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Louisville - Thursday Evening

Thursday evening was an action packed night from the first class to the last and it started with a big Kentucky State Fair Senior Equitation Championship. The 19 riders were in top order as they came through the gate and started their rail work in front of Lewis Eckard, Barbe Smith and Jim Taylor

The judges took their time to decide who would perform the workout which was equally weighted with rail work in determining results. Announcer Peter Fenton called out 10 numbers beginning with Ada Johnson. She was joined by Aleia Brown, Caroline Cherry, Juliette Dell, Clara McCool, Courtney McGinnis, Eleanor-Rainbolt Forbes, Juliette Dell, Molly Codeanne and Sydney Budzinski. As the riders prepared to work again, the remainder exited Freedom Hall.   

Again this year DeLovely Farm was represented in the first three places and it was Courtney McGinnis, already named the 16-year-old reserve world’s champion, who was selected to be the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World’s Champion of Champions. She followed in the footsteps of older sister Brittany who won the title in 2010.

DeLovely Farm teammate and 17-year-old World’s Champion Juliette Dell claimed the Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions title and Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes picked up the yellow ribbon to go with her reserve world’s title from the 15-year-old class. Aleia Brown, winner of the 16-year-old class, was fourth and she was followed out by 15-year-old World’s Champion Sydney Budzinski for fifth. Caroline Cherry, Molly Codeanne and Clara McCool claimed the remaining three ribbons in that order.

The Junior Three-Gaited Championship, with 7 entries, was a great class and even though it wasn’t as big as last year, the seven who came back from their qualifiers to show in the championship put on a great show for the crowd. They cheered their favorites as entries lined up to strip for conformation judging.

When riders remounted it was Todd Miles who headed to the presentation of the tricolor and trophies with Sir Surreal as the unanimous World’s Champion Of Champions for Ashlyn Farms. Sir Surreal had already won the ASR Sweepstakes world’s title earlier in the week and in fact, the son of Sir William Robert and Harlem’s Irish Lass was a Louisville winner as a weanling and yearling and a reserve world’s champion at two for then owners and breeders Paula Schmidt and Kathy Capsuto Trust.

Undulata’s Simbara, owned by Diane Sembler Kamins, finished as the Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions with Neil Visser up. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the mare Gotta Secret, Simbara came into the championship having earned the reserve in the four-year-old sweepstakes earlier in the week.

The amateurs headed down the ramp and onto the green shavings with their fine harness horses and all 11 horses put on a great show. The water was deep and drivers had to carefully navigate through traffic, but as the winner of the class in 2011 Caraway’s New York Minute had no trouble heading to the winner’s circle with new owner Janet Sterba who purchased the gelding at the end of July. Their win was unanimous and when Sterba passed the out-gate and started around again on her victory drive, the crowd let her know they were glad for another look and trainer Smith Lilly gave them a thumbs up. Anna Marie Knipp and her mare Magical Promises were already Midwest Charity and Lexington Junior League champions and they exited as the Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions under the direction of Robert Gardiner. Military Secret and Grace Arnold won this class in 2012 and 2013 and they turned in the top three performance under the direction of Cherry Stables, followed by Renaissance Man’s Medici and Lexington amateur grand champions Kalarama’s New York Lady and Vicki Reed, among others.

Ed and Ada Perwein were recognized for their amazing service to the industry by being selected as ASHA members of the day. Daughter Elly Berman was in the stands with Sandy Currier, trainer at Bluebonnet Farm, representing the Perwein family.

The Audrey Gutridge Award was presented to Fran Crumpler and she was joined by husband Kim and presenters Paul and Sally Jo Briney in center ring before the Five-Gaited Pony Championship entries came through the gate. Eight junior exhibitors and their ponies put on a great show but it was the popular team of Little Lord Huntly and Charles Gassen named as the Five-Gaited Pony World’s Champion of Champions. Their fans let out a roar when results were announced. The dark bay pony carried the flowers in style with Gassen and they were followed in the ribbons by last year’s winner and this year’s qualifier winner CH Sprinkles. The spotted mare is always hard to miss and she put on a good show with Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes to take the Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions title.    

