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Louisville – Monday Evening



It was a night of junior horses and ladies, wrapping up with the Five Gaited Stallion Stake.   It was a night for first blues, first world champion titles and a night that was brought to a standstill during the Ladies Fine Harness class.  


The first call brought a first for the expressive Junior Three Gaited 15.2 and over winner Punch Baby. Jackie Tanner proudly and perfectly presented the mare, sired by Periaptor, for Sarah and Joe Benza. Forever Foxy and Mike Tunstall earned a reserve world champion title for Barbara Von Berries after a top reserve in Lexington.


It was a great day for the Majestic Oaks crew as Maureen Lydon and Rich Campbell led their crew down several victory passes. Lydon picked a blue for Darrel Kolkman the second class into the evening in the Harness Pony Mares division with Heartland Beautiful Dreamer who remained undefeated this year.  Christy Gantley campaigned for and earned a strong reserve with her Nacho Mama.  


One of the crowd’s favorites from last year as the ASR Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Futurity World’s Champion with Bert Honaker returned for another World Champion title but this year in the Junior Five-Gaited Mare division. Callaway’s Born For This proved she was “Born To Win”, with a victory pass with Nelson Green for Stonecroft Farm. Also a crowd favorite and in reserve was Nancy Leigh Fisher’s 2006 Three-Year-Old World’s Champion and UPHA Classics Grand Champion Catalyst’s Work Of  Art. Trainer Andy Freseth continued the strong start for this young gaited contender.  Deborah Butler entered two junior five-gaited contenders including the third place mare, Pour Some Sugar On Me, trained by DeLovely Farm and Todd Miles.


When you ask Jim Aikman how often futurity winners go on to become World’s Champions, he will tell you it’s so often it’s hard to name them all.   This year’s Amateur Ladies Fine Harness Champion is proof many times over.   Misdee Wrigley and her Castledream continued the blue dream from Lexington to the World Champion winner circle, earning a blue now for three years starting back in 2003. Castledream by Castle Bravo, started his World Champion career as the Futurity ASHA Kentucky Amateur Yearling Champion in 2003, shown by Kenny Wheeler.  The gelding went on to earn a Three-Year-Old Fine Harness World Champion title and a Junior Fine Harness title.  Joan Adler was beaming as she accepted a Reserve World Champion ribbon with Gothic Revival, a repeat performance from 2006 and after a reserve in Lexington.


Monday night paused for a special honor to Lee and Beverly Dunn of Monroe, Wisconsin as the 2007 American Hackney Horse Society Hall Of Fame inductees. The Dun-Haven prefix has been attached to so many world’s champions over the years.

Then it was back to the rail for the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class.   Deborah Butler’s second junior five-gaited entry entered the ring again under the direction of Todd Miles.  Arrowhead’s Dreamcatcher earned only his second blue after a career debut at the Indianapolis Charity this spring. Larry Hodge and Conway earned the reserve in a tough field of 17 contenders. 

It was three times in a row for Free Willy and Georgia Blevins.  After an explosive performance it was another great win and celebration for trainers Maureen Lydon and Rich Campbell
in Road Pony over 50 to 52 inches. The Frickey banner continues to earn rare and prestigious titles with Extremely Rare earning the reserve with Randy Harper on the lines.


Mia Morris, Georgia Blevins and Maureen Lydon

had quite a day with their ponies.  In the afternoon

Morris earned a reserve world's champion title with

Heartland Sundust while tonight Lydon won with

Heartland Beautiful Dreamer and Blevins and

Free Willy won their class for the third year in a row.


It’s been a great year for Kim Skipton and Poser Farm’s The King’s Lady Anne in the Ladies Three Gaited 15.2 and Under Division. Skipton, smiling ear to ear, earned a World Champion title after a reserve champion finish at Lexington.  Andrea Nicole Perry proudly earned the reserve title with her Gypsy’s Say When. The crowd cheered on as CH The Sportster and Jacqueline Ware brought in the William Woods-owned horse for a third place ribbon.

Joe Friday made his eye-popping debut last year with trainer and then-owner John Conatser in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness division. In this year’s Junior Fine Harness class Joe Friday was a crowd favorite the minute he entered the ring for the stallion/gelding division.  The crowd didn’t let up and continued its support, pass by pass until Kenny Wheeler and “Joe” were called to the winner’s circle for a unanimous vote from the judging panel. The class had depth with several quality young horses in competition for the reserve title that was earned by Sam Stafford and At Night, an entry bred and owned by Blythewood Farms.   At Night is another horse that was shown in hand earning a reserve title in the yearling futurity in 2004.

The Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Mares division welcomed top champions and world champion contenders but this year’s World Champion team came back for the title after two reserves last year. The young team of Kaitlyn Grom and her Whimsicality focused on blue all year and took it to the top Monday night to replace their Reserve World Champion title in 2006. In reserve, Ceil Wheeler presented Cheerful Memories for Pasture Fork Farm.  This young five-gaited contender has been shown this year by Merrill Murray in the Open and Novice five-gaited divisions.


