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Lexington Junior League - Wednesday Evening

The USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal National Finals have a new home at the top of the card on Wednesday night. The primetime lineup featured 10 on the class sheet, with a return trip to the equitation game after a 10 year hiatus for the National Champion. Caitlin Bevins qualified for this event just the other day, finishing second. Directed by Jaisen von Ballmoos, this is her first season in equitation according to our records, however, that is with her married name! Looking back at the solid career of her maiden name, Caitlin Lynch, this is actually her second tour with The Wizard, her former mount from the early 2000's! In what is in reality her third equitation class of the season, Caitlin put together a great rail and pattern to top the class. Also making her qualification official on Tuesday morning, Katie Moeller was the Reserve National Champion with Virtual Volcano. Robert Gardiner made a foray into the equitation instruction arena to guide this team to the reserve title. While it’s just Katie’s second equitation class of the year, this is her second time as the Reserve National Champion. She has won the Adult Medal qualifier here the last three editions. Kaitlin Kelly, Nadine van Zomeren, Taylor Deer, Kristen Smith, Jennifer McGowan, Ashley Brandies, Jennifer Nelson, and Ellen Burriss completed a competitive Top Ten.

For the second night in a row, the horse that threw the shoe came out as the winner of a nice-sized class. This time it was in the 14-17 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class, with Undulata’s Hullaballoo scoring the top prize with Caroline Anderson. An entry of Sharon Anderson, Hullaballoo is directed by Matt Shiflet. Caroline Anderson didn’t get caught up in the speed of the class, working in high, collected style, cranking out a great victory pass to celebrate. Macey Miles is a Red Mile veteran. She put her knowledge to good use for a reserve ride aboard Eyee Gads. Owned by Arcuri Stables, Eyee Gads was the champion of this division at Bridlespur MHSA Kick Off this year and St. Louis last year.

The Amateur Harness Pony division involves the least amount of work for a call judge, with just the one gear each direction. Mary Gaylord McClean park trotted to the winner’s circle here with the highly animated Heartland Demonstrator. This was a second winning entry on the week for Golden Creek that was selected from the Hillcroft Farm string. Misdee Wrigley Miller drove him to a win at the Alltech National Horse Show at the end of last year. He was the unanimous winner tonight with Mary at the lines. Steve Golden scored a good reserve in this nice class with Heartland Marching Orders. Chris Gantley headed up the entry of Steve and LeAnn Golden. These two were reserve champions at Midwest Charity last month. Marching Orders is by Heartland Victory and out of a Dun-Haven Truly Awesome mare.

The always popular Justin Cowley was the winner in the Amateur Gentlemen’s Five-Gaited class with New York’s Real Magic. Tammy DeVore and Derrick Westbrook headed up a victory pass that was much lauded by the crowd. This was the second year in a row for the flaxen gelding to win this class, taking the blue with David Rudder last year. Justin scored a good win earlier this year at River Ridge with the son of I’m A New Yorker. The huge bay gelding I’ll Bet You was the reserve winner with Danny Cummins. Another top contender from Jack Magill Stables, he is owned by Kathy Cummins. I’ll Bet You has already taken five victory passes in 2014, including an amateur qualifier win at Midwest. As an aside, it is rather funny to hear Peter Doubleday utter the phrase “Big Ass Fans” over the loudspeakers when listing the sponsor of this class.

During the ring drag, the legion of friends of James Nichols joined together in front of the Richfield cameras to send him a shout out with a sign that read, “James, We’re Cheering For You!” James is at MD Anderson this week, fighting hard against a long-term illness with a stem cell transplant earlier this week.

Bret Day had Tory Burch in high fashion tonight for the Fine Harness Mare blue. Owner Elizabeth Ghareeb is a big fan of the designer Tory Burch as well as the beautiful bay mare version of the same name. Bret was at the lines for a Junior Fine Harness Mare World’s Championship last year. Melissa Moore had Lady Vol moving in her signature open, lofty way to finish second Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Mid Missouri. The six time World’s Champion always seems to love this track, and tonight was no different.

