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Lexington Junior League - Thursday Evening

Last night was “Family Night” at The Red Mile, and tonight the theme was “Carriage Night.” In keeping with that theme, a sunny Thursday evening performance kicked off with the Commercial/Trade Vehicle class. As anyone who has been to Devon to see the Carriage divisions there will tell you, this division is for vehicles that were once used by businesses, complete with the name of the company on the side. The Hunter’s Head Tavern English Beer Dreg was driven to the blue ribbon by Paul Tyrrell. This vehicle was complete with beer kegs and taps and was pulled by a team of Shires from Nonsuch Shires. Second in the class was the W.R. Milward hearse, pulled by the Percheron team of Major and Baron. This team was sponsored by the Milward Funeral Home, which was established in 1835. The Percherons were driven by Danny Raley for Lexington Livery. It was a great way to kick off the evening, as the crowd always appreciates the effort that goes into turning out these elaborate carriages and teams.

After the opener, it was a slate of 18 more classes, three of which were the Limit Pony classes that saw a Golden Creek/Light Farms sweep. All three ponies were bred by Dan and Leah Light and are now owned by Mary and Jeff McClean. First of these was the Limit Hackney Pony winner, Regal’s Lucifer LF. Junior Hackney Pony and Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony World’s Champion last year and a winner at Midwest last month, Lucifer is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of a Mastercraft mare. This light bay pony put on a show to take the blue. Second in the class went to Heartland Summer Storm and Geof Dixon, driving for Warren and Betty Featherston. Summer Storm is by Dun-Haven Bandolier.

Next to the winner’s circle for Golden Creek was Regal’s Trademark LF, with Mary Gaylord McClean driving to the Limit Road Pony blue. Trademark is a six-year-old by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction, out of a Romeo LF mare. After wins at Louisville in the cobtail division as a three, four and five-year-old, the switch to the Road Pony division was made, and after four classes in 2008, it has been all blues for this versatile pony. Reserve in the Limit Road Pony class went back to Frickey Farms with Extremely Rare and Randy Harper. Extremely Rare was Reserve World’s Champion in the 50-52” division at Louisville last year and won there as a three-year-old in 2005.

Finally, Jeff McClean was in the viceroy and outlasted the competition with Mastercraft’s Promoter LF in the Limit Harness Pony class, possibly the longest pony class ever due to no less than three timeouts and the use of the full two-minute gate. Promoter and McClean saw it all the way through to the end and visited the winner’s circle once again. They also earned the top spot in both of their classes at Midwest. Promoter is by Mastercraft and out of a Cherry’s Dream Boy mare, yet another connection back to Golden Creek from the Light Farm breeding program. Dun-Haven Truly Awesome picked up the red ribbon with Holli McDowell driving for Paul Richardson in a crowd-pleasing performance. Truly Awesome is by Dun-Haven Awesome Creation and lived up to his name tonight.

Two-Year-Old Fine Harness was the second class on the schedule this evening, and Tre Lee lit up the ring with a big, powerful son of Santana’s Charm, Marc Of Charm, owned by Riverdreams LLC. After a unanimous victory tonight, it will be intriguing to see if this horse will be capable of even more after another month of training back at the Lees’ Prospect Lane. Marc Of Charm’s second dam is Yorkshire Pudding, the dam of Castle Bravo, Deep Blue, Reedann’s Top Gun and Hillcroft Faith’s Reward to name just a few. The reserve tie went to Upstate Agent and Smith Lilly, driving for Victoria McDonald. Upstate Agent is out of a War Image (SA) mare and by the New York Times stud, New York State. He has an open, strutting trot that will serve him well in harness.

Last Cat Standing was the last cat standing in the Pleasure Driving Championship. Charlotte Kurtz had the winning drive for this horse that has Catalyst written all over him. He is definitely on top of his game at the right time of year and will make big noise a month from now in Freedom Hall for Fritz and Candace Meili. Supreme Spotlight has that Supreme Heir look and beauty about him. Just five this year, Kay Marschel had him looking through the bridle and making a nice show to pick up the reserve tri-color.

The bay walk-trot pony with all the white trim, Cloudsplitter, took his trip down Lexington’s victory lane in the Three-Gaited Pony Stake. Olivia Weber was once again in the saddle of this Chris Reiser-trained pony. The Reserve Championship went to My Gisele and Brighton Barousse. This six-year-old mare has the fingerprints of the Tabor breeding program all over her, as she is by Worthy Son and out of a Roseridge Heir mare.

After the presentation of the two World Cup teams, the first Show Pleasure qualifier for the adult riders hit the track. The Over 35 top honors went to That’s Exactly Right and Amy Dix Rock. Just a five-year-old this year, Amy Dix Rock teamed with this mare by The Cheetah to take the Reserve World’s Championship in the ASR National Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Futurity in 2006. That’s Exactly Right was exactly right on tonight, hardly backing an ear throughout her blue ribbon performance. Reserve in this class for the second year in a row was Santana’s Gypsy Gal. Shawn Stachowski continued her crossover from the Arabian horse world with another top performance after two wins in big classes at Indianapolis Charity last month.

Winner of the 15-17 qualifier on Monday night and a World’s Champion in this division two years ago, CH Callaway’s Independence Day is really hitting his stride at just the right time of year. Victoria McCune is teaming him to perfection in this, one of the most competitive divisions at just about every show this season. The talent goes deep in these classes. They were up to the challenge once again, taking the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship. Reserve Champion was the winner of this class in 2005, CH Diamond’s Hope, with Sarah Longworth, riding under the direction of Cash Lovell Stables. The Decisive Moment and Suzanna Crews picked up a hard-earned third in this one for Greg and Gina Crews.

