Skip to content

Louisville - Saturday Morning



Saturday has arrived in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonight, horses and ponies have a shot at glory, the chance to be a World’s Grand Champion. Today, the Pleasure divisions will crown their World’s Champions of Champions, along with a few harness classes and the Junior Equitation Championship. The much-anticipated Park Championship caps off the afternoon in high style and sets the tone for the evening session.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine that one special moment from a performance. Trying to compare the excitement of one class or the emotion of a victory to another can be at best like comparing apples to oranges. Today, however, there was a moment that put goosebumps on top of goosebumps and caused quite a few eyes to turn misty in the Freedom Hall crowd. CH Blackberry Delight, owned by Shannon Sewell, bred by Jim Aikman, ridden by Rachel Machamer, and trained by Andy and Lynda Freseth, brought the curtain down on his final competitive performance in Freedom Hall today. As he took his last victory pass, this one in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 14-17 World’s Championship, the Saturday afternoon crowd rose to its feet and saluted this grandest of champions. Having won world’s championships in seven different divisions, he trotted out the gate just as he came in, with his ears locked forward and his head in that impossibly perfect position that hasn’t changed in his 14 years in the show ring. Jim Aikman had his video camera out and rolling as his pride and joy made that last pass and Peter Fenton extolled the greatness of this show ring legend. By Blackberry Winter and out of Memorable Molly, a mare by Jim Aikman’s great stallion, Hide-A-Way’s Wild Country, Blackberry Delight started winning as a baby and has yet to stop. He will continue to show through the American Royal. He is one of the all-time greats and will certainly be missed.


Making a fantastic show for Katie Jarve, CH A Magic Spell worked high in the bridle and bright today, perhaps moving forward at a quicker pace than in the qualifier. Jennifer Dixon trains this gorgeous Catalyst mare. The top three entries in this class all have been trained by Hollow Haven at one point or another. Third in the class was Nancy Leigh Fisher’s former park horse, He’s A Royal Pepper. Sarah Lawson was aboard today. They were reserve in their qualifier.


The first class of this morning crowned the Hackney Pleasure Driving World’s Champion of Champions by a unanimous vote of the judges. Wednesday morning marked the first Louisville victory pass for Stephany Monteleone, showing Mastercraft’s Namesake LF in the Hackney Pleasure Driving qualifier. Saturday morning, she made her second. Showing under the direction of Abel Vega at John Shea Stables, Mastercraft’s Namesake is by Mastercraft and was bred by Dan and Leah Light. He had to overcome a cast of great ponies in this one. The reserve world’s champion was Pacifico’s Standing Ovation, driven for the second time this week by Nancy Leigh Fisher. He was reserve in this class last year as well, that time with owner Bob Anderson at the lines. Third in the championship was Razzle Dazzle Me, driven by Kay Marschel. They were reserve in their qualifier on Wednesday. Last year’s champion, Early Edition, was fourth for Jane Mueller.


Stephany Monteleone and Mastercraft’s Namesake LF

with trainer Abel Vega

Kentucky Equitation 14-17 was a unanimous victory for Ellen Medley Wright and Kalu’s Can’t Stop The Magic, showing under the DeLovely banner. This is Wright’s first year in the senior age group. Last year’s winner, Eleanor Watkins, was reserve, with Lindsay Haupt, a big winner at Lexington, third.


Ellen Medley Wright and Kalu’s Can’t Stop The Magic


The Country Pleasure Driving Championship was the property, quite literally, of Nancy Anderson and CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny. They have owned this class since 2003, making it five years in a row that they have taken the world’s championship in this division. The Hollow Haven-trained team shows no signs of letting up any time soon. The reserve championship went to The Straight Guy and Jane Steinkamp. Trained by Chuck Herbert, The Straight Guy had only shown in harness at one horse show before coming here to Freedom Hall, taking two classes at Harrodsburg. Apparently he enjoys this division even more than under saddle. Heirithmatic and Donna Smith were third for Donna and Tubby Smith. He was a qualifier winner here last year with good friend Heidi Bowie in the cart.


