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A Hootin’ Hollerin’ Good Time in Lawrenceburg

Lawrenceburg represents everything that is fun about the horse business. Bring your lawn chair, pull your tailgate up ringside, bring out the snacks, and let’s have a horse show. Don’t worry about entering weeks before the show, just bring your horses and show. You never know who you’ll see. Trainers schooling on horses just before Lexington Junior League because they need a little more practice. Tried and true favorites who just love to show every chance they get. County fair contenders adding another notch to their belt. World champions readying for another run at a world title.

Need a class they don’t have - go up and talk to them - they’ll try to add it if a sponsor can be found. Need a little more time or another accommodation, they’ll work on that too. Heck, you can even pick up your prize money before you ever leave the showgrounds.

It’s real southern hospitality in the heart of horse country. The traditions run deep. It’s one of the few shows in America to still offer the fancy turnout Hackney Pony class with the pair of young drivers dressed in their old fashioned finest to put on a show. Of course this year, Lawrence and Sandy Carss’ children had to break with tradition. Dylan and Rebecca Carss won the class, and for the first time in 130 years, the boy refused to kiss his girl in the winners circle.

But by in large, the show relies heavily on tradition. The large crowds stand deep ringside to see who comes into each class, as the announcer calls out the names of all the entries at the beginning of every class. The trainers and instructors run in with their entries and coach their riders from the grass (except John Biggins and a few others, who can’t stay on the grass). It’s great fun to see the antics of the trainers as they run alongside and “help” their riders throughout the class.

John Conatser had the pleasure of marking the cards for this year’s show. Brooke Jacobs took on the honors for the academy session on Saturday which was so popular it nearly ran into the evening session.

The five-gaited championship on Saturday evening was the perfect ending to a perfect show. With Dena Lopez, Jerry Hutson, Mitch Clark, Clark Clouse, Pat McConnell and Kevin McKellips all bringing horses into the ring, there was sure to be plenty of showmanship. With multiple titles in 2002 already, Tigerlee added another notch to his belt with the win in the class. Kentucky Spring Premier, Bonnie Blue, World Cup, Devon and now Lawrenceburg makes an impressive resume for the first six months of the year. Dena Lopez directed for Walt and Jackie Stred.

Jerry Hutson and The Full Monty earned the reserve honors for the Belle Reve Farm and Clark Clouse directed Lynbrook’s Scarlet to the yellow ribbon for Vicki Thompson.

Ever a lady, Misdee Wrigley won the Ladies Five-Gaited Class aboard Callaway’s Independence Day in a class of seven entries. Lisa Millet and Endolane Admiral were a strong reserve finish for owner Bob Bell.

Surprisingly there were only two entries on Saturday night in the Five-Gaited Amateur Championship. David Rudder was ready to take on a much larger field with Great Day Rising. Reneaux Collins and The Cunningham had a good go to earn reserve honors.

The Five-Gaited Open Amateur class had a surprise entry. The class title indicated to some that the class was open to professionals and after a long trip from West Virginia, Matt Shiflet was allowed to show Glider’s Star, an entry of Kristen Bagdasarian, despite the fact that he is definitely not an amateur. All is fair in love and horses, and the pair earned the victory pass.

Alicia Stanford and Sportscaster topped the card in the juvenile five-gaited competition besting a field of six.

Kris Price was in the saddle of Breaking News, an entry owned by Barbara Wood, to earn the junior five-gaited title. Rob Byers and Herr Reverie were the reserve winners for owner Tim Shea.

Will Harris and CH I’m Mr. Blue added more wins to their resume in the five-gaited pony competition with two win in as many classes. Jimmy and Helen Robertson direct this talented team. Rebecca Salley and her Scoot, Boot & Boogie took the reserve honors in both classes under Pat and Julie McConnell’s direction.

The walk-trot championship featured three impressive entries. Steve Wheeler topped Conatser’s card with Susan Phillips’ The Machine Maid. Pat McConnell and Timeless Drifter earned reserve honors for new owners Sam and Heidi Bowie. Clark Clouse and Lady Lenaire had a good go for third place honors for Carl and Beverly Nance.

Debbie Ecksten took the top prize in the ladies class home to Indiana with Lee’s Lexus earning the nod. Melinda Moore and Rich Woman deserved the reserve honors in the five entry class for the Jean McClean Davis Trust.

Making the trip from Iowa, Margo Hattery enjoyed two good gos with Worthy of March Madness. The duo won the Amateur Championship after a reserve finish in the earlier class. Misdee Wrigley and Callaway’s County Fair earned reserve in the championship.

The junior exhibitor walk-trot class saw seven entries, each surrounded by their own entourage of trainers and instructors. Angela Fischer and CH Callaway’s Career Girl brought home the blue to Villa Hills, Kentucky. Stablemate Ali Judah and Selby Lane picked up the reserve tie in the class.

