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Louisville - Friday Evening

Let’s get this out there right off the bat. Tonight belonged to Faydelle Schott. There were many wonderful performances made tonight, many memories made, and many World’s Champions crowned, but nobody will forget Faydelle. The Amateur Hackney Pony Championship came to the ring with a phenomenal cast of characters, gaining steam as it went. The crowd loves Miss Faydelle. And how could you not? At 85 years of age, she came to Louisville for the first time to show. She was never going to do it, feeling that she wasn’t quite ready for it, but trainer Bob Phillips worked and worked to convince her. We all know now how those discussions turned out, and Faydelle Schott was twice crowned a World’s Champion this week with CH Heartland Fortune Maker. The crowd went absolutely ballistic. A huge smile came over Faydelle’s face. The remarkable pony strutted down to the winner’s circle. Louisville made yet another lifetime memory. The greatest part came on her victory pass, where Faydelle came down the rail toward the gate, with everyone thinking she was making one pass and heading out the gate. Howie Schatzberg and Doug Shiflet started going through their pictures as they do after every class is complete… And then Faydelle turned short of the gate and went for another lap. The crowd that was loud before went to a whole new level. It was deafening. Everyone on the rail was yelling encouragement to her as she drove by, and Faydelle Schott, 85 years young and showing at Louisville for the first time… Cried tears of joy. There isn’t a better story than that.

It has been five years since another pony has left as the winner of the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship. For the last four Louisvilles it has been Seamair Simply Awesome and John Wrather claiming this tricolor. They won seven straight classes in Freedom Hall, and it took an incredible, timeless performance to beat them. They left the ring as Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Charlotte Wrather and trainer Janet Crampton. They haven’t been anything but first or reserve on the green shavings, placing reserve twice here in 2007 in their debut season. Heartland Rough And Ready and Toni Nastali made a high-headed, strutting show in third for Majestic Oaks, followed in fourth by On The Mark and Karen Waldron for Bent Tree Farm.

James Sigmon saved his first Louisville victory pass for the Friday night stage, winning the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship with CH Brookhill’s Periday. This was Periday’s second win here, as he was the Open Park Champion in 2008. James and Periday have become quite the team over their three seasons together, culminating with this tricolor round of honor. Mike and Kathy Barlow joined their charge down in the winner’s circle. Periday is by Periaptor and out of the phenomenal producer, CH It’s A Beautiful Day (BHF), the dam of CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool, CH She’s My Desire BH, and Brookhill’s Glam Slam. Last year’s open champion was up for the reserve tricolor in the amateur ranks. This was Imperiaptor, with Laurel Nelson showing under the direction of Mitch Clark. Periaptor swept the top two prizes here, with this one being out of UF Playboy’s Debutante. Third in their qualifier, they really stepped up tonight to take a great prize. Another former tricolor wearer, CH Doctor Zhivago, was third tonight with Maguire Hall. They have taken the top prize in this one for the last two years, following their same routine of showing back even stronger than they do in the qualifier. I’m A Skywatcher and Rachel Seifert captured another nice ribbon in fourth.

Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan made history repeat itself in the Amateur Harness Pony Championship as the jet black pony trimmed in white took a second World’s Championship of the week and second win in a row in this class. By Twin Willow’s McMillan and out of the Vindicator mare, Twin Willow’s Arianna, Handsome Dan was driven by Jeff McClean for Golden Creek Farms. Jeff did his usual move when he is pleased with the way the class comes down here in Freedom Hall, with the big smile creeping across his face as he reaches for his driving whip and heads down to the familiar far end. Crystal Creek Farm and Majestic Oaks both figured into the next two placings, with Kathryn Nichols grabbing the reserve title with CH Dun-Haven Phenomenal. The 2009 Harness Pony World’s Grand Champion made an even better drive than in the qualifier to claim this prize. Phenomenal burst onto the scene to celebrity status in 2007 and has never looked back. Linda Fischer drove to third with CH Crystal Creek’s Commander, also trained by Majestic Oaks and formerly owned by Crystal Creek. Now owned by Sandra Surber, Commander was reserve in this class in 2010, winning the Amateur Ladies qualifier that year. Majestic Oaks was there again in fourth with Impress My Daddy. Patrice Watson O’Brien looked lovely as always, driving for Gaeton Lorino.

