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Friday Begins Championship Weekend At Morgan Grand National


As the show grew closer to its climax, the stakes were on the rise as well. More Finals and World Championship classes were held, and the performances just kept getting better and better. It was a day that began with impressive young horses as well as exhibitors and finished off by showcasing some of the legends of the breed! An exciting night ended with nearly 1,000 gathering for food, drink and fun at the World Futurity Benefit Extravaganza.

 Fair Haven Federal Xpress has taken numerous little munchkins to and from the winner's circle, and Sara Heindenreich is the newest package he is carrying. At the 2000 Morgan Grand Nationals Xpress and owner Renee Christopher jogged away as the 13 and under Western Pleasure World Champions. Fast forward to 2004 Renee has loaned her beloved Xpress to little Miss Sara and these two jogged away with the 9 and Under Walk Jog Western Pleasure Finals Championship. Miller Young Fina is another talented little walk trotter who has had a successful show season. She and Marin Royal Command were awarded the reserve title in the finals class.

Kathleen Peeples had the honor of guiding the Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure World Champion down victory lane once again this year. The beautiful and athletic Treble's Rhapsody In Blue was crowned the world champion to the delight of the Brown/Klein Family and the whole Waterford Team. Reserve honors went back to Pennsylvania with Amanda DuPont as she guided the smooth striding Carreg Wen Nocturnal Hawk for John and Nancy Heindricks.

The real cowboys were next on center stage and they pulled out all the stops in the Western Pleasure Gentlemen's Finals. It was the best of the best competing for top honors and in the end Gulfwind Sir William rose to the top to jog away with top honors with Daryl Hopson in the saddle for the Gulfwind Morgans. Jordy Johns and the stylish chestnut Canabar Red Line carried away the reserve tricolor honors amidst a field of 18.

Amanda DuPont was back in the winner's circle again, but this time with a three-year-old hunter pleasure mare. She rode the Dreammaker Whatta Sight to the Grand National title with a polished performance for owners Jane and Robert Thompson. Reserve in the deep class went to Coulee Glory Days with owner Cecilia Watson in the irons.

Two gorgeous mares, Tracemark Tapestry and Star of Midnight have been nipping at each others heels all week. In the four-year-old mares Grand National class Andy Marlett guided Tapestry to the first place spot with Star of Midnight in the reserve place. But when world championship time rolled around Star Of Midnight and Garn Walker were pure perfection as they were called away as the Four-Year-Old Western Pleasure World Champions for Virginia Adams. Tracemark Tapestry and Andy Marlett followed up with a stellar performance of their own for the reserve world championship in a promising field of 18.

Kelly Kraegel-Bates teamed Maril Zbik's smooth striding VQM Chairman of the Board to the first place spot in the Grand National Hunter Pleasure Three-Year-Old Stallions and Geldings class. Amy Bessey was in the irons of the reserve winner, JW High In Command in this class of promising youngsters.

The Hazen trained Winsations Bojangles continued his sensational week in Oklahoma as Anna McLallin jogged away with the blue cooler in the 10-11 Year Old Walk-Jog Western Pleasure Finals to the delight of her cheering section. The reserve title went back with Burgundy Hill's Carousel with owner Jake Shapleigh in the saddle for the victory pass.

Closing out the morning session in the coliseum was the Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure World Championship featuring a 16 silver-trimmed youngsters. Ron Brouwer and Coulee Bend Galileo were greeted in the winner's circle by a throng of their Alberta, Canada based team as they enjoyed the last victory pass of the morning for owner Aline Young. Judy Nason flexed her western pleasure muscles and jogged into the reserve spot aboard ECP The Seventh Stone for new owner Marion Bengston.

The afternoon session in the coliseum opened with a bang, quite literally. The World Futurity Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Championship was the first class to convene with a fabulous class of 16. The class was a bit too much for one of the youngsters causing some anxious moments. Thanks to the talent and professionalism of the drivers, headers, officials and those on the rail, everything was back under control quickly. The class did have to be delayed for a few minutes while center ring was put back in order. The show officials and committee jumped to task quickly and after a few minutes the remaining 15 three-year-olds were back on the rail working towards the first World Championship of the afternoon. Announcer Bill Carrington doubled as the tabulator momentarily as the computer and printer used for the scoring were wiped out by the four-legged center ring visitor. When it was all said and done, Judy Whitney-Harris scored an impressive victory with Dragonsmeade Virtuoso. The Beethoven son added another world title for his owner/breeder Dragonsmeade Farm. The bold performing FRF Seattle Reign put on another top performance with David Rand to collect the reserve world championship awards for the Gove Family of Taylor River Farm.

