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Louisville - Friday Evening

A traditionalist would look at the Friday night schedule and say, “Harumph! Why would they put a ladies class last instead of the junior stake? That’s terrible!” And after the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Championship, they would be extremely apologetic for ever having that opinion. If you want to talk about a knockdown, dragout, no holds barred barnburner, then look no further than this. If you want to be the class that everyone talks about on their way home, you have to have “Moments” with a capital M. Man oh man did this one have those. The boys and girls of the Saturday night finale will have to go a long way to put out more effort than these ladies expended in the Friday night sendoff. It has been five years now since Nancy Leigh Fisher has draped a blanket of flowers over a horse’s shoulders. That time, it was Heavenly Thunder as the Ladies Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions. Tonight, she hit the ring with the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion, My Wonder. Nancy Leigh rode the first direction of this class like she could smell those flowers. “Take no prisoners” does not do justice to the way Nancy Leigh rode this class. She rode it with attitude. She rode it like she was the one to beat. She rode it like everybody else was just going to bounce off of her. And they did. There were multiple passes in this class that had two many-times world’s champion lady riders knocking stirrups going down the rail. Hey traditionalists, this one was Old School. There were even multiple staredowns! In a ladies class! It was awesome. Pure awesome.

CH My Wonder looked like he wanted another blanket of flowers as well. The Ladies World’s Champion of Champions in 2012, he took this Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Championship tonight back to Hollow Haven Farm. Also the champions at Blue Ridge in the ladies ranks, My Wonder put forth all of the heart and determination you could ever ask of a horse. By My Only Son, he is out of Callaway’s Kit & Caboodle, the dam of World’s Champion Callaway’s Kit Carson. Keeping to herself and making maybe her best ride yet, Andrea Athanasuleas was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with the celebrated Honey Badger. Andrea didn’t care about duking it out with the rest of them, she just wanted to make a bigtime show. She did just that to score a big prize for Matt Shiflet Stables. This was the same order of finish in the qualifier, as Honey Badger was the Reserve World’s Champion there as well. The Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion a year ago, Honey Badger has that high, climbing style that never gets old. Barbara Goodman Manilow and My Rosalita were a good third here, with mare winner CH Divine Asset and Jacqueline Beck getting a white ribbon for the white horse and Visser Stables.

Joel Brown showed for Lanny Judd and Lanny Judd showed for Joel Brown, as Spiff And Polish and Wait & See’s Reality were crowned Hackney Pairs World’s Champions in the division’s return to Freedom Hall. Gifted Love and Inkspot were the Reserve World’s Champions to open up the Friday evening session.

A year ago, At Your Best was a World’s Champion here in the Yearling Breeders Open. Now with a lot more leather attached, he is once again a World’s Champion as the unanimous winner of the ASR Kentucky Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity, shown tonight by Pedro Martinez in the final round of this event. Owned and bred by Blythewood, the chestnut with a bouncing park trot is by At Night and out of CF Hot Night Out, one of Blythewood’s Broodmare Hall of Famers. She is by the signature Blythewood stallion CF First Night Out and out of another Hall of Fame mare, Callaway’s Coronet, dam of World’s Grand Champion Yes It’s True. It was a Nutcracker in reserve, as Katharine The Great earned that prize with Nelson Green at the lines. An entry of Newline Saddle Horse Stud, Katharine The Great is out of a long line of Katharines. Her dam is Katharine’s Perfect Night and her second dam is Katharine’s Perfect Gift. She got a good pop from the crowd when her number was called as the reserve winner, with Nelson making a bouncy little animated walk pass out of the ring with the filly’s neck rocked way back past the vertical. Magic City and Danny Lockhart were third for David Rudder, with HS I’m A Dreamer getting a good piece of the money in fourth with Kurt Tunstall.

