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Lexington Junior League - Friday Morning

The Walk-and-Trot division was so big with 13 entries this year that the championship was split into age groups, with the 8-and-Under division showing first. Twice a winner and twice reserve at the Morgan Grand National last year, Emma von Ballmoos split her time between Saddle Seat and Hunt Seat. This year she has teamed up with Cuttin’ Up to take great results everywhere she has been. She wore the tricolor here under the direction of parents Jaisen and Meghann von Ballmoos. Never finishing lower than second on the season and never finishing lower than third in her entire riding career, including Academy, Sara Evans was the reserve champion aboard CH Keeper Of The Stars. Sara has been teamed with this grand horse under the High Caliber banner.

From the 9-10 age group, five entries came to the ring, with Alayna Applegate taking the tricolor for the Sugar Knoll gang aboard Blue Over You. Winner of now seven in a row, Alayna was the 8-and-Under World’s Champion of Champions a year ago, her third trip down Louisville’s victory lane. Gabbie Gardiner and Harley Rally repeated the qualifier placings, finishing up the week as reserve champions from Zubrod Stables. This is also Gabbie’s third year of walk-and-trot, winning the championships at both River Ridge and Rock Creek already this season.

Completing what was a difficult pattern, Rayann Schaffer took it all in stride for a winning ride. Trained by Louis and Jennifer Louw, Rayann was also the winner of Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equitation Medallion the other day, adding this USEF Saddle Seat Medal qualification to her resume today. Malika Keglowitsch earned her second reserve prize of the week with Certain Style. Showing under the DeLovely banner, Malika was twice a winner at Asheville this year.

With all the curve and beauty you could want, Blushing Bull was the Western Country Pleasure Champion with Lindsay Sowell up for Suzanne Bradshaw. Fay Lowry has imbued her significant experience with Western Morgans into Blushing Bull, winner of Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Pleasure Finals last year and undefeated since then coming into the week. Reserve in the qualifier here, they stepped up to take the tricolor today. Qualifier winners Ali DeGray and Starlight Voyager were the reserve champions, following on their sweep of the division at Devon earlier this year. They were also champions at Tampa Charity this year for Helen Rich and trainer Ruth Gimpel. The first ever winner of this class, CH I’m Goin’ Out Tonight, was third here with Holly Walker, followed by 10-year-old Carlin Bumgarner in fourth with Mountainview’s Supreme Ruler.

It was a unanimous win in the 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation Championship for Gabriella Snyder and Oh Night Divine. Combining a strong railwork with a good pattern, Gabriella repeated her championship win from Midwest Charity here in Lexington. Lauren White was the reserve champion here from Verrill Stables. She rode Gypsy Miracle to this prize. Her tricolor round of honor this year came at UPHA !4 Spring Premiere.

Owner Beth Jones was delighted with Taylor Russell’s winning drive in the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship. Taylor drove Heartland Walk The Line to the tricolor under the direction of Connie Smith. This is the first year for Walk The Line to show in the pleasure pony division, having been a winner in road pony previously. The multi-titled World’s Champion Seamair Dear sir was the reserve champion today with Dylan Kirk driving for Gail Lane and trainer Heather Boodey. Winner of the Medallion earlier this week, Dear Sir is once again teamed with a dapper young gent in seersucker. It was 11 years ago this week that Max Kaplan drove this longtime star to the Medallion blue.

Cameron Kay continued the trend of Morgan crossovers doing well this week, winning the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation Championship with CH Reedann’s Heir To Glory. Cameron’s first class on record was a Lead Line class at the MHSA Spring Horse Show in Corunna, Michigan. She was second in that one. She hasn’t been second very often since. Her career has included six National Championships, three Reserve National Championships, two Reserve World Championships, and the Senior Equitation World Championship just last season at the Morgan Grand National. Caroline Rainbolt Forbes and CH-EQ Heirronic put together a fantastic pattern to claim the reserve championship, also from DeLovely. Caroline was recently the Classic Equitation Champion at the Circle J Morgan Regional in Denver under the direction of Kelly Kraegel. This was the exact same order of finish as the 14-17 Championship at Midwest Charity.

Phyllis Brannon moved up a notch from the qualifier to take the Lexington tricolor in the Hunter Country Pleasure Championship with Harlem’s Sweet Success. Good friend Amy Haller headed up the owner/trainer/rider team for the round of honor in their first week showing together on the Red Mile. The three-time defending National Champion in Saddle & Bridle’s Hunt Seat Classic, Perazzi, was the reserve champion with Sarah Keil riding for Dr. Jane Keil. Tom Thorpe has directed this team to all of their accolades. Sir Don Juan and Marie Gwinn were third, with a delighted Christina Waddell Holcombe fourth aboard Grey Smoke.

Home now to both of the Adult Equitation National Finals, Lexington Junior League saw nine show in the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Finals today. Traditionally the Friday morning finale has been the USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal. The Adult Challenge Cup took over this spot in 2014. Kaitlin Kelly is in her first year of adult competition. He was the UPHA Senior Pleasure Challenge Cup Reserve National Champion last year. Still teamed with La Zingara, Kaitlyn was third in the Medal Finals on Wednesday. Zubrod Stables directed her to the National Championship here today. It was similar names at the top, as Caitlin Bevins was called out first as the Reserve National Champion. The winner of the Medal Finals this week, she once again teamed with The Wizard GCH. These two have had a tremendous week under the direction of Jaisen and Meghann von Ballmoos. Also in the Top Ten were Lexie Bragg, Nadine Van Zomeren, Jennifer McGowan, Ashley Brandies, Jennifer Nelson, Ellen Burriss, and Danielle Dubay Navarro.

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