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Louisville - Friday Evening

Friday Evening

The countdown to the big dance continued with Friday evening’s session. It was a night of history-making classes and some of that history was good and some not so good.


This round of competition began with the finals of the ASR Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity. Nine entries were selected from the two preliminary rounds to come back for the actual class. It was a class of exceptional quality and as it turned out, the top three were all out of grand show mares.


The sensation of Midwest Charity, Glenview’s Excelalante! (Designed x Tra La La) was just as excellent on the green shavings. This time he was driven to the unanimous decision by new trainer Chuck Herbert for owners Martha Schriver and Edward Elliott Jr. The winning team collected $12,897 for their efforts. With a paycheck of $6,449, A Whole Different Story (Callaway’s Blue Norther x That’s My Story) was the reserve world’s champion with Debbie Foley showing for Silver Brook Stables. Next in line for a prize in this extremely deep class was Rain (I’m A New Yorker x Dancing Up A Storm LCC), an entry owned and shown by Kathy Capsuto. Capsuto also owned the fourth place finisher, Kalarama’s Star Bright, driven by Dena Lopez.


Friday night’s 22-entry Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship was arguably the deepest and toughest class of the entire week ranking right up there with the Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding class. It was truly an all-star cast of Who’s Who performers as this division has more than earned its way to a prime time slot on the Louisville schedule.


When the work had been completed, Luanne Kilday and CH A Step Of Time were called to the winner’s circle as the World’s Champion of Champions for the third consecutive year. They earned two of the three top votes to collect their tenth world’s champion title. A world’s champion in harness last year, Lady Maya was the reserve world’s champion of champions with Barbara Goodman Manilow in the irons.


Lexington Junior League’s Amateur Park Grand Champions Kaitlyn Grom and Perfect Vengeance, who also had a first place vote, followed Lady Maya. The remaining ribbons went to CH Undulata's Jimmy Hollywood, Princess Ruby Begonia, Kalarama Co-Ed, CH The Foxy Prince, and Ya-Ya.


It was disappointing to move from a 22-horse championship to a five-entry pony championship, but that’s the way it was for the Amateur Harness Pony Championship. There was plenty of talent at the top of this class as Lexington’s amateur grand champion Shake Don’t Stir marched to the winner’s circle with three first place votes behind her. Mary Gaylord McClean’s winning drive retired the Nanci E. Knox Memorial Challenge Trophy for Golden Creek Farms. Rudy Lewis drove the extremely gifted Seamair Sensation to the reserve tricolor for Majestic Oaks.


The action immediately picked back up with 16 entries in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14-17 Championship. Again, this was a class filled with horses and riders who had been winning all season long in their respective areas of the country, but if your name wasn’t Ali, you didn’t get one of the top two prizes.


With all of this talent in front of them, two of the three judges gave Ali DeGray and CH Tigerlee their second world’s champion of champions title in as many years. The big, bay horse was a standout again. Knocking on the door with a grand show themselves, Ali Judah and Divine Renaissance proudly left the ring as the reserve world’s champion of champions. Always popular with the crowd, Will Harris and She’s Bedazzled ADW didn’t let the girls run away with all the top ribbons or top votes as they collected the yellow streamers and a first place vote. Cydni Simmons and the gray star, Catch The Moon, had a fourth place finish ahead of Leatherwood’s Hat’s Off, Callaway’s Cover Page, Callaway’s Independence Day, and Fiesta Fling.


Friday night, August 25, 2006 was an evening in Saddle Horse history that I’m sure Lee Roby, Garland Bradshaw, nor Earl Teater would have ever imagined happening, but the World’s Championship Horse Show has evolved with the rest of the Saddle Horse industry. Country Western Pleasure horses were in Freedom Hall for a prime time spot and 16 entries graced the famed ring for their Invitational Championship.


A couple of afternoons earlier the qualifier was held for the 16 who had been invited on the bases of their records during the 2005-06 seasons. Now it was time to crown the first-ever world’s champion of champions. With two of the three first place votes and one reserve vote, CH Fiasco (Chubasco x Gift Certificate) and Douglas Glick loped to the winner’s circle where they were greeted by trainer Michael Craghead. Also from the west coast, Catherine Gallo and Presley jogged out with the reserve world’s champion of champions title.


Continuing down the line, In Your Honor and Autumn Hunt collected the yellow streamers ahead of qualifying winner The American Flag, CH A Magic Surprise, Kansas City, Monsignor, and Fame’s Favor.


