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Lexington Junior League - Tuesday Morning

The first Junior League morning session started off with hot weather and hot competition in the 16 and 17 Year-Old Equitation division. Fresh off her championship ride at Midwest, Faye Wuesthofen and Kiss Of The Zodiac, continued their undefeated season by taking home the blue in their age group class. The successful team rides under the DeLovely banner. Reserve in the nice class went to Angela Darrow and Tango ‘Til Dawn. Just last night Angela won aboard her five-gaited mount, Freaky Links. Angela rides under the direction of Scott and Carol Matton. Eleanor Watkins and Worthy Am I rounded out the top three under the direction of the Zubrods.

It was a repeat winner with new connections taking the Five-Gaited Pony class. Billy Jewel and Allison Combs tore up the track in 2008, and the flashy pony was flying once again to take the blue in 2009 with Caroline Rose up for Clara McCool. David and Kristen Cater train this dynamic reigning World’s Champion of Champions. Matt Shiflet has Our Sonflower at the very top of her game for Hickory Hill Farm and wunderkind catch rider Tyler DeVore. After sweeping the division at Asheville Lions Club, this team picked up reserve today.

The UPHA Harness Pony Classic had some fantastic young ponies on display. The winner was the reigning Harness Pony Classic National Champion, Regal’s Norma Jean LF. Also the Three-Year-Old Harness Pony World’s Champion last year, Norma Jean is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of the Romeo LF mare, Romeo’s Keepsake LF, making her a full sister to Amateur Road Pony Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Regal’s Trademark LF. Abel Vega was once again at the lines for Stephany Monteleone. Nobu is another star in the making for John Scheidt and the Majestic Oaks team. Winner of this class last year, Nobu went on to earn the Three-Year-Old Reserve World’s Championship. Originally entered in the cobtail class here, the Nobu braintrust decided to stay the course in the longtail division. By Mr. Hawkeye, Nobu is a full brother to Nabucco.

In the 14 and 15 year-old-ranks, Taylor Newton was polished to perfection to take home the blue aboard A Sweet Sensation. She rides under the direction of Shelley Fisher and DeLovely Farm. Reserve honors went to Jordyn Broten under the direction of Zubrod Stables.

Listed in the program as "$300 ASB Show Pleasure Driving etc." the Pleasure Driving entries showed what the et cetera was all about, putting on the deepest and most competitive class of the morning. It was one of those classes where the first horse hits the ring and you say, "Wow that’s a nice horse." Then the second horse comes in and it’s, "So is that one." And then it never seems to end as more and more top quality horses came through the in gate. Purchased over the offseason by Karrie Graham and Dwaine Kinderknecht, A Cinderella Story seems to be taking nicely to her new role as a pleasure driving horse under the tutelage of Jim and Fay Lowry. After two wins in huge classes at Indianapolis Charity, this team moved on to Midwest and emerged with two more rounds of honor. It was no different today on The Red Mile, as Karrie Graham and A Cinderella Story took the storybook trip down victory lane. Another of the "Hey look at that one" entries was Unclaimed with Jan Beardsley Blanco. A winner all up and down the East Coast already this year, the Garone-trained entry has double wins at Raleigh Spring Premier, UPHA Chapter 14 Spring Premiere, and Bonnie Blue to his credit. The Attache’s Liquid Asset gelding put on a great show this morning to earn the red streamers. Foxy Camilla turned her share of heads in picking up third for Aubrey Lambert and Sloan Enterprises under the direction of Chad and Tami Reiser.

The Three-Gaited Pony winner made the celebration of UPHA Pink Ribbon Night an all day event, as Hunter Chancellor’s hot pink daycoat lit up the track aboard CH The Attache Orchid. Picking up their fifth blue ribbon in five outings this year, the punchy chestnut mare all trimmed in white and the hard-riding Hunter Chancellor marched to the blue ribbon. Trainer Todd Miles and caretaker Allison Sargent joined them for the round of honor, with Sargent sporting a pink shirt to match Hunter’s daycoat. Powerful Tango and Dominique Bowlen put it all together today, taking the reserve ribbon under the direction of David and Kristen Cater for Alexandra Bowlen. No stranger to success on The Red Mile, Powerful Tango picked up three different reserve ties with Molly Trent in 2006 and 2007. Catherine Wheeler and Amelia Heir Cat teamed up for third under the direction of Smith Lilly. They were champions at Bonnie Blue earlier in the year.

While trainer Pat McConnell hopped, skipped and jumped on the rail in his inimitable, ever-animated style, his charge, Alicia Silverstone, stayed true up and down every straightaway for driver Ashley Baird to win the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving class. It was their best performance together, as the six-year-old Deep Blue mare was shown in fine harness last year by McConnell for owner Margo Baird. Melissa Steinkamp has taken over the lines of The Straight Guy from mom Jane Steinkamp in 2009. A World’s Champion in Country Pleasure with Susannah Sherman in 2006 and the Country Pleasure Driving Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2007 with Jane Steinkamp, The Straight Guy is a flashy son of For What It’s Worth. He is trained by Chuck Herbert and the Cedarwood team.

Gavin Gagnon qualified for the National Finals by winning the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup under the Fairfield South banner. Aboard The Princess Dianna, looked to be the picture of poise to take the blue. Morgan Gocke and The Ballroom Blitz earned the red streamers today in her first trip over The Red Mile track.

Perhaps the most excited winner today was Connie Smith. Letting loose with an ecstatic "Yes!" and a loud cheer as she headed down victory lane and out the far gate on her way back to the backside stalls with Heartland Globe-Trotter, UPHA Hackney Pony Classic winner for the second year in a row. Last year it was Maureen Lydon at the lines. Beth Jones owns this impeccably-bred gelding by World’s Grand Champion Heartland Equality and out of a full sister to World’s Grand Champion Heartland Ooh! La La and Heartland High Tech. Abel Vega once again had a top pony in this one in Romeo’s Prime Minister LF, an entry of Golden Creek Farm. Making his Golden Creek debut, Prime Minister put forth that power-packed cobtail look to pick up reserve. He is obviously by Romeo LF and out of a Haven-West Bandolier Jr. mare.

In Adult Country Pleasure, it was the new team of Sir Winston C and Allyson Ehle that were named the victors under the Revelation Farms banner. Brought out by Todd Graham as a young horse, Sir Winston C is by Sir William Robert and out of a Reminiscent MHM mare. The Ehles purchased the fixy gelding with the impeccable headset this spring and debuted to a blue at Devon. CH Riva Diva looked ready to go in reserve for Donna Finch under the direction of Mary and Evan Orr’s High Caliber Stables. Year after year, this mare just keeps getting it done.

The Pleasure Equitation classes closed out the Tuesday morning session, with the 14-17 riders getting their crack at the track first. Winner of the 14-17 Championship here for the last three years, Deanna Lanigan picked up the qualifier blue aboard Oh What A Feeling under the direction of Carol and Scott Matton. Sarah Lawson earned reserve honors aboard Feng Shui for the DeLovely team. Cori O’Brien, another Knollwood-trained entry, picked up third with a first place vote aboard Steel’n A Dream.

In 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation, it was repeat winner Abigail Mutrux who took top honors aboard Blackboard. Winner of the Junior Pleasure Challenge Cup and Junior Pleasure Medallion National Finals last year, Mutrux looks ready to take on all comers in 2009. One of the nicest kids you could ever hope to meet, Abby always has a happy expression in and out of the show ring. Alexia Stumler and Who Needs Mama were once again on top of their game to pick up the red ribbon under the Zubrod banner.

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