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Lexington Jr. League - Monday Evening

Monday Evening

The horse show gods were looking down on Lexington Junior League, at least for the first night. Less than an hour before show time it was still raining and the forecast, much to the delight of everyone in Central Kentucky except those involved with the country’s largest outdoor Saddlebred show, was nothing but more rain. However, shortly before ringmaster John Franzreb called in the first class the skies began to brighten
and the 69th annual showcase was off to a roaring start.

Twelve junior exhibitors aboard walk-trot horses were roaring to parade down the Red Mile straightaway in front of judges Michael Craghead, Kim Crumpler, and Mike Tunstall. With the quality that filled the ring it took a top performance to come out of this one with a good prize. The first Lexington blue of 2005 went to the world’s champion combination of Just Special and Allison Combs. Closest to the Mercer Springs team were reserve champions Callaway’s Buttons and Bows with  Melissa Milligan. What a treat this night was for Margaret Morrison. Showing in her first walk, trot and canter class ever, she rode CH The Showstopper to take home the yellow streamers.

John Scheidt and Theology earned a blue ribbon for the Stonecroft tack room with their winning performance in the Country Pleasure Driving class. They were followed by Vernon Wise and CH Cat Cracker in second. The Lexington crowd gave Donna Smith and Heirithmatic a good hand for their third place finish.

The Amateur Hackney Pony class was extremely encouraging for the pony business. Ten teams showed up and there were plenty of all-star combinations to be found. Coming off two sharp performances at Midwest, Heartland Elise delivered another winning performance for Mary Gaylord McClean. With an endless string of victories to their credit, Jackie Stred and Heartland Rain Song were reserve, followed by Ed Frickey and Classical Dancer.

Just like the juvenile walk-trot class, the Juvenile Five-Gaited 15-17 was well-filled with 10 entries. There were a number of teams making strong bids for the top prize but when the cards were posted, the new team of Ali DeGray and multi-world’s champion CH Tigerlee were number one. Ruth Gimpel greeted them in the winner’s circle. Making the trip from California, Julia Martin and Callaway’s Arbitrator showed they could compete with anyone as they finished reserve for trainer Bruce Dixon. The Dr. Charles Edwards entry of Amberwoods Double Delight was third, while Kristen Koenig and The Party’s Here made a number of exciting passes for fourth.

With a passion for a road horse like few others, Judy McNeish was the winning catch driver in the Amateur Ladies Roadster To Bike class with Valiant. She made the winning drive for Alliance Stud. Holly Powell and John T trotted out with the red streamers.

Over the past year they’ve been making noise every where they’ve gone and on this Monday night Jessica Curl and Callaway’s Halley Comet were on top of their game to earn the Lexington Junior League Amateur 15.2 & Under title for trainer Bob Brison. She had strong competition from reserve champions Ostentatiously and Deborah Visser. CH Sold Out Show and Deborah Jahn were third among the seven entries.

The Golden Creek Farm team of Jeff and Mary Gaylord McClean and Tom Lowry were two for two with Joan Jett’s blue ribbon performance in the Ladies Harness Pony class. This grand mare just keeps on bringing home title after title. A reserve ribbon returned to the Infinity tack room with Heartland Flirtation and Caroline Kamer.

There’s no shortage of good young gaited horses as 16 filled the ring for the junior stallion/gelding class. It was a group mixed with winning three-year-olds from 2004 and new faces trying to get established. When it was all said and done, last year’s three-year-old champion He’s The Man was called to the winner’s circle with George Knight again riding for himself and Jean McLean Davis. There are things about this youngster that remind you of his sire, world’s grand champion Man On The Town. Following the Shelbyville show a few weeks ago everyone was talking about Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Redd Crabtree rode him to a reserve finish in this huge class. Todd Graham mixed it up for a third place finish with a sharp youngster named Finally Free. The crowd gave fourth place winners Tre Lee and A Silver Charm a good round of applause.

