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The Main Event (cont.)

Go Big Blue showed lots of talent and lots of potential on the way to winning the two-year-old class with Bret Day driving for owners Sandra Salmen and Coe London. A winner all season, Aurora's Asset entertained the crowd before leaving the ring with the red streamers. Rick Wallen drove for owner Albert Kelm.

Hia Gal has proven time and time again that she can take on the competition and come out on top. At Mane Event, she came out on top twice more, she just unfortunately, didn't have any competition. Tom Fiedler drove to the solo win in the Roadster To Bike Championship after performing alone in the amateur class earlier in the week.

The Dark Side, also a proven competitor, was unchallenged in the open class with Kim Crumpler driving for Bill Hemminger's Tonka Wombli Farm. Jonelle Chovanec and Dick Frances closed out the roadster horse division with the win in the solo-entry Roadster Horse Under Saddle class.

The ponies were out in good numbers at Mane Event and the Roadster Pony Championship showcased talent across the board. Heartland Sundust and Mary Gise turned back all challengers to claim the grand championship title from Hollow Haven after having won the amateur qualifier. My Party Manners and Jane Mueller, winners of the open class, finished with the reserve tricolor. Andy Freseth drove the multi-titled Calvin Hobbs to the red ribbon in the open class, and Seamair Strutter, with Mike Shallock driving, was reserve behind Heartland Sundust in the amateur class.

Christjon Sannes-Mielke drove to victory with the appropriately named Noble Victory in the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion class for owner Lambert Schut Jr. Cayla McKibbage and Truly Picture Perfect turned in the reserve performance.

The limit class featured five speedsters but it was the Mitch Clark Stables entry, Candy Kid, that left the ring with the blue ribbon. Deja Blues was reserve with Billy Greenwell driving for Tom Fiedler of Woodhaven Farm.

Frank Boyd and Seamair Spectacular, after finishing with the red ribbon in the competitive amateur longtail class, finished the weekend by taking the title in the Harness Pony Championship. Creation's Windstar and Irv Udell, from Bell View Acres, finished in the reserve slot.

Conqueror's Colleen represented Rick Wallen Stables in the winner's circle after the panel named her the top pony in the open class. Mary Ellen Golich drove for the win. Limit champion Tanglewood's Awesome T was reserve with Gib Marcucci driving for Frank Boyd and Todd Gordon.

Nacho Mama made only one appearance at Mane Event but it was a good one. She topped five other proven ponies to take the victory lap in the Amateur Harness Pony class with Christy Weaver Gantley driving for Winding Creek Farm.

Whippoorwill's Night Flight was reserve in the limit class behind Awesome T. Ed Murray drove for the reserve for owners John and Diane Owens.

Royal Canadian has been a consistent performer in the Hackney pony division for years and with Muffy Ernster he just seems to stay on track. Ernster drove for the win in the Hackney Pony Championship and finished with the blue ribbon in the amateur qualifier as well. Newsflash and John Willis were able to exit as the Hackney Pony Reserve Grand Champions for owner Rita Weintraub.

Mary Campbell drove her flashy black Nabucco to the win in the Open Hackney Pony class for their only appearance at the show. Regal's Shadow LF took the red ribbon with Ed Murray driving for William McKibbage. Kentucky Raine LF helped Knolland Farm have a successful weekend in Springfield. Luc Boileau drove the pony to the reserve in the amateur class.

Chris Gantley put yet another pony in the ring for a single appearance at Mane Event and it was a winning appearance. He drove Wait and See's Gypsy Heir to the title in the Limit Hackney Pony class for Winding Creek Farm. Monte Carlo was reserve with owner Mary Kirkton.

Pacifico's Standing Ovation, with Bob Anderson, and Early Edition, with Jane Mueller, have been battling it out in the pleasure pony driving division all season. Mane Event provided yet one more venue for them to continue their duel. They were just two of the six competitive entries that made the division so entertaining to watch.

In the end, it was Standing Ovation coming out on top in both the pleasure driving championship and qualifier. Early Edition finished with both reserves.