The huge smile and the big ovation that followed him around the ring continued to grow, as Dakota Reiser rode Highpoint’s Grandee straight to a unanimous Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 13-and-Under World’s Championship. The former three-gaited mount of owner Shannon Hafer, Highpoint’s Grandee sets his head in a perfect place and marches down the rail. Dakota goes right with him, having the time of his life and working to keep the bundle of energy beneath him in check. He got the job done today in admirable fashion, taking the tri-colors and the yellow carnations, as dad Chris Reiser called instructions from the rail and met him in the winner’s circle. Last year’s winner, CH CF First Light Of Dawn, followed in reserve with Maya Manilow, after finishing third in his qualifier. “Forbes” and Maya continue to come together as a team, making striking passes every time they hit the ring. There was no shortage of big name horses in the ring. CH The Bess Yet was third for an elated Lizzie Edgar. Harlem’s Moving Man and Taylor LaFargue were fourth. They won their section of the qualifier on Tuesday. Fifth in the class went to CH Wind Cruzer, with Tyler Miles catch-riding for good friend Callie Smith, who would come back two classes later for the Junior Equitation Championship. The green ribbon went to another Tyler, Tyler Devore. He had At First Sight looking cute and fixy for Pam Langford. In seventh was last year’s 14-17 Champion, CH New York Style. Ben Ferreby is his new partner. Alicia Sacotte (pronounced sack-it) and Fine By Me were eighth in this absolutely loaded class.


Dakota Reiser and Highpoint’s Grandee

with dad/trainer Chris Reiser


They made it all the way to Saturday morning without having a second workout, but the 24-horse Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship demanded extra work. The judges conferred, with Mr. Whitley as the mediator, and decided to keep 11 horses in the ring. In numerical order, they included Unlisted Number and Tate Bennett, Teuschers and Barbara Goodman Manilow, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees and Susan Creekmore, CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver, CH Just Special and Carol Hillenbrand, My Southern Charm with Brooke Jacobs, CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger, Catalyst Commander and Stephanie Ritter, CH French Silk Stockings and Debbie Tomin, Reedann’s Phine By Me and Kate Bryan, and Finest Material with Kurt Antonacci. Take a look at that list and stop to think of all the victory passes those 11 horses have taken. That was what the panel had left to sort through as they sent them back to the rail at the trot. It is impossible to ignore CH Ninety-Eight Degrees in the show ring. His size dominates the ring and his way of flowing down the rail just naturally attracts the eye. The same can be said for Teuschers, a huge gelding who looks even bigger when teamed with petite Barbara Goodman Manilow. CH Lightnin’ Lil is no stranger to knockdown drag out fights like this one. She and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver have been taking on all comers for years. And just think of the Pleasure division battles Uncle Abe has been through! But through all this, it was the little guy that came through, well, little lady in this case. Scratch that, make it two little ladies: CH French Silk Stockings and Debbie Tomin. Debbie is the wife of Bill Tomin, owner and trainer of Rockridge Farm in California. She isn’t a very tall one to begin with, and Bill is a skyscraper of a guy, making her look even smaller. They are an affable pair to deal with. CH French Silk Stockings is a 10-year-old mare by Supreme Heir. She is tiny and punchy, but the way she goes, you would think she wanted to go for the walk-trot stake. She was brought out as a 2-year-old by Carter Cox and has taken four prior victory passes in Freedom Hall. Her first was as the National 3-Year-Old Three-Gaited Futurity Champion. Today was her day to return to the winner’s circle in Louisville. She never backed an ear and just kept marching, never fading. Big Bill Tomin greeted his wife in the winner’s circle with a big ol’ grin on his face.


Debbie and Bill Tomin


The Reserve World’s Championship went to the two-time defending Champion, CH Ninety-Eight Degrees. Susan Creekmore was aboard this time, as her husband sat in his third-row seat snapping picture after picture as she rode hard through the initial railwork and second workout. Alice Unger was up in 2005 and 2006 for the World’s Championship rides. And before that, he was a six-time winner here in Park for Chris Nalley and Steve Wheeler. The other big boy, Teuschers, was third with Barbara Manilow. He is another homebred product from what is fast-becoming a very potent breeding program. CH Lightnin’ Lil and Nicolle Beltz Tolliver were fourth after taking their section of the qualifier. CH Just Special, second in his qualifier, was fifth in this one with Carol Hillenbrand. CH Uncle Abe and Piper Granger were sixth, with Catalyst Commander and Stephanie Ritter seventh for Maguire Hall LLC. Reedann’s Phine By Me and Kate Bryan picked up the hard-earned eighth-place ribbon.  


