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Illinois State Fair - Hot Weather and Even Hotter Competition


Judges - Dick Boettcher, Ricky Harris, Brooke Jacobs, Terry McKenzie

Manager - Jody Van Nattan

Assistant Manager - Webb Parlier

Announcer - Bill Carrington

Ringmasters - John Frye, Roger Kirkton

Steward - Shirley Parkinson

Secretary - Judy Stahl

Office Assistants - Patti Conway, Jennifer Guillou, Mike Hoffmann

Ring Secretaries - Mary Kirkton, Arlene Cline

Organist - Groff Bittner

Photographer - Rick Osteen

Videographer - Traces CT Limited

Farriers - Steve Zinars, Dave Woods


by Jennifer Styskal

photos by Leeann Mione


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Funnel cakes, fireworks, death-defying performances and champion quality horses-it must be state fair time. While everyone across the country complained about the insufferable heat, Illinois State Fair pushed through and held a top-notch horse show, Aug. 7-11. Entries were down from previous years, mostly due to the 100-degree weather and the crowded conditions of the state fair, but that did not mean the quality of horses suffered any.


Held at one of the finest facilities in the country, Illinois State Fair Society Horse Show also offered the unique opportunity to exhibit the Saddlebred, Hackney and road horse, along with Shetlands and Welsh Ponies, to the public. Towards the weekend when the fairgrounds bustled with crowds munching on good, ole’ fair food and looking for something to catch their eye, the stands were filled with fairgoers who looked for a cool place to hang out. Once inside, the excitement of the show caught their attention and most stayed for an entire performance. And what excitement there was to keep them entertained!


Despite several barns pulling out early in the week, Saturday night proved to be one of the top stake night performances around. Seven entries stormed into the coliseum for the Five-Gaited Stake, and each and every one deserved to be there. In true pleasure fashion, 17 returned for the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, keeping everyone on their toes. The Fine Harness Stake was completed with six entries, which is a rare sight nowadays, and the pony classes were well filled as well.


But all of this did not take place without the hard work of a master staff. Jody Van Nattan managed the show once again with Webb Parlier assisting her. Secretary Judy Stahl kept things organized in the office with the help of Patti Conway, Jennifer Guillou and Mike Hoffmann. Bill Carrington did a wonderful job keeping the crowd informed from center ring while John Frye and Roger Kirkton maintained the safety in the show ring. It was slated for John Whalen to join Dick Boettcher and Ricky Harris as the judges, but a medical emergency kept Whalen at home. Brooke Jacobs stepped up to the plate and did a good job holding the cards in the performance divisions as well as presiding over the equitation classes.




Saturday night ended the weeklong show with a bang when seven nice entries came through the gate for the Five-Gaited Stake. Jim Lowry continued his domination of the Saturday Stake classes, winning two of the three “big ones.” He rode the true racking Sheba’s Charm down victory lane for owner James Orr with a unanimous vote of the judges after earning second in the open class. Open winner Starlet’s Commendable and Armon Effinger received the crowd’s support when they rode up for the reserve tricolor for Beth Kunkel. Third out of the competitive class went to Summer Rendezvous and Kent Swalla who rode for William Woods University.


Six entries showed up for the ladies class. Harry Blackstone proved to be the epitome of a well-mannered yet exciting ladies mount with Brenda Benner up for Valerie Boelsen. Lisa Strickland pressed the champions to take reserve on Fort Chiswell’s Royal Wind for owner Ray Blanton.


The amateur stake only brought three entries back after a six-horse qualifier. Staying in top shape after winning the qualifier, Glenn T. Werry and Callaway’s Case Closed racked down victory lane with the tricolor. Joni Underwood Friesen put in a good ride on Speak Of The Devil to claim the reserve title. Teresa Freyer and Callaway’s Blue Blood picked up third after riding to the second place finish in the qualifier.


The Illinois residents had the ring to themselves to show off their amateur mounts. Cathy McKinley jockeyed up for the blue ribbon on Rowell’s Sugartime Shamrock for Joyce McKinley. Reedann’s Shine On and Natalie Udell were second.


