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Louisville - Friday Matinee



As has become a stalwart of the late week morning sessions, the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited entries came to the ring for their first section. From a family of winners this week, Designed By Fancy SS is by Designed and out of Gettin’ Fancy, the dam of World’s Champion I’m McDreamy. Judy Werner should be extra proud of this one, as the dam is by Radiant Sultan. Owner and breeder of Designed By Fancy, Toni Nastali entrusted Chuck Herbert with this bright chestnut star, leading to a World’s Championship round of honor and putting Toni’s mare on the edge of the Broodmare Hall of Fame, needing just one more of her offspring to her earn a Reserve World’s Championship to put her over. Winner at Shelbyville earlier this month, Undulata’s Jenna Live ERB was shown to reserve honors by Johanna Kapioltas. Sired by harness stud Simbara’s Living Legend, Jenna Live is out of an Undulata’s Nutcracker mare. She is owned and bred by Edward R. Bennett, he of the “ERB.” The string of good names continued with You’ve Been Thunderstruck and Steve Wheeler in third for Stockings N Stripes LLC, followed by Well Nuts and Tre Lee for Robin Vuillermet and Bill Beckley. Also in the list of names was Anutter Shot, Peace Love And Rock N Roll, Master Class Daydream, and All Tacked Up. People are getting more inventive!

Alayna Applegate continued her undefeated career in Freedom Hall with another winning ride under the direction of Shelley Fisher. This was her first time to earn a blanket of flowers here, having won her qualifier now two years in a row but not being able to show back last season. That mount conflict is now solved, as Amber Lager fits the bill to a tee, taking Alayna to the title of 8-and-Under Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion of Champions. Emily Vicari has taken 16 victory passes in the equitation division already this year, she made a strong ride today with Imagination Staion to earn the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions title. Emily is a product of the Kierson Farm Riding Program. Haily Miller was up for third for the second time this week, followed by Ethan DeVore in fourth.

It was 10 years ago this week that this veteran little star last wore a blanket of flowers in Freedom Hall, and it happened to be in this very same division. This was Seamair Dear Sir, and it was the Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving World’s Championship. While a decade ago, young Max Kaplan was at the lines, today it was an equally young driver, Olivia Schumacher. Seamair Dear Sir has been a true ambassador for the Hackney breed, creating a lifelong love of the breed for Max, who still shows a road pony, and now for Olivia. From the Kierson Riding Program, Olivia and parents Lorraine and David Schumacher are among the nicest you will ever meet. Olivia is always turned out to the nines, dressing with class and style. She drove to her first Louisville win today, beaming her way down victory lane. Winners of the qualifier, Crystal Creek’s Foxnomenal and Cheyenne Mabey earned the reserve tri-color. A road pony here a year ago, Foxnomenal is taking well to his new division. Majestic Oaks has won this class the past few years with Nashville Cat the last two years and Palisades Margarita the year prior. Tom Fiedler owns this five-year-old. In his first Louisville Danny Hicks made a great drive in third, even after losing his hat, for Ann Hailey with CB Party Girl. Zach Meyer and Pacifico’s Standing Ovation were fourth from Hollow Haven.

The harness classes continued with Show Pleasure Driving’s Championship round. The ladies of section two came back to be the top two in the championship as well, flipping their placings to see Grace Arnold and A Night In Vegas as the World’s Champion of Champions. Trained by Jim Cherry, A Night In Vegas is by Northern Vegas and out of Sultan’s Lady’s Night Out, by CF First Night Out. A World’s Champion every year he has shown here, this is his fourth Louisville victory pass. A year ago he did this same thing, finishing reserve in his qualifier and coming back to win the Junior Park Pleasure World’s Championship. Section Two winner Buck Be A Lady was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions here with Elisabeth Goth at the lines under the Visser Stables banner. This one is by CF First Night Out and out of Lady Skybuck, by CH Buck Rogers. This is the third Louisville together for this team, having two World’s Championships and two Reserve World’s Championships to their credit now. Gypsy Gentleman and Sarah Wise were a good third here, followed by American Art and gentleman Eddie Norris.

Both of our Walk-and-Trot World’s Champions this year are undefeated in Freedom Hall, and each over the course of multiple seasons! Remi Adams is now six for six on the green shavings, with this being her first year in the “older” age group. The 9-10 Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion of Champions is directed by DeLovely, with certainly some encouragement and advice from cousin Hunter Chancellor. Under the direction of Missy Hughes Smith, Isabella Privitera was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Ever Glades Farm. This was Isabella’s best Louisville ride to date, putting in a strong performance. These two young ladies were top two in both of their classes at Midwest Charity, battling it out there as well. Matthew Worzalla finished out his memory-making week in third for Knollwood, with Mina Mueller fourth.

