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Louisville - Wednesday Night

With no need for the second section of the ASR Futurity Weanlings the lady riders were the first to enter Freedom Hall on Wednesday night.  Eighteen of the best were on hand to compete for their over two qualifier.  Making the first victory pass of the night was a thrilled Tami Reiser aboard Wingate’s Lady Lorraine.  The bright mare was poised for the win after Chad Reiser showed her to the reserve county fair title on Sunday for owner Ray Blaton.  Kelly Lockhart  and A.J. Bruwer have shared the duties aboard Liberty’s Magic  this season but tonight was Lockhart’s night to shine.  With an exceptional show they captured the reserve title for Vickie Reed.  Always fitting in the ladies division, Majestic’s Jackie O made another solid show claiming the yellow ribbon with Amy Dix Rock. 

Taking it up a notch the Open Road Pony Under 50 Inches was the next up with 10 making the gate call.   Larry Ella and Bent Tree Farm are on a roll this week and tonight was no different as Ella directed Moment Of Excellence down victory lane.  Donna Whatley had Heartland Smooth Operator in top order garnering the red streamers along with a first place vote.  Majestic Oaks stablemate Thunderation and Meredithe Steinhauer rounded out the top three.

Bret Day and Chip Pugh are putting their mark on the harness division.  Day captured his first title of the week with Pugh’s CH Revolver in the county fair championship.  Then tonight he debuted Pugh’s newest purchase Wild Carrissima.  Not sure of what to expect from the Midwest Charity Grand Champion (with Melissa Moore for Golden Creek), Day started a little conservative but after they turned around Wild Carrissima found his groove along with a piece of the crowd propelling them unanimously to the winner’s circle in the eight horse class.   Long time contender in this division CH Castledream picked up the reserve title with Larry Hodge at the whip for Hillcroft Farm LLC.  Catalytic put on a great show for Martin Cockriel for the yellow ribbon while The Road Less Traveled and Jim Lowry accepted the white ribbon for Tom Brock.

Taking a time out from the schedule, attention was drawn to the presentation area honoring Julianne and the late Rob Wilson as they were inducted into the AHHS and ARHPA Hall of Fames.

The 14-17 riders took center stage next for section one of their three-gaited division.  Hunter Chancellor has had a tremendous week and tonight she made it four for four as she guided CH I’m McDreamy down victory lane after an exceptional performance.  Hannah Houske and The Mighty Mouse gave them a run for their money.  Fresh off a win on the Red Mile the Milo Jones trained teamed captured the reserve title along with huge crowd approval.  CH Marching Orders and Maya Manilow have come together well in a short time.  Tonight she directed him to a top three finish under the direction of Donna and Kenny Smith. 

The cob-tails came to the ring with multiple world’s champions with Heartland High Tech, Heartland Fortune Maker, Nabucco and Lord Ovation making the gate, among others.  Tonight when the work was done it was Heartland High Tech besting the field with Ruth Gimpel on the lines for Helen and James Rosburg.  Reserve honors went to last year’s winners, CH Heartland Fortune Maker and Bob Phillips, for Faydelle Schott  with Nabucco rounding out the top three with Gib Marcucci. 

Fox Grape’s Dauntless and Dr. Owen Weaver are the epitome of a ladies team and their record shows it with five blues and one reserve in six appearances already this season.   From a field of 16 they added another win to their resume with a unanimous performance.  Theresa Vonderschmitt picked the reserve title aboard I’m Something Wicked with a ground covering performance. Maria Gilman teamed It’s Saturday Night Live to the third place while Desiree DeVries, coming back from major injury almost exactly a year ago, picked up the white ribbon aboard Grand Revival. 

Since his Junior Three-Gaited World’s Championship of Champions win in 2010 Real Action has been untouchable.  Show after show he has marched down the rail and tonight was not any different as he carried Peter Cowart down victory lane unanimously for Robin McKenzie Vuillermet.  Making them work hard for the victory every step of the way was Let’s Talk and Dena Lopez.  They picked up the red ribbon with the crowd’s approval.  Fashionista and Andre van Schalkwyk rounded out the top three for Dr. Nancy Trent. 

A second quick break in the session came next with the announcement of the AHHS Foundation scholarship award winners:  Rebecca Carss, Austin Pappan and Lauren Kelly. 

