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Lexington Junior League - Thursday Morning

The extra-abbreviated Thursday morning session featured both Country Pleasure Championships, two equitation national final qualifiers, and two AHHS Medallions. The Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion riders came first, with seven vying for their shot at St. Louis. It was Cara Sivara that took the top spot under the direction of Cascade Stables. Aboard Irish’s Earth Wind And Fire, Sivara executed her pattern to perfection for the win. Reserve in this one was Sarah Tumm, another rising star of the Zubrod Stables.

Versatile junior exhibitor Mollie Kregor was her usual poised self in the cart, showing Callisto for the second time ever for Gail Asch and the Infinity Stables team. It was a second trip down victory lane on the week for Kregor, and her second win of the year with the longtime pleasure pony star. This time it was in the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Driving Medallion. Veteran junior exhibitor driver Shannon Ella was reserve with Mark My Word, an Ella Stables entry by Mark Of Excellence.

It was a High Caliber kind of day today, as the loudest cheering section in the land got to go to town two classes in a row, as Mary and Evan Orr headed to the winner’s circle in back to back events. The first class was the Adult Country Pleasure Championship, where Donna Finch and CH Riva Diva took home the tri-color. This was the first tri-color win here for Finch and Diva, as they were Reserve Champions in 2007. Finch worked the ring well on this great morning, moving in and out of traffic and using her grand mare to perfection. The Reserve Champion was CH Worth A Scene with Emma Nichols, repeat Reserve Champions from 2008 under the direction of Liz McBride Jones. They were Reserve World’s Champions in their qualifier a year ago. Nichols was riding hard as always to pick up the reserve tri-color. Showboat’s Boogey Man and Kahla Buthlay were third for Mary Sue Walker.

Donna Finch dismounted quickly and joined in the High Caliber cheer squad from the opposite side of the ring, as Drew Taylor Hewitt was headed to the track with Wait & See’s Postmaster. Coming off two wins in their debut together at Blowing Rock, they were rollin’ along once again today. Showing for Vernon and Jennifer Foster, "DT’s" aqua and pink silks with matching helmet were a perfect match for the sunshiny day. This is Wait & See’s Postmaster’s first year as a road pony, having previously won here as well as in Freedom Hall as a pleasure driving pony. Pure Country, winner of this class last year and two-time defending World’s Champion in his qualifier, was second today with Samantha Johnson under Holli McDowell’s direction.

Even though their qualifier was just yesterday morning in this six-day schedule of events, the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship hit the ring, trying to duplicate yesterday’s efforts. The top of the results was certainly duplicated, as Callaway’s Summer Solstice and Protector once again finished one-two. Once again teamed with Carissa Marshall, Summer Solstice put on another top performance for Brynn Crotty and the Royal Winds team. Summer Solstice happens to be a full sister to the great Callaway’s Sugarplum, by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Callaway’s Razzberries. Always recognizable with the blonde mane and tail and young gentleman rider Dylan Hines looking dapper in the saddle, Protector earned the Reserve Championship in their first year in the country pleasure division.

Closing out the day was the NHS Good Hands qualifier. Sarah Lawson and Feng Shui were the winners of this one under the direction of Shelley Fisher and the DeLovely team. Olivia Prentiss was reserve with Callaway’s Born A Star for Fairfield South.

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