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Last Stop! Blue Ridge Offers Hot Competition Before Louisville




Tuesday

 

The 12th annual Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show opened with a bang. With such great turnout in years past, this year Blue Ridge began on Tuesday, a day earlier than normal. This year a record number of stalls were sold with more than 600 entries in attendance.

 

Eighteen classes were on the schedule Tuesday evening with most classes calling for eight to 16 entries. The 16-entry Show Pleasure Driving class entered the ring first. Topping this competitive class for two years in a row was the winning Blue Willow team of CH Harlem Heat and Lib Jones. Only their second show in this division, Simbara's Sweet Lorraine challenged the competition and garnered reserve honors with David Mount on the lines.

 

Twelve teams filled the Amateur Three-Gaited Park with several world's champions, reserve world's champions and horses with CH titles listed in the program. Last year's winner was once again called to the winner's circle. CH A Step Of Time, with his extreme motion, was in top form with Luanne Kilday to earn the title. Reserve in this top class went to CH The Super Nova and Travis Van Zetten while CH Ramses and Amanda Dellinger turned in a strong ride for the yellow streamers.

 

DBL F Commanding Officer and Tom Johnson were the next team called to the winner's circle in the Open Morgan Park Saddle class for Felicia and Frank Schlemmer. GFF Riverdance and Mallory Eldred earned the red ribbon for Barb and John Goda.

 

The incomparable Crystal Illusion and Janet Kellett paraded around the ring for the blue in the Open Fine Harness class. Reserve went to Harlem's Beau Dandy and Billy Jarrell for Betty Jarrell.

 

Spectators could not keep their eyes off the team of CH 98 Degrees and Alice Unger. With a phenomenal show this team added a blue ribbon to the Hollow Haven banner. Reserve honors went to CH Sweet Virginia, another star in the division, with Barbara Woods in the irons. CH In Neon ERB and Jamie Hitchen earned a good third.

 

Boxford Bobbi Sox and Debbie Foley won the Open Harness Pony class for Tom Caisse. Next up, Chestatee Sentinel and Christina Garner graced the winner's circle for the blue in the Junior/Novice Morgan Hunter Pleasure class.

 

Next, the amateurs were back in the ring to compete for the top title in their roadster pony qualifier. The high stepping Heartland Sundust with Mary Gise earned the blue, picking up the second blue of the night for the Hollow Haven team. Doing their job Buckwheat and Ann Fitzpatrick earned the red ribbon with Boxford On The Mark and Dr. Wendy Troyer taking the yellow ribbon.

 

Not on the agenda at many shows, Blue Ridge offered the Open Western Pleasure class, which was open to amateurs and professionals. With seven entries making the gate call it proved to be a great class to offer. Sue's Great Day earned the trip to the winner's circle with Fran Crumpler up for Marilyn and Harry Swimmer for the second year in a row. Reserve went to Desert Sage and Luanne Kilday.


The numbers kept flowing as 16 teams entered the ring next to compete in
the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure class. It was a Hollow Haven night was CH Forever Aptor and Carrie Warner had a stand out show for the blue ribbon. Looking great, MMMBop and Amanda Dellinger graciously accepted the red streamers.


Having to find a replacement is never easy. Beth Barksdale had great
success with her former campaigner Boogie Man and, after several winning years of showing, Barksdale retired him in 2003. The search went on to find another great horse to campaign in the road horse division. This spring, Barksdale found that horse in Eaton's Guy. Tonight, Eaton's Guy and trainer Page Champion captured the crowd's applause when they won the blue in the novice class for Barksdale. Reserve honors went to the competitive team of Wrapped In Glory and Kim Crumpler for Tonka Wombi Farm.


Andrea Nelson turned in an impressive ride aboard Iggy Pop Super Sport
for a unanimous win in the Junior Three-Gaited class. Reserve honors went to Vadimus and Janet Crampton.


The Morgans were next up, competing for top honors in their Open English
Pleasure class. Taking home the blue was Antioch Blessed Hope and Mary Vance. Reserve honors went to Barb and John Goda's Faithfullee.


The flashy Ribbons And Love with Heather DiGiannantoni topped the Junior
Three-Gaited Park for EMG Ventures. A Perfect Affair and Euchee Matthews earned the red streamers for Christy Parker.


With seven entries, the road horse under saddle teams thrilled the crowd
with their daredevil antics. Racing away with the blue was High Velocity and Lindsey Greenwald. The top junior exhibitor team of Diamond Hustler and Rebekah Cloninger took the red ribbon back to the Drowning Creek tack room.


Hollow Haven continued their winning streak as Pacifico's Standing
Ovation was called to the winner's circle with Bob Anderson on the lines. In their debut in this division Dun Haven's Pure Elegance and Kathryn Nichols earned the red ribbon.


The novice gaited horses entered the ring next continuing the show with
yet another large class. Twice Charmed received the judge's nod with Debbie Foley up for Joan Cantrell. Reserve honors went to Sally and Perry Grieme's No Fear, with Kim Crumpler in the irons.


Tuesday evening closed with the Ladies Three-Gaited class. CH Man On The
Run was in top form with his animated park trot and high head. With Brooke VanderSpuy aboard he unanimously won the blue ribbon. Reserve honors went to the Cameo Stables team of Showboat's Casablanca and Marian Hunt Bramlett.

 

Wednesday

 

Wednesday afternoon's session began with five strong entries in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited. In his first appearance in the show ring Kelley and Gary Hollowell's Caught Stealin' had all three of the judges in agreement as Chad Cole piloted this flashy chestnut to the winner's circle in unanimous fashion. By General Steel and out of the great five-gaited mare Katy Keen, Kelley Hollowell was thrilled with this young star's performance. Reserve went to Classic With A Twist and Debbie Koning for David Crockett.


The Morgans entered the ring next for the Open Hunter Pleasure. Spice O
Life Cadence and Tracy Roy topped the field of four for Echo Lake Morgans. Strike It Rich and Krista Dent accepted the red streamers for Sally Lawing.


Under the direction of Lynda Freseth, Rachel Machamer was in perfect
form to win the 13 and under equitation class.

Winning the Morgan Classic
Pleasure Driving was the team of Hollybrook Independence and Cathy Minard. Reserve honors went to Coalition Royal Billing and June Davis.

Caroline Jonsson was picture perfect aboard Heir Brained Scheme to
unanimously win the 14-17 pleasure equitation under the direction of Zubrod Stables. Reserve went to Evanne Leigh Floyd aboard Mountainview's Manhattan Beach.


Ten strong entries made the gate call for the Junior Exhibitor
Three-Gaited Park class. In unanimous fashion, The Paper Boy ERB and Lindsey Greenwald topped the popular class, adding another blue for the Hollow Haven team. Tipitina and Bree Zandy turned in the reserve performance for Julia and Steve Joyce.


The pleasure equitation 13 and under riders were up next. The Christy
Parker-instructed Rachel Rafolski, aboard Simpler Times, rode away with the blue. The Castle Hills team of Morgan Taylor and All Heired Up earned the red streamers and one first place vote.


The session continued with the deep 13 and Under Three-Gaited Show
Pleasure class. So Audacious and Kelsey Olson worked the ring well and garnered the blue under the direction of Judd Stables. Reserve in this competitive class went to CH Harlem's Black Magic and Patience Ergish. Sultan's Kingdom and Caroline Walker earned a competitive third place.