A beautiful young standout in the junior three-gaited stake was guided by Wendy Winstead. She’s My Desire is owned by the DeVault Farms LLC of Shelbyville, Ky. Danette Musselman directed an Alliance Stud property Salvation to the red ribbon.

Clinton Jury had two trips to the winners circle in Lawrenceburg. He won the Three-Gaited Pony Class aboard Barbara Beamer’s Red Sable followed by Katherine England and The Champagne King. He also won the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the Pleasure Equitation title aboard Pinstripe Dancer.

Katie Hanna topped the park full mane and tail class for Dr. Mary Lou Koran aboard Top This. Susan Olcott and She’s The Bess challenged the champions to earn the reserve honors in the eight entry class.

It’s My Prerogative has been making lots of victory passes since joining the fine harness division this season. With Bret Day in the buggy, the Fine Harness Championship victory was also theirs for owner Sandra Salmen. Boucheron, another newcomer to the fine harness division, looked great with Rob Byers in the buggy for Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Groub to earn reserve honors.

Three entries competed for amateur fine harness honors. Cathy Coleman was victorious with Distraction. Linda Lewis left no room for error with an excellent showing by Mirrored Dancer to earn the red ribbon.

George Knight slipped in and out of Lawrenceburg, but not without attracting lots of attention with his two-year-old fine harness entry Blues Clues. Hagan Saddlebreds claims the outstanding youngster. Dena Lopez directed Wee Pee Meadows to the reserve tie.

Eleven entries were on hand for Thursday night’s five-gaited pleasure class. Chris Nalley and Callaway’s Rockaway are new to the division, if not to the winners circle. They excelled once again to top the competitive class followed by Ali Judah and Champagne in Winter.

Earlier in the week, another five-gaited pleasure class was added, but with little notice, only two entries were on hand to compete. Ali Judah and Champagne in Winter topped this class with Barbara McDaniel and Hollygarth’s Ready to Rock claiming the red ribbon.

The adult show pleasure championship saw six entries vy for Conatser’s attention. Stephanie Ritter and CH Supreme Wind Dancer easily kept his attention throughout the good class under Patti Milligan’s direction and the ownership of Dr. J. B. Miller III. Heather Digiannantonio and CH Sultan’s Black Gold earned the reserve honors in the competitive class.

Again two different adult show pleasure classes were held earlier in the week. The first version featured nine riders and Stacie Williams and CH Born To Be Blue added another notch to their belt under John and Renee Biggins direction. Jan Stone and Worthy of the Moment claimed the later class besting a field of four entries.

The junior exhibitor championship featured another Patti Milligan trained entry. CH Sweet Virginia and Kelly Ricker topped the championship card followed by Stephanie Crabtree and Heirrelevant and eight other entries. Ricker and Sweet Virginia also topped one of two earlier classes, this time followed by Lauren Pope and Over Achiever. The other class highlighted Aleasha F lowers and Heir No Evil in the winners circle. Highpoint’s Coming Attraction and Lindsay Alberts earned the reserve honors in the ten entry class.

Five show pleasure driving entries worked for judge Conatser. Tracy Garcia and Harlem’s Odyssey earned the top honors with Erin Husick and Wild Eyed Dream coming in second.

The country pleasure exhibitors competed in adult and junior exhibitor “qualifiers” and then returned for a joint championship. Meredith Neal may be young, but she dominated easily. She stepped into the irons of Santana’s Belle, an entry owned by Chan Sutton and bested a field of 15 in the championship and 19 in the junior exhibitor class. Edythe Dronshek earned the reserve honors in the championship aboard Cecile. Chelsea Burwell and Rock The Night were the reserve team in the junior exhibitor class.

Erica Rae Faulkner and Gotta Luv Me were perfectly paired to earn the victory pass in the amateur class. Andrea Blackston and H igh Tim’s Bayruma were the reserve winners in the ten entry class.

Beth Bushell and It’s Star Time earned blue ribbon honors in their debut in Country Pleasure Driving under the direction of Pat and Julie McConnell. Milly Pyles and What’s On Second were the reserve winners in the 12 entry class.

John Biggins attracted lots of attention for junior park pleasure mare Spice Queen, an entry of Jill Sando Shiflet. Christine DeHart and her own Hart of the Town earned the reserve honors.

Linda Beltz and Bullet Proof put one more notch on their holster in the western pleasure division. Terry Meade and Emily Grey earned reserve honors for the Glendale Farm after winning the open class earlier in the week. Casey McConnell and Call Me Buck were reserve winners in this class.

Renee Zubrod stepped into the irons of Sunkissed Supreme for Nina Freese and earned the Pleasure Pony Walk-Trot-Canter title. Katelan Crabtree and Buster Brown were the second place winners for dad Steve Crabtree.

