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Louisville - Tuesday Evening



The evening was one that featured beautiful young horses in their ASR National Futurity classes as well as the various divisions for the Saddlebreds, Hackneys and roadsters.


Perhaps it was something in the air or perhaps it was just the excitement of performing on the green shavings of Freedom Hall, but this was a night where the crowd held their breath on more than one occasion. Throughout the session, more than one entry was excused or took the gate and “near misses” had ringmasters on their toes to keep everyone safe and under control. It did turn out to be a great night of competition, and the exceptional quality in the futurity classes gave great hope for the future of the industry as beautiful entry after beautiful entry put on a great show for the crowd.


The evening began on high note as the ASR National Futurity Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited entries paraded through the gate. With more than $30,000 in prize money up for grabs, all 12 entries worked hard in hopes of earning a piece of the prize. As had already been seen earlier in the week, the young stock this year at Louisville was exceptional and this was truly a beautiful class. Each horse seemed to have its own fan club and the appreciative crowd cheered their favorites when the entries lined up to strip.


There had been several standout entries in the class but when the cards were turned it, it was last year’s ASR Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity World’s Champion Glenview’s Excelalante! named to pick up the $15,000 check for first place with a unanimous decision from Jack Noble, Mitch Clark and Jimmy Robertson. Chuck Herbert rode the colt by Designed and out of Tra La La for owners Martha Schriver and Edward Elliot, Jr.


Glenview's Excelalante!  and Chuck Herbert

captured the first title of the evening.


Back To Business, sired by Leatherwood’s Starlight and out of Callaway’s Hannah Cole, trotted up to accept the reserve world’s title with Walden Bullard riding for John Hill. Roi Du Soleil represented sire Supreme Heir and dam Phun In The Sun to take the third place ribbon for Hallston Manor and Julie Andrew.


The Amateur Gentlemen’s Three-Gaited class hosted six teams looking to earn a blue and a world’s title and after working hard for the panel Noble, Robertson and Rob Wilson, it was Heir To A Star chosen as the repeat winner with Glenn T. Werry up for Glenmore Farm. I’m Sky High and owner Rick Daigle were right there to take the reserve world’s title under the direction of Fairfield South.


From the gentlemen’s walk-trots, the momentum shifted to the ASR Two-Year-Old Fine Harness National Futurity. The first of two sections featured nine sporty youngsters. Soon after coming through the gate, one entry was excused by the panel. After last night’s terrible accident, any sign of trouble was acted upon immediately and with a group of powerful two-year-olds in the ring, safety was of paramount importance. After conformation evaluation, the entries were excused without being tied and will return Friday night for the finals.


Rob Wilson, Mitch Clark and Jack Noble had a big group of 16 for a very competitive Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under class. One entry left the class after problems in the lineup, but the remaining 15 riders were hoping for a ribbon and the chance to come back for the amateur championship. Lynda Norman and her Enough About You were named the world’s champions from DeLovely Farm after a great display of teamwork in the big class. An Heir Of Magic and Michelle McCune finished as the reserve world’s champions. Phillipa Sledge riding The Great Gaspar trotted up for third place for Pidgeon Roost Farm.


It’s not very often that the number of entries in a class is bigger at the end than it is at the beginning but that is exactly what happened in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14-17 Div. II class. When the gate swung open, 14 horse and rider teams stormed onto the green shavings to face Clark, Noble and Robertson. As horses and riders jockeyed for position on the rail, the gate swung closed. It was obvious from the get-go that this was going to be a very entertaining and competitive class and when the horses moved into the slow gait first direction the crowd became even more enthusiastic with their support. Suddenly, the gate swung open and the fifteenth entry entered the class to join the gaited horses as they racked around the ring. The unusual situation resulted in judges being instructed that the late entry could not be tied in the class. The riders turned in a great effort and rode hard every step of the way.


When the results were announced it was an ecstatic Justin Cowley named to ride up on the hard-charging Colonel Hoss to accept the blue ribbon. They were met by a huge ovation from the crowd as trainer Clark Clouse joined them to prepare for their victory pass.


Colonel Hoss and Justin Cowley
- always a crowd pleaser

Heirrison Ford and Jillian Schaefer turned in a strong effort to finish in reserve and they were followed in third by Been Their with Tess Wartman. Callaway’s Lil Abner and Faye Wuesthofen, Divine Renaissance and Ali Judah, Leatherwood’s Hats Off and Ali Deutsch, Carolina Cat and Brittany McGinnis, and Roseridge’s All Mine with Rachel Kelley claimed the remaining ribbons in that order.


