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Lexington Junior League - Tuesday Evening

It was a coveralls and polo wraps kind of a night here in Lexington. Don Baker may have been the most clever, going with a red raincoat that was the same color as the red coat he normally would have worn as the ringmaster. The construction continued today at the Red Mile, as the box seat holder parking lot was paved just this morning! There is also a parking lot that looks rather empty between the horse show office and the in gate. Freshly blacktopped, it is ready and waiting for parkers with stable parking passes according to show manager Kent Moeller.

Family Night on the Red Mile kicked off with the Stick Horse Race, with a good turnout braving the conditions. Hopefully the same can be said for the actual equine competitors tonight, as often even a hint of moisture sends them scrambling to the office to scratch. The Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited class was an example of this, as there were 11 entries originally entered in this one. Five answered the call of Steve Buttleman to show on a track that looked anything but sloppy. It would take a very sustained and heavy rainfall for the footing to be subpar. It’s not like KDD Construction (Kent Moeller, Dewey Huckaby, and Dewey Bass) hasn’t’ been here before. It’s not their first rodeo!

It was a unanimous win to start the night in Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited for Misdee Wrigley Miller and Moonbeams And Dreams. Danny Lockhart headed up the victory pass for the Kalarama-trained entry of Hillcroft Farm. This was Misdee’s sixth victory pass of the year with the 2014 Amateur Three-Gaited National Champion. Moonbeams and Dreams is by Attache’s Royal Assets and out of Callaway’s Truest Blue, by Blue Norther. Kelly Mount just keeps getting better with Nutter Butter. Owned by Sally Groub Gayeski and trained by Rob and Sarah Byers, Nutter Butter is a celebrated son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Aisling’s Treasure. The 2013 Junior Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions is in just his third show with Kelly aboard. They claimed reserve tonight.  Harlem’s Showman and Beata Flatley Lilja came in third for Equielegance Ltd.

A field of four vied for the Amateur Gentlemen’s Three-Gaited crown. The tall, long-necked chestnut gelding, Attache’s Popeye, was the winner here with Danny Cummins up for Danny and Kathy Cummins. Jack Magill called his encouragement from the rail before heading up the victory pass. This is the third time that this team has claimed this title, winning it a year ago as well as in their first season together, 2011. Just Surprize Me made an ears up, marching show to take reserve with Jonathan Retzlaff. Marie Bouvet trains this entry of Dr. Merrell Magelli. Jonathan made his debut performance with the cross of Deep Blue and A Pleasant Surprize at Chattanooga/Cleveland Charity. He took the tricolor there in his first show. No, we don’t mean his first show with the horse, we mean the first show that we have on record for Jonathan!

McGee Bosworth led a group of five in the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited class, winning it in unanimous style with CH Moonlight Memories. The reigning 14-17 Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions and National Champion returned to the track where she rocketed to stardom just two years ago with her Junior Five-Gaited Mare Stake win on this very same night. McGee has been rocking it lately with the daughter of Desert’s Supreme Memories and Tanbark’s Enchanted Evening (BHF). She scored an impressive win in some seriously deep competition at Midwest Charity just last month for High Caliber Stables. Cheerful Memories and McKenna Slater were up for reserve for mom Pamela Slater and Kalarama Farm. This was the first show of the year for this team in just their second year out of junior exhibitor competition. Cheerful Memories is also by Desert’s Supreme Memories and out of I’m A Wild Rose, by Hide-A-Way’s Wild Country.

The Junior Five-Gaited Mare class was top notch, with a great group hitting the Red Mile. Merrill Murray was the master tonight, winning it with Walterway’s Born To Be Wild. Sired by I’m Lookin’ For You, Born To Be Wild is out of Callaway’s Fine As Silk, by CH Callaway’s Born To Win. The bottom line on this one traces back to Dainty Model, a Broodmare Hall of Famer for Callaway Hills. Ghareeb Equine Investments owns this slick sister. The celebrated daughter of Undulata’s Heir Apparent and CH Callaway’s Sugarplum, I’m A Sugar Shaker was reserve in this one with A.J. Bruwer riding for Vicki Reed. The Reserve National Champion a year ago in the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic, Sugar Shaker is in just her second show with A.J. Matt Shiflet and No Tan Lines made a well received show for third for George Ann and Jim Nash.

By their own Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan, Handsome Harry scored the Limit Harness Pony blue tonight with Jeff McClean driving for Golden Creek Farms. Out of Heartland Mary Belle, Handsome Harry has been a winner here on the Red Mile now in all three years he has shown. The Four-Year-Old Harness Pony World’s Champion just last year, he was headed up by trainer Tom Lowry. Melvin Jennings had the well-bred Heartland Pretty Penny up for the reserve win. By Heartland Equality, Pretty Penny is out of Heartland Summer Romance. She is owned by Melvin Jennings and Carol Lawson.