The 14-17 riders were up next for their Five-Gaited Championship. Wearing the tricolor in Freedom Hall for the third time, CH Platinum’s New Look was the top choice with Hunter Chancellor up for Steven Chancellor and DeLovely. Tonto has delighted crowds here for a long time, winning his first World’s Championship with Smith Lilly as the 2006 Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding winner. The following year, it was Kim Cowart getting the catch ride to win the ladies gelding qualifier. Hunter took over from there, when she was just a mighty mite, and the rest is history. Their Louisville record reads thusly: eight World’s Championships, two Reserve World’s Championships, and nothing beneath that. Ever. The two qualifier winners took the top two prizes, as CH I’m Something Wicked was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, completing a phenomenal day for McGee Bosworth. Trained by High Caliber Stables, I’m Something Wicked has made a heck of a combination with McGee in this their first season. McGee was the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Champion earlier today with CH Sunken Treasure. Last year’s County Fair Five-Gaited Champion was third, as Callaway’s Born To Ride took that honor with Camille Cowart. Thunderstorm Warning and Tyler DeVore earned fourth for Tammy and Tyler DeVore.

It was Winsdown Edgecliff as the tricolor bearer for the Western Country Pleasure division. This winning at Louisville is becoming old hat for trainer Tara Wentz Goosley and rider Cassi Wentz, but they still looked like Christmas had come early as they headed to the winner’s circle for the second time this week. By Winsdown Hi-Octane, Edgecliff is out of Holiday Dazzle. It was this same Cassi Wentz who rode Lover’s Heir to a Show Pleasure World’s Championship in the 12-13 division back in 2001. The 2010 World’s Champion Of Champions, Buttoned Down, was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for the second straight year with Grace Arnold. Another top prize earner on the night for sire Periaptor, he is out of Bet Your Buttons, by Merchant Prince. Jim Cherry trains this one. CH America’s Lass teamed with Lindsay Sowell for third for Suzanne Bradshaw, followed by O Ain’t I Somethin’ and Luanne Kilday Malone.

A year ago, this next story might have been thought to be fiction, as Bubble Bath was finding his was as an open horse with Merrill Murray, taking the reserve championship at Lexington and the Kentucky County Fair Three-Gaited Championship here in Freedom Hall. The talent was there, he just needed the right fit. Enter Mary and Evan Orr. They selected the son of Adriatic for Tom and Patsy Plant’s daughter, Laura. With all the hard work that High Caliber is known for, the team came together over the winter and debuted with two reserves at Raleigh. Tri-colors streamed after that from J.D. Massey, Roanoke, and Blue Ridge. After the qualifier win on Monday, the stage was set, and Bubble Bath and Laura emerged as the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions. In just her second class with the horse, Caroline Rainbolt Forbes made a remarkable show aboard Watermark’s Kiss For Luck to take the reserve title back to DeLovely for Rainbow Princess Farms. Twice reserve at Lexington in amateur competition, Kiss For Luck is by Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of a Catalyst mare. Harriet Townsend got a nice salute from the crowd in third aboard the timeless CH An Heir About Her for Ever Glades Farm. CH Heathermoor’s Prince and Emma Sanchez made some phenomenal passes in fourth for grandmother Sharyn Lackey and West Wind Stables.