Brittany McGinnis, the three-time winner of the Junior Equitation Championship, re-donated the Devon Garone Challenge Trophy that she retired last year. This year’s recipient was by a unanimous choice of the judges. Aboard A Sweet Sensation, Taylor Newton bested 13 others to take home the tri-color and trophies under the direction of Shelley Fisher. There were seven others besides Newton who were kept in the ring to perform the pattern. Those seven were Natalie Armstrong-Grunnan, Nick Maupin, Courtney McGinnis, Caroline Skinner, Abigail Mutrux, Belle Owen and Callie Smith. The pattern consisted of a trot to the one-third point, canter to the two-thirds point, trot a serpentine across the ring, canter a serpentine back across the ring, reverse and return down the rail at a trot showing two changes of diagonal. Nick Maupin showed his talent and horsemanship to be called out as the Reserve Champion, showing as a 13-year-old out of Knollwood Farm. He was the 13-Year-Old World’s Champion earlier in the week. The third-place finisher, Natalie Armstrong-Grunnan, may have had the best pattern work with Carboness PHF. She got a head start on her pattern and had to be called back to line as the judges waited for a question to be asked by one of the other riders. In fourth was Callie Smith aboard Miss Majesticness. This is a great match of horse, riding habit, and rider. The whole picture just works. Fifth was Caroline Skinner of Omaha, Nebraska, in one of her best performances to date. Abigail Mutrux was sixth, with Belle Owen seventh, both showing under the DeLovely banner. The only 10-and-under rider to show back was tough enough to make the workout. This was Brittany McGinnis’ little sister, Courtney Lee McGinnis. She finished up in eighth.


Taylor Newton and A Sweet Sensation


The big, flaxen gelding with the tall, pretty rider earned a unanimous World’s Championship in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17 division. Sarah Werry and He Walks On Water have a steady and true way of moving around the ring, always at just the perfect pace. This was the Catalyst son’s first trip to the Louisville winner’s circle since 2004, when he won his qualifier with Malissa Shirkey Welke. The reserve champion today was Callaway’s Blue Agate, making a great show for Emily Burglass. They were reserve world’s champions last year as well. League Of Nations and Emily Druckman were third, repeating their qualifier placing.


From the kids to the adults, the Country Pleasure division stepped up the age group to crown another World’s Champion. CH The Shadow Knows made it three years in a row as the Adult Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions with Linda Meyer showing for her parents’ Brown-Anderson Farms, Ltd. “Nosey” is by Supreme Heir and out of an Attaché mare. This was the second Brown-Anderson world’s championship of the day, sweeping the Adult Country Pleasure division, both riding and driving. Deborah Richardson was beaming as she picked up the reserve tri-color with CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard. They were first in their qualifier on Wednesday.


CH The Shadow Knows with Linda Meyer


The Maria Knight Memorial Trainer’s Challenge Trophy was presented by Bill and Toni Knight and longtime friend Beth Snider to the ASR National Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Futurity Champion, Bouffant. Owned by the McGinnis family’s Fish Creek Stables LLC, this flaxen filly is slated to be the mount of Courtney McGinnis in the future. Bouffant is by Ocean’s Roar, an Adriatic son. She is out of Classic Elegance R.R., a daughter of the great harness mare, S.S. Sunday’s Child. Bouffant was bred by Carl T. Fischer. The winner’s purse in this futurity class paid $15,327. The reserve champion was Hillcroft Rare Heir with Gregorio Maldonado. Bred and owned by Misdee Wrigley, Rare Heir is by Supreme Heir and out of Misdee’s great harness mare, CH Our Canary Diamond, a daughter of The Manipulator. Third in the class was Majestica, ridden by Robert Gardiner for Jonelle and Paul Chovanec. She is by Simply Majestic and out of the General Steel mare, Lady Of Steel.

As in the Western Country Pleasure Invitational Championship, the Roadster Pony to Wagon class has known but one winner in its two-year history. Razz-Ma-Tazz and Lewis Eckard were the unanimous choice of the judges, showing for new owner Dr. Robert “Chip” Pugh. Regal’s One More Promise LF and Ed Murray were reserve for Dan and Leah Light. This homebred pony is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction.


The Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Mare class saw a couple Arabian horse trainers making big noise. Winning his first Saddlebred World’s Championship, Arab trainer Jim Stachowski drove Callaway’s Local News down Louisville’s victory lane for Curt Piotrowski. Local News is a good-sized chestnut filly by Callaway’s The Gipper (Caramac x Patty’s Dream (BHF)). Local News is out of the Will Shriver daughter, Callaway’s News Item. When trying to determine the breeder who will receiver the Breeders’ Award prize money for this entry, it will not be tough to figure out. Callaway Hills is still a treasure of the Saddlebred world. Dick Obenauf had Ginger Blossom in good form for Charles Goodman in reserve. Yet another product of the Goodman/Manilow broodmares, Ginger Blossom is by CF First Night Out and out of Lady Broadway. Nelson Green and Stonecroft Sweet Confection were third for Stonecroft Farm, a major player in just about every young horse class held this week. As the name may indicate, Sweet Confection is out of WGC CH A Sweet Treat. She is also by CF First Night Out. Full sister to Amateur Fine Harness World’s Champion Castledream, Dream Castle was shown to fourth by another Arabian trainer, Tim Shea. Dream Castle is by Castle Bravo and out of A Daydream Believer.


