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Bonnie Blue Still “An Experience To Remember” After 22 Years



by Michelle Krentz

LEXINGTON, Va. - With one of the best facilities in the country, it is no wonder that some of the best barns in the industry are willing to travel to Lexington’s Virginia Horse Center. Bonnie Blue has gained quite the reputation as the place to bring your best stock and compete in spring. While many times world’s champions put on their first performances of the season here, many future show ring stars debut here a well. Even the show ring’s next star riders get a chance to show where the "big guys" show in Bonnie Blue’s large academy division.

Kent Moeller’s all-star crew of officials also helps make this show so prestigious. Moeller and stable coordinator Scott Snider keep the grounds perfect and all the trainers happy, while Beth Snider, Sandy Backer and Terra Schroeder keep everything running smoothly in the show office and with tabulations in center ring. Organist Dale Stone entertains, while announcer Tuffy Owens keeps the crowd in the know. Ringmasters Bill Whitley and Lowell Gobbel ensured the safety of the exhibitors and horses in the ring, while photographer Doug Shiflet caught the great memories on camera. Marking the cards this week were Joe Elam, Maria Gilman and Ray Krussell. Elam also served as the academy judge on Saturday morning.

The Bonnie Blue Horse Show is a major fundraiser for the horse center each year, and aside from the usual show profits, the Friday and Saturday night pig tosses raised nearly $1,000 for the UPHA chapter.

The friendly atmosphere and high caliber horses make it easy for Bonnie Blue live up to its name of being "an experience to remember." It has become one of the best shows of the spring and a sure preview of who will prove they are the best of the best at Louisville in August.

Five-Gaited

In the open five-gaited ranks it was all about Walterway’s What About Me and Merrill Murray. The racking and trotting machine is a full sibling to Walterway’s Remember Me and is owned by Larry Hartsock. Reserve in both open classes went to Tipsy Gypsy and John Conatser, who also trotted and racked up a storm and is owned by High Hickory Farm.

The most talked about class of the show had to be the Ladies Five-Gaited class. With three multi-world’s champions coming through the gate, it was anyone’s game. Callaway’s Cassis, Callaway’s Born For This and CH Carolina Cat all put in flawless shows. Carol Hillenbrand, Allison Combs, and Amanda Dellinger all knew what a tough class they were in and they all rode their hearts out. In the qualifier, the blue went to the liver chestnut mare trimmed perfectly in white, Callaway’s Cassis. The Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion, and last year’s Junior Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion, Cassis, with owner, Carol Hillenbrand made a magnificent picture. The red ribbon in the qualifier went to the gray mare, Callaway’s Born For This, and CH Carolina Cat and Amanda Dellinger rounded out the top three. The tables turned in the championship, though. Allison Combs turned it up a notch in the championship and Born For This showed her extra gear. The elegant and exciting gray mare made the victory pass as announcer Tuffy Owens reported, "She was the ASR National Futurity World’s Champion, a Junior Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion, and last year, the Ladies’ Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion, she really was Born for This!" Cassis was right there in the championship putting in another great show to pick up the reserve streamers.

Carol Hillenbrand also debuted on the other junior five-gaited sensation from last year, The Daily Lottery. The big, bold and fast chestnut won the Junior Five-Gaited World’s Championship last year and is best known for his exciting and fast rack. Now under the direction of John Conatser, The Daily Lottery is continuing to win, this time in the amateur five-gaited division with Carol Hillenbrand. At Bonnie Blue they won both their classes. A Dream In Color put in two fabulous shows with expert rider, Kate Codeanne. "Carmen", as she is called around the barn, was picture perfect in both her classes to earn two reserve titles with a first place vote in the championship.

It seems that Bonnie Blue was the place to debut your junior five-gaited world’s titleholder as another one won both junior exhibitor classes. A full sister to Castledream (who is out of A Daydream Believer (BHF), who has also produced the grand Hagan horses, HS Daydream’s Believe In Me and HS Dignitary among others), Dream Castle lives up to her royal breeding. With a gorgeous long neck, expressive eyes and motion to spare, "Cassie," is sure to make a big splash in the juvenile division this year with her owner and rider, Carissa Marshall, under the direction of Todd and Bille Rae Graham. Reserve in the class went to the flashy horse, Naughty, and Alexis Taylor Pearson. Naughty and Pearson will be another team to watch for in the juvenile gaited division. They are trained by Jessica Verrill.