Completing an undefeated campaign to Freedom Hall, Regal’s Lightning Strike LF took a Friday night victory pass this year as the Amateur Road Pony World’s Champion of Champions with Mary Gaylord McClean. The Golden Creek Farms entry was a longtime star for Josh Greer, culminating in his World’s Grand Championship last year on Saturday night. Now directed by Tom Lowry, Lightning Strike continues to shine, winning at Midwest, Lexington, Shelbyville, and now twice more in Freedom Hall. Meredithe Steinhauer had her dream come true moment earlier this week, with tonight being all business with Thunderation. She and Mary about came together at one point second way as they swept down the rail together. Trained by Majestic Oaks, they pushed hard as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with a sparkling show in black and gold. Janel Scott earned a great prize in third with Heartland Showin’ Off, followed by CH Albert Kaponey and Elly Berman in fourth from Bluebonnet.

It was The Mouse in the Big House tonight, as Hannah Houske continued a dream week on the green shavings with a victory pass in the 14-17 Three-Gaited World’s Championship. The now two-time World’s Champion of Champions was called out as the unanimous winner, directed to this honor once again by Milo Jones, their third win of the week. Forget coming to save the day, Mighty Mouse has come to save the year, going undefeated on his way to this tricolor honor. CH I’m McDreamy was right on tonight, picking up a Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title for the fourth time in his storied career. Five times a winner in Freedom Hall, McDreamy teamed once again with Hunter Chancellor for Steven Chancellor and DeLovely. It was be difficult to find a more brilliant performer, always looking bright and flashy. Karly Morgan and Kentucky Proud are an up and coming team in this division for Mercer Springs. They picked up the yellow ribbon in third. Dakota Reiser was fourth aboard A Sweet Inspiration for Carolyn Stuart.

Lionel Ferreira continued a grand week on the green shavings for Monnington Farm, winning the ASR Three-Year-Old Fine Harness National Futurity with HS Baby Steps for Ashlyn Farms. A Reserve World’s Champion a year ago in harness, Baby Steps was a stunner at Midwest in winning the UPHA Fine Harness Classic. She is one that is fast to point out there are more mares than the incomparable A Daydream Believer in the Hagan Saddlebreds broodmare band! This one is by Sir William Robert and out of I Am The Dream. Oh but wait! That’s a full sister to Daydream Believer. Baby Steps has every bit of that now famous imprint of such a remarkable bottom line, hinging up with all kinds of curve and presence. Georgia Bulmer Ferreira gave Lionel a little kiss on the green shavings as they waited for their victory pass with the dark chestnut. Bump In The Night has now finished with a Reserve World’s Championship in all three of the years she has shown here. The daughter of At Night and CF Chief’s Happy Days was reserve in hand as a yearling and in harness a year ago. She was reserve tonight with Pedro Martinez at the lines for Blythewood Farms. Renaissance Man’s Medici earned third with Tiffany Wheeler driving for Bill and Elizabeth Shatner. He is by the Shatners’ Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man and out of a General Steel mare. Talk Is Money and Dena Lopez were fourth for Double D Ranch. Talk Is Money is a full brother to Let’s Talk.

The Amateur Ladies Three-Gaited crown went back to DeLovely with CH A Travelin’ Man and Ashley Wilson. Sired by Tornaado and out of Travelin’, Travelin’ Man has been one of the grandest show horses of recent memory. Only two times in his remarkable career has he ever left with anything with the top prize. Both of those times, he was reserve. Those two reserves came back to back actually. One was in the Fine Harness World’s Grand Championship, and the other was the next spring when he and Ashley showed together for the first time. That’s it. The other 42 times he’s shown, he’s won. CH His Supreme Reflection has been simply marvelous this season, his first under the direction of Nelson Green. The entry of Kimberly Jones hit the ring as always with the lovely and talented Jacqueline Manzo. Over 2 World’s Champion on Monday, they were a picture of Ladies perfection tonight as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. Mesmerizing and Vicki Reed got a prize worth celebrating in third for A.J. Bruwer Stables, while Glenview’s Excelalante and Barbara Goodman Manilow were fourth for Charles Goodman and Skyline Stables.

