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Lexington Junior League - Friday Evening

Friday night opened up with the traditional Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Maisie Benfield earned the unanimous victory here with Size Me Up. Maisie has been tough to beat this season, following up on two Louisville wins from a year ago, including the 12-and-Under Equitation World’s Championship. Maisie was the reserve champion in this class last year as well as in 2012. Mighty mite Cara DeForge was the reserve champion with Pinnacle’s So Lovely. They made an awesome show in reserve from Kierson. Cara was the Walk-and-Trot Reserve Champion here in 2012.

From a big field of 10, Bvlgari held up against the evening heat for the Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship with Kay Marschel. Headed up by Rich Campbell, Bvlgari has seen long classes before, winning this championship at Midwest Charity last year in a three-pony workout. Kay drove him to the tricolor at Asheville already this year. John Wrather held his qualifier placement as the reserve champion with Catch Me If You Can. Owned by Charlotte Wrather, Catch Me If You Can is trained by Janet Crampton. He was the reserve champion here in 2010 as well on the way to being crowned World’s Champion of Champions that season. Steve Demjen had the third-place winner in Reedann’s Liberace with Jacqueline Hawkes. Sharla Deuschle and CH Mastercraft’s Namesake LF were fourth.

The animated walk is sometimes a forgotten art form. It in most cases has become just a slow trot, a placeholder until we crank back up second way. Kalarama’s New York Lady put that idea to rest tonight, as she came across the middle on the reverse in an extreme, collected, squatting, strutting, incredible fashion. Gleaming black under the hot Lexington sun, New York Lady took Vicki Reed to the winner’s circle with A.J. Bruwer in tow as the winning trainer. Last year’s Reserve World’s Champion of Champions was the unanimous winner in this Amateur Fine Harness Championship. Joy Warren had an impressive drive as the reserve champion with CH His Supreme Reflection. These two were also Reserve World’s Champion of Champions last year. Their title came in the ladies fine harness division. Nelson Green directs this team.

The Junior Exhibitor Road Pony Championship saw the three competitors turn the 400 foot ring into about a 250 foot surface, as they cut the ring aggressively, showing off their ponies for the three-judge panel. By Dun-Haven Phenomenal and out of Heartland Penny, Roadrunner wore the tricolor tonight with Jessi McCurry making the good catch drive for Megan Whitby. Trained by Heather Boodey, this was Roadrunner’s biggest win of the year so far, his first in his new Carolina home base. Twin Willow’s The Prophet scored the reserve championship at an ageless 20 years old. Bridget Mitchell drove tonight for Beth Jones and trainer Brian Yount. Bridget drove to the tricolor at Pink Ribbon Classic in this The Prophet’s first season showing since 2009.

McGee Bosworth’s expression never changes in the show ring until it’s all over but the shouting. Tonight the shouting once again came from the High Caliber cheering section, as McGee was the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Champion with CH I’m Something Wicked. These two were the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Reserve Champions here last year, switching it up to pleasure after Louisville 2013. This is their 11th win since that switch, finishing lower than first just one time all season long. Jessica Cloud and Stonecroft Rumor Has It held their spot from the qualifier as the Reserve Champions under the Jack Magill banner. This team also switched to pleasure after Louisville 2013 with good results. They earned a reserve win at Kansas City last season.

Lanny Judd drove Spiff And Polish to the Concours D’Elegance win, headed up by Joel Brown. It was an 1892 Wicker Sailor Wagon on display here in a class focusing highly on turnout.

Camille Cowart has taken CH What’s The Whoopla to a victory pass here each of the last two years. Now in her first amateur campaign, she took two on the week, scoring the Adult Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship in unanimous style for West Wind. Twice Reserve World’s Champions last year, they took a win and a reserve championship on this track that season. The timeless CH Callaway’s Kit Carson racked and trotted up a storm at 15 years young carrying Susan Shepherd to the reserve chamionship from Pleasantview Farm. This team has finished no lower than third together in over two years, and those top threes have been rare. Most of their prizes have come in blue or red.