The Virginia-owned blue went to Mountainview’s Nite Hawk and Ed Gunn. The full brother to CH Broadway’s Mamma Mia! is owned and bred by Jones Mountainview Saddlebreds. The red ribbon in that class went to a half brother to Attache’s Royal Assets and The Apprentice, Fort Chiswell’s Royal Champagne. Owner Jane Melton was in the irons. A star for Barbara Goodman Manilow last year with Kenny Smith in the junior gaited division, Battle’s Radar is already making his mark with Gary Garone for owner Rick Daigle. The talented team won the Novice Five-Gaited class with an exciting performance. Rappe and Todd Graham put in a great show for the reserve streamers in the novice class. Delores Verna Blankenship owns the big and powerful black gelding.

Merrill Murray went three for three on Larry Hartsock’s Walterway’s Remember Me full siblings at Bonnie Blue. Aside from winning both open classes with Walterway’s What About Me, Murray rode Walterway’s Pardon Me to the junior title. Jan Lukens was reserve in that class aboard Perfectly Designed who is a gorgeous bay gelding by Designed and out of a Hometown Spirit mare.

Treasures In The Park is a big dark bay stud by Callaway’s Guy Park and out of a Rare Treasure Mare. Just a three-year-old, the nice stud shows a lot of quality and confidence. Fresh off a reserve in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic at River Ridge, Treasures In The Park won the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class at Bonnie Blue with Todd Graham aboard for Melvin Blankenship. Jan Lukens rode another gorgeous big bay by Designed in the three and under class, named Who. Who is owned and bred by Margaret Elizabeth Biggs and is out of the mare that Biggs won with at Louisville in show pleasure as a juvenile, CH Kiss For Luck.

Last year’s Five-Gaited Pony World’s Champion of Champions won both his classes at Bonnie Blue for the second year in a row. Last year he won with Allison Combs, but this year it was with Caroline Rose, better known as "Rosie." Rose rode the game-as-he-is-talented pony for Clara McCool. Undulata’s Kipling and Rebecca Doss put in two great shows for the reserve title in both classes for the Meadow Wood banner

Three-Gaited

Ceil Wheeler’s smile when she is showing is infectious. You can’t help but smile when she rides by because she is having a great time and it shows. Aboard Entourage she won both Open Three-Gaited classes with a unanimous win the championship. The beautiful chestnut mare’s neck goes on for miles and she waves her legs in true walk/trot style. John Conatser trains the talented four-year old. A worthy performer time and time again, CH Sightline put in a picture perfect show for the reserve streamers in the open stake with long-time owner, Holly Esposito. You Move Me and Smith Lilly’s assistant, Matt Lightner, were reserve in the open qualifier for Michelle Ducworth.

CH Sue-She and Ericka Nelson swept the ladies three-gaited division for the second year in a row under the expert direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. In their first ever show together, Golden Market and Catherine McCool were reserve in the ladies championship with a first place vote after a good showing for third in the qualifier. Always a star, Callaway’s Buttons And Bows was reserve in the qualifier and rounded out the top three in the championship with owner Jessica Warren.

CH New York’s Perfect Gift and Betsy Thomas won both Amateur Three-Gaited classes for the third year in row. Thomas’s unanimous championship win was extra special since it was on her birthday. The lovely team is trained by John and Tammie Conatser’s Carriage Lane Farm. Reserve in both classes was the sporty, Callaway’s Born With Style. The nice mare was shown by owner Robin McKenzie Vuillermet and is trained by Smith Lilly.

Lilly also trained the unanimous Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Grand Champions, CH Yes It’s True and Karly Morgan. The former World’s Champion Three-Gaited horse still has the look and all the talent of a champion. McKenna Slater has certainly become a top rider and looks to be following in the footsteps of her multi-titled brother, Andrew. Riding hard every step of the way and getting the most out of her grand mare, McKenna and CH Tantalize Me LCC were the qualifier champions and reserve grand champions under the Hollow Haven banner. Titleist Patrick and another great rider, Megan Ryan, were reserve in the qualifier for Gary Guz and the Ryan family.