Riding for William Woods University, Lauren Woodruff directed Ultra One to the unanimous junior exhibitor honors in both classes. Ally Diel and Callaway’s Summer Treat were right on their heels to pick up the reserve tricolor. The Talk Of Lexington and Patsy Loeb were second in the qualifier.


Susan Ellis and Maui Jim earned the blue in the Land Of Lincoln Five-Gaited class. Beth Hampel and Town Fizz rode up for the reserve.


Armon Effinger had another champion in Talkin To You when he rode this Stone Ridge Equine Care entry to the novice blue. Kent Swalla and Rescue Me were quite the team for the reserve on behalf of Paula Hildebrand.


Filling in for usual trainer/rider Julie Ann Wroble, who is on maternity leave after having a baby girl just days before the show, Tom Pettry stepped into the irons on Barbara Vincent’s Silver And Blue to claim the junior title. Showtime’s Raggity Andy and Greg Reason picked up the red ribbon for Showtime Saddlebreds.




Jim Lowry collected another unanimous stake tricolor in the three-gaited division with Rhythm Of The Son. Wife Fay Lowry showed this long-necked gelding earlier in the week to the reserve in the ladies class for owner Tri Color Ventures Inc. Unanimous open winner My Sweet E Motion earned the reserve honors with Brenda Benner in the saddle for Megan Truitt. Undulata’s Gypsy and Megan Archer were second in the open qualifier for Cynthia Wright.


Lisa Hillmer Pope directed Jane Costello’s Champagne Suzie to the blue in the ladies class.


Glenn T. Werry was on top again in the amateur division when he guided Callaway’s Mandate to the unanimous championship and qualifier blue. Jennifer Warner did not make it easy for the champions as she rode Budmeister to the reserve tricolor. Nancy Berger put in a good ride on SJ Denmark’s Geronimo for the qualifier reserve.


Glenn T. Werry and Callaway’s Mandate


Rachel Morgan was the lone entry in the Illinois resident class. She rode Muse for Joe and Patty Morgan, and later returned to win the novice class. Mike Kirkton was up on the Top View Farm entry, Worthy Big Casino, for the novice reserve.


The junior exhibitor championship had the crowd cheering for their favorite team. After a reserve in the qualifier, He’s My Beau and Katie Moeller stepped it up a notch to capture the unanimous championship honors. Unanimous qualifier winner Jama Rose and Kathryne Stief teamed up for the reserve title.


Trainer Tom Bombolis and owner Glenn A. Werry Jr. are well-known for producing champions together and it was no different in the junior class. Bombolis rode Callaway’s Happy Endings down victory lane for Werry with a unanimous vote of the judges. Laura Fulton and Caught In The Act were second for Renaissance Farms.


Fulton returned to the ring in the UPHA Classic class on Grandiloquent to pick up the blue for Caitlin Carmody.




A full Park Stake entered the ring with seven entries. Riding away with the unanimous tricolor and the crowd’s applause were Lilly Pulitzer and Julio Rodriguez for Barbara Friedman. Stradivari, winner of the open class, was reserve with Kent Swalla in the saddle for Joni Friesen. Rocky Brannon directed Frigid Heir to the second place honors in the qualifier for Kristin Laufer.


Lilly Pulitzer and Julio Rodriguez


Following the trend of the past couple years, the amateur class overflowed with top performing teams. Aimee Langer teamed up with Jan Langer’s Aurora Borealis for the unanimous championship win. CH Shady Creek’s Genius and Harold Denton put in a good ride for the reserve, maintaining their position in the qualifier. Long Distance and Mimi Bahcall earned the judges’ approval to capture the qualifier blue.


Fine Harness


It was a pleasant surprise to find six harness horses come trotting through the gate for the stake class. Already adding the unanimous amateur title to their resume, All Buttoned Up and Irv Udell returned to hash it out with the “big boys” and came away with the tricolor. Open reserve winner A Promise Fulfilled and Lisa Strickland captured the second place honors for Ellyn Dorsey. Simbara’s Exclamation and Dr. Scott Cairns earned the open blue for Cairns Farms Inc. Harlem’s C My Radiance and Dr. Mary Jensen were second in the amateur class.


