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Finally Springtime in New England

by Bob Funkhouser

W. SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - It was a year with a lot of question marks. First there was the winter that would not go away. New England had been pounded with snow and well below normal temperatures throughout the winter and it still threatened to rear its ugly head the week of April 16-19 as UPHA Chapter 14 held its Twenty-First Annual Spring Premiere Horse Show. The show was also under new management (Kent Moeller) and new chairmanship (Chris Cassenti), so everyone was anxious to see what would happen.

As it turned out there was only one day of cold weather, but thankfully dry, and the new leadership certainly came away with a first class production. Former manager Peter Doubleday and chairperson Jane Morrell had left the show in good shape and the new team brought much enthusiasm which carried right over to the exhibitors and trainers.

“I thought this was as good a show as I’ve seen here in a while,” said Maine exhibitor Rick Daigle. “I was also impressed with Kent [Moeller]. It’s nice to see that kind of enthusiasm from management.”

One of the most notable differences Saddlebred, Morgan, Hackney, and Friesian exhibitors experienced when they first arrived was the footing. Moeller spent a great deal of time with the grounds people getting the ring and work areas in great shape. The schedule had also been trimmed down some so that it was most enjoyable and allowed exhibitors free time in between sessions or time to work on new combinations or young horses which hadn’t been outside in a long, long time.

There were many things that were still the same such as the nightly parties. UPHA 14 has no shortage of social time with the highlights being the Thursday evening Progressive Barn Party and Friday night’s awards/exhibitor’s party held in the aisleway of the main barn.

For the second year the show held three “Jackpot Stakes” in which entries did not have to qualify. The $500 added classes were held in the Open Five-Gaited, Open Road Pony, and Open Morgan English Pleasure Championships of which the gaited stake was the big winner. Ten entries showed up for the Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake which sent everyone home on a high note, especially 15-year-old Kaitlyn Grom who defeated nine trainers for the championship honors with Diamond Flight. Kaitlyn, her sister Tara, and the other riders and drivers from Revelation Farm had an outstanding week under the direction of Terry Stephenson.

Also for the second consecutive year the UPHA Chapter 14 committee honored its horses and riders of the year from 2002 in center ring on Friday night. The show also honored Helen Fenton and Dot Potter for their years of dedication and service to the show.

The UPHA Spring Premiere has long been noted for trying new things. While not new to horse shows, the High Point Trainer Awards were new for Chapter 14. Points were kept in the championship classes for Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans, and Equitation with the winner receiving a nice wool and leather jacket with the UPHA Chapter 14 Spring Premiere logo on it. The winners were Jan Lukens (ASB), Rick Stevens (Morgan), Rodney Hicks (Hackney), and Jean DeGutis-Woodworth (Equitation).

The show committee also tried someting new for Friday night's session. Organ music was replaced by Jimmy Sebring playing DJ with rock and pop tunes pumping into the coliseum. Just another way to spice up the show and make it entertaining.

Euchee Matthews held the judge’s card for Saddle Horses, roadsters, ponies, and equitation, while Steve Davis determined the winners in the Morgan division. Bob Moseder was back as photographer, while Lawrence Beard served again as announcer. Show secretary Linda Burke reported entries were up slightly from last year.

“I couldn't have been more pleased,” said first-time manager Kent Moeller. “The exhibitors were great to work with and we are just trying to give them a quality show in all areas. I think we can build upon the excitement that was created this year.”

As mentioned above, the Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake was one of the best gaited stakes at any New England show in recent history. Anytime you put 10 good gaited horses in the ring at the same time, something exciting is going to happen. When it was all said and done, 15-year-old Kaitlyn Grom and her gaited pony, Diamond Flight, put on the show of shows. Trained by Terry Stephenson at Revelation Farm, the hard riding junior exhibitor and the big-doing gelding had already won the open class and they would not be denied in the championship. Reserve grand champion honors belonged to Darlene Trento-Wright and the sporty, white legged entry, Cameo Appearance. Winner of the ladies class, Collector Series, ridden by Denise Vespa, was third in the large championship.

Bringing home another tricolor for Somersdream, Sue Ward and Midnight Spice opened the season with a bang, winning both the amateur qualifier and the Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Championship for Candlewood Saddlebreds. Reserve to the grand champion was Trophy Hunter with Barbara Freeman aboard.

