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Louisville - Tuesday Evening

Tuesday evening’s session began with a group of nine beautiful entries competing for the prize money and world’s title in their National Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Futurity class. It was nice to see such a beautiful group of young walk-trot horses and the crowd showed their appreciation for all of them as entries were stripped and introduced to the audience. When the cards were turned in it was Undulata’s Optical Illusion ERB and Smith Lilly named as the World’s Champions for Jeff and Janet Sterba. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of hall of fame broodmare CH Crystal Illusion, Optical Illusion earned $1642 for the win. Stephanie Sedlacko teamed Nut Lookin’, sired by I’m Lookin’ For You and out of Lady Lyra, to the reserve  ribbon for Maple Lane Farm.

A great group of seven put on an entertaining class in the Amateur Gentlemen’s Three-Gaited class. When Monnington Iconic and Justin Cowley were named the winners for Paul E. Cullen Trust, their fan club cheered them all the way around the ring on their victory pass with trainer Luman Wadhams leading the way. Royal Rooster and Ben Ferreby also earned their share of crowd support as they exited with the reserve streamers for John and Sandy Ferreby. They showed under the Walnut Way Farm banner.

The ASR Futurity Of Kentucky Two-Year-Old Fine Harness finals will be held Friday night so the preliminary class was to determine which of the group would qualify to return. The first split hosted eight two-year-olds and of those eight, six were selected to return: Superstitious Friday (Charmed And Bewitched x Harlem’s Black Orchid) with Kathy Capsuto-Walker driving for co-owner and co-breeder Paula Schmidt; Game Changer (Gypsy Santana x Niagra) with Louis Louw showing for owner and breeder Luanne Wendland, D.V.M.; the Hagan Saddlebreds entry I’m A Dreamer, sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of I Am The Dream, with Debbie Foley showing; Reedann’s Magic In The Heir (Undulata’s Heir Apparent x Magic Talk) and owner, breeder and exhibitor Dr. Alan Raun; the Blythewood Farms entry Watch This Trick, sired by First Watch and out of Harlem’s Rare Magic, with Pedro Martinez; and Magic City (Undulata’s Nutcracker x Call Me Glamorous) with Danny Lockhart showing for David Rudder.

Things really heated up in Freedom Hall when a big group of 13 Amateur Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under horses entered the ring. The noise level got higher and higher as great pass followed great pass down the rail. This was a class full of talent and riders worked hard to impress the panel, but in the end it was the Carriage Lane Farm-trained team of Ceil Wheeler and Callaway’s Naughty And Nice named as the world’s champions. Nancy Chauvin and Undulata’s Just Perfect also impressed the panel and got a rousing round of approval from the crowd as they finished the reserve world’s champions from DeLovely. Vicki Reed and Mesmerizing met trainer A.J. Bruwer at the out gate after they claimed the yellow ribbon for their top three effort.

Section two of the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14-17 class had a lot to live up to after the afternoon’s great section one class but they didn’t disappoint tonight. The junior exhibitors looked like veterans as they put their mounts through all five gaits. It was a battle between all 12 but when the cards were turned in it was Ashlyn’s Voodoo Charm and Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes, showing for Niji Farm LLC, named as the champions. CH Freaky Links and Jenna Winquist also had cheers from their fan club as they headed to pick up the red ribbon for owner Sally Wingquist from Knollwood Farm.

The fast paced gaited class was followed by the second split of the two-year-old harness futurity. Four of the five entries qualified to return Friday night including the Undulata’s Nutcracker-sired entry Nuttin’ But Elegant, out of CH Heads Will Turn, with owner and trainer Jan Lukens driving; Sir Graham Cracker (Sir William Robert x Crackers In Bed) with Kathy Capsuto-Walker; Katherine The Great, sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Katherine’s Perfect Night, with Nelson Green driving for Newline Saddle Horse Stud; and the Blythewood Farms entry At Your Best, sired by At Night and out of CF Hot Night Out (BHF) with Pedro Martinez in the viceroy. Friday night’s final will be one of the night’s highlights with 10 of the best two-year-old harness horses in the country battling for prize money and the title of World’s Champion.

The Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under Stake was yet another class full of talent to continue this action-packed night and 10 elegant walk-trots did a great job entertaining the crowd. Don O’Neill, a son of two-time Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Garland’s Dream, and Chris Reiser turned back all challengers after a picture-perfect performance to exit with the blue ribbon for World Calm LLC. Coming off the Three-Gaited Jackpot at Blue Ridge Kenny Smith had HS Daydream’s Celebrity in top form for Barbara Goodman Manilow and the finished with the reserve title.

The Amateur Five-Gaited Mare class, with all 14 entries, was one of the fiercest battles of the night as riders and horses left it all in the ring. More than once, as riders jockeyed for position, they came out of the turn and headed down the rail four abreast. Great pass after great pass had the crowd cheering on their favorites but in the end it was Jo Ann Griffin and Diamond Designer named as the World’s Champions. Trainer and owner Debbie Foley was all smiles as she headed in for the presentation and victory pass. Allison Combs and Callaway’s Sweet Thing were right there to finish in the reserve slot for Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Shires, showing from Mercer Springs Farm. Many Pearls, with Gabe Deknatel showing for Carl Fischer, stepped up in the great class and they earned the top three finish.

The ASR National Three-Year-Old Futurity Fine Harness class showcased nine talented youngsters vying for the prize money and title of World’s Champion. Owner and breeder Joellen Fisher Blount’s Rose Arbor Farm was represented in style for the win by trainer John Conatser and unanimous champion Rose Arbor Destiny. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of CH She’s My Desire BH, Rose Arbor Destiny earned $6,842 for the win. The Nutcracker-sired entry Undulata’s Crystal Crown, out of Hall of Fame broodmare CH Crystal Illusion, headed out as the Reserve World’s Champion with trainer Gary Garone driving for owner Jan Beardsley-Blanco. Rose Arbor Farm was represented again on the cards when Roses And Moonlight RAF was named to the top three with Gene van der Walt driving. Blount’s mare is sired by Wine Women and Song and out of Marilyn Rose.

While results for the futurity class were being tabulated, Grace Arnold, owner of last year’s winner We Must Be Nuts!, was announced as the ASHA Member Of The Day.

The amateur over two class was another one of the night’s great battles and Deborah Orr had Callaway’s Reality Show in all the right spots, in a powerful team effort, to be named the World’s Champion under the direction of Kalarama Farm. They topped a field of 12 for the win. Candi Aversenti and Kalarama’s Blue Mac also had a great trip under the direction of Denessa and Randy Harper and they exited with the red ribbon. Cindy Hettinger-Carcione and her entry Work It finished in the top three slot and showed from Biggins Stables.

Ten ponies came through the gate for the Amateur Ladies Harness Pony class and they put on a great show. The ladies were as beautifully turned out as their ponies and in the end it was the red roan Heartland Demonstrator selected as the unanimous World’s Champion with Mary Gaylord McClean driving for Golden Creek Farm. Winners at Rock Creek and Lexington, McClean and Demonstrator were on the money again tonight. Sandra Surber and her multi-titled World’s Champion CH Crystal Creek’s Commander were right there to be named the Reserve World’s Champions from Majestic Oaks.

 Another special presentation was made following the ponies. Beth Snider left her post next to announcer Peter Fenton to join her husband Scott Snider as he was recognized for his 50 years of service to the Kentucky State Fair. Snider started as an employee of Feeder’s Supply then worked for Richfield Video before taking on the unenviable task of Stabling Manager. It was Snider who came up with the right formulation to create the green shavings, unique to Freedom Hall and the World’s Championship Horse Show.

The action moved from the elegant ladies long-tail ponies to the hard-charging entries in the Open Roadster To Wagon class. Four horses put on a show and it was another unanimous decision from the panel when results were announced. Raymond Shively and More To Come took the blue and they were followed by Scatman Du with owner and trainer Steve Crabtree.

The ASR National Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Futurity had 12 powerful gaited horses enter Freedom Hall ready to do battle with more than $13,000 in prize money up for grabs. The three-year-olds fought hard from the very beginning and before the class even reversed there were two time outs. The first for an equipment fix and the second for a thrown shoe which unfortunately turned out to be both front shoes, however, trainer Chris Brannan chose to continue. The field of 11 then got back underway again and when they turned around to head for home there was yet a third time out, again for a thrown shoe by another entry and at that point Brannan did choose to exit. When the class lined up the crowd showed their support as entries were stripped and inspected. Six of the eight places earned prize money including more than $6,800 to the unanimous winner Man On The Move. Virgil Helm piloted Gayle Lampe’s entry sired by Desert’s Supreme Memories and out of Lady Phi, to the top prize. George Knight and Ridin’ High picked up the red ribbon for owner Carolyn Garrett. Sired by Sir William Robert and out of Rock This Town, Ridin’ High earned $3,451 for the reserve finish.

