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A Classic in Madison

by Bob Funkhouser

MADISON, Wis. - UPHA Chapter 3/4 has a longstanding history of top horse shows with its Madison Classic. Headed for so many great years by Bob and Eleanor Killerlain, the torch was then passed on to the UPHA chapter with Grant Hermann as its leader for several years before Liv Moyer took over the reins, continuing in that role today. Greats of the past (Hal and Marian Jungbluth, CH Molotov Foxtail, Bill Matton, Max Parkinson, Good Luck Christopher, Desirable Beauty, Jim Newton, Jerry Lockwood) are a constant reminder at the Madison Classic as several beautiful memorial and perpetual trophies are awarded in their honor.

May 22-25 were the dates of this year’s event which for the past several years has been held at the same time as the World’s Largest Brat Festival on the grounds of the Alliant Energy Center. While the adjacent festival attracts some local spectators to the horse show it also provided a little too much entertainment for some of the horses going down the hill from the barn area to the coliseum. However, it gave others just the spark they needed to make a great show and there were plenty of those performances throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

"That first session had a lot of really good junior/novice classes and I said to the other two, ‘we’re going to have a good show this week,’" said Bret Day who judged this year’s event with James Hale and Sandy Lilly.

Joining Day, Hale and Lilly in center ring were ringmaster John Frye and photographer Rick Osteen. Cheryl Rangel was once again show secretary and Jeff Couch was the farrier. Peter Remender was at his usual position as barn announcer.

Beautiful weather and a great turnout of horses and riders gave show management plenty to be happy about.

"I would like to say thank you to all the exhibitors, trainers and volunteers who made the Madison Classic Horse Show a beautiful show," said Manager Liv Moyer. "The quality of horses in the Midwest is incredible and Madison Classic was a great example. The support of our charities was incredible. The Pink Ribbon class was a wonderful way to show your support and love for the women who have been affected by this challenge. I know this personally since I am a survivor of breast cancer. I was diagnosed in June of 2006, stage one, and went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment. All is well now, but while you are going through the treatment, your only focus is to get through the challenge. I would like to say the women who are affected are all amazing people!"

Ann MacMurray Cox and Summer Sweet were winners of the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship that was designated the Pink Ribbon class. They were one of several outstanding combinations to grace the winner’s circle throughout the weekend.

Scott Matton made the last pass in the Five-Gaited Championship aboard Sarah Thordsen’s open class winner, Sensational Charm. Ann MacMurray Cox was again at the top when she rode CH CF Night So Rare to the reserve grand championship. In the ladies qualifier, Jean Ann Gundersen and Keep Me Posted came out on top.

In a hard fought Amateur Five-Gaited Championship, Doug Lindstrom and CH Roseridge’s Gold were again at the top of the judges’ card while representing Valiant Stables. Finishing off a great week for Glenmore Farm, Glenn T. Werry and Callaway’s Case Closed were the reserve grand champions. In the thick of the battle, Diana Schaefer and The Midnight Hero finished a strong third.

Madison hosted the debut of Amanda Dellinger and many times World's Champion Carolina Cat. They won the Amateur Five-Gaited class in their first time out.

In the first round of amateur competition, Amanda Dellinger and Carolina Cat made their debut a winning one to take the blue prize back to the Hollow Haven tack room.

The class of classes turned out to be Saturday night’s Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. There was a ring full of plum good ones so the judges sent Freaky Links with Angela Darrow and Callaway’s Lil Abner with Faye Wuesthofen back to the rail for more. A lively crowd got behind both young ladies who happened to be best friends, and it make for a stake night to remember. When the announcement was made, Freaky Links and Darrow were crowned the grand champions with Callaway’s Lil Abner and Wuesthofen in reserve. They were first and second in the 14-17 qualifier as well.

The remaining ribbons in that deep junior exhibitor championship went to third place finishers CF Night At The Castle and hard riding Brittany Baird, followed by Que Pasa with Emily Collins, CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket with Nick Neviaser and Patsy Loeb’s The Talk Of Lexington, all horses who have won major titles.

Maya Manilow and Callaway's Exception To The Rule led the way in the Junior Exhibitor 13 & Under Five-Gaited class. Exception To The Rule was one of several champions from Obenauf Stables.

It was a shoot out in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 13 & Under class where Maya Manilow and her new teammate, Callaway’s Exception To The Rule, racked and trotted their way to the winner’s circle. Coming off MGM Spring’s Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship the week before, CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket and Nick Neviaser were reserve.

