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Lexington Junior League - Tuesday Night

It was Pink Ribbon Night on The Red Mile tonight, with each winner receiving a UPHA Pink Ribbon Class blue ribbon along with their normal Lexington Junior League prize. The UPHA Pink Ribbon Program has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, with proceeds being raised to aid in the fight against breast cancer. Lexington takes it a step further than just having one class, as every class on Tuesday night was a Pink Ribbon event.

One of these Pink Ribbon classes was the Three-Gaited Over 15.2 Stake. If you haven’t heard of CH Our Charming Lady, the two-time defending Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion, you have either been living under a rock or this is your first time reading our fine publication. If that is the case, welcome! We’re pleased to have you. One of the most highly-decorated walk-trot horses of all time, Charming Lady and Mary Marcum Orr had shown 34 times with 34 blue ribbon performances coming into tonight, with six World’s Championship rides over those three seasons together. Tonight, they would face a challenge in the form of Romance In New York and Matt Shiflet. After a rousing Park Championship performance at Asheville, Romance In New York returned to her roots as a walk-trot horse. By I’m A New Yorker and out of a Periaptor mare, this strapping eight-year-old chestnut mare trots the part of her breeding, trotting to her nose and snapping her hocks. She just continued to pick up steam for Marge Ferguson and Kristen Pettry as the class wore on. Bigger and bigger, bolder and bolder, she and Shiflet just kept rolling. Giving the reigning World’s Grand Champion her proper respect, the judges called for a second second-way trot. And Romance In New York put on an even bigger show. The crowd saw her coming from the far end and lifted her from end to end like The Red Mile grandstand can. She was the unanimous winner here tonight. Matt Shiflet, ever the showman, doffed his hat to the crowd as he rode up for the winning presentation. CH Our Charming Lady was reserve for Jack and Donna Finch. Gracious in defeat, Mary still had that trademark smile as she picked up the red ribbon for the first time in her storied career with this phenomenal mare.

Another big source of excitement on Tuesday night was an absolutely stellar group of harness horses in the Amateur Fine Harness class. World’s Champions galore hit the tanbark in this one, with the Amateur Gentlemen’s World’s Champion Heir’s Treasure putting on the performance of his career to date with James Miller. Showing out of Kalarama for Hillcroft Farm, Miller and Heir’s Treasure put on a show on The Red Mile, full of up and down spirit and verve. With Sam Stafford heading them up in the lineup, Larry Hodge was standing by Misdee Wrigley-Miller’s box seats. Larry pointed out to her that he was holding most of James’ personal effects, including his cell phone, car keys and sunglasses (which he was wearing.) Misdee pointed out that they were the keys to James’ Porsche 911 Carrera. Larry suggested that if Heir’s Treasure were to win he would just keep the car. Pointing to the ring, Larry said, "Well, he’s got his ride, and I’ve got mine!" The odds of that deal actually going through are slim, but it is a certainty that Miller and Heir’s Treasure topped a phenomenal field to win the blue. Second in the class went to CH Mother Mary and Anita Simpson. They were winners of this class a year ago for Richard and Anita Simpson and the Mercer Springs team. They made a stylish team once again tonight, as the big mare worked high in the bridle and strutting. Ali DeGray made her first show ring performance with Joe Friday to take third for Helen Rosburg. Joe was the Amateur Champion here a year ago with Helen at the helm. This one almost went back to the rail, as the cards read 1-2-2, 1-2-3, 1-3-3.

Following that big win for Hillcroft Farm, Misdee Wrigley Miller was recognized as the sponsor of Pink Ribbon Night here at Junior League. The Junior Leaguers presented her with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses to show their appreciation, as the crowd saluted the generosity of this grand lady of the show ring.

Pink Ribbon Night kicked off with opening ceremonies conducted by the Blue Willow Brigade Youth Group. Celebrity dude Griffin T. Day was a part of the presentation wearing his pink polo and rockin’ the popped collar. The first class was Amateur Gentlemen’s Three-Gaited, with Jeffrey Schab making a big splash with Walterway’s Tailor Made. A relatively new face on the national scene, this is the first year for Schab and Tailor Made to be teamed together under the direction of Jannie Giles. Bright and airy, they made a head-turning performance for the unanimous blue. By Star Material and out of Callaway’s Born To Win mare, his second dam is a full sister to CH Will’s Bulletin. Repeating his finish from a year ago, He’s A Jim Dandy was reserve with Harold Denton Jr. up for Bullet Concrete Materials. Directed by Clark Clouse, they went on to earn the Reserve World’s Championship in this division as well.

