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Equine Obituary - CH Break On Through




As Special As They Come

Everyone has a horse in his or her life at one time that they call special, but how many horses have a multitude of people in their lives that call them special? At least one does and that horse is affectionately known to most as “Jimmy.”

“Jimmy” made his entrance into this world on January 30, 2005, as Caper’s Spotlight but the story starts before that when Dr. Alan Raun “had sold Pam Heiman a mare named Positively Peggy and she bred her and got this colt,” remembered Dr. Alan Raun. “When he was a two-year-old Pam sent him to us to sell. Bob Shields bought him and we gaited him and showed him. Louis Louw was second at Kansas City with him in the UPHA Classics and that’s when we sold him.” Bret and Susi Day had selected the colt for new owners Michelle Krentz Partridge and Mary Krentz. 

It was not his 2008 Kansas City performance however that caught their attention but it was during Wisconsin Futurity when Susi was watching at home via live feed. Bret recalls, “I was judging a show in North Carolina at the same time and she called me about this three-year-old she saw at Wisconsin Futurity, who reminded her of CH Moses. He had a stature and presence in the ring that very few have. So we followed him to the UPHA American Royal National Championship. He was reserve in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic Championship and the crowd loved him. Many people were at the gate to buy him, but we had gotten to Dr. Raun first and Mary Krentz was on board after watching him show and we bought him on the spot.”  The plan was Bret would campaign him through his junior year readying him for Michelle to show the following year. 

Michelle put her mark on the young gelding’s life before he hit the show ring when she changed his name. “I wanted to name him after a Doors song because I wanted to call him “Jimmy”(Jim Morrison),” said Michelle. “When I found that Light My Fire was taken, I wanted to name him Break On Through because his rack was so fast and amazing.” So 2009 the charismatic gelding hit the ring first at River Ridge racking away with the blue as Break On Through. Under Bret’s expertise “Jimmy” went on to win the 11-entry Junior Five-Gaited class at Midwest. It seemed his name was now more than appropriate as “it (could have been) easy to get lost in the crowd, but one horse was able to break through…the crowd with navigator Bret Day aboard to win the blue.,” Bob Funkhouser wrote in his coverage. A blue at the Blue Ridge Classic would lead up to Louisville just a few weeks later. A third place in the stallion/gelding qualifier kicked off the week. In the championship however “Jimmy” and Bret added an extra gear coming away with the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Junior Five-Gaited title. Those long red streamers were followed up with a reserve in the ASR Sweepstakes just a few weeks later, which would be the last show under the Grey Farm banner. 

Enter Laura Dozer (Elliott). Laura throughout her junior exhibitor career had been well known with her walk/trot teammates including CH Stage Talent, CH Simbara’s Audacity and Pagan Prince and then she graduated into the adult ranks with her show pleasure star CH Lookin’ Yonder. In 2007 she made the move to the gaited division with Here To Win (then known at Lunar Eclipse). That partnership lasted a little over two years before she was ready for her next challenge. Laura remembers “looking for my next gaited horse and trying to find a special one, that ‘had all the parts,’ as Steve says. We looked at a lot of horses that winter but as soon as we saw Jimmy, Tiffany knew he was the one. Steve and I were a little more hesitant but Tiffany saw something special in the young gelding and he became one Tiffany would later call ‘one of those who are simply irreplaceable.’”  

But Tiffany did recollect, “Right after we bought him for Laura, we were worried that she’d never be able to ride him. He was super game and a little wild and this was only her second gaited horse! In fact, their first year together they didn’t really come together until they got to Louisville.... I guess that’s where it counts! After that ride, they became a team second to none. They were a true team in every sense of the word. This was a pair who truly loved each other.”

Before that first Louisville win in 2010 the bond between Laura and Jimmy did not come easy and there definitely were some bumps in the road. “The first time I rode Jimmy at Steve’s after we bought him he threw me. He was the most difficult horse I have learned to ride,” said Laura. “When we first got him he didn’t like to whoa. He ran off with me several times, at home and at shows. He even ran off with Steve a time or two. The first year and a half was tricky. It seemed like we were either first (Shelbyville and Louisville) or last. But at Chattanooga in 2011 we just came together. In the qualifying class there was an accident and we were in the ring for about an hour waiting on an ambulance. We just walked around at one end and it seemed like during that time together we just figured each other out. He was wild when we came back from the time out and we were sixth out of six in the qualifier, but we came back and won the championship and from then on we just clicked. He and I were absolutely made for each other! I love to go fast and he loved to go even faster. Once he learned that we would rack as fast as he wanted to, as long as he did it when I wanted, then he was a superstar!”

