Skip to content

Great River Benefits All Who Attend

by Michelle Krentz

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Sunshine and happiness filled the Iowa Equestrian Center during the Great River Horse Show to make for a great show, May 16-18, 2008. Good class variety made for a quality show, and the friendly show staff made for happy exhibitors. The exhibitors’ party on Friday night provided everyone a chance to enjoy some free food and an opportunity to mingle and meet their fellow competitions, while the pork roast on Saturday let exhibitors do it again, but under the warm sun. The show keeps getting better every year and no one can say enough good things about it!

Stocco and Rick Wallen made an impressive show to win the Junior/Novice Five-Gaited class.

While owner Whitney Anderson was away at school working on finals, trainer Bob Griffin was able to have some fun on her horse, The New World Man, to win the Open Five-Gaited qualifier and stake. The winner of the junior/novice class and the reserve winner in the stake was Stocco with Rick Wallen. Mike and Jane Schallock own the fiery chestnut gelding by Shamrock Santana.

The always happy and smiling Darcy Pogue was elated to win both the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake and the Amateur Five-Gaited qualifier with Deluge under Rick Wallen’s direction. Callaway’s Place Your Bets and Lindsey Bade were reserve in the qualifier, while My Heiristotle and Marie Nelson picked up the reserve streamers in the stake class. Santana’s Last Dance never backed an ear to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited class with his young rider, Taylor Crone.

After only a few rides on her new mount, King Of The Blues WVF, Caitlin Donohue was set to show. In her debut performances with the big chestnut gelding, she was reserve in the Amateur Three-Gaited qualifier, but came back to win the open stake. Reserve in the open stake went to the open qualifier winner, The Velvet Cat, and Allison Rohloff. Trainer Mark Van Zomeren qualified the horse for Rohloff. Born The Best, a flashy walk/trot horse trimmed in white won the Junior/Novice Three-Gaited class and the amateur/junior exhibitor stake class with Curt Kligora for Dr. Meg Knowles under the Clean Sweep Banner. The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited winner, Aphrodite’s Tears, was reserve in the stake with beautiful riding Paige Guisfredi aboard.

Winning the Park Stake after picking up the red ribbon in the junior/novice class was Sultan’s Petriphying Dreamer and Julio Rodriguez for Darlene Mannix. The fixy chestnut A Promise Fulfilled won the Open Park qualifier in its only appearance with trainer Lisa Strickland aboard for Ellyn Dorsey. Mountainview’s Flower Girl and Cliff Paulsen won both the Amateur Park Stake and junior/novice class. Nanette Lepor and Leslie Hartigan marched down victory lane in the Amateur Park class under the Country Meadow Farm banner.

A world champion more than once, Simbara’s Exclamation and proud owner Dr. Scott Cairns certainly looked the part to win both Open Fine Harness classes with the help of trainer Lynn Durant. The fancy grey horse A Silver Certificate and Valeria Geull won the Amateur Fine Harness class. The Junior/Novice Fine Harness Champion was Unexpected Surprize with Jacques Marais for Walter J. Alvarez.

Zeus picked up the Amateur Road Pony blue and Road Pony Stake tricolor with Cindy Cram at the lines. Passing Lane and Rick Wallen won the Open Road Pony qualifier for owner Jane Schallock after picking up the red ribbon in the junior/novice class. Navigator was the winner of the junior/novice class with Mike Herron.

Pretty Impressive first picked up the Open Harness Pony qualifier with trainer Kenny Guell, and went on to win the Harness Pony Stake with owner Sue Ellis. Poinsettia’s Mirage LF won the Amateur Harness Pony class with Lisa Koktavy and was reserve in the Open Harness Pony class with Laurel Eckloff.

The Open Hackney Pony blue went to Disco Dolly with Sue Ellis at the lines. Monte Carlo was the Amateur Hackney Pony winner as well as the junior/novice winner with Fran Tapken driving for Roger and Mary Kirkton in the amateur class and Mike Kirkton driving in the junior/novice.

Sue Ellis continued a winning weekend with a blue and a tricolor in Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving behind C.C. Rider. Late Nite’s World Class and Judith McDonough were reserve in both classes. Romeo’s Master Sargeant LF and Carolyn Helton were the junior/novice winners.

Kalarama's Pretty Woman racked her way to the five-gaited pleasure winner's circle with owner Nina Lieponis.

The cute and sporty mare of Nina Lieponis always looks happy doing her job and often does it in winning fashion. Kalarama’s Pretty Woman did her job very well at Great River to win the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Grand Championship, with qualifier winner CH Hank Heiron coming in reserve with Bobby Kegley aboard.

Elizabeth Hunzinker’s flashy bay gelding X-Ray Vision won the Park Pleasure Stake with Mark Van Zomeren aboard. Another flashy bay horse with a lot of attitude, Rosemont’s Mystre was reserve in that class after winning the qualifier with Rick Wallen. A little horse with a big motor, Mighty Mouse topped a large class to win the Junior/Novice Park Pleasure class with Lisa Strickland for Mimi Bachall.

Aldert and Pamela Grace put in two perfect classes to win a blue and a tricolor in the OTAB English pleasure division.

The lightly, but successfully shown gelding Stonecroft Serengeti easily made the move to the show pleasure division to win the adult stake and novice class with Kristen Pettry aboard for Mary Lee Mathy. The nice five-year-old was the Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure World Champion with Bret Day in 2006. Irresistible Day and Abby Reising took reserve in the both adult show pleasure classes, while Cody Banks and Kelly Oselka won the adult qualifier under the Bell View Banner. Tantara’s De Phi All Odds and Gabrielle Zimmerman were very excited to be named the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Grand Champions. Hasta La Vista won the juvenile qualifier with Bryanna Poorman. Seaforth’s Heiristotle and Diane Nyhammer won the Junior Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class over the beautiful black horse Rudolph Giuliani and Elizabeth Duhachek.