Making the victory pass in the Morgan Amateur Western Pleasure was
Suntime Sugar And Spice with Shirley Sparr.


Large classes continued to stream in as 16 entries entered the ring for
the Limit Country Pleasure. Jamaican Heir and Marjorie Carr found the right spot amongst the crowd to standout and catch the attention of the judges for a unanimous win. Attachй Allure and Dr. Shelly Gordon turned in a solid ride for the red ribbon.


Five beautiful riders competed for the blue ribbon in the 14-17 Saddle
Seat Equitation class. When the work was done, Courtney Huguley greeted her daughter Reagan Huguley at the winner's circle after a flawless ride aboard The Visionary. Kristen Thomas, riding Answered Prayer, graciously accepted the red ribbon under the direction of Anne Judd.


The popularity of the pleasure division continued as 14 entries made the
gate call for the 14-17 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class. The flashy CH Wing's Main Attraction with Adrienne Fitch earned the blue ribbon unanimously after a strong performance. This team has been together for many years and they seemed to know each other inside and out. Affectionately know as "Fred," for his Flintstone-like marking on his face, CH It's Yabba Dabba Doo Time was also a standout with Sydney Carter up for reserve.


CH The Shadow Knows and Sherry Frankel-Deal teamed up for the win in the
11-entry Adult Country Pleasure qualifier. This marks the fourths year in a row this competitive horse has made the victory pass in this class. Hometown Commander and Kevin Ingram turned in a solid performance to win the red ribbon for the Delton Farms banner. Highpoint's Fancy Cat and Toree Lewis-Heffner earned a well-deserved third.


The junior exhibitors were back in the ring to compete for the blue in
the Three-Gaited Pleasure Pony class. An excited Megan Bush Barrett made her way to the winner's circle aboard her showy Sunkissed Supreme under the direction of David Barger. Earning a first place vote and the red ribbon, Arzu and Jamie Parks had a great ride under the direction of Jon Walker.


There was a ring full of junior exhibitors in the AHHS Road Pony
Medallion class and it was also full of quality as several world's champions along with many multi-titled teams were on hand to compete. When the class was done it was the Ingleside team of Zildjian and Conner Leith who made their way to the winner's circle. Reserve honors went to So Irresistible and Scott Songer. Fresh off two reserve titles a Lexington Junior League, Heartland Painted Creation and Jeb Boyd earned a competitive yellow ribbon.


Because the Limit Three-Gaited Show Pleasure had a tremendous number of
entries, management made the decision to split the class. Only a five-year-old, Born Rich Girl was a solid performer with Linda Fisher. This young star, by Attache's Born Believer and out of Whoopi Too, earned the blue for the Grey Ridge banner. Explosive Material picked up the red ribbon and a first place vote with Jeanne Frazer aboard for Jan Frame.

In division
B I'm A Diva Too and Sally Grieme were awarded the blue ribbon with He's A Royal Pepper and Clarrisa Henry taking reserve for Nancy Leigh Fisher.


Friday Farms' luck went from red to blue as Sarah Dye Gallant turned in
a winning drive with On Target in the Amateur Morgan Pleasure Driving. Hollybrook Indian Brave and Mary Daughtry exited with the red ribbon.


The multi-titled Rum Tum Tigger and Luanne Kilday were the next team
called to the winner's circle. With their flawless performance they collected the blue in the Western Country Pleasure class. The well-matched team of CH The Midnight Express and Barbara Brown accepted reserve.


Winning the Ladies Morgan Hunter Pleasure was WSG Independence command
and Lindsey Levert for Echo Lake Morgans with Chestatee Sentinel and Christina Garner in for the red ribbon for Tamara Garner.


Wednesday's morning session closed out with the AHHS Pleasure Driving
Medallion. Cherry's Dream Motion and Jennifer Shell turned in the best performance to win the blue in unanimous fashion under the direction of Crockett Springs. Reserve went to fancy young star Heartland Capitol Hill with Misty Hall on the lines. This was Hall's first driving performance with Jenny Glennon's pony.


The sky on Wednesday began to look dark before the evening session began
but the competition inside was bright. The evening session began with the young stars of the three-year-old park pleasure division competing in their UPHA Classic. Signature Stables continued their good show in the division when Chad Cole piloted the sporty Snorkle to the winner's circle for MaryBeth Alosa. Winning the reserve title in this nine-entry class was Miraculous Odds and Paul Boone for Larry Camp. This bright star that beat the odds as a foal also earned a first place vote with his eye-catching performance.


The equitation stars were next in to work to qualify for the USEF Medal
class. After strong rail and pattern work Eleanor Watkins riding The Heir To The Throne was unanimously called to the winner's circle. Watkins rides under the direction of Zubrod Stables. Jennifer Roberts aboard CH Java Sea graciously accepted the red ribbon under the direction of Chestnut Lane.


The amateurs had their turn in the spotlight next in their fine harness
qualifier. Four top entries made the gate call. Candle Dan marched down the rail for Carl Nichols all the way to the winner's circle. Under the Hollow Haven banner, CH Kalarama's New Sensation was as gorgeous as ever for Mary Gise to receive the red ribbon and a first place vote.


Eight strong entries made the gate for the Junior Five-Gaited class. Out
With Ladies moved from gait to gait with ease and won the blue with Darrel Cruse riding for Frank Jones. Reserve honors went to Callaway's Blue Streak and Debbie Foley. Accepting the yellow ribbon and the crowd's applause was Courageous Lord and Lisa Heres-Rosenberger.


The heavens opened and the thunder cracked during the 16-entry Novice
Rider Country Pleasure class, adding just one more element for riders to work through in the deep class. After a great ride Choice's Secret Surprise and Ann Eaker were called to the winner's circle where James Hale greeted them. Reserve honors went to the junior exhibitor team of All I Do Is Dream and Cara Wolf for the Heads Up banner.


With only a slight pause for the weather to blow over the Hackney ponies
were in next. Heartland Twice As Nice and Marilyn Swimmer earned the blue in their open qualifier. Next, Suntime Sugar And Spice made it to the Morgan Ladies Western Pleasure winner's circle with Shirley Sperr in the irons.


Six impressive entries made their way to the ring for the Amateur
Roadster To Bike. With his high head and speed Kentucky Wildcat with Jon Dabareiner were called to the winner's circle, marking the third year in a row they have won this class. Lexus and David Crockett also turned in a great drive to garner the red ribbon and a first place vote. Westgate Villain and Mike Gordon, Sr. earned a very strong third place with their fan club cheering.


The driving competition continued with the 13-entry Country Pleasure
Driving class. CH Callaway's Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson accepted the blue ribbon after a unanimous tie from the judges. This was the fourth consecutive year for the pair to win this class. In their division debut, What A Keepsake and Lois Vartanian cruised to the red streamers for the Judd Stables banner.


The driving teams continued to compete with the Junior / Novice Pleasure
Driving for the Morgans in the ring next. The blue ribbon went back to Florida with Hearts N Roses and Gene Olesen representing Echo Lake Morgans in winning form. Reserve went to the talented Raindrops Charm and Euchee Matthews for Alicia Davis.


