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Louisville - Wednesday Evening

Bred by Hallston Manor, Nutorious has been owned by Peggy and Phil Alderman since day 10 of his life. Sired by Undulata’s Nutcracker, the black gelding is out of Heir Spray, the dam of World’s Champions Safecracker and Line Of Thunder. A World’s Champion here as a yearling, Nutorious has lived in Vermont nearly all his life, brought along by Peggy. Top three here as a three-year-old, Nutorious is a leg-waving son of a gun. Peggy showed the Ladies Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Championship contenders all of the showmanship and panache that took her to a record six English Pleasure World Championships with the superstar Morgan, Bada Bing. She made a pass on the second second-way trot that locked it down, sending her to her first Louisville victory pass. HS Baby Steps and Misdee Wrigley Miller got a nice ovation as the Reserve World’s Champions. The Hillcroft Farm entry is trained by Kalarama. By Sir William Robert, Baby Steps is out of I Am The Dream, a full sister to A Daydream Believer (BHF). The marchy Baby Steps was the Open Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Champion a year ago and the Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions the year before that. Balenciaga and Debra Hurst were up next for third from DeLovely. Lisa Strickland and A Sweet Inspiration scored the white ribbon in fourth for Dr. Mary Ling.

Twin Willow’s McDreamy was the winner of the Road Pony 50”-and-Under World’s Championship for the first time in his career. He took Ali DeGray to her 52nd Louisville world title and her 30th round of honor here. The entry of Helen Rich is trained by Majestic Oaks. Undefeated together, they were the Road Pony National Champions a year ago. McDreamy will be back on Saturday night to seek the threepeat as the Road Pony World’s Grand Champion. A Reserve World’s Champion in this class for the fifth time to go along with three wins, Moment Of Excellence was at it again with a great go. Larry Ella called on him and he answered for Bent Tree Farm. Moment Of Excellence is another star for this team by Mark Of Excellence. He is out of Keep The Spirit, by Rhythm’s Spirit. Born On The Bayou and Meredithe Steinhauer finished third for Majestic Oaks, while The Long Ranger and Tom Lowry took fourth for Golden Creek Farms.

Smith Lilly has worked hard to get to this spot with We Must Be Nuts. Crowned the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion tonight for Grace Arnold, We Must Be Nuts elicited a smile from Smith as he drove to the far end. Headed up by Toria Heck, We Must Be Nuts is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Evangelique. This was the sixth Louisville win for the big, long-necked gelding. Three times the World’s Grand Champion, CH Wild Carrissima made a valiant effort as the Reserve World’s Champion with Bret Day. Owned by Dr. Chip Pugh, the wildly athletic and game bay gelding is by Rare Perception and out of Mia Carrissima, by CH Foxfire’s Prophet. Belle Reve’s Sgt. Pepper finished third in this good group with Melissa Moore driving for Rose Arbor Farm.

CH Bravo Blue made it two years in a row as the Ladies Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Champion with Elisabeth Goth. Trained by Neil Visser, Bravo Blue wore the bridle like few if any others can to score the blue. The 2012 World’s Grand Champion and 2014 Reserve World’s Grand Champion could very well seek the biggest of crowns on Saturday night. By Northern Blues, the bright chestnut gelding is out of Amp-Leigh. Another with that long swan neck, I’ll Bet You is a racking machine. The bay with plenty of chrome is by Major Wager and out of an Arrowhead Chief mare. Phyllis Brookshire has teamed this one to some great shows this year, winning seven of seven already, including the Lexington Ladies Five-Gaited Championship. The entry of Don and Phyllis Brookshire is trained by Matt Shiflet Stables. They received plenty of love from the crowd as the Reserve World’s Champions. Noble Charm and Sena Bowling had perfect manners in third for Hagerman Farms LLC. CH I’m Something Wicked had a different rider than usual, as trainer Mary Marcum Orr got to make the ride for Pair of Jacks Stables, placing fourth.

If the week ended right now, Helen Rich and Ali DeGray would still never forget it. Here was Ali again in the winner’s circle, number 31 now, driving Craycroft Matador to the unanimous Open Hackney Pony World’s Championship for Helen Rich and Majestic Oaks. This one was a debut performance for Ali, having never shown this pony before. Peter Fenton listed last year’s winner, getting Ali’s attention as it was Heartland High Tech, shown by none other than Ali. New owner of Matador, Helen Rich, was announced on the victory pass. Barnmate and last year’s World’s Grand Champion, Heartland Majestic, took the Reserve World’s Championship with Holli Hayes. Owned by Elisabeth Goth, Majestic was also the Kentucky County Fair Hackney Pony Grand Champion last year. This one is by Heartland Equality and out of Seamair Glitter. Mastercraft’s Politician LF and Abel Vega were third for Golden Creek Farms, continuing their good year.