Jamie Fox drove Yours Truly to the Hackney Pony Gig for owner Mary McFarren and trainer Joel Brown, with Lanny Judd taking reserve with Spiff And Polish, also directed by Joel Brown. Peter Doubleday was right in his element with the beautiful gigs, describing the function and fashion of these antique means of conveyance. 

A.J. Bruwer made the last pass in the Open Three-Gaited Park class on a big, long-legged chestnut gelding that never dropped an ear, Undulata’s Mister Machine. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the grand World’s Champion, CH Madame Machine, this was Mister Machine’s first win of the year, putting it all together on the big stage. Hot Apple Cider’s little sister Sugar Drop Lass was a winner the other day. He himself settled for second tonight with Robert Gardiner up for Jayne and Carla Pearman, the owners and breeders. Open Park Champions at Chapter 5 and Midwest, Hot Apple Cider had been unbeaten since a St. Louis win last year. He was a Junior Park Pleasure World’s Champion last year. Callaway’s Aperitif and Michael Buchanan earned the third award for SGF Winning Ways Farm.

Catherine Wheeler wasn’t 100 percent sure which pony she would be driving in the AHHS Road Pony Medallion as of last night, but she had an inkling it would be Kentucky Hot Brown. That led to her ordering a hot brown at Ramsey’s for lunch on Tuesday afternoon. She was right about her catch drive assignment, taking Kentucky Hot Brown to the winner’s circle for Maureen Campbell. This was Hot Brown’s first outing for the season. Hot Brown was formerly the 14-17 Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions with Tyler Miles. Sheriff Andy was the reserve winner with Katie Dunn driving for LND Consultants. Lisa Catron directs that team. Sheriff Andy was the Road Pony Champion at Asheville, ETSA Spring Classic, Kentucky Spring Premier, and Southern Saddlebred Spring Fling.

It was a unanimous win for Deborah Orr in the Amateur Three-Gaited Over 15.2, as she took Callaway’s Reality Show to the winner’s circle for James Orr. Danny Lockhart headed up the Kalarama entry by Callaway’s The Gipper and out of Callaway’s I’m A Lady Too. The Asheville and Shelby County Fair winner never dropped an ear in a standout performance. The Toy Soldier and Dr. Merrell Magelli were reserve for the Monnington banner. This was one of their best shows together, putting on a strong showing. Toy Soldier is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Nativity Town, by Talent Town.

Vivacious and V remained the only two Roadster Under Saddle entries on the grounds, squaring off tonight in the open class with similar results to Monday night. CH Vivacious and Dr. Holly Ackerman were once again victorious for trainer Gina Lail. V and Chris Bishop picked up the reserve prize under the direction of Shelia Wingler.

The coaching entry of James Miller was the lone participant in the Carriage Evening Park. The Hillcroft phaeton was turned out to perfection as always for the blue ribbon round of honor.

With a hug from her trainer Craig Hummel, Etta Caldwell drove Miss Olivia O’Claire to the winner’s circle in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship.. The pretty bay mare by Radiant Sultan and out of Incredible Folly was also the winner of the qualifier. CH My Stiletto and Debbie Marcum moved up to take the Reserve Championship for Daniel and Debbie Marcum and the High Caliber banner. These two were also Reserve Champions at J.D. Massey.

Steve Buttleman got the crowd pumped for the Five-Gaited Pleasure class by sounding the horn with the University of Kentucky fight song, though Bob Funkhouser did not follow it up with the C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! cheer. Answering that call to win the blue was a Carolina girl, Camille Cowart. She piloted What’s The Whoopla to the unanimous win for West Wind Farm. Winners of their qualifier here a year ago, these two were still in the junior exhibitor ranks at the time. They went on to claim two Reserve World’s Championships last season. CH Callaway’s Kit Carson was reserve in this one with Susan Shepherd riding under the Pleasantview Farm banner. This longtime team also took two Reserve World’s Championships a year ago, also sweeping the division here the past two years. King’s Carma and Janet Kellett finished third for Alde-Mar Farm, with Laughing Out Loud and Patrice Watson O’Brien fourth.