Cayla McKibbage continued her busy weekend with a winning drive behind Kingsley Acclaim in the AHHS Hackney Pleasure Pony Driving Youth Medallion class. McKibbage and her pony faced deep water in the class from five other determined young drivers and their talented ponies, including reserve champion Hawkwatch who has been coming on strong with Sarah Werry of Glenmore Farm.

The AHHS Pleasure Pony Under Saddle Youth Medallion class showcased a top duo and when the cards were turned in, it was Face Card on top with Caitlin Carmody riding for La Kona Farm and Lori Glickman. Heartland Spectacular was reserve with Christjon Sannes-Mielke up.

What a weekend Ann Cox had. For that matter, what a season she is having. Cox and her powerful CF Night So Rare swept the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship and qualifier and faced a formidable group both times out. Forever Aptor and Carrie Warner were right on track and made a good run for it in both classes to finish with the reserve grand championship title and red ribbon from the qualifier.

CH Like An Admiral racked and trotted like a pro to take the win in the six-entry Five-Gaited Pleasure Limit Horse class with Nancy Leigh Fisher on board. Gotta Be Gold and JoAnn Griffin, showing under the direction of Debbie Foley, turned in a powerful performance to claim the red ribbon.

Talk about a great year so far, I'm A Diva Too and Kim Crumpler have been virtually unstoppable in the junior park pleasure division for owners Perry and Sally Grieme. The division has been full of talent all season and the elegant chestnut mare displays loads of it. Crumpler rode to the win in the Junior Park Pleasure class but faced deep competition on the way to the winner's circle. Treasured Memories and Max Ciampoli were right in the mix and finished with the red ribbon for owner Linda Roos.

Princess Ruby Begonia was yet another young horse that faced deep competition at Mane Event. Nancy Leigh Fisher put her mare right where she needed to be including the winner's circle in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. Norah Jones is a household name not only because of the recording star's music hits but because trainer and jockey Bret Day keeps putting her in the right place as well. The entry of HyHorse Farm turned in a strong effort with Day to take the reserve in the UPHA Classic.

Robert Gardiner rode The Orion to the top of the cards in the Limit Horse Park Pleasure class for owner Donna Williams. Mr. Rex Harrison, well known contender from Wolin Studios, was picture-perfect for the reserve ribbon with Ray Krussell.

Exhibitors must have breathed a sigh of relief when they realized they were going to have some room to maneuver in the three-gaited pleasure division. The show pleasure competitors so often face enormous numbers in the division which can make showing even the most accomplished horse difficult. With one of the best rings in the country to perform in, the show pleasure competitors had plenty of space and they used it to entertain the audience.

Current world's champion CH A Magic Spell was the picture of pleasure with Mary Jane Gralton on board to put two more impressive victories on their list this season. The pair topped five other entries each time out for Hollow Haven to take the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship and 39 and over win. CH Petra's Beyond Belief and Natalie Udell showcased why they have had such a successful season so far by earning the reserve grand championship and red ribbon from the 39 and over qualifier with two entertaining shows.

MW Whatever Works and Kerry Honkamp turned it on for the winning team effort in the 18-38 class under the direction of Scott and Carol Matton. CH The Edge and Jennifer DelBosque took the second place tie for owner Kay Richardson.

Also recently named world's champions CH Absolutely Exquisite and Abby Krempasky took their final victory pass together after the panel named them the winners of the Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship. Ending a terrific season together, Absolutely Exquisite and Krempasky also won their age group qualifier. Absolutely Exquisite now heads to a new career with owner Mandy Martin.

Hasta La Vista and Lauren Jurkynas didn't give an inch on their way to both 14-17 reserve titles for the Jurkynas family in the competitive division.

CF Chief's Rage and Sarah Werry keep getting better and better and they were named the best of the best in the 13 and under championship after having won the qualifier. Ashley Baird did everything she was told by trainer Robert Gardiner and piloted Star Spangled Steel to a strong finish as the reserve grand champion of the younger age group. Hannah Love and My Point Of View were able to put together the red ribbon effort in the 13 and under qualifier under the direction of Ray Krussell for a strong finish in the class.

