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Louisville – Wednesday Morning and Afternoon



The highlight of the Wednesday daytime schedule got the crowd roaring in full voice, no small feat for a Wednesday afternoon. This was the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony 13-and-Under, and it was tiny 9-year-old Kirstie Buerkley that the audience was getting behind. They picked her up first way and started cheering her down the rails. More people picked up on her second way, and by the time they went at speed, it seemed like it was Saturday night. Kirstie was at the lines of none other than the 17-year-old veteran road pony, Dun-Haven Grandiose. Rich Campbell was heading this team in the lineup for owner Georgia Blevins and gave little Kirstie a hug for a job well done. She was not just a passenger back there either; she was working the bridle and maneuvering her pony, as Maureen Lydon called directions from the rail. Her aggressive yet cute performance netted her a blue ribbon and a big ovation from the crowd as she trotted down victory lane. Reserve in this class was Heartland Flurry, with Ben Ferreby driving for Jerry Cummins. This pony was the County Fair Champion on Sunday night for owner Jerry Cummins.


Kirstie Buerkley won her first World's Champion

title at the age of nine in the 13-and-Under

Road Pony with Dun-Haven Grandiose.


The signature Louisville weather reared its head today, with temperatures reaching up close to 100 degrees. While inside Freedom Hall, the horses and riders were enjoying the respite from the muggy weather, and the spectators were reaching for extra layers. The first class on this longest session of the show so far was Division One of Three-Gaited Country Pleasure. CH Prophet’s Fire Hazard waited until he was headed down to pick up his blue ribbon before throwing a shoe. Deborah Richardson was aboard. This 14-year-old son of CH Foxfire’s Prophet had been shown in everything from Show Pleasure to Fine Harness prior to this year. The Lexington Champion, Haunting, was reserve in this one with Sarah Russell aboard. She gave a punch into the air with her ribbon in hand, screaming, “YES!” as she rode out the gate.


Deborah Richardson with CH Prophet's Fire Hazard.

It was Richardson’s third World's Champion title.


The first section of 8-and-Under Walk-and-Trot riders hit the ring next, and Macey Joan Miles emerged with Aces And Eights as a repeat winner from 2006. Missy Hughes headed down to the winner’s circle after heading Macey in the lineup. William Nalty rode strong, representing the boys well. He is trained by Barbe Smith and is the son of Holly Nalty, who is married to James Nichols. Kaitlyn Creekmore followed in her mom’s footsteps, showing Imagination Station to the Section Two blue. Mom Susan Creekmore was a winner with Ninety-Eight Degrees on Monday. Rose Marie Wheeler and May Issue were reserve.


Section Two of the Country Pleasure class brought Concrete Blonde to the winner’s circle… eventually. After announcer Peter Fenton called out her number, rider Kristen Pettry continued to mill around at the in-gate end of the ring. Once Fenton got to the name of the horse, she realized that she had added yet another World’s Championship to her resume. Concrete Blonde is by Phi Slama Jama. She was bred by Dr. Alan Raun and raised and brought out by Mike Breeggemann. Tommy Pettry and Donna Pettry-Smith watched from the in-gate and cheered Kristen on through her victory pass. Donna normally would have been in the ring with Kenny, but alas, today she wore flip-flops. The second-place finisher definitely knew her number, and so did her group of supporters standing in front of her in the moat. This was Kendall Weber with CH Highpoint’s Abba Zabba. The group on the rail included mom/trainer Tara Weber and trainer Michael Craghead. It was a big class for Tucson, Arizona, as both of these riders have, at one point, lived there.


The 9-Year-Old Walk-and-Trot class was also split. Ellie Kangur of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, took top honors in the first section, showing out of Cash Lovell Stables in her first year out of Academy. Nancy Becker headed the reserve finisher, Morgan Billig. The second section went home to California with walk-and-trot phenom Caroline Cherry. She and CH In Neon ERB have been teamed perfectly by the Cali-KY connection of Cindy Boel and Anne Speck. Caroline’s pedigree leads to her performance on horseback. Her parents, Jim and Helen Cherry, run Zazen Ranch in Southern California. Finishing second in this one was Aleia Brown, who had to find a last minute replacement for her mount. She ended up showing Worth The Trip, borrowing from the McGinnis family and DeLovely. It worked out well for the Cape Cod-trained entry.