Janene Steggeman and Gretchen’s Gift were named the ladies champions for Ann MacMurray Cox with Megan Archer and Prince Of Bel Air in reserve for Florence Merkin.


A Silver Certificate park trotted down victory lane in the Land of Lincoln class after a unanimous vote of the judges. Valerie Larson Guell was on the lines. Sheri’s Midnight Dancer and Judy Righter picked up the reserve.


Glenn A. Werry Jr. was on the lines of his World’s Champion Miracle On Forty-Second Street to earn the blue in the junior class. Max Ciampoli directed the entry of Bullet Concrete Material, Mac’s Blue Attack, to the second place honors.


The Vega was a shining new face for Alan and Ginger Failor. Under the direction of Danette Musselman, this young horse captured the UPHA Classic. Dazzling Time MBA and Pat McConnell were reserve for MBA Equestrians.


Dr. Alan Raun and The Norseman were the lone entry in the two-year-old class for owner Libby Mathers.


Road Horses


Glenn T. Werry exchanged his riding suit for silks to earn the unanimous blues in both the roadster qualifier and championship with Gingerbread Man. Creating their own trail of dust, Free Agent and Alan Montgomery were reserve in both classes as well.


The Bacon family dominated the remainder of the road horse classes. Brad teamed up with Delorenzo to race off with the amateur blue. Free Agent and Alan Montgomery were not far behind for second.


In the novice class, it was Mike Bacon’s turn to take a trip down victory lane. He guided Renegade to the win. Sonny Kadin and Kim Crumpler were in reserve for Charles Fischer.


Mike Bacon traded his bike for a wagon with The African Queen and captured both wagon classes.




The Hackney Pony classes were well filled throughout all divisions. Seven returned for the Road Pony Stake and defending their spot in the qualifier, Kharbon Steel and Lambert Jr. Schut streaked down victory lane. Anna Marie Knipp and Heartland In A Minute kept it together to earn the championship reserve for High Spirits Farm. In the open class, Abel Vega directed the Golden Creek Farm entry, Alexandra to the second place title.


The amateur division also had a repeat performance by Jane Mueller and Murry Dickson. This team swept both classes in unanimous fashion. Junior Schut was back at it again and picked up both reserves with Dun Haven Dapper Dann.


Jane Mueller and Murry Dickson


Eye Of The Tiger and Jourdan Schaye made a stellar performance for Joe and Judy Lowry in the junior exhibitor class to earn the unanimous vote of the judges. Gadzoo was second with Chelsey Welrich in the bike for Jerald Elmer. 


Tony Ray drove his Mark Of Attention to the unanimous blue in the Land of Lincoln class. Damon Smith and CLS Avalanche were second for George Smith.


The junior class had some nice future prospects enter the ring. Mike Herron directed Regal’s Prophet LF to the win. Up for the red ribbon was Sally Grieme behind her Kate Spade.


Darrel Kolkman brought down one of his young stars from Iowa and captured the UPHA Classic with Heartland Curtain Call. Passing Lane and Rick Wallen were up for the red ribbon.


The junior exhibitors saddled up their roadsters for the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony Under Saddle class. Six came in, but only one could leave as the winner. Patrick Kittredge and Good Spirits were definitely in good spirits when they rode away with the blue. In A Heartbeat and Ashley Baird bested the rest of the competition to earn the reserve.


Glenn A. Werry Jr. brought out another champion in the Harness Pony Stake. He drove Impress My Daddy to the championship as well as the qualifier title. Stoney Brannon was at the whip for Natalie Udell’s Creation’s Wind Star to take the reserve tricolor back to Bell View Acres. Jimmy Miller teamed up with High Spirits Farm’s Unequalled to earn the red ribbon in the open qualifier.


