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A Full Slate Of Competition At Syracuse

by Bob Funkhouser

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A dedicated group of horse show enthusiasts in New York have lived through the ups and down of the Syracuse International and for the past few years have greatly enjoyed the upside of the scale. Manager Naomi Blumenthal, co-chairpersons Julie Kritzler, Theresia Giardino, and Michele DiNardi-Fields and assistants John Pade, Joy Warner, and Karen Hall have put this show back on the map as a stopping place for many Northeast barns. This year it was June 28 through July 1 for the thirty-third running of the show.

There is a class for everyone in the Saddlebred, Morgan, Hackney and National Show Horse breeds. In fact, if there is one thing that could use some work, it is the long schedule as some sessions lasted six hours. Other than that, it was a very fun and competitive show.

Hospitality has been a focus and the show committee has more than excelled in that area. Across the hall from the show office is the hospitality room that is sponsored by Graywood and Hallston Manor. Donuts, popcorn and soft drinks are available daily for the exhibitors. It’s a great gathering place to check out the junior exhibitor artwork or purchase Syracuse International memorabilia.

In addition to the hospitality room, there are nightly gatherings sponsored by local stables. Wrighthall Stables and Casa Larga Winery opened up the string of parties with a Wine and Cheese Party on Wednesday night, followed by the Thursday evening Junior Exhibitor/Parent Party sponsored by Jack and Cathy Kunkel.

Friday night is the big event each year. Sponsored by Reindance Stables and Little Lexington Farm, the Buckin’ Bronco B-B-Q was again a huge success. Barbeque chicken and all the fixins were served while a DJ spun the latest hits. At the end of the evening the annual 50/50 raffle was held and $10,000 was given away with $5,000 going to the winner and (5) other $1,000 prizes awarded. This year’s big winner was Herb Headwell of Misty Hills Farm.

Following the Friday night horse show party an impromptu Buck A Shot basketball party was held at the Rodney Hicks Stables. This annual event has turned into a fun and competitive evening enjoyed by many.

In the middle of all of this the Hall/Fisk family opened the doors to their Hallston Manor which is located just a short drive from the Syracuse Fairgrounds. A great lunch was provided followed by the annual showing of babies.

While there are so many things to do at the Syracuse International, competition is what most exhibitors come for. Deciding who was the best of those events were Susi Day (Saddlebreds/Ponies/Equitation/National Show Horse), Rick Davis (Morgan/Friesian/National Show Horse), and Donnie Bullock (National Show Horse). John Franzreb assisted the judges while again serving as ringmaster. Shane Shiflet was back to provide many great photographs and Dale Stone was on hand to entertain as the organist. Doug Cross was the voice of the Syracuse and did a great job as well.

Competition was fierce across the breeds. In the Five-Gaited Championship judge Day put the hard charging Cameo Appearance and Darlene Trento-Wright on top. It was the second consecutive year for the Jodi Goff entry. Open winner Betcha By Golly Wow was reserve grand champion with Sena Bowling providing the smooth ride for Wes and Sena Bowling. Third place honors went to junior/novice champion Tale Of The Cat, a young full brother to World’s Grand Champion 5 O’Clock.

Doreen Weston of Smoke Hollow Farm gave Tale Of The Cat the good rides, and she also won the ladies class with Montgomery Burns. Louise DeBlois and Grand Marq made their best shows at Syracuse and commanded reserve in the ladies class and the amateur reserve grand championship.

Winning that Amateur Five-Gaited Championship was Yes I Have, the explosive full sister to World’s Champion Have You Ever. This was the third amateur championship of the year for the Cedarledge Farm entry that was ridden by Kate Codeanne.

Wes and Sena Bowling brought a nice string to Syracuse including Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Grand Champion and qualifying winner Diplomatic Son. Krystal Murphy was the winning jockey. Allyson Ehle and Homecoming Heir were twice reserve.

