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Lexington - Friday Morning

It was Friday fun times on the Red Mile. Well, “fun” is a relative term. For those of us up under the tents, it was just swell. For the riders in the ring getting soaked to the bone, maybe not so much. Lest we forget the trainers and caretakers slogging through the quicksand on foot rather than horseback!

The 8-and-Under World’s Champion of Champions continued her unbeaten streak, going eight for eight on the season with a win in the Walk-and-Trot Equitation Championship. This was Remi Adams aboard Miss Mheiry Mac, by The Mac Attack. Directed by DeLovely and aunt Terri Chancellor, along with cousins Hunter Chancellor and Ashley Wilson, Remi has been twice a winner at Bridlespur Spring Kick Off, Indianapolis Charity, Midwest Charity, and now Lexington. Cara DeForge has had quite the season as well, winning twice at UPHA 14 Spring Premiere and Syracuse and once at both Raleigh and Lexington. Winners of the 9-10 qualifier, Cara and Rosewood’s Potpourri took the reserve tri-color back to Kierson Farm. River Ridge Champions Sofia Rashid and Callaway’s Kiss & Tell finished in third for the Meadow Dream team.

DeLovely also snagged the second blue ribbon of the day, with Jessica Wuesthofen showing to the USEF Saddle Seat Medal win. How ironic is it that the skies would open up on the day when four of the eight classes scheduled call for workouts? These riders get to stand out in the elements watching their competitors perform the pattern, then after a few minutes of that get to go and put on a performance of their own. Jessie did just that with CH Can You Hear Me Now to score a unanimous victory. Brett Lee Self and Number One Girl continued their good season for instructor Stephanie Lilly, finishing reserve. River Ridge Equitation Champions, they were top three in the 14-15 qualifier earlier this week.

The Sugar Shaq and Malissa Welke completed an undefeated week with a tricolor jog in the Western Country Pleasure Championship. An entry of Suzanne Bradshaw, trained by Randy Cates, Sugar Shaq is out of Sultan’s Sweet Kiss, by Supreme Sultan. Randy Cates told Todd Miles after the class, “Pray you’re second, so you don’t have to run out there!” Amy Haller and Night Spot were reserve for the second time this week, earning that prize for Dr. Joni Canby. By CF First Night Out, Night Spot is out of DJ’s Lady Chatterly a daughter of the great Carol Trigg.

This rainstorm had to have been sponsored by a joint crew of Becker Brothers, Marsha de Arriaga, DeRegnacourt et al, because the 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation Championship riders are going to need new suits after this. At the very least, Hart’s Dry Cleaners must have put up the money for the raindance. Maison Boyle probably got the worst of it, as she had the lightest color suit. She got the best of the prizes though, as she was the unanimous winner with The Millenium Man. Erin Richey headed up the victory pass, while the Cape Cod cheering section was quick to dole out the hugs and congratulations, including one hug accompanied by “I don’t care if you’re wet!” Emily Winchell moved up a spot from the qualifier to earn the Reserve Championship aboard Catalyst’s Sweet Bay. Directed by Zubrod Stables, this is Emily’s first season in this division. Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes made one of her best shows yet to claim third with Feng Shui.

Last night, Olivia Schumacher said of her reserve championship ride with Heirrison Ford, “That’s the hardest I’ve ever had to work but the most fun I’ve ever had!” We can’t imagine today was quite as much fun, but she did get to take a victory pass with the grand Seamair Dear Sir as the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving Champion. They were Reserve National Champions a year ago and look set to make another strong run this time around.

Mercifully, just four riders were asked to perform the pattern work in the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation Championship, but you had to feel bad for the four left standing in the middle getting drenched without the payoff of performing in the individual testing. The equitation world will miss Taylor Newton when she ages out after the Royal this year. Her competitors may not miss her all that much, as she has been consistently brilliant and consistently at or near the top of this division for what seems like forever! Unanimously the winner in this one, she and CH-EQ A Sweet Sensation pulled off a new one even for them, performing their pattern with a missing left front shoe that got pulled off by the mud as she departed for her workout. Shelley Fisher walked to the winner’s circle with them once again. An Arizona native, Emily Chapman put on a phenomenal ride nonetheless in what is a foreign substance in the desert… Rain! Teamed with My One Night Stand under the Zubrod banner, Emily was the Equitation Champion at Rock Creek last month. Also making the pattern were Cailin Bridges and Wicked Whispers in third for Cater Stables and Lexie Friedrich and Autumn’s Rainmaker were fourth for Knollwood.

The Hunter Country Pleasure Championship was likely sponsored by Ovation Riding Boots, as there will be 22 hunt boots losing their shape completely if the riders don’t let them dry out before removing them! When the Western division debuted here in 2010, Jessica Moctezuma and I’m Goin’ Out Tonight swept the prizes. This year, the Hunter division had a sweep in its debut as well, with Top Shelf Jenn N Tonic earning the tricolor today for OTR Katie Hafer Young. This one has interesting history to it. Steve Demjen brought her out as a yearling to show in the All American Yearling Cup. The next year, Tiffany Wheeler was aboard for a top three in a split of the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Championship. Now she is a formidable hunt competitor with two Lexington victory passes to her credit. The reigning National Champion of this division finished up as our reserve champion this week, as Perazzi earned that honor with Sarah Keil aboard for Dr. Jane Keil. By Santana’s Charm, he is out of a full sister to the grand walk-trot mare, CH Evening Dazzle. His second dam was a full sister to CH Talent Town! Shakespeare In Love and Karen Thompson picked up third for the second time this week, while Good Deal and Kim Moore wrapped up their first week on the Red Mile with a fourth place prize.

If there is a silver lining to the sea of clouds in the sky today, it is that everyone stayed upbeat. This is Lexington. This happens here. And it seems to happen on Fridays in particular lately. But everyone was smiling, having fun with it. It was a “we’re all in the same boat (almost literally)” mentality. Jokes were flying and fun was being had. Even the raingear, some makeshift, some brought by years of experience with Junior League, provided cause for laughter. As the USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal National Finals lined up, trainer Scott Matton said, “Usually you just have to watch out for the other horses, today you had to stay out of their wake too!”

While it was not a Pisces winning the National Championship today, it was Kristin Smith, who teamed Who Needs Mama to the tricolor win for Zubrod Stables. This was a second year in a row for Zubrod Stables to take the national crown, as a year ago it was John Stutts carrying off the top prize. Kristin’s first show on the Red Mile was in 2005 as a 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation rider. She now carries a national title on her riding resume. Winner of the Wednesday qualifier, Katie Moeller was the Reserve National Champion with Virtual Volcano. The DeLovely faithful remained until the very end to cheer Katie on to the reserve title. The remainder of the Top 10 went like this: Taylor Deer, followed by Ashley Baird, whose horse CF Night At The Castle was described as a “carp” by trainer Scott Matton for the way he took to the water. Lexie Pearson was up next, followed by Dr. Morgan Wolin in sixth. Sally McEwen was seventh, followed by Jennifer McGowan, Katie Bartlett Pagan, and Dana Rowe Dave. 

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