The Chaperone lived up to his name as he carefully guided Catherine Wheeler and Margaret McCool to the winner’s circle in the walk and trot division in years past. Smith Lilly proved the grand black gelding is more than a perfect walk and trot horse though. He showed his great talents as a walk/trot horse to win the Virginia-Owned Three-Gaited class with Lilly for the Wheelers. Kaitlyn Creekmore made her cantering debut aboard her adorable and perfectly mannered, yet exciting three-gaited horse, Heired Up, to pick up the red ribbon and a first place vote in that class under the Freseth’s direction.

(SA) SJ The Smart Lady looked exceptionally good to win the Novice Three-Gaited class with Rob Turner aboard for John Bulmer. Finally A Prince, a half sister to Bob Bobaloo, was reserve in the novice class with owner/trainer Jan Lukens.

Paranormal is just a four-year-old, but he already has two world’s championships under his belt as he won the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited Division II World’s Championship and the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Division II World’s Championship, both with Tre Lee. Continuing his undefeated career with Leslie Tickle, they won the Junior Three-Gaited class for Costoplos and Thornhill. Stock Up, a nice dark chestnut Select Stock mare, made a great debut, showing for the reserve ribbon in that class with Tammie Conatser aboard.

Every time a Nutcracker baby debuts it causes quite a stir because all of his stock seem to be so talented. Zagnut was no exception. The hooky and animated chestnut gelding trimmed in white debuted to the blue in the Three & Under Three-Gaited class with Smith Lilly aboard for Robin McKenzie Vuillermet. Coco Cool made his debut last year at the Kentucky Fall Classic to win the Bluegrass Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stake to the tune of about $10,000. The exciting bay gelding made his under saddle debut at Bonnie Blue to win the red streamers in the three and under walk/trot class with John Conatser aboard for Mary Sally Aylward.

Consistent as she is adorable, Amelia Heir Cat is a pleasure to watch, especially with her smiling young jockey, Catherine Wheeler, aboard under Smith Lilly’s direction. The precious chestnut mare won both Three-Gaited Pony classes in high fashion. Reserve in both classes went to CH Royalty In Black. Elizabeth Ververeli rode the pony to the reserve honors in the qualifier, and owner Stephanie Miller was aboard for the reserve ride in the championship under the direction of Mike and Jessie Richardson.

Park

Reedann’s Heir To Glory is a fine testament to Reedannland’s exceptional breeding program. The bold moving, yet refined stallion is by Supreme Heir and out of a Phi Slama Jama daughter. Fresh off two wins at Raleigh, the grand stud, who already has some winners on the ground, won both open park classes at Bonnie Blue with Smith Lilly aboard for Gary and Tammie Kale. The park ladies winner, The Kentucky Saddler, who is a full sibling to Callaway’s Rosemary And Thyme, was reserve in the Open Park Championship with Elizabeth McLemore aboard. A Star From The Ridge made her show ring debut as the open park reserve champion with Burt Honaker aboard for Roberta and Miriam Hirshon. Fresh off their Junior/Novice Park win at Chapter 14, Reggie’s Indigo Jim and Holli Esposito were reserve in the ladies park class as well as in the Amateur Park Championship.

The always charismatic CH Perfect Vengeance won both Amateur Park classes with expert rider Tara Grom aboard under the Revelation Farm banner. Grom will take over all the family’s riding duties this summer since her sister, Kaitlyn, is headed overseas. After winning the Amateur Park classes earlier this year in Lexington, Va., at the Old Dominion, Karin Banks and CH Callaway’s B. Gratz Brown were at it again to garner the reserve title in the amateur qualifier.

After a year in the juvenile show pleasure ranks with Faye Wuesthofen, First Class Heir is still a juvenile horse, but he is back in the park division, now with Brianna Meyer. With an ears up attitude every step of the way, and Myers riding hard, there was no denying "Stan" when he won both his juvenile park classes. Milady A La Lucie and Holly Wilson were right there to get the reserve title in the championship under Smith Lilly’s direction, while Best Day Ever and Andrew Nadder were reserve in the qualifier under the direction of Jerry Hutson.

Will Call and Ed Gunn were in a class of their own in the Junior Park class, but the nice horse made his show ring debut a fancy one for owner Sheri Wechsler.