Brianna Meyer added a second Louisville victory pass to her first one from the other day, taking the tri-color in Junior Exhibitor Show Pleasure Driving for Brown-Anderson Farms. The Hollow Haven team has been together since 2009, transitioning from a winning Park team to a World’s Champion driving team. World Turning earned a fourth straight Reserve World’s Championship with Rose Marie Wheeler. These two were Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Carroll Robertson Ray and the Grey Ridge banner. These two have never finished out of the top two in their career together.

In a field full of world titleholders, the winningest one was the winner in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Championship. This was World’s Championship number 10 for CH Mastercraft’s Namesake LF and Stephany Monteleone. Abel Vega had them tuned up to perfection today, as the gorgeous son of Mastercraft and LLF Breath Of Spring moved in their customary open and free style to pick up the tri-color. Section Two winner Early Edition was up for another grand trip as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Georgia Blevins. This entry of Blevins Farm is trained by Majestic Oaks. Early Edition earned his sixth world title in the qualifier. Multi-titled Heartland Accolade finished up third in this one with Amanda Dellinger, followed by Extremely Supreme and Faydelle Schott, once again in the top prizes.

Peter Mace won his first World’s Championship as a professional and did it in high style in the second split of Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited. An entry of breeder Jackie Wahrmund, Blue Excellence is by CF First Night Out, though she does not bear all the signature marks of that line. The Supremacy’s High Time on her bottom line shows through in her dark chestnut color. The combination of blood works well, as Blue Excellence was rocked way back, with Peter Mace doing an exceptional job sitting his trot and pushing her up even higher. The “ERB” program had a good round in this division, finishing as the Reserve World’s Champion in this group as well. Smith Lilly has this one for Jeff and Janet Sterba. Undulata’s Optical Illusion ERB is going to grow into his big frame and continue to improve. He moves in that same big, open way that full brother Alde-Mar’s Crystal Pistol does. He is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of CH Crystal Illusion. MBA’s True Blue and Tre Lee were third for Margo Baird’s good breeding program, followed by La Bella Bay and John Biggins for Dr. and Mrs. Homer Beltz.

Maya Manilow is making the most of her final junior exhibitor year before stepping up next year to compete against mom Barbara. Today’s addition to the wall of prizes at Skyline Stables was the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure World’s Championship. The beautiful black mare Just Heavenly provided this winning trip for Maya. The reigning National Champion took her first Louisville victory pass, as the daughter of CF First Night Out and CH Reedann’s Phinery had previously been a Reserve World’s Champion on five separate occasions. Camille Cowart and CH What’s The Whoopla earned reserve honors for the second time this week. Winners at Lexington, Midwest, Asheville, and J.D. Massey, these two have been formidable when teamed up over the past few seasons. The West Wind run continued with this reserve title for owner Caitlin Leith. Qualifier winner The Cat Walk was third here with Jessica Wuesthofen for Glenn A. Werry Jr. CH Desert Supreme Kid and Maddie Morgan were fourth.

The 13-year-old riders duked it out atop the Junior Equitation Championship, with Macey Joan Miles holding on to the top spot with CH-EQ Coco Mojo. Macey has had a good week catch riding as well, but she looks even more at home aboard her equitation partner. Directed of course by DeLovely, Macey is about as long and lean a rider as has ever shown in the junior ranks. She took her tenth Louisville victory pass in this division today, with a great ride. Molly Codeanne held to the 13-Year-Old qualifier placings, earning a reserve nod with Zagnut for Cater Stables. Molly continues to grow as a rider as her career progresses, looking at ease in the saddle and really putting on a horse show. A Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion in 2009, this was her first time back in the equitation division here since 2010. Maisie Benfield was up for third here, followed by Madison Stringer in fourth.

The other night at the American Saddlebred Museum’s Arabian Nights fundraiser party, Elisabeth Goth was the winning bidder on an unbelievable trip to Qatar with Carson Kressley. Today, a superstar colt (Carson Nation) named for her good friend Carson gave her a thrill as the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion with Neil Visser at the lines. The bay sensation who set the ring on fire at Harrodsburg is by Leatherwood’s Starlight and out of I’m Real, by I’m The Prince. Mike Felty’s good day continued with a Reserve World’s Championship at the lines of Wildbriar’s Thunder And Lightning. Peter Mace rode one of their string to a blue just a few classes earlier. This one is owned by Edward and Andrea Sanford. Thunder And Lightning is by Thundergun and out of She’s Got A Way, by Sir William Robert.