The Classic Pleasure Saddle 14-17 World Championship was not only dominated by two talented young men, but both of them are under the tutelage of Hall Of Fame instructor Anne Speck. Eric Antman closed out his junior exhibitor career in world championship fashion as he guided DreamMaster Irish Emperor to the Classic Pleasure Saddle 14-17 World Championship. Stablemate Beau Rash and VVM Litigator put together a great performance as well as they were named the Reserve World Champions.

The Four-Year-Old English Pleasure World Championship featured a magnificent field of 16 representing the top youngsters from around the country. After winning the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure Mares division Hillwood Irish Claggdagh and Debbie Lukas were locked and loaded for the Four-Year-Old English Pleasure World Championship. This sporty mare carried home the roses to owner Maura Sweeney-Reeve securing a memorable victory for breeder Chuck Livingston as well. Jim Lowry and KrisKroft Choirboy closed out a sensational season for Donna Zimmerman as they trotted away with the Reserve World Championship honors.

For the third time in four years and with the third different driver, the name in lights in the Grand National Youth Park Harness Finals was Meet The Press. Laura Locher was his lovely winning driver as she presented the handsome Issues N' Answers son to the unanimous win for David and Laurie Young. Lauren Cojocar shower her ring savvy as she guided her King Lehr's Bob A Loo to their second reserve tricolor of the week for Graystone Farm.

 Cabot French Pepper has spent a lot of time in the Oklahoma winner's circle over the years and this year's Grand Nationals was no different. He and Alyssa Wick are a match made in heaven and these two trotted away with the 13 and Under English Pleasure World Championship for owner Richard Cecchettini and proud trainer/parents Lyle and Colleen Wick.

It was a tricolor sweep for seasoned veteran geldings as Bandelero carried Emily Orthwein to the reserve world title directed by Ronda Collins. Some of the most impressive performers of the season have come from the four-year-old park harness division. Just five of them were on hand for the Four-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship as Mike Carpenter drove Queen's Guardian to a stellar performance for the roses and tricolor to cap a great week for he and co-owner Dan Kelley. The crowd-pleasing MEM No Inhabitions trotted away with the reserve streamers presented by Shanna Gish for George Schott's Maine Event Morgans.

The 14-17 English Pleasure World Championship featured 16 top flight teams from coast to coast. Once again Merriehill Hooligan proved he sets the standard in English Pleasure as announcer Bill Carrington compared him to old man river. The vibrant chestnut helped Christin Ramsey close out her junior exhibitor career in world championship fashion as he rolled along to his seventh world championship to go along with a host of Grand National titles. Reserve World Championship honors went back to Salt Lake City, Utah with the elegant Minion Mademoiselle and Zachary Howa. This Arcuri Stables trained team took the reserve tricolor victory pass to the delight of Rick and Lisa Howa.

Debbie Simon was at the lines of her own Ensbrook Chain of Command for the victory pass in the Youth Pleasure Driving finals. They earned another trip down Oklahoma's victory lane as they scored this victory under the direction of Merriehill Farm. Reserve in the finals went home with Jessica Smeed and HVK Acclamation performing under the direction of Triumph Stables for Jeffery Smeed.

The week's hunter-jumper competition concluded with the presentation of the High Point World Champions in the coliseum. Earl McFall guided Mt Echo Mr. Bowtie to the Low Working Hunter honors with Wintergreen Don Diego in reserve with Susan Garmier. Melendy Cash Bonus and Fawn McDaniel collected the most points in the Working Hunter division to earn the tricolor with PKF Hollywood and Kayla Suzanne Reser earning the reserve honors.

Prairie Run Fools Gold added some color to the competition as Betsy Irvin guided the William Woods University entry to the Jumper High Point World Championship followed by LR Amie Savior Faire ridden by B. Kate Silberman for Mears Morgans.

The Grand National Pleasure Driving Amateur Gentlemen's Finals featured tricolor victory passes by two gracious owners and supporters of the Morgan breed. Jack Gatewood showed his vision of the ring with a polished drive on the lines of his handsome partner Tolstoy to add the tricolor to the Cedar Creek Farm banner. For the second year in a row, it was the well matched team of Gradell's Wild Reflection and Jerome Modell who collected the reserve tricolor as they finished up a great partnership.

The Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle World Championship closed out the afternoon session in the coliseum with five of the top winning teams including the riders of the past four world champions in this division. This time, a new rider would add her name to the list of champions as Sarah Lee matched up with her handsome En Possession NKS to claim the world championship honors. This finely tuned pair captured the honors for the Lee/Woolley family under the direction of Keith Nelsen Stables. The two-time defending championship team of Catherine Hendrickson and Tug Hill Gunns and Roses followed up with the reserve title this time out for owner Lucinda Manley.

