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Des Moines’s Sunshine Springs Horses Into Show Season

by Michelle Krentz


Judge: Melinda Moore, Harrodsburg, Ky.

Announcer: Dennis Porick, Frankfort, Ill.

USEF Steward: Kim Houlding, Madrid, Iowa

Show Manager: Lenard Davenport, Springfield, Mo.

Ringmaster: Don Baker, Louisville, Ky.

Show Secretary/Office Manager: Barbara Mc Dannald, Sarcoxie, Mo.

Photographer: Rick Osteen, Encinitas, Calif.

Organist: Randy Roberts, Apple Valley, Minn.

Farrier: Scott Wendt, Nora Springs, Iowa

Veterinarian: David Wong, DVM, Ames, Iowa

Videographer: Sharyhill Shooters, Ozark, Mo.


DES MOINES, Iowa - The sun shone brightly on great competition at the Des Moines Springfest Horse Show. New teams and proven campaigners marched around the Iowa State Fairground’s coliseum. The successful show has supported the Regional Child Protection Center at Blank Children’s Hospital for the past eight years. Show secretary Barbara McDannald was elated with the size of the show, noting that entries were up from last year, which was apparent as most of the classes had many entries and quality ones at that. Judge Melinda Moore kept the show going at a fast pace, and exhibitors were able enjoy the great food at the exhibitors’ parties each evening. Trainers had the added incentive of getting a chance to win many $100 bills throughout the four-day show. Each entry the trainer put in the ring, during each session gave the trainer more chances to win. Scott Matton, trainer at Knollwood Farm, was especially excited with this incentive, promising with his new $200 earning that he would take his customers out to a steak dinner.


The open five-gaited division was nothing but quality. Callaway’s Lil Abner expertly guided by Tom Bombolis racked and trotted away with the qualifier blue. Faye Wuesthofen will show Lil Abner in the juvenile gaited ranks and they will be a team to watch out for. Reserve in the qualifier was World’s Champion Keep Me Posted and Neva Van Ess. Van Ess looked like she was having the time of her life riding this horse, and she had a big smile as they were called out as the Five-Gaited Stake Champions. Nick Neviaser proudly owns the sporty mount. Patsy Loeb’s gorgeous The Talk Of Lexington received the reserve in the stake with Rick Wallen.


Summer Sweet and The Perfect Face battled it out for the ladies class, but in the end the blue went back to Canada with Ann MacMurray Cox and her gorgeous Summer Sweet. Jana McConnell racked out with the red ribbon aboard The Perfect Face.


Theresa Vonderschmitt and Red Flame Thrower had two exciting performances to win both amateur classes. The high-stepping and fast racking chestnut was on fire and will be hot to trot in the amateur division this year. Tashe’s Diamond Thief and Kim Gallenberg picked up the reserve in the qualifier, while The Perfect Face and Jana McConnell were the reserve grand champions in the amateur stake.


He’s Heirresistible and Debra Mulberry were in a class of their own in the Amateur Novice Rider Five-Gaited class. The red chestnut with a big, white blaze has a great ears-up attitude. Trainer Carol Matton commented, “He’s just a great boy and always wants to do the right thing. He and Debbie make a great team.” This team will be one to look out for as they enter the gaited pleasure division later in the year.


In the junior exhibitor five-gaited division, it was the proven campaigner CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket, guided by Nick Neviaser, and newcomer to the junior exhibitor ranks, Callaway’s Where There’s A Will and Emily Scharpf. Hot Ticket and Neviaser had the ticket to the qualifying blue, while Where There’s A Will and Scharpf willed their way to the tricolor in the championship. Des Moines was Scharpf’s debut with “Garth.”


Louis Louw has proven to be a young gaited horse expert as he racked away with the novice, junior and UPHA five-gaited wins on Que Pasa, Callaway’s Dealbreaker and Do You Dare, respectively. The Mask received the novice red streamers with Tina English in the saddle for Jackie and Chuck Browning. In the Junior Five-Gaited class, the reserve went to Theresa Vonderschmitt’s exciting new prospect, Strike Up the Music, with Bob Brison.


