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Louisville - Friday Daytime

Splits, splits and more splits continued, as the day opened with a split class of 15 total entries in Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited Snaffle Bit/Plain Tail. In Section One, Dena Lopez continued her successful week with a blue ribbon aboard Belle Reve’s Loud & Clear, owned and bred by Belle Reve. By Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man, Loud & Clear is out of Soft Spoken. His second dam is the great walk-trot mare, CH Jane Doe. A quirky name, Kalarama’s McSuper showed to the Reserve World’s Championship with Chantel Coetzee up for Joan Hamilton. By Harlem Globetrotter, McSuper is out of a CH Superior Odds mare.

Wyatt DeHart returned to the Louisville winner’s circle in Section Two, guiding an impressive colt named Attache’s Infinite Charm to the blue. By the DeHarts’ Powerful Charm LCC, Infinite Charm is out of an Attache mare, hence the name. Mister Gordon Lightfoot was "The Pony Man" indeed as he earned the red ribbon for Tommy Richardson. This Gordon Lightfoot is by Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy (SA) and out of Feather Light, the dam of Pour Some Sugar On Me, Joe Fabulous, and Alicia Silverstone. All three were also Reserve World’s Champion this year!

Maisie Benfield made it two for two on the week, topping the very nice group of 8-and-Under Walk-and-Trot riders in her first year out of Academy. Cindy Boel and Renee Zubrod made the run to the winner’s circle to put the blanket of flowers on the World’s Champion of Champions. The great Pinstripe Dancer got it done again! Zack White’s rockstar tour continued, as he earned the Reserve Championship. Directed by Ray Krussell, Zack and Hello Boys got a big cheer from the crowd when their number was called.

Heartland Showboat and Megan Todd were back for more as well, winning the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving World’s Championship. Headed up by Rich Campbell, as Chuck Herbert had a horse in the next class, Showboat earned his third round of honor on the week. He was the Junior World’s Champion with owner Kelsey Herbert driving on Monday. It has been an undefeated 2009 for Heartland Showboat, seven for seven in an always tough division! Longtime veteran of the pleasure pony ranks, Seamair Dear Sir was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Rose Marie Wheeler at the lines. Always perfectly coiffed by mom Linda Fischer, assisted ably by good friend Jeffrey Fetzer, Rose Marie was the picture of elegance once again. Callisto and Mollie Kregor were third for Gail Asch, while Once Upon A Time and Kevin Berman earned a nice fourth place finish.

The Pleasure Driving Championship got off to a shaky start, as before the gate was closed, a cart had tipped over and a horse was running loose in the ring. However, everyone moved to the center, as is the correct thing to do in this kind of emergency situation, and the horse was stopped along the rail without completing a full lap. Great work by the handlers and ringmasters saved the day here. When the dust settled, Christine Broder went to work with CH Callaway’s Halley’s Comet. Long a top amateur and ladies walk-trot horse, Hoppy Bennett and Christine made the switch to the Pleasure Driving division this year, and it has been blue ribbon sailing ever since. This was their tenth victory pass of the year, and they did it in unanimous fashion. Driving hard all the way down victory lane, Broder showed that same ringmanship today that she showed in all of those past World’s Championship victories that are such a big part of Saddlebred history.

Doctor Zhivago was in the ring when the accident occurred, but with about the most savvy amateur that the world has ever seen at the helm, he wasn’t for long. Michele Macfarlane, calling on all of her coaching experience, high-tailed it out the still-open gate at a hand gallop and up the chute as the loose horse headed to the far end of the ring. It was quite possibly the smartest maneuver that Freedom Hall has ever seen, and took a whole lot of chutzpah to pull off. Once order had been restored, trainer Dena Lopez brought the beautiful black and white son of RA Hot Every Nite back to the show ring to earn the reserve tri-color after winning this class just a year ago. The third-place horse was the only other horse that got caught up in the accident. The left wheel of Linda Fischer and Open Arms’ cart got clipped by the right wheel of the loose horse’s cart as he ran by, giving her a good jolt, and sending her falling hard to her right. Remaining in the cart as Bret and Susi Day and Kendall Blue, the Grey Ridge cavalry, came running, Fischer stood in the cart holding the lines as they attended to her slightly damaged wheel. With that taken care of, the gorgeous black mare made a great performance for third. Earning the yellow ribbon for her owner, Mr. Griffin Talbot Day, who loves "Amy" above all other horses. Karrie Graham and A Cinderella Story were fourth for Karrie Graham and Dwaine Kinderknecht, under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry. Ever elegant, Karrie was decked out in aqua today.