The look on young Nathan Stein’s face when he was called out the winner of the 12-entry Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 13 & Under World’s Championship was priceless to say the least. Grinning from ear to ear and mouthing words to himself all the way to the winner’s circle and all the way out of the ring during the victory pass, it is safe to say his experience aboard the Bruce Milligan family’s Callaway’s Buttons and Bows will stay with him a lifetime. Rob and Sarah Byers put this special combination together.


How many times have you seen two young men top a junior exhibitor class? Well, that was the case on this Friday evening as Andrew Slater and Tantalize Me LCC represented Northern Tradition Farm as the reserve world’s champion of champions. Qualifying winner of Sec. I, Callaway’s Sunday Edit was one of three different horses to receive a first place vote and he finished third with Morgan Brison in the saddle under the direction of her parents, Bob and Tonya Brison.


Several top horses left the ring with a ribbon in this junior exhibitor championship but those who did included Tipitina, CH The Showstopper, Like A Rocket, Sacre Bleu, and Americana’s Wings.


The next class was the one that created history that wasn’t pleasingly memorable, especially for those owning and taking care of the top three winners in the Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship. It was a 10-horse class filled with household names and veteran drivers. Following the first round, judges Judd, Miller and Crabtree sent three of the 10 back to the rail and asked that a handler for each of the remaining seven come into the ring and stay with their horse during the workout. Despite the handlers, some of the idled speedsters had trouble containing their nervous energy, as one might expect.


Back to the rail went Spill The Ink and William Shatner, Dirt Devil and Deborah Butler, and last year’s world’s champion of champions Kentucky Wildcat with Jon Dabareiner. Round and round they went with shavings flying in the turns and dust clouds left behind in the straightaways.


The crowd applauded the performance given by the three, but little did they know they were going to get to see it again. The judge’s cards indicated a natural three-way tie with each judge having a different horse first second and third and that dictated that the three go back to the rail for yet a third time. Before they did, however, the judges tied fourth through eighth and got the rest of the class out of the ring before an accident could occur with the horses standing in the middle.


Announcer Peter Fenton commented that this had never happened in the history of the show and that the caretakers would be walking these horses til midnight. This time when the cards came in the number 1685 was straight across the top. That number belonged to the reigning world’s champion of champions Kentucky Wildcat and Jon Dabareiner. Trained by Ronnie Graham at Fish N Fun Farm, Kentucky Wildcat kept it turned on throughout each round to take the title for a second time. One of the Fish N Fun caretakers, Larry Bush, got caught up in the moment and much to the amusement of the crowd, stopped to take his own bow and waved to the audience before exiting the ring behind the newly crowned champions.


Two of the three second place votes were awarded to William Shatner and Spill The Ink, with Deborah Butler and Dirt Devil in third. Each of the top three entries had also won their respective qualifiers.


The story continued for the ever-growing legend known as CH Blackberry Delight. Since current owner/rider Rachel Machamer had moved into the 14-17 age group, he was vying for a world’s champion of champions title in his sixth different division. There simply was no stopping them as the Hollow Haven team earned all three first place votes and a tremendous ovation. The judges varied their thoughts greatly on the remaining ribbon winners, the first of which was reserve world’s champion of champions Wee Pee’s Storm. Julie DeVault turned in a good ride while representing Tomin Stables.


From the state of Missouri, Scott Pisarik guided CH Steel In Love to a third place finish, just ahead of Rachel Singer and I’m Bewitched. Also in the ribbons were Chelsea Patterson and Stonecroft Front and Center, Kristen Thomas and Cabernet’s Will Command, Sarah Wood and Attaché’s Touched By An Angel and Brittany Kale with CH Heart Of Blue.


It was a battle to take a top ribbon in the 10-horse Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Championship. There wasn’t much room for error as the seasoned teams were right on the money and it started with Barbara Goodman Manilow and CH Callaway’s Sugarplum (Callaway’s Blue Norther x Callaway’s Razzberries), unanimous winners of the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Championship for the third consecutive year. Reserve world’s champion of champions Rosemarie Fernandez and CH Pas de Deux were also unanimous on the card.


