Skip to content

Harness/Hackney Ponies

Though a much smaller fraternity, the Hackney world comes together at Louisville to also crown its finest. It was an odd mix this year with some outstanding young ponies making the biggest news. The pleasure driving sections continue to show the largest participation.

Seven young ponies made up the Amateur Junior Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving World’s Championship. Receiving two out of three votes in the Monday morning class was Heartland Celebrate Celebrate with Angela Utecht. Trained by Rich and Beth Campbell this Heartland star has been on a blue ribbon tear this year which has included the Mid-West Futurity class at the Illinois State Fair and the UPHA Classic at Midwest Charity. Securing reserve votes across the board was the consistent Delorean L E with Anna Marie Knipp.

Numbers took a huge leap in the Adult Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving World’s Championship as three divisions separated the 32 total entries. Gaining attention early on was California's best, Pacifico’s Standing Ovation. The vibrant pony earned a unanimous decision and driver Debbie Tomin was at the whip for her thrilling victory pass. In a short time this pony came from obscurity to stardom. Under the direction of Billy Jarrell, multi-world titled Bristol Fashion and Betty Jarrell were proud to be named the reserve world’s champions.

There were 12 entries in division two and an elegant appearance made by Heartland Entitled and Sandra Surber landed two first place votes and a blue ribbon for the Bruce Dixon-trained pair. Reserve went to another California team -- the high stepping Harry Potter and owner Sarah Asch. Joy Ann Lazarus coached the reserve team.

The judges were not quite as consistent in the third division as 11 nice ponies made the decision making a tough task. As it turned out, Heartland Supremacy collected two seconds and a world’s championship victory pass with an elated Crystal Harmon Cates. Roy Harris trains the pony but Crystal was greeted by her overjoyed and well-deserving father Lester Harmon, the ponies owner. Another well-deserving pair, Cascade and Sharon Chrisman, happily exited with a big reserve.

The best from the three qualifying divisions came together for the world’s grand championship on Friday morning. Another undoubtedly smooth but showy performance granted Pacifico’s Standing Ovation and Debbie Tomin a world’s grand championship. Tomin was again all smiles and very proud of her fantastic week and her last drive with the newly crowned world's grand champion as he had been sold to Bob and Nancy Anderson with Hollow Haven Farm as their agent. This tricolor went back to the Richlon tack room where Debbie and her husband, trainer Bill Tomin, were guests of the Laverys. Putting on a good show for reserve was division two world’s champions, Heartland Entitled and Sandra Surber for Yvette Scandling. This Dixon trained entry gave California the one-two punch. Making the cut and coming back strong, High Life Pride and Karen Frickey finished third. Other ribbons went to Heartland Supremacy, Harry Potter, Bristol Fashion, Wild Wind and Cascade.

The junior exhibitor pleasure pony class was split as well. Once again, the judges were right on the money all three tied Rumor Has It first. The talented Ali Rosburg collected the top honors with Ruth Gimpel at her side for Pixie Dust & Steel. Alyssa Lopez, daughter of Dena and Dave Lopez, was in control for a reserve world’s championship with Goin’ My Way. Yet another unanimous decision was in store in the second division. Seamair’s Dear Sir and a proud Max Kaplan exited last as they strutted their stuff down victory lane for the Mike Roberts team. Pat Wessel directed Super Spy and Cayla McKibbage to the reserve world’s championship.

Not letting their guard down for a second, a dapper Max Kaplan and a high going Seamair’s Dear Sir captured a crowd-pleasing victory for the second time of the week. Allysa Lopez and Goin’ My Way maintained great stamina for reserve while Rumor Has It and Ali Rosburg accepted a third place finish. Last year's world's grand champions King Creole and Scooter Scheurich IV tied fourth, followed by Heartland Rare Treat, Super Spy, In A Heartbeat and Perfect Rhythm.

Stepping up the excitement, the Kentucky County Fair Hackney Pony Championship helped to get things started on Sunday evening. Driving for Jerry Cummins, Betty Featherston was behind the lines of Patent Pending for a unanimous win. Finishing second in the somewhat light five-pony class was Pony Vista’s Turbo Zass and Monford Greer.

Making it easier on the judges, only three showed up for the Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony Stake. Despite the low turnout, quality was indeed present and it was the surely up and coming Romeo’s Warrior L F to capture top honors. This was not the first win of the year for trainer Rodney Hicks and owners Milford, Marjorie, and Wally Kenney. Heartland Elegant Dancer and Kathy Buente received a first place vote but finished second and Kingsley Acclaim and Lambert Jr. Schut put forth good effort for third.

The chestnut pony from Iowa, Heartland Newsmaker, certainly made the news at the Kentucky State Fair with a unanimous win in the four-year-old class. Beth Campbell was behind the lines for owner/breeder Darrel Kolkman. Heartland Twice As Nice received high marks for the reserve world’s championship with Randy Harper driving for Karen and Ed Frickey.

