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Lexington Junior League - Tuesday Night

The Junior League of Lexington added their own flavor to the Pink Ribbon concept here at The Red Mile. Instead of having a single designated Pink Ribbon class, the entire night was Pink Ribbon Night. This became readily apparent when the Amateur Gentlemen Three-Gaited winner was presented with a UPHA Pink Ribbon first prize along with his Lexington blue. Every winner tonight came out with a double set of ribbons, one pink, one blue. The Junior Leaguers pulled out all of the stops with decorations aplenty and pink everywhere, including the "pinktinis" that were being sold through the crowd. The United Mountain Horse Park Pleasure World’s Grand Champion, Signature’s Show Stopper, was on hand to present the national colors, sporting a pink brow band to support the Pink Ribbon fight against breast cancer.

On this night of hope for a cure, it was a couple of individuals who have overcome medical problems of their own this year to make triumphant returns to the show ring, both on this same cool, perfect Lexington night. The first class of the evening featured the return of Justin Cowley to horse show competition. Justin received a kidney transplant in late March from his mother, Leetta Beachum. Less than four months later, here he was, back on The Red Mile, a site where he has known great success, showing and winning with Simbara’s Bountiful for Kathy Bagdasarian. Justin came through the class with flying colors, a testament to his competitiveness and toughness. Kristen Bagdasarian and Shane Mullins, good friends of Justin, put him in the ring tonight. With the common thread of Colonel Hoss and Clouse Stables connecting him to class winner Justin Cowley, Harold Denton Jr. made a nice show with He’s A Jim Dandy to earn the red streamers.

The other big comeback performance of the night belonged to none other than CH Grande Gil. Always the picture of happiness in a job well done as she heads down victory lane, Misdee Wrigley Miller’s smile was extra, extra big tonight as she headed to the winner’s circle. That smile ended up in tears of joy for her grand gelding, who made his return tonight looking happy and healthy, playing the part of the champion show horse that he is to perfection. It was just this past winter that this moment of triumph looked like it might never come again for the Kalarama-trained star. Enduring two colic surgeries performed by Dr. Bret Woody of Rood & Riddle, Grande Gil kept fighting and kept winning. It takes the heart of a champion to achieve the success that this horse has had in the show ring. It took every bit of that heart and determination just to make it back to the ring, let alone the winner’s circle on one of the Saddlebred world’s biggest stages. Dr. Woody was in attendance tonight to watch his charge march out with the blue and pink streamers, the unanimous winner of the Three-Gaited Over 15.2 qualifier. Winner of two Novice classes already this year, Walterway’s Tailor Made was reserve for Paul Snyder and Beth Miller. Tailor Made is by Star Material and out of a Callaway’s Born To Win mare.

Just two classes later, it was another unanimous victory for Misdee Wrigley Miller. This time she was the ecstatic owner, watching from the terrace boxes under the jumbotron as Larry Hodge drove the great Castledream to the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding blue. An Amateur Ladies World’s Champion a year ago with Misdee and the Amateur World’s Champion of Champions the year before that, Castledream was certainly on top of his game tonight, raising up as few can to step proudly down the straightaway. A perfect match in every way, the elegant Mary Gaylord McClean drove Cherished King to reserve for Golden Creek Farms. Mary always seems to find a new way to match the blonde gelding to perfection. Lionel Ferreira had the stunning bay Jonazell Mighty Spirit in grand style for John Bulmer in third.

The Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding qualifier had the tightest competition of the night, as the judges required a second look to tie the class. Three horses went back to the rail, each with a style all his own. First to be called out was CH Callaway’s Kit Carson, power-packed and athletic, this bay gelding by Sultan’s Collector’s Item put on a fantastic performance for Maguire Hall. Next up was Callaway’s Carnival In Rio, elegant and well put together with Sally McClure Jackson guiding him to a smart ride under the direction of Melissa Moore. Finally, I’m Royalty Too headed out of the line to his left with Heather Digiannantonio up for Louis and Rosemarie Fernandez. He is more of a rangy horse, big-striding and covering ground up one rail and down the next. As the second work progressed, Heather Digi and I’m Royalty Too kept it all together and moving forward strongly, working hard to earn the trip to the winner’s circle. Perhaps it was sibling rivalry that inspired I’m Royalty Too, as full sister CH Our Charming Lady won her ladies walk-trot qualifier last night. Maguire Hall, making her second performance with Kit Carson, was reserve under the direction of Randy Cates. Sally Jackson and Carnival In Rio earned third place in this fantastically competitive class.

