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Grand National Gets Off To Tricolor Start On Sunday



Sunday Coliseum         The pageantry of the Grand National is steeped in tradition and part of that lore is the crowning of In Hand World Champions in the opening session. The coveted Oklahoma coolers and plaques are proudly hung from the victors’ tack rooms. Even bigger rewards in the form of national recognition and future bookings go to the breeders of these distinguished champions. All in all it's a good way to begin another year of world champion competition.     “It feels pretty good to win an In Hand title. Besides getting a win, it makes your tack room decorations look good all week long,” said Jim Lowry who presented the Junior World Champion Mare.     Having a winning presence at Oklahoma over the past few years of their young careers, Mark and Melissa Wahl captured the first tricolor streamers of the 2004 Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show. CJS Final Destination (Aljaks Double Whammy x Quail Run Fantasia) was that winner, taking the Grand National Yearling Gelding title for Cindy Fischer-Shepherd. Reserve honors went the way of Phil Fountain and the Salem Command son, Miramax for Brad and Dawn Fire's Peeper Ranch.     Sired by the 2000 Park Harness World Champion Stonecroft Byzantine, CBMF Mozambique was the unanimous standout from the Two-Year-Old Gelding competition. Rodney Hicks and Debbie Gowans provided the winning presentation for Sebring Stables and owner/breeder Copper Beech LLC. Representing The River’s Edge, AMHF June’s Star showed to the reserve streamers with Bob Kellert handling for Margaret Thompson.     The champions and reserve champions from the first two classes came back for World Champion Junior Gelding honors. Judges Steve Davis, Bill Parker and Sandy Sessink stood them up and watched them lead one more time but in the end CBMF Mozambique was named the first World Champion of the 2004 show. Handlers Rodney Hicks and Debbie Gowans earned a unanimous decision for Copper Beech LLC. Mozambique added this world title to his New England Junior Gelding Championship earlier this summer. CJS Final Destination emerged from the lineup as the reserve world champion for Mark and Melissa Wahl and owner Cindy Fischer-Sheperd.     The intensity picked up with the presentation of the Three-Year-Old Geldings and the presence of Blackridge was still strongly felt this year despite their absence. Dragonsmeade CarnegieHall was the big winner here and more in particular the Dragonsmeade breeding program featuring the sire Beethoven. Beethoven was the sire of both the champion and reserve champion.     Dragonsmeade CarnegieHall was called to the winner's circle of the three-year-old class with Tim Roesink making the winning presentation for Kourt Jester Morgans. It was an impressive performance for the gelding who was recently purchased by William and Shelley Silber from Dragonsmeade Farm. Dragonsmeade Virtuoso performed with Judy Whitney Harris and Ernesto Chevolla to follow in reserve for owner/breeder Dragonsmeade.     Moving to the Four-Year-Old Gelding class MEM Reality Check scored the winning votes for trainer Phil Fountain and owner Judith Voss. Futurity French Command was the winning sire. Fresh from the Reserve Grand Champion Gelding title at Jubilee, CCR’s Zirconia, the first son of CCR’s Outrajus Corajus to show, was the reserve champion for the Errington family of Northfield, Minn. Bert Earehart was on the lead.     HVK March Flaire proved to be a smart purchase. A part of the Kohler Sale held in May, the son of Noble Flaire and HVK Dragonfly stood before the Oklahoma audience as the Five & Over Gelding Champion for trainers Bill and Sammi Hazen and owner Jacqueline Clapp. Former Four-Year-Old English Pleasure World Champion AKM Manhattan (Man About Town LPS x UVM Envy) paraded as the reserve champion with Krista Dent and Greg O’Kelley showing for Sally Lawing.     The crowning of the five & over winner gave the judging panel the fifth and sixth contender for the World Champion Senior honors. When they were brought back into the ring together, three-year-old winner Dragonsmeade CarnegieHall stood out above the rest and a world champion cooler headed back to the Grove Pointe tack room, although Tim Roesink’s work was not done with the World Champion Gelding competition just minutes away. Sammi Hazen and HVK March Flaire were the next pick among the senior competitors. They too would return for one last look.     As the gates opened for the final time of the morning session, the top two from the junior division met up with the top two from senior group. The maturity proved to be too much as Dragonsmeade CarnegieHall had ones straight across the board to give the Roesink and Silber families a morning they will never forget. With all three second place votes, HVK March Flaire made the reserve world champion victory pass with the Hazens again showing for Jacqueline Clapp.     