For whatever reason junior cob-tails didn't return as only three showed back in the Junior Hackney Pony Championship. Nonetheless, Heartland Twice As Nice made a powerful performance, earning a victory pass for Randy Harper to enjoy. Owners Ed and Karen Frickey happily cheered on the winners. Jimmy Miller drove Ms. Sterious for Calais Meadows to the reserve world’s grand championship. Rick Wallen respectfully took the yellow ribbon with Heartland Spectacular for Bonnie Kegley.

Instead of cheering in the sidelines as in the junior world’s grand championship, Ed Frickey jumped into the action and did a really nice job while doing so in the Amateur Gentleman’s Hackney Pony Stake. Randy Harper cheered as Frickey took a turn at victory with his pony, Classical Dancer. Heartland Classic finished up with a clean reserve with Joe Gantly driving for the Estate Trust of Rudolph Drisco.

Seven made their way onto the green shavings for the beautiful ladies’ class Tuesday evening. Heartland Rainsong didn’t miss a beat and collected another win to add to a fruitful resume. Jackie Stred was at the lines and was greeted in the winner’s circle by Rich Campbell. Grace Brooks Knibb and former amateur world's grand champion Silver & Gold were next in line, proudly taking reserve honors back to the Rodney Hicks banner.

The Amateur Hackney Pony Championship brought six fine entries to the battle field on Thursday evening. Heartland Rainsong was flashy as ever and stood out for the unanimous win with Jackie Stred at the whip. Classical Dancer and Ed Frickey put up a good fight and didn’t complain with the results which left them with a reserve world’s grand championship for Hackney supporters Frickey Farm.

The amateur pony classes were not the only ones with high quality entries. The Hackney Pony Stallion/Gelding Stake featured four high ranking pairs on Wednesday morning. The bold and beautiful pony, Oliver Twist was unanimously tied first. Kathy Barlow was behind the lines for Karon Brooks, proudly taking home the blue ribbon for the Buffalo Creek team. On The Mark and Larry Ella followed the champions and graciously picked up the red ribbon for Kathryn Boyd.

The mares met up on Wednesday. It was none other than defending world's grand champions Fancy Ribbons and John Shea to collect top honors in ever so elegant fashion for Cismont Manor Farms. Another world's title holder Heartland Ooh! La La and Karen Waldron did not go unnoticed. Receiving seconds across the board, this pair finished reserve world's champions.

Coming back to bring down the house late on Saturday night, Fancy Ribbons and John Shea had the crowd going to win yet another unanimous victory in the Hackney Pony World’s Grand Championship. One of those that skipped the junior championship Heartland Newsmaker showed back against the veterans for a polished reserve go with Beth Campbell driving for Darrel Kolkman. Bruce Dixon and Heartland Candidate made a strong case for top honors and returned to California with a third place championship ribbon among the seven entries.

The Hackney Pairs class was one of those classes that anyone watching will likely remember for years to come. Five entries ready to take down their peers made their way through the gate on Friday evening. A dazzling performance made by a very hopeful Dinwiddie Lampton captured enormous applause from the crowd when his number was called out as the world’s champion. This time, Lampton was behind the lines of Cappy Wheeler’s nice world's champion team, the reigning world's grand champions Sky Harbor and Let The Good Times Roll. What a memorable night it was for Dinwiddie Lampton as the crowd was on its feet cheering this this true gentleman of the show ring! Misdee Wrigley was honored reserve and proudly excepted the ribbon from her gorgeous carriage pulled by Brickell Robert and Brickell Master Matthew.

The Harness Ponies were a sight to see as well, featuring well-filled classes with quality entries. The Kentucky County Fair Harness Pony Championship kicked off this division as the second class of the show on Sunday evening. Warm applause congratulated Crystal Harmon on her successful drive behind the black champion So Lovely C.H. This winning pony is trained by Roy Harris and owned by Lester Harmon. Reserve honors in the four-entry class went to Joan Jett, driven by Mary Gaylord McClean.

Three showed up for the three-year-old class. Heartland Special Special was sharp as a tack throughout the duration, putting forth great effort for owners Jackie and Walt Stred. Beth Campbell was behind the lines for the victory pass made by this much heralded star. Tete-A-Tete finished second with Lee Hudson at the whip for Bent Tree Farm.

A unanimous decision was in store for veteran driver Rodney Hicks who this time captured the victory with the exquisite Mark Of Elegance (Mark Of Excellence x Dun-Haven Desiree) for V. Ann Hailey. Second votes across the board left Mary Gaylord McClean and Heartland Triple Crown, last year's three-year-old worlds champion, with a reserve world’s championship title to add to Golden Creeks' collection..

With explosive athletic ability Mark Of Elegance and Rodney Hicks came back in full form to take home the junior world's grand championship Friday evening for longtime Morgan owner V. Ann Hailey. Match Maker stepped it up and came out as the reserve world’s grand champion. Abel Vega drove the John Shea-trained pony for Golden Creek.