Not only did Kaitlyn Grom win the Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake, she also won the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. Her mount for this one was a beautiful mare that is light on her feet. Miss Marian won both junior exhibitor classes with Kaitlyn in the saddle for Revelation Farm. Sporting a new rider in a new division, CH Rastafarian moved up a notch from the qualifier to take the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Reserve Championship for Megan Ryan.

Bringing a string of nice young horses, Todd Mathieson topped the Junior/Novice Five-Gaited class with Mahogany Hi Lite, an entry owned by Michael and Diane McGrath. David Cater gave You’ve Got Mail a nice ride to take the red streamers back to Cricket Hill Farm.

Last year Nealia McCracken campaigned the top four-year-old gaited mare White Chocolate, who took a reserve in the ladies class at UPHA Spring Premiere this year. She has also come back with another good youngster, Toranado’s Tempest. Also owned by Dr. Geraldine Meanor, Tornado's Tempest racked and trotted his way to the winner’s circle of the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic. Reserve honors belonged to Mountainview’s Vintage Wine and Kate Ryan.

Jan Lukens never shows a sign of aging and she rides just as hard today as she ever has. She put on another championship performance in the Three-Gaited Stake with Joellen Fisher Blount’s Heir Balloon. The tasty little mare qualified with a victory pass in the ladies class. From Smoke Hollow Farm, Georgia Prussell rode Highpoint’s Hot Chocolate to the reserve grand championship for Lisa Gumenick. They had won the qualifier defeating Doreen Weston and CH Jane Doe and an entertaining new face named I’m Sky High. A harness horse all his life, five-year-old I’m Sky High is still figuring the cantering thing out, but when it comes together, trainer Gary Gurney and owner Rick Daigle have a big-time performer.

Not only did Jan Lukens win the Three-Gaited Stake, she also directed Margaret Riggs and She’s A Contender to the Amateur Three-Gaited Stake. It was their second victory pass of the week ahead of Ann Rowland and A Winter’s Tale.

From Todd Mathieson’s The Stable, Nicholas Villa rode High View’s Sharp Charm Girl to the junior/novice walk-trot title for owner Brian Fitzsimmons. Rob Turners Hit The Switch turned in the reserve performance.

The junior exhibitor three-gaited division has been light the last few years in New England but it has come back strong for 2003. Ten entries qualified and eight returned for the championship. Moving up from reserve in the qualifier, Kaitlyn Grom won the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Stake with Mesa Volt. She was followed by qualifying winners, the world champion team of Caitlyn Spring and CH Sergeant Royalty. Third place honors went to the winner’s younger sister, Tara Grom, riding Sultan’s Sundance Kid. Fourth place in both strong classes belonged to Jessica MacLeod and CH Carerra.

Just like pleasure classes, the park division has become strong and deep from coast to coast and UPHA 14 is no different. Eight teams battled for the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stake and it was the reserve qualifying team of Cagin Martini and Paula Percoco leaving no question as to who the champions would be. They made the victory pass representing the Jan Lukens Stables. Doreen Weston and the filled with personality Sagaman claimed reserve grand champion honors. Traci Van Horn and the young campaigner Art In Motion finished third in both competitive rounds.

The amateur park qualifier featured a different winner as Emily Hess piloted Callaway’s Smart Angle to the winner’s circle while riding from Fairfield South. They were followed by Percoco and Cagin Martini.

The results also turned around for the Open Three-Gaited Park Championship. Elaine Gregory and Patriot’s Prophet had been reserve in the qualifier, but they came back sharper to take the crown away from open class winners Albelarm Tradition and Sally Eichlin. Gregory had also won the Junior/Novice Three-Gaited Park class with Fox Creek’s Cut To The Chase, who placed ahead of reserve champions Little Cindy Lou Who and David Cater as well as five other teams.

There was so much interest in the junior exhibitor park division that a championship was added to the class schedule, but just like the other two park sections, the qualifying winner fell to second in the championship. Riding under the direction of Kevin Tomasko, Careen Dubuc delivered a performance with Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood to take tricolor honors back to Hopkington, N.H. Kristen Fields and Blue Ridge Miles had to settle for the reserve grand championship after a victory pass in the qualifier.

David Arnold sent Daryl Carlow and Kendall Jackson back to the Fine Harness Championship with all cylinders on go. They overcame a reserve in the qualifier to be named grand champions. A Catalyst son, Kendall Jackson defeated open class winner Leatherwood's Lavender, who was driven by Mike Richardson for Cricket Hill Farm.

