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Lexington - Friday Night

What did you expect? It’s Junior League on Friday the 13th! You win, weather. We get it. You are more important than a horse show. The hope now is that no horses get hurt over the course of the next two days in this muddy, mucky, slogfest. The order of the night for the presenters was white dinner jackets with muck boots here on Friday night. The entire center ring crew decked out in their raingear finery. The long and tall Don Baker was dressed all in green, making it look like the old shrubs had returned to the ends of the ring. Howie Schatzberg had his camera wrapped in plastic once again, while all the judges had their rain pants and boots going.

It seems somehow appropriate that Macey Miles made her Academy debut at Harrodsburg all the way back in 2005. Papa Raymond has always held that show in high regard. Macey has grown up a bit since then, now showing in her 12-year-old season. Since then, her career on the Red Mile alone has encompassed four wins and four reserves. Her latest victory came as the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Champion in the opener on Friday night. Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2011, Macey is teamed with Final Act. The hingy bay splashed through the standing puddles to perform his pattern work with skill. Macey beat Maisie for this honor, as Maisie Benfield was the reserve champion with Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm, narrowly missing a back-to-back Zubrod Daily Double spanning the afternoon break. Maisie has also had a smashing record on the Red Mile, winning five times and taking this, her first reserve win. Her debut here was a winning one in 2009 in 8-and-Under Walk-and-Trot. She was the winner of the 11-and-Under qualifier this week.

Todd Graham has done a phenomenal job with Hawkeye’s Seven Eleven. He guided the team of Seven Eleven and Carissa Marshall to the Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship tonight for Tannehill Farms. The 10-year-old son of Mr. Hawkeye and CC & Seven earned his biggest win to date with Carissa, looking at times like a harness pony with all of his animation. The Wise family has had a fantastic week on the Red Mile. It continued with a reserve championship drive by Chip Wise and Charmed Masterpiece. Directed by Brian Yount for Chip and Cheri Wise, Charmed Masterpiece moved up from his qualifier finish with an excellent show. Junior Hackney Pleasure Driving Reserve World’s Champion last year, Charmed Masterpiece would go on to win the UPHA Classic National Championship.

Raymond and Lillian Shively were honored by the Junior League Horse Show for their longtime contributions to the tradition of excellence that is Lexington. The crowd rose to salute the “Master of Faster and Mama Lil,” as they were surrounded by their loved ones, including their “grandchildren,” Tyler and Macey Miles. Macey of course had just won the Junior Equitation Championship in a fitting tribute to Lillian.

Follow The Sun was an ironic name for the Amateur Fine Harness Champion today, though as he and Annika Bruggeworth made their round of honor, the sun did threaten to peek through the gloom. Jerry Hutson has done a remarkable job with the seven-year-old son of How Fortunate and Mahvalous Miracle. How Fortunate is a cross of Foxfire’s Prophet and Kourageous Kalu blood, while Mahvalous Miracle is by Sultan’s Great Day and out of Simple Dreams. Those who have long been fans of the harness division might recognize that breeding as the same as the great CH Simply Mahvalous B.R. Talk about being bred to be a harness horse, and a black one at that! While we’re at it, let’s talk about the reserve champions harness pedigree. By Sir William Robert, A Magical Melody is out of none other than the wildly successful harness great, CH The Homecoming Queen. Jan Beardsley Blanco was the driver here for Fairfield South, with Gary Garone heading her up.

From a scheduled field of four for the Amateur Harness Pony Championship, just one entry came to the ring. This was Seamair Sensation, with John Wrather driving for Charlotte Wrather. At least it was a deserving winner taking the round of honor, as Sensation was the Amateur Gentlemen’s Reserve World’s Champion last year, and the World’s Champion the year before that.

Camille Cowart got beat once this week. “Well that just won’t do!” thought Camille, “We had better fix that!” That’s the way it might have gone at least. Whatever motivation she used, it worked well, as she made it look as easy as 1-2-3 (her back number), in winning the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship aboard What’s The Whoopla in a comeback performance for Caitlin Leith. Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding reserve winner a year ago here with Caitlin aboard, it was Camille debuting the son of CH War Whoop Two in this new division. Since they missed qualifying for Louisville, this team will not get to take on the division in Freedom Hall. Maddie Morgan was the reserve champion with one of her best rides aboard CH Desert Supreme Kid. “Dewey” was a good mudder for the Mercer Springs team. Reserve twice here a year ago, Dewey would wind up his career with Catherine Wheeler as the 2011 Junior Exhibitor World’s Champion of Champions, their second straight year winning that event. Popular young man Jake Butts was third with Harlem’s Class Act. Grandma Sharon Anderson owns this Matt Shiflet-trained entry. McGee Bosworth and CH Sunken Treasure finished fourth for Allen and McGee Bosworth.

