Skip to content

Lexington Hits The Top Of The Mark



            What a perfect way to end the week – absolutely delightful temperatures, a gorgeous Kentucky sunset over the Red Mile Race Track, and a rock ‘em sock ‘em horse show! The Five-Gaited Grand Championship was anticipated all through the night. All three qualifiers had highlighted plenty of talent and there were seven coming back! There was so much passion and enthusiasm building throughout the class that Mary Gaylord McClean had tears of joy in her eyes as they announced that stallion champion Top Of The Mark and Tre Lee were the grand champions. Christina and Andrea Athanasuleas were equally thrilled with gelding champion CH Honey Badger and Matt Shiflet who claimed reserve honors and the continued loyalty of their legion of fans. Todd Miles and Sabotage also got a generous applause for their third place finish for Annika Bruggeworth.

            It was actually an unbelievable night for Mary and Jeff McClean’s Golden Creek Farms as not only did they win the Five-Gaited Grand Championship, they also swept the open pony championships with Prime Time’s Choice LF, Go Daddy and Senator.

            The walk-trot grand championship was proclaimed by many to be the best they’ve witnessed on this track in a long, long time. In fact, the crowd never really stopped cheering from the Three-Gaited Championship to the Five-Gaited Championship. Eight outstanding entries with a long list of world’s and national championships answered the gate call and despite each entry giving it their very best, the judges managed to come up with a unanimous decision. Smith Lilly and junior champion over 2 champion Tango’s Token Kiss collected the honors and the thundering applause on behalf of owner Grace Arnold LLC. The crowd stayed on their feet to express their appreciation of reserve grand champion Don O’Neill and Chris Reiser who had won this title in 2015. That cheering section was led by the world’s champion’s proud owner Cindy Chesler.  Todd Miles again collected a huge expression of appreciation from the audience for Bruggeworth’s Harlems Wild and Wonderful who earned the third place streamers with an outstanding performance.

            Other exciting moments of the night included Bill Waller and Anna Wintour winning the Three-Gaited Park Championship much to the delight of Stephanie Wellington and Allie Nunley. Allie couldn’t have been more proud to share her mount with her trainer. “It’s so much fun to have a horse that can compete in the open division again,” exclaimed mother and daughter.

            A three-horse workout in the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Championship was another highlight of the night. Lady Wilhelmina and Ellie Kangur, Soquili’s Georgia Kracker and Caitlin Cline and Moonbeams and Dreams and Misdee Wrigley Miller were laying their hearts out on that track and the audience rewarded them again and again with a standing ovation. Mary and Evan Orr ran to meet Ellie in the winner’s circle and it was unclear who was stepping higher as Mary bubbled over with enthusiasm. It was certainly a class they’ll never forget.

            Misdee and James Miller and Larry Hodge certainly had a special night. In addition to being a part of that workout, Misdee won the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship with a unanimous decision aboard world’s and national champion HS Baby Steps. James earned a strong third place finish in a crazy competitive Amateur Five-Gaited Championship where Candi Covino Aversenti turned It on to nudge out Susan Swope and Undulata Pressure to claim the win. Amateur stallion/gelding champion Iconium and Vickie Byrd were fourth in yet another Saturday showdown of exciting talent. Misdee and James also celebrated with stablemates Nancy and William Bryan as Larry Hodge drove Futurette to the Fine Harness Grand Championship in a class that included Real Steel, We Must Be Nuts and Kalarama’s New York Lady.

            Besides the outstanding horses in the ring, there was another very special moment in center ring as the UPHA presented Bethel Henry Ward with the 2016 UPHA Caretaker Hall of Fame as he was surrounded by his huge number of friends and family. Ward has spent his lifetime caring for horses from the famed Dodge Stables, and legacies from that time, Martin Teater and Elizabeth Caldwell were a part of the large crowd that gathered to honor Ward.

            This is just a small sample of the highlights of Lexington Junior League. Be sure to read the July 18, 2016 issue of  Saddle Horse Report for complete coverage and review the results and judges cards at www.SaddleHorseReport.com.

 

 

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • Latest Issue 9 21 20

    Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Change Is Not Easy

    Robert Samuelson is a well-respected columnist on topics of economics and human behavior. He has been writing since the early ’70s.  He wrote his farewell column this week, and I excerpted the above quotation from him... Read More
  • CH Fiasco Succumbs to Heart Failure

    CH Fiasco, the first ever Western Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions died of heart failure September 13th at Michael Craghead Stables in Fresno, California. The big, beautiful bay gelding set the standard for the Western country pleasure division with Doug Glick. Read More
  • UPHA Update

    COVID-19 has caused many changes in our world and has had a significant impact on our sport. We have all learned to wear our face coverings, practice social distancing and elbow bump instead of shaking hands or giving hugs. It has been a steep learning curve, but our equine industry has risen to the challenge and prevailed when many other sports have faltered. Read More
  • UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show Update

    With concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our guests, community members, volunteers, and our employees is our top priority. We are working to make sure our operations will run smoothly and safely for all our attendees at the 2020 UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show in November.  Read More
  • Osteen Captures the All American Action

    Rick Osteen, official photographer at the All American Horse Classic, has proofs available online at www.rickosteen.com and despite not being able to set up his viewing table he and wife Joni are fulfilling orders as quickly as possible. Read More
  • Rock Creek Cancelled

    The Board of Directors of the Rock Creek Riding Club regret to announce that they have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s show.  We had high hopes that rescheduling the traditional June show for October would allow us to do justice to the Rock Creek tradition even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Accepting Consignments

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to accept consignments for the next Equine Art, Antique, and Rare Book Auction taking place in July 2021. To prepare for this much loved event, the Museum is accepting consignments until February 1, 2021. Read More
  • Latest Issue 9 14 20 Insert

    Read More