Glenn T. Werry’s World’s Champion Heir To A Star made the victory pass with Tom Bombolis in the Open Three-Gaited qualifier. This stretchy chestnut always stands out in a class with his long neck and impressive motion. Werry will be back in the saddle soon, and he will undoubtedly have another incredibly successful season. To Die For picked up the reserve in the qualifier and the championship with Rick Wallen aboard for owner Denise Steinhauer. The tricolor in the Three Gaited Championship went to Champagne Suzie with Lisa Hillmer Pope up for Jane Costello. Pope also guided this horse to the reserve in the ladies class with The Velvet Cat, ridden by Renae Van Zomeren for Allison Rohloff, taking the blue. The Velvet Cat also picked up the Novice Three-Gaited class with Van Zomeren in the irons.


The Amateur Three-Gaited class was packed with quality, but two very special horses stuck out, Jessica Curl’s Callaway’s Halley’s Comet and Ellyn Dorsey’s Freakness. Both horses marched down the rail in true walk/trot form and displayed superb manners as well. In the end, Halley’s Comet picked up the blue and the tricolor, with Freakness close behind for the reserve in both classes.


The Novice Rider Three-Gaited class went to Princess In Training and proud owner Sally Graf. Mountainview’s Peaches N Cream put in a good show for the red ribbon with Hannah Baldwin in the saddle.


The junior exhibitor walk/trot horses had two very exciting class with much crowd participation. A World Champion of Champions two years ago in this division, CH (SA) Nelmar Tango 4 Ever, and a World Champion just last year, Callaway’s Sunday Edit, went head to head in both classes. Both horses had very skilled riders, Emily Scharpf on Tango and Morgan Brison on Sunday Edit. In the end, the tricolor and the blue went back to Knollwood as Tango, won both classes and Sunday Edit was reserve in both.


Newly appointed trainer at Stoneridge Stable Laura Fulton put in a great ride on the exciting new three-gaited horse Grandiloquent to win the UPHA Classic. This gelding by Merchant Prince and out of the lovely mare, CH Sue Elegant is owned by Caitlin Carmody.


Kent Swalla put in an exciting show on Gotcha Covered to win the Open Park class. Owner Ann Eaker picked up the amateur blue on this bold moving chestnut. Reserve in the open class went to Daddy’s Treat, ridden by Scott Matton. The championship tricolor belonged to Matton as the impressive liver chestnut mare trotted down victory lane. Reserve in the stake went to the striking Long Distance with owner Mimi Bahcall to hang on the Strickland Stables’s banner. The solid campaigner CH K Mon took home the Junior Exhibitor Park class with owner Jonathan Herrmann.


Louis Louw again proved his impressive ways with young stock as he won the Junior Park class aboard Xitlatle. Reedannland owns this elegant bay mare by Haven’s Hero. The reserve in that class went to Jayne Pearman’s The Wild Blue Yonder, with Pearman aboard.


The Park Fine Harness class victory went to a horse that had the whole fairgrounds talking about. The gelding A Promise Fulfilled, by Catalyst, was driven by Jacques Marais for Ellyn Dorsey, bringing the blue back to Strickland Stables. The reserve in this class went to the gorgeous gray Ghost Of Gypsy, driven by proud owner Dede Disbrow.


James Orr’s entry, Uncle Charlie, took home the Open Fine Harness tricolor and blue with Mike Benn. This handsome stallion by CH Heir To Champagne made a great show in both classes. Winner of the amateur and reserve in the Fine Harness Championship was the stunning CH Harlem’s Proud Mary, with the equally stunning owner and driver Ann Simien Curl.


Winning the junior harness class was the picturesque Winsdown New Homestead with Roger Lucas at the whip for Bonnie Lee Terese. The crowd really got excited during the UPHA Fine Harness Classic and for good reason. Amanda Simpson drove the spectacular Callaway’s Cumulus to the victory for owners John and Susan Aschenbrenner. Another nice horse, Heir’s Magic picked up the reserve in the Classic class with Mike Benn driving for James W. Orr.