Brittany Miller rode Royal Crest's Decked Out In Stone to the win in the six-entry novice rider class for owner Laura Sukowaty. Curran Sukowaty and Royal Crest's 14 Karat Stone were reserve to give Laura Sukowaty the one-two finish.

Hard Day's Night TS and Jayne Tillman made easy work of the Junior Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship amidst strong competition including the multi-titled King Of Pop with Bonnie Lee up for Saddlewood Farm under the direction of Lisa Strickland. Tillman was directed to her win by Knollwood. The top two entries traded places in the junior horse qualifier. Reedann's Phlash carried owner Susan Bekenstein to the top of the cards in the Novice Horse Three-Gaited Pleasure class and was followed in the ribbons by Lindsey Bade and Highpoint's Country Genius.

The 10 and under riders had a chance to show their skills in the walk and trot pleasure class. Killian Sukowaty continued the Sukowaty successes in the pleasure division and took the victory pass with Royal Crest's 14 Karat Stone. Aptowin and Emily Morgan were reserve in the class.

Morgan Wolin and her trio of celebrity mares were on a roll all weekend. Greta Garbo won the Show Pleasure Driving Limit Horse class and came back in the championship to take the victory pass and tricolor under the Krussell Stables banner.

Brendan Heintz drove Kelly's Santana to the win in the show pleasure driving qualifier and then finished reserve in the championship for owner Gerald Miller. Chief Tomahawk and Kay Richardson were reserve in the qualifier.

Corky's Asset, with owner Josephine Musser driving, turned in the red ribbon performance in the limit horse class to close out the show pleasure driving division.

CH The Shadow Knows, with title after title to his credit, added yet two more this season when the panel named him the winner of both the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and Adult 39 and over class with Karen Smith riding for Karen and Guy Smith.

Megan Mahoney was back in the ring with CH Worthy One's Party Dude and they left the ring as the adult reserve grand champions after winning the 18-38 class. Pheiress Wheel, now owned and shown by Nancy Rothe under the direction of Northern Tradition Farm, claimed the reserve in the 39 and over class. Chere Peridot and Jenny Karnes finished with the red streamers in the 18-38 class under the direction of Lisa Strickland.

So Much To Say and Ali Lieterman gave Hollow Haven another country pleasure sweep when they took the tricolor and the blue ribbon in the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship and the 14-17 qualifier. The Gun Moll and Emily Doll represented Palos Hills when trainer Martha Hoyt met them at the gate as they exited with the reserve tricolor.

Peri's Call To Victory was reserve in the 14-17 qualifier. Gold Commission and Elizabeth Reimer, added the blue from the 13 and under class to the Northern Tradition tack room wall, edging out reserve winners Speciphi and Susan Rosse for Paula Jo Briney and Pratense´ Farm.

Sandra Dyer continued the Strickland Stables winning streak by piloting Spock to the blue ribbon in the novice horse class. Six entries put on a show for the audience and Callaway's Count On Me took the reserve with owner Vicki Reed. Reed rode from A.J. Bruwer Stables.

Kristen Johnson, riding her Patriot's Dream, won the novice rider class and was followed in the ribbons by Speciphi and Susan Rosse.

Callaway's Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson turned in two first-rate performances to sweep the country pleasure driving division. Elizabeth Lipscomb and CH John D Smith were reserve in both classes.

CH The Midnight Express was on top in the Western Country Pleasure Championship with owner Barbara Brown on board. In The Zone and Susan Honkamp finished as the reserve grand champions in the seven-entry class after winning the six-entry qualifier. Emily Gray, with owner Joan Todd riding, was reserve in the qualifier. Sharon Vuinovich and The Phinest put it all together to take the victory pass and the blue ribbon in the Shatner Western Country Pleasure class from Northern Tradition Farm. Megan Mahoney and A.F. Colour Creation were reserve in the class under the direction of Palos Hills.