The Hackney Horse class was also full of talent and World Champion entries, as Rudolph The Second and Elisabeth Goth earned the unanimous tie. Making just her second show with this phenomenally gifted horse, Goth made a stellar drive. Stan Bodnar was at the whip last year at the Royal Winter Fair to earn the Hackney Horse World Grand Championship. Heartland Blizzard, three-time defending Amateur Hackney Horse World Champion, was reserve with Karen Waldron driving for Bent Tree Farm. The 2007 World Grand Champion, Shelburne, was third with Stan Bodnar at the lines for Bent Tree Farm. Shelburne was the Reserve World Grand Champion the last two years. All three of the top three entries are trained by Majestic Oaks.

In the Junior Five-Gaited Mare class, it was Thunder’s Fair Lady that took the unanimous top spot with Smith Lilly up for Cross Timbers Saddlebreds. Three-Year-Old Mare Reserve World’s Champion last year, she is by Attache’s Thunderbolt and out of HMS My Fair Lady, by Royal Return. Mike Tunstall debuted Renaissance Soiree to the red ribbon for Alliance Stud. Soiree is by Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man and out of Mercedes Benz, by Arrowhead Chief.

Junior League and Lisa Strickland have always seemed to get along quite well, and that is especially the case when Hilheiry Duff is thrown into the mix. Winners of the Junior Under 2 and Junior Three-Gaited Championship here last year, Hilheiry Duff and Lisa Strickland were teamed up once again tonight to win the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under class. Owner Mimi Bahcall had been doing the honors at the past two shows, winning the Amateur Ladies Championship at Midwest as part of her three-for-three performance in the saddle. Strickland Stables is one of just a handful of Chicagoland barns that is here at The Red Mile this week, an area that in the past has been a big source of entries for Junior League. Holli Esposito turned in an excellent showing with (SA) SJ The Smart Lady. Directed by Rob Turner, The Smart Lady was originally brought out in the US by Lionel Ferreira. Erin Obenauf rounded out the top three with last year’s Amateur Under 2 winner, CH Thunder Cloud Nine.

Speaking of Lionel Ferreira, another of his imports for the Bulmer family,(SA) Jonazell Mighty Spirit made a big impact on the proceedings tonight as well. Kris Knight was in the irons to make one of her strongest performances to date with this supremely athletic bay gelding. Showing for Sam and Vicki Reed, Knight and Mighty Spirit swept to the winner’s circle in the Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding class. Bill Knight and Alex Wille-Irmiter joined for the victory pass. A high-headed star from the Matt Shiflet string, A Different Story was reserve with Phyllis Brookshire riding for Don and Phyllis Brookshire. By Harlem’s Friendly Conversation, A Different Story is out of a Merchant Prince mare. Always a crowd pleaser, Zombie Stomp was third with Tammy DeVore aboard for Lucinda Hartley.

Randy Harper capped off an outstanding day for Frickey Farms with an Open Harness Pony win behind Spencer. Junior Harness Pony Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2009, Spencer is by Dun-Haven Celebrity and out of Magic In The Air. Debuted to a blue here as a junior pony in 2003, Seamair Sensation was reserve tonight with John Wrather at the whip for Charlotte Wrather. They were Amateur Gentlemen’s Reserve World’s Champions last season. Last year’s Champion, Par Excellence, was third with Larry Ella for Bent Tree Farm.

A nominee for the guttiest performance of the night would be CH Callaway’s Kit Carson. Maguire Hall put on a phenomenal ride, and Kit Carson gave everything he had and more. By the end of the second way rack, he was in a flop sweat, but pulled it all together for yet another unbelievable pass. The dark bay gelding looked almost black by the end of the class, but that just made the unanimously acclaimed blue ribbon look even better as trainer Randy Cates placed it on his bridle. This was the ninth win in nine tries in 2010 for this team. They were Amateur Ladies Gelding Reserve World’s Champions last year. Another dark bay that made a similar show, exhibiting speed and pizzazz aplenty, CH Diamond’s Hope just keeps on trucking with Sarah Longworth. Directed by High Caliber Stables, Diamond’s Hope is owned by Teri Longworth. This longtime duo earned the 2005 Lexington Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship together and were Reserve Champions in their final junior exhibitor year in 2008. CH Breaking News was third with Megan McClure aboard. They returned from a similar finish in 2009 to take the Championship back to the West Wind banner.

The Amateur Roadster to Bike qualifier ended the same way that last year’s class did, with Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones heading down victory lane with Jan Lukens following them out the gate. The black and gray silks were flying once again as this dominant team garnered yet another blue. They are the two-time defending Amateur World’s Champions. William Shatner and his latest roadster teammate, Thunderbolt, were reserve. Thunderbolt was the Amateur Ladies World’s Champion last year with Judy McNeish.

On The Mark’s season debut came in the exact same class as it has the last two years, and the result was exactly the same. He topped the Hackney Pony Stake once again for Karen Waldron’s Bent Tree Farm. Limit Champion here a year ago, Heartland Summer Storm was reserve with Geof Dixon for Betty and Warren Featherston. They were County Fair Champions at Louisville in 2009.

The Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class came to the ring next, or "Guilding" as the jumbotron deemed it. With his black and chrome custom Freedman Harness, CH Revolver made owner Dr. Chip Pugh’s day with a unanimous victory with Bret Day at the lines. The gray horse made a great show tonight on The Red Mile. Assistant trainer Kendall Blue matched his charge well in a gray suit as they both went to the winner’s circle. Promise Keeper is in his debut season in the show ring. Long a denizen of the stallion shed, he has come out to show off his extreme, leg-waving action with Martin Teater driving for A.E. Nelson. They were reserve in this one, with another A.E. Nelson entry, Bob Bobaloo, finishing third with A.J. Bruwer.

The Amateur Park division was split for the amateur and junior exhibitor riders. Undefeated on the year, the two-time defending Amateur Park World’s Champions, CH His Supreme Reflection and Jacqueline Manzo, were the Amateur winners for Kimberly Jones and trainer Tom Sworm. Of all the places this dynamic star has won, this was his first trip over the surface of The Red Mile. He got used to it real quick. Brookhill’s Periday and James Sigmon just keep building momentum as the season progresses. They are a team on the rise for Clouse Stables. The high-headed 2008 Open World’s Champion is coming together nicely with his new teammate for 2010. A similar looking horse to His Supreme Reflection, Reedann’s Heir To Glory was third for Brittany Kale, riding for Gary and Tammie Kale under the direction of Mercer Springs. Both of these stars are by Supreme Heir.

Calee Dillon once again got the call to ride Storm Heir in the Junior Exhibitor Park class. She put on her best show so far with the 926 Park Lane LLC entry, winning the class for the DeLovely team. Yet another great Park horse by Supreme Heir, Storm Heir seems to be coming into his own. Ya-Ya was reserve with Ashley Bryce up for Bryce Heritage Investments L.P. Jack Magill trains this one. Bryce had the beautiful bay mare in just the right spot all class long to pick up the red ribbon. Ya-Ya was last year’s Open Park World’s Champion. The last two Open World’s Champions were reserve in these back to back classes. Mollie Kregor and Guy From Vegas rounded out the top three for Kathy Bagdasarian.

In the Hackney Pairs class, Joel Brown drove the winning team for Brookside Farm. Sporting a top hat, he drove Avante Garde and Diamond’s Show-N-Off to the blue. Jennifer Robertson celebrated Pink Ribbon Night in style in a beautiful pink satin dress. She drove Gifted Love and Ink Spot to the red ribbon, even though it clashed.

Real Action was all fired up and displaying that verve and life that has made him a show ring star. He continued his undefeated career with a win in the Junior Three-Gaited Over 15.2 class with Peter Cowart taking to the saddle once again for McKenzie and Plunkett. It was a unanimous decision that sent this fixy strutter to the winner’s circle. They were Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited winners here last year as well as Three-Year-Old World’s Champions. Paul Cates has a good one in Madeira’s Maverick. The bay gelding earned reserve here for Janice Henderson. By the Blue Norther son, Shamrock’s Blue Thunder, he is out of Dianna’s Dream.

The Amateur Road Pony class was a one-two sweep for the pony power of Majestic Oaks Hackney Farm. Patrice Watson O’Brien was the lucky lady behind Mr. Lucky Man tonight, driving down victory lane for Joe and Patrice O’Brien. Amateur Champions at Rock Creek, they were Amateur 50" and Under World’s Champions in 2009. Shannon Ella picked up two junior exhibitor wins here last year with this speedy little dynamo. Toni Nastali has a heck of a group of ponies to show, and The Wizard LF got the call tonight, taking the red ribbon back to the Majestic Oaks stalls. Nastali and The Wizard already have wins on the year at Kentucky Spring Premier and Lawrenceburg. Beth Jones and the great Heartland Sundust were third here.

Capping off the Tuesday night session the same way he capped off Monday’s, Merrill Murray made the final round of honor, this time in the Five-Gaited Mare Stake with Walterway’s What About Me. Out of the "Golden Cross" of Star Material and Yorktown’s Forget-Me-Not, What About Me carries herself as if she knows full well what a special talent she is. She was the unanimous winner for Larry Hartsock after taking the Rock Creek Five-Gaited Jackpot Stake in her previous outing. Rob Byers had the Louis and Rosemarie Fernandez entry, Treasure The Warmth, looking top notch in reserve. By County Treasure, she is out of Warming Trend, by Radiant Sultan. Her second dam, Santana Ann, was a two-time World’s Champion in the three-gaited ranks. If you keep tracing her bottom line, her third, fourth and fifth dams are all Broodmare Hall of Famers. She brings more to the table than just her pretty face!

Wednesday night will bring the stallions out to showcase their talents in the stud stake. Maybe Merrill will find a stud to show just to try to capture all three open gaited qualifiers. Either way, we’ll be there, providing you the ONLY source for real-time results and daily coverage of each and every class of the 74th Lexington Junior League Horse Show.

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