Division Two of the ASR Two-Year-Old Fine Harness National Futurity was next on the schedule, and seven beautiful young equines were showcased in hopes of being selected to join the numbers chosen from Division One to return for Friday night’s finals.


The Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under Stake hosted eight high stepping walk-trot horses vying for a world’s championship title from the panel of Noble, Robertson and Wilson. This was a nice class and gave a glimpse of what we might see on Saturday night in the Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship. (SA) The Starwalker, with Tre Lee riding for Melissa Moore, was the picture of elegance on the way to the winner’s circle and the world’s title. Charming Babette and Walden Bullard were reserve for Barbara Partlow and David and Loren Osborne. Timeline took the yellow streamers back to Grey Ridge Farm for owners Bret and Susi Day.


One of the most competitive amateur classes of the night was next. The Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class featured some of the country’s winningest gaited horses. This was a class where just getting a ribbon was quite an accomplishment and 15 riders put on a terrific display of horsemanship for Robertson, Wilson and Clark as well as the Tuesday night crowd. This class was so jam packed with talent that no matter where you looked, someone was making a great pass down the rail. A thrown shoe slowed the momentum as a time out was called to replace it, but when the cards were turned in, it was last year’s winner Swish selected to head to the presentation with Carol Hillenbrand. Swish earned the unanimous victory under the direction of Carriage Lane Farm.


Carol Hillenbrand gave Swish
a much-deserved kiss after their win.


(SA) Carlswald Prince’s Dominoe exited with an enthusiastic ovation from the crowd as the reserve world’s champion with Dr. Wendy Troyer under the direction of Paul and Betsy Boone. Hard riding Megan McClure and CH Breaking News finished in third for co-owner Beth Arndt. Stylin’ and Alexandra Harper, Lakeview’s Rare-A-Phi and Misdee Miller, Red Flame Thrower and Theresa Vonderschmitt, Bluebonnet’s Challenger and Joan Cantrell, and Callaway’s Place Your Bets with Lindsey Bade earned the remaining ribbons respectively.


A big beautiful group of 13 harness horses were next through the gate for their ASR three-year-old futurity. Wilson, Clark and Noble were assigned to evaluate the impressive group. As entertaining a class as this was, the three-year-olds were forced to wait through three different time outs which slowed the momentum considerably. The three-year-olds made it through fine however and the panel selected the daughter of Catalyst and Whirlwind’s Sound Of Music, Magic Fire Music, as the winner for owner Don Rich. Peter Palmer handled the winning drive to pick up the $15,000 check for first place. Ribbons And Reins, sired by Periaptor and out of Freedom Reins, earned more than $7,600 for second with Carter Cox driving for William Phelps III. Stonecroft Sweet Confection (CF First Night Out x CH A Sweet Treat) was third with Nelson Green driving for Stonecroft Farm. Spend The Night also represented sire CF First Night Out to earn the fourth place finish with Sam Stafford. Out of the mare Fancy Bloomer, Spend The Night performed for owner Blythewood Farm.


The American Hackney Horse Society Foundation Al Haugen Memorial Scholarship presentation provided a break in the action and recognized this year’s recipients Sabrina Brubaker and Shannon Bray.


Top notch competition in the Three-Gaited Amateur Over 15.2 class resulted in a really strong class of 10 being forced to be error free in front of Clark, Noble and Robertson. The depth of the entries was outstanding but New York’s Perfect Gift and Betsy Thomas could not be denied and headed to the winner’s circle with a unanimous decision under the direction of John Conatser. Now a world’s champion every year since bursting onto the scene as a two-year-old, Perfect Gift kept his Louisville streak intact with a masterful ride by Thomas.



New York
's Perfect Gift and Betsy Thomas

in their first trip to Freedom Hall together


Boston Legal and Elizabeth Shatner were the reserve world’s champions after a powerful performance and showed why Boston Legal has also earned numerous world’s titles in his career for Belle Reve Farm. Shatner showed to her reserve under the direction of John T. Jones and Tre Lee. Freakness was third with new owner Sally Groub Gayeski under the direction of Premier and their top three was impressive given the short time they have been a team. Debbie Ecksten and His Heirness were fourth for owner Linda Lewis and were directed by trainer Jim McIntosh.


Switching gears from the Saddlebreds to the Hackney ponies, the open road pony class for the 50 inches and under entries was a great example of the depth of the division. Noble, Richardson and Wilson were charged with marking the cards and ten very nice ponies put on quite a show during the class and in the lineup while awaiting the panel’s decision.


Several ponies narrowly escaped trouble, but in the end it was Beaulah Jean selected to earn the title for the second year in a row. Jeff McClean drove to add another victory to the Golden Creek total. Moment Of Excellence was reserve for owners John and Paula Goncalves with Larry Ella in the bike. They were followed by Alexandra in third with Abel Vega driving the second Golden Creek entry to earn a ribbon in the competitive class.


