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Louisville - Friday Night

Friday night at Louisville is always exciting and this year it was no different. Whether the young horses, junior exhibitors, amateurs or trainers were battling it out, the night hosted several epic battles much to the delight of the crowd.

The evening began with the finals for the ASR Futurity Of Kentucky Two-Year-Old Fine Harness. Eight horses came back to compete after a big group was whittled down earlier in the week.

Breeding programs large and small were represented by some very talented offspring and they put on a show for the Friday night crowd. The prize money for first place went to the Undulata’s Nutcracker-sired I’m In Heaven with Chuck Herbert at the whip for Edward Elliott Jr. Out of the 2009 Ladies Three-Gaited World’s Champion Of Champions and repeat winner of the Ladies Under 2 class here earlier this week with Nancy Leigh Fisher, Heavenly Thunder, I’m In Heaven picked up $9600 for the unanimous win. I’m In Heaven represented his royal pedigree well and there were more than a couple "Yeah Boy" screams from Section N (Nancy Leigh Fisher’s seats).

Born To Believe (He’s Born To Royalty x Callaway’s Believe It) and Todd Graham exited with the reserve tie and a check for $4825 for owners/breeders Mr. and Mrs. Michael Curry who stand He’s Born To Royalty, a son of world’s champions CH Callaway’s Born To Win and Princess Nora BR. Pedro Martinez presented Our Evening Out, sired by Saddle Horse Report’s many times number one sire of world’s champions CF First Night Out and out of Desert’s Awesome Lover for Blythewood. They earned $2400 for their top three finish. Just Plain George (Callaway’s Blue Norther x Undulata’s Georgie Girl) and Debbie Foley were fourth in the competitive class and they received $1447 for owner Debbie Gabbert. Three of the top four in this class went back to the icon of Callaway Hills, World’s Grand Champion CH Will Shriver.

The amateur park horses had a great class for their championship and a stellar group of 14 came through the gate after a 22-horse stallion/gelding qualifier and eight entry mare class earlier in the week. The panel had their work cut out for them trying to fill out their cards with such a deep group, but when it was all over, CH Perfect Vengeance followed up the stallion/gelding win earlier in the week and exited with the tricolor. Tara Grom rode for Bob and Kim Grom. A part of the Grom family for a few while now, Perfect Vengeance was shown to an amateur park stallion/gelding world’s championship and a top 3 in the amateur grand championship by Tara’s sister, Kaitlyn, back in 2006.

Candi Covino Aversenti and Cumberland Crescent earned lots of applause for their reserve world’s champion of champions performance under the direction of Bill and Kris Knight. It’s been great to see Aversenti back in the show ring, bringing back memories of her family’s Iron Horse Farm. Having worn the blanket of flowers signifying the world’s champion of champions for the past three years – one in open and two in amateur - CH His Supreme Reflection was majestic again but on this day took the yellow ribbon for third with Jacqueline Manzo riding for Kimberly Jones and trainer Tom Sworm.

Five harness ponies put on a great show for the crowd in their amateur championship and each had their fan club showing their support. Karen Waldron’s great week continued. She was inducted into the AHHS Hall of Fame Monday night and on this night she drove Sweetheart Of Success, sired by Mark Of Excellence, to the winner’s circle under the direction of Larry Ella. The elegant Sweetheart Of Success now added the amateur championship to her Word’s Grand Champion Harness Pony title from 2006. Making a big splash this year with a dynamic presence, Crystal Creek’s Commander and Kathryn Nichols had a huge share of the crowd’s support as they left the ring with the reserve world’s title. The popular stallion was directed by Majestic Oaks.

The Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14-17 Championship provided the first of several classes that needed a workout to determine how the panel would fill out their cards. A hard riding group of 15 headed down the ramp to the green shavings and from the first step, this group proved they weren’t going to let up for a minute. The panel asked 2009 champion Stravinsky, with Brittany McGinnis to head back to the rail for more work and they were joined by fellow DeLovely team CH Platinum’s New Look and Hunter Chancellor and the Kalarama trained team of Fight Night and Andrew Slater. It just doesn’t get much better than this – what a group of performers!

While the rest of the group looked on from the middle the trio put on a great show. When they lined up, it was hard to know what the panel would decide since all three did a great job. In the end it was Fight Night and Slater named to head to the winner’s circle to pick up the tricolor and the title of world’s champion of champions for Pamela Slater. CH Platinum’s New Look and Chancellor were named as the reserve champions and Stravinsky was third with McGinnis. All three were applauded for their grand shows.