Caroline Cherry riding CH In Neon ERB


In Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving, CH Petra’s Beyond Belief came up big to win for Mallory Adams and Rainbow Princess Farms. This was Beyond Belief’s third win here in Freedom Hall, having won twice in 2002 in Junior Exhibitor Pleasure with Sarah Thordsen. Second in the class was CH Advantage Me, with Aliyah Asch at the lines. Advantage Me was the winner of this class last year and many other times as well.


Only one section was needed in the 10-Year-Old Walk-and-Trot division. Cagle James trotted to the far end of the ring with Lewis Eckard to pick up her blue ribbon. Kirwan Kennedy of Phoenix, Arizona, was reserve under the direction of Matthew Roberts.


The third division of Country Pleasure saw a unanimous victory for CH The Shadow Knows and Linda Meyer, showing for her parents, Bob and Nancy Anderson. This is a repeat win for this team, as they took their qualifier blue last year en route to a tri-color performance later in the week. Another horse who knows the winner’s circle at Louisville, CH Riva Diva, was reserve with Donna Finch.


Another Rich Campbell and Maureen Lydon-trained entry made the last pass in the first section of Junior Exhibitor Hackney Pleasure Driving. Match Maker and Mollie Kregor were the judges’ pick, showing for Rick and Carolyn Daigle. Will Mayo and Motown were a popular reserve. They were winners of the AHHS Youth Medallion class at Lexington this year.


The second split saw one of those “cute” moments that Louisville can sometimes bring. Cherry Royale, longtime driving partner of Judy Kjellander and a World’s Champion in the Adult division in 2005, was recently selected by Randy Cates for one of his littlest customers, Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes. Katie Cunningham, of That’s Chicago fame, got the call to catch-drive her barnmate’s new entry. She did quite well, as she took her victory lap with Caroline next to her in the cart. Callisto and Aliyah Asch were reserve under the direction of Joy Lazarus, in from California.


The Western Country Pleasure Invitational was a much-anticipated event, as the entries have to qualify throughout the year to participate in it. Last year’s Champion was presented the blue ribbon in this one by last year’s qualifier winner, Suzanne Bradshaw.  It was CH Fiasco heading to the winner’s circle with Douglas Glick aboard under the watchful eye of Western aficionado Michael Craghead. Luanne Kilday had the second-place entry in O Ain’t I Somethin’. This was Saddle & Bridle’s Junior Exhibitor Shatner Western Pleasure Finals Champion last year with Hilary Kleinert. Third in this one was CH Impressive Ruler, with Mary Strohfus aboard. This longtime Western winner will be retiring at St. Louis this year. Fourth went to California with CH Like Thunder and Michele Macfarlane.


CH Fiasco and Douglas Glick


He Walks On Water and Sarah Werry earned the vote of all three judges in Section One of Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17. Brother Glenn T. and trainer Tom Bombolis joined her in the winner’s circle to celebrate. This team was reserve in both their Show Pleasure qualifier and Championship last year. Ali DeGray and Kalarama’s High Roller were reserve, coming off their two wins at Lexington.


He Walks On Water and Sarah Werry


Another unanimous victory followed in Section One of the Adult Hackney Pleasure Driving. Stephany Monteleone had Lexington Reserve Champion Mastercraft’s Namesake LF looking strong to take the blue. Razzle Dazzle Me and Kay Marschel were reserve, repeating their qualifier placing from Lexington. Section Two brought Lexington Champion Early Edition to the ring with Jane Mueller. Mueller has won her qualifier three years in a row now under the direction of Gib Marcucci. Nancy Leigh Fisher made a great catch-drive in reserve with Pacifico’s Standing Ovation for Brown-Anderson Farms. She was having a blast, occasionally looking up to the Hollow Haven cheering section to express her happiness.


