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Louisville - Thursday Night

The Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17 Championship kicked off the evening’s competition and did it in a big way. A big group of 15 came through the gate looking to earn the coveted tricolor and title of world’s champion of champions.

Lisa and Bill Waller and Nancy Becker, after watching the group ride hard on the rail, named six riders to perform additional work: Taylor Newton, Sarah Lawson, Faye Wuesthofen, Ellen Medley Wright, Brittany McGinnis and Nick Maupin. Each performed the workout well but when the cards were turned in, the panel was in complete agreement that Faye Wuesthofen and Kiss Of The Zodiac were the number one team.

In fact, DeLovely Farm had the top four places in the championship and finished with five of the top six ribbons. Taylor Newton and A Sweet Sensation exited as the reserve world’s champion of champions to go with their 14-year-old world’s championship title. Brittany McGinnis, riding Soli Deo Glori finished in the top three and last year’s winner of the class, Ellen Medley Wright, took the top four ribbon back to DeLovely. Wright teamed up with CH Can You Hear Me Now, graciously loaned to her by the Chancellor family.

The remaining ribbons were awarded to Nick Maupin, with Coco Mojo, from Knollwood Farm; Sarah Lawson, with Feng Shui, from DeLovely; Eleanor Watkins, with Worthy Am I, from Zubrod Stables; and Deanna Lanigan, with Oh What A Feeling, from Knollwood.

The Junior Three-Gaited Championship put 11 of the best young walk-trots in front of the crowd and the panel of Ricky Harris, Nancy Becker and Bill Waller and the gorgeous group of youngsters did a great job impressing both. This was yet another class where just getting a ribbon, let alone winning the class, was an impressive accomplishment. The tremendous quality of the young horses this week at Louisville has been an encouraging sign that the future of the industry is bright.

The crowd cheered on their favorites, especially when the entries were stripped, and the panel once again chose a unanimous winner. Bob Brison took Soquili’s Georgia Kracker down victory lane as the world’s champion of champions for B & T Vonderschmitt. The elegant mare represented her sire Undulata’s Nutcracker and dam Callaway’s Baby Blue with the tricolor finish after her reserve earlier in the week in the over 15.2 qualifier. Hilheiry Duff, with Lisa Strickland up, exited to lots of applause with the reserve. Sired by Supreme Heir and out of Whirlwind’s Witchcraft, Hilheiry Duff earned the reserve streamers for owner Mimi Bahcall. She was already a blue ribbon winner as the 15.2 and under champion. Bob Bobaloo (Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man x Lady Of The Realm) was right there in the mix and claimed the yellow ribbon for third with A. J. Bruwer riding for A.E. Nelson.

The amateurs faced a deep group in their fine harness championship and they did a great job of showcasing their horses and keeping them where they needed to be on the rail. Lace’s Last Tango had already turned heads earlier in the week with the winning performance in the amateur ladies class under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry, and he did it again with the unanimous championship victory. Priscilla Marconi drove the son of (SA) Arborlane Tangos Wee Pee and CH Sultan’s Leather & Lace (BHF) for Tri-Color Ventures.

Mother Mary and Anita Simpson had already turned in the strong reserve finish in the amateur ladies qualifier and when they were named the reserve world’s champion of champions, Simpson’s elation was apparent. She drove the Revival-sired daughter of Mother Superior accompanied by shouts of joy all the way up the ramp to the make up ring. David Rudder was called upon to drive Heir’s Treasure (Supreme Heir x D.S. Sweet Summer Sunshine) and they picked up the yellow streamers for third on behalf of new owners Hillcroft Farm.

The top two finishers in the nine-entry Five-Gaited Pony Championship were both sired by Family Jewels and two of the top three riders had earned top ribbons from the younger age group qualifier. Billy Jewel and Caroline Rose made it a repeat victory in the class which was full of talented young combinations. They claimed the Five-Gaited Pony World’s Champion of Champions title under the direction of David and Kristen Cater for Clara McCool.