Maya Manilow and Out With The Ladies headed out with the fourth place finish for Barbara Goodman Manilow and they were followed in the ribbons by Leatherwood’s Colors Up with Tyler Devore riding for Bill and Coe London. Imperial Asset and Cara Wolf, Indigo Joe with Claire Talley and Rebel Rooster with Mollie Kregor claimed the remaining three ribbons for sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

The Western Country Pleasure Invitational classes at Louisville have only been in existence for five years and they are as hotly contested now as in the beginning. The Western horses compete all season long to accumulate points in order to qualify and be invited to make the trip to Louisville.

For the fourth time in five years, the tricolor and title went back to California as Buttoned Down (Periaptor x Bet Your Buttons) was named as the World’s Champion Of Champions with owner Grace Arnold. Jim and Helen Cherry directed the winning team in the class of 15 and it wouldn’t be their last of the night. Both the Cherrys and Arnold would go on to even more success on this night. Buttoned Down’s win was even more special as he was bred by Arnold’s mom Mary McLellan Williams.

Jessica Moctezuma teamed I’m Goin’ Out Tonight to the reserve streamers for co-owners Margory Brown and Nealia McCracken. Toreador, winner of both the championship and qualifier last year with owner Dr. Catherine Gallo, exited with the yellow ribbon for third under the direction of Arcuri Stables. Indeed a world’s championship line up going head to head.

Starting with a group of 17 earlier in the week, 10 were chosen to come back for the ASR National Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Futurity finals and they battled for more than $30,000 in prize money. This was a fantastic class and the gorgeous three-year-olds showcased their talents in good order. The lineup had the crowd cheering their favorites as entries were stripped to determine their confirmation.

The panel ultimately decided that Kalarama’s Delightful (Harlem’s Friendly Conversation x (SA) Dunedin Classy Lady) would pick up the $15,450 and title with Peter Cowart riding for Karen McClure Revocable Trust. This beautiful, bay horse never backs an ear and has an airy way of moving. Steve Wheeler and Novella trotted up for reserve and a check for $7725 for Mary Jane and the late Curtis Meanor. Mary Jane Meanor was in tears as she watched her filly sired by The Mystery Writer and out of Elan exit the ring with Wheeler. Undulata’s Dream Team, sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and two-time World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited CH Garland’s Dream picked up the yellow ribbon for third with Bob Brison riding for B & T Vonderschmitt. Jim Lowry rode Double Or Nuttin (Undulata’s Nutcracker x Beat The Odds) to fourth for Tri Color Ventures.

The presentation of the Youth To Youth Scholarships provided a break in the action. The scholarships are funded by both individual donations and fundraising by youth clubs. Jessica Caldwell, Maggie Camp, Sondra Hodgen, Cori O’Brien and Shannon Garcia each received scholarship awards.

Eleven young riders brought their three-gaited horses for the Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Championship and they rode hard in an effort to impress the panel. Victoria Lynn carried Helen Cherry to the ladies three-gaited championship and 15.2 and under world’s titles in 2008 and now has the distinction of carrying both mother and daughter to Louisville wins. Caroline Cherry piloted the mare down victory lane as the world’s champion of champions. Just as proficient as a mom, Victoria Lynn is also the dam of 2010 Amateur Kentucky Futurity Weanling Nuts About Me. Bet you can’t guess who the sire is?

Heired Up and Kaitlyn Creekmore, from Hollow Haven, were right there to be named the reserve world’s champion of champions giving the Creekmore sisters a week to remember. The top three went to Callaway’s Flying Blue with Cheyenne Mabey showing for owner Luci Nouwens.

A big group of 11 speedsters from the pony ranks did a great job in their Amateur Roadster Pony Championship and Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF (Romeo LF x Regal’s Kristina LF) kept Hollow Haven’s successful week going when she headed down victory lane with Mary Gise. Andy Freseth has this mare perfect in the bridle and cranking her pistons on both ends. Toni Nastali has had a dream week under the direction of Rich and Maureen Campbell and she picked up the reserve championship tie with her hard charging teammate, Sugarland. Always in the mix for championship honors at the highest level, Ali DeGray and Seize The Moment headed out of the ring with the yellow ribbon for third place under the direction of Ruth Gimpel.

The older age group for the junior exhibitors and their three-gaited horses was next on the evening’s agenda and what a class it was. The great group, like the 14-17 five-gaited riders, faced such deep water that the panel decided they wanted a workout.

CH An Heir About Her, the 2002 and 2003 World’s Grand Champion Three-Gaited with Chris Reiser and winner of the 14-17 Div. I qualifier earlier in the week with Marjorie Townsend, headed back out on the rail to face I’m McDreamy and Hunter Chancellor, winners of the section two qualifier and last year’s world’s champions in the 13 and under qualifier. Two time world’s champion Heir To A Star also headed back to the rail with fellow DeLovely rider Faye Wuesthofen and Tommy Bahama rounded out the group of four with Alexis Pearson riding under the direction of Jess Verrell.