Danny Lockhart had to jump out of the cart and get right back to the ring to send Seven Spanish Angels to the winner’s circle as the unanimous winner of the Amateur Park World’s Championship. Deborah Orr taught an advanced class in horse showing tonight, riding the horse like a professional and making a wide-open show that always seems to lead to success in this park division. Reserve World’s Champion in their qualifier earlier this week, their career together has been a countdown to this moment. Fourth in their 2013 qualifier, third in their 2013 championship, second in their 2014 qualifier, and now the 2014 Amateur Park World’s Champion of Champions, Deborah and Seven Spanish Angels were the unanimous winners here. Owned and bred by Jim Orr, the giant dark bay gelding is by Designed and out of Annie Up, eligible for the Broodmare Hall of Fame. Annie Up is by Deborah’s longtime teammate CH Heir To Champagne. Allie Percoco and Cloverleaf Freedom Writer swapped spots with the champion, leaving as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for grandmother Jayne Romano. Trained by Lionel Ferreira, Freedom Writer was the winner of the qualifier here on Wednesday. Sired by The Mystery Writer, Freedom Writer is out of that long line of grand mares, the last few crossed with Sultan lines. He blasted down the rails again today for this great prize. CH Brookhill’s Periday was a good third in this one for James Sigmon, followed by Anna Wintour and a thrilled Allie Wellington Nunley in fourth.

The roan bay Heartland Demonstrator earned the unanimous call in the Amateur Harness Pony World’s Championship. Mary Gaylord McClean drove to this top prize for Golden Creek Farms, with Jeff McClean and Tom Lowry heading up the winning round. By Heartland Code Of Honor and out of Heartland Beauty, Demonstrator is now a World’s Champion for the fifth time with three different drivers. The 2011 Three-Year-Old Harness Pony World’s Champion with Darrel Kolkman was also the 2012 Four-Year-Old Harness Pony World’s Champion and Junior World’s Champion of Champions with Sam Stafford. It was another sweep of double blues this year, including the Ladies Amateur Harness Pony World’s Championship. The placings from that ladies amateur division held up here in the amateur stake, as CH Crystal Creek’s Commander was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Sandra Surber. The reigning Amateur National Champion is trained by Majestic Oaks. He is by Dun-Haven Center Attraction and out of HCH Commander’s Supreme. He has also produced several good ones in the breeding shed already as well. Sweetheart Of Success and Karen Waldron were up for third, while Mr. Brightside and Ali DeGray were a lovely fourth for Helen Rich.

There was yet another unanimous winner in the 14-17 Five-Gaited World’s Championship, as Moonlight Memories racked down victory lane with McGee Bosworth. It was a year ago this week that this hinged up chestnut star went home to North Carolina with High Caliber Stables, having just won the Junior Five-Gaited Mare World’s Championship with Virgil Helm for Pair of Jacks Stables. It took a grand effort to put this team together, as Mary and Evan Orr had to team a young mare with a young rider in one of the deepest divisions in all of the Saddlebred world. The team came fully together at Midwest Charity and never looked back, sweeping their way through Midwest, then Lexington, and now Louisville. CH Freaky Links, a longtime star of the Knollwood string, was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in this class for the second time in his storied career. Winning this title two times, five years apart, he was ridden today by Jamie Winquist for Sally Winquist. His debut came here in 2003, winning the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Championship with a then-up-and-coming Matthew Shiflet. This is Jamie’s first full year to be teamed up with the I’m A New Yorker x Major Moves cross that can still just flat rack a hole in the ground. The ever-beautiful gelding Ashlyn’s Voodoo Charm was third here for Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes and DeLovely, with CH Fight Night and Morgan Billig in fourth for uncle Carson Kressley. CH Hey Joe and Jessi McCurry were a proud and popular fifth for Double Doc Farms.

Blushing Bull completed the sweep of the western division here this week, as Lindsay Sowell rode to the tricolor for Suzanne Bradshaw. Trained by Fay Lowry, Blushing Bull is so beautiful-headed, he might as well be a Morgan western horse. Fay’s expertise in this division has been apparent and has begun to alter the division as a whole. Blushing Bull is by The MVP and out of Sultan’s Sweet Kiss, by Supreme Sultan. His beautiful bay coat gleamed right along with Lindsay’s western attire as they jogged to the winner’s circle. Cowboy Dave Lopez and Hallelujah New York were a good second to earn the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title from the Double D Ranch. This one is by Heirogance & Attitude, himself now a western horse, and out of Lady’s Little New Yorker, by The New York Times. They were also reserve champions at Rock Creek and Shelby County Fair, taking the tricolor at Harrodsburg. Reedann’s Phancy Phootwork and Karen Cooley finished third for Kiley Bush and trainer Kelly Kraegel. All three of the western trainers in this class with a Morgan background had bay horses showing. Go figure! CH The Evangelist and Liz Schultz said goodbye to Freedom Hall with a good fourth-place ride. They swept the division here in 2013.