Tanner Myers Parham may be small in stature but was big on showmanship and with hat in hand, he exited Freedom Hall with Jewels For A Lady as the reserve winner for Steve Myers. Parham rode the mare under the direction of Randy Cole and Becky Teater and had earned the top three in the 13 and under class earlier in the week. She earned her final "CH" point tonight on the green shavings. Little Lord Huntly (Sudden Appearance x Lady Huntley) and Elizabeth Cagle James followed up their 13 and under world’s championship win with the top three finish under the direction of Drowning Creek Farm.

The Ladies Roadster To Bike class hosted a top group of nine and the ladies drove hard to impress the panel of Ricky Harris, Bill Waller and Tom Oxley. The panel was most impressed with Ashland and they awarded her the unanimous victory with Kathy Barlow in the bike for Howard Six. Ashland moved up from her reserve in the mare qualifier. Melinda Moore and Talladega Nights followed up their reserve in the Kentucky County Fair class with the reserve in the ladies class. Rum’s Last Shot and Jennifer Robertson put together a solid team effort to finish in third from Infinity Stables.

The three-year-old five-gaited horses definitely impressed the crowd Thursday evening and the mares were the first to show their stuff and compete for the blue. A stellar group of eight burst through the gate and the mares handled the crowd and the pressure for the most part in good order. When the cards were turned in, it was the daughter of South African stallion Dorian Wild Temper named to take the blue. Michael Buchanan rode Our African Violet, whose dam is Callaway’s Carnation, for owner and breeder Fox Grape Farm under the direction of Patty Milligan. Thunder’s Fair Lady, sired by Attache’s Thunderbolt and out of HMS Fair Lady, claimed the reserve streamers with Smith Lilly on board for Cross Timbers Saddlebreds.

Night of Fun followed up a top three finish in the ASR National Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Futurity class with the top three finish in the mare class. Sired by First Night In and out of Dispel, the mare was piloted to her top three by Matthew Shiflet riding for Julia Barnhiser-Patton.

After the 15 ASHA raffle winners headed to center ring to select a bag and a check in hopes of winning the $20,000 grand prize, the action continued with the Roadster To Wagon Championship. All six horses handled the slick shavings and tight turns well, but this year there would be a new winner from DeLovely after a four year winning streak by the recently retired Power Ranger and Raymond Shively.

Invincible Summer and Judy McNeish headed down victory lane as the world’s champion of champions and exited with the flowers and the tricolor to make it two for two. McNeish had already driven Invincible Summer to the world’s title in the amateur class. In doing so tonight, she became the first ever female driver to win the Open Roadster to Wagon World’s Championship. Reserve World’s Champion of Champions Skatmando, like Invincible Summer, picked up a first place vote and he sped up the ramp with Steve Crabtree in the wagon for Bobby and Sunny Jenkins. They also earned the red ribbon in the open class. Raising The Bar and Mark Turner, already world’s champions with their blue in the open qualifier, picked up a first place vote and the top three finish for DeLovely Farm.

The Junior Fine Harness Championship drew a big crowd to the seats and the rail in anticipation of a great class and the junior horses didn’t disappoint. A beautiful group of 12 had the crowd cheering their favorites from the first pass to the last and from the beginning the top group battled hard to take the tricolor. Junior stallion/gelding winner It’s Dan The Man, by It’s Hammertime and out of Distinguished Miss, and junior mare champion With Style And Grace, sired by Sir William Robert out of Lady Peridot, had each earned the top spot in their qualifiers but there could only be one world’s champion of champions. Hillcroft Crown Jewel, also sired by Sir William Robert and out of Misdee Wrigley Miller’s beloved many times world’s champion fine harness mare CH Our Canary Diamond, was also certainly in contention after her reserve in the junior mares class with Miller driving.

