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Louisville - Saturday Daytime

We’ve reached the Freedom Hall finale, the end of the long week in Louisville… Saturday. And yet there are still dozens of questions of to be answered! In the next 12 hours plus, an entire new group of World’s Grand Champions will have been crowned. With all that to come, we began the day with a big bay winner, CH It’s Good Karma. Elisabeth Goth was decked out from head to toe, looking lovely in orange, with an elegant summer hat featuring orange and red flowers and black feathers. While not quite whimsical like her good friend Ashley Hallock’s hats tend to be, this one was fanciful and elegant. Her partner takes elegance and add athleticism, as he puts his mile long neck up high and marches down the rail, covering ground well at the extensions. Directed by Neil Visser, they came back from a reserve win in the qualifier to wear the blanket of flowers and the dual tri-colors in the Country Pleasure Driving Championship. CH Stevie Nicks also had a much better championship go, earning the reserve world title with Pat Yeatts at the lines. Matt Shiflet trains last year’s Lexington champion for Cherry Stone Farm. Sired by The Mac Attack, Stevie Nicks is out of Kitty Glitter. Let’s see how many Fleetwood Mac clichés we can work into one sentence. This team went their own way in this one and didn’t stop until their Louisville dreams came true. That’s three song references in one sentence, and they are all from the Rumours album! Susi Day, breeder of this gorgeous chestnut mare and avid Stevie Nicks fan, would be proud. Vicki Reed and Firecracker Jack made yet another strong show to finish third for the second time this week. This Simbara’s Rising Son gelding is trained by AJ Bruwer. He is out of Belle France SM. Night Sight and Ann Fitzpatrick earned the white ribbon in fourth for Rigby’s Green Farm.

Jessica Wuesthofen saved her best for last, the biggest class of the show year. And when we say “her best,” we mean just that. This was her best ride of the year, and may have been her best show ever with CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool, and that is saying something. Now winners of five World’s Championships together, these two were sensational today. Every pass they made was just as awesome as the one before. They were consistently brilliant. The son of CH Harlem Town, out of the Broodmare Hall of Famer CH It’s A Beautiful Day, has always been a winner everywhere he goes. Today he took that to another level, working even higher and lighter in the bridle and never backing an ear. He took the 14-17 Three-Gaited Show Pleasure World’s Championship home to DeLovely. The placings from a year ago were flipped, as it was The Majestic finishing as Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Maya Manilow. Their reign at the very top of the division also featured the 2010 National Championship. Owned by Barbara Goodman Manilow and trained by Skyline Stables, The Majestic is simply that. He is so big and powerful as he moves down the rail. It was a knockout performance and one to be proud of for certain. Jimmy and Georgia Morrison’s always loud and proud Meadow Dream cheering section got a chance to voice their opinion, as Julianna Lowery and O Man Alive finished in third. This was their biggest prize to date, and Julianna looked absolutely thrilled as she left with the yellow ribbon. Riley Sockett and the Equitate LLC team wound up the week fourth with Double Secret Probation TS.

With a pat on the back from good friend and header Josh Greer, Chris Gantley drove Bruce Almighty to the winner’s circle as the unanimous Junior Harness Pony World’s Champion of Champions. Sired by a strong producer, Twin Willow’s McMillan, Bruce Almighty is out of Carmen Electra. Bred by Steve and LeAnn Golden, he is now co-owned by Steve Golden and Christy Gantley. Heartland High Interest took Heather Boodey to a Reserve World’s Championship for David Hicks. Sired by Heartland Equality, High Interest is out of the grand mare, New Song, producer of greats such as Heartland Rain Song.

Maisie Benfield got her Louisville round of honor in the Kentucky Rider Equitation class, winning with The Mystery Machine. She has taken a victory pass here each of the three years she has shown, sweeping her walk-and-trot divisions the past two years. Kristen Smith capped off her junior exhibitor career in Freedom Hall with a reserve win here.

There was a real battle atop the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17 Championship, with CH League Of Nations fighting for and taking the top spot and World’s Championship title with Maya Manilow making her second great ride of the day for Barbara Goodman Manilow and Skyline Stables. This glimmering golden chestnut always shines under the Freedom Hall lights, winning unanimously here today. The Adult World’s Champion of Champions for the past two years with Carol Hillenbrand, League Of Nations is an impressive specimen by Zovoorbij Commander In Chief and out of CH Ivy League. Maya herself was the World’s Champion of Champions in this division a year ago, as announcer Peter Fenton pointed out that she was aboard CH CF First Light Of Dawn to take this tri-color in 2010. Kalu’s Can’t Stop The Magic has found a great niche here in this division. He has always had that impressively high and tight headset, and now it counts for more than just a part of the overall picture with an equitation rider. It sends him rocketing up the cards. He was Reserve World’s Champion of Champions here with Abigail Mutrux making the good ride for Shamrock Saddlebred Farms and the DeLovely training team. Mollie Kregor also made a good catch ride aboard Red Shirt Freshman to place third for Long Hollow Farm. She was second in her qualifier with this Slam Dunk HG product.