It was Tonto Time next, as CH Platinum’s New Look rocked Freedom Hall one last time with Hunter Chancellor. With his entourage of all the people who had been part of his life over the years, Tonto put on a show that said he would have been just fine if they had asked him to show in the 14-17 championship again instead of retiring. Hunter Chancellor took him around the ring one last time to say goodbye, as the crowd that for the most part stood as one for the entire presentation, saluted them once again. Sired by For What It’s Worth and out of Can’t Touch Her, by Attache’s Born Believer, Tonto burst onto the scene as a walk-trot horse, showing here as a two-year-old. His destiny was realized two years later when Smith Lilly took him to the winner’s circle here as the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion and Junior Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. A year later, it was Kim Cowart making the signature catch ride in what has now become her division, Ladies Five-Gaited. She won that night, and from there, Tonto would start his transition to the very young and still very tiny Hunter. It was at Indianapolis Charity in 2008 that they came to the ring for the first time together, and it was an absolutely memorable occasion for many reasons. Everyone could see that they were witnessing the birth of something special. But those same people also knew that this was an awfully powerful horse with a 12-year-old rider! We all should have known at that point what Hunter Chancellor was going to become, a spectacular talent and a tough competitor, no matter the division. On a personal note, I got to call that class from center ring as the announcer, so I was the first to ever call this team out as a winner together. That’s pretty cool. Now just 12 years old, Tonto retires to Evansville to live a life of luxury that he certainly deserves. Winner of 11 World’s Championships, he and Hunter went on from that night in Indianapolis to win 44 out of 50 classes with Hunter, the only junior exhibitor to ever show this horse.

Another young star of the junior exhibitor division, Alex Rudder got every bit of calm, cool and collected that her father has, plus that competitive fire and determination to go with a skill set that just keeps growing. Alex claimed what will certainly be just the first of many blankets of flower as the winner of the 13-and-Under Three-Gaited World’s Championship. She and longtime teammate CH The Proof Is In The Heir swept to the winner’s circle for Wingswept Farm. Mentor and idol Stephanie Sedlacko joined her there along with Chris Brannan. Also the winner of her qualifier this year, Alex was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with a step-up ride last season. Winner of this class in 2012 with Laura Plant, Bubble Bath is now teamed with Grace McDonell. Speaking of step-up rides, Grace listened to all of the direction and instruction from Mary and Evan Orr to come back with a wonderful ride in reserve. This was almost exactly the same way that Alex’s Louisville went in 2013, boding well for Grace it would seem in 2015! Grace and Bubble Bath had claimed the championships at Midwest Charity, Lexington, Asheville Spring Classic, and Raleigh Spring Premier already this year.

It was pony power for Majestic Oaks in the Amateur Roadster Pony World’s Championship, as they took the top three spots. Sugarland reprised his role at the head of the class, winning this title for the second year in a row. Sire of a contender for the Road Pony World’s Grand Championship, Sugarland is everything you could hope for in a pony, winning every class he has been in for over two years now. Elisabeth has been teamed with this superstar since 2011, when they won the Amateur Road Pony 50-52” World’s Championship. Sugarland is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Mastercraft’s Princess LF. Sirfistication took a second reserve win on the week, coming from the under 50 class to take the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title with Patrice Watson O’Brien. Continuing what has been an excellent day for fans of Ashlyn Farms, Sirfistication is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction as well. He is out of Fox Hill’s First Lady, by Canterbury Comet. This is the second year for Patrice to be teamed with Sirfistication and just the pony’s second year as a road pony, having enjoyed success as a pleasure pony before that. Toni Nastali and Hopkins rounded out the Majestic Oaks top three, with Candi Aversenti breaking up that run with Regal’s Promoter LF in fourth. All totaled, Majestic Oaks had five of the eight prize winners in this class.

It was a fifth Louisville victory pass for the beautiful dark bay CH Platinum Moon. The 2012 Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion rocked way back with Courtney McGinnis and really strutted. His pass into the ring certainly put him right at the top of the cards as the judges were marking their initial numbers down. Trained by DeLovely, he was the winner of this class a year ago with Hunter Chancellor. Now owned by Fish Creek Stables, he is teamed with the reigning Senior Equitation World’s Champion of Champions, proving her versatility as a performance rider as well. They remained unbeaten together, now six for six in their first season as a team. CH Hi On Heir was a popular Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, his second reserve win of the week with Kara Hachigian. A Reserve World’s Champion a year ago as well with Phyllis Brookshire, Hi On Heir was the Open Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Champion in 2012. Sandra Currier has him tuned to a tee for Kara and Texas K Club LLC. CH A Travelin’ Man and Juliette Dell were third for 6D Ranch, with I’m In Heaven and Madison Stringer fourth from Cape Cod.