Amateur Gentleman’s Fine Harness division brought out five contenders and a new World Champion team that has been competing for an Amateur World Champion title since 2002.  Dr. Scott Cairns and Simbara’s Exclamation started their quest in the Three-Gaited division in 2002. In 2004 the team headed for the Gentlemen’s Fine Harness division returning year after year until their brilliant victory Monday night. 2006 World Champion Nurse Goodbody and John Scheidt returned for a reserve after a blue ribbon in Lexington.


Heavenly Thunder earned two World Champion titles in Fine Harness starting as a two-year-old before moving to the under saddle division.  This year with Darrell Case in the irons for Nancy Leigh Fisher, the team made a quick division change from Park at the Mercer County Fair to earn back to back blues in Junior Three Gaited 15.2 and Under at Shelbyville and now Louisville.   Robert Gardiner continued a breathtaking campaign on the stunning, black Harlem’s Showman.  After two years of blue ribbons at the Midwest Charity, Gardiner earned the reserve title Monday night.


Twenty-one contenders packed Freedom Hall for the Ladies Amateur Five Gaited Geldings division. Filled with champions and top contenders the challenge was to be seen and to break from the pack.  Two teams stood out with Mary Gaylord McClean and I’m A Treat standing out with a perfect ride that could not be missed and earning their first World Champion title in their last showing in Freedom Hall.  In reserve, Dr. Owen Weaver and her new teammate Parker Road rode hard and smart drawing attention from the crowd and the judges to earn a reserve title for the Ladies Amateur Five Gaited Gelding competition. Amazingly, this is Parker Road’s first year in the show ring.


It was a proud moment for Bret and Susi Day presenting Open Arms for Jeff and Janet Sterba in the Junior Fine Harness division. Monday night will be remembered always by the Grey Ridge team as they celebrated their first bred and raised World Champion.   In reserve, Larry Hodge returned with 2006 Three Year Old Fine Harness Mare World Champion Radiant Renaissance for Joan Hamilton.


Bret and Susi Day were justifiably proud

with Open Arms’s world's champion junior

fine harness mare win - she is the first

Grey Ridge-bred world's champion.


Fabulous and riding to win, Theresa Vonderschmitt and World’s Grand Champion Manila Thrilla were in sync and at the top of their game, earning support from the crowd and the judges in the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Over 15.2.   It was a lovely, ladies performance as CH Pas De Deux and Rosemarie Fernandez returned to Freedom Hall for their third Reserve World Champion title in a row.  


Manila Thrilla and Theresa Vonderschmitt were

picture perfect after winning the World's Champion

Amateur Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 title.


Silver and Blue, only a four-year-old and already a World Champion from 2006, racked off with a bold win with Tom Pettry in the irons for Barbara Vincent in the Amateur Gentleman’s Five-Gaited division. Chris Nalley returned for a repeat performance and a second reserve world champion title in the Amateur Gentleman’s division with former Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion 5 O’Clock.


Michael Arnston, Barbara Vincent, and Dale Arnston

congratulate Tom Pettry (second from right).


The Ladies Fine Harness class brought Monday night to a standstill with a tragic accident. Celtic Storm got away from driver Karen Blankenship Shumate and hit the rail at the in-gate end of the ring. After much attention, he was taken from the ring in the horse ambulance.  The remaining horses were unhooked in the ring and led back to the barn before the class was tied. Chris Kaplan and her Lady Vol, a perfect ladies team, were invited to make their victory pass on Tuesday night. Lynn Harvey McNamara and her 2006 Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions were reserve.


The show got back underway with the Roadster To Bike Stallion/Gelding Stake after some work on the ring to repair the rail and a breather for the audience and judging panel.  For the third year in a row, Raymond Shively and his Big Red earned the World Champion title that started each season with a blue ribbon streak.   In reserve, was Melinda Moore driving Quill for Holli McDowell after an under saddle World Champion title in 2006.


Saturday night’s grand championship showdown promises to be exciting after seeing a taste of the competition Monday night.  The final class welcomed 11 powerful contenders for the Five-Gaited Stallion Stake.  I’m First, finished first with Nelson Green in the irons for Stonecroft Farm. This team earned its first World’s Champion title in this division in 2005 and a reserve champion title in 2006.  Two South African stallions made strong showings in this class.  Michele Macfarlane’s (SA) CCV Casey’s Final Countdown earned the reserve title with Elisabeth Goth-Chelberg’s (SA) Calif First Night Out finishing among the top three. 


Doug Shiflet captured the winning photo

from the first of the qualifying rounds for the

Five-Gaited Championship as Nelson Green

directed I'm First down victory lane in the

Open Five-Gaited Stallion qualifier.



For complete results of Monday's evening session, click here For Judges Cards, click here.


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