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Lexington Junior League - Tuesday Morning

An equitation star since time immemorial, Callie Smith kicked off a breezy and cool by comparison Tuesday morning session with a blue in the Saddle Seat Equitation 16-17 class. To put this in perspective, Callie was the 2002 8-and-Under Walk-and-Trot Champion here and the 2003 Walk-and-Trot Champion as well. Teamed up with Soli Deo Glori for her final year as a junior exhibitor, Callie has come out guns blazing in 2011, finishing no lower than second in any class this year. She took this blue ribbon back to DeLovely as well. Moving up a spot from herg finish a year ago, Alexis Pearson was reserve today aboard Tommy Bahama. Teamed up under the direction of Verrill Stables, Lexie and Tommy Bahama have made several memorable performances, including their four-horse workout in the loaded 14-17 Three-Gaited World’s Championship a year ago.

It was “The Poov,” as her High Caliber teammates call her, at the top of the Five-Gaited Pony class, as Allie Poovey rode Our Sonflower to the winner’s circle for Todd and Margaret Poovey. Champions at Raleigh, JD Massey, and Asheville already this year, Our Sonflower and Allie put on a display today in their first trip together over the Red Mile. Faith Brickzen made one of her best rides yet aboard 2009 Reserve World’s Champion The Rest Of The Story to place second. Ann Marie Brickzen is mom and owner for this Premier-trained team. Last year’s Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, Mango Momma, finished third here with Foster Roberts for Joe E. Johnson.

In the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Driving Medallion, Rose Marie Wheeler continued her good season in this division, taking her third blue in as many drives with pleasure ponies in 2011. This was a new one for her though, as she was called upon to catch drive Nashville Cat for Lisa McMackin and Charlotte Goodman. Her former teammate, Midwest winner Seamair Dear Sir, was recently sold by the Majestic Oaks team, so Rose Marie got the call to team with the reigning National Champion! Stalwarts of this division, Cherry Royale and Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes teamed up to finish reserve for the second year in a row. Owned by the Rainbow Princess Farms and trained by DeLovely, the 2008 Junior Exhibitor qualifier World’s Champions were in top form this morning.

It was DeLovely atop the cards in the 14-15 Saddle Seat Equitation qualifier, with Abigail Mutrux and Hunter Chancellor taking the top two spots. Abby was the winner aboard Lemon Shake Up WRF with the support of all three judges. Having swept the Senior Pleasure Equitation National Finals as a 14-year-old, Abby has transitioned to the trimmed ranks aboard her new mount. The results have been none too shabby, as they have yet to be beaten, including being triple qualified and taking the tricolor at Midwest. Hunter Chancellor and Chanti’s Prayer have had great success together as well, winning this class a year ago and taking the 14-year-old age group at Louisville. Their most impressive go of the year in 2010 was probably in the UPHA Challenge Cup National Finals, where they finished as Reserve National Champions with a stunning performance. Theresa Scott was delighted with her third-place tie aboard Jessie Moctezuma’s old partner, Top Beat, for North Wind Stables.

A field of 12 answered the call for the Adult Show Pleasure Driving class. Talk about picking a good day to have your best drive, Debbie Seedorf Owens was the absolutely elated winner here with It’s All About George. She laughed and cried her way to the winner’s circle with her supporters cheering her all around the ring as she drove by to meet Randy and Denessa Harper. All About George is by Only Man In Town and out of I Am The Dream, a winner here as a two and four-year-old with George Knight. I Am The Dream is a full sister to the incredible producer, A Daydream Believer. You might not believe it, but It’s All About George was bred by the George D. Knight Trust. Denessa Harper worked hard to get Debbie squared away for her round of honor in this just her second show with the five-year-old gelding, saying, “Gotta quit cryin’ to make your victory pass!” Reserve in this one was the dashing and debonaire Eddie Norris with American Art. Showing under the direction of Jack Magill for Eddie Norris Equine Endeavors Inc. American Art has blasted onto the national scene this season with a reserve championship at Midwest and now another hotly contested reserve prize here at Junior League. Norris drives with the flair and panache of his trainer, making the judges take note. Buena Vista and Kaye Bowles-Durnell had a great go in their season debut to finish in third.

Dominique Bowlen and Powerful Tango picked up their first Junior League blue together, showing to the Three-Gaited Pony win under the direction of Kristen and David Cater. Qualifier winners at the Royal a year ago and owners of three Reserve World’s Championships as a team, Tango and Dominique put on a fantastic performance today. Hearing it from her friends and family in the covered box seat section, Sallie Mason Wheeler left with the red ribbon aboard Amelia Heir Cat. Sallie Mason’s mom, Ceil, looked about as tickled as could be with her youngest daughter’s performance, with dad and grandpa also cheering her on. This is Sallie Mason’s first year with Amelia Heir Cat, as big sister Catherine was aboard for a World’s Championship ride just last season.