Andy Freseth took the lines of Heartland Carolee for the first time to make a sweep of the Open Road Pony classes.  Newcomer to the Midwest circuit, Kevin Ingram made his presence known at Des Moines by winning the Amateur Road Pony Championship with the very successful Calvin Hobbs. Directed by Andy and Lynda Freseth under the Hollow Haven banner, both terrific ponies are owned by James Dellinger. Glenn A. Werry Jr.’s Get Set N Go sped to both reserves in the open ranks with Gib Marcucci at the whip. Mike Schallock’s quick Nightheir was reserve in the amateur qualifier for Star Hill Farm, while Wait & See’s Rio Lobo picked up the reserve in the amateur championship for owner and driver Cindy Ireland.          

In the junior exhibitor road pony ranks it was the battle of the boys for the AHHS Youth Medallion. In the end, smart driving Tyler Volz raced away with the victory with POS Time To Shine for owners Trimble/Sperl, while Ryan Vogt picked up the red streamers with Daddy’s Little Girl. Vogt also picked up the reserve in the AHHS under saddle class with his pony. Winning that class was Morgan Brison with Stacey Swalla’s Rolls Royce. The UPHA Road Pony Classic belonged to Dr. Alan Raun and his smooth as velvet, Velvet King. Not far behind was Rick Wallen with Jane Schallock’s Passing Lane.


Impressive he was, Impress My Daddy won both the open Harness Pony classes for owner Glenn A. Werry Jr., with Gib Marcucci at the whip. Wait & See’s Winter Day drove off with the red ribbon in both open classes as well as the amateur class with owner Randy Wells at the lines. Winning the amateur class was Namesake’s Secret with Edith Heath at the whip for Dennis Koch. The stylish Touch Of Minks may have been alone in his UPHA Harness Pony Classic, but the striking pony turned heads with Gib Marcucci driving for owners Boyd/Gordon.


The Hackney Pony division belonged to the bold and elegant Royal Canadian with proud owner Muffy Ernster. The stylish team graced victory lane in the amateur class and the open championship. The winner in the open qualifier and the championship was Deborah Jahn’s appealing Heartland Alluring with Dr. Alan Raun at the whip. It is no secret that Romeo’s Top Secret LF is a pony to look for in the future, as Gib Marcucci expertly guided the pony to the UPHA Classic win.


Cindy Ireland did a fantastic job driving the sporty Teacher’s Pet to the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic and Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Pony Championship wins for owners Mr. and Mrs. Gib Marcucci. Reserve in both the Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Pony Championship and qualifier was the nice Wonmore Diamond Legacy with owner and driver Marilou Wilschke. Winning the qualifier was Romeo’s Master Sergeant and Jessica Helton.


Nicole LaRoussa had a great show with both horses and ponies with a AHHS pleasure driving win with Fitz’s Phantom, as well as a reserve with the pony in the under saddle class for owners Jim and Mary Yonker. Domino was reserve in the driving class, while the graceful and talented Avis Van Zomeren took the under saddle blue with her pony Reedann’s Special Report.


The five-gaited show pleasure classes were filled with quality from top to bottom. The skilled Amanda Dellinger captured a perfect melody, guiding her bold Mmmbop to the winner’s circle in both amateur classes. Liz Schultz, a tall and elegant rider, really knew how to show off her handsome The Evangelist. Making beautiful passes at the trot and rack, Schultz took “Luke” to the winner’s circle in the junior exhibitor class, then made a great reserve finish in the amateur stake.


Both park pleasure classes belonged to the bright moving Royal Crest’s Freedom Rock and Neva Van Ess. The chestnut gelding accented with white looked extremely pleasant doing his job for owners Hendrickson/Krueger. The reserve in the stake went to Rosemont’s Mystre with Deb Yount Woods for owner Rick Wallen. In the qualifier the red went to Highpoint’s Highlander with Tina English Wendt for owner Chuck Browning.


The black gelding Rudolph Giuliani, by the I’m A New Yorker son Forty-Third Street, put in a great show to pick up the Junior Park Pleasure victory with trainer Amanda Simpson up for Elizabeth Duhachek. Mark and Renae Van Zomeren’s entry Winsdown New Merchant looked brilliant to pick up the red streamers.