With Authority went two for two in the amateur harness division. Driven by Elaine Earlywine for Tricia Bonati, With Authority topped the four-horse Amateur Fine Harness Championship as well as the amateur qualifier. On both occasions Daryl Carlow and CH Dance Of Love garnered the reserve ribbons.

The Morgan division stepped up in quality and numbers with the pleasure divisions being especially competitive and like most shows there was still lots of room for participation in the park classes.

Four horses answered the call for the Morgan English Pleasure Jackpot Stake in which Ann Anderson and Azeedad’s Unquestionable came from a reserve performance in the novice class to take tricolor honors home to Chris and Andrea Kelley. Trimmed in white and never dropping an ear, Azeedad’s Unquestionable placed ahead of reserve grand champion Dorneywood Stars & Stripes, ridden by owner Kristin Farley.They had been reserve in the open class behind Cabot Manifest Destiny and David Rand in their only appearance.

The Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Championship attracted eight teams, several with world class credentials. Rick Stevens greeted Brenda Varney and Aspenglow Genesis in the winner’s circle. They had moved up three spots from the qualifier. Ann Coney and Conundrum secured the reserve placing in both the amateur championship and qualifier. Driving star Contagious made a saddle appearance to win the amateur qualifier with Erin Kelley aboard.

John Bennett had several nice entries during the week including Morgan Ladies English Pleasure Champion Mainstee Blaze O’Glory who was ridden by Katherine Bennett for the John Bennett Stables. Rosalie Leary and SKY Lilyth commanded the red streamers. Earleen Kenyon and Fury’s Fortune turned back six teams to take the Novice Morgan English Pleasure class. Anne Benson contributed to the quality of the Morgan division at UPHA with her victory pass aboard Man In Command in the Morgan Junior English Pleasure class.

Quality was also present in the junior exhibitor division with CO Perfect Timing and Kyla Rose Maher overcoming a reserve in the qualifier to defeat the multi-titled world champion Merriehill Hooligan and Megan Ramsey, as well as four other teams. The Stonegate Farm team of Perfect Timing and Maher were second to the Rand team of Hooligan and Ramsey in the qualifier.

Clare Simpson had a great 2002 season including a grand national victory pass and then he was rewarded within UPHA Chapter 14 as the Morgan Amateur Of The Year and his park saddle mare CPM Sabrina was voted UPHA Chapter 14 Morgan Horse Of The Year. Simpson started out 2003 on a winning note as well. Rick Stevens drove Simpson’s Winterset Thyme ‘N Again to the Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifying blue. Ladies winner Federal Express was the reserve grand champion with Michele Gascon at the whip. In the eight-horse qualifying round Jim Ummel presented Treble’s Legal Tender to the reserve ribbon.

David Rand hung two more winning ribbons on the tack room with the performances given by Erin Kelley and Contagious in the Morgan Amateur Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Under the direction of Earleen Kenyon, Robert Neimeth guided Fury’s Fortune to the reserve titles in both events.

Rand also had total control of the young horse driving classes. He presented WPS The Boogie Man to win the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic for Nancy and Michael Ramsey. Amy Neifert showed Ann Hailey’s CBMF Belle Fleur to the second place money. Rand also guided Ray and Caitlynn Ramsey’s MEM La Vida Loca to the top ribbons in the Junior Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. From the Hobby Knoll Stables, Jaisen Von Ballmoos drove Total Recall to two reserve titles.

Ponies were the lightest classes of the show but there were a couple of stars and B.R.S. The Phantom was one of them. Last year Rodney Hicks and V. Ann Hailey teamed up with Junior Harness Pony World’s Grand Champion Mark Of Elegance. This year Hicks debuted The Phantom and this pony has as much motion as is possible. They won the UPHA Harness Pony Classic and the Harness Pony Championship.

Last year Hicks also won the Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony World’s Championship with Romeo’s Warrior L.F. At the Spring Premiere Romeo’s Warrior debuted with Marjorie Kenney to win the Open Hackney Pony and Hackney Pony Grand Championship under the ownership of Milford, Marjorie, and Wally Kenney. Dawn DelTorchio drove a sport herself in twice reserve champion Model Of Excellence. The high point pony trainer of the show, Hicks also drove Romeo’s Shadow L.F. to the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic title. Tom Quackenbush was at the whip when Movado Masterpiece was called out as the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic winner.