It was a big night for Maguire Hall LLC, with the Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding blue going to Shame On You. The long and storied career of this dynamic gelding has taken many twists and turns. Owned by Maguire Hall since April 2003, Shame On You is now teamed to perfection with his amateur rider. Championship winners at Indianapolis in their first show together since 2007, this team made it two in a row tonight under the watchful eye and eventual big smile of Merrill Murray. Divine Renaissance made his amateur five-gaited debut tonight for Ali Judah and the Premier team. Having served as Ali’s junior exhibitor mount and then as her gaited pleasure entry, the decision was made to go in the amateur class here, and it certainly paid off! With Ali at the helm, Divine Renaissance cruised around The Red Mile to pick up reserve. Cyd Simmons had her Lawrenceburg winner, Hey Joe, working hard in third under the direction of Tammy DeVore.

It is becoming a bit of a Lexington tradition for Shelburne to win the Hackney Horse class with Stan Bodnar serving as his special guest driver for Bent Tree Farm. Majestic Oaks trains this one for Karen Waldron. Also of note is that he and his dam, Heartland Blizzard, have now finished one-two in this class for the second year in a row. Blizzard, by Dun-Haven Bandolier, was once again shown by Karen Waldron for Bent Tree Farm.

Bille Rae Graham took over the reins of Foxcross’s Divine Asset once again to take the Junior Five-Gaited Mare class for Miller Marketing Communications. Husband Todd Graham had been in the irons for the early part of the season. Bille Rae was aboard last year at Louisville when the Attache’s Royal Assets mare earned a Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Reserve World’s Championship. She Deserves The Credit and Tre Lee made their first trip to the show ring a good one, taking reserve for new owner Amanda Murchison. She is by Supremacy’s High Time and out of an Uncle Jimmy McDonald mare. A mare with very special connections came in third for Rob Byers and Amy Dix Rock. By Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man, Turning The Page is out of Amy’s great ladies walk-trot world’s champion, CH My Front Page Lady.

The Amateur Fine Harness class was another with deep, deep competition. Emerging with the blue was the reigning World’s Grand Champion, Mother Mary, with Anita Simpson at the lines. Greeted in the winner’s circle by the lovely Sandra Lilly, Mother Mary and Anita made one of their best performances of the year. Second place had an unusual sight in the harness cart. Stuck in traffic due to a traffic accident ahead of her, Gothic Revival’s partner, Joan Adler, wasn’t going to make it to the show in time for her class. Enter Melody Adler, Joan’s daughter, who prior to tonight had never shown in a fine harness class. That quickly changed, as Melissa Moore put her in the seat and sent her down the track. She performed quite well in her mother’s absence, picking up reserve. With his black and chrome Freedman harness gleaming in the late-day sun, CH Revolver was a solid third with Dr. Chip Pugh driving for the Grey Ridge banner.

Kalarama was back in the winner’s circle in the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under, as Chantel Coetzee made a blue ribbon performance with Prophet’s Song. Amateur Gentlemen Three-Gaited World’s Champion last year with David Rudder aboard, Prophet’s Song is owned by Joan Hamilton. The five-year-old mare is by CH Great Day’s Came The Son and out of a Catalyst mare. She marched down the track, looking through the bridle like a true ladies horse. Picking up a second reserve in two nights, Callaway’s Born With Style and Robin McKenzie Vuillermet garnered the red streamers in this one. They were Amateur Under 2 reserve winners last night for Robin Vuillermet and Bill Beckley. Making another fabulous show on The Red Mile, Audrey Hepburn and Dr. Morgan Wolin were third. Owned by Wolin since 1997, Audrey Hepburn made her Lexington debut that year as a three-year-old with Anne Stafford. Twelve years later, she’s still going strong.

Par Excellence made his season debut to win the Harness Pony Stake with Larry Ella driving for Bent Tree Farm. This was the second year in a row for the Mark Of Excellence son to win this class. Jeff McClean and Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan were reserve for Golden Creek Farm. Handsome Dan is by Twin Willow’s McMillan and out of a Vindicator mare.

Just when you think they couldn’t get any better than they already are, Charlie Jones and Mr’s Bones take it to a whole new level. Really bursting onto the scene here last year with their rousing win in the Amateur Roadster to Bike Championship, Jones and Bones tore up the track tonight to win the Amateur Roadster to Bike qualifier. That makes it 10 for 10 in 2009 for this Jan Lukens-trained team. Milward Dedman, a member of the iconic road horse Dedman family, was reserve with BJ’s Hail Storm, winner at Lawrenceburg and Owingsville already this year. William Shatner and All Glory were third for Belle Reve.