Five harness ponies were featured in the amateur gentlemen’s class. Black Diamond and Lambert Schut Jr. cleanly swept the competition and unanimously finished on top. Adding to a grand week for Frickey Farms, Ed Frickey drove Late Nite’s Midnite Mist for the red ribbon.

A true performer in every sense of the word, Heartland Lilac and Kathy Capsuto were on top of their game for the victory pass in the ladies’ amateur victory, the second in as many years for the Wendy Winstead trained team. Making their claim to fame, this duo later performed in front of a sold out crowd at the Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn. the following week.

“It was a kick. Coming down that shoot and seeing all those people was thrilling. I had so many people come up to me, complimenting the pony...several people asked me if it was worth all the preparations and only doing a couple of laps around the ring and I tell them it was absolutely worth it. I had a great time,” Capsuto said after presenting her pony at the Celebration. Back at Louisville, Mary Gaylord McClean collected another reserve, this time with Joan Jett.

Turned out to perfection Heartland Lilac and Kathy Capsuto came back to defend their 2001 world's grand championship and defeated some tough competition in the seven-pony amateur championship Friday night. Receiving one first place vote and moving up a notch from the ladies’ world’s champion class, Vindicator finished reserve with Karen Waldron driving for Bent Tree Farm. Making their third performance of the week, Mary Gaylord McClean and Joan Jett were third.

The Harness Pony Stallion/Gelding Stake left Par Excellence as the world’s champion with another top go for Bent Tree Farm. Larry Ella was at the whip to start the week of right. Karen Waldron's entries made a big presence the entire week as Night Editor was called out as the reserve world’s champion with Mark Wilson also driving for Bent Tree.

The mares class was held Sunday evening. Ed Frickey and the oh-so elegant world's champion Ballet were rewarded for their pulled-together performance with the blue ribbon. Following the champions, Nacho Mama and Christy Weaver finished with the reserve tie.

The Harness Pony Championship brought six entries together for a final go at the Kentucky State Fair and for the second time on Saturday night a three-year-old made history. Heartland Hackney won the cob-tail world's grand championship a few years ago with Heartland Equality and even won the long-tail world's grand championship with four-year-old Heartland Heiress. This time history was made again as Beth Campbell directed the quality filled Heartland Special Special down victory lane for Jackie and Walt Stred. This history making performance was followed by Ballet and Ed Frickey representing trainers Randy and Denessa Harper as the reserve world's grand champions. And as they had done in the qualifier the crowd went ballistic over Mark Wilson and Twin Willow's McMillan when they were called out in sixth.

"We think the world of this pony and are really proud to have been a part of history," said Rich Campbell.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 4 24

    Read More
  • Joint Leadership Council Reinstated

    Leaders of the American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association, American Hackney Horse Society, American Road Horse and Pony Association, and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association met Sunday evening to reinstate the Joint Leadership Council (JLC), comprised of leadership from all four membership organizations. Read More
  • Latest Issue 3 24 HW

    Read More
  • 2024 ASHBA Council and Committee Applications Are Now Live!

    If you are passionate about serving to strengthen the American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA) and the future of the American Saddlebred, you may be interested in joining one of ASHBA’s committees! ASHBA is proud to host a full slate of committees that allow all members to get involved. Read More
  • ASHBA Holding Statement Regarding World's Championship Horse Show

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association has seen the Kentucky State Fair Board’s unexpected press release yesterday afternoon, after learning the day before of its plan to drop the United States Equestrian Federation as its governing body for the 2024 World Championship Horse Show. Read More
  • WCHS drops USEF, joins ESC

    Read More
  • WCHS Drops USEF, Joins ESC

    The World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) announced today that the Equine Sports Council (ESC) has been selected as the governing body ahead of the 2024 event. In February, the Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved the change, recognizing the importance of operating with Saddlebred-competition-tailored rules and standards emphasizing integrity, sportsmanship, and safety for the non-Olympic horse industry. Qualifying requirements for WCHS remain unchanged. Read More
  • Meet the Author Event with Emma Hudelson

    Join the American Saddlebred Museum on Friday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. for a lecture, book signing and reception with Emma Hudelson author of Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story. This book is not only the tale of a remarkable horse, but of the American Saddlebred breed and the way these horses carried one rider back to herself.  Read More
  • 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals Qualifying Season Has Begun

     US Equestrian invites saddle seat equitation athletes in the junior exhibitor and adult amateur ranks to plan their path to the 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals. The finals will be held once again at the UPHA American Royal National Horse Show in Kansas City, Mo., in November. Read More
  • Morgan Stallion Sweeps Winners Drawn

    In conjunction with the United Breeders Committee, the New England Morgan Horse Association and New England Regional Morgan Horse Show, have drawn the 2023-2024 Morgan Stallion Sweeps winners. Read More