Truly So Lovely and Molly Ryan were just getting introduced to the show ring last season. A year later they are much more settled and were fancy enough to win the five-entry Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship and qualifier for the Gary Guz Stables. Mary Cichowski and Steal The Show trotted out with the red streamers in both classes.

Four road ponies came trotting back for the Road Pony Jackpot Stake and it was Whims And Wishes in the lead with Chelsea Simon at the whip for Revelation Farm.This was their third trip of the week after placing reserve in the Amateur Road Pony Championship to Dr. Alan Nath and the multi-titled Dun-Haven Highly Impressive. With a reserve in the UPHA Road Pony Classic, Rodney Hicks and Rhythm King L.F. were Road Pony Reserve Grand Champions for Sharon Francis.

Cricket Hill Farm sent Heartland City Boy to the winner’s circle twice during the week. David Cater and City Boy shot down victory lane with a victory pass in the UPHA Road Pony Classic, while owner William Silber turned in a great drive to win the amateur qualifier in their only appearance.

In the large version of the speedsters, Gary Gurney put Rusty Morrison’s black entry, Dick Francis, through his gears to leave the other two entries behind. Morrison had driven the grand champion to a reserve finish in the open qualifier. Amateur winner HVK Stradavarius made the reserve grand champion victory pass with owner Dr. Grace Steere. Third place in the championship, Wayne Cochrane and My Silver Auto had put on a blue ribbon performance in the open qualifier.

A lot like the pony division, the Morgan Park section left a lot to be desired as far as number of entries, but you had to like what you did see. The Amateur Park Saddle Championship featured DU Absolutely Courageous and Maureen Cartelli delivering the tricolor to Stonegate Farm. It was their second victory pass of the week. Leah Hurley and Spirit Of The Stars was reserve in the amateur championship as well as the open and ladies classes. Sandy Hendrick and HVK Classic Design made a good early season show with their blue ribbon performance in the ladies event.

Rick Stevens and Boxford Redemption visited the show ring once during the week and that was to win the Open Park Saddle class. Kristen Fleming and Moreover were the lone team in the junior exhibitor park class.

Grandemeanor didn’t get to finish out his great season at Oklahoma last year, but he started out this year as if he’s ready to make another run at it. Unfortunately, the Jan Bruno entry and Ann Anderson were the only ones in the Morgan Park Harness Championship.

Under the direction of Earleen Kenyon, Robert Neimeth guided Silver Heels Synergy to the top of the Amateur Park Harness Championship and qualifier. Both times they were followed by Kathy Comeau and Comoshun’s Avante.

Competition was hot in the Saddlebred pleasure sections starting with five-gaited. It was their debut show, however, Traci Van Horn and Titleist Commander looked as if they had been together for some time. The Somersdream combination swept the gaited pleasure division holding off a host of worthy challengers including reserve grand champions Ann Jones and Callaway’s Crossed Fingers. Third place in the hard fought championship went to reserve qualifying winners Rick Daigle and My Hatteras.

Racking and trotting up a storm last year, L.A. Wing Victory made his presence known as the Show Pleasure Driving Grand Champion and qualifying winner. Momentarily giving up her “show ring mom” status, Mika Ryan turned into a very capable exhibitor driving Dr. Richard Hunderfund’s entry to the winning titles. Lisa Travis-McCaughey and Ragin’ River emerged as the reserve grand champions as Georgia Prussell and Shamanic Dream claimed the red streamers from the qualifier.

There was also a Novice Show Pleasure Driving class and it featured Five After Five and Jo Ann Kelly in the winner’s circle ahead of Sunnys Nite Rain and Bernie Weinheimer.

CH Rare Rascal knew his way around the Eastern States ring and he also knew right where the winner’s circle was. Owner Michael Behr represented the Jan Lukens Stables with the Adult Show Pleasure Championship and adult pleasure qualifier. From the L.M. Turner Stables, Vicki Wyman and Callaway’s One More Round scored the reserve championship. Karen Roberts and I’m Fabulous marched out with the red prize from the qualifier.

Rob Turner did have the winner of the Juvenile Show Pleasure 14-17 Championship and qualifier. Turner directed Chris Whynock and Lakeside Lulu to the top of the 14-horse championship and one of the best classes of the show. They received stiff competition from reserve grand champions Callaway’s All That Jazz and Zachary Adams. Third place finishers Chelsea Simon and Endolane Firecracker had been reserve in the 14-17 qualifier.

