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Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler At The Louisiana Fall Festival

by Margaret Cordes


GONZALES, La. - Saddlebreds and showing in the south will not be a casualty of Katrina. Rebuilding and recovering also means reviving the good times and precious memories of the Saddlebreds in the south. The Dixie Jubilee once welcomed top trainers and world’s champions from all over the country. All coming for the competition and for the good times expected from those who know hospitality better than anyone in the world.


Now, welcome the Louisiana Fall Classic, Oct. 5-7, located just outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The Lamar-Dixon Exposition facility draws the best of both cities and even some favorites of its own. Mike Anderson’s Restaurant and a new Antoine’s Restaurant are located just minutes from hotels and the facility. A Cabela’s made its grand opening just seconds from the show grounds. And there was plenty of hospitality on the grounds as world champion Cajun cook Tee Wayne provided three catered meals that included jambalaya, red beans and rice, fried cat fish and fried chicken.


The fleur de lis is a long-time symbol for New Orleans and now a symbol of strength as the city fights to recover. It is also a symbol for the determination of the committee dedicated to the future of the Fall Festival. The fleur de lis was proudly displayed on the exquisite show ribbons and trophies. A logo designed by Dana Doodles brought the show horse and fleur de lis together for a special Cajun flare.


Louisiana Fall Festival Logo


The Louisiana Fall Festival brought out the best and many generous sponsors including the Pennington Foundation, Patrice Watson O’Brien, Mary Lynn McMains, Dr. Fraser MacKenzie, Phelps-Dunbar Law Firm, the Burglass family, the Richard family, Fox Grape Farm, Gayle Jones, Bluebonnet Farm and Patsy Moore, Barbara Mooney and Ann Dunn who donated a new Perpetual Three-Gaited Championship Trophy in honor of their father, the late Lewis Dunn. Dunn was a favorite fan and proud father who never missed a show. He was a fixture in the stands and is missed by all. The Five-Gated Championship Perpetual Trophy was donated in the honor of Joseph Dorignac who died a year ago. Dorignac, a life-long friend of trainer John Shea, enjoyed the ponies and watching his sons, Jon Paul and Joel, grow up riding and showing with Cascade Stables in Audubon Park. Fran Crumpler judged this exciting new show.


Bluebonnet Farm was proud to be the very first recipient of the Joseph Dorignac Trophy. After making their debut just weeks earlier at the Texas State Fair, Bluebonnet trainer Sandy Currier and Select Fire know only the color blue. Bluebonnet’s junior five-gaited horse Global Scene shown by Janie Hamilton finished in reserve for the Five-Gaited Championship.


My Teddy Bheir is a new teammate for Caroline Burglass of Metairie, La. A familiar name earning the reserve world’s champion title in 2002 with Tiffany Trueman, and then more success in the junior exhibitor division with Maguire Hall, My Teddy Bheir has spent the last two years showing in the ladies division with Anne Judd. Burglass and Scooter Scheurich took turns taking victory passes in amateur and junior exhibitor five-gaited classes. Scheurich earned the blue in junior exhibitor qualifier with CH Cash Back and reserve in the Amateur/Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship.


Trainer Marjorie Judd presented CH Mahvalous Assets, the new teammate for Paige Pennington, and was the first recipient of the Lewis Dunn Perpetual Trophy in the Three-Gaited Stake. Janelle Sylvester earned two victory passes with her Hokie Pokie Man FSF.


Patrice Watson took the reins from trainer Tommy Benton with her junior three-gaited Bewitched In Harlem.


Knight Of Steel was strong as steel in the park division in both the open and championship class. The proud gelding was honored with two blues with Cascade assistant trainer Jeremy Granier in the saddle for Anne Bailey. Peggy Callihan’s Talk Sense finished in reserve in the championship and first in the amateur division with Lindsey Whitehurst and Silhouette Of Roses in reserve.


Peggy Callihan was thrilled with her

reserve in the Park Championship

with her Talk Sense.


A new fine harness horse is now making its debut in the south. Kalarama’s Star Bright, now owned by Bluebonnet Farm, is by Blue O’Shea and out of Harlem’s Glowing Treasure. The three-year-old mare headed to Louisiana for another victory pass after two southern blues at the Texas State Fair.