Division Two of Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure 14-17 brought a very happy family their first Louisville blue. “The announcer said ‘From Wisconsin,’ and I looked at Jenny Bailey and said, ‘Who else is here from Wisconsin?’ Then they said ‘Unanimous,’ and I thought, ‘There must be a great horse here from Wisconsin.’ And there was!” That was the recollection of Lindsay Kellner’s mom, Holly Van Hecke, after her daughter’s unanimous win with Crimson’s Dance Card. Her father, Herb Kellner, was choked up as he watched Lindsay take her victory pass wearing her “Kentucky State Fair Winner” hat under the direction of Scott and Carol Matton. No stranger to Freedom Hall’s winner’s circle, Callaway’s Blue Agate was reserve with Emily Burglass. This strong team won their qualifier last year and were reserve in the Championship. League Of Nations and Emily Druckman finished in third.


After the lunch break, the first section of qualifying for the ASR National 3-Year-Old Park Pleasure Futurity was carried out, followed by the aforementioned performance by Kirstie Buerkley and Dun-Haven Grandiose. Then came the fireworks of the Amateur Park Stallion/Gelding qualifiers. This class was split, and the first section went to Secret Cash Deposit and Janet Kellett, under the direction of Leon Richardson. It was a great performance by this 11-year-old gelding, who has been shown lightly throughout his career. The Lexington Champion and qualifier winner, Tax Man, was reserve with Peggy Whitley Councilman up. CH Justa Rasal was third with Megan McClure, while CH Cagin Martini was fourth for Paula Percoco in a very deep class.


Melissa Moore greeted High Heat and a happy Melody Adler in the winner’s circle in Section Two. They were the Reserve Champions at Lexington Junior League in this, their first year in the Park division. Long Distance and Mimi Bahcall put on one of their best performances to date to take reserve in this tough class. Pistolero and Mary Jane Peebles were third, with the white ribbon going to Kent Brockman and Bridget McNeese.


High Heat and Melody Adler


Mary Gaylord McClean had a nice little black pony with a little white trim looking bright and strutting down victory lane in the Three-Year-Old Harness Pony class. Jeff McClean and Tommy Lowry were waiting at the far end for Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan, the latest addition to the Golden Creek string of champions. Heartland Direct Hit and Maureen Lydon were reserve for Darrel and Sandra Kolkman.


Elizabeth Shatner raised her hands high and let out a yell when her number was called in the Amateur Ladies Roadster to Bike class. She and All Glory headed to the winner’s circle this year after finishing reserve in this event last year. The winner for the past three years was reserve today. Dirt Devil and Deborah Butler were in reserve. 


The older age group of Junior Exhibitor Road Pony also had to be split. The 14-17 group had its Division One winner take home a qualifier blue for the third year in a row. Ali DeGray seized the moment with Seize The Moment by a unanimous vote of the judges. Jeb Boyd had Heartland Painted Creation working strong and fast in second. Division Two brought an ecstatic Caitlin Leith to the far end of the ring with Zildjian, showing for brother Conner, who showed this pony to the blue in a 13-and-Under qualifier last year and in 2004. Catch Me If You Can and Lauren Mathewson took home the red ribbon in reserve. They were reserve in both of their Lexington classes this year as well.


Jeff McClean brought home a unanimous blue with another great young Golden Creek pony, Regal’s Lucifer LF. Bred by Dan and Leah Light, Lucifer is by Dun-Haven Regal Attraction and out of Mastercraft’s Lookalike LF. Heartland Fortune Maker and Darrel Kolkman were reserve.


The Amateur Park Mare class was a big one but did not need to be split. It turned into a duel between two of the greatest amateur ladies to ever grace a show ring, Nancy Leigh Fisher and Barbara Goodman Manilow. Perhaps it was the cheering of newborn granddaughter Mithali from the Hollow Haven section that put her over the top (though it might have sounded a bit more like crying), but Nancy Leigh took the last pass with Princess Ruby Begonia. Barbara Goodman Manilow had her star, CH Lady Maya, up in the bridle and moving strongly and squarely in reserve. This duo took the blue in this class last year. CH Desert’s Supreme Lady and Margaret Elizabeth Biggs were third in another great group of Park horses. Friday night’s first class, the Amateur Park Championship, will certainly be one to watch.


The Three-Year-Old Roadster Pony class closed out the longest day of the show, as Heartland Curtain Call could not have had a more appropriate name, taking the blue with Darrel Kolkman. Velvet King and Dr. Alan Raun were reserve for Reedannland. Iowa was proud.

Click here for complete results from Wednesday’s day session.

Click here for Wednesday's judges cards.

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