The Friday evening session in the coliseum was shortened to allow extra time for the World Futurity Benefit Extravaganza. The evening began with a class that is always highly anticipated by the young rider participating and their proud families and friends. The future of breed is in the youth and the 16 riders in the Leadline class represented this fact. Sarah Beatrice Pruetz, Lane Shapleigh, Peyton Bartley, Nolan Henderson, Kelly Griffith, Jessie Meder, Natalie O'Connell, Sterling Kendal, Ella Ziemer, Molly Cesanek, Skye Davies, Katie Long, Kayla Wallich, Dustin Silver, Ariella Silber and Carly Donahoe all enjoyed their time in the spotlight and a blue ribbon memory from the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show.

The show ring competition got underway in earnest as the horn was sounded for the Ladies Pleasure Driving World Championship. One beautifully turned out entry after another captured the judges’ eyes. After a unanimous win in the Ladies Pleasure Driving Geldings, Melissa Morrell and Can't You See MEM again saw their name in lights as they claimed the roses and tricolor for owner Phyllis Frechette. Two-time world champions in this division Festival Calypso and Stephanie Connor maintained their standard of excellence as they enjoyed an exemplary performance for the reserve title.

When Jim Lowry picked out Ultra's Dark Angel for Priscilla Marconi, he knew had a future world champion in the making. His prediction has certainly been on the mark as the animated bay followed last year's Two-Year-Old Park Harness World Championship with the Three-Year-Old Park Saddle Futurity World Championship. This dynamic young mare received first place votes across the board as well as the crowd's approval. The reserve title went back to California with an across the board selection as well. Stacy Hennessy was in the irons of Stonecroft Notorious for his second reserve tricolor of the week for Greg and Linda Miller.

During the Parade competition in Oklahoma last year, announcer Bill Carrington read a letter from an ailing Art Perry. In his letter Perry stated that he would see everyone back in Oklahoma in 2004. True to his word, Perry was back and mounted on the stunning Festival Rock N Roll in his stunning parade outfit when the gate opened for Friday night's Grand National Parade Horse Finals. With the crowd cheering them on, Perry and the bay stallion emerged with a unanimous victory. Perry shared the Parade spotlight with three generations of ladies from Canada. Sandra Saran, her daughter Deborah Davies and her daughter Robyn Davies put on a parade of their own with young Robyn Davies guiding the versatile Canalta Squire King to the reserve championship for K-Lyn Stable.

Friday Evening was filled with crowd favorites, and roadster classes seem to attract their own special following. People are quick to rally behind their favorite speed demon, and their loyalty is unwavering. JW Romantic Ways has a following like no other. This diminutive white trimmed chestnut mare is a ticking time bomb of speed and when given the chance, explodes into action surpassing any other horse in the ring. Matched just this season with Frank Gibbard, Romantic Ways collected the Grand National Amateur Roadster to Bike Finals by a unanimous decision. Reserve in the exciting finals class was the defending tricolor team of Arboria Victorious and Paul Calandra. Sporting a new patriotic set of red, white and blue silks, they displayed speed, style and manners to bring the reserve honors back to Waterford Farm.

 It was another banner week in Oklahoma for Carmen Miranda. Her tricolor weekend began with Larry Bonnell stepping in for a tricolor catch-ride in the Gentlemen's Hunter Pleasure Finals. Michael and Jamie Fiocco's talented mare collected the top honors with trainer Tristanne Weber Childress on hand to assist with the victory pass. World Champion GPM Genesis B and Garn Walker are three-time champions in this division. They put on another bold showing as they carried the reserve honors back to their biggest fan, Gene's owner and Garn's wife Melissa Walker.

 The ladies once again graced the coliseum to close out the evening session with the always elegant and entertaining Ladies Park Harness World Championship. Judy Whitney Harris along with Barbara and Arthur Jones had a fabulous week with their HVK Bell Flaire get in the ladies division. With Judy Whitney Harris dressed to go to the ball, Sheza Belle captured the championship spot with first place votes across the board. Robin Rednor Veghte was ecstatic about her drive as she guided her beloved Cedar Creek With Bells On to the reserve honors. They were the picture of elegance and animation as they performed under the Cabot banner.

 Show Arena 2003 Hunt Seat Equitation Junior World Champion Alyssa Rumsey was all concentration and dedication on Friday morning. She and partner Merriehill The Lion King would expect no less than perfect performances on the rail and in the additional workout. After a grueling class and mind-twisting pattern, this rock steady pair trotted away with the well deserved 2004 Junior Hunt Seat Equitation World Championship. Trainer Mary Carlton is responsible for the finishing touches that make this team so successful. Reserve went home with another top flight Midwest entry. Lauren Cook and Fairchild Skyway have been on top of their game all year. Miss Cook had the most flawless sitting trot and has stated to evolve into a very mature rider. The Rosewood trained team trotted away with reserve honors in the World Championship class.