Stephany Monteleone and Delightful Time made a delightful picture to capture the amateur championship and the ladies amateur class. Susan Ellis directed Pretty Impressive to the reserve championship slot while Pam Ahrens and Mi Leonardo picked up the red steamers in the ladies section.


Stephany Monteleone and Delightful Time


Randy Wells won the gentlemen’s class with his Wait & See’s Winter Day.


Neon Lites lit up the coliseum in a large Land of Lincoln class. Nedra Baraks was at the lines for the victory pass. Chuck Porter and Malabar’s Gallant Man collected the reserve.


Image Of Sophistication lived up to his name in the novice class with Gib Marcucci at the lines of his pony. Abel Vega drove another Golden Creek Farms entry to a top spot with Kytha.


Heartland Undeniable rose above a competitive junior class with Jaime Medina driving for Reedannland. Gary Haugen was at the lines of his Manitou to earn reserve after trainer Jimmy Miller picked up the red ribbon with this pony in the UPHA Classic class. Darrel Kolkman presented another Heartland-bred entry to victory in the UPHA Classic class with Heartland Exclamation.


Front Page News made headlines in the Hackney Pony Stake with Gib Marcucci on the lines for Larry Schultz. This team also garnered the open win. Limited Edition (Can) and Abel Vega were twice reserve for the Golden Creek Farms.


The tried and true Royal Canadian racked up two more wins in the amateur division. Owner Muffy Ernster drove the champion to the stake and ladies titles. Earning a reserve in the ladies class, Heartland Alluring and Deborah Jahn picked up the reserve tricolor in the championship.


Wait & See’s Reality strutted down victory lane in the gentleman’s class with Steven Golden in the buggy. HCH Wildest Dream and Norman Bray were second for Danny Bielser.


The junior exhibitors took the chance to show off their ponies in the AHHS Youth Medallion Hackney or Harness Pony class. Emile Grove drove Chuck Porter’s Malabra’s Gallant Man to the blue ribbon. Patsy Loeb put in a good show with Lightning Up to collect the reserve ribbon.


Joe Lowry guided Tiger Too to the Land of Lincoln class victory. Steve Smith was at the lines of Bristolwood Onstar to pick up the red ribbon after winning the junior pony class.


Disco Dolly danced her way to the winner’s circle in the novice class with Kenny Guell in the buggy for Susan Ellis. John Peffley directed Dr. Alan Raun’s Lady Hawkeye to the second place finish.


Lord Ovation commanded the ring in the UPHA Classic to wear the blue. Larry Bacon drove the winning entry for Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Birtcher. Heartland Fortune Maker and Darrel Kolkman marched up for the reserve slot.


Seven top ponies entered the ring for the pleasure driving class. Jane Mueller guided her multi-titled Early Edition down victory lane in the championship as well as the qualifier. Wonmore Diamond Legacy put on a pleasurable performance to earn the reserve championship with Emily Doll driving for Marilou Wilschke. This team also captured the AHHS Youth Medallion Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony class. In the qualifier Stephany Monteleone directed her Mastercraft’s Namesake LF to the red ribbon.


Erin Rienfenburg drove Jim and Mary Yonker’s Fitz’s Phantom to the reserve in the youth driving class. Devin Curran saddled up her pony with the under saddle class and rode Tonka Joe to the blue. Samantha Simmons stepped up on Extraordinary Creation for Rick and Michele Medd to take the second place vote.


Muffy Ernster returned to the ring with a new addition to her string. She drove Extremely Supreme to the UPHA Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Classic honors. Dan and Leah Light’s Romeo’s Commandant LF caught the judge’s eye for the second ribbon with Jan McGlaughlin at the whip.


Show Pleasure


Sarah Thordsen and Talon sank their claws into the competitive Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake and came away with the unanimous victory. CH Chandler and Lisa McClaren were a picture of pleasure perfection to earn the reserve tricolor. The results were the same in the qualifier.


