrass Technologies. Sugar Daddy and Crystal Case moved up from their qualifying ribbon to capture the reserve honor.


Thirteen riders were poised as they made the gate call for the Pleasure Equitation Championship. After the rail work and the judges’ deliberation, seven riders were called out for additional testing including Caroline Jonsson, Katie Easton, Cheyenne Mabey, Kim Mueller, Amber Pitts, Sally McEwen and Reagan Huguley. After the pattern work and second lineup were completed it was the Anne Judd instructed Amber Pitts that was called to the winner’s circle aboard Answered Prayer. The Zubrod instructed Katie Easton and Caroline Jonsson earned the top second and third spots both with a first place vote. Rounding out the top four was Sally McEwen also earning a first place vote.


Amber Pitts riding Answered Prayer


Bobbin Hollow added a second tricolor to their banner, winning the Morgan Classic Pleasure Championship. It was a special win for Elise Merrill when she closed out her season aboard RJH No Doubt and is now off to college. Natalie Tetterton was aboard Glorious Answer to claim the reserve with RAM Wham Bam Precision and Laura Austin rounding out the top three in the eight-horse class.          


Elise Merrill and RJH No Doubt

Jacqueline Beck was focused and determined as she performed her rail and pattern work in the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. With first place votes across the cards, she was called to the winner’s circle for the second year in a row. Reserve honors also went back to Zubrod with Eleanor Watkins.


It was time for another Devore Stables one two punch in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Grace Ann Walker put together a great ride aboard Walterway’s Headline Material to capture the top spot. Earning the reserve honors and a first place vote was stablemate Catch The Moon and Cydni Simmons. Rounding out the top three was the Zubrod team of In Between The Lines and Lindsay Haupt.


The Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was in next. Zubrod continued their equitation domination when Natalie Armstrong Grunnan topped the class aboard Carboness PHF. Reserve honors went to the Karin F. Smith instructed Kerry Jefferies riding The Ballroom Blitz.


Natalie Armstrong Grunnan aboard Carboness PHF

with stablemate Jacqueline Beck


It was quite a night for the Zubrod Stables gang when they added another win to their list. Sing My Song and Kristen Smith had a picture perfect ride to win the Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Country Pleasure Championship. Capturing the reserve title and a first place vote were Hometown Commander and Brianna Meyer for Delton Farms. From Fairhope Stables, Playdate and Taylor Price rounded out the top three in the 10-horse class.


Seven great entries made the gate call for the Fine Harness Jackpot Grand Championship. CH Kalarama’s New Sensation and Mary Gise made their second unanimous trip to the winner’s circle this week with another outstanding performance. Charming Dreams had moved easily into her new division with trainer Steve Joyce to earn the reserve honor for owner Zandyland Farm. A Flourish and Carl Irwin earned the top third spot for Happy Valley Farm with Callaway’s Carnegie Hall and John Wrather receiving the white ribbon.


In the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Country Pleasure Championship nine competitive entries vied for the title. After the lineup there was still no decision from the judges and two entries, Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Callaway’s Blue Agate, were called back out for additional work. After the completion of the extra work, it was Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Tara Grom earning the unanimous win with Callaway’s Blue Agate and Emily Burglass receiving the reserve honors. Phi Phalutin’ RR and Amy Hein and CH Wing’s Main Attraction and Adrienne Fitch earned the top third and fourth spots.


On Target and P.D. May returned to win the Morgan Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship under the direction of Barb Goda.


Two thrill seekers burst through the gate for the Roadster To Bike Jackpot Championship. Racing away with the tricolor in unanimous fashion were Braveheart and Marilyn Macfarlane. With his green and white silks a blur Stephen Deutsch earned the reserve with Eclipse.


Diamond’s I Am and Ashley Morgan Bradbury had another great performance in the 13 and Under Three-Gaited Championship earning the tricolor.


Patchwork Legend ended the show going three-for-three after winning the Morgan Western Pleasure Championship with Euchee Matthews presenting for Alicia Davis and Jean Rothe. GFF Special Illusion and Mallory Eldred captured the reserve for Mike and Jill Bertolani.


The three-gaited horses were back with their 14-17 riders competing for the championship honors. The new team of CH Mahvalous Asset and Paige Pennington had the winning ride to earn the tricolor under the direction of Marjorie Judd. Reserve honors went to Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie de la Parte with Supernatural Charm and Jacqueline Beck in for the top third. The young, striking Callaway’s Paisano park trotted to the white ribbon with Jenna Norton.



CH Mahvalous Asset and Paige Pennington


Taking home the next championship ribbon was the beautiful mare Whimsicality with Kaitlyn Grom. Lawman and Cindy Wagoner earned the reserve honors under the direction of Lisa Heres-Rosenberger.


John and Charlotte Wrather continued to dominate in the Hackney division as John won the Harness Pony Championship with Seamair Sensation. Reserve honors went to the Walnut Way trained Wait & See’s Whiz Bang and Robin Haynes.


The Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship was a tremendous class with five of the top six places all belonging to “CH” champions. Unanimously winning the class was CH Ninety-Eight Degrees with Susan Creekmore with stablemate CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger earning reserve. CH Sweet Virginia, CH A Chance To Dance, CH Five Minutes Mores garnered the third, fourth and sixth spots. Newcomer Stonehedge Supreme Contender earned the fifth spot with Kaitlyn Grom.


The Varveris family ended their successful week with Springhill Navigator and Nicola Varveris winning the Morgan Open Park Championship. Reserve honors went to JW Authority and Mallory Eldred for Barb and John Goda.


His Supreme Reflection made his second victory pass of the week, winning the 12-horse Open Three-Gaited Park Jackpot Championship with Andy Freseth presenting for Robert and Marilyn Gaiswinkler. Earning the reserve ribbon, a first place vote and applause from the crowd were Phi’s Phortune Teller and Janet Crampton for Ashley McKenzie. Ya-Ya and Dena Lopez rounded out the top three for Dorothy Anderson and Elizabeth Shatner.


Lewis Eckard was back to the winner’s circle with Razz-Ma-Tazz in the Open Road Pony Jackpot Championship for owners Karl and Phyllis Bridgeman. Eddie Case borrowed the lines from his daughter, Crystal, to earn the reserve with Sugar Daddy.


Topping the well-filled Three-Gaited Jackpot Championship was the expressive Sightline with Holli Esposito in the irons. Reserve went to the young star Timeline with Bret Day.


Blanche Bauer closed out the Bobbin Hollow week with a tricolor in the Morgan Open English Pleasure Championship riding the animated Boxford’s Tia Maria. Earning reserve was Claridge Freedom’s Spirit with Krista Dent presenting for Beatrice and James Tomasello. Rounding out the top three were GFF Riverdance and John Goda III for Barb and John Goda.


The show was brought to a close and the rafters almost came crashing down as the Boone’s Farm gang got behind their favorite Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe (SA). Paul Boone was in the irons aboard the leg waving gelding to earn the unanimous win for Wendy Troyer. Reserve honors went to Coe and Bill London’s Major Starbuck with Bret Day.


This concludes the highlights of the Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Complete results can be found by clicking here for Saddlebred results and here for Morgan results.



Also seen at Blue Ridge Classic:



Stephanie Lockyer and Christine Freeman


Julia Joyce, Dori Zandy (holding Agnes Jean) and Steve Joyce


 Betsy Boone and Kathy Berger



Rachael and Anne Winograd, Valarie Siemer,

 Chloe Hooper and Kelsey Thomas


Morgan King, Castille Rath,
Kristen Thomas and Leigh Anne Rodgers

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