Hillary Kidd and Buffy Bluegrass were the winners in the 11 and Under Pleasure Pony Walk and Trot Class. Brittany Dodson and Kavika picked up the red ribbon in this class.

Looking every bit the champion he is, Bold Lad and Ann Fitzpatrick earned the Pleasure Driving Pony Championship honors after finishing in second earlier in the week to Wonmore Diamond Gem and Brooke Jacobs. Parker Weaver and Neon Cowboy earned reserve championship honors for mom Christy Weaver.

Jeff and Mary McClean had a scare during Lawrenceburg. After showing Bruschetta to the Harness Pony 50” and Under title on Thursday night, they took the world’s champion pony home and put her in her stall only to discover the next morning she had been taken during the night. After an intensive police search returned nothing, all were surprised when Bruschetta was apparently returned sometime during the night on Sunday night. Fortunately, she appears to be unharmed and is back at home where she belongs.

Jeff and Mary each took turns on Saturday night in the winners circle with other standout ponies. Jeff directed Heartland Elise to the Hackney Pony Championship honors. Mary did the honors with Joan Jett in the Harness Pony Championship.

Roy Harris directed Lester Harmon’s Belle Starr to the cob tail class victory earlier in the week. Harris also drove So Lovely to the reserve honors in the Harness Pony 50” and Under class behind Bruschetta.

Jerry Cummins had several nice wins at Lawrenceburg. Heartland Painted Creation topped the Junior/Limit Harness Pony Class for the Equus Farm. He also directed Heartland Production to the Roadster Pony to Bike Championship for Equus.

Alyssa Lopez and Goin My Way continued their winning ways topping the pleasure driving youth medallion class followed by Parker Weaver and Neon Cowboy.

Tammy Binder and Knight’s Impeccable King topped the under saddle medallion, besting a field of five for owner Christine DeHart.

They love the roadster classes in Lawrenceburg and there were lots of them. Misdee Wrigley and Guess Who topped the division with a win on Saturday night in the Roadster to Bike Championship after also winning the amateur class earlier in the week. Danny Bugg and Air Force One were reserve in the championship after making their victory pass earlier in the week in the open roadster class. A second open roadster class only featured two entries, but Merrill Murray topped that one with Hilltop Hanover, an entry owned by David Latham.

The Ladies Roadster to Bike class featured five entries and speed-loving Carol Hall topped them all with Krewzyn Over. Melinda Moore and Gingerbread Man took the reserve honors followed by another speedster Danette Musselman and Ladyhawke.

Steve Crabtree directed the Novice Roadster winner Wildwood Flower. Bill Sauer and Wrapped in Glory were close behind to earn red ribbon honors.

Danny Bugg topped the Roadster to Road Wagon Class with Geronimo. Steve Crabtree and Despite It All earned reserve honors in the four entry class.

Danette Musselman and Roadster Horse Under Saddle titles almost go together. She earned another one for the Alliance Studs aboard Roadrunner. Melinda Moore and Mad Max had almost as much fun to earn the reserve title.

Jerry Cummins and Heartland Production bested Ann Fitzpatrick and Buckwheat to earn the Roadster Pony Championship. Cummins also directed Jose Cuervo to the 48” and Under title.

Tom Lowry and Material Girl took another blue home to Golden Creek in the Roadster Pony to Bike 50” and Under class.

The ladies road pony class had seven entries. Debbie Gabbert and Amadeus won the title followed by Brittany Volker and Wonmore’s Dutch Treat.

Brooke Jacobs and Fit To Be Tide topped the nine entry Amateur Road Pony 50” and Under Class. Parker Weaver and Mankato bested a field of eight to win the junior exhibitor medallion class.

Darrel Kolkman and Heartland Wonderful Miss topped the field of four to earn the junior road pony title. Larry Bacon and Early Edition attracted lots of attention with a strong reserve finish.

Josh Greer and three-year-old road pony Heartland Blue Rhapsody topped their class of three entries.

Mary McClean and Norfolk Southern earned Roadster Pony to Road Wagon honors followed by Lawrence Carss and Perfect Rhythm, an entry owned by Steve Golden.

Olivia Weber and Heartland Royalty are a picture perfect pair. Together they topped the road pony under saddle championship after finishing in reserve to Brittany Volker and Dun Haven Aire of Elegance in the earlier class.

Clinton Jury earned both the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and the Pleasure Equitation Class title in the equitation division aboard Pinstripe Dancer. Megan Kucera and Electric earned the UPHA Challenge Cup title.

Shelby Gregory added another win to her resume in the UPHA 10 and Under Walk and Trot competition with a win at Lawrenceburg aboard Crystal Day.

Joe T. Smith had another top youngster to win the Yearling Stake for Nicki Severi in Severi’s Top Society. Tracy Garcia and her For Reference Only won the Saddlebred Model Class which featured four beautiful entries.

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