Fine Harness

Last year’s Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions Elegant Dreamcatcher is ready to take on the big guys this year as the wonderful mare is truly a dream to watch. Her elegance and sophistication is perfectly matched with that of her driver and trainer, Lynda Freseth, to make a flawless picture. The chestnut mare owned by Thomas R. Brock Jr. won both open harness classes. Another five-year-old, Respectfully Yours put in a good show to win the reserve streamers in the championship with John Conatser at the lines for Bill Clem. The athletic and strong-moving bay horse It’s Ballistic and Kyle Gagnon were flawless for the red ribbon in the qualifier for Rick Daigle.

Growing up you are told that showing horses is all about fun, while some people forget that important message along the way, Anita Simpson certainly has not. Last year when Mother Mary was crowned the Fine Harness World’s Grand Champion you could not help but notice the excitement near the winner’s circle coming from her owner, Anita Simpson. While Sandy Lilly was at the lines last year, this year it is Simpson’s turn with the grand mare. Although they were the only ones in the class, Simpson’s grin stretched from ear to ear, and it was a wonderful reminder about what showing horses is all about… the fun.

Smith Lilly dominated the young harness classes with Platinum’s Moon Over Pluto, who won the junior class and Hillcroft Rare Fortune who won the Fine Harness Classic. By Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man and out of the grand and famously producing harness mare, CH Cary’s Moonraker, it is no wonder Moon Over Pluto is such a talented harness horse. Last year, he was reserve in the American Royal’s Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Already a star then, the handsome chestnut gelding is even better and stronger after a winter’s work. Platinum Stock Farm owns him.

Hillcroft Rare Fortune is an exciting newcomer by Lakeview’s Rare-A-Phi and out of the multi-world’s champion mare, Fortune. Rare Fortune made his show ring debut a winning one as he made the victory pass in the Fine Harness Classic with Smith Lilly at the lines for Bill Beckley. Fort Chiswell’s Prince Charming, by Santana’s Charm and out of a Hide-A-Way’s Wild Country mare, was reserve in the junior harness class with Burt Honaker for Dickey Davis.

Roadsters

Rae Lee Mills took it to the boys in the Roadster to Bike Championship, winning it all with Joanna’s Lost. A reserve world’s champion just a year ago, Joanna’s Lost is a great combination of speed and form. Postmaster Mike, the novice winner, was reserve champion with Jon Dabareiner driving for Fish N Fun Farm, a repeat finish from last year’s Bonnie Blue.

Dabareiner picked up two more reserve ribbons in Amateur Roadster to Bike with Cosmical, last year’s champion. Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones were the big winners in this division, carrying off the blue and the tricolor. This team was just meant to be together. Their names even sound great together, not to mention their phenomenal record in the show ring. Triple crown winners in the Amateur Roadster to Bike ranks last year, Jones and Bones are setting their sights on another great season.

Hackney Ponies

The open road pony division saw some outstanding competition in a showdown between two completely different styles of ponies. Stat and Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF squared off for the first time ever. Both ponies were national champions to close out the 2008 season. Stat was the Amateur Road Pony National Champion, and Kristy Lee was the UPHA Road Pony Classic National Champion. In the qualifier, it was the ballerina Romeo’s Kristy Lee taking the blue with Andy Freseth driving for Priscilla Gise. The boxer, Stat, took Maureen Lydon down victory lane in the championship for Dr. Robert Pugh.

The reigning Amateur Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions, Calvin Hobbs, was back at it again in 2009, as Kevin Ingram drove him to two unanimous wins at Bonnie Blue for James R. Dellinger Jr. Extremely Intimidating and Mark Shumate were a speedy reserve in both for Melvin Blankenship.

A new, old star appeared in the Junior Exhibitor Road Pony classes. Teamed up with world’s and national champion driver Kirstie Buerkley, Old Memories made his return to the show ring with two trips to the winner’s circle. Marching to that same beat that won him a world’s championship at his most recent horse show, Louisville 2006, Old Memories was a sight once again. Always entertaining, Alex Ververeli and Mastercraft’s Gambler LF were reserve in both classes under the direction of Mike and Jessie Richardson.

Nashville Cat, who made a great show in the UPHA Road Pony Classic last year with Maureen Lydon, topped the Novice Road Pony class. Holli McDowell was at the lines for Charlotte Goodman and Lisa McMackin. Regal’s Citation LF picked up two reserves during the week with Danny Troutman driving. By Dun-Haven Regal Attraction, Citation was reserve in the novice and UPHA Road Pony Classic.