Joe Elam and Julie Kauffman raced Buckwheat and J.P. Stilz to the winner’s circle in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony 14-17 Championship. Owned now by Ann Fitzpatrick, Josh Greer brought this pony out as a youngster, taking the 2001 Junior Roadster Pony World’s Championship. This was no easy victory for Buckweat and Stilz. They had to top Ali DeGray and Seize The Moment, undefeated on the year. This great team finished today as the reserve world’s champions, capping Ali DeGray’s Freedom Hall career as a junior exhibitor. Zildjian had his legion of fans out in full force, wearing their Zildjian t-shirts and waving a Zildjian banner in the upper deck. Caitlin Leith drove this third-place finisher.


When Susan Whittington bought the broodmare, Travelin’, from Kathy Capsuto over the winter in 2003, the mare was in foal to Tornaado (SA). Only in her wildest dreams could Whittington have imagined what that baby would turn out to be. A Travelin’ Man is a dark chestnut gelding with loads of talent. As a two-year-old, he won his section of 2-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding Fine Harness here and went on to win the Sweepstakes at the All American Horse Classic as well. Still undefeated and with another year of experience under his belt, he is a star in the making. Joe Friday was last year’s winner, and his story may have more to be written tonight. It remains to be seen where A Travelin’ Man will wind up, but rest assured, he will be travelin’ in style. Pi’ece De R’esistance and Ruth Gimpel gave the crowd a little more to cheer about, taking reserve for Bon Mar Farm. The Supreme Heir colt is out of Scott Pisarik’s Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited 14-17 Reserve World’s Champion, CH Steel In Love. This big, bold, flaxen horse is reminiscent of Dom Perignon, longtime partner of Bon Mar Farm owner, Tricia Bonati.


Kim Skipton got the call to ride Where Are We Now at full-tilt around Freedom Hall in the Amateur Roadster Under Saddle. Her skill came to the forefront, as the Aurora Farms entry swept down rail and then the other, slowing slightly in the corners before flying down for the next pass. With this win, Where Are We Now swept the Roadster Under Saddle division, as Melissa Moore was aboard to take top honors in the Open class. Lady Hawke and Stevie Bagdasarian were reserve for Kathleen Bagdasarian. Last year’s winner, At Full Throttle, was third for Megan Todd and Lisa McMackin.


The Park Championship was 18 entries strong. The scoreboards beat Peter Fenton to the punch, as they announced the winner before he was able to, but his announcement still brought out a trademark, “Yeah boy!” from Nancy Leigh Fisher. Her entry, His Supreme Reflection, went to the winner’s circle to claim the tri-colors and flowers with Andy Freseth up. His Supreme Reflection achieved some success early on in his Louisville career in the Fine Harness division. Now a five-year-old, he has found his home in Park. By Supreme Heir and out of an Attaché mare, he is undefeated on the year. He tore up the green shavings today to keep his perfect season intact. It capped off an impressive day for Hollow Haven, as they took four world’s championships and two reserve world’s championships in the Saturday matinee performance. The 17-year-old Another Bay and Neil Visser made a strong show, with Deborah Visser calling instructions from the stands. It was an impressive performance for any horse, let alone one who has been alive longer than most junior exhibitors. The son of Sultan’s Santana would have made daddy proud today, as he beat out a host of great ones to take the Reserve World’s Championship. Third in the class was Phi’s Phortune Teller, getting a nice round of applause from the crowd with Janet Crampton up for Ashley McKenzie. Mare qualifier winners Ya-Ya and Dena Lopez were fourth for Elizabeth Shatner and Dorothy Anderson. The Woodsider and Jackie Tanner finished fifth for Bob Facciola, while Buena Vista and Wyatt DeHart, always crowd pleasers, were sixth. As Wyatt was taking the long way out of the ring, waving his hat to the appreciative crowd, he nearly crashed into seventh-place finisher, The Social Butterfly. Bret Day was aboard this one for Hy-Horse Farm. Lime Twisted Gin and Clark Clouse closed out the afternoon’s awards in eighth for the Jacquelyn Stred Revocable Trust.


Click here for complete results from Saturday’s day session.

Click here for Saturday's judges cards.

More Stories