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Mid America Mane Event – Always a Pleasure!


by Leeann Mione

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Mid America Mane Event has proven to be one of the fall circuit’s greatest pleasures for several reasons. The Illinois State Fairgrounds is arguably one of the country’s best facilities, rain or shine and it seems that no matter the show or time of year, it is difficult to find people who disagree with that sentiment.

An easy-to-manage schedule that includes the addition of the IASPHA Pleasure Equitation Olympics National Finals the last couple of years is another big draw that keeps barns throughout Kentucky and the Midwest coming back again and again. Not to mention, as the road to the final leg of the Saddlebred Triple Crown approaches in Kansas City, very deep competition with world and national champions are competing in class after class.

Nelson Green, Lonnie Lavery and Edward Bennett took on the task of judging the classes this year for the Saddlebreds, Hackneys, road horses and ponies and equitation riders, Oct. 19-22.

Thursday morning, the day began with the Adult Pleasure Olympics National Championship and five riders answered the gate call. Kristen Jurkynas, riding Epico, joined Rebecca Martina and Alpha Priority, Ana Marcyan and her mount Miss Elizabeth Bennett, Mary Adams and Radiant Touch and Shannon Koffler with Worthy One’s Final Touch.

Although the panel made a decision after the class lined up, as is tradition the results were not announced until Thursday evening’s awards ceremony. Representing Krussell Stables, WoodWind Farm, Northern Tradition Farm and Moctezuma Stables, riders came through the gate to await the results.

Jurkynas was named the bronze medalist from WoodWind Farm, with Mary Adams from Krussell Stables taking the silver and reserve national championship. Ana Marcyan, from Moctezuma Stables was the third rider to stand on the podium as the winner of the gold medal and national title.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Marcyan. “Showing well in the Pleasure Olympics this year has been my goal since last year, but I never expected to win,” she added. Marcyan was quick to congratulate the rest of the group on their stellar rides. “We have been a close knit group all year, and I would have been happy for any one of them if they had won.”

Just as the Pleasure Olympics began the day on a high note, the amateur fine harness qualifier threatened to end the day on a low note. Four horses, all of them highly decorated veterans of the fine harness division, performed for the panel. CH Cary’s Moonraker and Margo Baird Valentine, CH Kalarama’s New Sensation and Mary Gise, Simbara’s Exclamation and Scott Cairns and Harlem’s C My Radiance with Mary Jensen have all taken many turns in the winner’s circle but on this night, it was CH Kalarama’s New Sensation called out as the winner from Hollow Haven. CH Cary’s Moonraker took the red ribbon, followed by Simbara’s Exclamation and Harlem’s C My Radiance.

It wasn’t until after the class was concluded and horses had left the ring that it was discovered the top three horses actually finished in a natural three-way tie. Call Judge Lavery had tied the New Sensation mare first resulting in her being called out as the winner.

When the error was discovered, all three owners were given the option of redoing the class and all three declined, opting instead to leave the results as they stood and share the first place award. Each was presented with blue ribbons and trophies. Two of the four opted to return in the amateur stake Sunday afternoon and the tricolor went to CH Cary’s Moonraker from MBA Equestrians. Simbara’s Exclamation took the reserve tricolor.

Saturday evening was reserved for the Pleasure Olympics awards for the junior exhibitor riders and the open stakes competitions. Like so many other shows in this region, competition did not conclude until Sunday and amateurs took the spotlight in their stake classes on that day.

Results for the 13 and under and 14-17 Pleasure Olympics were eagerly anticipated as both divisions hosted some of the country’s top pleasure equitation riders in their Saturday morning finals competitions.

The awards ceremony for the 13 and under riders started things off Saturday evening. Ten riders came through the gate to receive their top 10 ribbons and await the announcement of the gold, silver and bronze medalists.

Elena Breeden, Taylor Newton, Mallory Hartigan, Nick Maupin, Loretta Mulberry, Andra Trakalo, Hali Steenhoek, Cori O’Brien, Samantha Thomas and Caitlin Carmody were presented as the top 10 riders.