The week just couldn’t have been much better for Revelation Farm. The Grom sisters won championship after championship including Tara aboard News Stand in the Juvenile Show Pleasure 13 & Under Championship. They defeated a good group of contenders, especially reserve grand champions Caramac’s News Flash and Kyle Gagnon. Showing for Mary Lucia, Gagnon and News Flash triumphed in the qualifier.

Gagnon also showed his former Walk and Trot Equitation World’s Grand Champion Cedar Creek Mr. Money Man to win the Novice Show Pleasure class. It looks like another great option for a truly wonderful horse. Vicki Wyman and Callaway’s One More Round earned reserve honors. Allison McDowell and Sultan’s Last Hurrah enjoyed victory passes in the novice rider section.

Rob Turner was at it again winning the Junior Pleasure Prospect class with Roberta Hirshon’s Star Night Commander. They were ahead of a few other teams including reserve champions Tina Constantine and French Safari.

The blue prize in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic returned to New York with Darlene Trento-Wright and Star Of The Millennuim. This young champion was owned by Alan Lanoue. Sue Gethicker rode Croupier to the reserve money for Ricky Harris.

There were also some stars among the country pleasure entries beginning with Country Pleasure Driving Grand Champion Mayday Masquerade. Owned and driven by Jan Beardsley-Blanco from Fairfield South, Mayday Masquerade put on two exciting performances to win the qualifier and championship ahead of a team that’s hard to beat, Blue Right Through and Millie LeBoff.

Seven entries made the gate call for the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship in which Laura Gallery and Stonewall’s Night Of Pandemoni proudly made the tricolor victory pass. They started the week with a win in the limit class. Winners of the junior exhibitor qualifier, Tara Grom and The Perfect Storm made the reserve championship pass behind Gallery and Stonewall’s Night Of Pandemoni.

CH Kiss For Luck has enjoyed victory passes from Freedom Hall to the Eastern States Expo and UPHA 14 Spring Premiere’s Adult Country Pleasure Championship just added to their great record. Dr. Geraldine Meanor and That Takes The Cake moved up a couple of spots for reserve grand champion honors.

From Northwind Stables, A Magic Surprise has put rider after rider into the ring in a number of divisions. Part of his duties this week included taking Debbie Murphy to the Novice Rider Country Pleasure Championship and qualifying blue. Lesley Lawrence rode Jewels and Jeans to the reserve championship title.

Susan English and Mapleridge Rare Event jogged down victory lane twice, hanging a blue and tricolor on the Fairfield South tack room. Their winning streamers came from the Open Country Western and Country Western Pleasure Championship. Coming from the winner’s circle of the Saddle & Bridler Shatner class, Jason Molback and A Magic Surprise received reserve grand champion honors.

In the equitation ranks the Grom family had as much success as they did in the performance divisions. After placing reserve in the 14-17 class, Kaitlyn Grom came back to win the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, placing ahead of Wrighthall Stable’s Amber Craig. Debuting her green equitation horse, Devon Gurney won the 14-17 qualifier and her only other trip was a win in the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup.

There was another new picture that made quite a splash. Debuting on Garone’s former national champion Duplicate Copy, Kyle Gagnon made a convincing statement as the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion. Riding with Marsha and Gary Gurney, Gagnon also won the NHS Good Hands class. Growing up with wins throughout New England, Caylah Wright scored the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve Grand Championship under the direction of her aunt, Sarah Lettre of Wright Way Stables. The junior qualifiers featured Revelation Farm’s Tara Grom winning the 12-13 age group and Ashley Stine taking the top prize from the 11 and under class. Grom also topped the USAE Medal. Another of the winning Fairfield South riders, Stine also won the UPHA 13 & Under Challenge Cup in her first show out of the walk and trot division.

Under the direction of Cricket Hill Farm, Lindsey Gama was the winning rider from the AMHA Medal. She was last year’s UPHA Morgan Challenge Cup National Champion. Margaret Riggs represented Lukens Stables with two winning rides in the adult equitation competition.

The best of the Limit Saddle Seat Equitation riders was Maeve Tibbets, followed by Tabor Wilkawiak.

