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Lexington Junior League - Wednesday Night

It was a slew of unanimous victories to start out Wednesday night, as the Stick Horse riders all received blue ribbons! They were actually delayed in their start time, as a heck of a thunderstorm rolled through the area, looking like it should continue on for hours. Somewhere up there, Jim LaHood was working his magic, getting that storm rolled through there in practically no time, with just a half hour delay to the opening of the show.

The actual competition began promptly at 7 p.m. with a unanimous victory for I’m Royalty Too and Brittany McGinnis in the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Gelding class. Owned by Fish Creek Stables, I’m Royalty Too is trained by Premier Stables, where he originally rose to prominence as a ladies horse. He was actually the Ladies Gelding winner here in 2009 and the Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion in 2008. Matthew Shiflet was pleased as could be with Stacey Halloran’s ride with Roseridge’s All My Heart for Gaited Inc. Winners together at Asheville and Blowing Rock, they were flying high coming into the week and continued on that trajectory with this reserve prize.

Abby Mutrux is in that elite group of young riders who make their horses just that touch better than the rest. Abby and Odeon have been a spectacular team the past two seasons for High Spirits Farm, claiming a Lexington blue tonight in the 14-17 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure qualifier. Champions here a year ago, they would go on to claim a World’s Championship win in their qualifier in Freedom Hall. Abby worked the ring to perfection tonight, even making a save when the judges called for a reverse and walk, something that happens about once in a blue moon in a show pleasure class. Hannah Houske also made a catch ride for a good prize, showing Sunrise’s I Love Licorice to reserve for Krista Sinex. New to the Lonestar string of Milo Jones, I Love Licorice is by VHF The Licorice Drop Kid and out of a Callaway’s Blue Norther mare. Third in this class of 13 went to Straight No Chaser and Drew Taylor Hewitt for Harold Denton Jr.

From the Amateur Harness Pony ranks, it was a unanimous victory for Michigan’s Striking Image and Dr. Chip Pugh. The Majestic Oaks entry was in top form to best a group of seven at what has turned out to be a pretty solid pony show. This was Chip’s first show with Striking Image this season, doing a great job negotiating the “squinchy” track. Ali DeGray drove Mr. Brightside to his second reserve in as many nights. They were winners and reserve champions together at Chattanooga last month.

The Amateur Gentlemen’s Five-Gaited win went to David Rudder and New York’s Real Magic. A good research for somebody who is not me would be to look at David’s winning percentage in Amateur Gentlemen’s classes. It has to be astronomical by comparison. No matter the stats, he took it to a good field of eight tonight to win the blue for Rudi Beneke and trainer A.J. Bruwer. They were Amateur Champions at Lawrenceburg in their first class together just a couple weeks ago. Josh Wall and Twilight Maxamillion were fresh off championship rides at Asheville and J.D. Massey, settling for the red ribbon tonight for Barbara Quinn and Josh Wall. This team shows under the West Wind banner. Don’t Ask Me and Chad Graham were third for Pleasantview Farm, as Chad makes his return to the show ring after seven years. They were amateur stallion/gelding winners at Rock Creek last month. Chad and Gabe Deknatel will be on hand Friday night after the show, as 30 Spokes will play the party on the apron following the final class.

Annika Bruggeworth was the happy winner of the Fine Harness Mare class with My Hail Mary. The Siren Song entry is trained by Jesse and Emily West. The Junior Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Champion a year ago and the ASR National Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Futurity World’s Champion the year before that, My Hail Mary is by Revival and out of Crimson Blue. Gypsy’s Party Doll and Vernon Wise were reserve here under the direction of Matt Schuckert. They have been reserve in all three of their classes so far this season at Shelby County Fair and Kentucky Spring Premier.

Marla Thompson has owned Callaway’s Ladies Choice for the past few seasons. The chestnut son of Callaway’s The Gipper has taken a big leap forward this campaign, winning the Three-Gaited Park class with Maria Gilman aboard. Also the winner of the qualifier at Asheville, Ladies Choice has been a top contender this season. Ladies Choice is out of Callaway’s I’m A Lady Too, also the producer of Callaway’s Another Saturday Night, a reserve winner here last night. Six for six coming into the week in this division, Caraway’s New York Minute and Smith Lilly settled for reserve here for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler. The Amateur Fine Harness winner here a year ago with Kenny Wheeler at the lines, New York Minute still moves in that floating style that is his trademark.

Cheyenne Mabey and Mr. Lucky Man teamed back up to win the AHHS Roadster Pony Medallion class in unanimous style for Joe and Patrice O’Brien. This Majestic Oaks team was together in 2011 as the AHHS Road Pony Under Saddle Medallion National Champions. They have had plenty of success this year as well, winning at Midwest, Shelby County Fair, Bourbon County Fair, and Lawrenceburg. Reserve for the second year in a row, Surprize Surprize and Caroline Rainbolt Forbes took the red prize back to DeLovely for Rainbow Princess Farms.

Undefeated in three classes so far this year, St. Nick EGF looks to be a top contender with Jacqueline Manzo up. Bred to be one of the best, he is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of World’s Grand Champion An Heir About Her. Jacque Manzo made her debut with this chestnut gelding with the wide white stripe at Rock Creek, winning the Ladies Over 2 class. Just a four-year-old, he was the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic Reserve National Champion just last year. In their second season together, CH Stonecroft Nightlight and Cathy Schueler have become a picture perfect team. The chestnut gelding looks as happy as he has ever been, and Cathy is always all smiles in the saddle. They were directed to the red ribbon by Lowry Stables.