Nick Maupin won the drawing for the $500 scholarship and Lindsey Kellner presented the medals.

Caitlin Carmody left the lineup first to take her place on the podium as the bronze medalist. Hali Steenhoek joined her as the silver medalist and the trio was complete when Taylor Newton joined the group as the gold medalist. Each medalist took a victory pass accompanied by the cheers and applause from the crowd.

The top 10 riders from the 14-17 age group were next in the ring. Emily Abbott, Deanna Lanigan, Angela Darrow, Gretchen Bentz, Sarah Lawson, Ashley Loethen, Tess Holmes, Toria Heck, Jennifer Sapko and Kelly Creech all took their turn accepting their top 10 ribbons. Sarah Lawson won the drawing for the $500 scholarship and as it turned out, was also the last to take the podium as she gave Sugar Knoll a second national title as the 14-17 National Pleasure Olympics gold medalist. Trainer Shelly Fisher was back in center ring as she joined Lawson for her presentation.

Angela Darrow stepped on the podium as the silver medalist and Toria Heck was awarded the bronze medal. Each of the three riders also had their turn to take a victory pass for the appreciative crowd.

The Trainer’s Equitation National Championship this year drew a trio of entries and each had their share of fans that stayed to watch the Saturday afternoon session finale.

Tom Thorpe, winner of the class in 2003 and 2004, was joined by Ray Krussell and Paula Jo Briney. The trainers were all asked to perform the workout and when results were announced, it was Thorpe who named as the national champion for the third time. Krussell took the reserve and Briney finished up in third.

National equitation competition at Mane Event just serves to cement the show’s reputation as a showcase for great talent, both human and equine, throughout an action packed weekend.

Outside the ring, Manager Joy Meierhans was assisted by entry secretary Cheryl Rangel, steward Josie Forbes and the members of the Mid America Horse Show Association to make the show a success again this year.

Hospitality is always first rate at the show and this year the progressive party on Saturday evening was held in the warm up ring rather than a true progressive barn to barn walk. Cold, rainy weather made the change a welcome one and a very large group gathered to enjoy the variety of food and drink available at the various set ups provided by participating barns.

The combination of tremendous depth of quality of entries, a large number of barns making the trip to Springfield, great hospitality and a first rate facility come together to make Mid America Mane Event… always a pleasure.


A trio of powerful and proven contenders hit the ring in Saturday evening’s final class, the Five-Gaited Stake, to end the night on a high note. Desiree DeVries and Grand Revival, winners of the stallion/gelding class, were joined by Marquis Spirit and A.J. Bruwer and Imperiaptor with Mitch Clark.

Imperiaptor was right on the money with Clark to take the victory for owner Terry Mulkey after a reserve in the stallion/gelding class. Grand Revival finished with the reserve tricolor for DeVries.

Pucker Up and Robert Gardiner teamed up to win the mare class, topping four other strong combinations in the process, for Jonelle Chovanec Gardiner. Virgil Helm rode Lady Bella to the red ribbon in the mare class for Virgil and Sandra Helm.

Callaway’s Born To Win and Gayle Lampe were unstoppable on their way to a sweep of the ladies five-gaited division under the direction of Mike Roberts. Facing a great group of world title-holders in both classes, Born To Win continued his momentum from Louisville with Lampe. CH Hank Heiron and Bonnie Kegley were right there to take the reserve title in the championship under the direction of Northern Tradition Farm. CH Chandler and Julie Anne Wroble turned in a strong team effort to take the red ribbon in the qualifier for owner Elaine McClaren.

CH Roseridge’s Gold and Doug Lindstrom followed up their success at Wisconsin Futurity with the championship victory in the amateur stake. Lindstrom showed under the direction of Cary Bartz of Valiant Stables. Summer Sweet and Ann MacMurray Cox have been consistently at the top of the division and they finished with the second place tie in the stake from Rick Wallen Stables after winning the mare class earlier in the week.

