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Louisville Is Here!


A new year, new hopes and dreams, unexpected disappointments, in other words - opening night at the World’s Championship Horse Show. Primarily Kentucky County Fair night, Sunday evening has grown to include some prime time classes that get the week started with a bang.


The first of 240 scheduled events for the week, the ASR Futurity of Kentucky Weanlings featured 27 entries vying for more than $30,000 in prize money. After going through the 27, judges Steve Crabtree, Don Judd and Jimmy Miller kept 10 to review for a second lead.


When it was over announcer Peter Fenton called Pascale to the winner’s circle as the first World’s Champion of 2006. It was a unanimous decision for the beautiful son of Sir William Robert and Oak Hill’s Watch Me. It was also a payday of $13,466 for owner J.C. Pierce and trainer/handler Bret C. Day.


Taking home $6,733 was reserve world’s champion The Power Of One (Sir William Robert x Clara-Phi). Morgan trainer John Hufferd presented the crowd-pleasing colt for Joe and Naomi Lengacher. Sir William Robert was a crowd favorite as a performance horse and now as a sire his offspring are winning the richest purses in the industry.


Third place and a check for $3,366 were awarded to The Select One (Select Stock x Long Island Iced Tea), a full brother to Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion 5 O’Clock. Jeff and Kristy Leech presented The Select One for Elizabeth Stewart.


Class two was also a unanimous decision and that went to Twin Willow’s Wild Thing. Winner of the Harness Pony Grand Championship at Lexington Junior League and Midwest Charity in addition to several county fairs, Wild Thing was again a standout for Jeff McLean and Golden Creek Farms who also won the County Fair class last year. Also with an impressive performance, Impress My Daddy was the reserve champion with Gene van der Walt in the viceroy for Singing Hills Stables of Oregon. This was a trend seen throughout the night, stables from Oregon, California and Texas that were qualified for the Kentucky County Fair Championships.


The first open performance class of the evening was next as seven junior harness mares paraded on the green shavings. All three judges gave Smith Lilly and Mother Mary the nod. She is owned by Platinum Stock Farm. Showing for Minna Hankin Mintz, Mike Spencer and Party Of Three were called out for reserve.


A world’s champion as a two, three, four and now five-year-old, Marching Orders was the fourth consecutive unanimous world’s champion of the evening. Dick Obenauf sent Marching Orders and Barbara Manilow to the ring ready for business to defeat a good group of challengers. Among them, Sunshine Way was exquisite from start to finish. She was piloted to the reserve ribbon by Lisa Strickland for Julie Hambrick.


For the fourth consecutive year General Mills made the victory pass in the Kentucky County Fair Hackney Pony Championship. This year, however, it was with new owner Barbara Blacklaw driving down victory lane giving Singing Hills Stables first and second place finishes in their first two classes of the week. Fran Crumpler represented Marilyn Swimmer with reserve champion Heartland Twice As Nice.


Nine entries were on hand for the Kentucky County Fair Three-Gaited Championship. One of two strip classes for the evening, the entries were lined up on opposite ends of the judges’ stand and then brought one at a time to the judges’ stand for inspection. Following the tabulation of cards, the first number called out was 2077, Angela Lane. The lofty going daughter of Prize Contender was shown by Ricky Cook for Don and Judy Harris. Winner of numerous county fair championships both under saddle and in harness, CH Rejoice was the popular reserve champion with Chris Field again riding for Dr. Donald and Betty Petit.


The judges had their work cut out for them in the 14-entry Kentucky County Fair Roadster Pony Championship. Working their way through the heavy traffic, Jeff McLean and Golden Creek’s newest star, Alexandra, gave Golden Creek their second tricolor of the evening. Former Kentucky County Fair champion Amadeus was reserve this year with Debbie Foley again driving for Deborah Gabbert.


The park division has more than earned its spot on the World’s Championship Horse Show schedule. Twenty-three entries took a shot at the open mare class and it took a nine-horse workout for Kenny Smith and four-year-old Romance In New York to earn the title. The daughter of I’m A New Yorker was crowned the champion for new owners Marge Fergusson and Kristen Pettry. Back home at Grey Ridge, Wrapped In Roses was the reserve champion with Susi Day showing for Bill and Coe London. Also making an eye-catching show, Ya-Ya took home the yellow streamers for Dena Lopez and owner Belle Reve Farm.


There were some big-time stars in the Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Championship. A former world’s champion in the young horse ranks, Simbara’s Sweet Lorraine wore the roses as the county fair champion with Nelson Green driving for David and Kelly Mount. No stranger to the top, the elegant black mare Harlem’s Santa Fe exited as the reserve champion for the team of trainer Chuck Herbert and owner Susan Bartlett.


With a long list of regional champions coming together for the Ladies Three-Gaited Under 15.2 class, Ostentatiously and Deborah Visser were outstanding to receive the unanimous decision. It was Kalarama Farm’s first blue of the week. Sarah Rowland and the multi-titled world’s grand champion An Heir About Her claimed the red prize, while California sensation Victoria Lynn took third with Helen Cherry.


For the second year in a row James Nichols and Royal Count left the competition in the dust to take the Kentucky County Fair Roadster To Bike Championship. Penny Lane Farm sold the unanimous champion just two weeks earlier to Rebekah Cloninger who will be showing Royal Count in the youth division. The crowd gave Jennifer Robertson and Rums Last Shot a great round of applause for their reserve drive.


With the amateur division seemingly dominated by women riders, it was great to see 12 entries in the Amateur Gentlemen’s Five-Gaited class. One of the most enthusiastic exhibitors out there, Bill Marple captured the top prize aboard his ground-covering Enzo. The Mike McIntosh-trained entry now has Lexington and Louisville titles to his credit. Chris Nalley was right in the hunt aboard reserve champion It’s All About Me. They were followed by the winning combination of Doug Lindstrom and CH Roseridge’s Gold.


Last year Castledream was one of the most exciting young horses at the World’s Championship Horse Show. The Castle Bravo son came back a year later and was just as thrilling. Wearing the harness like it was made for him, Castledream earned all three first place votes in the 11-horse Junior Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class with Larry Hodge driving for Misdee Wrigley’s Hillcroft Farm.


A world’s champion as a two-year-old, Night Sight was crowned the reserve world’s champion having just won Lexington Junior League’s Junior Fine Harness Reserve Grand Championship. Sam Stafford drove the powerful son of CF First Night Out for Cedarledge Farm. Part of the all-star cast, Lexington champion Surfer Boy finished third for George Knight and owner Georgia Herpin Baker.


The first session of the 103rd World’s Championship Horse Show came to a close with the competitive Kentucky County Fair Five-Gaited Championship. Taking control of the class from start to finish to earn a unanimous decision was Imperiaptor. Having just won the Five-Gaited Championship at the Blue Ridge Classic, the athletic son of Periaptor was expertly presented by Mitchell Clark for owner/breeder Terry Mulkey. Steve Wheeler and Miss Genevieve had a smooth go for take reserve champion honors for Alan and Ginger Perry-Failor.


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