The table linens on the terrace box tables tonight were blue in honor of Golden Creek Farms. Mary Gaylord McClean scored a unanimous tricolor win for Golden Creek with Heartland Demonstrator in the Amateur Harness Pony Championship. They are now four for four together, with wins at Rock Creek and Midwest Charity to add to these two wins here this week. Demonstrator is by Heartland Code Of Honor and out of Heartland Beauty. Heartland Marching Orders was the reserve champion with Steve Golden at the lines for Steve and LeAnn Golden. Amateur gentlemen’s winner at Midwest Charity, Marching Orders is trained by Heartland Hackney Farm’s resident trainer, Chris Gantley.

It took a second second-way trot to sort out the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship, with Cloverleaf Freedom Writer coming out on top with Alexandra Percoco. An entry of Allie’s grandmother, Jayne Romano, Freedom Writer is trained by Lionel Ferreira. This dark chestnut gelding is a great fit for this division, looking through the bridle and going in a big, open manner, squatting down and strutting on his victory pass with the tricolor in tow. CH I’m McDreamy was the reserve champion with Hunter Chancellor riding for Steven E. Chancellor. Trained by DeLovely, McDreamy is seven times a World’s Champion. He was bright and exciting tonight for the reserve tricolor. Brookhill’s Periday was third tonight once again with James Sigmon.

CH Mr. Center Stage was a sight on Golden Creek night, winning unanimously in the Ladies Three-Gaited Championship with Mary Gaylord McClean. From Premier Stables, Center Stage looks maybe even better than he ever has in this his 11-year-old campaign. Three times the champion of this class, Mr. Center Stage looks tuned to perfection by Rob and Sarah Byers. CH Mega-Star was the reserve champion with Betsy Boone stepping in for the ride for owner Tammy Whitworth. This was Betsy’s first show on the Boones Farm trained entry, putting together a great performance for the reserve tricolor.

Justin Cowley stood and cheered for his little buddy and barnmate Blake Crim. Tammy DeVore came through the gate with both fists raised above her head. Blake Crim himself was cool as a cucumber, acting like he takes on a group of 14 as the lone boy and comes out with the Lexington tricolor on a regular basis. He teamed once again tonight with the 15-year-old CH High Heat to take their biggest win to date as the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Park Champions. Champions at Chattanooga and reserve champions at Asheville, Blake and High Heat used a bigtime second second-way trot to seal the deal tonight. McGee Bosworth continued her great week with a reserve championship in this one for Pair of Jacks Stables. She rode CH Let’s Talk, the reigning National Champion, to this honor under the High Caliber banner. By Sir William Robert and out of Soft Spoken, Let’s Talk was the World’s Champion of Champions in this division in 2012 with McGee aboard.

Heartland High Tech made his first trip off the farm for the year a great one, taking his second victory pass of the week with Ali DeGray. Trained by Ruth Gimpel and owned by Helen Rich, High Tech was the 2009 Hackney Pony World’s Grand Champion. He was the Open Hackney Pony winner here in 2012. A different style of cobtail from the winner, Heartland Road Show was the reserve champion with Mary Gaylord McClean driving for Golden Creek Farms. By Heartland Blackhawk, Road Show is out of Heartland Just A Princess.

With $6,000 in additional prize money on the line from the Kentucky Saddlebred Owners and Breeders Association, Sir Surreal topped the Junior Three-Gaited Championship in unanimous style with Todd Miles. An entry of Ashlyn Farms, Sir Surreal meets all the criteria for the added KSOBA prize money, having been bred by Kathy Capsuto Walker, a Kentucky resident, sired by a stallion standing in Kentucky, Sir William Robert, and foaled in Kentucky at Escalade Stables. If all of the entities involved are members of the KSOBA, the $6,000 will be paid out in early 2015, with $2,000 to the owner, $2,000 to the breeder, and $2,000 to the stallion owner. Good news for Tom Galbreath and Kathy Capsuto-Walker! Merrill Murray rode his own Roselane’s Dancing For Dollars to the reserve championship here. This horse is reminiscent of his great granddam on his top line, CH Reedann’s Nighty Nite, Ladies Three-Gaited Champion here in 1985 and 1986.

The Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Championship was huge, with 27 entries. This obviously warranted a split, with the 13-and-Under Championship coming first to the ring. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions came through against a group of 14 as Rondo was crowned the champion with Emily Candelaria. Owned by longtime Judd Stables customer Barbara Woods, Rondo scored his twelfth win with Emily aboard. The Judd crew had this division wrapped up, as they had the Reserve Champion as well in Forever Heaven. Mina Mueller teams this one for the Florida operation. They won their split of the 13-and-Under qualifier earlier this week. CH Stonecroft I’m Radiant and Allie Poovey scored a good yellow ribbon for Cindy Dunham, with Uncommon Jewel and Alex Halliburton in fourth.

In the 14-17 Championship, Odeon three-peated as the champion of this division. All three have come under the High Spirits banner, but this one was with Alice Rowland making the catch ride. The big bay mare strutted her stuff tonight, as this team took their first victory pass together, doing it on a bigtime stage. Robert Gardiner headed up the victory pass, just as he did for Abby Mutrux the last two years. Macey Miles held her qualifier spot, claiming the reserve championship with Eyee Gads. By The Spanish Tango and out of a Periaptor mare, Eyee gads is owned by Arcuri Stables. These two have won five times together, with these two reserves padding their resume as well.

Mr. Bones raced down victory lane with Charlie Jones as the Amateur Roadster to Bike Champion. This was the sixth time in the last seven years for these two to take the tricolor back to Lukens Stables, finishing as the reserve champion the other year. Judy McNeish represented DeLovely as the reserve champion with Nothing Else Matters. A hockey-playing lady from Colorado, Judy takes it to the boys every time she hits the ring.

The Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding winner scored the unanimous tricolor here in the junior championship. Deputy’s Heir and Peter Cowart earned that prize for Travis and Lisa Blackwelder. This son of Roseridge Deputy is out of Callaway’s By Invitation Only, by Callaway’s Blue Norther. Peter and this horse are undefeated together, winning three out of three since their novice win at Midwest against the aged horses. The pretty black gelding Lucky You Lucky Me made good passes in reserve with Clark Clouse up for Harold Denton Jr. A World’s Champion as a two-year-old, he has continued to succeed under the Clouse banner, moving up a spot from the qualifier for this reserve championship.

Heartland Dressed To Impress scored a unanimous win in the Amateur Road Pony Championship, repeating her qualifier win for Golden Creek Farms with Jeff McClean. By Heartland Code Of Honor and out of Heartland Morning Star, he made his Golden Creek debut just this year at Rock Creek. Dressed To Impress was also the winner of this class in 2011 with Misdee Wrigley Miller. Susan Harris made another top drive for the reserve championship. She piloted Awesome Anticipation under the direction of Gina Lail. These two haven’t been together even a year yet and look right at home in the good prizes of a competitive division.

Continuing the trend of trainer-owned prospects prospering, My Pistol Annie won the Junior Fine Harness Stake in unanimous style for Prospect Lane Farm. Pistol Annie is by Samur and out of Miss Roxie Hart. Followers of the Bluegrass Futurity will remember her as a two-time winner, claiming over $40,000 from that program. Steve Allred had a gaggle of trainers chasing him back to the barn with reserve winner Happy Boy. Also twice reserve at Asheville, Happy Boy is by Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy and out of Natalie Wood, by Revival. Owned (at least during the class) by Steve and Anne Allred, the affable Carolina family did well for themselves.

Closing out the night with a fourth straight unanimous tie, the judges selected Lynn Williams and Mary Gaylord McClean as the Ladies Five-Gaited Champions. Winners of the ladies mare qualifier earlier in the week, Lynn Williams followed in the vein of Mr. Center Stage in looking tuned to absolute perfection by Rob and Sarah Byers. Both horses have looked as good if not better than ever this week, and for horses of this caliber, that is saying something. Camille Cowart made a hard-riding performance as the reserve champion with her own Undulata Pressure. Showing under the family’s West Wind banner, Camille topped the ladies championship at both J.D. Massey and Asheville, taking the Ladies Amateur Reserve Championship at Midwest.

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