Louis Louw continued his success at Des Moines as he expertly rode Can I Phly to the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic victory for Reedannland. The chestnut mare, by Phi Slama Jama, was a sight in the ring displaying a great deal of quality.


It was the battle of the bays in the Adult Show Pleasure Stake. The grand CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger took the 18-38 class, but another fancy bay was knocking at their door. Very successful with Melissa Moore in the park pleasure classes last year, Knock Knock Who’s Heir is now finding success with new owner Kristen Olson under Todd Perkins’s Centre Pointe Banner. The beautiful bay by CH Heir To Champagne took home the red ribbon in the qualifier and the tricolor in the championship. Exceptional rider Amy Weiler showed Yellow Rose Memories to the blue for owner Rosemary Larson in the 39 and over qualifier.


Sometimes stepping into the 14-17 age group can be a tough transition, but not for Knollwood’s Loretta Mulberry. Last year she and Tommy James took home the Reserve World Champion of Champions title in the 13 and Under Show Pleasure Championship, and this year they are continuing their successful ways. In Mulberry’s older age group debut, her distinguished Tommy James made victory passes in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 14-17 class, then went back to win the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship. Nick Neviaser put in two great shows on his blond accented The Mystery Machine to win the 13 and under class, and then to finish up with a solid third in the championship. The bold moving and beautiful Callaway’s Queen Of Crimson was reserve in both the 14-17 class and the stake class with Erich Aschenbrenner aboard.


Dorian Stulberg Anderson was elated with her win on her young, Reedann’s Phorget Me Not in the Junior Show Pleasure class. Second went to Angela Darrow’s new mount Tango Till Dawn. Dena Lopez showed this young mare by Let’s Tango All Night to success last year in the harness division, making this class the filly’s first under saddle class. Darrow will hopefully tango with this mare in the equitation division soon.


Des Moines is a great show for exhibitors of all levels. The show offers exhibitors who received a fifth place or below in one the show pleasure classes to enter the Show Pleasure Consolation Stake. Winning this class was Max Millennium and owner Julie Witthoff. I’ll Tell you What and Libby Lunn took home the red streamers.


Sweeping the Show Pleasure Driving classes was the brilliant black So Fortunate with proud owner Janene Becker. Becker is trained under the direction of Rick Wallen. Reserve honors in both classes went back to Moctezuma Stables with Yellow Rose Memories and Amy Weiler at the whip for Rosemary Larson.


Jennifer Karnes put in two great rides on her country pleasure horse, Chere Peridot, by Phi Slama Jama. The elegant liver chestnut took home the Country Pleasure 18-38 class as well as the Adult Country Pleasure Stake. Reserve honors in the stake and in the 39 and over class went to Mary Strohfus on her fashionable A Fashion Lady. True Shades Of Amber and Dorian Stulberg Anderson were reserve in the 18-38 class.


The junior exhibitor country pleasure division belonged to one horse. The exciting Tamale Wally and expert catch-rider Nicole LaRoussa not only won both classes, but the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Driving class as well. Owner Nancy Rothe and trainer Mayo Moctezuma were elated with LaRoussa’s exciting victories. Katie Koeppel did a great job riding her flashy MW Whatever Works for the reserve in both classes.


Just a Smudge picked up the Amateur Owner Trainer Rider Country Pleasure Stake with Jenny Paetz, as well as the reserve in the qualifier. McDouble and Michaela Myers won the Country Pleasure Consolation Stake with Callaway’s Simon Says and Afton Greif taking home the red ribbon.


A veteran of the show ring, Mike Schallock is still extremely successful with his road ponies as well as his country pleasure driving horse, CH Nice Doing Business. This team took both Country Pleasure Driving blues back to Schallock’s Star Hill Farm. Rick Wallen trains this successful pair. Reserve in both Country Pleasure Driving classes went to Rare One, owned by Mayday Management.