Diana Schaefer and The Midnight Hero won the amateur stallion/gelding qualifier under the direction of AJ Bruwer. The class featured three powerful entries. CH Roseridge’s Gold was reserve with Lindstrom. Kenya Ketch Me, with Linda Goodrich up, was reserve in the amateur mare class under the direction of Kris and Kara Martalock.

CF Night At The Castle was just one of the winners from MBA and took a tricolor victory pass in the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Stake with Brittany Baird after a big move up in the ribbons from the qualifier. Tess Wartman and Been Their took the reserve streamers. Terri Anne Ullman directed the reserve grand champions and had previously met them in center ring when they won the qualifier. Callaway’s Lloyd Stark, with Rachel Shoemaker up for Willisbrook Farm, was reserve in the junior exhibitor class under the direction of trainer Peter Palmer.

Grey Ridge brought a big group and went home with a big group of ribbons including the blue ribbon from the Junior Five-Gaited class. Susi Day rode Bono to the winner’s circle for Karen Mayer. Take A Guess, owned by Roberta Rassieur, finished in second with Megan Harrison riding.

One of this year’s exciting, new world’s champions, Catalyst’s Work Of Art, debuted with new trainer Andy Freseth, won the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic for new owner Nancy Leigh Fisher to continue her great year with Hollow Haven. Another popular current world’s champion, Silver and Blue was reserve with Julie Anne Wroble riding for Barbara Vincent under the Country Meadow banner.

Texas Hold ‘Em and Bret Day headed to the winner’s circle for J.C. Pierce Equine LLC in the two-year-old class.

Virgil Helm kept the blue ribbons coming when Contender’s Citation got the nod from the panel in the Novice Horse Five-Gaited class for Seven Oaks Farm, LLC. Timeline and Bret Day were reserve for Grey Ridge Farm.


Sunshine Way followed up the Three-Gaited Stake win at Wisconsin Futurity with the Three-Gaited Stake win and over two qualifier win at Mane Event to continue a successful season for owner Julie Hambrick. Winner of the junior horse class, Hallelujah Chorus, took the reserve title for Fischer Sisters, LLC to also keep their momentum going as the season heads into the final stretch. Bret Day showed for Linda Fischer and Karen Mayer.

Escriva and Ray Krussell, Lilly Pulitzer and Julio Rodriguez, Tuff Hedeman and Pat McConnell and Undulata Gypsy with Megan Archer took the remaining ribbons in the stake in that order. Tuff Hedeman was reserve in the over two for Margo Baird and MBA.

Ray Krussell and his group had a great week at Mane Event with numerous wins including Escriva in the under two class for Kate Salvi. Princess Ruby Begonia and Nancy Leigh Fisher turned in the red ribbon effort in the 15.2 and under class from Hollow Haven.

Lynda Freseth teamed Sue-She, Marilyn Gaiswinkler’s new mount, to a sweep of the ladies division. They bested a strong group in both classes. Ms. Veronica Lake and Morgan Wolin were the reserve grand champions from Krussell Stables and CH Sold Out Show took the reserve in the qualifier under the direction of Royal Scot.

Morgan Wolin wasn’t done making her mark in the three-gaited division. She rode CH The Super Nova to the top of the class in the nine-entry Amateur Three-Gaited Stake to add to the impressive ribbon count for Wolin Studios. They had previously won the over 15.2 class for amateurs. Freakness and Ellyn Dorsey have been having a good year under the direction of Lisa Strickland and they continued it with the reserve finish in the amateur over two class.

Supernatural Charm was reserve in the amateur stake after winning the 15.2 and under class. Normally shown by Jacqueline Beck, Charm was piloted to both wins by Kurt Antonacci while Jacqueline was riding to the Good Hands Reserve National Championship at Penn National Horse Show.

William Woods University had a huge presence at Mane Event and they went back to campus with a big number of wins and reserves including Callaway’s Abigail Adams’ red ribbon in the amateur 15.2 and under qualifier.

CH Blackberry Delight and CH (SA) Nelmar Tango 4 Ever took the top two slots in both the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier. Blackberry Delight, with Rachel Machamer on board, won both classes from Hollow Haven and Emily Scharpf finished with both reserves from Knollwood Farm.