Tammy DeVore has had a tremendous week from her base in the North Wing of Freedom Hall. She guided Cece Hagan and Billy Deluxe to the Five-Gaited Pleasure World’s Championship for the second straight year. They always seem to just rise to the top on this stage, winning their qualifier on Tuesday as well. Cece made a couple passes that were absolutely smokin’ tonight, as she cruised to this highest of honors. Alexis Braswell and Fort Chiswell’s The It Girl were reserve for the second time this week, taking that second place ribbon for Little Cahaba Properties and West Wind Stables. This was their fourth straight reserve win, taking those prizes at Roanoke as well. The It Girl is by Mountain Empire and out of SNM She’s So Beautiful. CH Callaway’s Kit Carson and Susan Shepherd earned third place honors. They were winners in their qualifier earlier this week. Take It From The Top and Katy Sterba made a wonderful ride in fourth for Jeff and Janet Sterba and Mercer Springs.

A celebrity has been made. But he don’t care! He’s the Honey Badger! While Honey Badger and Matt Shiflet made an awesome show on Monday night to grab their split of the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding qualifier, the crowd had not fully arrived yet for the week. Now that we have reached Friday night, it’s getting serious. The stands are full, and the folks are looking for something to get behind. They found it right here, as they always seem to with Matt Shiflet. Unassuming and a Southern Gentleman off a horse, Matthew turns into his own version of the honey badger when he mounts up. He becomes an unbelievably charismatic entity, but without going overboard to the neighborhood of “showing off.” He just puts on a show. He swept to a unanimous Junior Five-Gaited World’s Championship tonight for Chris and Andrea Athanasuleas. While the crowd went wild for him as he finished his second way rack, they really lit him up when he headed down to the far end. He was greeted there by his new bride, Whitney Shiflet, dressed most all in white once again.

Memories Of Cabo was reserve for the second time this week, earning this title with Peter Cowart aboard for Caitlin Leith. By Desert’s Supreme Memories, he is out of Kalarama’s My Heart, by Harlem Globetrotter. Junior champion at Lexington, Memories Of Cabo has made big strides even since then, really stomping out a rhythm here on Friday night. One Class Act and Nelson Green were up for third for Hagan Saddlebreds, with Simbara’s Cup Of Sugar fourth with A.J. Bruwer for Vicki Reed.

With just three entries in the Amateur Roadster to Bike Championship, there was plenty of room to maneuver. William Shatner used all of it, and did it in his usual high style. He looks so absolutely overjoyed while driving Thunderbolt that the crowd reacts accordingly. Once he came to lineup, each section of the crowd saluted him. And well they should. He made an absolutely incredible drive tonight under the direction of Raymond Shively. You want to talk about that moment when you seize victory? That came at speed in this one, at the very end of the class. Bill was trailing the defending World’s Champion of Champions, Mr’s Bones and Charlie Jones, coming into the gate corner, he came out of the corner on the inside and blasted down the rail, jetting pass the wonderful champion and causing him to break gait. He earned a tricolor round of honor tonight with a magnificent performance. Cosmical was all hinged up and speeding off by himself in reserve for the second time this week. Jon Dabareiner does the driving. He made his case for a top prize with some spectacular passes. Charlie Jones and Mr’s Bones got the salute that they are absolutely due as they picked up their third place prize.

Laura Elliott and the Autumn Hills crew continued their incredible run with Break On Through, as they captured the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Championship for the second straight year. “Jimmy” just oozes athleticism. He was on fire tonight, rocketing down the straightaways in that head high, ears up style that has now earned him four Louisville rounds of honor. The gray mare was right on top of her game tonight, as Jacqueline Beck piloted her to the reserve title for the Williams Family Trust and Visser Stables. Winner of the Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Mare class, Divine Asset is by Attache’s Royal Assets and out of a Steppin’ Stuff mare. She made one of her best shows to date to claim this great prize. Elizabeth Shatner didn’t get to see her husband’s rock star performance with Thunderbolt, but he got to see her show Belle Reve’s So Photogenic to third place honors for the Grey Ridge banner. Photo and Liz have really been a remarkable team, coming together quickly in their third show together. I’m Royalty Too and Brittany McGinnis made a strong and consistent show in fourth for Fish Creek Stables and DeLovely. 

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