Fourth in her qualifier in 2007, 9-Year-Old Reserve World’s Champion last year, and World’s Champion of Champions today, Clara McCool has become a superstar under the guidance of Kristen and David Cater. Teamed with the absolutely gorgeous Highpoint’s Syncopated Rhythm, McCool made a masterful performance to take top honors. Another rising star, this one from the West Coast, Natalie Robinson was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions aboard Winnepeg Parks. Directed by Anne Speck’s Rancho Del Mar, Robinson was cute as can be in her light gray suit, putting the sporty bay mare through her paces.

It was a busy morning for Rose Marie Wheeler and the Crumpler crew. After her Reserve World’s Championship with Seamair Dear Sir and her mom’s third place finish with Open Arms, Rose Marie was back once again at the lines of CH May Issue. Repeating her finish from 2008, Rose Marie was once again the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving World’s Champion of Champions. Kim Crumpler added some animation to his run to the winner’s circle, throwing in a few fist pumps to celebrate his veteran driver’s top notch performance. CH Titleist Symbol moved up a spot from his qualifier finish to take the Reserve Championship with Rachel Machamer at the helm for Sweet Pea Farms. The bay gelding was in top form today with his beautiful blonde driver.

The always exciting Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class was also split, with the Section One World’s Championship going to Blue Train, ridden by Bob Phillips for Faydelle Schott. Bred by John T. Jones, Blue Train is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of an Admiral Santana mare. Tré Lee and Bob’s wife Lyric made the assist on the round of honor. Ridgewood’s Wonderful Admiral, by Admiral’s Dixieland, was reserve for Zach Duffy and Glenda Pugh. A son of Courageous Admiral, Dixieland is the lightly bred sire of CH Red Flame Thrower as well. Bay and well built with a nice four-cornered trot, Wonderful Admiral made a sporty show for second. By Castle Bravo and out of the World’s Champion harness mare She’s Not Bad, HS Upperclassman was high in the bridle and struttin’ for Walden Bullard and Hagan Saddlebreds. Another of the Nightly Affair offspring, Nightly Love was fourth for Tiffany Wheeler and Chris and Jean Nalley. She is by Sir William Robert.

There is a reason the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited class is a "must see" for the Louisville faithful. Today, Don’t Know Nuttin’ reminded them all why. Following in the footsteps of recent greats like Call Me Regal, New York’s Perfect Gift, Marching Orders, and An Heir About Her a few years before that, Don’t Know Nuttin’ and Darrell Case whipped the crowd into a Friday morning frenzy. With a big smile on his face, Case used his bright chestnut star to perfection, letting him feed off the crowd as he bounced down the rail. It is a fun time for a stallion’s owner when a horse can come into the show ring and people all just know who his sire is. Even without knowing his name, Don’t Know Nuttin’ might as well have been wearing a sign that said, "Hi, I’m by Nutcracker." Lots of white, including all four feet and a wide but not distracting blaze, he had all the perfect highlights to his extreme athletic talent. He rounded out the Nutcracker sweep of both sections of this event. Peter Cowart had a fronty, smooth moving darker chestnut colt in Simon Birch, an entry owned by Peter and Kim Cowart, who was celebrating her 29th birthday today, not her 50th. Simon Birch is by Mountain Empire, a son of Supreme Heir out of the World’s Champion gaited mare, Royal Memories. He is out of a half sister to Music Note, by Gypsy Santana. Flirtatiously and Gary Guz were third, while Brian Chappell had a nice one in Mountjoy’s Lady President, finishing fourth for Ray Yoder.