Jan Lukens and Cocktail Ring made the last pass from the Three-Gaited Championship, taking the title for Joellen Fisher Blount who had ridden the grand champion to victory in the junior/novice class. Open class winner The Cardiac Kid was reserve grand champion with Dorothy Riley riding under the direction of Nicholas Villa.

Dr. Geraldine Meanor and the versatile champion Prince Of The Day topped a good Ladies Three-Gaited class in which Broadway’s Mamma Mia and Careen “Air” Dubuc were reserve.

Lukens Stables sent Margaret Biggs and Hawkwing to the winner’s circle of the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship. They also wore the blue from the qualifier. Also marching a big trot, A Design To Remember OCF was twice reserve champion from Peter Axtel’s China Pointe. Betty Reeves was aboard for Lynn Carol Schweikert.

Moving up a notch from the qualifier, Kansai and Adrienne Hariry finished the week as Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Grand Champions. Evalyn Lyshoir and Choiceco were reserve grand champions, while Jessica Moctezuma and The King’s Talent topped the qualifier.

Having a great show for Hallston Manor, Libby McLemore rode The Proof Is In The Heir to the Three-Gaited Park Championship and open qualifier. From Cricket Hill Farm, MaryBeth Alosa returned to the show ring after a four-year absence to take the reserve grand championship with Snorkle. They qualified with a victory pass in a large Limit Park class.

Saddlebred ambassador Carson Kressley was on hand to ride Callaway’s Prime Rate to the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship and qualifier. He had strong competition from twice reserve winners CH Desert’s Supreme Lady and Margaret Biggs.

The High Tail Acres family has put Ashley Bradbury and Diamonds I Am on top this year and Syracuse was no exception. They were the winners of both junior exhibitor park classes. Thomas Santaferra and Catch The Dream were called out in reserve.

Ladies swept the open championships as Joellen Fisher-Blount made it three for three following her winning drive in the Fine Harness Championship with the leg-waving Tornaado’s Tidal Wave. David Arnold drove Kendall Jackson to the reserve grand championship for Daryl Carlow. Nicholas Villa and the sporty Harlem’s Beau Dandy had picked up the reserve in the open class.

There was a nice selection of ponies on hand. Nathan Roden’s Junior Road Pony Champion,
Michigan’s Habanero also wore the tricolor from the ring as the Road Pony Grand Champion. They were directed by Rodney Hicks. Open winner Mountain View’s Sunrise Sunrise was reserve grand champion with Brooke Sweigart.

The tricolor from the Amateur Road Pony Championship returned home to Fairfield South as Rusty Morrison drove Heartland Yankee Strutter in tricolor style. A large ovation went to the junior-sized Alex Ververeli and his Mastercraft’s Gambler as they were named reserve grand champions. In the qualifying round it was Diana Kressley Billig and Regal’s Rebel LF on top.

Misty Hills Farm enjoyed a good week including Ryan Fornango’s winning drive in the Harness Pony Championship with Twin Willow’s Dimitri. They also won the open class blue. Rodney Hicks and Kilbro’s Kathleen B took reserve grand champion honors.

Sharon Francis turned in a great drive to win the Amateur Harness Pony Championship with Dun Haven Exquisite. Michael Chase and Bring It On showed lots of talent to take the reserve championship following their winning drive in the qualifier.

Brooke Sweigart and Unique’s Starlighter were solo in the Hackney Pony Championship. They also defeated Extremely Wicked and Rodney Hicks in the open class.

The honors kept rolling in for the Rodney Hicks Stables. Marjorie Kenney piloted her tasty young star, The Marksman to win the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship. They had been reserve to stablemates Totally Excellent and Nathan Roden in the qualifier.

Janet Crawford Hicks and Miss Excellence continued their excellent season with victory passes in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. Herb Headwell’s Marked By Rhythm was twice reserve.

For the young horses, Twist and Twirl was the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic Champion for Darlene Trento Wright. Flashyheir and Libby McLemore added to Hallston Manor’s winning week with a big time performance in the UPHA Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Classic. She also drove Roi Du Soleil to the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness title.