Next, the junior exhibitors rode hard for the junior exhibitor gaited
title. After a smooth ride last year's world's champion in this division continued his winning streak as CH Dusty Beau was called to the winner's circle with Ashley Walker in the irons. Accepting the red ribbon and a first place vote were CH Hank Heiron and Ali Deutsch with a solid performance for the Boone's banner. A strong third went to the relatively new team of LA Boca Raton and Kelsey Olson.


Two young drivers battled it out for the blue with amazing speed and
talent in the Youth Roadster To Bike class. With unanimous approval Jeb Boyd drove Exit 80 all the way to the winner's circle wit Trija's Peter Pepper and Danny Williams in for reserve.


A busy Ashley Walker returned to the ring for the Friesian Under Saddle
class. Aboard Tessa Van De Zuiderwaan, Walker proved her talent and versatility as she guided this beautiful Friesian to the winner's circle for Pam Jackson. Gouke K and Gale Walton received the red ribbon for Valerie Meinen.


The five-gaited ponies were next up for the junior exhibitors. With
seven very competitive entries this was as good a gaited pony class as any. The sporty Small Packages topped the field in unanimous fashion with Cassi Rath up for the Silver Run team. Reserve went to the relatively new team of Champagne In Winter and  Rebecca Deutsch. This flashy mare and Deutsch have had a great season under the direction of Lisa and Bill Waller.


The Junior Three-Gaited Park Pleasure class followed with 10 entries
making the gate call. First Asset, by CF First Night Out and out of Lady Asset, and Lewis Eckard put in the winning performance for owner and breeder Louise Allen at All Well Farm. Receiving the red ribbon and a first place vote was the elegant Norah Jones with Susi Day aboard for HyHorse Farm.


Antioch Blessed Hope continued to dominate the Morgan classes with
another win, this time in the Ladies English Pleasure with Marcy Vance aboard. Reserve went to another strong force, Faithfullee and Sarah Dye Gallant for Barb and John Goda.


The amateurs returned to the ring to vie for the Amateur Three-Gaited
title. With his parade-like trot, Viper earned the victory pass with owner and rider Valery Lang Hall up. This ribbon went back to the James Hale Stables tack room. With a first place vote, Bernie's Spirit named reserve champion horse. It was at Blue Ridge several years ago that Bernie's Spirit first made her mark in the three-gaited division, with Kim Williams as an amateur-owner-trainer. They are now under the Lenux Stables banner.


The evening closed with the Ladies Five-Gaited class. Ten impressive
entries came to show their talents. For the second year in a row Callaway's Banner Headline and Janet Crampton earned the blue for Janet Kellett's Alde-Mar Farm. This bold gelding was a sight to see with Crampton making it look effortless as they worked the ring for the unanimous win. The flashy team of Already Famous and Luanne Kilday earned the red streamers with Harlem's Worldly Lady and Lisa Lucas taking a strong third for Fish 'N Fun Farms.

 

Thursday

 

The rain settled in Thursday morning, helping to cool things off, but the competition remained as hot as it had been all week. After some time off for college Caitlin Pumpelly is back on the scene interning for Lynn Pace at Dixie Stables. Pumpelly aboard Storm On The Rise showed off her equitation skills -- she showed in the division under Brian and Susan Reimer as a junior exhibitor -- to win the Adult Saddle Seat Equitation class. Kevin Ingram finished with a strong reserve aboard CH Hayden Fox riding under the direction of Steve Old.

 

Misty Hall and Heartland Capitol Hill continued their success in their first horse show with the win in the AHHS Pleasure Pony Under Saddle class for owner Jenny Glennon. Reserve honors went to the hard riding Haley Covert aboard Texas Pete for Charles Leonard.

 

The popular 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure was up next and it was filled with five competitive entries. In only his second show Native Kat was a star with his new rider Madison Cheatham. The Cheatham family recently purchased Native Kat from Sammye and Johnny Lucas after his win in the park division with Anna Stoddard. Well-matched with her new mount by Jon Walker, Madison Cheatham was all smiles when she rode to the unanimous win. Rachel Tankersly and CH Empress In Black picked up reserve honors for the Boone's Farm team.

 

The Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Driving is not offered at many shows, but when it is offered, it's popular. May Day Masquerade and Joseph Jansen teamed up for the victory pass while, in their first appearance together, Ashley McKenzie drove Talk Radio to the red ribbon. Janet Crampton trains Talk Radio for Charlotte Wrather.

 

Cassi Rath continued her successful week with another unanimous blue in the ASHAF Youth Pleasure Driving Challenge with Just As Unique. This high headed mare was purchased earlier this spring for Rath's grandmother Virginia Dorris to show in Show Pleasure Driving. Rath has enjoyed great success, winning a unanimous blue at Asheville in addition to Blue Ridge. The pair will next compete at the finals in Louisville. Reserve honors went to Highpoint's The King's Son and Kayla Mears, who are fresh of a reserve title at Lexington Junior League.

 

Next in the ring was the Saddle & Bridge Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Winning and qualifying for the finals was Lindsay Dasher aboard Stat and under the direction of Lynn Pace. Accepting the red ribbon was Rachel Rafolski aboard Simpler Times under the direction of Christy Parker.

 

The ponies were back in the ring to compete in the Amateur Hackney Pony class. Heartland Twice As Nice and Marilyn Swimmer earned a second blue of the week. Reserve honors went to Heartland High Time and Rita Camp for the Boone's banner.

 

Next, the junior exhibitors were back in the ring to compete with their five-gaited pleasure horses. Believe Her and Mallory Greaves had a strong go as they performed each gait with ease. With a first place vote on each card Tammy DeVore greeted them in the winner's circle. Reserve honors went to the smooth riding Pam Austin aboard CH Social Worth.

 

Antioch Blessed Hope and Marcy Vance added another blue to their list with the win in the Adult Amateur Morgan English Pleasure. Stonecroft Endless Love and Betsy Buchanan were reserve.

 

Cheyenne Mabey was polished and poised to unanimously win the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation under the direction of the Cardinal Farms team. Reserve honors went to the Hollow Haven-instructed Brianna Meyer riding Undulata's Clean Sweep.

 

Eight entries made the gate call for the Limit Roadster Pony class. With blue and silver silks flying Twin Willow's North Star and Chad Chandler accepted the blue ribbon for Renee McCall. Reserve honors went to Luanne Kilday's Shooting Star with David Cunningham presenting.

 

Successfully making the switch from fine harness to under saddle, By Honor Bound topped the Novice Three-Gaited class. Bret Day was in the irons for the unanimous win for Marianne Bantrop. Chad Graham presented the animated Bungalow Bill to the red streamers for Dr. Paul and Liz Warfield.

 

Strike It Rich and Sally Lawing added another title to their list as they won the Adult Amateur Morgan Hunter Pleasure.

 

Meeting all the requirements for Saddle & Bridle's Shatner Western Country Pleasure class, Slam's Pretty Boy and Terry Johnson won the blue. Brandy and Terry Johnson have worked hard over the past year and this win proved their hard work has paid off nicely. The well-matched Sue's Great Day and Marilyn Swimmer accepted reserve honors.