The top three remained unchanged in the Championship round of Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure. It was once again "DT" and CH Sunken Treasure that romped down victory lane, as the High Caliber Stables crew, led by Andy Hewitt, jumped to their feet and gave them a standing ovation for their tri-color performance. Drew Taylor Hewitt put on a fantastic show once again today, as she always seems to do. Alexandra Lawson and A Cloudburst repeated their reserve finish here. This team came together quite nicely over the summer months to put on two Reserve World’s Championship performances this week. Mojo went out with the yellow ribbon again with Megan Bush Barrett looking happy to be back in the saddle. Barrett had just the one show, a win at Asheville Invitational, between her knee surgery and Louisville.

The Road Pony Under Saddle division has been the domain of Pure Country and Samantha Johnson for the past three years. Though this was the first year that the class didn’t have to be split, Pure Country kept up his winning ways, earning a third straight World’s Championship. With owner Holli McDowell heading him up in the winner’s circle, Pure Country gave a little extra celebration, but Samantha got right back on to ride off with the Louisville blue. Breanna Lukan is having about the best week ever, as she earned her third Reserve World’s Championship of the week, this one with Top Secret LF, an entry of Dr. Hank Clemmons. Jay Wood directs this team at West Wood Farm. Kailin Baechle and Rolls Royce rounded out the top three for Gary Dickherber.

With 24 eligible to show back, the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure entries took full advantage of that option. With a quick call of the gaits in the first go round that made it very clear that additional work would be coming, the judges selected a field of 11 to return to the rail. Talk about an absolutely loaded workout, these were the 11 for the second go as they were called out numerically: CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods, CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver, CH Undulata’s Jimmy Hollywood and Careen DuBuc, CH French Silk Stockings and Debbie Tomin, CH Catalyst Commander and Maguire Hall, Heart Of Steel and Marsha Jons, CH Teuschers and Travis Van Zetten, CH Tax Man and Peggy Councilman, CH The Last Straw and Kaitlin Whatley, Margaret Biggs and Sultan’s Zorba, and The Grand Master with Thea Ervin. That is a murderer’s row of talent right there. These riders were not going to go quietly either, every single one of them was gunning for the top prize, and with good reason, as they all have resumes that are about a mile long, some have even won this class previously. One team just kept pouring it on as the third and fourth directions of the ring went on. Bold, brilliant and headed to the winner’s circle as the unanimous choice of the judges, CH Tax Man brought the Kalarama team into the show ring with Peggy Councilman making the tri-color ride of a lifetime. Just to make the cut in this class was an honor, but to win it unanimously? That is a moment that will always be cherished.

CH Catalyst Commander’s victory pass from his qualifier was stuck on the video screens at the barns last night, being played over and over again. It paused in two different places along the way each time and continued in slow motion the rest of the way. The two places it paused both had this phenomenally gifted horse’s full front hoof over shoulder level. Maguire Hall’s beaming smile on that video matched the one she had today as she left the ring as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. Rounding out the top three in the Championship as the third of the three qualifier winners, CH Sweet Virginia and Barbara Woods capped off their great week together for Judd Stables. Blasting into the national spotlight last year at the Royal by winning the Park Pleasure Stake, Heart Of Steel was fourth today with Marsha Jons aboard for Wallen Central, the training home of James Wallen. CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver were fifth, with The Grand Master and Thea Ervin following in sixth. Winner in 2007, CH French Silk Stockings was seventh with Debbie Tomin, while last year’s winner, CH Teuschers, was eight with Travis Van Zetten in this unbelievable class.