In the largest of the UPHA Classics, Bob Funkhouser rode the homebred Callback to the winner’s circle of the Park Pleasure Classic for Bob and Raye Lynn Funkhouser. They had plenty of stiff competition from reserve champions David Cater and My Hart’s Reminiscence who were making their debut for Heather Thompson as well as the winning He Is The Heir and Kevin Tomasko.

The pleasure division was filled with talent from top to bottom. Bare Assets with Erin McCracken and Callaway’s Rhapsody In Blue with Anne Kennedy were the tricolor winners in the five-gaited pleasure section representing the best of the adult and junior exhibitor riders. Dartmoor and Berry Garcia had won the respective qualifiers with Diana Kressley-Billig and Carline Deshaies.

North Wind Stables brought home the tricolor from the Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship as Erin McCracken rode My Dakota to the winner’s circle. Reserve grand champion honors went to Delores Barker and Daddy O, winners of the adult qualifier.

The star of the Park Pleasure Championship was MacDonald Dixon, an entry owned and ridden by Audrey Pade. Dark Heiress commanded the reserve victory pass with Jennifer Smith riding.

Junior exhibitors had their pleasure division split into age groups. Cricket Hill Farm’s Kahla Buthlay piloted Maximilian’s Court to the 14-17 championship with Christine Milbury and Spirited Edition in reserve. Jessica MacLeod and New York Entertainer put on the top show from the qualifier.

A tricolor was bestowed upon Krystal Murphy and Good Graces in the 14 & under championship. They also secured the blue from the 14 & Under Show Pleasure qualifier. Lauren Lagasse and New York’s Time Square were pushing hard to finish with reserve titles in both rounds. Cricket Hill stablemate Marjorie Newman won both novice rider pleasure classes with Power Source. Traci Massaro and Art In Motion handled the limit class in blue ribbon fashion for Lukens Stables.

Walk and trot pleasure was most competitive as it had to be split. Riding the veteran champion CH Sergeant Royalty from Lukens Stables, Morgan Billig captured Section A of the championship followed by Oh Just Dheir Me and Valerie Nuno.

Ricky Harris and the Somersdream team had Katie Hill and Cashmere And Suede in prime time order. Their polished look won both the Section B championship and qualifier. Also turning in strong rides, Savannah Pike was the reserve grand champion of that section.

Wentz Stables had the winning number in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship as Tiana Tapper and CH Lover’s Heir put on a tricolor show. Mi American Gigolo and Herb Headwell were reserve grand champions. Inside Edition won blues in the pleasure driving division with both Joanne Gascon and Casey Sherman. Noah and Lisa Traveis McCaughey were limit winners.

Erin McCracken had a show to remember taking the Adult Country Pleasure Championship with Some King Of Magic. It was their second win of the week. Savannah Pike’s limit winner, Chi Town Willy, was reserve grand champion with Michael Behr, while Patricia Bartsch and Mr. Rockefeller made a nice show for reserve in the qualifier.

Joanne Bennett’s Worthy’s Heirloom was two for two in the junior exhibitor country pleasure ranks. Ashton Day and Wild Wasabi were reserve both times out.

Sarah Flynn and Endear topped the Novice Rider Country Pleasure Championship ahead of qualifying winners Malorie Scroger and Repeat The System.

After making his winning debut under saddle at the UPHA Spring Premiere, Endolane’s Supreme Admiral was the star of the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier. The team from Somersdream had Cheryl Innis and Endolane’s Supreme Admiral in top order to take both rounds. Diana Kressley Billig and Born In The Nick Of Time followed in reserve each time.

Western superstar CH A Magic Surprise did his thing in both the qualifier and Country Western Pleasure Championship with Jessica Moctezuma sitting tall in the saddle for Pat Johnson. Cassi Wentz and Fames Favour jogged to the reserve grand championship.

There was also good competition in the ASB Country Hunter Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Paula Holowacz and Solitaire’s Vision commanded the top prizes in the championship and classic. Bethany Shirkey and Portrait Of A Lady topped the open qualifier.