Having a good show for the second consecutive week, Ray Krussell rode Majestic’s Top Billing to the Novice Five-Gaited blue for Wendy Carney. Neva Van Ess and Kenya Ketch Me were second.

From the Richard Obenauf Stables, Kenny Smith piloted Battle’s Radar to the top prize among the Junior Five-Gaited entries for Barbara Goodman Manilow. The closest competition came from New York Designer and Scott Matton.

Pat McConnell was among those who stayed in Madison for two weeks and the trip certainly didn’t hurt his MBA Equestrian homebreds any. He showed MBA’s The Powers That Be to her second consecutive UPHA Five-Gaited Classic title. Mayo Moctezuma had the reserve ride with Carlucci for Joe and Bette Russell’s Hickory Knoll Farm.

Terri Anne Ullman and Winsome Farm had a string of Madison stars including Three-Gaited Grand Champion Gypsies Tramps And Thieves.

Having grown up showing as an amateur on the Midwest circuit, Terri Anne Ullman has been making her living for the past several years training some of the Midwest’s top horses. She rode Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves to the Three-Gaited Championship for Carrie Giapinski. Ray Krussell showed Debra Hoffman’s new entry The King’s Lady Anne to the reserve championship. In the qualifier, Krussell and the Merchant Prince daughter park trotted their way to the winner’s circle.

CH Nelmar Tango 4 Ever (SA) and Emily Scharpf were on the money as the Ladies Three-Gaited Grand Champions from Knollwood Farm. Jennifer Elnicky and Callaway’s Sunday Edit stepped up to receive reserve grand champion honors. Making one of the best shows of their winning career, Kate Baumann and Up Close & Personal WRF were picture perfect to win the Ladies Three-Gaited qualifier over Nelmar’s Tango 4 Ever.

He had a big group of challengers in the qualifier but the field thinned against Glenn T. Werry and Heir To A Star in the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship. They made world-class victory passes in both events. Melissa Johnson and Memories Jezzabelel were reserve grand champions. To Die For and Meredithe Steinhauer were reserve to Heir To A Star in the qualifier but then came back to win the Wisconsin owned class.

One of the stars of the weekend had to be Junior Three-Gaited Champion Cataclysmic. Terri Anne Ullman had this youngster marching a big trot with all the expression in the world to take the blue for Dr. Laura Sukowaty. Reserve honors went the way of Gypsy’s Bragging Rights, another top young entry shown by Liz Kinney for Jim Stewart.

There were several nice young horses shown at Madison. Among them was the homebred UPHA Three-Gaited Classic Champion Simply Stella. Mark Utoft made the winning ride for Deborah Jahn who bred and raised the daughter of CH Sold Out Show. Showing for longtime supporters Royal Crest Farms, Hector Lopez was reserve with Royal Crest’s Pet Rocks.

Jay A. Wood and The Paper Princess JJW awaited the call for the Three-Gaited Park Championship that they won. The mare also won the qualifier for West Wood Farm.

Fine harness world’s champion The Paper Princess JJW looked just as fancy under saddle. Jay Wood presented the Supreme Heir daughter to capture the Three-Gaited Park Championship and open qualifier. He and his wife, Jean, bred, raised and developed the grand champion. Riding hard for the title, Bob Griffin presented CH The Foxy Prince to be twice reserve for Susan Hanna.

Amateur Three-Gaited Park Champions Michelle Krentz and Day's Grecian Gray were greeted by Mary Krentz.

Day’s Grecian Gray has done it all for Michelle Krentz and this week he was the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion and amateur qualifying winner for her. Kelly Williamson showed CH Matching Spirit to garner two reserves for owner BRK Equestrian LLC. Also making a good run at the top in that division was Magilla Gorilla with Frankie Trull finishing third both times.

Royal Bonus and Jordan Doemel made the last pass in the Junior Exhibitor Park class. Caitlin Carmody and Grandiloquent were reserve.

Megan Archer had a good week at Madison and then unexpectedly had to deal with the loss of her dad, trainer Peter Archer, when they went home Sunday evening.

Megan Archer and Select Choice were on top of a very good Junior/Novice Three-Gaited Park class to make the victory pass for Joe and Patty Morgan. Kenny Smith as aboard The New York Look to pick up the red streamers for Barbara Goodman Manilow. This of course turned out to be a bittersweet victory for Archer who unexpectedly lost her father, longtime trainer Peter Archer, when they returned home Sunday night following the show.