Sarah Thordsen and Talon


Kim Crumpler made the under saddle debut with I’m A Kentuckian in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. This team collected the blue for the Fischer Sisters LLC. Lisa Strickland was in the saddle for the reserve on Diane Nyhammer’s Seaforth’s Heiristotle.


The Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Stake brought in 17 top entries. After claiming the 40 and over class, Linda Roos and CH Treasured Memories returned to keep their spot at the top. The 18-39 winner, Closing Scene, with owner Aimee Langer rode hard to earn the reserve tricolor.


Linda Roos and CH Treasured Memories


Natalie Udell and her King Of Pop teamed up to collect the red ribbon in the 40 and over class. Kelly Oselka and Cody Banks picked up the reserve in the 18-39 class for R and P Development.


Not to be outdone by their adult counterparts, the junior exhibitors also had a very large pleasure championship. Winning the 13 and under class, Frances Neuneubel and Desert’s Supreme Cowboy turned away all of the older competitors to earn the championship honors. Ashley Baird and Molly O’Donnell also put in a good performance to take the reserve tricolor back MBA Equestrians’s tack stall.


Thou Shalt Not Steel and Alan Wiedel stole the show in the 14-17 age group. Emily Doll and The Tyler Rose were right on their heels for the red ribbon.


The Illinois residents took their turn in the ring. Callaway’s Investigative Reporter rose to the top of the class with Eileen Nemetz riding for Richard Nemetz. Kurt Antonacci took up the reins on Heiron Burr to capture the reserve for Elizabeth Pinkerton.


Positively Radiant was just that in the Land of Lincoln class. Owner Ben Thomas guided this champion to the blue. Susan Ellis and Undisputed could not be argued with when they picked up the reserve ribbon.


Kurt Antonacci had another top pleasure horse in Cynthia Wright’s Hollywood Electra. This team bested the junior pleasure field with a unanimous decision. Eleena Breeden was up on Lenore’s Tornado to earn the red ribbon.


Not only does Anna Marie Knipp have winning ponies, she also has some top horses. Knipp drove the High Spirits Farm entry of Tamarack’s Lights Out to two unanimous blues in the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and the 40 and over class. Bucks & Profits and Sarah White made quite the team to earn the reserve championship in the seven-horse class, already having earned the second place vote in the 39 and under class. Kurt Antonacci drove Walterway’s Material Miss to the unanimous blue in the 30 and under class for Adam Bowden. Dona Merg and Foremost were second in the 40 and over qualifier.


Country Pleasure


In the combined Country Pleasure Stake, Emily Doll and The Gun Moll turned back all competition to take home the tricolor and the honors for Martha Hoyt. Unanimous Illinois resident winners My Point Of View and Susan Narko made a great show to earn the reserve championship.


Emily Doll and The Gun Moll


In the adult division, Nancy Berger was up for the win on Salt Heir. Special Intentions was second with Judy Lowry in the saddle. Ashley Baird put in a good ride on Kabu to claim the reserve in the junior exhibitor qualifier for MBA Equestrians. In the Illinois resident class Robert Shriver and Paige Stulginskis picked up the red ribbon for Elizabeth Stulginskis.


Only three returned for the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. This did not deter CH Nice Doing Business and Mike Schallock who came back after a unanimous win in the qualifier to capture the championship honors. Ken Malek and CH The Tonight Show earned two red ribbons.


Super Rooster and Lisa McClaren had something to crow about at the end of the show. This team claimed two unanimous victories in the country western pleasure division for Superoo LLC. Michelle Herron had a come back ride to garner the reserve honors in the championship on A Rose From Canada for Mike and Kim Herron. Callaway’s Peoples Choice were the judges’ choice for reserve in the qualifier with Cathy McKinley in the saddle.




The saddle seat equitation division was light this year with only three entries coming back for the championship. Abigail Mutrux put on a stellar ride to earn the tricolor, already earning a blue in the 11-13 division. Ten and under winner Kate Williams rode like a seasoned rider to capture the reserve in the championship. Susan Rosse displayed equitation elegance to claim the blue in the 14-17 class. Hannah Cherry was reserve in the 10 and under section.


