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Lexington Junior League - Thursday Morning

When you walk out of your hotel and feel like you are hitting a wall of water, you know it won’t be a comfortable day to show a horse, but the riders in today’s six classes acquitted themselves well, making strong performances in the oppressive heat. The judges have gradually given in to the heat over the week, as Nelson Green left his jacket in the show office and rolled up his sleeves to try to withstand the withering sun and humidity. Melissa Moore was well coiffed as always, wearing a lovely straw hat. Melinda Moore toughed out the sunshine without a hat, as she has all week long, shielding her eyes with her clipboard to see down the straightaway directly into the sun.

First up today was another of the National qualifier classes, Saddle & Bridle’s Pleasure Equitation Medallion. After all seven performed the additional testing, Caroline Moeller was the qualifier, as she rode Cabernet’s Will Command to the blue under the direction of Shelley Fisher. Allison Gutenkunst was reserve for Knollwood with no stranger to the Red Mile, CH Louisville Lass.

Next to brave the heat was the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Driving Medallion, where the reigning National Champions brought their A game, taking the blue. This was of course Hawkeye’s Chatter Box and Allie Wellington, directed by Lewis Eckard. In one of their best drives of the year, they put on a top notch performance. Allie dressed smartly in white as she made the winning drive. A Youth Medallion National Champion a year ago, Cherry Royale was the winner of the Hackney/Harness Pony division of that National final in 2009. Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes was once again the driver for the Rainbow Princess Farms. Directed by DeLovely, this ever-cute team was reserve today.

Ali DeGray continued an outstanding week on The Red Mile with a tri-color performance in the Adult Country Pleasure Championship with Careless Fortune. With Ronnie Graham and Ruth Gimpel joining for the round of honor, the petite redhead was all smiles as she reversed the top two placings from the qualifier to leave with the top prize. Tremendously Charming and Kathy Capsuto-Walker were Reserve Champions for Paula Schmidt and the Kathy Capsuto Trust. They were the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2009. Callaway’s Summer Solstice and Carissa Marshall made a strong show in third for Tannehill Farms, while CH Sir Winston C and Ally Ehle were fourth for Bob and Nancy Ehle.

Another of the Hackney Society’s Medallion classes was up next as seven speedsters hit the ring hard in the AHHS Road Pony Under Saddle Medallion. Owned since what seems like forever by Holli McDowell Hayes and Lisa McMackin, Pure Country was the winner of this class for the second time in the last three years with Samantha Johnson up. Wearing her tricolor silks with the lightning bolts , Johnson rode to the winner’s circle as the choice of all three judges. Road Pony Under Saddle Champion at Asheville with Drew Taylor Hewitt, Wait & See’s Postmaster debuted with new partner Katherine McGee Bosworth to the red ribbon for Allen and Katherine McGee Bosworth. Her silks are some of the pretties you’ll see, with a color combo of a light blue with a chocolaty brown. Tyler DeVore made a great go for Bent Tree Farm with Aragorn in third place.

The junior exhibitors had a quick turnaround, as their Country Pleasure qualifier was just yesterday. Showing back to back days in this heat is a tall test for any horse, let alone one that has to go in two big country pleasure classes that tend to go on a bit longer. Sir Andrew was up to the test in this one, as Dakota Reiser brought him to the winner’s circle from this field of 16 entries. Chris Reiser joined the winning combination for the victory pass. They were the 14-17 Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions in 2009. The Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, Callaway’s Maverick, was the Reserve Champion today as well with Caroline Skinner riding for James and Judy Skinner. Showing out of Biggins Stable, Caroline’s yellow coat stood out nicely in this big class. Reserve in the qualifier, Raegan Morrison and Cheetah’s Admiral were third for Stephanie Morrison and DeVore Stables. CH Harlem’s Moving Man and Ashley Bryce were fourth for John and Jennifer Eagle and the Jack Magill Stables team.

The final event of the day saw nine riders vying for their NHS Good Hands Event qualification. Four were selected to work in this one, as Abigail Mutrux, Jordyn Broten, Jessica Wuesthofen and Emily Mayer performed the figure eight. It was a unanimous choice of the judges that sent the ultra-talented Princess of Mod Jods down victory lane, as Abby Mutrux and Blackboard qualified for the National Finals at the Mid-America Mane Event. Abby was the Reserve National Champion in the in the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup last year, directed by DeLovely. Jordyn Broten put together a strong pattern with Worthy Am I to earn reserve for the Zubrod Stables team. This veteran horse and his 15 year old rider were Saddle Seat Equitation Champions at Rock Creek. Jessica Wuesthofen and Callaway’s Mandate were third, while Emily Mayer was fourth, showing out of Knollwood.

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