Road Kill was up and running and honored as the fastest horse on the grounds this time with Susan Whitaker deciding to show under saddle. It didn’t slow down as Abel Vega took Golden Creek’s Alexandra (CAN) for a test drive in the open road pony division.


Harness pony classes brought out some of the favorites from the show year including Stephany Monteleone’s Delightful Time, a Harness Pony Grand Champion and amateur champion at the Fall Classic. Trainer Abel Vega took Golden Creek’s Limited Edition for blue ribbon drives in the Hackney Pony Championship and open divisions. Stephany Monteleone returned for two more victory passes with Hackney/Harness Pleasure Driving Mastercraft’s Namesake LF.


Stephany Monteleone greeted Abel Vega

and her Delightful Time.


Maranatha Stable’s trainer Tommy Benton went home with a large collection of ribbons and trophies including the tricolor fleur de lis for Leatherwood’s Wind Charm in Open Park Pleasure and the championship for Barbara Grannan. Patrice Watson O’Brien reeled in another blue under the Maranatha Stables banner with her Amateur Park Pleasure Champion Heir Kiss followed by Benton who showed Junior/Novice Park Pleasure horse Harlem’s Momma’s Boy for Antares Farm.


Patrice Watson O’Brien kept the blue momentum in the pleasure division with her You’ve Got Mail in the adult show pleasure qualifier and championship.


You’ve Got Mail and Patrice Watson O’Brien


 Marjorie Judd Stables’s Paige Pennington was also two for two in the junior exhibitor divisions earning the top fleur de lis in the championship and 14-17 classes. Stablemate Marcelle Richard trotted in right next to her for a reserve grand champion ride with her CH Trapp Mountain. Mary Lynn McMains and her I’m An Early Riser swept the show pleasure driving division at the Fall Classic. Bluebonnet’s XuXa and Ed Perwien finished in reserve.


I Made You Look made the audience look three times for three blue ribbons in the country pleasure division. Tori Reich was successful in catching judge Fran Crumpler's eye with her Country Pleasure Grand Champion, Adult Champion and Country Pleasure Driving teammate.


I Made You Look and Victoria Reich


Third ride was a charm for Keelan Carnal who was introduced to Optimum Black at St. Louis and rode into the ring twice to earn top ribbons in junior exhibitor country pleasure. Scooter Scheurich enjoyed success with two catch-rides on Dance Of Dreams, earning two reserves in the country pleasure division for Elissa Champagne. Cascade Stables continued on a country pleasure roll with Gaylyn Boyer who trotted in for reserve in the Adult Country Pleasure class. And it didn’t stop there for Cascade Stables, who celebrated a successful blue ribbon ride with Dr. Cheryl Tilghman with her My First Oscar.


It is a blue debut for Mia McGuire’s new Country Western Pleasure horse Conundrum shown by Maggie Noonan. The team started with a reserve ribbon and finished with a bold victory pass in the Country Western Pleasure Championship. Rebecca Stewart and her When Pigs Fly took turns with the Cascade team earning the blue in the qualifier and a reserve in the championship.


Equitation classes again are strong in the south. It’s an important foundation for trainer Barbe Smith who has groomed many top riders throughout the years. This year Smith’s team includes several young men including William Nalty, brothers Bleykhn and David Doyle and Keelan Carnal, all who started showing in academy. Maranatha Stables Tommy Benton agrees with importance of equitation and is building his team with many new, eager riders in the Baton Rouge area.


The Saddle Seat Pleasure Walk and Trot class brought Bleykhn Doyle into center ring for the championship. William Nalty finished first twice in Walk & Trot Saddle Seat Equitation 10 & Under on his 2007 teammate Vuarnet who has made a smooth transition from adult pleasure and park.


William Nalty with Vaurnet


Pleasure equitation welcomed Keelan Carnel to the ring in the 14-17 division with his teammate Power & Smoke. Mary Katherine Powell earned the blue in the 13 and under division and a reserve in the championship behind Carnel who returned for his third victory pass at the horse show.


This completes the highlights from the inaugural Louisiana Fall Classic. Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

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