In the end it was the stallion/gelding champion named to take the tricolor. Dr. Alan Raun drove It’s Dan The Man for the final time down victory lane and they picked up two first place votes in the process. Dan now heads home to Missouri with owner Anna Marie Knipp. With Style And Grace was every inch her name and Mike

Richardson picked up the reserve world’s champion of champions title and reserve streamers with a first place vote for Robert and Kim Grom. Hillcroft Crown Jewel and Miller claimed the yellow ribbon for third and they were followed by Platinum’s Moon Over Pluto (Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man x CH Cary’s Moonraker) in fourth. Smith Lilly drove for Platinum Stock Farm.

Action in the Three-Gaited Pony Championship was fast and furious and the water was deep, as some of the industry’s most decorated walk-trot ponies headed into Freedom Hall to compete in a class of 14 entries. The top two finishers from both age group qualifiers were awarded the top four spots on the list in the championship and it was the DeLovely team of CH The Attache Orchid and Hunter Chancellor, winners of the 13 and under class, named as the world’s champion of champions for the Steven Chancellor Family. Chancellor’s smile lit up the ring like her hot pink coat as she left the ring with the Attache’s Thunderbolt-Irish Orchid daughter having earned two first place votes, the tricolor and the flowers. Powerful Tango, (SA) Arborlane Tangos Wee Pee x Powers Divine) and Dominique Bowlen followed up their reserve in the 14-17 class with the reserve in the championship and a first place vote from the panel and showed under the direction of Cater Stables.
Manhattan’s Irish Cream (Simply Manhattan x Absolut Irish), the 2007 and 2008 world’s champion of champions, exited with the top three finish to go with the world’s championship blue ribbon in the 14-17 qualifier. Dylan Hines was all smiles as he left the ring to his share of applause from the crowd and was directed by Tammy DeVore. Rose Marie Wheeler, from Crumpler Stables, showed her Merchant Prince-Denmark’s Radiant Society (BHF) daughter Simbara’s Cara Mia to the reserve world’s championship in the 13 and under class and took the fourth place ribbon in the big class under the direction of Crumpler Stables.

The American Road Horse & Pony Association Hall of Fame Inductions provided a short break in the action and Rob Tanner, along with John and Phyllis Sheridan became the newest hall of fame members and joined a long and distinguished list.

The Ladies Fine Harness Championship featured an elegant group of four and the lady drivers were dressed to the nines as they presented their multi-titled group. The panel was in complete agreement that Lady Vol would become a three-time winner of the championship and an elated Chris Kaplan drove her black mare, sired by Slam Dunk H.G. out of Believer’s Creation, down victory lane under the direction of Mike Roberts. Toni Nastali was all smiles as she presented CH Cary’s Moonraker, by Foxfire’s Prophet out of Heavenly Watch to the reserve streamers for Margo Baird and MBA Equestrians under the direction of Pat McConnell.

The three-year-olds were back and there were so many nice young three-gaited entries in contention that there were two splits, held back to back. Both sections featured ten high-stepping three-year-olds and both winners were awarded unanimous decisions by the panel. In both sections it seemed that everywhere you looked there was yet another top young entry poised to take the victory pass. Both sections had a loss of momentum with time outs and in section one, Bill Schoeman was forced to exit the ring with Lori and Larry Schmidt’s Such A Memory after two time outs due to equipment failure. Quality was so deep and no doubt the three-year-olds will be entertaining crowds for years to come.

Peter Cowart and Real Action, sired by Desert’s Supreme Memories and out of Worth Waiting For, turned back all challengers in section one to be named the unanimous world’s champions for McKenzie and Plunkett after a powerful performance. Twice Nightly, sired by Periaptor and out of CH Nightly Affair, with Steve Wheeler was right there for the red ribbon and they put together an impressive team effort for owners and breeders C. Jean and Christopher Nalley.