 

The well-filled Limit Morgan Classic Pleasure was next in the ring and PBR Lord At War and Lauren Wendel collected the best ribbon for Mary Tilton. Accepting the red streamers was Whitemud Forever Sunbeam and Jill Bertolani.

 

The junior exhibitors next attempted to qualify for their ASHAF Youth Fine Harness Challenge Finals, and a blue ribbon. With a unanimous decision Unclaimed and Chrisley Barnett earned the judges' nod for owner Marie Brannon. Reserve in the class went to the young star Joker's Wild with Ashley Walker on the lines for Jan and Bob Gunn.

 

The year 2005 marked the second victory in as many years for Heartland Stetson and Sallie Turner. They won the Limit Hackney Pleasure Driving class while reserve went to CH Fancy Pants and Kristin Solien.

 

The Morgans were up next for their open pleasure driving qualifier. Winning the judge’s approval was WSG Mystic Finale with Gene Olesen on the lines for Shirley Givens. Reserve honors went to Arboria's Street Dance and Tom Johnson for Arboria Morgans.

 

Hurricane Swamp Fox is a versatile horse with titles in all the disciplines of the country pleasure division. With owner and rider Marie Gwinn aboard, they earned another win in the Hunter/Sport Country Pleasure class. My Integrity and Ann Eaker paired up for the red ribbon.

 

The young Morgan star Legendary And Noble performed impressively with Krista Dent in the irons. This team won the Junior/Novice Morgan English Pleasure for owner Heather Walston. Reserve went to Battier and Scott Thacker.

 

The day session was brought to a close with the 12 and Under Morgan Walk and Trot Pleasure. Winning the blue was PBR Lord At War and Katie Boysen for Mary Tilton. GFF Special Illusion and Isabella Bertolani garnered reserve.

 

First in for the Thursday evening session was the UPHA Pleasure Equitation Challenge Cup. Seven riders competed for the right to compete in the finals this fall. After completing super rail and pattern work, Jennifer Roberts riding CH Java Sea was called to the winner's circle with unanimous approval. Reserve honors went to Caroline Jonsson aboard Heir Brained Scheme.

 

Winning the Junior/Novice Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship, and sweeping the division, was Hearts N Roses with Gene Olesen for Echo Lake Morgans.

 

Six top entries entered the ring next for the Junior Fine Harness. Putting the first blue of the evening on the Grey Ridge banner was My Sugar Magnolia with Bret Day on the lines for A.E. Nelson. The majestic stallion VHF The Licorice Drop Kid with Tom Lee finished in the number two spot.

 

The Morgans were back to the ring for the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure. Lindsey Levert already had a busy week and this was the third time she would be in the ring. Levert and Kalahari won the blue for Phoenix Architects. Reserve honors went to Chestatee Sentinel and Christina Garner.

 

Mia Wilson and Amy Hein are great friends and competitors. Normally they don't show together but on this evening they matched up their talents and horses. Wilson was recruited by Debbie Foley to campaign Prodigy's Pride for Harold McCalla in the 13 and Under Country Pleasure class. With an outstanding show, Wilson guided the sporty horse to a unanimous victory. Hein pushed the winners hard and earned reserve across the board with Law Me under the direction of Desiree and Adam Clauson.

 

The junior exhibitors remained in the spotlight competing as the Three-Gaited Pony class was up next. Lauren Henderson was outside before the show began sporting her new blue bow tie. It was a sign of what was to come. After a fabulous show with CH Sarah Katherine, Henderson's blue tie matched her blue ribbon, which she won unanimously under the direction of Betsy and Paul Boone. The new combination of CH Royalty In Black and Allie Wellington were well-matched for the red steamers for the Drowning Creek banner.

 

Another set of young stars, this time the three-year-old five-gaited entries, were up next for the UPHA Classic. The bright Bono with Bret Day in the irons won the blue for Karen Mayer. Reserve honors along with a first place vote went to the athletic Stonecroft Sundial with Maria Gilman for Barbara Woods.

 

CH Blackberry Delight and Rachel Machamer were in top form as they effortlessly paraded around the ring to a unanimous victory in the 13 and Under Three-Gaited class for Linda and Andy Freseth. Reserve honors went to the relatively new team of Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie de la Parte. (SA) Denmark's Geronimo and Pressley Laton earned a strong third place for the Boone's Farm banner.

 

Back in the ring after a short absence, Laura Austin was back in the winner's circle at Blue Ridge. Fresh off a win at Carolina Classic she kept her streak alive with a win aboard RAM Wham Bam Precision in the Morgan Classic Pleasure. Reserve honors went to the talented Alicia Davis entry Raindrops Good As It Gets.

 

In only their second show together, The Irish Tempest and Jessica Epley left their mark on Blue Ridge. On Thursday evening they appeared with 13 other entries in the Novice Rider Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class. Topping the field in unanimous fashion, this team was greeted by Beverly and Harrison Shiflet in the winner's circle. Reserve went to the solid competitor Apple Fritter with Christie Bennett aboard for Amy Roberts. John

Whalen directed the pair to reserve.

 

The speed demons of the AHHS Roadster Pony Under Saddle vied for the title next. With great precision K&J's The Harley Sportster and Britt Gentry made their way to the winner's circle unanimously. Top Choice and Caitlin Leith gave them a run for the title with a strong show for the red streamers.

 

The youngest horses on the show grounds entered the ring next in the fine harness division. This marked the second harness blue and third overall for Grey Ridge Farm as Bret Day piloted Mojo to the winner's circle. This impressive stallion was bred by Tom Galbreath and is by Santana's Charm. He is out of the mare Sadie's Lady out Kilarney's Windsong. Kilarney's Windsong also produced Susi Day's beloved and multi-titled CH Moses. Winning the red streamers also in her first appearance in harness was A Sweet Sachet with Steve Old on the lines.

 

In the popular 14-17 country pleasure class 16 entries were listed on the program to compete for their first title of their division. Earning the blue was Moonstruck In Kentucky with Olivia Strano aboard for the Sam Brannon Stables banner. CH Future Treasure with Victoria Woodruff was picture perfect for reserve.

 

Euchee Matthews was back to the winner's circle this time with Alicia Davis and Jean Rothe's PTR MsBehavin. This team won the Open Morgan Western Pleasure. Reserve honors went to Suntime Sugar And Spice and Tristanne Childress for Shirley Sperr.

 

The 14-17 riders were back this time with their three-gaited entries. With a bold performance Something Ventured and Rachel North earned the blue ribbon. The flashy Stonecutter with Alexa Martini up accepted the red ribbon. The relatively new team of Diamond Merchant and Allison Boozer received a strong third.

 

JAJ Bel Shashar and Cathy Minard won the Open Morgan Park Harness while DBL F Commanding Officer and Felicia Schlemmer earned reserve.

 

In the largest fine harness class of the show, nine entries made the gate call for the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. In unanimous fashion, His Supreme Reflection with Linda Freseth on the lines for Marilyn and Robert Gaiswinkler were victorious. With a warm applause from the crowd, The Chocolate Drop Kid and David Barger earned the red ribbon. This star, by It's Hammertime, is owned by Brenda Brewer who was more than thrilled with his progress. My Minuet and Lisa Lucas were named third for Fish 'N Fun

Farms in the deep class.