For the second consecutive week, Alicia Silverstone paraded as the Fine Harness Grand Champion. Pat McConnell again made the winning drive for Margo Baird Valentine’s MBA Equestrians. The homebred daughter of I’m A New Yorker won a good open class as well. Reserve in the five-entry championship was Walterway’s Illegal Material, the reserve winner of the open class with Ryan Rongers at the whip for Scenic Heights Farm LLC.

In their only performance, Claudia Sipp and Another Asset triumphed with an expressive performance worthy of the Amateur Fine Harness blue. It was a deep class that included Glenn Werry and Miracle On Forty-Second Street in reserve and Samantha Conlin and Oban in third among the six entries.

For Clean Sweep Farm, Ryan Rongers and Joker’s Wild looked the part when they marched down victory lane as the winners of the Junior/Novice Fine Harness class. Pat McConnell and the athletic Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man son, Hoops, were the reserve grand champions.

McConnell also had the winning drive in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic, showing MBA’s Royal Shadow Phax (Attache’s Royal Assets x CH Cary’s Moonraker) to the first place money. Pat Wessel presented reserve champion Royal Crest’s Rising Above The Rock.

Mike Schallock has seen most of Madison’s road pony championships over the years and he’s won quite a few of them. He did it again this year with Nightheir. Rick Wallen Stables stablemate Seamair’s Caprice was reserve with Maggie Robertson, who also finished the week splitting the Judging Jackpot on Sunday afternoon with Sara Piper.

Joined by his wife, Jane, Mike Schallock won the open and amateur road pony championships with Nightheir and Seamair Strutter.

Schallock also topped the Amateur Road Pony Championship with Seamair Strutter. From the John Willis Stables, amateur qualifying winners Regal’s Lady Bess LF and Ted Klint sped their way to the reserve amateur championship after winning the amateur tricolor the week before.

Part of the winning line up from Glenmore Farm, Tony Wuesthofen and The Wizard LF were ready for the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class in which they made the victory.

Glenmore Farm presented the Gib Marcucci trained The Wizard LF to win the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class with Tony Wuesthofen getting his first drives. Ashley Baird and the always-competitive In A Heartbeat were reserve champions.

Lightning Up (long-tail) and Tommy Hilfiger (cob-tail) were the two lone ponies on the grounds outside of the road pony and pleasure divisions.

Donna Beck and Wait & See's Raspberry won yet another Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship.

Donna Beck’s highly decorated Wait & See’s Raspberry wore the tricolor streamers from the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. The Cornerstone Stables’s team also triumphed in the qualifier. Veronica Lindstrom and Heartland By Choice put it all together with a commanding performance to take reserve grand champion honors. Bob Richards’s Final Answer occupied that spot in the first round.

A dapper Garrett Weiler drove Honest Impression to win the AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Driving Pony class ahead of Riverview’s Royal Salute and Bevan Sukowaty.

Known nationwide as the pleasure horse capital of the country, the Midwest is rich in tradition and that tradition is well continued to day. How about a Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship that featured CH Chandler and Lisa McClaren in the winner’s circle followed by CH Will’s No Doubt About It and Jessica Timmington, Callaway’s Where There’s A Will and Emily Scharpf, CH Lexmark and Sarah Linder and Reedann’s Top Notch and Dr. Kyla Tremper in the top five? The first four tied the same way in the qualifier.

The junior exhibitor section was rocking just as strong. Brittany Baird and My Pepper Ann smoked the gaited pleasure championship competition, including reserve champions Unspoken Intentions and Lindsay Kellner and third place finishers Ridgefield’s Excessive and Andrew Slater, among others. Slater and Ridgefield’s Excessive won the qualifier for Northern Tradition Farm.

Ray Krussell and Carameaprize went two for two in the Park Pleasure Championship and qualifier for Raymond and Jennifer Zuchel. From the winner’s circle of the Amateur Park Pleasure class, the leg waving Callaway’s High & Mighty was reserve grand champion for Rocco Litrenta. Junior Park Pleasure winner Demi’s Dark Design was a good third in the championship with Ingrid Klongland aboard.

Todd Perkins and Redesigned turned heads as the winners of the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. The striking son of Designed made the victory pass for Sherilyn and Thomas Nelson. They had to be good as Terri Anne Ullman and M & N’s Buck Almighty were pushing hard as the reserve champions.