It was nice to see eight entries for the Ladies Fine Harness class and many of them could win anywhere. Graduating to the adult division in style, Brittany Baird and Cary’s Moonraker topped this grand class for trainer Robert Gardiner and MBA Equestrians. It wasn’t this mare’s first Lexington victory pass. Also a veteran Lexington star, Harlem’s Santa Fe was a good reserve for Susan Bartlett who was representing Chuck Herbert’s Cedarwood Farm. Nancy Brannon and Unclaimed had a good go for the third prize, while the new combination of Joellen Fisher Blount and Tornaado’s Tidal Wave had some entertaining passes to take fourth.

What a thrill it must have been for Kent Swalla to make a Lexington Junior League victory pass. Teamed with the beautiful Our Charming Lady, Swalla made a strong statement at Midwest last month and they backed it up on this night to win the Junior Three-Gaited Under 15.2 title. They represented the Mike Roberts Stables and owner M.W. Sorenson.

Singing Hills Stable returned to Lexington after making the trip from Oregon last year. Annalize Van Der Walt rode Hawaiian Orchid to garner reserve honors for owners Kereluk and Teuschi. There was great depth in the class as Peter Cowart and the multi-titled Longshadow Sovereign Spirit were third. Also with many winning performances in her young career, the beautiful Broadway’s Mamma Mia was fourth with amateur
rider Careen Dubuc in the irons.

Again the pony exhibitors showed up as eight drivers competed for the UPHA Road Pony Classic. The breeding program of Darrel and Sandy Kolkman continues to produce champion after champion as Darrel guided Heartland In A Minute to the winner’s circle. Maureen Lydon and K & J’s Aviator also had it in high gear to command the reserve classic money for Darrell Vaughn.

The evening continued with as nice a Ladies Five-Gaited Mare class as you will ever see. First of all it was filled with a cast of world title holders and they were all firing on this relatively cool July evening. Everywhere you looked, someone was making a Lexington caliber pass. When Peter Doubleday made the announcement for this one, it was Barclay DeWet and Have You Ever emerging from the line up. It ranked up there with one of their best performances ever for trainer Redd Crabtree. Also with one of their best shows Take Me Away and Mary Gaylord McClean were right there for reserve honors.

Most of the country hasn’t seen Sandra Currier and Reedann’s Talked About, but they will remember them after a solid third place finish in this deep water. Also with a quality Lexington performance Summer Sweet and Ann MacMurray Cox went home with the white ribbon.

Adding to the showcase of equine talent found at Lexington Junior League, the Hackney Pony Gig class has become popular with the crowd. Longtime Hackney owner/breeder/exhibitor Karen Waldron helped preserve this historic class with champion Spirit Of Success. Mary Campbell and Man On The Town trotted out the
reserve champions.

Over the past few years Mike Barlow and Ashland have owned the Red Mile in the wagon division and tonight the world’s champion combination added another title to their long list. Raymond Shively and Dutchmaster were reserve to the Open Roadster To Wagon Champions.

Three classes were left on the evening’s schedule and the 15 entry Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14 and Under class kept the momentum at a high level. A few horses in this class were thoroughly entertained with the big screen on the entrance gate end of the ring making it hard for their riders to navigate and hard for the other riders to stay clear. It took some ringmanship and a go forward to win this one and Sarah Longworth and CH Diamond’s Hope delivered both. This blue returned to the Cash Lovell Stables. The brand new team of Brittany Baird and CF Night At The Castle were quite impressive to garner reserve honors ahead of the hard riding Sarah Sessoms aboard Assets And Attitude.

It was a good night for Deborah Visser as she piloted Cabernet’s Will Command to the Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 blue, an entry owned by Neil and Deborah Visser. Applying plenty of pressure Stevie Bagdasarian and She’s Poisen were on the money for a reserve finish.

Monday night at Lexington Junior League ended with an international flavor. A few years ago England trainer Lionel Ferreira made a big splash at the Red Mile on the walk-trot horse SJ Like A Champ. This year he had a most impressive performance with Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe to win the Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class.  If this strong trotting and smooth racking fresh face continues to make shows like this he will soon be a household name for owner J. Bulmer of Monnington On Wye, Hereford England. Riding for Larry and Alice Nunley, Melissa Moore took The Echo Of Thunder to a second place finish in the six-horse class.

Lexington Junior League 2005 was off to a great start: the rain held off, classes were full and competitive and no shoes were lost!

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