The Saddle Seat Equitation Championship opened the Saturday evening championship session and what a class it was. The Northeast has riders that can compete anywhere and that was the case as World and National Champion Kyle Gagnon rode out with the tricolor for Gary and Marsha Garone’s Fairfield South. Also a World and National Champion, Jessica Moctezuma was reserve grand champion for her mom’s North Wind Stables. Cricket Hill’s Laura McGee had a strong showing to take third in the seven-rider championship. Moctezuma had won the 14-17 class, while Gagnon qualified with a win in the USEF Medal.

Newlyweds David and Kristen Cater had a great week with their Cricket Hill riders. Olivia Prentiss won the 13 & under class, while World Champion Brooke Gove scored wins from the Pleasure Equitation Championship and qualifier, the UPHA Challenge Cup and the NHS Good Hands.

Creating his own legacy, Gavin Gagnon won the Walk Trot Equitation 9-10 Championship and Challenge Cup. Michaela Gillispie was reserve in both events. Morgan Billig and Savannah Pike each went home with winning ribbons from the 8 & under walk and trot division.

Syracuse also had a strong Morgan division with good numbers in most classes. Scott Neidlinger finished a good week with the Park Saddle Championship aboard GLB Sanatra, an entry owned by Catherine Ehnle. Also with a nice string on hand, Alicia Fraser rode Cedar Creek Uproar to the reserve championship honors as well as the red streamers in the qualifier.

KGA’s Center Stage has enjoyed a winning season and put two more titles in the bank with the Morgan English Pleasure Championship and limit blue. David Arnold was the winning rider for Linda Dzicek. CBMF Leading Man and Scott Neidlinger stepped up in the championship round to take reserve honors.

Also in the open pleasure division, Kandles Emerson and Cindy Stanton won the stallion/gelding class, while Jennifer Baskinger and Hillwood Irish Belle topped the mare division.

Kandles Emerson was also triumphant as the Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Grand Champion with owner Marie Vandermark aboard. The qualifier belonged to them as well. HRH Wild Rose and Samantha Hoag commanded the reserve ribbons in both outings.

The best of the Morgan junior exhibitor pleasure entries was The Wizard with Hannah White in the irons. In both classes they were ahead of reserve champions Season’s Supreme Challenge and Amy Podesva, among others.

Morgan Junior English Pleasure Grand Champion honors belonged to Aquarian New Moon and Tim Murray. They traded places with qualifying winners Sugarlane Live Wire and Scott Neidlinger.

Margaret Brown and Oak Creek Chief Of Staff took a victory lap as the Morgan Pleasure Driving Grand Champions, a repeat of their qualifying round. Keith Friday and Bent Apple Vintage Velvet provided strong competition as the twice reserve champions. Chief Of Staff and Brown also swept both amateur driving classes.

Showing her own LSF She’s Comes Undone, Alicia Fraser captured the Junior Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier ahead of Red Kill Cinnamon Beauty and Jonathan Cleveland.

Hillwood Irish Belle and Jo Ann Curtis were the names to remember in the Morgan Classic Pleasure Championship. Reserve grand champions Burkland Legacy and Danielle Paufve won the qualifier. Soul Provider and Lauren Tomaino enjoyed two victory passes from the junior exhibitor ranks. Maya Manilow rode Rosy Reviews to the reserve championship.

A good group of Western horses featured Carbide Smoke and Amanda Worth as the grand champions and amateur grand champions. VVM Simply Elegant and Jillian Zick wore the tricolor as the Morgan Hunter Pleasure Grand Champions and amateur grand champions.

Syracuse also featured a Friesian division in which the many times champion Jorrit won the under saddle championship and qualifier with David Arnold in the irons for Lou and Delia Fox. Bobbi Jo Beck and Auke twice took the highest honors in the driving competition.

Those were the highlights from the 33rd Annual Syracuse International. Complete results can be found by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.


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