The turnout for the in hand mares was much larger than the gelding section as 16 entered the ring for the afternoon opening Yearling Filly competition. From the 16, four were called out for a second look and Mark Wahl had two of the four. Once those four had been scrutinized again, New England's Yearling Filly winner Cabot First Confession was again crowned the champion. By Liberation First Star and out of former Breeders Sweepstakes Champion KJM French Confession, First Confession was shown by Mark Wahl for Jim and Carole Bradford. Owned by J.D. and Susan Symer, Legendary Alexa Leigh (Troutbrook Alexander x JW Jealouslee) were right there for reserve honors with Ernesto Chevolla and Judy Whitney Harris on the lead.     Sired by AFF Leroy Brown, Annika was third for Mark Wahl and owner Philip Alderman. Winner of the 2003 Breeder's Sweepstakes Championship, Raintree Celine, a Stonecroft Byzantine daughter, was the fourth entry given a second look. John Hufferd stood her up for Barb Rudicel.     Nearly as strong as the yearlings, 11 Two-Year-Old Mares were next on the schedule. By the time this class was sorted out the absolutely beautiful Halle Berry (Stonecroft Byzantine x THB Heavens French Starlet) turned back all challengers. She was presented in high order by Jim Lowry for Priscilla Marconi. WWW Reality Check Dot Com sired the reserve champion WWW Virtual Reality. Mark Wahl presented the reserve champion and 2003 World Champion Yearling Filly Futurity winner for Dale Nielson. Far West Junior Mare Champion Flairetation was among the top ribbon winners in third, followed by the crowd pleasing Paradigm Hot Chocolate.     Returning to the ring for the Junior Mare World Championship, Halle Berry's name went up in the spotlight again as she modeled like a star for Jim Lowry and owner Priscilla Marconi. From the yearling section, Cabot First Confession emerged as the Reserve World Champion Junior Mare for Mark Wahl and Jim and Carole Bradford.     Eight mares stood before the judges, both in and out of the ring, for the Three-Year-Old Mare title. With quality and talent, Bell's Masterpiece (HVK Bell Flaire x Illustra So Rare by Serenity Masterpiece) left little doubt that she was the winner of this round. Already the Connecticut Morgan and New England Grand Champion Mare, Bell's Masterpiece was the unanimous three-year-old winner for Lynn Peeples and new owner Stephanie Connor. This outstanding performance came despite a trailering accident on the way to OKC. Another Sunday title holder sired by Beethoven, Jacqui O was next in line for a ribbon. The elegant reserve champion was shown by Mary Brannon for Lyn Talmadge.     Moving to the four-year-old competition, Damian Hyde escorted the animated HDP Warrior Princess to the winner's circle when ribbons were passed out. The Carlyle Upper Caisse daughter is owned by Tina Lessnau. Cheryl Brooks and Joyce Hoy were the owners of reserve champion HB Impressions In Town, New England's four-year-old winner shown by Mark Mason.     Showing last year's World Champion Mare Long Acres Broadway, the pressure was on Kurt Hufferd to come through in the Five & Over Mare class. The Indian Creek Morgan Farm entry didn't miss a beat on the way to the winner's circle with the approval of all three judges. Reserve champion UVM Farrah, a Hillock Showson daughter shown by David Young for Linda Sheridan, was also unanimous.     Long Acres Broadway returned to the ring to again earn a unanimous decision. The daughter of Tug Hill Whamunition and Mantic Mardi Gras showed lots of beauty and substance to win the senior title for the second consecutive year. The extremely elegant Bell's Masterpiece gave a valiant effort and went nose to nose with Long Acres Broadway to wear the Reserve Senior World Champion Mare title for Lynn Peeples and Stephanie Connor.     When the junior title holders were brought back to challenge the senior mares, the seniors reigned supreme. Kurt Hufferd and Long Acres Broadway claimed the World Champion Mare title with a unanimous decision for Indian Creek Morgan Farm. It was her second consecutive title. Bell's Masterpiece was the unanimous reserve world champion for Peeples and Connor.     After a couple hours break officials, trainers, owners and spectators returned to the coliseum in anticipation of great competition among the stallion contenders. Starting out like the mare division, four of the 11 yearling entries were pulled from the line up for a second look. Regal in every way, CBMF Cutting Edge (Beethoven x Arielle) was yet another product of V. Ann Haley's Copper Beech breeding program to star at Oklahoma ‘04. The Grand National Yearling Colt Champion was shown by Rodney Hicks for Sebring Stables.     Mark Wahl was again among the top prize winners with reserve champion Ultras Special Trademark (Ultras Free Agent x Ultra's Independence) for Jan Van Dusen. Cheri Barber and Gradell Ring My Bell picked up the yellow streamers followed by Wendigo’s James West and Lyle Wick.     