The winner of the UPHA class was an exciting up and comer by Mark Of Excellence, Giselle. Out of a Vindicator mare, this fancy filly looks to be a star once all of the kinks are worked out by the Bent Tree team. After getting used to the show ring in the novice class, Giselle came back with Lee Hudson to make a stellar show in the UPHA Classic.

Another Bent Tree winner, Bagheira, earned the Road Pony Under Saddle Championship with Willow Kearns aboard. Power Of Attorney was reserve in the championship and the AHHS Medallion class with Drew Love up. Two world’s champions teamed up for the Medallion blue, as Heartland Wonderful Miss and Samantha Johnson made an exceptional show for the blue for Creekridge LLC under the direction of Majestic Oaks. Wonderful Miss was a 14-17 world’s champion with Shannon Ella last year, and Samantha Johnson won a Louisville blue last year with Pure Country.

The Harness Pony Championship was another two-pony showdown, as the top two open ponies from the last two years met head to head once again. Dun-Haven Phenomenal, two-time defending Harness Pony Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion, qualified as the winner of the Amateur Harness Pony class with Kathryn Nichols at the helm. Heartland Expectation, two-time defending Harness Pony World’s Grand Champion, took the blue in the open qualifier with Lynda Freseth driving for Priscilla Gise. Meeting up in the championship, it was another battle of styles as the charismatic Phenomenal, with Maureen Lydon driving, won out over Expectation.

Another pony returning to the show ring at Bonnie Blue was Heartland High Tech. In his first appearance since winning the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic National Championship in 2004, High Tech and Maureen Lydon swept the Hackney pony division for Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman. Still possessing that surreally fine head and neck, High Tech is back and means business. Heartland Ooh La La and Karen Waldron were reserve champions for Bent Tree Farm after finishing reserve in the amateur qualifier. Carl Nichols and Heartland Moonglow were the blue ribbon winners in the amateur class for Kay Marschel. Nichols not only did an outstanding job of driving Moonglow, he also color-coordinated with the golden-brown ponies unique coloring.

Another world champion graced the ring in the Hackney pleasure driving division, but this time it was slightly different, as it was Lynn Hutchinson, wife of World Champion Horse Equipment’s Chuck Hutchinson, driving Holly Go Lightly to two victory passes for Helen and James Rosburg. Karen Waldron drove The Highlander to two reserve wins for Bent Tree Farm.

Pleasure

The winner of the ASR National Three-Year-Old Sweepstakes in 2007 was back in the winner’s circle again at Bonnie Blue to win the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Gotta Be Charmed was shown by the incomparable Nancy Leigh Fischer to the title with Andy and Lynda Freseth on the rail. Titleist Right Tonight and Allyson Ehle won the qualifier continuing off their two wins from River Ridge. The team did not show back because Saturday, as Ehle was off to attend her senior prom. Out Of Reach put in two great shows to finish reserve in both classes with owner Karen Blankenship Shumate under the Royal Winds banner.

After two winning Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited rides at Chapter 14, the Caters and rider Dominique Bowlen were ready to take Callaway’s Where There’s A Will back to the division he won the national championship in last year, gaited pleasure. "Garth" racked away with both Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Show Pleasure titles at Bonnie Blue. Attache’s Miracle was reserve in the championship with Leigh Kauffelt aboard, while Callaway’s Front Man and Carissa Marshall were reserve in the qualifier.

The 2005 Yearling Breeders Open World’s Champion, Sir Winston C., performed with supreme quality and manners to win the Open Park Pleasure Championship and qualifier with Bille Rae Graham aboard for Jonna Curry. Roseridge Get Ready, the expressive chestnut gelding shown by Rob Turner, was reserve in the qualifier for Marcy Caton and Terry Collins. My Mountain Heirs, who was shown to much success with Rebekah Cloninger the last couple years, was reserve in the championship with Sherri Surface for Morgan Hylton.

Celebrity Son and Rob Turner made their show ring debut at Chapter 14 to win both Junior Park Pleasure classes. They continued their undefeated debut season at Bonnie Blue to win the Junior Park Pleasure class for owners Debra and Erica Faulkner. Madeira’s Gifted Lady and Gary Altizer looked great for the red ribbon in that class for Ellen Hackler.