 

Closing out the evening, the amateurs battled for the blue ribbon in their five-gaited qualifier with 12 entries listed in the contract. Edging out the competition, Downtown Strutter and Paul Treiber were victorious for the Hollow Haven banner. Reserve honors went back with the Silverbrook team of Callaway's Where There's A Will and Bill Walsh. A strong third went to At The Stroke Of Midnight and Lucinda Hartley. 

 

Friday

 

Friday morning began with the youngest riders and their Morgan horses competing in their 12 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure Championship. Two youngsters came through the gate for the class and worked hard to impress judge Bruce Dixon. When his card was turned in it was PBR Lord At War and Katie Boysen taking the tricolor to follow up their win from the qualifier under the direction of Castle Hills. GFF Special Illusions and Isabella Bertolani were reserve from Friday Farm.

 

Marie Gwinn and Hurricane Swamp Fox followed up their win earlier in the week with the victory in the ASB Hunter/Sport Horse Pleasure Championship. Their win was a unanimous decision by the panel. Ann Eaker and My Integrity claimed the reserve.

 

Native Kat and Madison Cheatham also returned after a win earlier in the week to defend their title and claimed the tricolor in the Walk and Trot Pleasure 12 and Under Championship. Jon Walker met the winning team in the ring for the presentation after their unanimous win. CH Empress In Black and Rachel Tankersly scored the reserve grand championship title in the five-entry class under the direction of Boone's Farm.

 

The Country Pleasure Driving Championship featured 12 entries and was a great class with a host of world's champions and multi titled stars of the division competing. CH Callaway's Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson were right on the money to win the championship title for the fourth year in a row under the direction of Hollow Haven. The panel awarded them a unanimous decision for the victory. Lois Vartanian and her What A Keepsake turned in a solid effort to finish as the reserve grand champions from Judd Stables.

 

Cassi Rath and Small Packages have earned numerous tricolors and titles in their career together under the direction of Silver Run and they added another tricolor to their list when they were named the unanimous champions in the seven-entry Five-Gaited Pony Championship. Champagne In Winter and Rebecca Deutsch, also proven stars of the division, followed with the reserve tricolor under the Clover Leaf banner.

 

Jacqueline Beck has not only been to the winner's circle several times this season in the equitation division, she's done it on both coasts. Beck has had several wins this year under the direction of Anne Speck at Rancho Del Mar in California and at Blue Ridge, she added another win to her total when she was named the unanimous winner of the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup with Pinstripe Dancer. Beck was met in the winner's circle by Cindy Zubrod Boel of Zubrod Stables.

 

Elizabeth Giorgianni, with Ardun's Yankee Royal, finished in the number two slot in the challenge cup class under the direction of Barb Goda.

 

In a class that was almost as big as the one his wife competed in just a short time before, Bob Anderson turned in a great drive with his Pacifico's Standing Ovation to win the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. His win was also a unanimous decision in the 11-entry class and was his fourth Blue Ridge championship win in a row.

 

Kathryn Nichols put her pony Dun Haven Pure Elegance in a good spot in the big class and they were named the reserve grand champions from Clover Leaf.

 

Euchee Matthews had a crop of nice Morgans at Blue Ridge and he went to the winner's circle for Alicia Davis and Jean Rothe with their PTR MsBehavin in the Morgan Western Pleasure Junior/Novice Horse class.

 

Five young riders came through the gate for their challenge cup class and they worked hard to impress the panel. Adam and Desiree Clauson directed Cheyenne Mabey and My Amarillo to the win in the UPHA 10 and Under Walk and Trot Challenge Cup for Cheyco Farm. Allison Gann, riding Betcha Can, turned in the red ribbon ride from Forever Farm.

 

GFF Special Illusions and Christina Waddell took the blue ribbon in the Morgan Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure class for owners Mike and Jill Bertolani. Barb Goda directed the winning team. Stable mate October Firedancer, with Alyssa Johnson up, was reserve in the four-entry class.

 

Cascade was in top form with Sharon Chrisman to earn the blue ribbon in the Amateur Harness Pony class for C & C Stables. Heartland Firefly and Garland Presswood turned in a strong effort for reserve.

 

The Show Pleasure Driving Championship showcased 12 entries that had to put all their driving skills to work to stay in a good spot on the rail and make an impression on the panel. Elizabeth Jones and CH Harlem Heat had no trouble impressing the judges and took the blue ribbon in the competitive class under the direction of Julie Kaufman of Blue Willow Farm. Harlem's Babe Ruth and Susan Whittington have had a great season so far and they finished in the reserve slot to represent Summer Chase.

 

Rum Tum Tigger has been a strong campaigner in the western country pleasure division with Luanne Kilday for several years and they continued their winning streak with the unanimous win in the nine-entry Western Country Pleasure Championship under the direction of Steve Hanks. The Midnight Express and Barbara Brown have also made a mark in the division in their career together and they teamed up to take the reserve tricolor back to Hollow Haven.

 

Stephanie Lockyer and Princess Periafter won the 13 and under challenge cup under the direction of Christy Parker at Pine Haven. Katelyn Chatham, with Ivy Raymond, was reserve from Friday Farm.

 

David Barger and his group had a great show at Blue Ridge, including Megan Barrett's unanimous win in the Three-Gaited Pleasure Pony Championship with her Sunkissed Supreme. Barrett topped a field of eight for the winning trip. Saheira Miss and Erica Salley were able to claim the reserve title from Blue Willow Farm and Antares Farm and Stables.

 

Kara Schneider and Ovation Persnickety were just one of the top teams from La Mirage Stables and they claimed the blue ribbon in the Morgan Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure class for Debbie Schneider. Rick and Valerie Adams, from Fairhope Stables, directed Aspice Rhondo Alla Turka and Kristin Panos to the reserve finish.

 

Five sporty ponies came through the gate for the Junior Roadster Pony class and they performed like veterans for the panel. When the cards were turned in, it was Hawkeye's Chatterbox and Lewis Eckard taking the victory pass for owner Allie Wellington. Mark Wilson teamed Night Predator to the reserve finish for Sam and Autumn Murphy.

 

Showing at such a big and competitive horse show can be nerve wracking for even the most experienced riders and at Blue Ridge, the novice country pleasure riders faced a huge group of 15 for their championship class. They performed like pros and turned in a great class for the appreciative crowd. When the cards were turned in, it was All I Do Is Dream and Cara Wolf taking the blue ribbon under the direction of Myra Williams and Paige Joyner Owen at Heads Up! Academy. Leatherwood's Larkspur and Lisa Vogel were right in the mix to finish in second place.

 

Heartland High Time and Rita Camp, now showing in the cob tail division, took the victory pass in the Hackney Pony Championship to add another win to the Boone's Farm total.

 

The junior park pleasure division at Blue Ridge was talent filled and both classes featured strong performances from the junior horses. Nine teams came through the gate for the championship class and after working hard both directions of the ring, it was Norah Jones and Susi Day taking the tricolor in unanimous fashion for HyHorse Farm. First Asset and Lewis Eckard followed in reserve for Louise Allen and All Well Farm.