Woodhaven Farm added the red ribbon from the junior horse class to their count when Billy Greenwell showed Bit Of The Bubbly for B & T Vonderschmitt LLC.

My Stiletto, owned by Janet Sterba, won the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic with Bret Day once again heading to the winner’s circle for Grey Ridge Farm.
Harlem’s Showman was reserve with Robert Gardiner up for Equi-Elegance.

Bouffant was shown to the blue ribbon in the two-year-old class for Carl Fischer, Jr. by Meadowlake assistant John McKeown. Heir Guitar and Mitch Clark were reserve for owner Jennifer Corcoran.

Romance In New York and Kenny Smith headed to center ring for their presentation of the blue ribbon after being named the winners of the Novice Three-Gaited class for Marge Fergusson and Kristen Pettry. Lilly Pulitzer and Julio Rodriguez have had a great year so far for owners Lane Rabin and Barbara Friedman and they claimed the red ribbon from Bell View Acres.

First Class Heir and Tom Bombolis were the team to beat in the open park division and they came away with both the tricolor from the open stake and the blue from the open class for Glenmore Farm. Both classes featured a strong group of contenders including reserve grand champion Hillside’s Sensation, with Mike McIntosh up for Pat and Laura Lockwood. McIntosh also rode to the reserve in the open class.

(SA) SJ Great Guts and A. J. Bruwer, Gigolo Joe and Pat McConnell, Ghost Of Gypsy with Todd Perkins and Gold Commission with Elizabeth Reimer exited the open stake in that order to close out a great class.

Long Distance topped the deep amateur stake after winning the even bigger limit horse class. Owner Mimi Bahcall claimed both winning rides under the direction of Strickland Stables. CH Shady Creek’s Genius and Lindsey Bade, showing from Bell View Acres, were reserve in the amateur stake after taking the reserve in the amateur qualifier behind Lydian and Jackie Ware for William Woods University.

Yet another top young horse from Hollow Haven claimed victory at Mane Event. His Supreme Reflection and Andy Freseth won the junior park class to give Marilyn Gaiswinkler a third win for the weekend. Aurora’s Asset and Rick Wallen finished in second for Albert Kelm.

Mr. Ted E. Bheir, with Sarah Shakespeare up, was reserve in the big limit horse class under the direction of Linda Larson to close out the park division.

Fine Harness

The Open Fine Harness Stake wasn’t a huge class but it was filled with huge talent. CH Kalarama’s New Sensation and Mary Gise topped the stake after showing in the amateur qualifier. The Social Butterfly and Candy Hyman turned in a solid effort for the reserve after winning the open class earlier in the week for Hy Horse Farm. Natalie Udell had a good weekend under the direction of Bell View Acres including her reserve in the open class and top three finish in the stake with All Buttoned Up.
Harlem’s C My Radiance and Mary Jensen took the fourth and final ribbon under the direction of Peter Archer.

My Silver Sea won the ASHAF Fine Harness Youth Driving Challenge with Rachel Shoemaker driving for Willisbrook Farm under the Meadowlake banner. Sodawater and Michael Bacon were reserve for Brad Bacon.

Ryan Rongers, from Clean Sweep Farm, directed Walter Healey and Begotten to the blue in the junior horse class that hosted a trio of nice four-year-olds. Cat Ballou and Lisa Nesson were reserve for Robert and Lisa Nesson.

Kathy Capsuto drove Sister Sally to the win in the UPHA Fine Harness Classic to represent Escalade Stables in the winner’s circle. Miracle On Forty-Second Street ERB was reserve for Glenmore Farm with Tom Bombolis driving.

Peter Palmer drove to the winner’s circle in the two-year-old class with Don Rich’s youngster Magic Fire Music. G.P. Rom and owner/trainer Kim Crumpler were reserve.


Glenmore continued their successful weekend with Gingerbread Man’s victory in the Road Horse To Bike Championship with Glenn T. Werry in the bike. Limit horse champion
Valparaiso and Billy Greenwell followed in the ribbon count for Tom Fiedler and winner of the open class, Meadow Demon, was third with Lana Gilpin driving for Larry Gilpin.