Another tricolor hung on the Knollwood tack room when DLF’s Last Investment and Constance MacQueen captured the Adult Show Pleasure 39 & Over Championship. It was a repeat of their qualifying performance. CH Wind Cruzer and Brittany Balagna claimed the reserve tricolor.

For Centre Pointe, CH Knock Knock Who's Heir and Kristen Olson won the Show Pleasure 18-38 Championship and qualifier.

Kristen Olson and CH Knock Knock Who’s Heir gave Centre Pointe yet another championship as they knocked off the competition in the 18-38 Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Abby Reising and Irresistible Day moved up to reserve grand champion honors, the spot held by Sarah Thordsen and Talon in the qualifier.

The junior exhibitors were just as competitive as their senior counterparts in the pleasure division. Faye Wuesthofen had an absolutely great week, winning both the 14-17 Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier with Glenmore Farm’s First Class Heir. The Tom Bombolis trained combination defeated the winning combination of She Phloats On Heir and Nicole LaRoussa, among others, in both events.

Shamrock’s Asagi and Brianna Meyer were the new kids on the block in the 13 & under pleasure division and they made a shining impression as the grand champions and qualifying winners for Hollow Haven Farm. Jessica Wuesthofen and Brookhill’s King Of Kool were twice reserve in deep company including the two-time third place finishers The Mystery Machine and Nick Neviaser.

No stranger to the winner’s circle on the Midwest circuit, Alicia Sacotte and CH Fine By Me took home the Wisconsin Owned Show Pleasure blue as did Kristen Pettry and Stonecroft Serengetti in the novice class.

With five entries in each round, Sarah Luft and The Bourne Supremacy put on two Louisville type performances to win the Junior Show Pleasure Championship and qualifier. The second place ribbon in both classes belonged to Ro & Me’s Miss Independent and Amy Weller.

The pleasure driving competition was just as tough as the saddle classes. A veteran of many championships, CH Sand Kalamehameha went two for two with Sue Duchow driving the Show Pleasure Driving Grand Champion for Russell Peterson. The Terri Anne Ullman trained star also won the qualifier. New to the division, Gigolo Joe looked right at home as he was twice reserve with Toni Nastali driving under the direction of Pat McConnell. Adding great depth to the class, Epiphany and Douglas Fiola were third, while Jean Wood and Paper Heiress JJW were fourth.

Mayo Moctezuma greeted She Phloats On Heir and Nicole LaRoussa in the winner’s circle of the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving class when they defeated, among others, reserve champions Jack Nicholson and Jourdan Schaye.

West Wood Farm had several winning ribbons as Jean Wood and Breve Latte topped the Junior/Novice show Pleasure Driving class. CH Callaway’s Crown Jewel and Lowell Holden were reserve in that one.

Jason Gershman delivered two winning rides with Barb Fahey’s Alpha Priority in the Five-Gaited Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Their closest competitors were A Champagne Event and Shelagh Roell.

CH The Shadow Knows and Linda Meyer won the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier for the second consecutive year.

CH The Shadow Knows is always entertained by the surroundings at Madison and he entertained the crowd as the Adult Country Pleasure Grand Champion and qualifying winner with Linda Meyer riding. They had plenty of competition, namely in the form of reserve grand champions Pierre Cardin and Beth Krueger as well as third place finishers Concrete Blonde and Kristen Pettry and fourth place winners Another Great Day and Robyn O’Meara, also winners of the junior/novice class.

The entertainment value never dropped off as the junior exhibitors on their country pleasure horses went head to head. In the championship round, Andrew Slater piloted Barb Fahey’s Highpoint’s Grandee to take tricolor honors home to Northern Tradition Farm. On their heels was the world’s champion combination of CH CF First Light Of Dawn and Mayo Manilow. They scored the blue from the 13 & under qualifier ahead of the tasty team of I’m Dreaming and Hannah Klint. Under the direction of Jay Wood, Brenna Lukan and The Party Planner turned in a sharp performance to take third place honors.

Brittany Baird and the consistent champion Crimson Blue topped the 14-17 Country Pleasure qualifier that featured Lindsay Kellner and Crimson’s Dance Card in reserve.

It never gets old watching CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson win the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier, as perfection is enjoyable. The large classes finished with Donna Beck and the expressive Carissimo in reserve both times as were Samantha Conlin and the always digging Tantara’s Battle Of Kings in third.

