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Lexington Jr. League Show Coverage – Thursday Morning and Evening

Thursday Morning

A short Thursday morning schedule featured Hackney ponies, country pleasure horses and equitation national qualifiers. The Lexington sun shone bright through a crystal clear sky, leaving many looking for the comfort of the tent-side shade. Amber Lynn Lowry performed the straight line workout perfectly with Maximum Bob to take Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Taylor Deer was reserve.


The AHHS Hackney Pleasure Driving Medallion was the property of Motown, with Will Mayo at the lines. This was their third Medallion win so far this year, going undefeated in the AHHS competition. Mike Barlow joined this team in the winner’s circle. Match Maker and Molly Kregor were up for the red ribbon for Rick and Carolyn Daigle.


Sarah Russell yelled a “Thank You!” to the heavens when her number was called out first in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship. She and Haunting, a 7-year-old son of Periaptor, bested a field of 11 to take the tri-color in their best performance to date. Sarah’s fist pump and resounding “YES!” were part of a well-deserved celebration after her victory pass. CH Riva Diva was the Reserve Champion with Donna Finch, after winning the qualifier.


Jake Butts got the biggest round of cheers on the morning. The Cash Lovell fan base was there in full voice as Jake and Perfect Offering were named the AHHS Roadster Pony Under Saddle Medallion winners. This little combo was smooth as silk throughout the class, with Jake looking sharp in his silver and blue silks with red trim. Heartland Little Gem and Alyssa Lopez were trotting high and fast to take reserve.


The Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship shaped up to be a rematch of yesterday’s battle between Ali DeGray and the Baird girls, but Moonstruck In Kentucky had something to say about that today. She and Olivia Strano made a big time show to garner the reserve tri-color behind the once again unanimous winners, Kalarama’s High Roller and Ali DeGray. Ali had High Roller up and moving forward through the bridle even more today than yesterday, making them the decisive winning combination. Ashley Baird and Kabu wound up in third place.


Cindy Boel had the top two riders in the last class of the morning, as Lindsay Haupt took top honors in the NHS Good Hands Event, with Eleanor Watkins in reserve. Lindsay performed a precise figure eight to take the unanimous orange and black ribbon. She also took top honors in the 16-17 age group on Tuesday morning.


Tonight, the young horses and riders dominate an 18-class schedule. Thursday night at Lexington always provides something to talk about.

Thursday Evening


When was the last time that a Limit Harness Pony class had everyone in the crowd transfixed? Well, if you were at Midwest Charity, you would be able to give that show as an answer, but for the rest in attendance tonight, the performance by Dun-Haven Phenomenal and Maureen Lydon was nothing short of surreal. This little stud pony came down the rail the first time and everyone had to take a second look to make sure their eyes weren’t playing tricks on them. After that, it was a roar of approval up one rail and down the other for this entry of Carl and Kathryn Nichols. At the age of eight, this is Phenomenal’s first year in the show ring. Lee Dunn raised him and bred him just one time. The Nicholses now have yearlings on the ground by this fantastic little stallion. Eduardo Lopez was the one who broke the bay dynamo last fall before he was sent to Rich Campbell and Maureen Lydon in December.


Campbell was pacing up and down the grandstand rail, calling out instructions to Lydon, who put on a superb show, knowing full well that every eye in the crowd was on her. This great pony has shown five times now this year and has come away with all blues. He won the long tail qualifier and championship at Asheville and won the limit class and the Harness Pony Championship at Midwest Charity. He looks ready to take on all comers next month in Freedom Hall.


Reserve in the Limit Harness Pony class went to Kytha and Abel Vega, John Shea’s longtime assistant, showing for Golden Creek Farms. Shea was on the grounds this evening, attending a horse show for the first time in a year. Vega was also at the lines of another Golden Creek entry, Limited Edition, to win the Limit Hackney Pony class. Monte Verde and Wendy Winstead were reserve in that one.


But first, another breezy, beautiful evening in Lexington was opened with an exhibition by the Bluegrass Pony Club. They presented the colors after a demonstration by some of the pony clubbers, including a relay race that involved putting a flagstick into a traffic cone that was sitting on the ground while riding at a good clip.


The 2-Year-Old Fine Harness Stake featured three nice entries out of one great show mare and two full sisters of great show mares. George Knight won yet another Fine Harness class this week, this time with HS She Be Bad. This unanimous winner is by CH Callaway’s Wish Me Will and out of She’s Not Bad, a full sister to She’s Real Bad. The second and third place entries are out of full sisters. Those sisters happen to be by Merchant Prince and out of Denmark’s Radiant Society, the golden cross of Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks. Stonecroft Our Treat is out of the more famous of the two sisters, CH A Sweet Treat, and is by Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man.  Nelson Green had him working well in second. Third went to Simbara’s Sandcastle, with Carter Cox at the lines for Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks. This one is by Castle Bravo and out of Simbara’s Special Someone.