On The Mark was another Bent Tree entry making his season debut to the blue. Karen Waldron was once again at the lines of her reigning World’s Grand Champion and Royal Winter Fair Champion to take the Open Hackney Pony Stake. Royally bred, On The Mark traces his top line back through Mark Of Excellence and Mark Of Success to the great Revelation. He truly seems to enjoy this show ring, sweeping the division here a year ago. Denessa Harper had Extremely Fine in high style for Frickey Farms. Extremely Fine is by The Extremist and out of a Dun-Haven Classic Edition mare.

The Amateur Park class was big enough to warrant a split, and 12 horses hit the ring to compete for the blue in section one and 11 in section two. The winners had a combined age of 33. In section one, it was Another Bay. In section two, it was another bay, CF Burn Out. Since his switch to the Park division in 2002, Another Bay has taken his game to a whole new level. He really helped define the division as it grew in popularity to the extremely competitive and well-filled arena that it is today. Sara McDonald has had great success campaigning the stunning 19-year-old under the direction of Kalarama. Another blue for Another Bay was the order of business in section one. Major Buck and Kathryne Stief put on a remarkable, consistent performance, probably their best of their short career together under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry, to earn reserve. Major Buck is by CH Harlem Town and out of a Sultan’s Royalty mare. Perfect Vengeance and Tara Grom were third for Revelation Farms.

The 14-year-old winner of section two was CF Burn Out. Owned by Rita Wheeler since his fifth birthday right at the beginning of 2000, Burn Out and the Biggins team have enjoyed tremendous success, winning the County Fair Three-Gaited Championship in Freedom Hall on three separate occasions. Cindy Sherman Siders took over the reins last year when the move to Park was made, and the results have been quite good, especially this season, where they are three for three. In reserve was CH High Heat. Earlier in the evening, Gothic Revival had an unfamiliar partner at the lines in Melody Adler. This time, it was Melody Adler who the Lexington crowd would expect to see in the irons, as they were the winners here just a year ago. Instead, it was Shawn Stachowski, who is leasing the Radiant Sultan gelding, that rode him to the red streamers. Drew Taylor Hewitt kept up with the adult riders to take third with CH Kalarama Shiraz. Crimson Blue and Brittany Baird were fourth.

In the Hackney Pairs class, Johnny and Frenchy worked as a tandem for Jamie Fox and Joel Brown. Luc Boileau, the epitome of class, was reserve with Spiff And Polish and Snuffy Smith.

Under the direction of A.J. Bruwer in 2009, Bob Bobaloo put all of his natural ability together tonight to win the Junior Three-Gaited Over 15.2 class for A.E. Nelson. He is by Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man and out of a Catalyst mare. Kathy Capsuto Walker has done a tremendous job with Simply Stella, one of her most recent acquisitions. Amateur winners at Lawrenceburg, Kathy and Stella took reserve in this one. Pretty Penelope and Melinda Moore were third for Kris Swanson, while Rob Byers and Majestic’s Jackie O were fourth for Amy Dix Rock.

Amateur Road Pony 50-52 inch World’s Champion a year ago, Regal’s Trademark LF and Mary Gaylord McClean made the winning drive once again tonight in the amateur class. Trademark has just one blemish on his record since the change to the Road Pony division in 2008, and that was in the Amateur Road Pony World’s Championship, where he earned the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title. A pony that just continues to improve as the years go on is Heartland Victory Maker. Junior World’s Champion of Champions in 2004, Victory Maker has fully come into his own in his nine-year-old campaign. With Toni Nastali driving under the Majestic Oaks banner, Victory Maker zoomed to reserve. Lieutenant Dan and Georgia Blevins were third with Georgia’s tri-color silks gleaming under the lights. Beth Jones and Heartland Sundust were fourth.

The traditional Tuesday nightcap is the Five-Gaited Mare Stake. Finishing off a great night for Premier, Rob Byers cranked it up a notch on the reverse to pilot Lynn Williams to the blue for Golden Creek Farms. Lynn Williams is of course the half sister to Reserve World’s Grand Champion According To Lynn. The real Lynn Williams was in attendance tonight to see her namesake earn the trip down Lexington’s victory lane in a class won by According To Lynn the last two years. Another horse whose buttons A.J. Bruwer has found just the right way to push is The Light O’ Love. Another A.E. Nelson-owned entry, this Attache’s Thunderbolt mare earned reserve tonight. Another Walterway’s Remember Me full sibling, Walterway’s What About Me, was third for Merrill Murray and Larry Hartsock.

Another great night, both in the ring and in the sky, leads us to believe in the power of positive thought! Keep sending the great weather vibes toward The Red Mile, and we will keep bringing you the very best coverage of all the horse show action.

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