VHF The Licorice Drop Kid sired top three finisher Vivian Ward, out of the mare CH Velvet Daybreak, and owner/trainer Robert Gardiner rode out with the yellow streamers for co-owner and breeder Margaret Gardiner after a strong effort. Walden Bullard, from George Knight Stables, was on board top four finisher H.S. Daydream’s Believe In Me (Sir William Robert x A Daydream Believer (BHF) in section one on behalf of owners and breeders Hagan Saddlebreds.

Brookhill’s Glam Slam, the elegant black mare both bred and owned by Brookhill Farm’s O’Brien Family Trust, was the unanimous world’s champion in section two with Jackie Tanner in the irons. Ceil Wheeler teamed Prom Dress (Harlem Globetrotter x My Fair Princess Genius) to the hard fought reserve in the competitive class under the direction of John Conatser. The yellow streamers in section two went to Sir Robin Hood, sired by Sir William Robert and out of Callaway’s Maid Marian. Zachary Duffy, from Mike Roberts Stables, rode for Middendorf Farms. South Beach Stormy, owned by Landmark Farms, followed with the fourth place finish in section two with Robert Gardiner in the irons. Gardiner’s entry was sired by The Sky King and out of Jenny Craig.

The USTA Roadster Classic is one of those classes that gets the crowd screaming in appreciation of the speed and athleticism of the competitors and ten roadsters came through the gate to compete. The footing and design of the Freedom Hall ring brings a unique set of challenges to the roadster division and the USTA horses handled it well for the most part. A relatively minor accident at the end of the class resulted in Mary Jo Schmidt awaiting results for Doc McCoy on foot near the out gate and repairs being made to the fence at the same time. Fortunately neither horse nor driver were seriously injured and the fence was repaired relatively easily.

Debbie Foley won the USTA class in 2008 and she did it again this year, but this time with Jason Schrock’s entry S Sparrow Express. Iamnotacow and Jon Walker exited to lots of applause as they were named the reserve world’s champions for Debra Clark.

A great night of competition concluded with the incredible depth of the three-year-old five-gaited division being showcased and like the three-gaited three-year-olds, there were two sections. The crowd was ready to see a great group of gaited horses and when the seven entries in section one hit the green shavings, the atmosphere was electric and stayed that way until the last youngster from section two left the ring.

Marc Of Charm turned back all challengers in section one to earn a unanimous decision and the world title in section one after an entertaining ride by Lionel Ferreira for Riverdreams LLC. Ferreira was as enthusiastic about the win by the son of Santana’s Charm x Pretty Ribbons as the crowd was and when number 58 was called out, Ferreira threw is hat in the air and raised his fist in a victory salute to the hardworking colt’s impressive performance and support from the panel and the crowd. Jim Lowry and Undulata’s Christmas In The City, sired by Designed and out of Christmas In New York ERB, also exited with a large share of the crowd’s support as they took the red ribbon in section one for Kathy Scherer. A Mighty Wind (Perfect Cover x Wind Kist) put together the third place finish with co-owner and trainer Mike McIntosh riding for co-owner Carla McIntosh.

Section two for the three-year-olds was just as competitive as the first split and this time it would be the DeLovely entry named to the unanimous victory. The Nashville Predator, sired by Reggie’s American Legend and out of Kisses and Hugs, and Todd Miles topped seven other hardworking teams with a strong effort to take the unanimous win. Bob Brison and Locust Grove’s Big Kat (Kalarama’s All Time High x Witty Kitty’s Big Dunk) were right there to take the reserve title for Larry and Judy Schultz. Trust Fund Baby carried Bret Day to pick up the yellow streamers in the class. Day rode the three-year-old sired by Trust Fund and out of CH Verbal Agreement for Atk Premier

Whether competing for blue ribbons or tricolors, the level of competition Thursday night provided a great horse show from beginning to end. And congratulations to Rachel Machamer, the big winner in the ASHA Raffle, taking the lion’s share of $5,000 in the $20,000 giveaway and fundraiser.

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