When the retirement ceremony for the evening hit the ring to the tune of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” the entire crowd leapt to its feet… and everyone showing in the gelding stake later tonight breathed a sigh of relief. One of the greatest of all time, CH Courageous Lord blasted down onto the green shavings that he mastered… eventually. Oftentimes the owner will be the one to ride a horse in its retirement ceremony. Dr. Owen Weaver is no ordinary owner. She knew who needed to be aboard, and Merrill Murray was the one to take him through his final salute. The crowd hasn’t been this loud yet this week. It was absolutely electric in Freedom Hall, as it was for every one of his three World’s Grand Championships and for Owen’s unbelievable Amateur Five-Gaited World’s Championship in that surreal Saturday night duel. Pete Fenton said what everyone was thinking, “He looks good enough to win the gelding stake tonight!” And that is saying something, because it is going to be a good one!

It’s Scott Hagan’s dream to win the Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship with his owned and bred superstar, HS Daydream’s Heads Up. He took the next step on that journey, winning the Open Three-Gaited Over 15.2 World’s Championship in unanimous style. This was Scott’s first victory pass here with the son of Undulata’s Nutcracker and A Daydream Believer (BHF). Debbie Foley has Heads Up tuned to perfection, looking just as good in harness, as those who have watched the work ring can attest. He is just about as perfect as one can be put together. John Conatser made it interesting, riding hard aboard Spanky McFarland. This was the first show for Spanky to be back at Carriage Lane, the new entry of Betsy Thomas. Spanky is by Periaptor and out of a Catalyst mare. Conatser had the bay gelding working nice and tight in the bridle, stepping strong down the rail. Heir To A Kiss and A.J. Bruwer finished third for Sam and Vicki Reed.

It was another repeat winner tonight, as Show Me The Money scampered off with the Open Roadster Under Saddle World’s Championship with Dr. Brian Garrett. This is the fifth season for this team to be together, and they know each other well. Reserve in their first trip on the green shavings, they have now won their last three tries in this event. Mike Brannon directs this speedy team. Cydni Simmons rode Street Legal GRS right out of his shoes to the Reserve World’s Championship. The Kentucky County Fair Roadster to Bike Grand Champion with Gerhardt Roos, Street Legal is owned by Dr. Chip Pugh. Wellington Hall and Holli Hayes were up next in third for Tom Fiedler. Fireball and Megan Thibo finished fourth for Fritz Zimmerman.

One of the absolute superstars of this show as a three-year-old in 2013, Use Your Illusion made it three years in a row to take a victory pass on the green shavings. This time it was as the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2-and-Under World’s Champion with owner and breeder Shawn Stachowski. This was the fifth victory pass of the week for Stachowski Farms. Jim has two, Ava has two, and now Shawn is on the board with her first class of the week and first victory pass. By Mountainview’s Heir To Fortune, Use Your Illusion is out of the grand walk-trot mare, My Prom Night. Hollywood Bucks has produced two Reserve World’s Champion this week. This time it was the 2012 Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions, The Mighty Mouse. Hannah Houske still teams with this son of Sir William Robert for Shelby Farm and Stables. R & R Stables directs this high octane tandem. Dr. Nancy Chauvin and Undulata’s Just Perfect scored the third place prize from DesMar Stables. PRF Southern Kiss and Allison Boozer were fourth for Pender Ridge Farm.

Two thirds of tonight’s open classes were won by amateur riders or drivers, and that trend continued in the Fine Harness Mare World’s Championship. Always a fan of a tremendous driving horse, Misdee Wrigley Miller took the lines of Trust My Imagination once again for a winning effort. Trained by Kalarama for Hillcroft Farm, Trust My Imagination is extreme in everything that she does. She is absolutely sensational off both ends and can really work herself into an incredible spot in the bridle. This was the second year in a row for the daughter of Trust Fund and Titleist Imagination to wear this crown. Kentucky County Fair Fine Harness Grand Champion on Saturday night, Samuri Lady was back for more, seeking out a world title with Peter Palmer. Annika Bruggeworth’s newest harness horse was the Reserve World’s Champion here in this one. By Samur and out of Constantina, Samuri Lady is also quite extreme in the bridle. These two chestnut mares really put on a show together in a tightly matched competition. Roselane’s Clemency and Lisa Strickland made a power-packed performance in third for Ready for the Limelight LLC.