The two black horses fought for the top spot once again in the Junior Park Pleasure Championship. Melinda Moore and Double Black Diamond remained the only ones to ever win a junior park pleasure class in Freedom Hall, taking the first tricolor of its kinds for Joellen Fisher Blount. This black gelding by Castle Bravo is out of Evangelique, who is two for two on producing World’s Champions. Evangelique is also jet black and is a half sister to CH Highland Cavalier. Make Mine Black finished as Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for Dr. Rinaldo Denuzzo. His black coloring comes from the top line in the form of CH Harlem Town. He is out of a half sister to Leatherwood’s Starlight. Matt Lightner was aboard once again. Lightner has made the most of the opportunities provided him by his Mercer Springs peers, always making a strong ride and getting the best out of each of his charges. He swapped places today with Jim Stachowski, who finished third with Kalarama’s McSteamy, by General Steel and out of Harlem’s Lady Superior.

If there was a prize for fitting your name perfectly, CH Absolutely Exquisite might win that one unanimously. She looks pleased as punch to be back in the show ring this season, still set way back in the bridle. In a sea of chestnut, Absolutely Exquisite stood out, with Tara Grom doing more than her share to hold up her end of the deal, putting her in just the right spots every time around the ring. If given one word to describe this mare, it would be “Quality.” You thought we were going to say “Exquisite,” didn’t you? The DeLovely team directs this Adult Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions for Bob and Kim Grom. The aforementioned Matt Lightner actually brought out the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions as a four-year-old in 2008. He showed the horse now known as CH Jessie Cole to a win at Roanoke in Junior Park Pleasure. Fast forward three years, this horse is now teamed with Amanda Dellinger under the Hollow Haven banner and has gone on to win two World’s Championship blues, this Reserve World’s Championship, and two Reserve National Championships. That is an impressive string of success. The gray gelding sets himself apart from the rest, with Mandy working him to perfection in this her third year with the star. Sara Haynes was thrilled with her third place finish, her biggest prize yet aboard Nightly In New York. Sired by I’m A New Worker, this five-year-old mare is out of CH Nightly Affair, she of multiple world titles with Chris Nalley. Nicolle Beltz Tolliver wrapped up her week in fourth with South Street for Dr. and Mrs. Homer Beltz.

The top three in the 13-and-Under Show Pleasure World’s Championship all carry the “CH” prefix signifying their status as Saddlebred Record Champions. The first among these happens to have done it in her first six years of life. That is an impressive feat. The Louisville winner’s circle? I’ll be there with bells on! It was the Mackenzie Hall entry, CH With Bells On taking this tricolor, as an ecstatic team rushed to greet her. A winner of over $70,000 in her career (the $50,176 in one night as the All American Cup Weanling Champion helps that number), With Bells On is just an exquisitely beautiful daughter of Con Heir. She was the first foal of Stella Bella, by General Steel. Third in her qualifier, she came back with guns blazing today to take top honors. This mare’s path to Freedom Hall this year was about as intriguing as you could ever imagine, showing and winning at SASHA, Pin Oak, Big D, UPHA Chapter 5, Chattanooga/Cleveland Charity, Roanoke, and Denver Queen City! Every horse show she has been at this year, she has taken a victory pass.

The great blonde mare, CH A Magic Spell, is beloved by all who have ever been part of her life as well as just about anyone who watches her carry her young teammates safely and sportily. The 14-17 World’s Champion of Champions in 2008, Magic Spell has been teamed with Ethan Feiber for the past two years under the direction of Jennifer Dixon. They made their best show today to take reserve honors back to California. Kaitlynn Creekmore picked up the third prize with CH Be Advised, their second together on the week, and Kaitlynn’s third for the Hollow Haven team. Be Advised is by Merchant Prince and out of a Foxfire’s Prophet mare. He is owned by Kaitlynn’s grandfather, Thomas R. Brock Jr. William Nalty and Vuarnet were a popular fourth for Holly and James Nichols.