This epic showdown of Supreme Heir prodigy has been building all season and it was everything we thought it would be. When the cards were turned in, CH An Heir About Her was called to the winner’s circle by announcer Peter Doubleday. Townsend was all smiles as she took her victory pass under the direction of Missy Hughes, the second Roland family member to hang a blanket of roses on the Ever Glades tack room.

In her second workout of the night, Hunter Chancellor did another great job and she left the ring with the always expressive and always marching I’m McDreamy as the reserve world’s champion of champions. CH Heir To A Star was third and was also the third horse in the top three sired by Supreme Heir. Tommy Bahama, sired by Memories Are Made Of This, and Pearson rounded out the top four, giving Pearson and trainer Jess Verrill a Louisville memory they’ll cherish forever.

The ASR National Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity offered a big payout and brought a big nice group to the ring in an effort to take the title and the more than $15,000 for first place and after a great class, it was last year’s Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding Sec II World’s Champion Military Secret named as the winner. The Arnold-Cherry team had performed a hat trick with three wins in three classes on the same night. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Secret Smile, Military Secret scored a unanimous decision from the panel with a bold performance.

Battlefield, also sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker but out of the great producing mare Battersea, exited in second place with a check for more than $7700 and was shown by Peter Palmer for owner/breeder Carl Fischer Jr. Ironically, Military Secret was shown to his 2009 world’s championship by Palmer before being sold to Grace Arnold. If The Tiara Fits (Such A Salesman x Princess Shalimar) was third with George Knight in the buggy for co-owner Kim Skipton. It was Knight who rode Princess Shalimar to the 2003 Five-Gaited Mare Reserve World’s Championship for Skipton. Designed sired fourth place finisher Irresistible Design as Lisa Strickland drove the oh-so-talented bay mare for Saddlewood Farm.

The Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Championship hosted an elegant group of 11 high stepping walk trots and the group read like a who’s who from the division. For the third year in a row however, Glenview’s Excelalante! and Barbara Goodman Manilow couldn’t be denied. A world’s champion every year since he was two, Excelalante! earned the championship after winning the 15.2 and over qualifier and the decision was unanimous. The Blue O’Shea daughter CH Juliette’s Deja Blue turned in a crowd pleasing performance with Andrea Athanasuleas to exit as the reserve champion of champions from Matt Shiflet Stables. Misdee Wrigley Miller piloted her homebred Hillcroft Claret (Kalarama Cabernet x Clarissa Co-Ed) to the top three finish under the Kalarama Farm banner to continue their great night and Ali Judah rode Odyssey Mann to fourth for Terri Dolan, showing from Visser Stables.

The Amateur Hackney Pony Championship continued a great night of showcasing pony talent and eight cob tails entered the ring to put on a show. Once again, the winner would score a three-peat. This time it was John Wrather with his Janet Crampton-trained winner Seamair Simply Awesome. Bred by Mrs. John C. Pritzlaff and a product of her Seamair Farm breeding program, The Dun-Haven Truly Awesome and Heartland Simplicity son topped a great group for the win. Another of Karen Waldron’s world’s grand champions, On The Mark (Mark Of Excellence x Putting On The Ritz), bred by Larry Ella, exited the ring with Karen Waldron wearing the reserve tricolor under Ella’s direction. Making this a truly world’s championship caliber class, 2009 World’s Grand Champion Hackney Pony Heartland High Tech (Dun-Haven Bandolier x Heartland Sweetheart) and Helen Rosburg followed up their amateur ladies win earlier in the week with the top three finish under the direction of Ruth Gimpel and Ronnie Graham.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship for the adults was huge with 16 entries and they racked and trotted their way around the ring with great pass after great pass. As riders jockeyed for position to show off their mounts to the panel, the crowd picked their favorites and made it clear who they wanted to win. This was a class where just winning a ribbon, let alone winning the tricolor, was an impressive accomplishment. When the cards had been tabulated, Take A Guess and Michelle Krentz got the nod as they have many times throughout this season. Krentz did a great job putting the slick racking CF First Night Out sired gelding right where he needed to be.

One of the special trophies awarded in the class was the CH Moses Perpetual Trophy that was donated and presented by Susi Rambler Day. Take A Guess was the first winner trained by Grey Ridge to receive the trophy. The win for Krentz was even more special because 10 years ago on a Friday night in Freedom Hall at the Arab Nationals, Krentz’ sister, Jessica Lau, won the 18-39 Half Arabian English Pleasure National Championship with Bette G. Exactly a decade apart, the sisters claimed National and World’s titles on the green shavings of Freedom Hall.