The last two years, Heartland Road Show has been the Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony World’s Champion and the Four-Year-Old Hackney Pony World’s Champion, following both of those wins up with a Reserve World’s Grand Championship on Saturday night. Mary Gaylord McClean was at the lines last year, just as she was tonight to win the Ladies Hackney Pony class with a unanimous decision. Also weathering a rare thrown shoe in a pony class, Seamair Simply Awesome finished reserve with Charlotte Wrather. Janet Crampton headed Charlotte, driving Simply Awesome in her first campaign. Husband John had been the previous partner of Simply Awesome, taking 11 victory passes and three reserve wins here on the Red Mile.

It is a rare project that Chris Reiser has taken on this season, and he has certainly made the most of it, winning the 15.2-and-Under Three-Gaited Stake tonight with Don O’Neill. Famously sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of World’s Grand Champion Garland’s Dream, Don O’Neill was the Country Pleasure Reserve World’s Champion of Champions just last year as a four-year-old. This horse began the year as the Country Pleasure Reserve Champion at River Ridge and the Park Pleasure Champion at Asheville Spring Classic. The team of Reiser and owner World Calm LLC saw something special in this horse, trimming him to win the Three-Gaited Stake at Rock Creek and now again tonight. Another making a debut campaign in three-gaited, in fact under saddle at all, Enchanted Kiss was reserve with Lionel Ferreira. Owned by Dr. Merrell Magelli, Enchanted Kiss was the winner of this class at Midwest Charity. She is all rocked back and strutting when she is on her game like tonight. She is by Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of Rare Assurance.

Gabe Deknatel couldn’t stay away from the amateur gaited division riding Many Pearls to the amateur mare title for Carl Fischer Jr. Jerry Hutson headed up this great catch ride victory pass. Many Pearls is by The Irish Connection and out of Whata’ Jewel Whata’ Jewel, the dam of World’s Grand Champion Boucheron. Big D’s amateur champion I’m Questionable was reserve in this one with Kelly Parker Verna riding under the direction of Dan Flowers. This mare is by I’m A New Yorker and out of Callaway’s Will’s Wish.

It was a good class for Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and the Light Farms breeding program, as they produced the top two in the Open Roadster Pony class. Mary Gaylord McClean took another unanimous round of honor, this time at the lines of Regal’s Lightning Strike LF. Twice a Reserve World’s Champion last year, Lightning Strike was the amateur champion here on the Red Mile in 2013. They were twice World’s Champions in 2012. It was an even better class for Golden Creek Farms, as they scored a trifecta on the track, with Regal’s Wild Card LF in second and Crystal Creek’s Springtime in third. All three of the top three are owned by Golden Creek Farms. Abel Vega is the trainer and driver of Wild Card, the winner of this class a year ago. Eduardo Lopez trains and drive Springtime, a cross of CH Dun-Haven Phenomenal and Thyen’s Springaire.

A talent-laden 14-17 Three-Gaited class saw I’m In Heaven take the last pass with Madison Stringer riding for Thompson and Sandra Baker. Another top entry on this week by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Heavenly Thunder, I’m In Heaven was twice a World’s Champion by the time he was two. This Cape Cod team put together one of their best classes yet, taking their biggest win to date. Caroline Rainbolt Forbes and Watermark’s A Kiss For Luck did well in second, with Caroline wearing a shimmering silver formal coat. From the Rainbow Princess Farms, Kiss For Luck is by Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of a Catalyst mare. This team earned the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited Reserve World’s Championship in 2012. Ready To Jet and Laura Plant were a good third for Jack and Donna Finch.

Undefeated since his debut to the blue right here a year ago, War Horse was the Open Roadster to Bike winner tonight with Raymond Shively. They were recently champions at Midwest Charity, taking on this track with the same results. Jeff Lukens and Beaucourt Boy took reserve honors, coming off their two winning drives at Syracuse International.

It’s Double O Deuce claimed the Five-Gaited Stallion Stake here for the third straight year. He and Melissa Moore went on to claim the Five-Gaited Championship the last two years as well for SGF Winning Ways Farm. They have done well this year, winning five times and taking a reserve in the big stake at Rock Creek. Jesse West rode Red Hawk Red Hawk for Alliance Stud to take reserve. This is the first year for Jesse to be teamed with the son of Periaptor and I Did I Did, a third one out of this royally bred mare to be in the top prizes this week. 

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