A superstar is exactly what Jimmy became. Following that Chattanooga Amateur Five-Gaited Championship win was a sweep at Blue Ridge which led up to a pair of victory passes in the ladies amateur five-gaited division in Louisville. Tuffy Owens wrote about Break On Through’s performance: “This rackin’ fool has always done well in this ring, but tonight he had another level to his game. As he continues to get older and stronger, he rocks even farther back in the bridle. Tonight, he wore his ears every step of the way and looked incredible doing it.”

2012 and 2013 were incredible years for this horse that was as much of an athlete as he was handsome, never dropping an ear as his partner would point him down the straightway making huge passes. Anyone that watched those passes could tell this horse loved his job. Wins from River Ridge, Rock Creek, Blue Ridge, ASHAV, Southern Saddle Fall Finale, Pro-Am, Chattanooga, Kentucky Fall Classic and of course two more World’s Champion of Champion Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited victories proved this. The 2013 Louisville victory was one of Laura most memorable rides.

“I always want to win but I really wanted to win that class for Jimmy,” she said. “He deserved that win and to have that record. It was the third year in a row wearing the roses in the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Championship.”

A new journey began in 2014 for Laura and Jimmy as they entered the five-gaited pleasure division. They took the division by storm completing an undefeated season with 12 wins in 12 classes, including two trips down victory lane on the green shavings. They would also be voted the UPHA Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Horse of the Year. 

This year would be much of the same with wins at Pro-Am and River Ridge leading up to what was one of the best classes at Louisville, the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. The team made their way into Freedom Hall with one of the section qualifying blues under their belt. A great class came together and when the work was done four more were sent out to the rail. Break On Through and Laura gave it everything they had and in the last rack and as Tuffy Owens recalled “Laura made two sharp cuts of the ring with the chestnut athlete to take a pass side by side with Take A Guess that about brought the house down. The two horses swapped places for one more rail as they headed to the lineup, delighting the crowd and putting the “Show” in horse show.”

Jimmy was dynamic and captured the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title. Unfortunately this would be the last show ring appearance for this grand horse. Not unfortunate because he did not win but because it just seems too soon for him to have passed away. At only 10-years-old, he had so much more to give. Those who did have a chance to know him over his time on earth loved him and he loved them back. It doesn’t matter which trainer, owner, caretaker or fan you talk to Jimmy was infectious,   infectious to watch show, infectious spoil at home, both places commanding, almost demanding, your attention. He was loving and wanted attention but then knew his job when it came time to work and he always wanted to be the first one worked according to Steve. Afterwards he would almost demand a mint. Steve always said that he was saying “I don’t work for free.”  This was just on of the little things that added up to so much more leading Steve to say “Words cannot describe how a horse can touch your heart so very much. Break On Through (Jimmy) has touched so many lives. He has changed my life forever.”

Bret Day shares the same sentiment, “When I am asked who some of my favorite horses have been, Jimmy is always right at the top of the list. He is without a doubt one of the gamest, yet kindest horses I have had the honor of working. He was one in a million and I am forever grateful that he came into my life.”

Dr. Raun added, “He was always really nice to work, never a problem, a good thinking colt. I had him on my string for a while driving him and everything about him was nice. He was a go forward kind of horse.”

For Laura he will be one of the most fun horses she will ever ride because he always gave 110%. She said it best. “He was a great ambassador for the breed because he was so loving and wanted attention from anyone he could get it from. He had everything you could ever want in a Saddlebred. He was beautiful, game, athletic, had an incredible headset, the thickest mane and tail, and he was kind in the stall. There will never be another Break On Through!”

Louie Louw brought then Caper’s Spotlight out at the Mid States Horse Show but it was the Wisconsin Futurity winning performance that sparked Bret and Susi Day’s attention.  Seeing something special they purchased him for the Krentz family after he was named the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic Reserve Grand Champion.

Bret Day campaigned the newly named Break On Through to Junior Five-Gaited wins at River Ridge, Midwest Charity and Blue Ridge before earning the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Junior Five-Gaited title.

Break On Through and Laura Elliott’s debut season was somewhat of a roller coaster but they put it all together on the green shavings racking away with their first Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Louisville blue.

In 2012 CH Break On Through and Laura earned their second, of what would become four, blanket of roses; three came in the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and the fourth in 2014 in the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship.  They built an amazing career resume including with 60 titles in 69 classes: 4 World’s Champion of Champion, 1 Reserve World’s Champion of Champion, 4 World’s Champion, 1 Reserve World’s Champion plus 40 blues and 10 reserves.  

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