Having already made his presence known from Colorado to Northampton, TRE Master Of Disguise (Stonecroft Masquerade x WTS Wing And A Prayer) put on another athletic performance to impress his many fans. Bob Kellert was again on the lead for Debra Hurst Walters for the Two-Year-Old Stallions title. Pierre Loiselle presented the crowd-pleasing Bonnie-Lee's Future Flaire as the reserve champion for Mona Bonham. These two entries came back to also earn unanimous decisions as the World Champion Junior Stallion and Reserve World Champion Junior Stallion, respectively.     Upheaded and expressive, Pine Creek's Noble Vision was the most impressive star among the three-year-old stallions. The Nobility son was the unanimous selection of the panel with Steve DeBolt leading for Michael and Mary Penn. Their closest competition came from Bob Kellert and the Chandel Absolut son AMHF Absolut Grandeur performing for David and Cindy Vogels.     There were only three challengers for the Four-Year-Old Stallion honors and among the three the ring belonged to last year's World Champion Stallion LPS The Boogie Man. With more maturity and the same show horse attitude, the son of Man About Town LPS and Honeytree’s Simply Unique ruled with a unanimous decision for David Rand and owner Nancy Ramsey. Harry Sebring and Rodney Hicks teamed up to present the Comoshun Morgans entry CBMF Ruling Class (GLB Bell Pepper x CEN Can't Touch This) for reserve honors.     The moment everyone had been waiting for came next. One of recent history's most popular stars, Born To Boogie (TVM I Promise x J'st Coastin Countess) returned to the ring at the age of 14. He has been a show horse his entire life and he wasn't about to stop now. Boogie won his third World Champion Stallion in 2002 before turning the ring over to his grandson, LPS The Boogie Man in 2003.     Cheers rang out as soon as the picturesque Morgan stallion hit the ring and they were still going when Lynn Peeples led the Honeytree Farm entry to the winner's circle with a unanimous decision. Also in the hunt was reserve champion Winterset Thyme ‘N Agin, an HVK Bell Flaire son shown by Luman Wadhams for Clare Simpson. The crowd also showed its approval of third place finisher Key Biscayne.     Of the three in hand divisions, the class of the day had to be the World Champion Senior Stallion competition. Morgan owners in attendance were thrilled with the quality which stood before them and judges Davis, Parker and Sessink had their work cut out.     Without as much fanfare as there could have been with a class of this quality, David Rand and LPS The Boogie Man were spectacular. The entire team, including Missy Hanover who was assisting Rand, was dressed black on black and was it ever beautiful! With the look at me attitude of his grandsire, The Boogie Man defended his senior title of 2003. Someone had to be reserve and this time it was the legendary Born To Boogie, presented by his friend and trainer Lynn Peeples.     In the World Champion Stallion finale the junior champions tried to challenge the veteran titans but there would be no cracking the lineup on this evening. The first night of competition came to a close with LPS The Boogie Man and Born To Boogie sharing the ring one last time as the World and Reserve World Champion Stallions. And this was only the beginning! Sunday Show Arena 6     Age group qualifiers for saddle seat riders were the first classes held in Show Arena 6 at Oklahoma ‘04. Familiar with the winner's circle all season long, New England's Saddle Seat Equitation Grand Champion Morgan Glenn represented instructor Mary Carlton in blue ribbon fashion for the 16-17 year old title aboard Hollybrook Gentleman Jack. Having just come from Kentucky Horse Park where she was the high point rider for the World Cup competition, Sarah Taylor rode from Cape Cod Farm to claim reserve honors paired with Wind Blu Roadmaster. Taylor is also a world title holder in the Saddlebred world.     Anne Speck's 2003 Junior Saddle Seat Equitation World Champion, Ariana Corrigan made her first Grand National as a senior rider a blue ribbon affair. Her polished look was chosen to make the victory pass among the 14-15 year old riders with her partner Festival Troubadour. Cricket Hill Farm's Brooke Gove continued her successful season with the reserve ride matched with Hollybrook Romeo.     Mary Carlton seemed to have a revolving door on the winner's circle in both the saddle seat and hunt seat divisions throughout Sunday. Sarah Shimmer added her named to the Grand National Champions list with an impressive victory pass from the 12-13 year old age group matched with Minion Absolut. In her first year of showing at the Grand National, Taylor Sams represented California and instructor Anne Speck with a reserve finish.     Cape Cod's Caroline Gaker captured the 11 & under class for the second consecutive year with the grand mare Wind Blu Supreme Fantasy. Her winning ride was followed by Rachel Miller, the youngest of the top riding children of Greg and Linda Miller of Moreno Valley, California. Her newest partner DU Absolutely Courageous carried her to the title under the Gerry Rushton Stables banner.     