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CH L.A. Wing Victory Retires at Penn National

Kate Ryan and CH L.A. Wing Victory

wait to enter the show ring together

for the final time with trainer Gary Guz.

(Editor’s note: The following presentation was made during Friday night of the Penn National Horse Show.)

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Please join the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, along with Gary Guz and the Ryan family in saying goodbye to one of the most versatile American Saddlebreds to compete in the show ring over the last decade. CH L.A. Wing Victory, winner of one World Championship and two Reserve World Championship titles, will be making his final appearance tonight at the Farm Complex.

Affectionately called “
Hollywood” around the barn, this 17-year-old chestnut horse has demonstrated his versatility and unsurpassed athleticism by winning on the national and world stage in two disciplines: under saddle in the five-gaited division and in harness in the pleasure driving division. The five-gaited division is considered by many as the most spectacular and exciting of the show ring because of the speed and strength required, while pleasure driving horses must exhibit style, expression and good manners.

Like every great champion, Hollywood always wanted to be in control in the show ring. His former trainers and exhibitors all agree that he had his own ideas about how things should be done. He could be unpredictable and incorrigible but his competitive spirit endeared him to everyone fortunate enough to have picked up the reins of this dynamic horse.

Please join us in saluting CH L.A. Wing Victory as he makes his final appearance tonight under saddle with Kate Ryan in the irons.

Joining Hollywood in center ring for the awards presentation tonight are some of his biggest fans: Gary Guz, the Ryan family, Ruth Long, Jill Messer, Larry Bender and Colleen Fitzpatrick.

Hollywood burst onto the scene in 1994 with a win at his first show in the five-gaited division at the Midwest Charity before making the transition to a show pleasure driving horse for owner Kristin Safanie. In harness, he and Kristin earned top ribbons at some of the countries most prestigious shows including Lexington Junior League, Rock Creek and the American Royal.

In 1998 he was purchased by trainer Ed Bennett who sold him to clients Robert and Christine Broder. Under the Broder ownership he continued his winning ways in harness, capturing a World’s Championship title and a Reserve World’s Championship title at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., in the show pleasure driving division.

In 2002 Hollywood caught the eye of trainer Gary Guz. He was purchased by customer Dr. Richard Hunderfund and moved to Ougoughton Creek Farm in Bangor, Penn.

Dr. Hunderfund showed Hollywood on occasion in harness but graciously allowed fellow customer Kate Ryan to show him in the division he truly loved, five-gaited. In his first show under saddle since 1994, Kate and Hollywood trotted through the gate at the 2002 Syracuse International and never looked back as they dominated the amateur five-gaited division up and down the eastern seaboard for two show seasons.

It was Kate, along with sisters Molly and Megan, who convinced dad to purchase Hollywood in 2003 for the Ryan family before his show career came to an end. And it was Kate who convinced trainer Gary Guz that giving younger sister Megan an opportunity to show Hollywood would improve her riding skills immensely.

Under Mr. Guz’s direction, Hollywood returned to prominence in Freedom Hall in August 2005. At the age of 16, the equivalent of a 64-year-old man, Hollywood demonstrated that the spirit has no age, winning a Reserve World’s Championship in the junior exhibitor five-gaited division with 13-year-old Megan.

While his individual accomplishments are too many to mention, it is noteworthy that Hollywood has earned three times as many points as necessary to attain his CH designation, competing and excelling both under saddle and in harness. The CH designation clearly distinguishes an American Saddlebred that has withstood the test of showing over a period of time before many different judges.

As Hollywood is unsaddled and led from the ring for the final time, the Ryan family will be closing one of the richest chapters of their lives. They would like to offer their deepest gratitude to Gary Guz, who has made this journey possible. Hugs and kisses to farrier Larry Bender for his genius with the anvil and forge.

The Ryans would also like to thank the Penn National Horse Show, its Board of Directors and administrative officers for hosting the retirement ceremony. One of Hollywood’s favorite places to show has always been this arena where he never finished lower than third place.

And most importantly, thank you to Hollywood for bringing our family ever closer over the years. Blue ribbons fade to purple but our memories of you will burn brightly for a lifetime.

Hollywood will remain in his adopted state of Pennsylvania and retire to Ougoughton Creek Farm in Bangor where his favorite stable mate, a Hackney pony named Merry Legs, is anxiously awaiting him in the field.

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