A Night In Vegas is no stranger to the Louisville winner’s circle, but today, his paycheck got a big bump! A field of 10 were called back from the Wednesday preliminaries to show for the ASR Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure National Futurity World’s Championship. Tall and long-legged, upright and short-coupled, Night In Vegas is square moving, speaking well of the base put on him by Tre Lee and Smith Lilly and the finish applied by rider Jim Cherry. Shown by Tre to a Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Championship last year, Night In Vegas is by Northern Vegas and out of a CF First Night Out mare. Grace Arnold now owns this flashy gelding from her California home base. Vladimir has a mean sounding name, but was pleasure perfect under the hand of Renee Biggins to earn the reserve prize and paycheck for Dr. Bill Clem. By Supremacy’s High Time, Vladimir is out of Miss Information, a daughter of Dr. Clem’s old show mare, CH Miss Lady O’ Lee. He is also a chestnut with a lot of white and put on a top notch show today. David Cater saw I’m Impressive show at Midwest, tying him in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic there with Jessica Moctezuma up. A month later he selected the Trust Fund gelding to be Owen Binnie’s new mount. Owned by Pamela Binnie, I’m Impressive and Cater finished in third.

Melinda Moore had a fabulous day with her young harness stock, sweeping the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness classes. In the mare division, it was Vienna Waltz taking top honors for Joellen Fisher Blount. Assistant Kelly Self headed up both victory passes on the day, this one coming for the daughter of Undulata’s Nutcracker and Tornaado’s Tidal Wave. A grand harness mare for Joellen, Tidal Wave has now gone on to a new job, producing World’s Champions. She has done so incredibly well, with three of her four registered foals sporting “WCs.” Vienna Waltz herself has won here twice, dancing to victory as a Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Champion last year. Pedro Martinez has had some star power this week in harness. He was reserve with Our Evening Out for his longtime employer, Blythewood Farms. Sired by CF First Night Out, Our Evening Out is a complete outcross, as she is out of Desert’s Awesome Lover, a mare carrying Mountain Highland Memories on top and bottom as part of Walter Bush’s Arizona-based program. Her second dam is a full sister to World’s Grand Champion Memories Citation. Getting a big crowd response in third was Twilight Vigil. A wildly talented daughter of Dorian Warriors Song, she is out of a Harrods Burg mare. While this mare herself got plenty of pop from the crowd, it had plenty to do with the always entertaining Jimmy Womble at the lines for Nancy Bryan. Few can pull off a cowboy hat in fine harness, but Jimmy can do it! Showing in his highlining style, every time Jimmy hits the ring, he drives like he’s got the best one out there. The noise was such that another header in the ring couldn’t hear Twilight Vigil approaching and got spun around by her shoulder knocking him out of the way! Jimmy just kept right on smiling as he exited Freedom Hall. That, good friends, will be a moment to remember for all involved.

A few classes later, some of the same players were back to compete in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class, with Melinda Moore taking the blue once again, this time with Costa Nostra for Fish n Fun Farms. Sired by the Globetrotter son, The Harlem Renaissance, Costa Nostra is a black colt out of an Irish Connection mare. Undefeated here in his three-year-old year, Costa Nostra gave Melinda the sweep of this three-year-old harness division here on Saturday morning. Jim Stachowski, who oversees somewhere near 200 training horses between operations in Ohio, California and Arizona, always seems to bring out something new and special on the green shavings (think Da Vinci Code and Wild Carrissima). While not as stunning as those two were in their debuts, Mr. Bling was still a sight in reserve for owner Roji Hoskin. Sired by Catalyst, Mr. Bling is out of a Foxfire’s Prophet mare. Pedro Martinez was up for third here with Roger Jenne, an entry of Anne Neil. They were Reserve World’s Champions in two-year-old harness a year ago.

The strapping Max Kaplan carried off the 14-17 Road Pony tricolor in his Freedom Hall swan song as a junior exhibitor. He once again piloted Late Nite’s Basic Impact to the top spot for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Inc. They certainly saved their best for last, as the Mike Roberts Stable team celebrated the fantastic win, the best in Max’s career with Basic Impact. Sweeping your division at the World’s Championship Horse Show can’t be the worst feeling in the world. With his mom on injured reserve, Trey Watson has picked up the family slack, making a fantastic drive to be crowned Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Mr. Lucky Man. Owned by Patrice and Joe O’Brien, Mr. Lucky Man is a standout staple on the green shavings, leaving with at least a Reserve World’s Championship all six years he has shown here.CH Heartland Victory Maker and Alex Ververeli moved up a spot from their qualifier to place third in their first year in the older age group.

