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Louisville - Sunday Night

by Bob Funkhouser

Here we go. Round one of the 109th World’s Championship Horse Show got underway at 6:30 on a beautiful Kentucky evening but this was a different start from what we have been used to for years and years. Added to the ASR Weanling and Yearling events and the Kentucky County Fair Championships were the ASR Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes, which had been held at the All-American Classic since their inception. On this night the ASR Four-Year-Old Park Pleasure Sweepstakes opened the session instead of the traditional ASR Futurity Of Kentucky Weanlings.

Seven four-year-olds competed for the ASR Sweepstakes moneyd with the first blue ribbon of Louisville 2012 returning to Florida and Judd Stables with Maria Gilman riding Hello Moto (Undulata’s Nutcracker x CH Passion) for Deborah Richardson. This was the first blue ribbon of the week for last year’s leading sire of world’s champions, Undulata’s Nutcracker. Scott Wendt and Reedann’s Why Not got a nice round of applause from the crowd for their reserve performance for new owners Sherilyn and Thomas Nelson.

Twenty-eight hopefuls made their way to the green shavings one by one for the ASR Futurity Of Kentucky Weanling division and a little over an hour after the playing of the National Anthem, the second world’s champion of 2012 was crowned. Longtime breeder/owner Larry Hartsock jumped up out of his seat as Walterway’s Here Wego was called to the winner’s circle by announcer Peter Fenton. Smith Lilly was on the end of the lead for the son of Exalted Effect and Oak Hill’s Watch Me. In a way this was a tribute to two people the Saddlebred industry lost the past two weeks. Rob Tanner started Exalted Effect and won the UPHA Fine Harness Classic Grand Championship with him as a three-year-old, while Jean McLean Davis was the breeder of Oak Hill’s Watch Me.

Tanner’s daughter, Dena Lopez, led the reserve world’s champion for Karen and Paul Richardson. I’m Top Secret (Bobese x Charm’s Whispering Hope) was the reserve world’s champion. Third place money went to Shane Sellers (My Royale Charm x Charming Madonna) who was led by Bret Day for Bridget Parker. This baby was presented at Parker’s Evening Under The Stars party that kicked off Lexington Junior League in July. The crowd showed its approval of fourth place winner Once And For All, a product of Arrowhead’s Once In A Lifetime and Unspoken Intention owned and presented by Sue Worzalla.

CH Revolver made it two in a row as the Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Grand Champion. The only difference, this year he was shown by Dena Lopez for Kay Marschel. Last year’s winning driver, Bret Day, was behind the reserve grand champion, The Road Less Traveled, owned by Thomas R. Brock.

Golden Creek Farms started off the week in the winner’s circle as Mary Gaylord McClean drove Last Call to the Kentucky County Fair Harness Pony Championship. The son of Mastercraft’s Stargazer LF just came off a win at Lexington Junior League. The winning owner in the Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Championship last year, Chip Pugh was the reserve driver in this year’s Harness Pony Championship with Michigan’s Striking Image.

We returned to the ASR Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes program with four competing for the fine harness honors. This round of honor belonged to Chris Reiser and Nut An Illusion for Carolyn Stuart. You guessed it; this was Undulata’s Nutcracker’s second world’s champion in the first five classes. This titleholder is out of the top-producing daughter of Preferred Property, Sweet Illusion WF. She happens to be the dam of World’s Grand Champion CH An Heir About Her and world’s champions CH Heir Style, CH Sultry Heiress and Careless Heiress. Showing for Pidgeon Roost Farm, Pedro Martinez drove Crystal’s American Idol to reserve honors.

Kelly Lockhart and Liberty’s Magic (My Magical Moment x Lucky Bi-Wing) came into the ring looking like the winners and they left the ring with roses. Their victory came in the Kentucky County Fair Three-Gaited Grand Championship for Vicki Reed and the A.J. Bruwer Stables. A beautiful head set, great expression and athletic ability gave this star the edge over the field, including reserve champions Honky Tonky and John Field who were showing for Carl T. Fischer and Linda Farber.

