Skip to content

Entries Rise As Rain Falls in Des Moines

by Courtney Church

DES MOINES, Iowa- The week of the Des Moines Springfest Horse Show, held April 27-30, began with great weather, but by Saturday the rain moved in and the weather remained wet and cold for the rest of the weekend. However, the weather didn’t keep the exhibitors out of the ring. Show Manager Lenard Davenport reported that numbers were up by about fifty head this year. He said this was due to several new barns in attendance as well as bigger numbers from some Springfest regulars. All officials did a great job in keeping the show running smoothly. Judge Maria Gilman of Land O’Lakes, Fla., kept the classes moving right along. Show Secretary Barbara McDannald stayed on top of all the office work.


Photographer Rick Osteen did a great job providing proofs in a timely manner. Farrier Brian Wolfgram didn’t have to spend much time in the ring until Sunday when two shoes were thrown.

One of the greatest things about Springfest is its hospitality. The horse show officers and committee chairpersons go out of their way to make this an exhibitor-friendly show. Most of these people hail from Heartland Stables and they did a great job. Reedannland hosted its annual luncheon on Friday. There was the popular exhibitors’ party on Friday evening at Diamond Jack’s, located on the fairgrounds. The party featured a live band and great barbecue. Clear Creek Stables and the Aschenbrenner family sponsored a dessert party on Saturday evening. Each morning there was plenty of coffee and doughnuts to go around.
This show has plenty to offer, especially if you’re looking for great hospitality and quality competition!


Five entries battled it out in the Five-Gaited Stake. When it was over, Jean Ann Gundersen’s entry, The Man of The Hour racked away with the blue. Neva Van Ess trains this horse and piloted him to the win. In the qualifier it was Rob Kritzler taking Social Engagement to the winner’s circle for Sandra Donshul and Julie Witthoff.


The fast-trotting team of Doug Lindstrom and Roseridge’s Gold swept the amateur division. They made the victory pass in the stake and the qualifier under the direction of Cary Bartz for owner Diane Lindstrom. The amateur novice rider class went to Santana’s Last Dance and Mary Smith. In the ladies division, Neva Van Ess guiding CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket to the win for owners Susan and Nicholas Neviaser.


CH Harlem’s Hot Ticket returned to the winner’s circle for the junior exhibitor stake and qualifier with Nick Neviaser in the irons. The Neviasers also own the junior horse champion, Keep Me Posted. Louis Louw took David Nierenberg’s entry, Callaway’s Dealbreaker, to the winner’s circle in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic. The novice horse champion was Boulevard, a Marge Ferguson entry guided to the blue by Kenny Smith.


Cory Eickholt took home the beautiful blanket in the Three-Gaited Stake aboard Ro & Me’s Chanti’s Prayer. Eickholt also guided this horse to the win in the ladies qualifier. Look for owner Emily Collins to show this mare very soon.


In the amateur division it was Callaway’s Bulldog Edition and owner Toni Guarnera taking the victory pass in the stake and qualifier. This team is under the direction of Bob Jensen Stables. LeAnn Patterson took Walterway’s All Star in the ring for a win in the novice rider class.


The junior exhibitor stake belonged to the combination of the beautiful Day’s Grecian Gray and Michelle Krentz. Krentz rides with Knollwood Farm. The qualifier was won by the sharp new combination of Emily Scharpf and (SA) Nelmar’s Tango 4 Ever. Scharpf is instructed by LaFleur VanEss Stables.


In the junior horse class it was Kenny Smith taking Royal Showcase around the ring an extra time for Royal Scot Stables. Linda Hollett owns La Matrera, the winner of the novice horse class. J.D. Chavez took this horse in for the win. Sarah Track of Linden Hill Stables showed Mountainview’s
Peaches ‘N Cream to the win in the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic. Track showed this horse for owner Bill Gonzalez.


The stake belonged to Albert Kelm’s eye-catching entry Aurora’s Asset. Rick Wallen was in the irons for the win. Hollett Farms’ entry, Charlize Theron, took the blue in the qualifier with J.D. Chavez showing.


Barbara Goodman Manilow had the beautiful bay Lady Maya in top form for the amateur class. The chrome trimmed CH Undulata’s Hall of Fame was piloted to the win in the ladies class by Jana McConnell under the direction of Heartland Stables.