 

The Three-Gaited Pleasure Novice Rider Championship, like the country pleasure division, showcased a big group. Ten riders had their work cut out for them in the competitive class and when the cards were turned in, it was The Irish Tempest and Jessica Robb Epley taking the victory pass with a unanimous decision. Harrison Shiflet directed the winning team. Jamoca and Neilly Krebs claimed the reserve tricolor with a solid effort in the big class.

 

The roadster ponies closed out the morning's championship session with their under saddle championship. K & J's The Harley Sportster and Britt Gentry followed up their win in the qualifier with the unanimous win in the five-entry championship for Gentrycrest. Top Choice and Caitlin Leith put together the reserve effort under the direction of Heather Boodey for Connor Leith.

 

Friday evening began with the equitation riders who got things rolling in fine fashion with a competitive NHS Good Hands class. Adding yet another equitation title to their list, Zubrod Stables was represented in the winner's circle by Eleanor Watkins and The Heir To The Throne. Watkins earned three first place votes from the panel for her win and she was followed in the ribbons by Reagan Huguley and The Visionary in the

five-entry class.

 

High Velocity and Lindsey Greenwald scored their second victory of the week when they were named the unanimous champions in the Road Horse Under Saddle Championship for SGF Winning Ways Farm. Rebekah Cloninger and Diamond Hustler took the reserve tricolor from Drowning Creek after a strong effort.

 

Hollybrook Independence and Cathy Minard also made it a clean sweep to add to their great show under the direction of Jason Harrell of La Mirage. Judge Bruce Dixon named them the Morgan Classic Pleasure Driving Grand Champions in the competitive class. Coalition Royal Billing and June Davis were named the reserve grand champions for Down East Farm.

 

The Ladies Three-Gaited Championship featured a great group of five highly decorated entries and they put on a great show to entertain the crowd. CH Man On The Run has had a great season so far this year with Brooke VanderSpuy up and they followed up their win in the qualifier with the unanimous championship victory for Lenux Stables. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Maria Gilman were solid and turned in a strong team effort to finish with the reserve tricolor for Jayo Family Corporation.

 

CH The Shadow Knows has been one of the adult country pleasure division's strongest campaigners and, with Sherry Frankel-Deal this season, has earned blue and tricolor ribbons at several shows already. At Blue Ridge, not only did they follow up their win in the qualifier with the unanimous championship title, but also had the distinct honor of winning the largest class of the show. Frankel-Deal was presented with the Manager's

Trophy by Elizabeth Holmes for the win.

 

Travis Herlocker was called upon during the class to replace a thrown shoe and upon leaving the ring, it was announced that Herlocker was celebrating his birthday.

 

Jamaican Heir and Marjorie Carr followed up their win in the limit horse qualifier with the reserve grand championship title under the direction of Grey Ridge Farm. Kevin Ingram and Hometown Commander turned in the top three effort for Delton Farms.

 

One great class followed another all week and after the huge country pleasure championship, the junior exhibitors faced a big competitive group with their roadster ponies for their championship class. Zildjian and Connor Leith turned in a powerful effort to win the 12-entry class and continue Ingleside's successful show at Blue Ridge. Lisa

Lucas put a top group of horses and ponies in the ring for Fish N Fun Farm. She met Marli Dabareiner and Sweet Impression at the out gate after they were named the reserve grand champions.

 

The Paper Boy and Lindsey Greenwald gave SGF Winning Ways Farm another divisional sweep when they took the tricolor in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Championship amongst a competitive field of 10. Tipitina and Bree Zandy continued their successful season so far with the reserve finish under the Cameo Stable banner.

 

Strike It Rich truly seemed to enjoy his switch to the hunter division and it showed. Sally Lawing rode to the win in the Morgan Open Hunter Pleasure Championship after having won the amateur class under the direction of Krista Dent. WSG Independence Command and Lindsay Levert claimed the reserve tricolor for Echo Lake Morgans to add to Echo Lake's successful weekend.

 

A proven group of three-gaited ponies competed in their championship class and their hard riding young ladies turned in a great class to keep Friday night rolling along. CH Sarah Katherine, with Lauren Henderson, was the unanimous champion from Boone's Farm and she was followed in the ribbons by Royalty In Black and Allie Wellington from Drowning Creek.

 

Melissa Moore judged the Friesians and she had a nice group of four return for their Friesian Saddle Seat Pleasure Open Championship. Tessa Van De Zuiderwaan and Ashley Walker took the tricolor for owner Pam Jackson to continue Jon Walker Stables good show.

 

Kentucky Wild Cat and Jon Dabareiner have been on a roll and they turned it on in the Roadster To Bike Open Jackpot Stake to top a competitive group of five for the tricolor from Fish N Fun Farm. Buck Davis and CH Dragster were named the reserve grand champions for Quail Hollow Farm under the direction of Mike and Kathy Barlow.

 

A big group of 14-17 riders came through the gate for their Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship. Fifteen teams battled it out and put on a great show but when the results were announced, CH Wing's Main Attraction and Adrienne Fitch were named the best of the group. Mary Ann Harris met the winning team in the ring for the presentation and victory pass to follow up their win in the qualifier.

 

CH It's Yabba Dabba Doo Time and Sydney Carter added to their successful season so far by claiming the reserve tricolor under the direction of Drowning Creek Farm. Master Gold Card and Kerri Fersch scored a top three finish in the deep class from Heads Up! Academy.

 

Marcy Vance went four for four at Blue Ridge with her Antioch Blessed Hope. One of their victories included the Morgan Amateur English Pleasure Championship, which showcased five top Morgans. Stonecroft Endless Love and Betsy Buchanan finished up as the reserve grand champions.

 

The younger set of juvenile riders also faced a deep group for their championship class. An accomplished group of 12 returned for the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 13 and Under Championship and they put on a great show.

 

Kelsey Olsen and So Audacious were named the top team with a unanimous decision from the panel after a strong performance to follow up their win in the qualifier. My Gabrielle and Jessica Northcutt were right there with a great team effort for the reserve grand championship title.

 

The Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship was also one of the night's best classes as 11 world class campaigners came through the gate to battle it out. CH A Step of Time and Luanne Kilday had already won the qualifier and were looking to make it a clean sweep. They did just that. Kilday rode to the winner's circle under the direction of Debbie Foley.

 

CH The Super Nova and Travis Van Zetten have had a great career together and are making a mark this season in the amateur park division. They put together the reserve effort in the deep class under the direction of Hollow Haven.

 

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Adult Championship hosted 15 entries to start but before it was over, the number was reduced to 13 as two riders elected to be excused. The 13 teams that remained had their work cut out for them to impress the panel in the deep class.

 

CH Forever Aptor and Carrie Warner put together the winning effort to continue Hollow Haven's great week. Lucinda Hartley's fan club sent her out of the ring with their support after she and Time To Win claimed the reserve. Mary Jane Curtis and her mount He's Real Good were named the top three finishers after their team effort amongst such great company.

 

JAJ Bel Shashar and Cathy Minard have been unstoppable all season under the direction of Jason Harrell and they followed up their win in the open qualifier to be named the Morgan Park Harness Champions. JW Authority and P.D. May were reserve for Barb and John Goda and Friday Farm.