The Agateer is another horse that was absolutely born to be a show horse. By Periaptor, the sire of countless world’s champions and out of the world’s champion three-gaited mare, Callaway’s Little Dipper, who is a full sister to Adelita, The Agateer has world’s champion blood running through his veins. Tracy Garcia owns, bred and showed this leg-waving black gelding to the Park Pleasure Classic blue under the Carriage Lane banner. A Rift In Time is an electrifying bay stud by My Magical Moment and out of a War Image mare. Kevin Tomasko showed the brilliant horse for Phoenix Prophecies LLC.

CH Teuschers was at it again with proud owner Travis Van Zetten to unanimously win the Adult Show Pleasure Championship and 18-40 class in their always exciting, but perfectly mannered way. Last year’s world’s champions of champions were met in the winner’s circle by Lynda Freseth. Reserve in both classes went to last year’s Adult Show Pleasure National Champions, CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood and Careen Dubuc. Fresh off winning both 30 and over classes at Raleigh, Power Source and Marjorie Newman won the 41 and over class. Michelotti LCC and Cathy Rodgers Holmes were ecstatic with their reserve finish in that class.

Starting right where they left off at ASHAV last year, CH New York Style and Ben Ferreby won the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure 14-17 Championship under Marilyn Macfarlane’s expert guidance. A newcomer to the juvenile show pleasure division, Got No Shame is no newcomer to the winner’s circle. In 2006, he won the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding Division II World’s Championship with Debbie Foley at the lines, but since then he has been consistently in the top ribbons in park, park pleasure and show pleasure with Lynda and Andy Freseth and owners Jeff and Kelly Williamson. Paired with a many times world’s champion rider Rachel Machamer, this pair won the 14-17 Show Pleasure class and came in reserve in the championship.

Another exciting Hollow Haven team, CH Shamrock’s Asagi and Brianna Meyer won both 13 and under show pleasure titles. Proof Perfect looked picture perfect to earn the reserve title in the championship with Anna Hudson for Jennifer and Dan Joiner, while the fixy bay, Snorkle, was reserve in the qualifier with Katharine McCaughey for MaryBeth Alosa.

Irish Hill’s Mountain Star was a star in the Walk & Trot Pleasure 12 & Under classes to win both with his tiny, but smart rider, Sarah Ann Fourie. Touch The Clouds and Samantha Stratton were reserve in the championships for Brooks and Crozier, while Simbara’s Stars And Stripes took the red ribbon the qualifier with Madison Morgan.

Kaitlyn Creekmore not only debuted with her new three-gaited horse at Bonnie Blue, but also with her adorable new Show Pleasure mount, Heir’s Halo. The wonderfully behaved and endearing mare was purchased from Elizabeth Ververelli right after Raleigh where they won both 14-17 Show Pleasure classes. Creekmore showed riding ability far beyond her years to unanimously win the Virginia-Owned Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship after a reserve ride in the qualifier. My Stiletto and Janet Sterba won the qualifier. "Lilly" is actually owned and usually shown by Sterba’s daughter, Katy, but Katy is currently volunteering in the Peace Corps in Senegal, Africa for two years, educating the local people about AIDS. Sterba called her daughter with the news, and Katy was elated to hear her mare and mom did so well at the show. An Heir Of Grace and Stephanie Gonyaw were the reserve finishers in the Virginia-owned championship for Anne Holmes under the Lake Prince banner.

The Salem Caper and The King’s Fizz went head to head in the Pleasure Pony classes, and each got a chance to trot to the winner’s circle as The King’s Fizz and Austin Hazelwood won the qualifier for Lori Ingram, and The Salem Caper and Kelsey Moore won the championship.

Unclaimed has gone six for six in the Show Pleasure driving classes, winning at Raleigh, Chapter 14 and Bonnie Blue with Jan Beardsley Blanco under Gary Garone’s direction. CH Titleist Symbol, no stranger to the top ribbons, was reserve in both classes with Rachel Machamer under the Freseth’s direction.

Last year’s Adult Country Pleasure National Champion and Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, League Of Nations, unanimously trotted down victory lane in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and 41 and over class with delighted owners Carol Hillenbrand aboard. The winner of both of Old Dominion’s Adult Country Pleasure classes, Curly Day, was reserve in both classes with Lesley Cox. Affair Of State won his first class of the season with April Dunn aboard in the 18-40 class, while Three’s A Charm and Joelle Bennett were reserve for Nealia McCracken and Saddlebred Rescue Inc.