The largest of the County Fair Championships, both Saddlebred and Hackney, came in the road pony division, where nine ponies battled for top honors. With championships from Lawrenceburg, Lexington Junior League and Mercer County Fair this year, last year’s World’s Champion Of Champions Junior Road Pony, Regal’s Promoter LF, was this year’s grand champion in the County Fair division. Lowry and Golden Creek Farms also won last years title with Regal’s Wild Card LF. Dan Light had to be happy with the results of this class as the top two ponies were bred at Light Farms. Regal’s Amigo LF, a son of Dun-Haven Regal Attraction, was the reserve champion with Toni Nastali showing from Majestic Oaks. They’ve enjoyed wins this year from Tampa, River Ridge, Blue Ridge and ARHPA, among others.

Carl T. Fischer has spent a lifetime breeding nice horses with unique names, and tonight Flim Flam added to that list. The daughter of Thundergun and Charlotte Russe (by Undulata’s Man Of The Hour) was the ASR Four-Year-Old Five-Gaited Sweepstakes Champion with John Field in the irons for Fischer. Rob Turner turned in the reserve ride tonight aboard Patricia Delong’s Gunpowder and Lead.

Twenty-one hopefuls competed for the nice payouts in the ASR Futurity Of Kentucky Yearling class, making a total of 49 youngsters shown tonight in the Futurity Of Kentucky program. After the judges had gone through all 21, the title of world’s champion belonged to Joe and Bette Russell’s For The Win. This light chestnut was presented by Mayo and Jessica Moctezuma and could put his knee high in the air. He represented the Russell breeding program, which has won many major futurity programs, except here at Louisville. This was their first World’s Championship winner, as well as trainer Mayo Moctezuma’s first Louisville win. He and daughter Jessie embraced as they headed to the winner’s circle. When Rick Wedel lined up Johnny McSwain (Kinex x Kim Darlin’) for the judges during the class, the crowd responded to the way the colt modeled. They responded again when he was called out in reserve.

The session continued with Lisa McMackin and Talledaga Nights speeding to victory in the Kentucky County Fair Roadster To Bike Championship. A longtime roadster enthusiast, McMackin poured it on tonight to turn back all challengers, including reserve champions Street Legal GRS and Juan Rios for Chip Pugh and the Majestic Oaks training team.

HS Decorum has been a standout all season long with wins at Bonnie Blue, Lawrenceburg, Lexington Junior League and Shelbyville. It was no different in the ASR Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes as Lionel Ferreira rode the newly crowned world’s champion for owner Judith Fisher Oetinger. Bred by Scott Hagan, Decorum has a right to be a good one as he is by world’s champion Sir William Robert and out of the Hall Of Fame broodmare, A Daydream Believer. In three years of showing at Louisville, Passionut has a world’s champion and now two reserve world’s champion titles to her credit. Laura Elliot provided the top ride under the direction of Steve and Tiffany Wheeler. Passionut is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of CH Passion, who was also the dam of tonight’s first world’s champion crowned. Passion was a world’s champion herself and she was by world’s champion Harlem Globetrotter out of the multi-World’s Grand Champion CH Finisterre’s Gift Of Love.

Of the three cob-tails competing for the Kentucky County Fair Hackney Pony Championship, Heartland Globe-Trotter and Maureen Campbell rose to the top and were invited to the winner’s circle. Owner Sandra Surber jumped for joy from the stands for her beloved champion. Globe-Trotter has been on top all year long, most recently sweeping the open cob-tail division at Blue Ridge. Last year’s County Fair Champions, Regal’s Trademark LF and Mary Gaylord McClean, were the reserve champions this year, giving Golden Creek two wins and a reserve in the three County Fair Pony Championships tonight.

The first session of Louisville 2012 came to a close with the Kentucky County Fair Five-Gaited Championship. When Kristen Bagdasarian shows a gaited horse she likes to go someplace, and that’s exactly what she did with Pass With Care (Desert’s Supreme Memories x Kalarama’s My Heart). Last year’s Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding Sec. II World’s Champion wore the roses as County Fair Grand Champion for owner Kathleen Bagdasarian and Diamond View Farm. Riding hard every step of the way, Clark Clouse gave the crowd a tip of the hat as he exited with reserve honors for Harold Denton.

With session one in the books, officials, exhibitors, trainers and spectators retired for the evening in anticipation of tomorrow morning’s 26 classes, starting with the first section of country pleasure driving at 9:00 a.m.

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