Go For Broke won the amateur class with Brad Bacon showing for Bacon Stables, followed by Gingerbread Man and Glenn Werry. Renegade was reserve in the limit horse class with Michael Bacon showing for Brad Bacon. Directed by Knollwood Farm, Dick Francis won the Road Horse Under Saddle class with Jonelle Chovanec Gardiner up.

The Roadster Pony Championship was one of the best Hackney pony classes of the show with eight talented ponies performing for the panel. Heartland Picture Perfect and Mike Schallock were just that as they were named to take the victory pass as the grand champions. Rick Wallen met the winning team in center ring for their presentation and qualified for the stake by winning the amateur class. Heartland Victory Maker won the open class for owner Toni Nastali before finishing as the reserve grand champion from Northern Tradition Farm.

After a reserve finish in the open class, Murray Dickson and Jane Mueller took the top three finish under the Marcucci Stables banner and they were followed in the ribbon count by Calvin Hobbs and Mary Gise, Regal’s Lady Bess LF and Ted Klint, Dun-Haven Majestic and Denise Steinhauer, The Wizard LF and Barbara Friedman and Daddy’s Little Girl with Ryan Vogt.

Calvin Hobbs and Gise were reserve in the amateur class under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. Team Freseth also guided Rachel Machamer and Heartland Sundust to the win in the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion class for Priscilla Gise. Deja Blues and Katie Greenwell were reserve in the medallion class for Tom Fiedler.

Larry Bacon took on driving duties for Gib Marcucci and headed to the winner’s circle with Teachers Pet in the limit pony class. The nine-entry class was full of talent and it was another Marcucci trained pony that finished with the red ribbon. Cindy Ireland drove Wait & See’s Rio Lobo to take the red ribbon.

Daddy’s Little Girl and Alisa Strikas won the AHHS under saddle medallion class for owner Keith Vogt. Knight’s Lady Of Blue with Alicia Harris up for Cathy Harris, was reserve.

Hackney and Harness Pony

Impress My Daddy and Glenn Werry, Jr. made it a father and son winning weekend and Werry scored his second great show in a row with the pony he purchased at
Louisville. They followed up wins at Wisconsin Futurity with the Harness Pony Championship and open class wins under the direction of Gib Marcucci. Conqueror’s Colleen and Mary Ellen Golich were the reserve grand champions and reserve champions from Rick Wallen Stables and they also took the victory pass in the amateur class. Amateur reserve champion Creation’s Windstar with Natalie Udell and Mastercraft’s Chiquita LF with Luc Boileau claimed the remaining ribbons respectively in the Harness Pony Championship. Impressive Swinging Star and Glenn Werry, Jr. won the limit pony class followed by Manitou with Mike Dumas driving for Gary Haugen.

Royal Canadian and Muffy Ernster kept the Marcucci Stables momentum rolling with their winning effort in both the Hackney Pony Championship and amateur qualifier. Austin Powers and Jeff Vogel, winners of the open class from Mike Roberts Stables, were the Hackney Pony Reserve Grand Champions and Kentucky Raine LF took third with Luc Boileau for Knolland Farm after finishing second in the open class. Heartland Twice As Nice and Marilyn Swimmer were named amateur reserve champions under the direction of Crumpler Stables.

Lord Ovation and Art Birtcher were given the nod to head down victory lane in the limit pony class under the direction of Bacon Stables. It had been 17 years since Birtcher had shown a pony but he was more than up to the task. Mike Dumas drove Front Page News to reserve for owner Larry Schultz.

Early Edition and Jane Mueller topped a competitive pleasure driving division and came out on top in both the championship and qualifier. Lightning Up and Ann MacMurray Cox were reserve in the championship for Patsy Loeb. Pacifico’s Standing Ovation and Bob Anderson took the top three finish for Brown-Anderson Farms, Ltd. after earning the reserve in the qualifier.