From the Bob Jensen Stables, Braveheart Of Silver Oaks and Kim Gallenberg jogged to the winner’s circle in the Country Western Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Susan Honkamp and In The Zone moved up a few spaces to take reserve grand champion honors as Toni Nastali and Harlem’s Mojo did in the qualifier.

With his signature victory dance at the end, Super Rooster turned back the competition in the Shatner Western Pleasure class with Lisa McClaren taking the blue prize back to Country Meadow.

Faye Wuesthofen really showed off her superb riding skills to win the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship aboard the previously unequitated Callaway’s Mandate. Although the successful three-gaited horse had never before done a pattern in the show ring and rarely at home, Wuesthofen expertly guided him through each segment to finish a nearly flawless work out. Wuesthofen also won the 14-17 age group under the direction of Glenmore Farm.

Another rider with a ton of skill and persistence, Angela Darrow proved herself stronger than a major injury by looking better than ever to win the high tail Challenge Cup class aboard Tango Til Dawn, a.k.a. Bella. Although Darrow broke her kneecap, had to have knee surgery and sit out of riding for a few months, she came out of it looking better than ever. Teamed with her young mare, Darrow was also the Saddle Seat Equitation reserve grand champion under the direction of Knollwood Farm.

After winning her age group and championship the weekend before, Angela’s barn mate, Meaghan MacQueen, continued successfully onto Madison Classic to pick up the red ribbon aboard CH Louisville Lass. Although MacQueen has only ridden the grand equitation mare a few times, the new team is looking to be a force to be reckoned with.

Amy Glasgow was in top form to win the USEF Saddle Seat Medal class over Narin Avci and come in a nice reserve in the Challenge Cup, while Northern Tradition Farm’s Samantha Dallas won the adult medal on her horse, Local Treasure. Dallas also had the reserve finish in the Adult Challenge Cup, to the adult equitation superstar Dr. Morgan Wolin.

With attitude, charisma, dedication and a true love for the sport, there seems to be no stopping Mallory Hartigan this year. Atop the horse whose neck goes on for miles, Simbara’s Salutation and with the Country Meadow team behind her, Hartigan looked stronger than ever to win the Pleasure Equitation Championship and 14-17 age group over a large field of very decorated riders.

With lots of horse and rider switching going on under the brown and orange curtains of Knollwood, new equitation teams keep coming from Scott and Carol Matton. After Meaghan MacQueen leased Louisville Lass, her horse, Tantara’s Magic Blessing needed a job, and Allison Schuh needed him. An instant success, this team won the 13 & Under Challenge Cup and the Pleasure Equitation 13 & Under age group. Another new Knollwood team, Deanna Lanigan and Nick Maupin’s old horse, Oh! What a Feeling did quite well in their debut shows, after just two rides together under their belt. Lanigan and "Cartman" were reserve in the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation age group, as well as the Pleasure Equitation Championship. Under Julie Wroble’s guidance, Margaux Walker received the red streamers in the 13 & Under Pleasure Equitation and the 13 & Under Challenge Cup.

Aiding in a great Madison for the LaFleur/VanEss gang were Gretchen Bentz and DeeDee Maier. Bentz rode in her assertive yet extremely elegant and precise way to capture the Pleasure Equitation Medallion, over Knollwood’s Cori O’Brien. Maier was thrilled to win the Pleasure Equitation Maiden Rider class, and her trainers were obviously very proud of her. Making her debut performance out of the walk and trot division, Amanda Winkels picked up the red ribbon in the Maiden class under Terri Anne Ullman and Erica Savory’s direction.

The audience felt a great amount of empathy towards the judges who had to tie the walk and trot classes, as the two riders who competed were equally adorable. However, in both walk and trot classes it was Garrett Weiler to win under Mayo Moctezuma’s instruction. Rarely is a horse as adorable as its small rider, but in the case of Simbara’s Samba Jamba, with his cute face and ears, only a girl like Samantha Schaefer can match his endearing presence. Schaefer rode strong to finish reserve in both walk and trot classes.

The 2008 Madison Classic came to a close on a high note with management, officials and exhibitors extremely happy about the quality of competition. However, just hours after the final champion left the ring the sad news hit with the death of trainer Peter Archer. The easy going, well-liked horseman had a good week at Madison with his mother, Florence Merkin, daughter Megan Archer and other customers showing. Our prayers go out to his family.

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