Mahoney and A.F. Colour Creation, were first successful at Mane Event in the hunter pleasure division. Before taking the Shatner Western Pleasure reserve ribbon, they teamed up for the blue in the Saddle & Bridle Hunt Seat Classic and then returned in the Hunter Country Pleasure Stake to finish with the title of grand champion. Joan Todd rode her second talented competitor at Mane Event and Avanzare was named the Hunter Country Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion. Blackhawk's High Five and Laura Langer took the reserve ribbon in the hunt seat classic.

Two Hackney horses battled it out in the Hackney Horse Championship and qualifier and Ed Murray went to the winner's circle both times with EQL Hallelujah for owner John Beilfuss. Sandy Creek Radiance and Luc Boileau took both reserve titles.

Five poised young juvenile riders came through the gate for the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and did a great job showcasing their skills both on the rail and in their individual workouts. Michelle Krentz has proven her skills and gone to the winner's circle already this season and at Mane Event she was asked to meet Scott and Carol Matton there twice more. Krentz won the equitation championship and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal. Taylor Brooker was steady and solid for second place. Krentz and Brooker finished in the same order in the 14-17 class.

Emily Wiersma topped the 13 and under age group with a strong performance and Caitlin Carmody was right there for the red ribbon. Andrew Slater had his game face on and it showed as he worked hard to follow up his winning ride in the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup with a winning ride in the Walk and Trot Equitation Championship. His strategy worked and he was named the grand champion. Rebecca Eberly showcased her horsemanship skills and was reserve in the championship. Killian Sukowaty took the second prize in the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup.

The Trainers Equitation National Championship put $1,000 in prize money and the prestige of a national title on the line and all seven trainers that competed took the competition very seriously. In addition to the money and title, the trainer's trophy went to the winner as well. Trainer and previous winner Bob Griffin created the trophy for the class.

All seven put their mounts through their paces on the rail and were then excused by the panel. Working in order from highest back number to lowest, they returned one at a time to perform the workout. After each rider left the ring, their individual scores were announced to the audience so that they could follow along.

Placement of the riders based on a total point score of 300, was announced in reverse order. Trainer Carolyn Boyer, finished in seventh place. Dennis Verscheldon, of La Kona Farm, was sixth. Todd Perkins, of Centre Pointe, was fifth and Laura Griedl took the fourth place ribbon. Scott Matton earned a loud ovation for his third place finish after a workout score of 112 out of a possible 150.

When Matton left the ring, only the duo from Northern Tradition Farm remained. Winner in 2003, Tom Thorpe scored 125 points for his workout. Bob Griffin, winner of the class in 2001, scored 112 points for his workout. Because rail scores were not announced, no one knew which rider was going to take the victory pass and title.

When Bob Griffin's name was called out, Thorpe knew he was the two-time winner. Thorpe took the victory pass once around and was then joined by Griffin as they took a victory pass side by side to end the Saturday afternoon session.

Morgan Wolin, riding CF Cool Night Out, won both the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup and the Adult Equitation class. Bailey Freeman, after winning the USEF Adult Saddle Seat Medal, returned in the adult equitation class and was able to claim the reserve title.

Aimee Langer was reserve in the 17 and under medal class and took the blue in a well-filled and competitive seven-entry 17 and under challenge cup. Taylor Brooker was reserve in the challenge cup class. Barbara Southgate claimed the second and final ribbon in the adult medal.

The Pleasure Equitation Championship featured five talented young ladies vying for the title but when it was all over, none had topped 14-17 champion Kristen Jurkynas according to the panel of judges. Winner of the 13 and under class, Lindsay Kellner was the reserve grand champion and Emily Abbott of High Spirit, was reserve in the 14-17 class. Jourdan Schaye took the red ribbon behind Kellner in the 13 and under class.

Whitney Anderson put together the winning ride in the 17 and Under UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup and was followed in the ribbons by Schaye.

A trio of riders competed in the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion, with Aimee Langer taking the win. Amanda Myers was the reserve champion.

Mid America Mane Event provides so many reasons why it should do nothing but get bigger and better year after year. Terrific competition across the board, a friendly and helpful office staff, one of the best facilities in the country and a laid back and fun atmosphere are just a few.

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