Rob Kritzler brought in Penny Eckert’s bay Winnipeg Parks for the last trip around the ring in the junior class. DeDe Disbrow drove Ghost of Gypsy to the win in the Park Fine Harness class under the direction of Todd Perkins.

Fine Harness

Oakwoods Farms brought in Caveat’s Who’da Thunk It and took the victory pass in the Fine Harness Open class with Tim Lockard presenting. Dick Obenauf had Another Asset perfectly prepared for Barbara Goodman Manilow to win the amateur class. The junior horse winner was Chuck Browning’s Go Big Blue. Tony Ray presented The Last Town to the blue in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic for Rancho Del Rio.


Denise Steinhauer’s Dun-Haven Majestic Motion was the last to leave the ring in the open road pony stake and qualifier with Rick Wallen driving away with the blue. Dream Fields Touché and Michelle Herron burned up the ring and garnered the final pass in the amateur championship for owner Carol Hall. Herron also won the AHHS Youth Medallion class with this pony. Racing for the blue in the amateur qualifier was Stacey Swalla presenting The Man. The AHHS Roadster Pony Under Saddle class was another win for Michelle Herron. This time she presented License To Kill.

Roger Lucas of Late-Nite Farm had a successful show. He trained the winner and reserve winner of the harness pony championship. Taking home the tricolor with Lucas was K & J’s Lovely Thoughts for owners Virgil and Gean Cagle. Reserve with Edith Heath was Dun Haven Extravagance for owners Todd Gordon and Frank Boyd. The placings of these ponies was reversed in the qualifier. Bill Boyd took the reins of Dun Haven Extravagance, put in a great drive and left a winner in the amateur qualifier. Darrel Kolkman brought in the great young pony Heartland Most Wanted for the final trip in the UPHA Classic.

The Hackney pony championship and UPHA Classic win went home with Dr. Alan Raun showing Deborah Jahn’s stunning Heartland Alluring. Fresh off a win at Oklahoma Centennial, Darrel Kolkman presented Mary Dell Pritzlaff’s Seamair Simply Awesome to yet another victory in the open qualifier class.

James Yonker showed his sporty pleasure pony Fitz’s Phantom and claimed the pleasure driving championship and UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Classic. Mayo Moctezuma trains this winning combination. Stacey Swalla saw the winner’s circle with Rolls Royce in the qualifier. The AHHS Pleasure Driving Youth Medallion saw Michelle Herron take home another blue. This time she exhibited Mastercraft’s Victory LF for Mike Herron. Jessica Randall took Chuck Browning’s entry Forecaster’s Penney around the ring one extra time in the AHHS Under Saddle Youth Medallion.

Show Pleasure

Judge Gilman called out CF Night So Rare and Ann Mac Murray Cox as the winners of the five-gaited stake and the adult qualifier. Heartland Stables-trained Collective Soul and Erich Aschenbrenner racked their way to the reserve in the stake and claimed the win in the 17 and under qualifier.

The park pleasure stake saw Kyle Peel guide the sporty Love’s Blossom to the winner’s circle for owner Maple Hill Stables. Peel, assistant trainer at Valiant Stables, also guided the leg-waving mare to the win in the qualifier. Kenny Smith brought out Alden Farms’ You Think I’m Gorgeous to take the final pass in the junior horse class. Louis Louw was back in the winner’s circle for Reedannland with Reedann’s Phorget-Me-Not in the UPHA Classic.

Jean Wood put in two spectacular performances with Paper Heiress JJW and was rewarded with the tricolor in the Show Pleasure Three-Gaited 18 and Over Championship and the blue ribbon in the 39 and over qualifier. Jay Wood of Westwood Farms directed this duo to their wins. Dorian Stulberg Anderson was the last to leave the ring aboard the eye-catching Reedann’s Sniper in the 18-38 qualifier.


The popular team of Erich Aschenbrenner and Callaway’s Queen of Crimson took the tricolor and blue back to Heartland Stables in the highly competitive junior exhibitor division. The 13 and under qualifier was won by Natalie Haugen piloting CH Shiny New Penny under the direction of LaFleur VanEss Stables.

The junior horse to beat was Late Last Night. This is a new horse for Elizabeth Hunziker and she did a great job riding to the win in this big class. The duo is trained by Timber Hills Farm. The consolation stake was won by the bold moving Strictly Instrumental and Dr. Suzanne Robinson. This was yet another win for the Heartland Stables group.