 

Kim Williams and Bernie's Spirit topped a nice Amateur Three-Gaited Championship with their powerful team effort for a unanimous decision under the Lenux Stables banner. CH She's An Asset and Nancy Gordon were on target to take the reserve streamers back to Boone's Farm.

 

Echo Lake Morgans had a great week at Asheville and WSG Mystic Finale was just one of the reasons. Gene Olesen drove to the winner's circle in the Morgan Open Pleasure Driving Championship to give owner Shirley Givens a clean sweep of the division and yet another winning ribbon for the week. Mary Daughtry and Hollybrook Indian Brave are consistently at the top of the cards and they were in the mix in the five-entry class to be named reserve grand champions.

 

The junior exhibitor five-gaited riders turned in arguably one of the best classes of the night in their eight-entry championship. The harder they rode, the louder the crowd became and great pass after great pass was made. When it was over, CH Hank Heiron was the unanimous grand champion after an unbelievable effort with Ali Deutsch from Boone's Farm. Believable and Alexis Gerych were right there and finished with the reserve title from Signature Stables.

 

The amateur roadster pony division has been especially strong this season and promises to be a division to watch at Freedom Hall. Heartland Sundust has not only made victory passes on the green shavings, he has made many already this season with Mary Gise. At Blue Ridge, Gise took her second victory pass of the week when Sundust was named the unanimous grand champion. Buckwheat and Ann Fitzpatrick have also made their mark in Freedom Hall and they turned in a great team effort to finish with the reserve grand championship title for Rigby's Green.

 

The final class of the evening, the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship closed it out on a high note. The ladies came through the gate ready for anything and nobody gave an inch. Eight powerful gaited horses had the crowd's support as they racked and trotted their way to the lineup to await the panel's decision.

 

When the cards were turned in, it was a unanimous win for qualifier winner Callaway's Banner Headline. Janet Crampton guided Janet Kellett's powerful gelding to the winner's circle and was met by Bob Vesel for the presentation.

 

Already Famous and Luanne Kilday have been coming on strong this season and getting better and better. They claimed the reserve title under the direction of Debbie Foley to add to Kilday's great weekend in Asheville.

 

Saturday Evening

 

Saturday evening's finale championship session was such a great showcase of talent and depth that like so many of the sessions before it, there was a tremendous sense of anticipation before it started.

 

When it ended, it almost seemed sad that it was over. After such a great week of competition, big and appreciative crowds most evenings and hard fought battles in almost every division, Blue Ridge Classic distinguished itself as one of the best shows of the year so far.

 

The evening began with really nice 10-entry Pleasure Equitation Championship. The pleasure equitation division has been really strong all year and that was definitely the case in Asheville.

 

Case in point; when the class sheets were printed shortly before the show, only three riders were entered in the class. By the time the class started, that number had grown to 10. It was a sign of things to come for the evening.

 

After riding hard on the rail, four of the 10 riders were chosen to perform the workout: Stephanie Lockyer, Emma Grubb, Jennifer Roberts and Evanne Leigh Floyd. The audience cheered for each young lady as she headed back to the lineup to await the panel's decision.

 

When the cards were turned in, it was Floyd and Choice's Secret Surprise chosen to take the victory pass as the evening's first grand champion. Roberts earned the title of reserve grand champion and Lockyer received the yellow ribbon.

 

The Morgan Classic Pleasure Championship was quite competitive and a great sign that perhaps the Morgan division will keep on getting bigger each year under Liz Holmes' guidance.

 

Ten teams lined up after a great class and when the cards were turned in it was Laura Austin and her beloved RAM Wham Bam Precision named to the winner's circle to follow up their qualifier win under the direction of Mary Ann Harris for Magnolia Stables.

 

Austin's victories at Blue Ridge were especially sweet. She waited patiently for three years for a horse to show and each and every time one of her sisters or stable mates went into the ring, she was one of their biggest cheerleaders. RAM Wham Bam Precision became hers just before Raleigh Spring Premier this year and it was an instant connection for them both. With only one show under their belt together before Blue Ridge, they came in and won the qualifier and returned in the stake to add that to their win list for the year.

 

Raindrops Good As It Gets and Alicia Davis turned in a strong effort from Horseshoe Farm to earn the title of reserve grand champion.

 

Like the pleasure equitation championship, four riders were selected to perform the workout in the Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 Championship. Kristen Thomas, Reagan Huguley, Jacqueline Beck and Morgan King were selected for additional work in the seven-entry class and they were poised and polished in front of the panel.

 

Jacqueline Beck added another win to her list and took the victory pass with Pinstripe Dancer. Cindy Zubrod Boel met Beck in the ring for the presentation after a unanimous decision by the panel. Huguley continued Stepping Stone Farm's great show by being named the reserve grand champion in the talent-filled class.

 

Believe Her and Mallory Greaves have made a mark in the five-gaited pleasure division this season and they continued their winning streak under the direction of Tammy DeVore when they were selected as the unanimous Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Grand Champions and topped seven other qualified contenders for the win. Social Worth proved once again that his move to the five-gaited pleasure division was the right move; he carried Pam Austin to the reserve tricolor streamers for Magnolia Stables.

 

The hard riding juvenile riders put on a great class but it wouldn't be their only time to shine during the evening. It seemed that each time out, the junior exhibitors just flat out rode hard and came prepared to showcase their horses and ponies to the best of their ability.

 

The talented pair of 13 and under equitation riders who entered the ring for their championship class was a great example of the talent seen all week in Asheville.

Eleanor Watkins, riding The Heir To The Throne, and Rachel Machamer, riding A Touch Of Pizzazz, turned in their best rides and were right on target for the workout. When the results were announced it was Machamer who was called out to accept the tricolor to follow up her equitation win in the qualifier. Watkins was named the reserve grand champion from Zubrod Stables.

 

Thirteen teams competed in their 14-17 Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship and they rode hard for a crowd pleasing class. The class was yet one more example of the depth and talent at the show and why just getting a ribbon, let alone a blue ribbon, amongst such great competition was quite an accomplishment.

 

When the junior exhibitors lined up, each had their share of crowd support but when the results were announced, it was Bitters and Caroline Andall, from Stepping Stone Farm, named to take the victory pass for Karen Andall. Courtney Huguley met the winner's for the presentation. CH Future Treasure and Victoria Woodruff, from Ingleside, continued their great season to claim the red ribbon. Irish In Lights and Jenna Norton finished in the top three.

 

The Fine Harness Jackpot Stake featured four top teams and they were solid and consistent all the way down the line. The panel agreed and awarded a unanimous decision for all four places. Kalarama's New Sensation and Mary Gise added another tricolor to their total this season with the unanimous win. Summerset Morn and Larry Gardinier finished in reserve for Arlys and Jerry Solien.

 

Prodigy's Pride has had a variety of catch riders this season and they have all had great success in the junior exhibitor country pleasure division under the direction of Debbie Foley for Harold McCalla. Mia Wilson rode to the winner's circle after Prodigy's Pride earned three number one votes from the panel in the nine-entry class. Law Me and Amy Hein were strong and they turned in the reserve effort under the direction of Cardinal Farm.

 

The Amateur Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship hosted a pair of contenders. On Target was just that with Sarah Dye Gallant driving. Judge Bruce Dixon named On Target the grand champion and Hollybrook Indian Brave, with Mary Daughtry, the reserve grand champion.