She’s All That County and Karly Morgan were the happy winners of both 14-17 Country Pleasure classes. While Jama Day and Alyson Sandler were reserve in both. Alexandra Ennis couldn’t have been happier to hear Man Of Hour Dreams’s number called first in the 13 and under championship after their reserve finish in the qualifier under the direction of Heather Boodey. Qualifier winners Highpoint’s The King’s Sun and Owen Binnie were reserve in the championship.

Flashyheir and Rockin’ The Blues flipped flopped in the Country Pleasure Driving classes as Rockin’ The Blues and Melanie Lewis won the qualifier and Flashyheir won the championship.

I’m Goin’ Out Tonight swept the western division, winning the western championship, qualifier and Shatner classes. Jessica Moctezuma rode in the championship and Shatner classes, while Theresa Scott was up for the qualifier win. Noir Amie and Synnova Hayes were reserve in the championship and Shatner classes, while Shamrock’s Versace and Anna Hudson were reserve in the qualifier.

In the hunter ranks, Stephanie Blum and Brooke Perry were the champions over qualifier winners Ronan and Melinda Warden for JoAnn Pendley. Cosmic Sunfire and Judith Gandarillas were reserve in the qualifier.

Equitation

Alexis Taylor Pearson showed excellent form and great ring sense to earn the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship title as well as the Challenge Cup under the direction of Jessica Verrill. Margaret McCool won the age group and Good Hands class aboard Undulata’s Time To Shine, while her little sister, Clara, won both walk and trot classes aboard Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm. They are both directed by Cater Stables. Ashley Creekmore made her out of academy debut aboard Imagination Station to be crowned reserve in both classes under the Hollow Haven banner. Kim Mueller was reserve in the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and qualifier under the direction of Heather Boodey.

Alexandra Ennis won both Pleasure Equitation classes under the direction of Heather Boodey. Theresa Scott was reserve in the Challenge Cup, the Pleasure Equitation Championship and the Pleasure Equitation qualifier under the North Wind Stables banner.

Friesians

Frans Fan E. Hurrdravers Dyk won all three Friesian Saddle Seat Pleasure classes with Charmaine Delisle aboard under Jan Lukens’s guidance. Thomas was reserve in the championship with owner Robin Haynes and in the open class with trainer Marilyn Macfarlane.

Both entries in both Friesian Pleasure Driving classes were immaculately turned out to give a historic feel. In the end it was the Bent Tree Farm pair of Iedse & Moud with Karen Waldron at the whip to win the classes. Milano and Charles Crowe were reserve in both classes.

Academy

The academy riders took the spotlight on Saturday morning with riding programs from Cater, Longacre, Meadow Wood, Meadow Dream, Mercer Springs, Revelation, Stonebrook and Windy Hill competing. Winning titles were: Rachel Sanchez, Julie Forehand, Emily Forehand, Mandee Young, Catherine Horn, Kathy Hall, Megan Schultz, Lisa Horan, Lisa McCaughey, Ariel Clauser, Katherine Lauton, Zack Melina, Gabbie Clauser, Jamie Houck, Olivia Horan, Sallie-Mason Wheeler, Maggie Price, Camille Ricci, Layton Sidenstricker, Rena Frazier, Hallie Ricci, Jozee Johnson, Jordyn Vallarosi and Savannah Scarberry. During Saturday evening’s performance, championships were held with Emily Forehand winning the Walk/Trot/Canter Championship and Jozee Johnson winning the Walk & Trot Championship.

Another Bonnie Blue came and went this year with the help of a great staff of officials and the entries of the highest caliber horses. When Louisville comes around it will be no surprise when many of the winners at Bonnie Blue trot down victory lane on the green shavings in August. With a show consistently great every year, one can only expect the same first-rate show next year.

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    Morgan Grand National fans were treated to a history making performance on Thursday afternoon as Arcadia, Oklahoma resident Chloe Farischon became the first junior exhibitor to win the World Champion Four-Year-Old English Pleasure title. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN Thru Thursday

    It's coming down to the wire and the competition is so close. Check out the REPORT Leaderboard standings as of Thursday, October 12. Read More