Following all of that excitement was the rematch of the 13-and-Under Five-Gaited stars. All four horses came back for this one, and it was once again a knockdown dragout fight. The same class played out for Hunter Chancellor and Platinum’s New Look. As in the first class, she started slow and just built momentum as she went along, capping off another fantastic performance with a stunning rack into the lineup. But today, it was Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes and CH Sprinkles who made a slightly different performance. With one of their most poised and consistent performances together, Forbes and Sprinkles just kept coming. Rail after rail, the crowd kept pushing them to new heights. Louisville almost became an outdoor show today, as the crowd just about blew the roof off for the tiny dynamo and her spotted mount as Randy Cates ran to join his team in the winner’s circle. Charismatic and fighting to the very end, Hunter and Tonto were up for reserve. Camille Cowart and Captain Roseridge were once again third, putting on a show that would have been a blue ribbon ride in just about any other class at any other horse show.

Here is a bit of trivia that any of Tate Bennett’s friends on the popular website Facebook would be privy to: Until Section One of class 187 at the 2009 World’s Championship Horse Show, Edward R. "Hoppy" Bennett had never won a World’s Championship. Sure, he’s trained a multitude of World’s Champions, some of the very best to ever set foot in the show ring in fact. But never once in all of the years that he has been coming to the Kentucky State Fair had he ever left with that blue ribbon – plenty of reserves, never a first. Alde-Mar’s Crystal Pistol changed that today in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding. Hoppy has been involved with this colt’s life since day one. Originally registered as Undulata’s Illusion, Crystal Pistol is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of owner Janet Kellett’s longtime harness mare and World’s Champion, CH Crystal Illusion. Tate Bennett, who let us know that she was sad to not be able to be here for her dad’s big day, couldn’t be prouder of this breakthrough win. Nelson Green, who does have a few World’s Championships under his belt at this point, was reserve with Brookhill’s Who’s Your Daddy. By CH Harlem Town and out of The Lady Lu Lu BH, Who’s Your Daddy is a full brother to Amateur Park Mare winner, Samantha Jones, putting the nine-year-old mare, Lu Lu, one Reserve World’s Champion offspring away from the Broodmare Hall of Fame! Frank and Iris James are the proud owners of this one.

With six in the first section and a total of five in the second, the splitting of classes continues to be a problem. However, as it must be noted, there were five horses listed on the class sheets that did not show. So instead of having 16 total horses, it dropped down to 11. A group of 16 two-year-olds in harness spells danger. A group of six and then a group of five seems a bit much, but a show can only be run off of the information provided to them by the exhibitors and trainers. If 16 say they are going to show (or more appropriately but with a double negative, don’t say they are not going to show), then safety takes center stage as it always should. The class is split.

However, the Nutcracker team certainly didn’t mind, as they swept yet another set of splits of a two-year-old class. Military Secret is another son of Undulata’s Nutcracker with that characteristic big trot and loads of charisma. He is out of an Adriatic mare, which brings owner Carl T. Fischer Jr. into the picture as well as trainer Peter Palmer, two men closely associated with Adriatic and his offspring. Debuting to a blue at Rock Creek in June, Military Secret wowed the crowd just a few miles to the west this time in Freedom Hall. John Conatser debuted Work It to the red ribbon for Kenny and Ceil Wheeler. By Castle Bravo, Work It is out of a Titleist mare, a full sister CH Titleist Symbol.

With little Charles Gassen back in the cart, you would think there is no way that the little ball of power that is Cappuccino could have any clue that he is back there. But then you watch this dude take over at the lines and get to work! Always in perfect control, Gassen has become a much better driver as the year has progressed, though he is still almost literally a lifetime away from getting his driver’s license. He got another huge pop from the crowd today as he raced dad Steve Gassen to the winner’s circle for grandma Brenda Kelly. Kirstie Buerkley and Heartland Wonderful Miss were once again reserve for Creekridge LLC under the Majestic Oaks banner. The pretty bay pony really went to work at speed, with Buerkley’s Majestic Oaks green-and-white silks on proud display. Big Tony Wuesthofen and The Wizard LF were third for Glenn A. Werry Jr.

