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Lexington Jr. League Show Coverage - Friday Morning and Evening

Friday Morning


Exhibitors awoke to much-welcomed sunshine on Friday morning.  With the weather finally co-operating (at least for a while) the riders and their steeds turned in one entertaining class after another.


The first class out of the gate on this bright morning was the USEF Saddle Seat Medal class.  Tops in this medal class went to the DeLovely-trained Mary Catherine Swinson aboard LA Blues.  Second in this class went to Michelle Krentz and CH Louisville Lass, trained by Knollwood. 


With a unanimous victory in the Pleasure Equitation 13 And Under Championship belonged to the Shelley Fisher-trained duo of Taylor Newton and A Sweet Sensation, making it the third victory for this team during Lexington week.   Reserve honors belonged to Loretta Mulberry and Undulata’s Clean Sweep.  The pattern in this class consisted of: trot the length of the rail on the left diagonal.  At the end of the straightaway, change to the right diagonal and continue trotting to the midpoint of the turn.  Stop. Pick up the left canter lead and canter one half circle.  Stop.  Pick up the right canter lead and canter a half circle to the judge’s stand.  Stop.  Back five steps.  Trot to the rail and down the remainder of the straightaway on the right diagonal.  Continue on to the lineup without stopping.


The next class through the gate was for the young ponies.  Tops in the UPHA Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Classic went to Kathy Capsuto and the bright and airy Heartland Breaking News.  Making a beautiful show for second was Daddy Oh and Lynn Hutchinson. 


Returning to the show ring for a second victory was Abigail Mutrux on Worth The Trip in the UPHA Challenge Cup 11 and Under. This winning team is instructed by the team at DeLovely.  Reserve honors in this class belonged to Jordyn Broten riding Ro And Me’s Here Comes The Rain.


The Pleasure Equitation Championship for the 14 to 17 year-old riders was full of competitive riders.  Championship colors belonged to Deanna Lanigan and Oh Gee Whiz, instructed by Carol and Scott Matton.  Reserve championship honors belonged to the Mike McIntosh-trained Emily Abbott and Walterway’s Redeemed.  Making a lovely show for the yellow ribbon was Danielle McGarry aboard CH Callaway’s Royal Request, under the direction of Robert and Jonelle Gardiner. 


An added class, the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Silver Medal Stake, allowed junior exhibitors who did not ribbon in their qualifying class to show one more time on the storied Red Mile track.  Earning the tricolor was The King’s Will and Patricia McLaurin under the direction of Liz McBride Jones.  Second in this class were Central Park West and Sarah Bennett.


The last class on Friday was the sixth annual USEF Saddle Seat Medal Adult Amateur Medal National Finals class. After fearing a low turnout and sending out a call for more entries, USEF officials were pleased to see six quality entries fill this important class. Sandy Sessink joined Rick Wallen and Betsy Boone to comprise the judging panel for this class. After each rider completed an individual workout, ribbon winners were called out in a suspenseful reverse order. Gold medal honors belonged to Brooke Jacobs and Callaway’s Show Me When after turning in a picture perfect workout. Jacobs rides under the direction of her father, Brent Jacobs.  Second place honors belonged to Tasha Rose Sandler under the direction of Nancy Becker. Sandler rode Spirit Stuff, graciously loaned by fellow Shadow Run stablemate, Kristen Koenig. This class was a textbook example of persistence paying off. Jacobs had ridden in all of the prior Medal Finals, and this was the third year in a row for Sandler to earn the silver medal.


Friday Evening


Rain was “The Story” on Friday evening.  Nine classes were completed before a deluge of rain and nasty thunderstorms, along with incessant lightning, would pummel the track and cause exhibitors to scurry for cover.  Officials made the inevitable decision to postpone the remainder of the evening’s classes.


Regardless of the torrents to come, the show carried on and at center stage for the youngsters was the ever-so-cute and picture-perfect pair of Courtney McGinnis and Callaway’s Coraleen.  This DeLovely lovely was in top form to claim championship honors in the Walk/Trot Saddle Seat Equitation Championship.  Also looking assured as she picked up the reserve ribbon was the adorable Aleia Brown and her trusty steed Something’s In The Heir.  The yellow ribbon belonged to Hallie Sansbury and Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm. 


Next up before the storm was the championship for the Hackney Pleasure Driving ponies.  Returning to the winner’s circle, after victory in the qualifier, was the expressive Early Edition, with owner Jane Mueller.  Reserve belonged to Spirit Of Success and Karen Waldron.  Hot on their heels for third was Megan McClure catch-driving for her aunt Tamra Arndt, with the perky Heartland Parade Time.


Riding with the grace and elegance that has allowed her to claim top honors all year, was Ellen Medley Wright aboard the veteran CH Timeless Drifter in the Jr. Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Turning in a beautiful performance for second was Brittany McGinnis on another veteran equitation horse, Amandari. Both of these riders are trained by DeLovely.


Next class through the gate was the championship for the amateurs and their fine harness horses.  Making the trip from the Pacific Northwest well worth it was the lofty (SA) Dorian Warrior’s Song with William Blacklaw on the lines.  Looking perfect and claiming the reserve tricolor were Just About Perfect and owner/driver Ellyn Dorsey.  The yellow ribbon belonged to the ethereal Gothic Revival and Joan Adler. Wow! This really sets the stage for a terrific return competition at Louisville.


The Harness Pony Championship was the next class through the gate and championship honors belonged to the high-stepping little bay Shake Don’t Stir and Mary Gaylord McClean.  People say that Hackney ponies last forever, and proof positive of this adage is the reserve champion, Vindicator.  The much-beloved twenty-one-year-old pony has never looked better for owner/whip Karen Waldron.   


The junior exhibitors braved the impending storm to compete for championship honors with their five-gaited show pleasure horses.  Racking into championship colors was the pair of Lindsay Kellner and Callaway’s Don’t Panic, reversing the order of finish from the qualifier.  The reserve ribbons belonged to the Nelson Green-trained pair of CH Assets and Attitudes with Sarah Sessoms aboard.


Speeding around the track and into victory in the Roadster Pony Junior Exhibitor Championship was 2005 UPHA Classic champion K & J’s Aviator with Shannon Ella on the lines.  In yet another reversal from the qualifying class, Seize The Moment and Ali DeGray, trained by Ruth Gimpel, captured the reserve honors with great style.


Halfway through the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stake a wall of water swept down the track. The decision was made to finish this class with an abbreviated call for gaits on the reverse. The entries were sent back to the barns without taking the time to award ribbons.  It was later announced that Kaitlyn Grom and the charismatic Perfect Vengeance repeated their win from the qualifier. They would have to be satisfied with their one Lexington victory pass. Last Tango In Paris and Whitney Bennett were reserve champions in this most competitive class. All who participated under these extraordinarily difficult conditions are to be commended.


As spectators waited under cover for the storm to abate, Mother Nature refused to cooperate. To no one’s surprise, the announcement was made that the remaining classes would be rescheduled to begin at 5:30 on the following evening. The soggy crowd filed out with some heading back to the barns, and others not even sure they wanted to brave the lightning strikes to cross the broad parking to retrieve their cars.


This concludes Friday’s highlights. Complete results may be found by clicking on SHOW RESULTS.

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