Magical Promises made another spectacular performance on the Red Mile, winning this Amateur Fine Harness qualifier for the third straight year for High Spirits Farm. Headed up by Robert Gardiner, the huge chestnut mare is as true-trotting as they come, all while putting her head in a seemingly impossible spot. The unanimous winner is by Mountain Promises and out of Harlem’s Rare Magic, by CF Rare Night Out. She was the Amateur Fine Harness Reserve World’s Champion of Champions a year ago. Carol Reedy was delighted in reserve at the lines of Take Me Home Tonight. Trained by Danny and Nancy Troutman, Take Me Home Tonight is by He’s Born To Royalty (another by last night’s junior exhibitor reserve winner) and out of CH The Homecoming Queen. Carol herself was at the lines last year at Louisville for a top three in the Junior Fine Harness Mare class. Ya Think and Charlie Jones finished third, with Best Show In Vegas and Annika Bruggeworth fourth.

It was a winning ride for Melinda Moore in the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under class. She took She’s My Kinda Party to the top spot for new owner Annika Bruggeworth. My Kinda Party is a five-year-old chestnut mare by Catalyst and out of Bella Capri, by CH Heir To Champagne. The reserve winner was Destiny’s Exquisite Lady, by Powerful Charm LCC and out of a cross of War Image and CH Caravelle, The Lady Is A Captain. Mackenzie Lyttle made the good ride tonight, just as she did at Lawrenceburg for the blue ribbon there.

It was the Golden Creek Invitational in the Open Harness Pony class. Mary Gaylord McClean defeated her own entry in this one, winning it with Go Daddy. This is the first year for Mary and the regning Harness Pony National Champion to be teamed together. They were winners at Shelby County Fair and Rock Creek earlier this season. Another Golden Creek entry, Mr. Naples was reserve in this one with Abel Vega driving. Another good one by Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan, Mr. Naples is out of Heartland Mary Belle, making him a full brother to Handsome Harry. He was the Amateur Gentlemen’s Harness Pony World’s Champion last year with Jeff McClean.

What followed was the stuff of Lexington legend. While Mary and Go Daddy scampered for the shelter of the barns, the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class answered the call of “Singin’ in the Rain” with a field of seven to show. As the class wore on, it rained harder and harder. Susan Orton lost her hat and rode more than half of the class hatless. Danny Cummins hatbrim flipped up and he might as well have been wearing a rain-collecting bowl on his head. And yet they rode. And they rode hard. And the horses loved it. And the crowd loved it. And we had a horse show, even though everything wasn’t perfect. These amateurs just kept going for it, taking what seemed like forever to head for the lineup. They just didn’t want to quit.

You know what’s hard though? Writing numbers on paper in a torrential downpour. Marking the cards looked like it was an exercise in frustration. You know what else doesn’t work well? Electronics and water together. Beth Snider had to take down her computer in center ring and tabulate the class by hand, further extending the wait in the rain. It didn’t matter. The riders kept chatting it up, with the High Caliber Stables team cheering their hero Vickie Byrd every time she walked by them aboard Iconium. Crowds have always loved Iconium and Vickie Byrd as separate entities, but they really love them together. Nobody rides harder than Vickie, and she was rewarded tonight with a Lexington blue. There was no way she was going to skip this victory pass, rolling all the way to the far end of the ring, drinking it all in. CH Honey Badger and Andrea Athanasuleas made a hard-charging performance in reserve for Chris and Andrea Athanasuleas. Trained by Matt Shiflet Stables, Honey Badger won his last four classes on this track, including both last year with Andrea in the ladies amateur division. The current Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve World’s Champion of Champions really responded well to the rain, romping around with his ears up. Undulata Pressure and Camille Cowart completed the Carolina sweep of the top three prizes.

While he was all gussied up for a good drive in the Amateur Fine Harness class earlier in the night, Charlie Jones switched to the rain gear for a mudslinging good time in the Amateur Roadster to Bike. This was victory pass number 13 on the Red Mile for this superstar Standardbred. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions was once again directed by Jan Lukens, as he has been his entire show ring career, beginning in 2008. A little rain wasn’t going to stop Judy McNeish from having a good time. She drove Nothing Else Matters to the reserve prize under the direction of Raymond Shively. This team took the Ladies Amateur Roadster to Bike World’s Championship the last two years.

Melinda Moore had the unanimous winner in the Open Three-Gaited Over 15.2, taking a victory pass aboard Spanky McFarland. The long-necked bay gelding is by Periaptor and out of a Catalyst mare. Owned by Julia Tiller, he has teamed well with Melinda, never finishing lower than second so far this season, winning the Three-Gaited Stake at Shelby County Fair last month. Robert Gardiner guided UPHA Chapter 5 Three-Gaited Champion The Red Hot Kid to reserve for High Spirits Farm. Red Hot Kid is by VHF The Licorice Drop Kid and out of a Sultan’s Royalty mare.