The remaining ribbons went to Romeo’s Poet LF with Kurt Antonacci, Riverview’s Royal Salute and Bevan Sukowaty, Knolland Mary Poppin and Luc Boileau and A Touch Of Magic with Marilou Wilschke.

Tanglewood’s Attraction teamed up with Meagan Heath to win the AHHS Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Youth Medallion class. Roger Lucas directed the winning team for owner Bonnie Lee Terese. Seamair Dear Sir and Rose Marie Wheeler were reserve under the direction of Kim and Fran Crumpler.

Tijuana Playboy and Alicia Harris took the blue in the under saddle medallion class under the direction of Jim Miller.

Show and Park Pleasure

The five-gaited, three-gaited and park pleasure divisions all provided yet another example of the strength of the pleasure division in the
Midwest. All three showcased not only big numbers but deep competition with world’s and national title holders throughout.

Eleven competitive teams came through the gate for the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship after a 12-entry qualifier and 11-entry limit class. The Great Gazoo and Sarah McKenna put yet another winning ribbon on the William Woods tack room wall with the Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship after having taken the blue in the qualifier as well.

Jason Gershman made a triumphant return to the show ring with the win in the limit horse class and reserve in the championship under the direction of Royal Scot Stables. His mount was Worthy’s Three Iron. CH Night So Rare and Ann Cox, Roseridge’s Daybreak and Kristen Pettry, He’s Heirresistible and Sandra Dyer, Hero’s Jumpin Jack Flash and Travis Van Zetten, I Found My Champagne and Erin Kilray, Radio Flyer and Alice Pippin, Raindrops & Roses and Addie Miller and CH Lexmark with Debra Mulberry claimed the remaining ribbons in the championship.

Roseridge’s Daybreak and Pettry were reserve in the qualifier and the new team of Sally Grieme and Enzo debuted to reserve in the limit class from Crumpler Stables.

Brookhill’s King Of Kool and Andy Freseth topped the Junior Park Pleasure class for Guy and Karen Smith and topped five other sporty entries for the win. The Oracle and Ryan Rongers were the red ribbon team for Clean Sweep Farm.

Trainer Robert Gardiner, of Landmark Farm, faced 11 other teams with Jimmy Orphanos’ entry Magilla Gorilla and came out on top. Stonecroft Serengetti and Julie Wroble took the reserve in the big class for Mary Mathy.

Unanimous Consent and Bret Day took the victory pass in the Limit Horse Park Pleasure class for Frankie Trull and her Back Bay Farm. Ten teams made the gate call for the limit class. Owner/trainer Jo Capitani rode The Wizard Of All Odds to reserve.

The adult show pleasure riders faced an enormous group of 21 for their Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship after having their qualifiers split by age group.

Wendy Carney and CH Petra’s Beyond Belief made believers out of the audience when they came back to win the huge adult championship after winning the seven-entry 18-38 class for owner Mary Salvi. Ray Krussell directed the winning team. King Of Pop and Natalie Udell took the blue ribbon ride in the 39 and over class to top 16 other teams before returning for the reserve in the championship. The Muffin Man and Kim Langdon, directed by Mike McIntosh, have been having a great year and they claimed the top three finish in the championship after being named reserve in the 18-38 class.

Firecracker Jack and Vicki Reed, Radio Star ERB and Violeta Strikas, CH Laguardia and Meridyth Munns, Corky’s Asset and Kurt Antonacci, Magnificent Allusion and Tracy Kobs, Another Heir and Jennifer Hartner and First Night Vision with Debra Hoffman claimed the remaining ribbons in the adult championship.

The King’s Man was reserve in the 39 and over class with owner Megan Dragich up. Robert Gardiner directed the reserve champions. Stablemate Square Dance, with owner Cathy Klasik riding took the yellow streamers.