Devon Delay and Successive Endeavors NKS have taken victory passes at every East Coast show this season. This pair is polished and at the top of their game as they showed in winning the Grand National Walk Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 10-11 Finals prepared by Jeff Kidd. A determined Samantha Burroughs and Intrepid Sir Pepper were called away as the reserve finals winners to the delight of trainer John McDonald.

Twenty-nine dedicated young equestrians battled for the coveted title of Senior Hunt Seat Equitation World Champion. All 29 trotted together the first and second direction of the ring on the rail. Then the decision was made to split them into two sections and work the two smaller sections more intensely. Half of the class stood in the middle of the ring while the other half worked at the sitting trot and canter. Then the roles were reversed. This excellent idea gave the judges an opportunity to see all riders without interruption. The judging panel then asked 12 entries to remain and eight of those entries worked an individual pattern. When all was said and done only the strongest survived. The class took over an hour to run completely and many of the young riders were near exhaustion close to the end. It was a crowning achievement for Anna Weeks as the joy of being named Senior Hunt Seat Equitation World Champion made all the effort worthwhile. Weeks celebrated the victory with her winning mount MXM Breezy Knight and instructor Jamie Savage.

Kara Hose enjoyed a fabulous close to her junior exhibitor career continuing her world championship career in both hunt and saddle seat. Mounted on MSM Ceres, Hose showed her poise and strength as the Senior Hunt Seat Equitation World Champion coached by Amanda DuPont.

 It was celebration time at Showcase Stables when Lyssa Bomgaars took her first Grand National victory pass in the Walk Trot Classic Saddle Seat Equitation 10-11 Finals. Miss. Bomgaars trotted to victory aboard Old Oak Rare Edition. Malia Meyer showed her show ring poise to guide Almost An Angel to the reserve victory pass. With a season of victories, Devin Russo made her first trip to the Oklahoma show ring. Starting off with the Grand National Walk Trot 9 and Under Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was especially special for Russo and Alexander The Prince and the Waterford Farm team. The Walk Trot Classic Saddle Seat Equitation 9 & Under Finals closed out the morning session in show arena 6. Amber Brown and Twin Peak Princess K repeated their victory from a year ago as they as they were reunited to collect the tricolor coached by Coby Clark. The Indian Creek trained Emma Fedorchak rode World Champion Berry Banke Toot Toot to the reserve spot in this competitive class of 11 young riders.

Show Arena 6 only hosted three classes on Friday evening but all three called for additional workouts which put the show arena right in time with the coliseum. The Senior Western Seat Equitation World Championship was first in the ring with all 12 entries asked to perform individual patterns. After flawless railwork and a military style pattern, Meagan Drew and Tara's Apache jogged away as the 2004 World Champions directed by Rob Marsh. Representing the east, Ellen McQuade and Kane Creek Kryptonite are always a rock steady pair and they were absolutely thrilled to be named the reserve world champions. Kali Erin Hutchinson and Kern's Endeavor rounded out the top three in this competitive class.

UPHA Challenge Cup competition was then held for both the junior and the senior riders. Phase I of the competition consisted of rail work followed by individual workouts. The riders were evaluated by Sandra Lilly, Ray Krussell and Michael Craghead. Results were later posted for 12 riders to return for the phase II senior competition. There were only nine riders in the junior section, so all riders returned for phase II competition. The phase II would complete the class on Saturday afternoon with riders and instructors eager to complete this important final.

Show Arena 9 The Working Hunters and World Champion Trail divisions convened in show arena 9 to start the day on Friday. Fawn McDaniel rode Melendy Cash Bonus to the Grand National title of Amateur Working Hunter Finals Champion for the Melendy Farm. Reserve in the Grand National finals class went home with the Dragonfire trained duo of EMR Windchester and Katie Klooster.

 The versatile and talented team of Kate Podell and Wintergreen Sultana leapt away with the championship honors in the Junior Exhibitor Working Hunter Finals. Reserve went back with Geneva Milliken and Wintergreen Commando.

 Kate Podell was back in the winner's circle when she guided Wintergreen Sultana to the first place spot in the Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences Finals. Reserve in the equitation class went to Kayla Susan Reser and PKF Hollywood.

Ron Smith guided Wintergreen Marquis through a serious of challenging obstacles to be named the World Champion Trail horse. They collected the tricolor and roses for owners Lisa and Al Reif. Lendol Diehl and Elkland Oaks Connie maneuvered their way to the Reserve World Championship.

Martha Wetmore and Beta B Provocative are no strangers to the winner's circle and on Friday night in Show Arena 9 they trotted away with the World Champion Carriage Driving Obstacles to the delight of Bittersweet Farm. Reserve in the World Championship class went home with Triton RLM Classic and Cathy Grimes performing with prowess for Lorelei Lindenmayer.

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