The under two section of the ladies three-gaited division was next down the ramp into Freedom Hall.  The much anticipate debut of Mr. Center Stage with new owner Mary Gaylord McClean would have to wait after McClean sprained her ankle earlier in the week.  Sarah Byers was back the saddle once again directing the amazing horse to victory.  Fresh off a win at Shelbyville, Callaway’s Clemency made a solid performance with Elisabeth Goth to garner a first place vote on the way to the reserve title.  Jackie Ware put a ride on Going Rogue for the yellow streamers while Jannie Giles claimed the fourth place with Hollywood Agent. 

Picking up the momentum, Wednesday night moved along with the Roadster Under Saddle class.  It was big money for Scott Hagan tonight has he piloted Big N Rich to the win in only their second career appearance together.  Brian Garrett made his second appearance in the division, winner of the amateur class with Where Are We Now Tuesday morning, and now picking up the reserve world’s champion title with Show Me The Money.  Winner of this class just a year ago, Suzanne Crabtree rounded out the top three aboard Despite It All for Barbara Watts. 

The Fine Harness Mare class is always a favorite of the night especially when favorites like CH Along Came A Spider and The Davinci Code come to the dance.  Tonight it was another mare taking the spotlight, Magical Promises.  Coming to Freedom Hall with victory passes at Asheville and Chattanooga, Pedro Martinez had the Mountain Promises daughter in top order for the victory of owner MSK Trust.  Along Came A Spider is a huge presence on the green shavings.  George Knight had the striking black beauty marching down the rail to the reserve title with a first place vote in her first appearance of the year for owner Georgia Herpin Baker.  Lindsay Lavery carried out the yellow ribbon with Dances On Air while The Davinci Code and Kathy Capsuto Walker rounded out the top four.

Living up to her name, Callaway’s The Best And The Brightest had the starring role in the Ladies Five-Gaited Mare class.  Only a five-year-old, Debbie Foley had the Callaway’s Blue Norther daughter tuned in for owner Dr. William Walsh, Jr.  The 2010 National Champion The Lady Sings The Blue racked up the reserve title with Helen Robertson for Burbank and Collins.  Nancy Leigh Fisher had a good go aboard Catalyst’s Work Of Art for the yellow ribbon and a first place vote. 

The mighty little man Dun-Haven Phenomenal gave it his all for the next blue ribbon.  Maureen Campbell had the high-stepper at a perfect speed to show off his cadence and expression earning the unanimous win for Carl and Kathryn Nichols, his fourth win in this Harness Pony Stallion/Gelding Stake.  After a winning debut on the Red Mile, Heartland Pursuit marched up to the reserve title with Ronnie Graham proving he is at right at home in his new division.  The multi-titled Heartland Expectation claimed the yellow ribbon with Kim Cowart for Tamra Arndt.

It is Allie Wellington’s last junior exhibitor year and what a year it has turned out to be!  With one world’s champion title already this week, Wellington added another one to her list with a flawless ride aboard Prom Dress.  Prom Dress is a little mare but you can’t hold that against her as she waves her legs never dropping an ear.  With two of the judges in agreement she topped the second section of the 14-17 Three-Gaited.  Kirsten Wright stepped on Devote for Cash Lovell for the reserve title.  Cheyenne Mabey has been catch riding Callaway’s Flying Blue for Luci Nouwens most of the season.  Tonight they turned in another great ride for the yellow ribbon as well as a first place vote. 

The final glimpse into the big stake on Saturday night closed out the evening session.  The energy was at an all time high as the Five-Gaited Gelding contenders made their way down the chute.  Everyone was in top order but two emerged, Bravo Blue and Courageous Lord, battling it out as they had done in the gelding stake as they had done on the Red Mile just a month before.  The crowd would cheer for one and then the next but then with the loss of a shoe by another contender you wondered if they could pick up where they left off.  That didn’t last long as they turned it up another notch when work resumed.  When the work was done, it finished as it has for the third year in a row with Courageous Lord and Merrill Murray in the winner’s circle.  The only change was the ownership as they made the winning ride for Fox Grape Farms, Inc.  Bravo Blue did not make it easy as Rob Byers had his head in a spot not many can do.  They garnered the reserve title for B & T Vonderschmitt LLC.  Always in the money, Yippeekiyokiyey and Mike Spencer picked up the yellow ribbon for Minna Hankin while Attache’s Crown Royale were fourth for Annika Bruggeworth. 

As it all winded down the crowd knows they have a lot to look forward to come Saturday night but until then the amateurs will hold court with their in hand youngsters along with the road pony under saddle and youth roadster to bike teams during the abbreviated Thursday morning session.  

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