The best performance of the day might have to go to Nick Maupin with Aphrodite’s Tears. The entry of Paige and Kim Guisfredi went a snappy, slow-moving yet striking park trot all throughout the first way then cranked it up second way to earn the Junior Exhibitor Park World’s Championship. There are now two horses who share all of the world titles in this division, both bay and both showing in this same class today. While Nick Maupin was the prince of the equitation ranks last year, finishing here in Louisville as Senior Equitation Reserve World’s Champion of Champions and going on to win the hallowed Triple Crown, his horsemanship was what put him over today. The way he worked his bridle and the ring in this class were beyond compare. That is a testament to the Knollwood team, from Scott and Carol Matton, down through longtime lieutenant Eric Griedl and perhaps most importantly, their riding program, led by the inimitable Nancy Turner. Scotty and Eric represented the Knollwood Knockouts in the ring today, as both of them wore their Kentucky State Fair Winner hats to head up Nick’s round of honor. Finishing no lower than reserve since Louisville 2008 and never finishing lower than reserve against junior exhibitor competition, CH Justa Rascal were reserve once again today. Their incredible career together just continues to write chapter after chapter. The dynamic bay gelding looked like a fresh-faced three-year-old colt hitting the show ring for the first time, as Camille came blasting into the ring. He put on a remarkable performance, just as he did in winning all four junior exhibitor park classes ever held at Louisville prior to this year. The bay trifecta was completed by CH Ya-Ya and Ashley Bryce for Bryce Heritage Investments and Jack Magill Stables. Ashley is a high caliber jockey, making solid performances with each of her mounts.

The Roadster Under Saddle Championship ended in a disjointed manner, as an ill-timed timeout killed the momentum of the class, just as Peter Fenton called for them to show at speed. Scott Hagan regrouped and restarted the engines of Big N Rich, revving him up and rocking down the rails. Debbie Foley and George Schmid have this horse working in his high-headed, fast-moving form for Hagan Saddlebreds. Twice a winner this week, he now has three World’s Championships to his credit. Suzanne Crabtree got a nice sendoff as Reserve World’s Champion of Champions with Despite It All, a rocket of a horse owned by Barbara Watts. Despite It All was the Open World’s Champion a year ago and in 2008. He has long been a staple of the Kentucky show circuit, winning a wagon reserve world title in 2002 with Steve Crabtree.

Toni Nastali got strong crowd support as the Road Pony to Wagon World’s Champion with Boogity Boogity. It seemed predestined that Boogity Boogity would win a world title this week after the fantastic sporting news story of a month ago where the pastor giving the invocation at a NASCAR race in Nashville used the Darrell Waltrip catchphrase in his prayer, ending with, “Boogity boogity boogity Amen!” YouTube “boogity amen” if you haven’t seen this yet. All those planning to come to the 2012 UPHA National Convention, this is not indicative of the entire Nashville population! Back to racing ponies not racing cars, the Hackney version of Boogity Boogity was a sensation here today for the Majestic Oaks team. He was a World’s Champion in 2008 as well, taking a 14-17 Road Pony blue with Megan Todd. This speedster is owned by Ashlyn Farms. Winner of the first two Road Pony to Wagon World’s Championships and then taking reserve world titles the next two years, Bud Light and Ronnie Graham left with the red ribbon for James and Helen Rosburg.

The Open Park Championship always seems to produce a story, and this year was no exception, as several breakthrough performances came in the same class. The biggest of these had to be the World’s Champion of Champions, Imperiaptor. Long a project of Mitch Clark and owner Laurel Nelson, Imperiaptor made all that hard work pay off today. After wowing crowds as a gaited horse, he made a transition to park a year ago, then had his mane trimmed for Louisville, where he came fourth in the walk-trot stake. This year, the mane is back, and he has been a stunner in this new division. Getting a lot of crowd support in third in the Stallion/Gelding class, he gave them what they wanted in the championship, taking the final victory pass of the day. Chuck Herbert has a burgeoning superstar in Nuttin’ To Lose. Reserve twice this week, Nuttin’ To Lose is just a four-year-old, showing against this aged competition. By Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Ridin’ On Heir, this dark chestnut gelding had been undefeated in this division with Chuck aboard coming into this week. Owned by Holt Oaks Farm, he was the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity World’s Champion in 2009. Another breakout star here was CF A Rare Genius. This project has belonged to David Cater since late 2007 for the McCool family. This seems to be his year, as he followed up a top three at Lexington with another here in the World’s Championship. Always carrying his head and neck high and tight, he looks to be more comfortable in the ring in 2011, rocking back more and strutting, giving him even more motion up front. While a Guns N Roses comeback tour may never happen, the Our Axel Rose tour has been a great story of 2011. He finished up fourth here with John Biggins up for McDonald LLC.

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