 

Eight road horses returned for their Open Jackpot Stake, which was one of the evening's most entertaining. Everybody drove hard but none could top Ashland in her return to the bike division. Fresh off her wins in the Roadster To Wagon qualifier and championship, Ashland turned in a picture perfect effort with Mike Barlow. Wrapped In Glory and Kim Crumpler turned in the reserve grand championship performance for Tonka Wombli Farm.

 

After the road horses exited the ring, there was a tribute to Jill Reynolds, who passed away recently. Reynolds, from R Farm, was a big supporter of the industry with her family. A moment of silence was observed in her honor.

 

The junior exhibitors returned and they got things rolling again in their 14-17 Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship. Seven teams came through the gate and worked hard both directions of the ring to impress the panel.

 

The panel was in complete agreement that Something Ventured and Rachael North should take the tricolor back to DeVore Stables after their strong performance. Stonecutter and Alexa Martini turned in another powerful performance for the weekend and they claimed the reserve streamers under the Clover Leaf banner.

 

Euchee Matthews teamed PTR MsBehavin to a third trip to the winner's circle for Alicia Davis and Jeane Rothe in the Morgan Open Western Pleasure Championship. Suntime Sugar and Spice claimed the second place and final ribbon with Tristanne Childress up for Shirley Sperr.

 

Six 13 and under riders came through the gate for their Three-Gaited Junior Exhibitor Championship and even though they didn't have the biggest numbers, they certainly made up for it with talent and quality. Rachel Machamer and Blackberry Delight teamed up last fall and since then, they've taken victory pass after victory pass at shows throughout the country. At Blue Ridge, they represented Hollow Haven for the second time in the winner's circle after a unanimous decision from the panel. Keeper Of The Stars and Jackie De La Parte continued Judd Stables' great show with a good trip to earn the reserve grand championship title.

 

Bill Walsh was met by Debbie Foley after he rode Callaway's Where There's A Will to the win in a talent-filled and entertaining Amateur Five-Gaited Championship. Seven riders battled it out and turned in a great class to continue a great championship session.

Downtown Strutter and Paul Treiber followed up their win in the qualifier with the reserve tricolor effort from Hollow Haven.

 

Boxford Bobbi Sox and Debbie Foley have earned numerous wins already this season for Tom Caisse and they made it two for two when number 358 was called out as the unanimous Harness Pony Grand Champion. Garland Presswood and his elegant Heartland Firefly were right in the mix for the reserve title in the five-entry championship class.

 

The Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship featured a roster of champions that have not only earned titles at shows around the country, but numerous titles on the green shavings of Freedom Hall as well. Sixteen entries made the gate call but soon after, that number was reduced to 15. Nobody wanted to give an inch and the veteran jockeys used every bit of their showmanship skills and experience to impress the panel. When the results were announced, CH Sweet Virginia was elected to head to the presentation area with Barbara Woods to accept the tricolor ribbon from Judd Stables.

 

CH My Grande and Amanda Dellinger were named by the panel as the reserve grand champions for Delton Farms. Cathie Simmons and All About Charm, after only a few shows together, scored the top three finish under the direction of Tammy DeVore.

 

Felicia Schlemmer met Tom Johnson and DBL F Commanding Officer at the out gate after they earned the win in the Morgan Park Saddle Championship for Felicia and Frank Schlemmer. GFF Riverdance and Mallory Eldred took the reserve streamers back to Friday Farm for Barb and John Goda.

 

The Open Three-Gaited Park Stake featured seven strong campaigners and was yet one more of the nice open classes at Blue Ridge. CH The Tonight Show, with Crystal Everett riding for Ken Malek, turned in the winning effort under the Crumpler Stables banner. Right On Q and Steve Joyce were reserve for Cynthia Kelly and Cove Creek Farm.

 

From a nice open park class to a nice open roadster pony class, the great night of competition continued. Calvin Hobbs carried Andy Freseth to the winner's circle after a strong effort for Priscilla Gise to add to her great week at Blue Ridge with another unanimous decision. Gina Lail handled the drive with Razz-Ma-Tazz and took the reserve tricolor for owner Karl Bridgeman.

 

The Open Three-Gaited Jackpot Stake, with a trio of entries, wasn't as large as some of the other open classes, but once again, quality of the entries and hard riding by their veteran trainers made for an entertaining class.

 

When Gypsy Diamond was called out as the winner, Harrison Shiflet's fan club erupted with cheers and applause. The Shiflet family is entrenched in the Carolinas horse show circuit and "home town favorite" Harrison Shiflet was all smiles as he took the victory pass.

 

By Honor Bound's switch to the three-gaited division proved to be a good move and Bret Day piloted Marianne Bantrop's entry to the reserve title. Mike Barlow started his career in North Carolina before eventually ending up in Tennessee and he received a lot of support as well for In Bold Print, owned by Melissa Scrushy.

 

Scott Thacker and Amy Wilson Scott have been a successful team in the Morgan industry for years and usually make an appearance at Blue Ridge classic as they head down the road toward the Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show.

 

Thacker added another Blue Ridge win to their list when Battier was named the winner of the Morgan Open English Pleasure Championship. The pair turned in a strong effort to top the other four hardworking Morgans that competed in the class, including reserve grand champion GFF Special Illusion. Sarah Dye Gallant rode to the reserve title for Barb and John Goda.

 

The Five-Gaited Open Jackpot Stake provided a fitting end to not only a great night of competition but also a terrific week of competition in Asheville. All four entries were introduced individually - a really nice touch not only for the competitors but also for the crowd. First through the gate was It's Star Spangled Hammer and Dan Flowers for owner Tony Diamond. Last year's Five-Gaited Grand Champion Undulata's Georgie Girl and

Debbie Foley were next to enter the ring. Lakeview's Rare Lee Seen and Quintas Vander Spuy were followed by Naughty and Lewis Eckard to complete the field.

 

It seems to be a tradition in the Carolinas that the Five-Gaited Stake, no matter the number of entries, is almost always just an incredible class and gets the crowd on their feet in support of their favorites. This year's stake at Blue Ridge was no exception -four powerful and bold-going horses turned it on for the crowd at every gait and when they turned around to head for home, the audience erupted.

 

Foley had a lot riding on the class with Georgie Girl - the defense of last year's title and momentum heading toward the green shavings. Naughty and Eckard also wanted to create momentum for Louisville and continue their great season for Susan Orton.

 

When the cards were turned in, it was a repeat for Georgia Girl as an ecstatic Debbie Foley headed for the winner's circle for Debbie Gabbert. Naughty took the reserve and was followed in the ribbons by Lakeview's Rare Lee Seen and It's Star Spangled Hammer to close out what could be considered, arguably, the best Blue Ridge Classic yet.

 

Manager Elizabeth Holmes once again put on a whale of a horse show and yet one more feather in her cap. With bigger numbers across the board in every division and a facility that has no problem accommodating those numbers, Holmes should expect to watch Blue Ridge continue to grow each year. Blue Ridge proved once again why is has become one of the preeminent tests of both horse and rider on the road to Louisville. Not to mention why it is considered by many to be one of the most fun shows of the year.

Complete results can be found by clicking on the following link: Show Results.

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