The rain slackened by the time the Hackney Pony Open came to the ring, giving Abel Vega a clear path to a unanimous win at the lines of Mastercraft’s Politician LF. The entry of the Golden Creek Farms is by Mastercraft and out of Attraction’s Treasure LF. Heartland News Leader made a good show in reserve with Connie Smith at the lines for Beth Jones. Winners of this class last year, News Leader and Connie went on to win the Hackney Pony National Championship.

The skies had dried up entirely to set the stage for the lady riders. Phyllis Brookshire was the unanimous winner in this Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding class aboard I’ll Bet You. A new team for this year under the Matt Shiflet Stables banner, I’ll Bet You is a huge bay gelding but possesses a fineness and beauty needed for the ladies division. Undefeated in six trips to the ring this year, I’ll Bet You and Phyllis just keep getting better together. Kris Knight and Don’t Ask Me were up for the reserve honors for Pleasantview Farm. Champion at Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling and Reserve Champion at Rock Creek with Kelsey Price, Don’t Ask Me was the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Reserve Champion here last year. Worthy’s World To Know and Careen Cardin were a good third for Phoenix Prophecies LLC.

The two-time defending Fine Harness Champion here began his title defense with a Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding win, as Cosmic Charm was the victory with Merrill Murray. The entry of Grand Vin Stables is by Powerful Charm LCC and out of a Tornaado mare. The Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Grand Champion last year at Louisville, he went on to claim the Fine Harness Reserve National Championship. Belle Reve’s Sgt. Pepper and Melissa Moore finished second in this one for Rose Arbor Farm. This one is by CH Call Me Ringo and out of New York’s Crown Jewel, making him a full brother to CH Call Me Regal. Melinda Moore drove him to the Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions title just last year.

Completely Caveat topped a group of 13 in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park class with Alexandra Lawson aboard for the DeLovely banner. The bay son of The Caveat and Completely Elegant has found the right teammate in Alexandra, as she teamed him to perfection tonight for the Lexington blue. They picked a good time to put down one of their best performances of the year. Fresh off their Amateur Park Championship at Midwest Charity, CH Let’s Talk and McGee Bosworth were reserve tonight for Pair of Jacks Stables. Trained by Mary and Evan Orr, Let’s Talk is by Sir William Robert and out of Soft Spoken, by CH The Talk Of The Town. McGee and Let’s Talk were twice reserve here a year ago in the junior exhibitor division, having won the Junior Exhibitor Park Championship in 2013. A full sister to the reserve winner in the previous class, Belle Reve’s Lady Madonna was third with Jacque Nance up for Belle Reve Farm. Off The Record and Amy Dix Rock finished fourth from Premier Stables.

A pair of pairs showed in the Hackney Pony Pairs class. Joel Brown had the winning tandem of Spiff And Polish and Park Lane. Owner Lanny Judd was also in the class with his pair of Ink Spot and Gifted Love. They finished reserve here.

Another youngster by I’m Lookin’ For You, It’s All About Grace made her trimmed debut to win the Junior Three-Gaited Over 15.2 in unanimous style. Peter Cowart made the winning ride for Ellen Susman. All About Grace is out of a Dorian Warriors Song (SA) mare. The son of Designed and a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare, Peter Griffin was the reserve winner with Robert Gardiner up. Bob and Tonya Brison own this one.

Tom Lowry headed up a victory pass for a different Gaylord girl in the Amateur Road Pony class. This time it was Louise Bennett at the lines with her entry, Sis O Six. Formerly part of the Golden Creek string, Sis O Six is by Twentieth Century and out of Dixiana, by Cherry’s Dream Boy. Louise looked to be having the time of her life all class long and looked even better trimmed in blue. Another former denizen of Golden Creek, CH Hawkeye’s Seven Eleven made his return to the show ring a great one with Stacey Swalla as the owner and driver. Stacey is a strong driver, and husband/trainer Kent Swalla pairs her with good partners. They finished reserve in this good class.

The Five-Gaited Mare Stake went to Todd Graham and Cary On Broadway MBA. By I’m A New Yorker and out of CH Cary’s Moonraker, Cary On Broadway has all the pretty you could ever want in a mare. She wore her ears every step of the way for owner Emma Nichols, bringing the night to a close in high style. Reserve in this class for the third year in a row, Voulez Vous threw a shoe late in the proceedings, eliminating Brian Chappell’s shot at closing strong for Nalley Champions LLC. By Periaptor and out of a CH Captive Spirit, she remains a labor of love for Brian Chappell and Chris Nalley, with all of the potential in the world. Just Browsing and Chris Brannan made a good show in third. 

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