Angela Darrow has had a great year under the direction of Knollwood Farm and she had a busy and successful show at Mane Event. Riding CH Trapp Mountain, Darrow topped a big group of 14-17 riders then returned in the nine-entry 14-17 Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship to take that tricolor as well. She Phloats On Heir and Nicole Laroussa took the reserve tricolor in the championship under the direction of Mayo Moctezuma. Closing Scene and Aimee Langer were reserve in the 14-17 qualifier under the direction of Martha Hoyt at Palos Hills Riding Academy.

The younger age group of 13 and under riders faced a competitive group of eight for their championship and it was the novice rider champion Alisa Strikas named to go to the head of the class. Strikas rode CF Chief’s Hot Nite Out and she also showed under the direction of Hoyt.

World’s Champion Star Spangled Steel and Ashley Baird were the reserve grand champions in the 13 and under championship from MBA after a big move up in the ribbons from the qualifier.

Open All Night and Hali Steenhoek, riding from Timber Hills, won the nine-entry qualifier to keep Steenhoek’s great show going. They were followed in the ribbons by Tommy James and Debra Mulberry.

Hannah Klint showed at Mane Event in her first show out of the academy division. Moving to the performance ranks is a daunting enough task for any young rider, but doing it at Mane Event with the big numbers and depth of talent is impressive indeed. Klint made her debut a winning one and took the victory pass in the talent-filled 10 and Under Walk and Trot Pleasure class under the direction of John Willis.

Jenna Winquist rode CH I’m Radiant Too for Winquist Farms LLC to take the red ribbon. Terri Anne Ullman directed the reserve champions.

Four of the five junior horses that competed in their qualifier returned in the junior horse pleasure championship and the results were the same the second time around. Elisabeth Hunziker and Late Last Night followed up their blue ribbon with the tricolor performance under the direction of Mark and Renae Van Zomeren.

Bailey [Freeman] Streifler was less than a week away from getting married when she showed at Wisconsin Futurity and barely back from her honeymoon in Aruba when she showed at Mane Event under the direction of Hollow Haven. Bluegrass Jazz was named the reserve grand champion and reserve champion for Mr. and Mrs. Richard Freeman.

When Alisa Strikas rode CF Chief’s Hot Nite Out to the win in the huge 15 entry Novice Rider Three-Gaited Pleasure class, she was riding for owner Violeta Strikas, but Violeta wasn’t on the sidelines cheering, she was riding hard on her other mount Radio Star ERB. She was the first to leave the ring when Radio Star was named the reserve champion in the huge class. Positively Radiant and Ben Thomas took the third place tie under the direction of James Lowry.

The 17 novice pleasure horses were split into two groups and riders did a great job of presenting their novice horses for the panel. I’m Taken and Sarah Shakespeare won the first split under the direction of Linda Larson and were followed in the ribbons by Reedann’s Phire Up and Sandy Oakes from Centre Pointe.

Irresistible Day and Abby Reising won the second section from Royal Scot. Magnificent Allusion and owner Tracy Kobs took the section two red ribbon, showing under the direction of Kris Martalock.

Supreme Platinum and Linda Fischer teamed up to win the Show Pleasure Driving Championship after winning the qualifier as well under the direction of Peter Palmer at Meadowlake to continue Mueller’s winning weekend. Dancing Up A Storm and Kathy Capsuto followed up their success at Kentucky Fall Classic with the reserve in both the championship and qualifier for Escalade Stables.

Showcasing their versatility, Nicole Laroussa and She Phloats On Heir won the ASHAF Show Pleasure Driving Youth Challenge class from Moctezuma Stables. Callaway’s Sportscaster and Paige Giusfredi took the red ribbon, showing from Bell View Acres.

From limit horse five-gaited pleasure to limit horse show pleasure driving, Sally Grieme headed to the winner’s circle with Chickadee’s Miracle to win the driving class for owner Elizabeth McGowin under the direction of Crumpler Stables. Foremost and Dona Merg were named the reserve champions from Rick Wallen Stables.

Country, Western and Hunter Pleasure

The country pleasure division, while not as large as the three-gaited show pleasure division, was extremely competitive in its own right.
World’s Champion of Champions CH The Shadow Knows and Linda Meyer topped the seven-entry 39 and over adult qualifier then returned in the six-entry adult championship and claimed that victory as well.