Rich Campbell was excited to head up the winner of the Junior Hackney Pony World’s Championship, Regal’s African Queen LF. While few people like to win more than Rich, he seems to take particular pride when Majestic Oaks trainers Holli Hayes and Juan Rios have success. This was the case today, as Holli Hayes made the World’s Championship drive with Regal’s African Queen LF for Dan and Leah Light. A road pony here a year ago, African Queen has found her calling as a cobtail. She is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Bandito’s Reflection LF. Heartland Midnight Music earned a third Reserve World’s Championship for Abel Vega and Golden Creek Farms. By LLF Top Of The Mark and out of Heartland Country Music, Midnight Music was reserve in the Three-Year-Old qualifier last year as well as the Four-Year-Old group earlier this week.

Where to begin in the 13-and-Under Five-Gaited World’s Championship? Do we talk about the battle of the cousins? Do we talk about the incredible group of horses assembled for these young riders? Do we talk about the level of competition overall this week? The possibilities are endless, but the story in all actuality began in Missouri 12 years ago, when Desert’s Supreme Memories was bred to the Broodmare Hall of Fame mare, Mountain Maria. The resulting colt, Bono, would be a life changer for everyone who he came in contact with. There are those who are new to the business since 2009, so here is the Cliff’s Notes (or now Spark Notes as I am told by the younger generation) version of the tale of Bono. He burst onto the scene in 2005 with a Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Championship with Bret Day. Two years later he was an early season sensation with Linda Fischer until he was injured at Midwest in 2007 and was rushed to Rood & Riddle for surgery. The long road back led him up and down the long aisles of Grey Ridge Farm, working his way back into form. Owner Karen Mayer and sister Linda Fischer went right along with every plan laid before them with the patience of saints to give him every chance in the world to come back at his own pace. 

As I went to write this story, I looked back at the Friday night 2009 story, and the similarities are borderline eerie. “Bret Day leaped into the air and punched the sky” Yep. That happened again. Linda Fischer’s green coat that she wore on that Friday night to win the Ladies World’s Championship? Same coat. Even Kendall Blue made an appearance in the winner’s circle, reprising his role from 2009 when he was an assistant at Grey Ridge, joining the World’s Champion of Champions then as well. The only difference was the jockey. Rose Marie Wheeler has been in 13-and-under for what seems like 15 years. She is a dynamite rider, and she proved it with this horse, winning this 13-and-Under Five-Gaited World’s Championship. Another horse that won here as a three-year-old and is now shown by a Wheeler, CH Callaway’s Born For This and Sallie Mason Wheeler made some good adjustments and came out firing today. They claimed the Reserve World’s Championship for Kenny and Ceil Wheeler and Mercer Springs Farm. A year ago, Catherine Wheeler rode “Gracie” to this same prize. Sallie Mason is a little fireball of a young lady, seeming to love nothing more than putting on a good show and taking it to her competition, especially when she is related to them! Laura Plant and The Cover Story were a good third for Tom and Patsy Plant, while Mackenzie Hall and Heir Comes The Man acquitted themselves well in fourth for Mill Again Stables.

Not thrown by an old school “reverse and walk” call in the Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, a move also seen at Lexington this year in the juvenile division, Carol Hillenbrand returned to the top of a division in which she has had much success. Horses like CH Just Special and CH The Bess Yet come to mind in recent years, and looking back a few past that, you will find greats like CH Utopian Melody and CH High Expecations. It is a long list of World’s and Reserve World’s Champions that Mighty Thor has added himself to this week. Winners now of their last four trips to the ring in this always ultra-competitive group, Carol and Mighty Thor absolutely nailed the second second-way trot to seal the deal as the unanimous winner. Tara Grom and CH Perfect Vengeance looked to be shot out of a cannon as soon as announcer Peter Doubleday began his call for that second trot, taking a pass right inside of the eventual winner. Last year’s World’s Champion of Champions was twice reserve this week for Bob and Kim Grom and the DeLovely banner. These two showed together for the first time in 2007, and Tara and her noble steed have been sensational ever since. CH Stocco and Amanda Murchison, winners of their qualifier split, delightedly took their third place prize back to Cater Stables, while Captain Sparrow JJS and Caroline Skinner were an excited fourth for James and Judy Skinner.

Longtime Saddlebred supporter Lynn Schweikert finally reached the pinnacle with her first-ever World’s Championship win. A year ago, Buenas Noches BHM was a winner here with Carter Cox driving for then owner Jannie Giles. After Lynn bought the horse and brought the rangy bay back to New York, she made the decision to send him back to Kentucky to be shown by Jannie. So now the former owner and current trainer was aboard for a World’s Championship title in this Junior Three-Gaited Park Championship. Reserve in his qualifier, he is by Nocturnal and out of a Buck’s Co-Star mare. David Chretien and Hello Bombshell got the good crowd support in second, moving up a spot as well for MLS Equestrian LLC. This one is by Samur and out of Storm Song, by Attache’s Thunderbolt. Her second dam is World’s Champion Heir Kitty Kitty. Belle Reve’s Lady Madonna and Steve Wheeler were third for Belle Reve Farm.

