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Competitors Strut Their Stuff at the Michigan Spring Show



by Erin Thomas

CORUNNA, Mich. --

The fairgrounds were invaded once again by a storm of Morgan and Saddlebred enthusiasts looking to strut their stuff at the annual Michigan Spring Show held May 15-18. Karen Homer Brown and Tim Lockard shared the honors in center ring, while Jack Gatewood tried his hand at learner judging.

Sena Bowling and CF Twenty-one Again wowed the Spring Show crowd with their championship ride in the Saddlebred Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake for owner Dan Schreiber. Northern Blues and Judi Toundas gave a memorable fine harness performance, when they trotted into the first place spot in the Saddlebred Fine Harness Stake for owner David Jackson.

One Night Only gave a one time only performance with rider Tiffany Sharp. These two pulled out all the stops and racked into the top spot in the Saddlebred Five-Gaited Stake for trainer Tom Sworm. Santana’s First Lady and Stacey Siess gave a powerful performance in the Saddlebred Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship and earned their right to be in the spotlight. The Beginning Of Time and Sena Bowling came to impress. These two captured the championship title in the Saddlebred Three-Gaited Stake.

Dakotas Cloudburst SCS and Diana Haggerty captured the tri-color ribbon in the Saddlebred Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. High Times Spartan and Judi Toundas of Rochester Hills trotted into the championship spot for owner Peter Toundas in the Saddlebred Show Pleasure Driving Championship. Ruler of the Roost and Lara Mechling ruled the Saddlebred Country Pleasure Championship and got to take a well deserved trotted down victory lane. The Dominator gave a steady performance for driver Marlyn Lefevor and the two of them claimed the championship spot in the Saddlebred Country Pleasure Driving Championship for owner John Nix. Kansas City and owner/rider Beth Oliver jogged elegantly into the championship spot in the Saddlebred Country Western Pleasure Championship, they also added the title of Saddlebred Country Hunter Pleasure Champions to their resume.

Colleen Andrews and her sporty MJK Desert Flaire gave a rock steady performance and nabbed the Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship. Hollybrook Gentleman Jack and Mary Carlton caused quite a stir at the Michigan Spring show. This stretchy gelding took the ring by storm and won the Morgan English Pleasure Championship for owner and equitation rider Morgan Glen.

Rose Valley Raging Fire and Barb Pionk are growing as a team with every show they attend. This dynamic duo started off the week by placing first in the Morgan English Pleasure Amateur Stallions and Geldings class. That was the confidence booster they needed to come back full force and claim the championship title in the Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Stake for Old Orchard Farm. The new team of HVK Highest Regard and Wendy Zehnder claimed the reserve spot for Crystal Farms.

Sara Schmidt and Manchester In Demand gave two solid performances in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure division. They started off by claiming first in the 14-17 age division and then finished up by being named Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Champions. Nipping at their heels and fresh out of the walk/trot division was the 13 and under winning pair of Rachel Keidan and DDM Nightwind.

Indian Creek Pay Day showed his owner that he could still navigate around a show ring by winning the Morgan Classic Pleasure Saddle Stake. Shanghi and Cashell Gray trotted gracefully into the championship spot in the Classic Pleasure Driving Stake.

Mary Carlton showed the fresh new Rum Brook Vintage Rhythm to the championship spot in the Open Hunter Pleasure Championship. These two would return later in the weekend to claim the Open Western Pleasure Championship as well. Night Out and Linda Pilon got their chance in the limelight topping the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship for owner Jenny Grey. The new team of Hevonen Ultimation and Lori Zettell claimed the reserve spot in a solid championship ride. Night Out and Laura Pecherski continued their winning streak by capturing the championship spot in the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Stake following the 14-17 Hunter Pleasure blue. Reserve went to Pecherski’s barnmate and 13 and under rider Jordan Cusumano aboard the elegant Black Orchid Ace Commander.

Susie Sessink flexed her equitation muscles and proved she was still on top to open her final equitation season. She and Liberation Madison Square gave a powerful and confident performance and landed the top spot in the Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 Championship. New to the Morgan world, Nicci Ferszt and MCM Embassy showed the spring show crowd that they were no strangers to the show ring. This young rider expertly placed herself in the championship spot in the Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and Under Championship for new trainer Mary Carlton.

Stephanie Sage and Battons Exquisite gave a picture perfect ride and captured the championship title in the Hunt Seat Equitation 14-17 Championship. Battons Maestro and Melissa Torok moved into the 13 and under age group without pause or hesitation. This strong and confident team dominated the 13 and Under Hunt Seat Equitation Championship for Morgan Valley Farm. The duo came back and secured the championship title in the Stock Seat Equitation Championship 13 and Under as well.

Western Equitation 14-17 was for gentlemen only as Scott Nevers and Patrick Coughlin went head to head for championship honors. In the end Scott Nevers and Troikas Ebonachov emerged victorious and Patrick Coughlin took the reserve spot. Nevers and Troikas Ebonachov also nabbed the championship spot in the Morgan Western Pleasure Junior Exhibitor Stake. The brand new team of Maggie Pionk and Magnificentlee jogged into the reserve spot. Fair Haven Federal Xpress made his show ring return with amateur rider Stacy Heindenreich ending the weekend by winning the Morgan Western Pleasure Amateur Stake.

Saddlebred and Morgan enthusiasts got an eyeful of quality horses and talented riders at this year's Michigan Spring Show. This was just a sneak peek of the fabulous season yet to come. Complete results follow and can also been viewed on the Internet at www.saddlehorsereport.com.

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