Invincible Summer topped four other horses to claim the Amateur Road Horse To Wagon title for the fourth year in a row. Judy McNeish once again took a victory pass on the green shavings with her impressive champion. Owner Brad Bacon drove Delorenzo to the reserve title in the five-entry class which was judged by Robertson, Wilson and Clark.



Invincible Summer and Judy McNeish


The young horses were back in the ring for their ASR Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Futurity. Wilson, Clark and Noble had their work cut out for them to name the ribbon winners with such a nice group of three-year-olds in front of them. The time out to replace a shoe and two entries being excused didn’t seem to bother the stunning Lynn Williams on her way to being named the world’s champion. The beautiful bay half sister to According To Lynn was one of the night’s most talked about entries from Golden Creek. Sired by Top Spool and out of Carol Lynn (BHF), Lynn Williams was presented by Tre Lee for the victory.


Tammy DeVore left the ring to much applause when A Bolt From The Blue (Attaché’s Thunderbolt x Harmony At Last) took the red streamers for Lucinda Hartley. When Don Harris rode up to accept the third place ribbon with the fancy Gotta Be Charmed, the noise level in Freedom Hall went up several notches as the crowd cheered his efforts enthusiastically. Judy Whitney Harris was on hand to meet her husband after his warm reception from the crowd and he was quick to give all the credit to her for their three-year-old’s good effort. Judy Harris trained the mare (Santana’s Charm x (SA) Justus Local Gift) to walk, trot and canter, leaving only the task of gaiting the youngster to Don Harris. It was great to see both Don and Judy Harris in Freedom Hall celebrating their success. Debbie Foley teamed the Callaway’s Blue Norther son, A Whole Different Story, to fourth for Silver Brook Stables.


CH Amusing was right on the money with Amy Dix Rock to be named the Amateur Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion. Clark, Noble and Robertson judged the five entries that competed and they named last year’s winner CH Have You Ever to the reserve slot with Barclay De Wet in the irons for Leatherwood Farm.


The amateur ladies performed like true professionals with their Hackney ponies in the evening’s next class and in fact, the number of years of collective experience in the show ring amongst this group was a large one. Sandra Surber, Muffy Sweeney Ernster, Karen Waldron, Marjorie Kenney and Linda Lewis have decades of winning performances to their credit and it was a treat to see the accomplished ladies together in one class. Marilyn Swimmer, Deborah Jahn and Deborah Koning also have a very long list of successes among them and together, all nine ladies put on a great class for the panel of Clark, Robertson and Wilson. Sandra Surber and Heartland Candidate took the win under the direction of Rich Campbell and Maureen Lydon to continue their successful season. Royal Canadian, fresh from victories at the Illinois State Fair, was reserve with Muffy Ernster from Gib Marcucci Stables.


An exciting night of competition was almost over, but the excitement level would go up even further before it was over as the second of the open qualifiers for the five-gaited horses finished the night on a high note. A group of six mares came bursting into Freedom Hall looking powerful and prepared from the beginning. They turned in a great class and showcased depth and talent in front of Noble, Richardson and Wilson. According To Lynn received a huge ovation from the crowd as she was named the unanimous winner to showcase not only her strong effort but the success of Mary Gaylord’s breeding program with the second Golden Creek-bred entry earning a world’s championship for the night. Sired by CH Callaway’s Born To Win and out of Carol Lynn (BHF), the multi-world’s-titled mare never backed an ear as she headed down victory lane.


Rob Byers watches as According To Lynn
and Mary Gaylord McClean

closed out Tuesday evening's session.


Redd Crabtree and Callaway’s Winning Ways were also solid and pressed hard to earn the reserve for Leatherwood Stud. Callaway’s Unsolved Mystery and Bob Brison were right in the mix and finished with the third place ribbon for B & T Vonderschmitt. Twice Charmed and Melissa Moore exited to a big ovation from the appreciative crowd for their fourth place tie. Moore rode for North Corporate Properties. Sheba’s Charm, recently crowned Illinois State Fair’s Five-Gaited Grand Champion, was fifth with Jim Lowry up for Sheila and James Orr. The final ribbon went to Tabasco’s Lady From New York with Paul Cates riding for Jan Henderson.


It had been a great night of competition and a terrific prelude of what is to come later in the week. Horses and exhibitors alike stepped up to the challenge of performing on the green shavings and left the crowd wanting more by the end.


For complete results from Tuesday night, click here.

For Tuesday's judges cards, click here.

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