Ashley Baird was at the lines, though she was originally announced as Brittany, to win the Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving class with MBA’s Royal Shadow Phax for MBA Equestrians. Trained by A.J. Bruwer, Royal Shadow Phax is obviously a product of the MBA breeding program, out of their grand harness mare, CH Cary’s Moonraker. This was the best performance of the year to date by Shadow Phax, leaving with the blue. Ashley was the winner of this class in 2009 as well, showing Alicia Silverstone that season. Kalarama’s Carrousel and Kristen Eve Gardner finished in second for Ready Set Show Inc. and the Landmark Farm team. This is their first year in the division, winning at Midwest, and sweeping the Pleasure Driving ranks at Devon against the adult drivers.

Maisie Benfield continued her wonderful first season cantering with a win in the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup. Teamed up with CH The Mystery Machine, Maisie rides for Zubrod Stables. She was the 9-10 Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion of Champions just last year and the 8-and-Under World’s Champion of Champions the year before that. She is also the reigning UPHA Walk-and-Trot Challenge Cup National Champion. Jozee Johnson and Man Of Style finished up in reserve, directed by Lisa Paxton.

Undefeated since Louisville 2010, Lexie Flint and Pure Country were the unanimous winners of the AHHS Road Pony Under Saddle Medallion this morning. Holli Hayes trains this team at Majestic Oaks for Dr. Robert and Melissa Flint. They have wins at River Ridge, Shelby County Fair, and Lawrenceburg already this season. They were Reserve World’s Champions in their qualifier a year ago. Pure Country was the winner of this class a year ago with longtime partner Samantha Johnson making her final ride aboard him. McGee Bosworth and Wait & See’s Postmaster were reserve in this class for the second straight year for Allen and McGee Bosworth. High Caliber Stables trains this one. McGee was roaring down the long straightaways today in her light blue and brown silks. Brynn Lunaas was all sorts of cranked back aboard Unique Star Attraction to take third for Deborah Jahn and the Utoft Stables team.

Any unanimous win is impressive, but when it is in a class of 19, you know you did a great job. That was the case in the Adult Country Pleasure class, as CH Teuschers and Priscilla Marconi earned the top spot with the support of all three judges. Not ones to beat around the bush, the Lowry Stables team sent them in the ring for their debut just a few weeks ago in the always deep swimming at Midwest. They earned two top three finishes there, then came to Junior League and took it to a deep group. Their victory pass was simply sensational, as Howie Schatzberg snapped the official winning photo. Murphy McSemek and The Straight Guy, finished one place behind Teuschers for the third straight time, taking reserve here after two fourth-place prizes at Midwest. McSemek is working the William Woods University entry for the summer and did a terrific job under the cloudy morning sky to take the red ribbon. He looked to be very pleased with his prize in this huge class. Carissa Marshall and Callaway’s Summer Solstice matched their championship finish from a year ago with a yellow ribbon for Tannehill Farms and trainer Todd Graham. CH Sir Winston C and Allyson Ehle were fourth for Bob and Nancy Ehle.

Pleasure Equitation 14-17 saw Alexandra Lawson continue her phenomenal campaign aboard Imagine My Surprise. The third unanimous victor in a row here on Tuesday morning, this one was especially special as today is Alexandra’s birthday! The DeLovely trained team headed down victory lane for the sixth time in seven tries on the year. Kristin Smith was reserve, showing He’s The Real Deal out of Zubrod Stables. They were top three in the championship in 2010. Meredith Macy and Crocodile Rock were third for High Caliber, while Ashley Baird finished fourth under the Knollwood banner.

I’m Goin’ Out Tonight has still not let anyone else have a turn as the winner of this Western Country Pleasure class at Junior League, winning twice in the inaugural year of the division a year ago and taking top honors today as well. This time it was Theresa Scott riding for Margory Brown and Nealia McCracken. Nealia’s son Jason Molback was on hand to head up the round of honor. I’m Goin’ Out Tonight was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2010. Samuel Charles was reserve with the lovely Chelsea Ruxer in the saddle. Trained by King’s Row, Samuel Charles was Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner Western Pleasure winner here last season. Ali DeGray lost her cowgirl hat but finished strong to place third aboard Cerruti for Helen Rosburg.

The sun broke through for the first time on the morning right around the end of the final class, 13-and-Under Pleasure Equitation, ending the reprieve that all in attendance had had from the brutal heat. The blue ribbon in this final event went back to Cater Stables with Cailin Bridges. Equitation Champion at Roanoke, Cailin teamed up with Wicked Whispers for her first Lexington blue in her very first trip over the Red Mile. Anna Leigh Amrein repeated her 2010 finish in reserve aboard Callaway’s Fox Jackson. She came back to take the championship a year ago, riding back to Zubrod Stables with the tri-color in tow. Ellie Kangur and Sydney Budzinski rounded out the top four.

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