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Lexington Jr. League Show Coverage – Monday Evening

Monday Evening

Anticipation for the first class of the 71st Lexington Junior League Horse Show was in the air, and while that air was warm, it certainly wasn’t as stifling as it could have been. It was a good night of showing with some well-filled, competitive classes, although no one stepped up with a superstar Lexington performance on opening night.

Ringmaster John Franzreb called the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14 & Under horses to the ring for the first class and it was a large class with regional champions from across the country parading down the famed Red Mile in front of judges Brian Chappell, Adam Clauson and Lewis Eckard. Different teams were making good passes here and there but when it was all done, Katie Cunningham and the big-going That’s Chicago put the exclamation mark on it with a blue ribbon victory pass for Randy Cates’s Cross Creek Stables.

Last year’s 14 & under champions, Camille Cowart and Heathermoor’s Prince, finished in reserve. Third in the deep class went to the new team of the pert Hunter Chancellor and last year’s Junior World’s Champion of Champions Can You Hear Me Now.

Ronnie Graham sent Harlem’s Worldly Lady and catch driver Kenny Wheeler to the winner’s circle of the Country Pleasure Driving class for Fish N Fun farm. Cheryl Rhoton and Sweet Intention followed the champions under the direction of Ben Nash.

Six cob-tails and their amateur drivers made for a good pony class. When the cards were tallied world’s champion Heartland Elise was on top for Mary Gaylord McClean and Golden Creek Farms. Pushing the winners with a strong performance themselves, John Wrather and Seamair Dimply Awesome were a good reserve.

The Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 15-17 class made the judges earn their money as no one was just on the money with a consistent class. Hard riding Justin Cowley and the popular Colonel Hoss came through with a powerful rack to take the blue for the Clark Clouse Stables. Kalarama was represented in reserve by Ali Judah and Divine Renaissance.

After a rider went off and then was excused, the Roadster Under Saddle class resumed with Stevie Bagdasarian and Lady Hawke sailing down the Red Mile straightaway with the blue streamers. With plenty of pizzazz themselves, Vivacious and Holly Ackerman were right there for the reserve title.

After being the subject of a local newscast on the Lexington Junior League Show earlier in the day, Georgia Bulmer and (SA) SJ The Smart Lady came through to make the trip from England worth their while. They triumphed in the Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under class. Phillipa Sledge and The Great Gaspar were called out in second.

Ladies Harness Ponies were the next group to take center stage. The last to leave the ring in that one was the Frickey Farm team of Regal’s Pride LF and Karen Frickey. Stephany Monteleone and Delightful Time were on the money for a good reserve finish.

The junior gaited division has been good nearly everywhere this year and Lexington’s stallion/gelding class was no exception. Really getting strong the second way of the ring former two-year-old world’s champion Spirit Of New York PSF was pinned Lexington’s champion with Smith Lilly providing the winning ride for Mr. and Mrs. Sam Bowling. Winner of the junior class and Five-Gaited Championship at UPHA 14 Spring Premiere, Worthy’s World To Know was the classy reserve winner for Rob Turner and Riverdreams LLC.

There was a really nice turnout for the Ladies Fine Harness class with a long list of all-star performers participating. The newest team of the entire bunch, Jill O’Hara and Hoof Prince paraded down victory lane under the direction of Jim and Jenny Taylor. Coming off two reserves at Midwest, Lady Vol and Chris Kaplan were second again. Sandy Lilly and Mother Mary were in third ahead of several big time teams.

Tré Lee has made a habit of entertaining the Lexington audiences with top young horses over the past few years and he was back at it again in the Junior Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under class. Callaway’s Connotation was Lee’s winning entry for Belle Reve Farm. With the park trotting Simbara’s Bountiful, Matt Shiflet was reserve for Kathy Bagdasarian.

A long UPHA Road Pony Classic produced Prince’s Performer LF as the champion. It was the third win of the year for the Tom Lowry trained entry who was driven by Jeff McClean. Maureen Lydon drove Mr. Lucky Man for the second place money while representing owners Gene and Ann Gallmeier.

Robert Gardiner was proud of wife Jonelle and Ladies Five-Gaited Mare Champion Pucker Up. They were on the money for an opening night Lexington blue. Reserve to the champions was the new combination of Deborah Visser and world’s champion Adelita.

Part of Lexington’s versatile class schedule, the Hackney Pony Gig class featured Kentucky Raine LF and Luc Boileau on top for trainer Ed Murray. Lauren Mathewson represented the Frickey family with a reserve drive behind Heartland Elegant Dancer.

Moving right along, Mike Barlow and GrCh Ashland captured yet another Lexington Roadster To Wagon blue – their fifth year in a row. Les Cunningham and Revel Rouser provided the reserve competition.

The young men outnumbered their female counterparts in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14 & Under competition with the boys winning four out of seven places. Leading the way to the winner’s circle was Andrew Nadder aboard the Jerry Hutson trained Prairie Sunrise. The hard riding Drew Taylor Hewitt represented the girls well, capturing the reserve with Sunken Treasure.

Patty Milligan was on the rail giving directions to Liz Cortright who was riding Fox Grape Farms’ Madeira’s Love. This tasty mare looked the part of a Lexington champion every step of the way to take the Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 class. Ray Krussell had Morgan Wolin and CH The Super Nova in top order to command reserve honors.

The 11-horse Five-Gaited Gelding Stake brought the first night of showing to a close. This class has historically produced some grand champions with Five O’Clock, Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe and Walterway’s Remember Me winning the last three years.

This year’s cast of entries was entertaining with different types of horses filling the ring. Emerging from the pack was Rob Byers aboard Rosemarie Fernandez’s five-year-old I’m Royalty Too. Peter Cowart and the always-charging Breaking News pushed hard for reserve honors. Todd Miles and world’s grand champion He’s The Man were called out in third before the crowd gave Clark Clouse and Memories’ Paragon a great ovation for their fourth place finish.

Byers had to walk I’m Royalty Too from the ring for the victory pass as he threw a shoe (one of five or six lost shoes on the evening) right before the second way canter. Night One of the 71st Lexington Junior League Horse Show was in the record books.

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