For years now the walk and trot competition in New England has been fierce and 2003 followed suit. Nine riders competed in the Walk and Trot Equitation Championship which went the way of qualifying winner Brianna Saunders. The smart riding young lady from Cricket Hill Farm topped and experienced group of walk and trotters. Among them was reserve champion Nikole Joseph from The Stable.

Walk and Trot Equitation is so strong in New England because the competition actually starts in the Leadline division. Now this isn’t your mom and dad’s leadline division, this is posting, turned out to the max, and everything in order. Just being cute doesn’t win it here. Kimberly Ginsberg was the best of the five riders in the Leadline Equitation class and she represented Cricket Hill Farm. Rocking Horse Farm put Kasey Saccocia in the reserve placing.

The UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup 9-10 belonged to High Tail Acres’ Sarah Emily Flynn, while the UPHA 8 & Under Walk and Trot Challenge Cup went home with Giovanna Leone who was instructed by Robin McGahey. Ten riders competed in the Walk and Trot Pleasure Championship after having 12 in the qualifier. Under the direction of Jean DeGutis-Woodworth, Alexandra Lally and Elm Rock Chilli Pepper swept both classes. Michelle Gregory aboard Worthy First Lady rode out as the reserve champion from both large classes.

DeGutis-Woodworth also trained the Pleasure Equitation Grand Champion. Defeating the Saddlebred riders, Lindsay Wood and her Morgan topped the championship after placing reserve in the UPHA 14-17 Pleasure Challenge Cup. Reserve grand champion Jessica Moctezuma had won that 14-17 Pleasure Challenge Cup as well as the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Medallion. In the top ribbons of all of the pleasure equitation classes, Chelsea Gauci made the victory pass in the 17 & under class.

The largest classes of the Morgan division in many parts of the country are classic pleasure and hunter pleasure and that was true at the Spring Premiere. Nine entries competed in the Morgan Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship in which Elizabeth Young Fina and Rumor Has It emerged victorious for Barbara Irvine. Hillwood Irish Belle and Jo Ann Currie moved up to reserve in the championship round. Portrait In Red and Brynne Cummings had won the qualifier, but fell to third in the championship. Cummings also won the Morgan Classic Pleasure Equitation class.

Competition in the Junior/Novice Classic Pleasure class found Sarah Merrill and KHF Dante’ De Lion at the top of judge Steve Davis’ card. Dr. Geraldine Meanor and Chocolate Bon Bon were second.

Eight young riders went all out for the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship but none could touch Caitlin Harrison and Manhatten Design. It was their second victory pass of the show. Two reserve titles belonged to Jill Chiecko and Southbrook Ultimatum.

Adding two winning ribbons to the Hobby Knoll count, Steven Handy and Hermitage Avatar were the best of the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Their closest competition in both classes was Raintree Valedictorian, driven by Loek Neimeth. Jennifer Panek directed Grovecrest Panache and Julie Berg Rohrer down victory lane in the Junior/Novice Classic Driving class.

Ten entries competed in the Hunter Pleasure Open qualifier and then nine returned for the championship. In between all of her duties with the show, Chris Cassenti found time to ride Rum Brook Immortal Vision to the championship for Colleen D’Alessandro. They had qualified with a victory pass in the junior/novice class. Heather Casper and Meadowair Yomen had topped the open class, but had to settle for reserve grand champion honors this time out.

The best of 11 in the Morgan Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship was Andrea’s Radiance with Sara Heffernan in the irons. They moved way up from the qualifying round. Winners of the junior exhibitor class, TJB Opinionated and Andrea Clark finished the week as the reserve amateur grand champions. Gail Bodine-Donahue rode amateur qualifying winner Graywood’s Lancelot to a third place finish in the championship.

Wrapping up a look at this year’s competition, Doreen Parcell and Waseeka’s Wildly Royal were the names to remember as they swept the Morgan Open and Amateur Western Pleasure competition. Diane Gaurdouros and Fraimsetta Masquerade were twice reserve winners in the open section, while Elizabeth Young Fina and Marin Royal Command jogged to the reserve grand champion honors in the amateur ranks. Junior/novice winner GW In Lieu Of Cash was reserve in the amateur qualifier with Gabrielle Ploss.

Like in other parts of the country, Friesians have become popular among the Saddle Horse/Morgan exhibitors in New England. There were as many as six on hand in the Pleasure Saddle Stake, which was won by David Arnold and Jorrit. Terry Ray enjoyed two reserves with Waling.

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