After an interview with Carriage judge Katie Whaley in which we learned a bit more about the coaches and which horses are the leaders and which are the wheelers, the 35-and-Under Show Pleasure class took to the Red Mile track. Thundersnow moved through the early evening sunlight and shadows to take Erin Obenauf to the winner’s circle. It was a great performance, one of those “Lexington” performances that some horses make, where they find something to look at at both ends of the ring and just march from one end to the other, never backing an ear. Thundersnow is by Attache’s Thunderbolt. He has a neck that comes straight up out of his withers, and he sure did use that neck to perfection tonight. Reserve in the class was Sassy Dawn. Sarah Crane was aboard this black five-year-old mare.

Christina Collis has made some memorable performances with Show Baby Show this year. None of which will be as memorable as “the night the lights went out in Indy,” but this one was pretty spectacular. Christina’s white formal coat lit up the track as she made a show that managed to be at the same time both cute and power-packed. Tyler Miles made a strong, highlining performance in his catch-ride aboard Harley Rally for Jim Orr. This was Tyler’s second show aboard the big-fronted horse after a nice win at Midwest Charity.

Nelson Green had the winning entry in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class. S’more Undulata is owned by Patricia Misko. S’more Undulata is a big, dark chestnut mare by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare. She made a powerful harness performance for Green tonight to take the blue. She’s Gone and Clark Clouse were a strong reserve for Tri-Color Saddlebreds LLC. By Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy (SA) and out of a Champagne Fizz mare, the real shocker would have been if this filly had not come out with a flaxen mane and tail. MBA’s Royal Shadow Phax and Pat McConnell made a strong show for third in a solid class of three-year-olds.

A touching memorial video was shown for Elizabeth Lampton, who passed away earlier this year in a carriage accident on her farm. She and husband Dinwiddie were always staples of the carriage events at Junior League. After that, the Coaching Four In Hand entered the show ring with the two entries of Marilyn Macfarlane and Misdee Wrigley Miller driving hard for the top spot. Misdee had her park drag hitched to a team of Dutch Harness Horses. She sported a bright yellow hat and a total of seven people on board. Marilyn Macfarlane’s park drag had a team of Friesians to go along with her nine passengers plus a Jack Russell Terrier. One of her passengers was David Freedman, whose Freedman Harness was responsible for the hand-crafting of all of the beautiful harness seen in this class. Marilyn Macfarlane emerged as the victor in this one for the second year in a row.

Ivy Johnson has the former World’s Champion Five-Gaited Pony Miss Outta My Way working well under the direction of Bret Day. This game, athletic pony took the Five-Gaited Pony tri-color back to Grey Ridge for Dr. and Mrs. Louis Johnson in Ivy’s final year as a junior exhibitor. The reserve tri-color went to the qualifier winner, Billy Jewel. Allison Combs teams this son of Family Jewels. This was the first time all season that Billy Jewel finished anywhere but in the top spot.

The silver and black silks of Lukens Stables flashed by on the way to the winner’s circle in the Novice Roadster to Bike class. Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones were the slick-moving winners. Dr. Victory Star and
Matt Shiflet made an action-packed performance in reserve for Chappy Chapman.

The almost-white three-year-old, Paranormal, took Tre Lee to the winner’s circle in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class for Belle Reve Farm. A World’s Champion as a two-year-old, Paranormal is by Deep Blue. It will be interesting as this colt ages to see what color he ends up, as he is the lightest gray young horse that most anyone has seen. Sergeant Bailey and Smith Lilly were reserve for William Beckley. He is by Catalyst and out of Bella Capri, making him a full brother to Lady Bella, last year’s Ladies Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion.

The Hackney Horse Championship was a unanimous victory for qualifier winner Shelburne, trained by Majestic Oaks. He is by Artillery and out of Heartland Blizzard. Artillery is a very famous Dutch stallion. Stan Bodnar was at the whip for Bent Tree Farm. Sandy Creek Admiral and Ed Murray were reserve.

It takes a lot to beat Ashland in a Roadster to Wagon class, and she was once again unstoppable with Mike Barlow driving for Dr. Howard Six. Last year’s Roadster to Bike Mares World’s Champion was back to pulling the four-wheeled variety of cart at Junior League and was on top of her game. Humdinger and James Rosburg were fast and having fun to pick up the reserve tri-color.

The night wrapped up with a big performance from Our First Class Day TS and Melinda Moore, showing for Tillman Stables. Our First Class Day is by CF First Night Out and out of the Sultan’s Great Day mare, Georgia Day Dream, making him a full brother to CH Hard Day’s Night TS, Jayne Tillman’s country pleasure driving entry. “Ringo” would have been proud of his little brother tonight. Also similarly bred, Kaitlyn Whatley’s show pleasure entry, The Last Straw, is a three-fourths brother to these two horses. Melinda Moore had First Class Day making a powerhouse performance to take home the blue. Second in the class was High Time’s Image Of Love, with Tammy DeVore. By Supremacy’s High Time and out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare, this pretty chestnut gelding shows a lot of promise.

The USEF Adult Medal Finals highlight the Friday morning performance, and it remains to be seen what the “theme” will be for Junior League’s Friday evening performance. Stay tuned…

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