With 14 slated for the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Mare class, the split line wasn’t quite reached, and of course where the stallions and geldings scratched or didn’t show, all of the mares came piling into Freedom Hall. Surviving a very scary moment in which one of his lines broke down at the far end of the ring, Todd Graham managed to get Caroline Brackenridge stopped with the assistance of ringmaster Kent Moeller, who was first on the scene. After the type of patching job that can happen in the show ring, they went back to the rail, survived some more fireworks, and then headed to the winner’s circle as the fantastic winners of this big class. By Callaway’s Guy Park, an up and coming stallion by Callaway’s Blue Norther and sporting two Broodmare Hall of Famers, Sweet Sachet and Town Flower on his bottom line, Caroline Brackenridge is out of Callaway’s Caroline Jackson, a Callaway’s Full Power mare. Bright and airy, she was the best of the bunch in this one. With a name befitting a filly, If The Tiara Fits was quite the princess in reserve, getting good crowd support as many of George Knight’s young stock always seem to do. Owned by Knight and Kim Skipton, she is by Such A Salesman, a son of CH Man On The Town. She is out of Princess Shalimar, a Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Champion with Skipton. James Wallen was back with a good one in third as he drove Kalarama’s Too Hot To Handle to the yellow for Rosemarie Pelfrey. The bay filly is by the gorgeous black stallion Exalted Effect and out of Fever, by War Image (SA) and out of the Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Hollywood Excellence.

Heartland Rough And Ready was certainly ready for more, as he topped the Junior Hackney Pony Championship with Maureen Lydon Campbell driving for Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman. Completing the pony power package atop this class was Majestic Oaks teammate Holli McDowell at the lines of Heartland Spindazzle as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Sandra Surber. Both Heartland-bred stars are by Heartland-bred stallions, Heartland Victory for Rough And Ready, and Heartland Code Of Honor for Spindazzle.

With mouth agape, Alice Rowland rode to the winner’s circle for the second time this week aboard Callaway’s Winning Number, the 13-and-Under Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions. With a ton of motion for a country pleasure horse, Winning Number’s winning number brought Missy Hughes to the far end of the ring as the Ever Glades Farm trainer. Bright and fixy, Winning Number really stood out in this deep field. Maya Manilow earned a second Reserve World’s Championship on the week with "Danny," CH CF First Light Of Dawn. Junior Exhibitor Champions at Midwest, this was a repeat finish from 2008 for this veteran team. Section One qualifier winners Uwharrie’s Patriot Sage and Laura Plant were third for Tom and Patsy Plant, while Haunting and Holly Hein were fourth after a Reserve World’s Championship on Tuesday.

Making a big comeback drive, Erik Kirsch piloted Regal’s Dreamboy LF to the Junior Road Pony World’s Championship after finishing third in the Three-Year-Old qualifier. It was a tri-color time to shine on the biggest stage in the business, and the Light Farms trainer put it all on the line today for Dan and Leah Light. He cruised down victory lane with the Dun-Haven Regal Attraction son, who is out of a mare by the great Cherry’s Dream Boy. Mark Wilson also made a huge leap from his qualifier with Outside The Lines, jumping up to earn the Reserve World’s Championship here. By Twin Willow’s McMillan and out of the Vindicator mare, Juliana, Outside The Lines is owned by Michael Furrie. Twin Willow’s McDreamy and Doc Raun were third for Deborah Jahn.

More Money certainly added to the propriety of his name today, as he certainly increased his price tag with a show capping performance as the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited World’s Champion. It was a great day for all sorts of Darells, as owner Darell Cruse was up for the winning ride. This was the third Darell with three different spellings to grace the Louisville winner’s circle today, as Darrell Case, Darrel Kolkman, and Darell Cruse all made their visits to that hallowed ground in this performance. By Buck’s Co-Star, More Money is out of the twice a World’s Champion gaited mare, CH Take My Picture. She was shown to her titles by Kris Knight and David Rudder. Another owner/rider, Tommy Richardson, was reserve with Mister Hyde. Slick as can be, this one was probably racking before he even hit the ground. He is by the gaited stud Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy (SA) and out of City Talk. She is double-bred Yorktown, by CH The Talk Of The Town and out of Around The Town.

Friday night is traditionally one of the longest, with the retirement of CH Tigerlee as one of the special highlights, along with the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Championship sending the crowd out on a high note as always.

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