Having a great week with several different horses, Deborah Visser was third in the ladies amateur championship with Sheba’s Charm, followed by Deveau Zubrod catch-riding A Goodnight Kiss to a fourth place finish for Daysha Beasley. MJB High Fire, CH Sold Out Show, Highland Cavalier, and Up Close & Personal also earned ribbons from the championship.


Fourteen gaited pleasure horses with a list of 2006 wins a mile long entered the ring next for their adult championship. Always popular with the crowd, the energetic and colorful Sprinkles recaptured a title she had last won in 2003. Owner/breeder Michele Macfarlane was again riding the daughter of Chubasco and Faraway Belle. The Heir To Champagne son, Champagne Treat, was the reserve world’s champion of champions with Deborah Visser, just ahead of last year’s champions Stonewall’s Stargate and Patrice Watson.


Christy Bennett has had a successful first season in the adult ranks and she finished fourth with her always-charging The Champagne Tiger. Meet Your Match, Double Platinum, Child Of The Times and Callaway’s English Toffee rounded out the ribbon winners.


As evidence of an industry changing more and more towards the amateur rider/driver two years ago Ceil Wheeler was the first amateur to win the Junior Three-Gaited Championship. This year Mary Gaylord McClean became the first amateur to win the Junior Five-Gaited Championship.


According To Lynn (Callaway’s Born To Win x Carol Lynn) has loved Freedom Hall since she was a two-year-old with Tre Lee and the crowd has always loved her. Now with owner/breeder Mary Gaylord McClean in the irons showing against the top professionals in the business, she really had her work cut out for her.


Using ringmanship acquired over years against the very best amateur and lady riders the industry has ever seen, McClean guided her breathtaking mare to a unanimous decision under the direction of Rob and Sarah Byers. The Junior Five-Gaited Championship was held this year in memory of the recently deceased Randy Tabor who had bred many of our industry’s young champions. The reserve world’s champion of champions, Platinum’s New Look was one of them, as was third place finisher Linkin Park. Smith Lilly and Todd Miles were the respective riders.


There was absolutely no shortage of talent in this junior championship as Bill Waller and the expressive I’m Royalty Too finished in fourth before being sold to Rosemarie Fernandez. Fifth place went to the ground-covering Stonecroft Sundial shown by Bo Lucas. It was announced that Donna Moore was the new owner of Heck Newton’s former entry.


Horses with winning records in 2006 also took the last few ribbons. Those entries included Callaway’s Winning Ways, Keep Me Posted and I’m Something Wicked.


As soon as McClean and According To Lynn finished their victory pass she jumped off and sprinted back to railside as husband Jeff was one of the drivers in the 10-pony Amateur Road Pony Championship. The list of champions competing for the world’s champion of champions title was stunning. There had better have been high test in the tank if you were going to compete on this night.


Coming from the winner’s circle of the open world’s grand championship in 2005, Calvin Hobbs returned this year to wear the roses as the Amateur Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions with Mary Gise on the lines for Priscilla Gise and trainers Andy and Lynda Freseth. This speedster never misses a beat while changing gears to overdrive.


Wearing the roses last year, Heartland Production marched off with the reserve world’s champion of champions title, this time with Jeff McClean in the bike for Golden Creek Farms. No strangers to the top, Mike Schallock and Seamair Strutter were right in the mix to take home third place honors ahead of Elise Johnson and the popular Old Memories. Cindy Ireland and Wait & See’s Rio Lobo gained a lot of fans as they finished in fifth. Heartland Victory Maker, Buckwheat, and Thunderation were also in the money.


Friday night’s session came to a close with the 12-horse Ladies’ Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and as all of the classes had been this evening, it was filled with household names from top to bottom. It turned out to be another magical night for Barbara Goodman Manilow as her black powerhouse Boo! commanded all three first place votes to be named the world’s champion of champions for the second consecutive year. The Dick Obenauf-trained team was right on the money to withstand charges from several contenders including the new team of Kaitlyn Grom and Whimsicality. Under the direction of Mike Richardson at Revelation Farm, this beautiful five-year-old mare will have to be reckoned with for years to come.


Also turning in a superb show in this final class of the evening, the multi-titled Callaway’s Kit Carson finished third for owner/rider Susan Shepherd. Emily Hess Levine guided her Caramac’s Bogart to a fourth place ribbon as they were followed by Catamaran and Laurel Nelson, Already Famous with Luanne Kilday, Ima Star-Buck and Julie Burmeister and Kelly Theis Williamson aboard CH Hank Heiron.

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