From the Wichita Riding Academy, Emily Buchanan occupied the winner's circle following the Saddle Seat Classic Equitation 13 & Under competition with Irish O'Ryan. Kimberly Forster stepped up with a nice ride to take reserve honors among the nine remaining entries.     The 14-17 classic equitation riders were 14 strong and much like she has done all season long, Musette Re’ Kyranos led the charge. A winner since her days in the walk and trot ranks, Kyranos had championship rides at both Connecticut All Morgan and New England Morgan this year for longtime instructor Jean DeGutis. Also a familiar name in the equitation division, Leigh Fitzgerald rode off with the red streamers matched with The Lion King by instructor Cindy Mugnier.     Preliminaries for the AMHA Western Seat Gold Medal kicked off the afternoon's activities in Show Arena 6. The best riders from both coasts and many points in between were represented here and 12 of the 17 would return for the finals. They included Stephanie Boda, Kati Anderson, Ellen McQuade, Heather Garcia, Kayla Suzanne Reser, Logan Nicole Mather, Alyssa Rumsey, Kimberly Forster, Jessica Geissinger, Emily Webster-Seely, Andrea Kiester, and Cassandra Vujtech.     Featuring yet another aspect of the Morgan breed the beauty of Carriage Driving competition was the next section to be judged in Show Arena 6. Enjoying great popularity, the Carriage Driving Working Single class had to be split. Driving their way down victory lane, Juneacres Tandy and Anita Meinert came from Iowa to be the top choice in section A. Vermont's John Aubin and Little Acres Inheritance drove away with the red streamers.     Section B honors went to the state of Colorado with Greentree Brigadier and Cece Green for Greentree Ranch Morgans. Beta B Protocol's fluid way of going earned the red prize for Mary Shurtleff of Bethany, Conn.,     Starting back that evening, numbers for the Hunter Seat On The Flat Equitation 16 & 17 class were so large that it was split. Amanda DuPont greeted Kara Hose in the winner's circle following work in the first section. Jillian Zick turned in the reserve ride directed by Sally Lindabury. With several of the country's top senior riders competing, Kate Podell scored the blue from section B while newcomer Anna Weeks had the time of her life accepting the reserve grand national title.     The west coast had another star in Grand National Hunter Seat On The Flat 11 & Under Champion Kimberly Forster. Versatile Rachel Miller was the reserve champion after having won a reserve title in saddle seat equitation competition earlier in the day.     Mary Carlton's Junior World Champion rider in 2003, Alyssa Rumsey was back with another world class ride to win the Grand National Hunter Seat On Flat 12 Year Old title. From the highly successful Dragonfire program, Samantha Schuring scored the reserve ride.     Cheryl Woosley was the next trainer to claim a 2004 Grand National Championship. She directed Lauren Cook to the 13 year old age group blue. Several challenged Cook's smooth performance but it was Geneva Miliken who got the closest with the reserve ride.     Michigan's Mary Carlton wore out a pair of boots making her way to the winner's circle on this first day of competition. Closing out the Sunday evening session, Kali Erin Hutchinson joined the winning Crystal Farms riders by topping the 14 and 15 year old age group amid a field of 19. Reserve to the champion was another Marshall, Mich., resident, Ashley Wright also representing Crystal Farms. Show Arena 9     The dust was flying early in Show Arena 9 as the stars from the reining division were sliding and spinning their way into the Oklahoma history books. Growing in popularity by leaps and bounds, this division featured some of the great athletes of the Morgan breed.     Jarvis Anderson claimed the first Grand National title of the week among the reining contenders with the blue in the 1st year green competition atop LMC Summit Rose. Livingston, Montana's Jean Keffler and David Stanley were the owners. A reserve grand national ribbon went to Morganquest Native Sun, an entry ridden Sterling Slump for the Burris family of Lebanon, Missouri. Shawn McClurg and TLB Tiz A Piper were given the winning score over Heartquest Rachel and Mark Wilcher in 2nd year green competition.        Action resumed with the Reining Non-Pro Adult class in which River Riders Romeo had all the right moves for Jon Rivers. Going home with a reserve grand national title was Meredith Rosier-Cooke’s LSI Hollywood Helkat.     Katie Wallace was the first name called out when awards were given in the inaugural 13 & Under Fitting & Showmanship competition. Canabar Front Page was her entry. Karlie Bagan and Garahlee Val's Sky High commanded reserve honors.     The best of the 14-17 Fitting & Showmanship entries turned out to be Jessica Geissinger and SMS Annalark. Reserve to the champion was Andrea Kiester with West Mt. Windrider.

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