Rebekah Cloninger and Iamnotacow were the lone entries in their Ladies Roadster To Bike class and their blue ribbon made it two years in a row under the direction of Jon Walker.         

This year’s class of three-year-old gaited horses was incredible and 15 mares came through the gate for their $3000 class. There were so many nice mares trading places on the rail they captured the crowd’s attention. In the end it was Tammy DeVore and There’s Something About Mary, sired by Nutcracker and out of Heirudite, named as the world’s champions in their show ring debut for Robert McKamey and DeVore. The winning mare was bred by Willowbank Farm and Reserve World’s Champion Our Sweet Chocolate was bred by Willowbank Farm and Meadowview. Steve Wheeler rode for Tim and Marty Shea. I’m A Sugar Shaker, bred by Charles Goodman, claimed third with Neil Visser up for brand new owner Elisabeth Goth. Dena Lopez rode Holiday Note to fourth for Jackie Tanner. The mare sired by I’m Lookin’ For You was bred by Rob and Jackie Tanner.

A trio of road horses sped down the ramp for their Roadster To Wagon Championship and Harry Chapman, Steve Crabtree and Raymond Shively, all veteran drivers, put their horses in position to keep the green shavings flying. In the end it was Scatman Du and Crabtree named as the World’s Champion Of Champions after earning the reserve world’s title in the open class earlier in the week. Shively and More To Come finished in second after winning the qualifier and Chapman drove May Day to third.

The Junior Fine Harness Championship hosted eight entries and the lady drivers dominated, taking the top three spots on the cards with their high stepping youngsters. Owner and trainer Melinda Moore piloted Belle Reve’s Sgt. Pepper took their second victory pass of the week after winning the ASHA Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes, to be named the World’s Champion Of Champions. Belle Reve Farm bred the four-year-old sired by CH Call Me Ringo and out of New York’s Crown Jewel. My Pistol Annie and Emily Lee were also a popular choice with the crowd and they were awarded the ribbon second place. Pamela Jelly Boyers bred the Samur daughter who is out of Miss  Roxie Hart. Both lady drivers were as well turned out as their horses and wore elegant black gowns which went beautifully with the first and second place tricolor ribbons.

Ed Moore was joined by his wife Ann in center ring for his induction into the American Road Horse & Pony Association Hall Of Fame. Moore was the next owner of World’s Grand Champion Roadster Pony I’ve Arrived and purchased the great pony from owner and breeder Lewis Eckard, so it was especially meaningful for both men to be present in center ring for the ceremony.        

The three-gaited pony riders came into the ring to vie for their own blanket of flowers to be placed across the back of the winner and all 11 teams turned in a strong effort.

Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes continued her great night of competition from DeLovely Farm and she teamed Nuttin’ But Style around the ring in a great display of ringsmanship. The panel agreed and all three named them the Three-Gaited Pony World’s Champion of Champions for Rainbow Princess Farms. Their second win of the week was no cake walk. They battled a great group to earn the tricolor.

Alexis Landreth and CH Manhattan’s Irish Cream were right there and as two-time winners of the class, they pressed the winners hard but in the end were named the Reserve World’s Champion Of Champions for Equestrian Investments Of Tennessee LLC. Tammy DeVore directed their performance. CH Powerful Tango and Emilea Stinnett turned in a strong team effort for third place for Woodlea Farms LLC under the direction of Smith Lilly.

Ladies night continued with their elegant presentation of their fine harness horses in the Ladies Fine Harness Championship. Lynda Freseth had Our Brilliant Belle in top form hoping to move up from the mare’s reserve with Mary Gise in the qualifier for Priscilla Gise Revocable Trust. Tempt Me and Tiffany Wheeler were hoping to add another win to their total for the week after taking the ladies qualifier win Monday night for Sally Jackson. They joined the six other lady drivers who all presented their horses beautifully and in the end it was Our Brilliant Belle who made it two years in a row with Freseth in the buggy to pick up the tricolor as the unanimous World’s Champion Of Champions. Tempt Me and Wheeler finished reserve. Elisabeth Goth purchased Happy Boy at Lexington from Steve Allred and they made their debut in the ladies class Monday night to earn a top three. They finished in the same spot in the competitive championship.