Mastercraft's Red Baron LF was gunning for a World's Championship, winning his second of the week with Sallie Mason Wheeler. This was the first time for Sallie Mason to win a blanket of flowers here in Freedom Hall, but her third win of the week with a road pony! The 13-and-Under Road Pony World's Champion of Champions is owned by George Burgy. Always in the top prizes, Outside The Lines was the Reserve World's Champion of Champions, newly teamed with Ashley Creekmore. Owned by Thomas R. Brock Jr. and trained by Hollow Haven Farm, Outside The Lines is by Twin Willow's McMillan and out of Juliana, by Vindicator. My Kryptonite and Kate Lewis were third, with Kellie Saccocia fourth at the lines of Dun Haven Highly Impressive.

Rose Arbor Heartbreaker was anything but that for Dena Lopez in a deeply talented field of Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Mare competitors. By Sir William Robert, Heartbreaker is another in a line of World’s Champions for Broodmare Hall of Fame qualifier Tornaado’s Tidal Wave. Out of the seven horses she has produced, four of them are now World’s Champions. That is a surreal statistic. This one is a beautiful bay, just like mama. Also produced by the Willowbank shed, Nut Too Sweet was the Reserve World’s Champion. By Undulata’s Nutcracker, she is out of Tremendously Charming, by Santana’s Charm. She was also the Reserve World’s Champion in the Amateur Two-Year-Old In Hand Futurity just yesterday. Kathy Capsuto Walker drove this home bred product out of her World’s Champion Country Pleasure mare. Diamond Bezel and Pedro Martinez made some great passes in third for Blythewood Farms. Lismore’s Nuttin’ Better continued a good week for Jim Stachowski in fourth.

Callaway’s Winning Number was the winning number on all three cards in the 13-and-Under Country Pleasure World’s Championship. Mr. Wil Rowland piloted his beautiful blonde teammate to the winner’s circle under the direction of Missy Hughes Smith. Winners of their qualifier on Tuesday, these two blasted down the chute first and left the ring last. Winning Number is by CH Callaway’s Born To Win and out of Abacus Claudia, by Jamestown. Rhiannon White moved up a spot with an even better ride today, earning a Reserve World’s Championship with CH League Of Nations. Riding for the Carriage Lane banner, she has been a top contender all year long. League Of Nations is no stranger to this division. He was the 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions the past two years and the Adult World’s Champion of Champions the year before that. Jordyn Vallorosi completed the week of her life with a top three finish on CH New York Entertainer for Team Kierson. CH Oak Grove’s M’Lady In Red and Emily Teehan were fourth.

In an absolute shootout of a Junior Road Pony Championship, the four-year-olds traded spots from the qualifier. Regal’s Night Shadow LF jumped to the top of the card as the World’s Champion of Champions with Jeff McClean for Golden Creek Farms. By Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Romeo’s Sweet Sugar LF, Night Shadow has wins at Shelbyville, Midwest, and Lexington already to his credit. World’s Champion in his qualifier these past two seasons, Born On The Bayou was the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions here for Maureen Campbell and owner Denise Steinhauer. Famously by Sugarland and out of Mardi Gras, this little dynamo was certainly bred to do the job. He was also the UPHA Road Pony Classic National Champion last year. Prime Thyme and Junior Schut were third, with Crystal Creek’s So Lovely and Eduardo Lopez fourth for Carl and Kathryn Nichols.

For the fifth time since 2006, Darell Cruse came away with the Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited crown. That is simply remarkable consistency for anyone in any division, but with a young horse class, you aren’t just winning with the same horse over and over. Darell put Our Sweet Chocolate to work today for Tim and Marty Shea, yet more Arabian influence coming off a night when Tim and Marty’s former horse, Our Brilliant Belle, was the Ladies Fine Harness World’s Champion, and Jim Stachowski brought the house down with Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited winner Use Your Illusion. The chocolaty brown Sweet Chocolate is by Samur and out of Fluffernutter, by Undulata’s Nutcracker. Markova and Mike Tunstall were a solid choice in second for Colleen Brown Crone. Carrying on sire My Royale Charm’s bay coloring, Markova is out of the black mare, Elegant Heirloom, by CH Harlem Town, a full sister to World’s Champion Kool Tyme BH and a half sister to World’s Champion Our Sunbeam. Pieter Snyman turned some heads in third with Lookin’ For Bella for Rick Powers. 

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