Joel Brown’s pair of Hackney Ponies marched in perfect tandem to win the Concours D’Elegance for Brookside Farm. Lanny Judd was the owner and driver of the single pony, Truly An Asset, driving to a gig with a smiling little lady next to him, who waved to the crowd all the way around.

A quarter of the 12 expected entries scratched from the Adult Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship, with CH Callaway’s Kit Carson and Susan Shepherd continuing their roll with yet another win. Susan showed great skill in keeping her bay gelding in just the right spots in the messy track. It was a unanimous victory for the Pleasantview team. Whether she has the 1978 hit song “Reunited” playing in her head the whole time she’s riding her longtime and now once-again partner, we’re not sure, but whatever it is, it is working. Repeating the qualifier finish, Take It From The Top and Katy Sterba were up for the reserve championship. Owned by Jeff and Janet Sterba, Take It From The Top is trained by Mercer Springs Farm. A World’s Champion in 2010 with breeder Amy Dix Rock, Take It From The Top looks to be peaking at just the right time, with Katy showing in her second season with the big chestnut gelding. CH Summit Up and Linda Sullivan earned a third-place finish for trainer Mike McIntosh, with Callaway’s Dream Big and Ruth Abbott earning fourth, guided by Jack Magill.

The Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Championship was a repeat finish from the AHHS Medallion earlier this week, with Alex Ververeli piloting CH Heartland Victory Maker to the tricolor in his Kierson Kolors. Jessie Richardson joined for the round of honor, as husband Mike was preparing their two entries in the Amateur Park Championship coming up next. Victor has been on a tear as of late, winning four in a row now, including the Amateur Championship at Devon. Caroline Rainbolt Forbes and Surprize Surprize continued their strong history of success in this division, finishing reserve for the second time this week. They took the reserve tricolor back to DeLovely for the Rainbow Princess Farms. This was their same finish here a year ago as well.

CH Stravinsky has carried off the tricolor at six straight horse shows, including Midwest Charity, Asheville, and now Lexington, as he won the Amateur Park Championship with Brittany McGinnis. The Fish Creek Stables entry is trained by DeLovely. Amateur Park winners at the Royal last year in their division debut, Stravinsky and Brittany have been stars of this division ever since. The 2010 Open Park Mare World’s Champion Callaway’s Local News was the reserve champion for Brittany Kale and Grassy Run Farm. Mercer Springs earned a second reserve tricolor tonight with this one. They were Amateur Park Champions at Roanoke last month for the second year in a row. They have yet to finish lower than second in a championship this season. Sudoku has been getting big sendoffs from crowds across the land since Sandra Currier showed him in the ASR Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure National Futurity in 2009, when Freedom Hall erupted for the upright bay beauty. Bambi Childress Bollin soaked in the applause tonight in third for Matt Shiflet Stables. Elizabeth Ververeli and CH Fox Grape’s Forever Yours earned the fourth award for Kathleen and Elizabeth Ververeli and Kierson Farm.

Jaisen Von Ballmoos made the most of his first trip as a trainer to the Red Mile, winning the Ladies Three-Gaited Stake with the entry of Alissa Leonard and The Boogie Woogie Man. Ladies winner at Syracuse and UPHA 14 Spring Premiere, Boogie Woogie Man is owned by Edward Leonard. The chestnut gelding is by Kalarama Cabernet and out of Judy Co-Ed, by Harlem Globetrotter. Alex Wille-Irmiter was the reserve champion with I Spy A Firefly for the Candied Partners and Pleasantview Farm. Ladies champion at Rock Creek, this one is by The Mystery Writer and out of Spinderella, by Periaptor. More Than Enough and Kristen Thorin rode to third for Linda Thorin Johnson and trainer Mike McIntosh, while Jim Carrey and Patrice Watson O’Brien finished fourth for Ashlyn Farms and Lionel Ferreira.