It was red silks on The Red Mile, as Johnny Lewis cruised to a solo victory in the Roadster Under Saddle Open aboard The Quiet Man, an entry of Galbreath Stables. He got a nice ovation from the crowd as he blew down the rail.

Karen Frickey and Tjebbe were well turned out in their phaeton to win the Carriage Evening Park class. Denessa Harper headed up the victory pass for the beautiful Friesian entry.

Double Or Nuttin’ has been a superstar in the Country Pleasure Driving division this year, as Priscilla Marconi pushed their record to eight for eight on the year under the Lowry Stables banner. Champions at Midwest Charity just last month, the beautiful bay horse combines pleasure perfect manners with brilliance and animation. Melissa Jernigan drove Card Game to the reserve championship in this the first set of tri-colors given out on the week. Card Game is owned by Melissa Jernigan and Milo Jones, trained by Lonestar.

Patsy Loeb and Callaway’s Undercover Blues have been teamed up for the past two seasons for owner and trainer Larry Hodge. Amateur Under 2 winners at Rock Creek and Amateur Champions at Lawrenceburg, Patsy and Undercover Blues were the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under winners here tonight. Annika Bruggeworth continued her good night with a reserve here aboard Famous Kiss. The Siren Song team had two wins at Devon last month. Also by a Callaway Hills bred stallion, Famous Kiss is by Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of a Family Jewels mare. Miss Can’t Be Wrong and Susan Swope were third, followed by Maxed Out and Dana Baer.

CH Callaway’s Kit Carson and Susan Shepherd won on this track for the fifth time in their long career together. It was a second straight year to win the Five-Gaited Pleasure qualifier here on The Red Mile. Also a World’s Champion in this division last year, they were champions at May Classic and Rock Creek already this year. CH What Was I Thinking and Lisa Duncan were reserve winners in this their fourth season together. This is their first year in the pleasure division, having taken victory passes at UPHA Chapter 5 and Bridlespur MHSA Kick Off this year. King’s Carma and Sandra Whittington finished in third, followed by CH Titleist Right Tonight and Ally Ehle in fourth.

Nobu and Karen Frickey took a unanimous victory pass in the Ladies Hackney Pony class, taking the blue ribbon back to Frickey Farms. Sired by Mr. Hawkeye and out of Albelarm Distinctive Lady, they were reserve in this class last year. CH Classical Dancer and Kathy Buente finished second under the direction of Lindsay Lavery. They were winners at Shelby County Fair last night.

Just a five-year-old, Callaway’s Count Your Blessings was the Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under winner tonight with Maria Gilman up for Jenn Katko. Sired by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Callaway’s Agatha Christie (BHF), this dark chestnut mare is a full sister to such greats as Adelita and CH Callaway’s Blue Agate. She was rocked back and strutting to the blue in this one. The golden chestnut Ready To Jet was the reserve winner with Mary Orr riding for Jack and Donna Finch. Ready To Jet was a 13-and-Under Three-Gaited World’s Champion last season. Donna Finch has been successful with the gelding this season, winning the Ladies Championship at Raleigh Spring Premier. The newly trimmed Sir Silver Knight and Jesse West got a nice ovation in third for Annika Bruggeworth.

With just two in the Amateur Five-Gaited Mare class, it would have been interesting to see the four from the added-for-this-year Ladies Amateur Mare class included in this one to make one nice-sized class. Needless to say, that was not sponsored by Bob Funkhouser. Amy Dix Rock put on a great show to win this one with She’s Irresistible, taking the blue prize back to Premier Stables. She’s Irresistible is by Castle Bravo and out of Desert’s Supreme Flower. This team earned the amateur championship at Rock Creek last month. Danny Cummins was up for reserve with Callaway’s Church Key for Danny and Kathy Cummins and Jack Magill Stables. Church Key is by Callaway’s Blue Norther and out of Callaway’s Casino Lady.

The road ponies were up next, with Abel Vega winning their open qualifier with Regal’s Wild Card LF. The 2011 Kentucky County Fair Grand Champion, Wild Card is owned by Golden Creek Farms. By Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Romeo’s Keepsake LF, Wild Card is a full brother to CH Regal’s Norma Jean LF. Hackney Pleasure Driving Champion here a year ago, CH Hawkeye’s Seven Eleven was the reserve winner with Carissa Marshall driving for Tannehill Farms and trainer Todd Graham.

One of the most exquisite horses in today’s show ring, CH Swing An Singin was the 14-17 Three-Gaited winner, with Catherine Wheeler making the poised ride for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler. Smith Lilly headed up the unanimous round of honor. Undefeated on the season, they had double wins at Bonnie Blue and Devon. Last year, Ceil Wheeler was up for an Amateur 15.2-and-Under win here on The Red Mile. Winner of this class a year ago, The Mighty Mouse was reserve tonight, with Hannah Houske making her usual great ride for Shelby Farm and Stables. The reigning World’s Champion of Champions is trained by Milo Jones. Trust In Love and Chris Hawley finished in third for Nancy Hawley, while CH HS Dignitary and Courtney McGinnis earned fourth in this deep and competitive class.

Raymond Shively won a six-horse Roadster to Bike Open class with Taking Care Of Business. Winners of 10 of their last 11 classes, this duo ate up the long straightaways. The 2011 Kentucky County Fair Grand Championship team was back together to take reserve, as Shane Mullins drove Magical Beginnings to that prize for Lacey Cloud.

Melissa Moore had a smile a mile wide as she made a solo exhibition in the Five-Gaited Stallion Stake. She really seems to love It’s Double O’ Deuce. Sherry Frankel certainly does, as her SGF Winning Ways Farm owns the chestnut athlete. They won this class for the second year in a row and will work to defend their Five-Gaited Championship on Saturday night. 

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