The Pleasure Driving Championship saw three grand campaigners battling it out for the tri-color. Two are more recent entries into the Pleasure Driving division, having first made names for themselves in Fine Harness, while the third has been showing and winning in Pleasure Driving since 1995. Carl Nichols had his former Fine Harness National Champion, CH Candle Dan, moving well through the field of eight. He shimmered in the early evening sun and took all three first-place votes once again. The Reserve Champion was the bay horse who has been in this division since time immemorial, CH Advantage Me. Kim Matoza was at the lines as she often is in the Championship round, this time wearing an intriguing not-quite-hat that featured white flowers. Official hat describer and aficionado Ashley Hallock called it “whimsical.” Third in the class went to Dancing Up A Storm LCC with Kathy Capsuto. This mare by Tornaado (SA) made the switch from Fine Harness after Louisville last year after a successful career pulling four wheels. Two wheels suits her just fine, as she is the reigning National Champion in the division.


Hunter Chancellor showed off her great ring sense and savvy in the Three-Gaited Pony Stake, taking the top honors with The Attaché Orchid. Holly Wilson had great success with this pony last year under the direction of Smith Lilly. Molly Trent and Powerful Tango, a Tango’s Wee Pee son, were reserve. Molly looked flashy in her rose pink coat and garnered a first-place vote from Lewis Eckard. Cloudsplitter and Olivia Weber were a strong third.


A somewhat stunning three entries were all that showed up for the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 35-and-Over qualifier. Ever-popular catch rider Kurt Antonacci got the call in this one and took a unanimous victory pass with Finest Material for Larry Nunley. Chris Reiser brought this horse out as a 3-year-old, and Melissa Moore has since taken over, showing to a win and a Reserve Championship at Asheville in May. Kurt had this son of Star Material in top form. Finest Material is out of Captivating Style, by CH Captive Spirit and out of Alice Nunley’s great Three-Gaited and Pleasure mare, CH Heir Style. Reserve in the class went to Santana’s Gypsy Gal and Shawn Stachowski. Stachowski comes to Lexington Junior League by way of the Arabian world, where her husband, James Stachowski, is a well known trainer. They received a nice round of applause along with their red ribbon.


For the second year in a row in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake and for the second time today, Ali DeGray took a tri-color turn of the track. She had CH Tigerlee in top form tonight, finding a great spot at the second way rack and putting the rest of this well-stocked class away as she cruised down the tent-side rail. Tigerlee is no stranger to The Red Mile, having shown here every year since his three-year-old campaign when he took third in an 18-horse class with Beth Pittman up. Colonel Hoss and Justin Cowley got a nice ovation when they were called out as the Reserve Champions. Cowley is Clark Clouse’s go-to man when he wants a junior exhibitor to show for him. Colonel Hoss is always a crowd favorite with his picture-perfect headset and smooth way of going. Justin gave a wave of his hat to the crowd to acknowledge their applause.


Erik Kirsch had the jet black pony Sugarland rocked way back and strutting with speed to earn the Limit Roadster Pony blue. This was the first of two trips to the winner’s circle tonight for owner Nancy Brannon. Heartland Most Wanted and Gib Marcucci were reserve for Jane Mueller.


The 18-35 age group of Show Pleasure had 10 more entries than its older counterpart, sporting a total of 13. CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger Bordegon were first through the in-gate and last out the out-gate under the direction of Shelley Fisher. This was the third trip down Lexington’s victory lane for this team, as they won their qualifier two years ago and the championship last year. They will try for their first sweep of the division on Saturday night. Reserve in this qualifying class went to the former UPHA Classics Grand Champion Reedann’s Phine By Me. Kate Bryan was showing this horse for the first time for her mother, Marion Bryan.


In a touching tribute, Kim Cowart said, “That was for Nana,” as daughter Camille left the ring with Heathermoor‘s Prince. She was referring to Camille's grandmother, Anita Cowart, co-founder of Heathermoor Farm, who passed away July 1. Anita bred and raised Heathermoor’s Prince, an 8-year-old son of Merchant Prince. He and Camille were spot-on tonight in winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14-and-Under Stake for the second consecutive year. Trainers Peter and Kim Cowart joined daughter Camille in the winner’s circle. Anita was smiling down on that victory pass. The reserve champion was the lofty going That’s Chicago. Under the direction of Randy Cates, Katie Cunningham was aboard for KC’s Dream LLC.


USEF Steward Nancy Noble hitched a ride out to center ring on the ring drag tractor, driven by Scott Snider. When asked how she felt about being a first-time ring drag passenger, Noble emphatically stated, “It scared the heck outta me!” However, no lives were lost, and the ring was well-groomed for the next set of classes.


The Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class was the property of the dark bay, Ribbons And Reins, with Carter Cox at the lines for owner/breeder Bill Phelps. This beautiful filly is by Periaptor and out of a Sultan’s Starmaker mare. To nobody’s surprise, Tricia Bonati has another gorgeous horse with a light mane and tail. Pi’ece de R’esistance was just that for Ruth Gimpel, as they took the reserve tie. Dream Castle, a full sister to Castledream, was third with owner Tim Shea, another Arabian trainer, at the lines. 