With a squeaky clean go, CH Reedann’s Heir To Glory was the choice as Junior Exhibitor Park Champion with Hallie Sansbury. Cape Cod trains this one for Patricia Dozier. Also the champion here a year ago, Reedann’s Heir To Glory made his best show yet with new partner Hallie Sansbury. By Supreme Heir, he is out of Glori-Phi, by Phi Slama Jama. Hallie came back to walk the grandstand straightaway with her tricolor pinned to the breast pocket of her coat. With a fantastic performance for the Siren Song team, Winter Bruggeworth earned the reserve title aboard CH He’s A Royal Pepper. Annika Bruggeworth owns this strapping chestnut gelding, who was also the reserve champion at Syracuse. Royal Pepper seems to have found his home in this division, and Winter has grown into a formidable teammate for him. Cloverleaf Turner Jake and Tayler Walters turned in a third-place performance for Debra Hurst Walters and DeLovely.

John Wrather made another solo drive to win the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship with Seamair Simply Awesome. A longtime star in this division, Simply Awesome is the four-time defending Amateur World’s Champion of Champions. Janet Crampton directs this team for Charlotte Wrather.

The junior horse divisions suffered a decline in entries on Friday night, with visions of green shavings looming large in their heads. Six weeks from tomorrow it will be Stake Night. So two of the five sat this Junior Three-Gaited Championship out, but a worthy champion was crowned in I’m Worth It All. Ridden by Clarke Vesty for Susan Swope, I’m Worth It All is bright and happy. She is by I’m A New Yorker and out of Worth The Wait, by Worthy Son. Her second dam is where it really gets interesting. That’s where you find Bourbon ‘N Coke, a Broodmare Hall of Fame producer of all-timers like World’s Grand Champion CH One For The Road and CH Jean Margaret. Reserve championship honors went to MW War Image’s Lady, working high and tight in the bridle for Wyatt DeHart and Hart to Hart Stables. By Powerful Charm LCC and out of a War Image mare, War Image’s Lady is extreme in the bridle, always delighting the crowd.

Delaney Webb put on a phenomenal show with the Chad and Tami Reiser entry, Calibogue Charm. By Santana’s Charm and out of Rebel Empress, “Sammy” is a full brother to Sir William Robert. He and Delaney have truly come into their own this year, taking their biggest victory pass together tonight. The 13-and-Under Show Pleasure Champions made an impressive trip down victory lane. While it wasn’t CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool showing tonight, it was his half brother, Brookhill’s Kool As Ice taking reserve. Also out of It’s A Beautiful Day, Kool As Ice is teamed with Audrey Kim under the High Caliber banner. This team earned their biggest prize ever, delighting the always enthusiastic HCS cheering squad. Jennifer Huston and Keep It Simple finished in third for Nancy Huston and trainer Janet Crampton. Daddy-O and Joanna Ricci were fourth for grandmother Dorothy Hock and Kierson Farm.

With the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship split into age groups, the 14-17 riders were up next. Abby Mutrux and Odeon have been trimmed in tricolor at every show they have been to this year, and that was no different here. They earned the top prize for High Spirits Farm, greeted by Robert Gardiner in the winner’s circle. Bridlespur, UPHA Chapter 5, Midwest, and now Lexington have all seen Odeon leave as the champion. Abby once again worked the track to her advantage, even in the sloppy conditions. Lionel Ferreira’s amateur riders did a great job tonight, as Alexandra Grace Foster delighted her fans with a reserve championship ride on Milady Huntly. Reserve in their qualifier here a year ago, Milady Huntly has long been a fan of this track, winning the Adult Show Pleasure Championship here in 2010 with Georgia Ferreira. This strapping chestnut mare is by Deep Blue and out of Lady Huntly, by Boola Boola. Mr. Billy Jewel, Austin Hazelwood, has gotten the call for additional catch rides now, including this one on Stun Gun to place third for owner Shirley Koch and Merriehill Farm. Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered and Morgan Billig took the white prize for uncle Carson Kressley and Kierson Farm.

While it was back to back solo performances in the next two classes, they were two top-notch horses. Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones, back cover boys of this year’s Junior League horse show program, got up a full head of steam despite the conditions, winning for the 12th time in 12 tries this season for the Lukens Stables banner. They took the Amateur Roadster to Bike Championship here, with the official track conditions listed as “Sloppy.”