Elisabeth Goth pulled off a rare feat, taking both sections of ladies five-gaited. It was one of her newest acquisitions, Fox Grape’s The Tiger Lily, as the Ladies Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion, directed by Neil Visser. This marks the fourth Louisville win for the daughter of Dorian Wild Temper and Callaway’s Carnation. Elisabeth also rode her to the Five-Gaited Championship at Blue Ridge in a deeply competitive field. Tiger Lily is one of the most beautiful horses you will ever see, and she adds her impressive athletic talent to that picture. The winner of this class a year ago and also in 2010, CH Lynn Williams was back at it again with Mary Gaylord McClean. Another to really look the part of a ladies horse, the pretty bay mare is by CH Top Spool and out of the great Carol Lynn (BHF). The reigning Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions is trained by Premier Stables for Golden Creek Farms. Debbie Foley and Stand Out Star were up next in third for Debbie Gabbert, while Undulata’s High Society and Anne Neil rode up for the white ribbon for Tina Sutter.

Winning the fifth World’s Championship of her career, Belle Starr was the Roadster to Bike Mare World’s Champion. Janelle D’Amato was at the lines here, just as she was for the win in this class in 2013. This is nine bike wins in a row for Belle Starr and Janelle, forming a formidable team to tussle with the boys from the stallion/gelding stake on Saturday night. Representing Team Morgan, Flairetation made it interesting as the Reserve World’s Champion with Peggy Alderman. The four time Morgan Roadster to Bike World Champion, Flairetation gave it a great go for Phil and Peggy Alderman. By HVK Bell Flaire, she is out of Shadyshadow Satin Jewel. She kept up with those Standardbreds as Peggy has been doing with her Morgan roadsters up in New England all her life. Jimmy Robertson and Hot Lips scooped up third for Karen Raque.

When Karen Frickey’s brother bought the great CH Heartland Expectation back for her, there was no way he could have foreseen this fairytale unfolding. Last year was a good one for these old partners on their reunion tour. They took a good Kentucky County Fair Harness Pony Reserve Grand Championship in 2014. Tonight, however, it was as if the clock had been turned back to 2008. Expectation put on a show that was simply outstanding to claim the Harness Pony Stallion/Gelding World’s Championship. Trained by Randy and Denessa Harper, the son of Dun-Haven Awesome Creation and Heartland Beauty was right on point and on top of his game for the win. The celebrated black son of Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan and Heartland Mary Belle, Handsome Harry was the reserve winner with Jeff McClean. A World’s Champion as a three-year-old and as a four-year-old, Harry is owned by Golden Creek Farms. He resembles his father in curve and stature as well as in color, making him a striking image in the ring. Maureen Campbell and Crystal Creek’s Captain Mike were third for Sandra Surber, while Mr. Naples and Abel Vega finished fourth for Golden Creek Farms.

“You’ve always got to have a stake horse,” said Matthew Shiflet last year. He is nothing if not true to that statement. He’s always got a good one to show and campaign in the gaited division it seems. A couple years back it was Honey Badger as his charge, and for the past two seasons now it has been Roselane’s Angelo. This son of Buck’s Co-Star and Angela Lane tasted victory on the green shavings for the first time in his career, taking a unanimous win in the Five-Gaited Gelding Stake. It’s always fun to watch the Matt Shiflet Stables cheering section when they’ve got one in the ring. It’s like watching a little line of flame heading towards a keg of gunpowder. Once that “Angelo” hit their ears from the loudspeakers, they exploded, leaping out of their seats and screaming to the heavens for their fearless leader. Whitney Shiflet smiled wide and proud as she ran to greet her husband and partner in the winner’s circle. This was Matthew’s second win of the gelding stake, having won it with the aforementioned Honey Badger in 2013. He pointed up to the crowd on his way from the ring, later revealing that he had been pointing at Sam Kellett, husband of Janet, owners of Alde Mar Farms and this bigtime Saturday night contender.

“You two get the prize for giving it everything you had,” said Anna Marie Knipp to her trainer and friend Robert Gardiner. He had just ridden his heart out for the Reserve World’s Championship aboard I’m A Blues Man. Winner of this class at Lexington, Blues Man is by I’m A New Yorker and out of CH Callaway’s Potpourri. This was his first show under the new ownership of Holt Oaks Farm, as he will go home from here to Autumn Hills Farm to be readied for Lisa Holt. This was also Robert Gardiner’s best prize yet in one of these gaited stake qualifiers, giving him his best shot yet at a spot in the Saturday night workout.

Also charging hard to the delight of the crowd was The Tango Dancer, shown by Tammy Devore for Justin Cowley. Justin would have his victory a few hours later in the Dancing with the Saddlebred Stars fundraiser for the Saddlebred Museum, as he and Ali DeGray won the mirror ball trophy and all of the glory attached. It was by far the most successful Wednesday night party that the museum has thrown yet, as it was sold out to max capacity, to the point that the fire marshal was making them turn people away! It was a rollicking way to end the night, and many were likely happy that the new schedule gave us back our day of rest on Thursday. 

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