Announcer Dennis Porick said it correctly when he noted that CH Impressive Ruler “had a houseful of trophies.” With skilled rider and partner Mary Strohfus aboard CH Impressive Ruler won the Country Western Pleasure Stake as well as the Shatner Western Pleasure class and the AOTR Country Western Pleasure class. Winsdown Forbes Field picked up three red ribbons: in the stake, the qualifier and the Shatner class with Bailey Knapp up for owner Pamela Dice. Kim Gallenberg’s Braveheart Of Silver Oaks took the Country Western Pleasure class win, while A Touch Of Rhythm took the Working Western Pleasure class as well as a good reserve finish in the AOTR class with owner Jenny Paetz. CH Brett Maverick navigated his way through the working course to pick up the red ribbon in that class with owner Shari Eades, and Tiggeriffic picked up the AOTR stake win with Ardie Kennedy.


A Touch Of Rhythm and Stonewall’s Lady Di each took a victory in the hunter division. Stonewall’s Lady Di took home the tricolor with owner Cynthia La Faire, as well as the Hunter Seat Classic reserve. A Touch Of Rhythm and proud owner Jenny Paetz won the Hunter Seat Classic and finished up with a good reserve in the stake class. Erica Mundt took home the Hunter Pleasure OTAB class with Caraman, and Kimberly Moore picked up the reserve with her Classy News.


Sometimes you run across a rider that possesses everything an equitation rider should have: long, steady legs, soft hands and a relaxed, but powerful way of riding. Renae Van Zomeren’s rider, Hali Steenhoek, possesses all of these characteristics. Steenhoek and her horse Open All Night, or “Strider,” are a flawless team. Although this is her first year in the senior equitation division, she already picked up the equitation tricolor and USEF Medal blue at Des Moines. Lyndi Skinner also had a successful show, winning the equitation qualifier and picking up a good reserve in the championship. Young Nadine Van Zomeren is already making her trainer mom proud. Van Zomeren was reserve in the equitation qualifier and finished up third in the championship.


Newcomer to the equitation division is Knollwood’s Emily Scharpf. Her progress over the winter showed through when she won the Challenge Cup class. Although this is Scharpf’s last year as a junior exhibitor and first year as an equitation rider, she is paired with a great partner, CH Louisville Lass. Scharpf is leasing “Lass” from Michelle Krentz this year. Anna Bergman put in a solid ride to earn the red ribbon in the Challenge Cup.

Michelle Krentz made her adult equitation debut on her beloved grey, Day’s Grecian Grey. The pair won the class, with the stately pair of Kevin Ingram and his CH Hayden Fox picking up the reserve title. Both ribbons went back to Wisconsin stables, with Krentz’s to Knollwood and Ingram’s to Hollow Haven.


The adorable walk and trotters made their way to the coliseum on Friday night. All did a great job, but Haley Burdick stood out among the rest to win the class. Brooke Boyer took home the red ribbon in the class. Kimberly Moore expertly racked her way to the winner’s circle in the Five-Gaited Horsemanship class.


The pleasure equitation division always has nice, full classes on the Midwest circuit, and Des Moines was no exception. Smart riding Elisabeth Hunziker took home the Pleasure Challenge Cup blue, with Brittany Balagna close behind for the red ribbon. The Medallion class went to a girl who is no stranger to the winner’s circle, Deanna Lanigan. The elegant and graceful blonde also took home the red streamers in the Pleasure Equitation Championship. Samantha Thomas executed a great pattern to earn her the Pleasure Equitation Championship victory, while Courtney Ledo and her bold bay, CH Glendale’s Bonnie Lass picked up the blue in the Pleasure Equitation qualifier under Cary Bartz’s expert guidance.


The Open English Pleasure OTAB Stake and qualifier went to Pamela Dice’s striking Friesian, Aldert. The reserve in the stake went to Local Girl and Hannah Wiseman, with Mimi Bahcall picking up the reserve in the qualifier with her homebred New York’s Best M&N.


The Des Moines Springfest Horse Show was an exciting show, enriched by quality horses, fast-paced judging, excellent weather and quality exhibitors’ parties. As entries continue to grow for this show, the classes are deeper and the competition heavier. All involved in this show work hard to make it the great show it is, and it is clear that the exhibitors appreciate their efforts, as everyone showing there had great amount of fun.
This concludes the show’s highlights. Complete results may be found by clicking here.

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