The Amateur Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class is always a highlight of the night as there always seems to be an air of electricity in Freedom Hall as the amateurs and their mounts come down the ramp and hit the green shavings. This was a great class but yet another one where the number of horses that lined up was different than the number that started. A thrown shoe forced one team out of the group of 12. The crowd was as fired up as the riders and horses didn’t disappoint as they racked and trotted their way around the ring. All of them had their own share of crowd support including winners Callaway’s No More Mr. Nice Guy with Phyllis Brookshire in the irons. Just like Lexington, their winning performance was directed by Matt Shiflet and he was all smiles as he ran to the presentation area. Three time class winner Fort Chiswell’s Royal Kiss turned in a valiant effort with Elisabeth Goth and they left the ring with a huge ovation and the red ribbon. Undulata Pressure and Camille Cowart rounded out the top three with their team effort from West Wind Stables.

The Amateur Ladies Hackney Pony class was a showcase of seven top cob-tail ponies, all of them highly decorated and shown to perfection by their lady drivers. The class was almost over when unexpectedly Faydelle Schott lost her balance and came out of the buggy. It didn’t take long however for Schott to not only get back up but to declare that she wanted to get back behind her pony. She brushed the shavings off her clothes, nursed a minor cut on her forehead and got back to business without any fuss. Peter Fenton asked the crowd to hold their applause until she was settled in the buggy but as soon as they were able, the crowd applauded her spunk and determination.

The ponies lined up shortly after to hear the panel’s decision and in the end it was Seamair Simply Awesome and Charlotte Wrather named as the World’s Champions, Wrather’s first. Heartland Road Show and Mary Gaylord McClean claimed the reserve world’s title under Tom Lowry’s direction. When Schott and CH Heartland Fortune Maker were called out for third, the crowd roared their support as they left with trainer Bob Phillips.

The $10,000 Five-Gaited Mare Stake had eight entries including reigning World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited and four-time class winner Callaway’s Annabel Allison. One of the great things about watching the best of the best go head to head in class after class at Freedom Hall is that every entry is somebody’s favorite. Every great entry has an ardent supporter in the crowd and that was true in the mare stake as well.

Annabel Allison provided the feel-good story last year when she won The Big Dance and as the four-time defending champion of this class Debbie Foley was determined to make it five in a row and earn her sixth world’s championship. Steve Wheeler and Fox Grape’s The Tiger Lilly, Two Sweet To Kiss and Larry Hodge, Voulez Vous and Brian Chappell, Rhythm & Romance and Gerhardt Roos, Cloverleaf Elegant Belle and Lisa Rosenberger Jones and Phoenix’s Pokerface with Paul Cates up, all took up the challenge. The final entry in the class was one that helped make this year’s class even more noteworthy. Randy Harper headed down the ramp on a horse for the first time since 1992. Harper was on board The Next Big Star as they joined the talented group.

Like the stallions last night, the evening’s final class capped an incredible night of competition with a showcase of incredible talent. The mares were on fire and they each responded to the crowd’s cheers with incredible passes down the rail. In the end it was Foley and her beloved “Ricketta” named as the winners for the fifth year in a row. Their win set the stage for what promises to be an incredible battle in the World’s Grand Championship Five-Gaited Saturday night. Fox Grape’s The Tiger Lilly left the ring with the reserve ribbon and a roar from the crowd and they were followed in the ribbons by Hodge and Two Sweet To Kiss for Hillcroft Farm, Voulez Vous and Chappell for Nalley Champions, Rhythm & Romance and Roos for Fish Creek Stables, Harper and The Next Big Star for Ed and Candi Aversenti, Cloverleaf Elegant Belle and Rosenberger-Jones for Lori and Larry Schmidt and Phoenix’s Pokerface with Paul Cates for Jessica and John Cottey.

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