Ashley Loethen is now qualified for Kansas City, winning the UPHA 17 and Under Challenge Cup. Katia Slattery garnered the reserve.


The walk and trot division had some promising young stars. After qualifying for the UPHA Walk/Trot 10 and Under Challenge Cup, Rose Marie Wheeler returned to wear the tricolor streamers in the championship. Lauren Brannon earned to reserve ribbons in the championship and the challenge cup.


The pleasure equitation division was large and competitive as it usually is on the Midwest circuit. Topping a great championship class with a four-rider workout, Mallory Hartigan rode to the winner’s circle. Hartigan also claimed the blue in the 14-17 age group. Thirteen and under winner Kara German performed a good workout as well as some nice rail work to take reserve.


Lauren Woodruff displayed her good form in the 14-17 division to earn the second place ribbon. Margaux Walker also picked up a reserve in the 13 and under class.


Futurity/In Hand


A total of $13,500 was offered up by the horse show for the American Saddle Horse Breeders’ Futurity of Illinois classes, while $5,200 was divided among the Land of Lincoln classes.


In the Land Of Lincoln Two-Year-Old In Hand class, Peter Archer presented Phinalist to the blue for Dr. Mary Jensen. Mayo Moctezuma handled the Hickory Knoll entry of March To The Arch for reserve.


Joe Russell earned the top two ribbons in the Land of Lincoln Yearling class for Hickory Knoll. Both yearlings are out of his stallion, The Last Don. Taking first place was White Lace Stockings and in second was I’m Connected.


By World’s Champion Sir William Robert, MBA’s She Dances On Air earned the blue in the Land of Lincoln Weanling class for MBA Equestrians. Sharon Rubsam presented her Meadowview’s Lady Gina to the red.


In the only Futurity riding class, Julio Rodriguez and Supreme’s Senorita earned top marks to collect the Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure blue. Mayo Moctezuma and Don Pherrari put on a good performance for the reserve spot.


Secret Vision park trotted down victory lane in the Illinois Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class for Scott Bennett DVM with Jose Rodriguez on the lines. Dr. Alan Raun drove the Reedannland bred Country Supervisor to the second place ribbon.


Kurt Antonacci handled the winning entry in the Amateur Two-Year-Old class. Kinda Early wore the blue for owner Karlene Goodman. Jim Yonker was on the lead of March To The Arch for Hickory Knoll to earn the reserve.


The Rifles And Roses’s son, Pull The Trigger, caught all three of the judges’ eyes to capture the Illinois Futurity Yearling Championship with Danette Musselman handling. This colt had picked up the reserve in the yearling stallion/gelding class earlier. Expialidocious and Jan McGlaughin topped the large championship to claim the reserve.


MBA’s Certifiable, by Finally Attached, earned the win in the yearling stallion/gelding class.


White Lace Stockings and Joe Russell returned to the ring to claim another blue in the Illinois Futurity Yearling Fillies class in unanimous fashion. Sister Maria and Jan McGlaughlin were second for Shale Hill Stables.


Jan McGlaughlin presented another champion for Shale Hill Stable in the amateur yearling class. Taupe, by Poisoned Pen, claimed the unanimous blue. I’m Connected and Joe Russell took home the red streamers.


A full brother to the yearling champion Pull The Trigger, The Pistol, handled by Danette Musselman, wowed the judges to capture the weanling championship after collecting a reserve in the weanling colts division. Musselman had another top baby in weanling colt winner Ruger Blackhawk who also earned the reserve in the championship.


Heir Color, by Reedann’s Heir To Glory, claimed the weanling fillies class with Dr. Alan Raun on the lead. Joe Russell brought out another homebred filly, Dressed To Chill, to pick up the reserve for Hickory Knoll. Russell and this filly also took reserve in the amateur weanling class.


Topping the amateur weanling division were Vonal Curran and My Kinda Lovin’ daughter, My Sweet Desire.


This concludes the show coverage of the Illinois State Fair Society Horse Show. Complete results can be found by clicking here.

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