A great group of 14 were ready for a great battle in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class. Such a big class, like all the really great young horse classes this night and in fact this week so far, show the dedication of breeders and offer great promise for the future of the Saddlebred industry. The three-year-olds were in top form and they handled the traffic well despite a time out first way that momentarily stopped their momentum. When they turned around and headed for home it was anybody’s guess which would take the blue because the top group had traded class-winning passes down the rail.

When the results were announced however, it was owner and breeder Linda Shelor’s entry Lady Mandolin, sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Suddenly Summer, named as the World’s Champion. Allison Walker rode to the win from Stoess Stables in Shelbyville, Ky., and the pair had only been to the ring once before. They won the three-year-old class at Shelbyville Horse Show. Andy Freseth and Look Of Success were the Reserve World’s Champions for James R. Dellinger Jr. Sired by Designed and out of Glenview’s Successful, the three-year-old won at Blue Ridge in his show ring debut. Chuck Herbert rode Soquili’s Harvest Moon to third for HKZ Investments and Roselane’s Night Show was fourth with Stephanie Sedlacko. Sedlacko rode the daughter of reigning World’s Grand Champion Sir Silver Knight and Dear Nitey for owner and breeder Melinda Moore.

Jay Tucker was posthumously inducted into the American Road Horse & Pony Hall Of Fame before the exciting USTA Roadster To Bike Classic.      

Owner and trainer Raymond Shively had War Horse in good order and they handled the turns and the crowded ring with ease to be named the champions from DeLovely Farm. Shively won the class last year with Taking Care Of Business. Mark Turner, also from DeLovely, drove Thunder Up to the reserve finish for the Rainbolt-Forbes family. He won the youth class earlier today with Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes driving. Speedy Jessie and Kieran Holahan were third for owner Barbara Matthew.

The final class of the evening, with 17 entries, was split so nine competed in section one and eight in section two of the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding. There was such depth and quality and so many great passes that the crowd excitement was palpable in both contests.

Again, the talent among the three-year-olds was spectacular. The stallions and geldings put on a great show in both sections but there could only be two world’s champions. In section one that went to Mountjoy’s Extra Nice with owner and trainer Tre Lee in the irons for Prospect Lane. Jill Quaid bred the colt sired by Mountjoy’s Knight and out of Love Me Tender Sweet Sophie Rose. NItty Gritty Blues and Debbie Foley had taken a time out the first direction for a minor equipment adjustment but that didn’t stop them from earning the reserve world’s championship for owners and breeders Wendy and Fred Zehnder. Their stallion is sired by Northern Blues and out of Twin Cities.

Susan Aschenbrenner’s world’s championship win earlier in the week with her Callaway’s Cumulus was certainly one of her highlights of the week. Another highlight was seeing Dreamacres Imagine, bred by the Aschenbrenner’s Dreamacres LLC, take third place with owner and trainer Merrill Murray and hearing the crowd send them out with a roar for third place in section one.

The second split was as competitive as the first but Zach Duffy and Just A Blast couldn’t be denied as they took on the big group and finished in first place for owner Sarah Thomas. Blythewood Farms bred the winner sired by A Superb Manhattan and out of Just Out. Tyler DeVore gave the family yet another reason to celebrate as he rode American Hustle to the reserve world’s championship for Virginia and Richey Stanley. A son of Photo Star and dam Prize Pursuit, the colt was bred by Ricky Cook and Bruce Williams. A.J. Bruwer rode Mr. Park Avenue to third for farrier Rudi Beneke and his colt was bred by Ben Nash.

From the huge equitation championship to the huge class of three-year-old gaited horses, the night was a great one for owners, trainers and exhibitors. The green shavings hosted great battles and things are only going to get even more serious from here as the weekend approaches and more world titles await for those up to the challenge.

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