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Harris and Callaway’s Criterion to Guest Star at UPHA 14 Symphony of Horses


UPHA Chapter 14 will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Spring Premiere Horse Show by bringing back the spectacular event known as the Symphony Of Horses. The symphony of horses idea was created by Marsha Shepherd and Bill Carrington and was held quite successfully at the Spring Premiere for a number of years. The idea was picked up by other shows and has become a popular way to bring the general public to horse shows.


Plans have been underway for more than a year to bring the Symphony Of Horses back to the Spring Premiere with the most spectacular show to date. It will be held Friday, April 20 at the Eastern States Exposition Center in W. Springfield, Massachusetts. The UPHA 14 Spring Premiere Horse Show will begin a day earlier (April 17) this year to accommodate the symphony date.


There is a great lineup of American Saddlebreds, Hackney ponies, Morgans and Friesians performing to The Best of Boston Orchestra. In what promises to be one of the most exciting nights in the show horse industry all year long, there is an outstanding group of World, National and Regional Champions performing to music ranging from Classical to Pop.


In addition to the cast of champion horses and ponies, the show will also feature guest appearances from Carson Kressley, Don Harris and Judy Whitney-Harris. Kressley will open the show aboard the beautiful, gray Western Pleasure American Saddlebred, CH A Magic Surprise, owned by Pat Johnson.


Don Harris and his wife, Judy Whitney-Harris will close the show in a spectacular setting aboard two great World’s Grand Champions. Owned by Alice Nunley, the seven-time World’s Champion CH Callaway’s Criterion is being brought out of retirement for this special exhibition with the master showman himself aboard the great son of Will Shriver.


In the ring at the same time will be Judy Whitney-Harris aboard one of Morgandom’s all-time greats, HVK Bell Flaire, the only horse in history to win the Park Harness World Championship, Park Saddle World Championship and the World Champion Stallion title. Barbara and Arthur Jones own this grand performer and sire.


Never have two such horses from different breeds and two Hall of Fame trainers been together in the ring at the same time.


“We are really looking forward to this,” said Whitney-Harris. “Criterion is 19 and Bell Flaire is 17 and both of them are having the time of their lives going back to work and getting ready for this performance. You should see Don come down the aisleway with Criterion.”


In between the guest stars will be an all-star cast of horses and ponies. Among the American Saddlebreds and Hackneys performing will be: I’m Sky High, 2006 World’s Champion of Champions Night Sight, Strapless and her yearling, The Echo Of Thunder, Dun-Haven Highly Impressive, Miss Excellence, BRS The Phantom, The Marksman, Sightline, Tornaado’s Tidal Wave, Believable and Party For Two.


Among the Morgan stars will be Lamborghini In Black, Silverheels Synergy, RWF Over The Rainbow, War and Peace, Prindle’s Mere Mortal, JW Sporting Victory, WoodnBrook High-N-Mighty, RJMF Barrymore, HVK Man Of Distinction, RFR Seattle Reign, Realize, Andrea’s Radiance, Rosevale Leggo and Hylee’s Black Time Affair.


Equitation riders will include Brooke Gove, Lauren Lagasse, Laura McGee, Ariella Silber, Marlo Franco, Gabriella Blackman, Meghan Bradley, Brittany Schilling, Rachel Menard and Alexandra Frangiosa.


The musical talent will be just as impressive as the equines. One of Boston’s premier musicians, Kenny Hadley, has contracted a 35-piece orchestra, aptly named The Best Of Boston. These musicians can be heard in the famous theaters and concert halls of Boston and around the country.


State of the art lighting, sound and staging will be used at the anniversary symphony to complement this one of a kind orchestra and the world class show stars from the American Saddlebred, Morgan Horse, Hackney and Friesian worlds.


“It’s exciting to have musicians of this caliber so we can present music of all genres to produce a varied and exciting program,” said the show’s producer Raye Lynn (Mercer) Funkhouser.


“This year’s Symphony Of Horses will be another great show, far exceeding the quality of other shows that have sprung up since UPHA 14 introduced the concept of showing world class horses to the live music of a symphony orchestra back in 1986,” added chairman Larry Cassenti. “The cast of horses this year are World Champions from all over the nation.”


Tickets for the 2007 Symphony of Horses are available by contacting Ann Anderson at (781) 585-4998 or at the Eastern States Box Office beginning Wednesday, April 4 at (413) 205-5049.

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