Dinwiddie Lampton was once again in the ring, this time in the Coaching Four in Hand class as one of the passengers aboard the Elizabeth Lampton entry that received the second-place tie. The winner of the Dinwiddie Lampton Perpetual trophy was birthday girl Marilyn Macfarlane’s team of Friesians, pulling her park drag that had a total of nine people aboard! Well, 10 if you count the Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal riding on the inside. Misdee Wrigley had her Hackney horses turned out nicely to take third.


CH Sammyshine took one last trip down The Red Mile’s victory lane in the Five-Gaited Pony Stake. Cyd Simmons was once again aboard for Sammy’s 11th trip to the Lexington winner’s circle. He won this class for the first time in 1996, with Toni Knight aboard. He won it again in 1999, this time with Laura Cooper in the irons. But since the turn of the century, he has known no other rider but Cydni Simmons. This was their third Five-Gaited Pony Championship at Lexington, having also won in 2002 and 2004. As they racked out of the ring, Cyd reached back and gave Sammy a big pat on the rump for yet another job well done and a tri-color hard-earned.


Heiress to Champagne and Casey Morgan Tibolet fought Cyd and Sammy every step of the way to earn the reserve nod. Little Lord Huntley and Andrea Wolkoff made a strong and consistent show for third.


Nancy Brannon joined another blue ribbon winner in the ring in the Novice Roadster to Bike class. This time, it was Sam Brannon doing the driving behind Arragorn. Marie Brannon also joined them in center ring to pin the blue on this entry of Elizabeth Caldwell. I Can Book and master road horse man James Nichols were reserve for Jimmy Chancellor.


Alice Nunley continued her very successful evening in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Stake. Ricky Cook had her Santana’s Charm colt, Silver Exchange, working high and mighty to trot off with the blue. Mike Roberts brought this horse out as a two-year-old, and Robert Gardiner was aboard last year at the American Royal to take the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class. Silver Exchange is out of the great three-gaited mare, R.R. Silver Lady, herself out of CH Sultan’s Supremacy. Walk-trot elegance runs deep down this colt’s bottom line. Second in the class was the property of Enchanting Hour and Carter Cox. Walter and Tandy Patrick own this Phi Slama Jama filly. Tandy Patrick is the chair of the World Games 2010 Foundation. This is the organization responsible for planning and conducting the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park here in Lexington. A world's champion futurity colt, Golden Market, was in there working hard for Smith Lilly in third.


Shelburne and Stan Bodnar were the Hackney Horse Champions for Bent Tree Farm, with Elisabeth Goth Chelberg’s entry, Rudolph the Second, taking reserve with Tami Webb.


GrCh Ashland and Mike Barlow were once again the Roadster to Wagon Champions, while Revel Rouser and Les Cunningham picked up the reserve tri-color.


After Maureen Lydon and Dun-Haven Phenomenal got the crowd wound up, Tre Lee came in aboard Lynn Williams and gave them something just as bay but slightly bigger to cheer about. Lynn Williams, named after Matthew Williams’ mother, is another product of Mary Gaylord McClean’s breeding program. She is a half sister to According to Lynn. One would think that breeding Carol Lynn back to the sire of According to Lynn would be a no-brainer and another possible golden cross. However, that sire is CH Callaway’s Born to Win, who is, shall we say, no longer an option in that department. So this gorgeous bay filly is a 100 percent Golden Creek product. She is by Top Spool. This was Lynn Williams’s (the horse not the lovely lady) first time in the show ring, and she took to it like one of Gayle Lampe’s ducks to water. This filly is the third product of the Golden Creek breeding program to land in the winner’s circle this week, following Nurse Goodbody and According to Lynn.


George Knight had the Callaway’s Wish Me Will filly, Dripping In Diamonds, looking strong in reserve. This filly has the same coloring as her grandsire, CH Man On The Town. She is out of Lace On The Town, a cross of Man On The Town and the longtime three-gaited mount of Terri Chancellor, CH Sultan’s Leather & Lace. Roseridge Do So Much and Mike Tunstall were third for Melvin Blankenship, while Highland Legend and Rocky Cook took fourth for Terry Mulkey.


On a sad note, a moment of silence was observed and a slide show was shown on the scoreboard to mark the passing of Edward “Eddy” Leidenheimer, trainer and owner of DreamView Stables, of Versailles. He passed away June 23 at the age of 28. A reception was held after the show at Sunrise Stables' stalls where Eddy's indefatigable mother, Bobbi, announced the establishment of The Eddy Leidenheimer Foundation for Leukemia and Chromosome Research as well as a scholarship in his name. Donations may be sent to the Eddy Leidenheimer Foundation, P.O. Box 1662, Danville, Kentucky 40423.


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