The next class was perhaps the most stunning for a multitude of reasons, especially if you were holding a class sheet with the night’s entries printed out. There were seven listed to show. One answered the call. However, the one entry provided the other reason to be stunned, as Memories Of Cabo put together a fantastic show with Peter Cowart up for Caitlin Leith. Caitlin’s entries were two for two tonight with Cowarts aboard. This one is a full brother to Pass With Care, by Desert’s Supreme Memories and out of Kalarama’s My Heart, by Harlem Globetrotter. His second dam is a full sister to the great CH Eleanor Rigby.

The Junior Fine Harness Stake more than made up for the lack of entries in junior gaited, as five of them went toe to toe in a class that snuck up on the showgoers. After two one-horse classes, all of a sudden here were five strong contenders in the ring, putting on a big time horse show! Ruth Gimpel got the approval of all three judges here with Night Tide, an entry of Helen Rosburg. This wonderfully talented black gelding has been a World’s Champion in both of his Louisville outings, winning with Gary Guz in two-year-old harness and last year with Ruth Gimpel as the ASR Three-Year-Old Fine Harness National Futurity Champion. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, he is out of another phenomenal harness horse, Tornaado’s Tidal Wave, who has been a stellar producer just a few years into her career as a broodmare. Night Tide was the first of her colts. It was a battle of two World’s Champions, as Costa Nostra was the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion last year as well as the UPHA Fine Harness Classic National Champion. Matt Shiflet put on a good show for reserve here for Fish N Fun Farms. By The Harlem Renaissance, Costa Nostra is out of The Golden Bough, by The Irish Connection. Making great passes in third was Nut An Illusion. Chris Reiser drove for Carolyn Stuart. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, he is out of none other than Sweet Illusion W.F., the dam of World’s Grand Champion An Heir About Her, CH Heir Style, and CH Sultry Heiress. Somebody get the ASHA on the phone, because somehow this incredible producer doesn’t have the (BHF) to denote a Broodmare Hall of Fame member attached to her name!

The Amateur Road Pony Championship had the same name listed as owner, trainer, and driver, as Karen Voerg was the winner with CH Rant N Rave K.V. Also champions at Raleigh Spring Premier and Blowing Rock this year, this was the ninth victory pass on the season for Karen and Rant N Rave. Owned officially by Mr. and Mrs. Ricky Voerg, this dark bay gelding has been teamed with Karen since 2003. Another longtime team, the great CH Heartland Sundust has been together with Beth Jones since 2008. They earned the reserve tricolor under the direction of Connie Smith. This class was a testament to the longevity of the Hackney Pony, as the top two represented 31 total years of pony life!

Returning to the Red Mile after a decade’s absence, Judd Stables has taken it to the competition, piling wins on top of wins. Maria Gilman has gotten to be the headliner this week for sure, pulling in her third victory in five classes in tonight’s finale. While she is quick to credit Don Judd for preparing these winners for the show ring, Maria puts them in all the right places in the ring, just as she did tonight with Tango Mango to win the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship. Also the registered owner, Maria was the ladies champion at J.D. Massey this year as well. Tango Mango is a bright, airy chestnut mare by Dorian Warriors Song (SA) and out of a CH Caramac mare. Lauren Greenwald and Thunder Crackin’ earned their second straight reserve tricolor, having also claimed this prize at Midwest Charity. He was ladies champion at River Ridge back in April with Melissa Moore. An entry of SGF Winning Ways Farm, Thunder Crackin’ has found just the right fit for him at Sunrise Stables. Totally Kool and Kelsey Price made a top show in third for Pleasantview Farm.

For the second year in a row, 30 Spokes played the Ladies Five-Gaited Champion out on their victory pass, as the Friday night extravaganza continued with a live concert and dancing fun on the apron of the track. Sponsored by your good friends at Dabora and World Champion Horse Equipment, a good time was had by all!

Let’s play a fun game of Red Mile Meteorologist, shall we? It doesn’t look great. Like we said last night, this rain is absolutely and 100% needed by this area. Badly. But if it could have held off for just one more day, maybe the track could have been rescued for tonight! Silver lining to these clouds? At least it’s not last week, where it felt more like you were living on the bayou, with ridiculous humidity combined with 105-degree heat. So there’s that. Hopefully the rains pass by, the track holds up, and all of the horses show back tonight. Here’s hoping. 

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