No one could deny Undisputed’s pleasurable persona as he won both show pleasure driving classes with Sue Ellis. Brendan Heintz expertly catch drove Callaway’s Landslide to the Junior/Novice Show Pleasure Driving blue as well as the reserve grand championship for Dick and Jeanette Durant.

In a class of their own, Riprap and Marie Nielsen swept the five-gaited country pleasure division at Great River.

My Point Of View and Susan Narko were elated to win the Adult Country Pleasure classes.

Susan Narko’s expression on her face when she realized she had won is the reason why people show horses. A culmination of happiness, excitement, gratitude and sheer joy, she was thrilled to win both Adult Country Pleasure classes with her beloved My Point Of View. Barnmate Allison Kurcz also won both of her country pleasure classes in the juvenile division aboard Tut’s Gold, a beautiful chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.

Tut's Gold and Allison Kurcz won both their junior exhibitor country pleasure classes under the Bell View banner.

Reebok’s Decoration and Kelsi Keith won the owner/trainer/rider class, while Endless Summer and Stacey Kapusta won the novice rider class. Last year’s juvenile show pleasure sensation with Dakota Reiser has found a new young boy to guide him skillfully around the ring. This year it is Andrew Slater who gets to enjoy the delightful Highpoint’s Grandee for owner Barb Fahey as they won the junior/novice class.

In the tough country pleasure driving division, it was Time’s A Rollin and catch driver, Janene Steggeman to top the large field in the championship for owner Matthew Hebl. Another Rick Wallen trained horse, CH Nice Doing Business, and Mike Schallock were reserve in the championship. The qualifier winners were Mercantile Exchange and Doris Brandl for Ross and Jess Clay.

Ima Wildcard and Liz Willis successfully showed in the western division under the Heartland Stables banner.

Great River proved to be a show where western horses came to compete, as the division was huge! A Touch Of Rhythm and proud owner/trainer Jenny Paetz jogged to the winner’s circle in the western stake class after Emily Bunn won the junior exhibitor class with the well-mannered horse. But their winning did not end there! The versatile horse also won the AOTR class, picked up the reserve in the Working Western class, as well as won the Hunter Pleasure Championship, OTAB Hunter Pleasure and the OTAB reserve championship with Rachel Potter. Another nice western horse, Spirited Talk picked up two reserves, one in the western stake and the other in the Shatner class. The gorgeous black and white pinto Ima Wild Card won the working class and the Shatner class with owner Liz Willis under the Heartland Stables banner.

Callaway’s Scoop The News was happy to get another jump in before St. Louis, as he leaped his way perfectly over the one set up at Great River to earn the Hunter Seat Classic with loving owner Kristen Pettry.

Mallory Hartigan and Simbara's Salutation were unbeatable at the show under the guidance of Julie Ann Wroble.

Alex Zaler put in two nice rides to win the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and qualifier. Zac Cutting made his trainer, Shari Brandl, extremely proud when he made three trips down victory lane in all three walk and trot classes. Looking stronger and stronger at every show she goes to, Mallory Hartigan’s strength was tested as she was put to work at Great River. After winning the Challenge Cup, Mallory showed back in the Pleasure Equitation Championship and won that too, but not without completing rail work, a pattern and a work off. Hartigan and Elizabeth Hunzinker, who was reserve in the Challenge Cup class, went head to head in the championship as Judge Cherry, needed to see a little bit more. While both riders rode hard, in the end it was Hartigan who took the tricolor. Another Country Meadow rider, Anne Roberts won the Adult Challenge Cup over expert catch-rider Nick Royer. Anna Bergman won the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation class aboard her sporty High Time’s Hoosier Daddy. Molly Bryers was reserve in that class under Bob Griffin and Tom Thorpe’s direction. Nadine Van Zomeren won the Pleasure Equitation 13 & Under class over Medallion winner Lexi Friedrich.

Nadine Van Zomeren won the Pleasure Equitation 13 & Under class under the direction of her parents, Renae and Mark.


Louise Eversman made trainer and daughter Austin Eversman very proud when she won the Morgan English Pleasure class aboard MJK Seize Command.

Louise Eversman made her daughter/trainer Austin Eversman extremely proud as she smartly guided MJK Seize Command around the ring to win the Morgan English Pleasure Stake. Reserve in the class went to Eversman’s best friend, Vanessa Leone, who showed the fancy Auhl That Jazz for Julie Wroble. Sue Ellis was in the winner’s circle all week. Riding or driving, English or western, Ellis proved she could do it all. Aboard her exciting, Hylee’s Red Fox, she won the Morgan English Pleasure class and the Morgan Pleasure Driving class.

Alakazam won all three of its Morgan Western pleasure classes with Sue Ellis aboard.

Sue’s Alakazam was the Morgan Western Pleasure star as the beautiful bay won all three of its classes: the Western Stake, the Open Western qualifier and the amateur class. Teton Royal Raven and Judy Gauger were reserve in those three classes. Another Sue Ellis entry, EBM War Galaxy, won the Morgan Halter class with trainer Kenny Guell.

Medomak Cobra Command was reserve in the Pleasure Driving class, but came back to win it with Milt Gauger for Joe/Mary Borg. This nice horse also took home the red ribbon in the Morgan halter class. Summit’s Socialite was the Hunter Pleasure champion with Charles Berzins.

More Stories