Shot With Glory and Elizabeth James-Lipscomb came on strong to win the Show Pleasure Driving Championship. They are trained by Heather Lizmeier. So Fortunate and Janene Becker were the combination to trot off with the blue in the 18 and over qualifier. Aaron Steenhoek drove Outrigger to the blue in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

Country Pleasure

The new combination of Chillante and Beth Otto commanded the ring and attention from Judge Gilman. They won the stake and 39 and over qualifier. Cary Bartz is the trainer of this pair. Mayo Moctezuma instructed Amy Weiler and her mount Rare One to the blue ribbon in the 18-39 qualifier.


Debuting in a new division was Michael Nall and Salty Dog. The gamble paid off big with wins in the junior exhibitor stake and qualifier. This team added their ribbons to the Heartland Stables banner. The consolation stake went to Dorian Stulberg Anderson and her chrome trimmed chestnut, True Shades Of Amber. Anderson rides with Bob Jensen Stables.


Reebok’s Decoration and Stephanie Miller caught the eye of Judge Gilman and were called out twice. They won the AOTR stake and qualifier.
In the driving division it was CH Sultan’s Cabaret and Veronica Lindstrom taking the victory passes in the championship and qualifier. This combination made the switch to driving at the American Royal last year and appeared to be coming on strong in this new division. Westwood Farms trained Lady Poinsettia and Chrissy Radintz drove to the winner’s circle in the 17 and under class.

Great Belles of Fire, an entry of Eleven’s Destiny Farm, looked spectacular to take home the tricolor in the western pleasure stake and qualifier with Joetta Smith in the saddle. Jenny Paetz and her mount A Touch of Rhythm swept several classes. They won the AOTR stake, qualifier, and Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Working Western Pleasure class. Magic Ovation and Amy Weiler, under Mayo Moctezuma’s direction, took the blue in Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Pleasure class.

Open English Pleasure

The classes were well-filled and competitive, and Callaway’s Hit Parade and Mary Ann Huddleston was the team to bring home the blue and tricolor for Bob Jensen Stables. Dawn Striegel looked as though she was having a great time and a great ride in the 18-38 class. She had even more reason to smile as she was called out the winner. Michael Nall and Salty Dog were back in the winner’s circle once more in the junior exhibitor qualifier.

Linden Hills Stables was thrilled with their team of Frances Neunuebel and Heir Express. They trotted out with the blue in the 10 and under walk/trot class. Sue Robinson won again with her powerful mount Strictly Instrumental in the novice rider class. Samantha Thomas took home the blue aboard My Amarillo in the novice class for riders 17 and under.

The hunter pleasure stake saw Kristen Pettry ride the pretty bay Callaway’s Scoop The News to the win. Colour Me Proud and Grace Meyer exited the ring last with the blue streamers under the direction of Centre Pointe Stables in the qualifier. The Saddle & Bridle Hunter Seat Classic was yet another victory for Jenny Paetz and her talented mount A Touch of Rhythm.


Michelle Krentz was the only Knollwood Stables customer to show at Des Moines, but it paid off big for her. She brought back the championship tricolor, 17 and under qualifier blue, and she also won the UPHA 17 and Under Challenge Cup. The 18 and over division saw Dorian Stulberg Anderson turn in a beautiful performance for the win. Tom Thorpe helped guide Meaghan MacQueen to the win in the USEF Medal aboard her horse Tantara’s Magic Blessing. Maya Manilow donned her formal to show Beguiled to the win in the 10 and under class. The UPHA 10 and Under Walk/Trot Challenge Cup class saw Frances Neunuebel return to the winner’s circle under the direction of Linden Hills Stables.

The pleasure equitation division had plenty of entries and was very competitive. When all was said and done it was an elated Anna Bergman aboard High Time’s Hoosier Daddy taking the tricolor back to Heartland Stables. Bergman also won the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup. In the 17 and under class and Pleasure Equitation Medallion, Tess Holmes was the last to leave the ring aboard Up North to carry home the blue. They turned in two beautiful rides under the direction of Heather Linzmeier.

Katy Lyckman was the last to leave the ring after a great workout in the Saddle & Bridle Five-Gaited Horsemanship class with her horse On View.

This highlights the Des Moines Springfest Horse Show. Complete results can be viewed, searched, and printed out by clicking on Show Results.

More Stories