What a time to peak! Soquili’s Curious George and Kate Foy chose the end of July and the middle of August to jump up a notch as a team under the Cater Stables banner. It began in the championship at Blue Ridge Classic, where they leapt to the front of the pack to take the tricolor. Try sitting on the excitement of a performance like that for three weeks. The Cater team harnessed all of that momentum and put it straight into a Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under World’s Championship. Their best performance to date was topped tonight, as Kate put on a clinic, taking the tricolor in a great field as the Ladies Amateur World’s Champion of Champions. Kristen and David Cater joined their winner to celebrate the biggest title yet for Cater Stables. Curious George is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Callaway’s Baby Blue, by Blue Norther. The grand mare CH With Style And Grace was a Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for the third straight year. Her first year in this ladies amateur division, she and Tara once again teamed up to put on a great show. They have been showing together since 2010 under the DeLovely banner, and their run has been tough to beat. They now have four Reserve World’s Championships to go with their six World’s Championships. Those wins came over the course of just 10 classes together. Style And Grace is by Sir William Robert and out of Lady Peridot, by Periaptor. CH Real Action was up for third with Betsy Thomas, followed by CH Stonecroft Nightlight and a happy as could be Cathy Schueler in fourth.

Seamair Simply Awesome made his Louisville debut in 2005, showing to a Three-Year-Old Hackney Pony Reserve World’s Championship with Darrel Kolkman. In 2007, it was two more reserve titles, now with John Wrather at the lines. It was 2008 when these two started their incredible run, winning nine straight times in this ring. This year, it was owner Charlotte Wrather taking over the lines, with Janet Crampton overseeing the transition. Tuesday night, he won yet another world title but his first with Charlotte at the lines. They finished off their week in high style tonight, winning the Amateur Hackney Pony World’s Champion of Champions title. Simply Awesome is by Dun-Haven Truly Awesome and out of Heartland Simplicity. The Reserve World’s Grand Champion the last two years, Heartland Road Show was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in this one with Mary Gaylord McClean driving for Golden Creek Farms. Road Show is by Heartland Blackhawk and out of Heartland Just A Princess. They were reserve champions at Lexington as well, making consistently strong shows each and every time out. CH Classical Dancer and Kathy Buente finished in third, with Follow Suit and Linda Quinn in fourth.

Peter Cowart burned up the track with Deputy’s Heir to win the Junior Five-Gaited Championship. Following the same path as Memories Of Cabo in 2012, Deputy’s Heir was the champion at Lexington earlier this year. While it was a reserve win in 2012, Peter scored the tricolor and blanket of flowers this time for Travis and Lisa Blackwelder. Sired by Roseridge Deputy, this one is out of Callaway’ By Invitation Only, by Blue Norther. Also the winner of the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Championship this week, Deputy’s Heir is another one of those that can just flat sit and get. He was flying down the rail to the winner’s circle. Cat Can Do and Danny Lockhart made a good show in second as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for David Rudder. Reserve in the Sweepstakes on Sunday night as well, Cat Can Do is a flashy son of Catalyst out of She’s In Style. This full brother to World’s Champion The Cat Walk is a half brother to World’s Champion He’s In Style. This week of good prizes for Cat Can Do makes She’s In Style eligible for the Broodmare Hall of Fame as just a 13-year-old mare with only five babies on the ground. Richmond DeHart was an applauded third with The Hathaway Man for Rocco Litrenta, with Royal Hart and Kim Cowart fourth for Caitlin Leith.

It has been three years since Mr. Bones and Charlie Jones have worn a blanket of flowers in this ring, but this season has been different. The bay gelding who can wear his head like few others has looked rejuvenated, winning nine times so far this season. They kept that run going with a fifth win of this Amateur Roadster to Bike World’s Championship under the direction of Jan Lukens. This put them into double digits, earning a tenth World’s Championship. Thunderbolt and William Shatner got a nice salute as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions. Reserve for the second time this week for DeLovely, they were the winners of this class the last two years. These two have been teamed up since 2010, with Shatner looking like he is having an absolute blast at the lines at all times. Street Legal GRS and Dr. Chip Pugh were a good third, with Cookie Monster and Mark Catron in fourth.

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