Winner of the Adult Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship in 2005 (with Patrice Watson) and 2009 (Stefanie Sanchez), CH Stonewall’s Stargate and Sanchez headed out with the reserve world’s champion of champions title under the direction of Peter and Kim Cowart. CH Titleist Right Tonight and Allyson Ehle turned in a strong team effort from Keirson Stables to claim the top three finish following their qualifying win and Jacque Nance pushed the top three ribbon winners with a great ride aboard CH Under Oath to take fourth place. Jewelfire and Barbara Jozwiak, CH Quidditch and Janet Thompson, CH Callaway’s Dealbreaker and Betts Coup and I’m Fantabulous with Jan Myers rounded out the list of ribbon winners in the big class.

The Junior Five-Gaited Championship was a class that’s going to keep people talking for a while. Full of terrific young gaited contenders, the class was a showcase of five-gaited talent at its best from the young horses. It was also a class with more than one trainer known to be very good at getting the crowd worked up. The 10 horses in the ring were nice enough that just about anyone would have been proud to take any one of them home, but as Lionel Ferreira and Tre Lee took turns making pass after pass with Marc Of Charm and The King’s Redemption, respectively, it soon turned into a battle between them just as it was at Lexington and earlier in the week here in the stallion/gelding division one qualifier.

Marc Of Charm was both powerful and exciting and Ferreira got every ounce of energy and effort from the Santana’s Charm sired stallion. The King’s Redemption had a huge share of the crowd’s support and Tre Lee knew the CH The King Of Highpoint-sired gelding could go the distance. At one point the second way racking, Lee looked back over his shoulder at Ferreira, as to say, "What have you got." And just as Debbie Foley didn’t take the bait set by Merrill Murray in the mare stake on Tuesday night, Ferreira held back the temptation to make it a horse race. "I have a little bit too much testosterone not to want to get mixed up in that but I resisted the temptation," said Ferreira following the prime time showdown.

The battle between the two would end as it has every other time this year. Marc Of Charm and Ferreira were named the champions and they were given a unanimous decision by the panel for Riverdreams LLC. Lee and The King’s Redemption had to settle for reserve and the crowd made their support obvious as they left the ring with the red ribbon for Bridget McNeese.

For Debbie Foley this year at Louisville, it’s all about the girls but she presented the handsome and charismatic stallion that she owns and bred The Inside Story (Callaway’s Blue Norther x That’s My Story), to the top three finish after a powerful effort by the colt. Tammy Devore was up on Steve and Vicki Cruse’s entry Superior Appeal, sired by CH Superior’s Successor, and they were a popular fourth place.

The Amateur Roadster To Bike Championship only had four horses in it, but what a lineup it was. World’s Champion in the 2008 USTA Classic and 2009 open stallion/gelding class, Trio Bolero G and Misdee Wrigley Miller scored a unanimous win to be named the world’s champion of champions. Mr’s. Bones and Charlie Jones, with four world’s championships already to their credit and the winners in the amateur qualifier earlier in the week as well as both amateur wins at Lexington this year, finished their week as the Amateur Roadster to Bike Reserve World’s Champions of Champions under the direction of Lukens Stables. Or would this be their last appearance of the week?

The final class of the night was a great class and a fantastic way to end a stellar night of competition. Twelve teams converged on the green shavings for the Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and the lineup of talent was incredible all the way down the line. The final lineup of 11 had the panel in conversation and it soon became evident that this class was going to require a workout too. Six numbers were called and as each horse headed back to the rail, the crowd showed their support. With such a great group, it was anybody’s class to win.

I’m Something Wicked and Theresa Vonderschmitt, Ali DeGray and Most Definitely Diamonds, Divine Asset and JJ Beck, CH Callaway’s Born For This and Allison Combs, Break On Through and Laura Michelle Dozer-Elliott, CH Callaway’s Kit Carson and Maguire Hall, What Was I Thinking and Lisa Duncan and Callaway’s Karla with Jo Ann Griffin, all took on the challenge of additional work. The group did a great job but as the workout progressed, it seemed that CH Callaway’s Born For This (CH Callaway’s Born To Win x Beckon The Day) and rider Allison Combs were indeed born to do it. They put on a powerful team effort and just couldn’t be denied. An elated Smith Lilly headed to center ring to meet the winners for Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Shires and co-owner Combs.

Vonderschmitt and her Santana’s Charm-sired I’m Something Wicked turned in a stellar performance under the direction of Bob Brison and they claimed the reserve streamers for B & T Vonderschmitt. Dozer-Elliott and Break On Through finished with a very respectable third place with a hard charging performance and they were followed by another go-getter, CH Callaway’s Kit Carson, and Maguire Hall for fourth. In their debut show, Most Definitely Diamonds and DeGray took a place on the podium with a solid fifth place finish. Beck and Divine Asset, What Was I Thinking and Duncan and Callaway’s Karla with Griffin claimed the remaining ribbons in that order.

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