Trefethen and Jennifer Holdren took the reserve in the championship after having previously won the 18-38 qualifier for William Woods. Rare One was reserve in the 39 and over class under the direction of Todd Perkins and Judy Jensen. Katy Holden rode the reserve champion for Mayday Management. Indelible Asset and Amanda Wroble earned the red ribbon in the 18-38 class. They showed under the Bell View Acres banner.

The junior exhibitors were also split by age group for their qualifiers then returned as one group for their eight-entry championship. Surfin Safari, owned by Horizon Saddlebreds and shown by Rachel Machamer took the tricolor to give Hollow Haven both championship wins in the country pleasure division. Machamer had previously taken the victory pass in the 14-17 class, topping six other teams for the blue ribbon. The Gun Moll and Emily Doll were the reserve grand champions for Palos Hills. The Lady’s Night Out and Hannah Love were reserve in the 14-17 class from Krussell Stables.

Another current World’s Champion of Champions team, Kabu and Ashley Baird faced CH Simbara’s Samba Jamba and Abigail Schaefer in the two-entry 13 and under class. Baird took the blue ribbon for Margo Baird Valentine and MBA Equestrians.

Five novice riders hit the ring for their country pleasure class and when it was over, it was the Krussell Stables entry and novice horse reserve champion My Point Of View named to take the victory pass. Carrie Westlund rode for owner Pam Love. After taking the reserve in the 39 and over class, Rare One returned to take the reserve in the novice rider class with Katy Holden.

Longshadow’s Moody Blue and Tracy Kobs topped the seven-entry novice horse class for owner Jennifer Layton. Kris Martalock met the winners in center ring for their presentation.

CH Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson made it two for two when they were named the winners of both the Country Pleasure Driving Championship and qualifier for Brown-Anderson Farms, Ltd. CH Sultan’s Cabaret and Veronica Lindstrom moved up in the ribbons to claim the reserve tricolor from Valiant Stables. Undulata’s Charm and owner Donna Kinard were reserve in the six-entry qualifier showing under the direction of John Willis.

Barbara Southgate showed twice in the western country pleasure division and made it two for two with her Champagne’s Treasure. They won both the championship and qualifier amidst a talented field both times. Susan Honkamp and In The Zone took the blue in the six-entry William Shatner class to go with their reserve grand championship and red ribbon from the qualifier under the direction of Knollwood Farm. Harlem’s Mojo and Neil Thorpe were reserve in the Shatner class for owner Toni Nastali.

Callaway’s Scoop The News kept a great season with Kristen Pettry going by winning the Hunter Country Pleasure Championship and Saddle & Bridle Hunter Seat Classic under the direction of Tom Thorpe at Northern Tradition Farm.

A.F. Colour Creation and Megan Mahoney, also consistent performers in the division under the direction of Martha Hoyt, were reserve in the championship. Confiscated Assets, with Hannah Fuller showing for Martha Fuller, was reserve in the Saddle & Bridle class. Amy Hruby directed the reserve champions.


While the Pleasure Olympics National Finals may have been a big focus for equitation riders at Mane Event, there were plenty of other hotly contested, competitive classes in the division for both the saddle seat and pleasure equitation riders.

Meaghan MacQueen claimed her second Saddle Seat Equitation Championship win in as many shows when she was named to take the victory pass in the three-entry class. She rode Tantara’s Magic Blessing under the direction of Bob Griffin and Tom Thorpe. Rachel Machamer, winner of the 14-17 class with Titleist Symbol, was reserve in the championship from Hollow Haven. Brittany Balagna teamed up with Diamond Memories to claim the reserve streamers in the 14-17 class from Centre Pointe and finished in third in the championship to claim the final ribbon.

Elisabeth Hunziker took the blue with Highpoint’s Primavera in the 13 and under class to add another win to the Timber Hills total and was followed by Rebecca Eberly. Eberly rode G.A. Town Harlett and was instructed by Scott and Carol Matton.

Brooke Jacobs and Morgan Wolin finished one and two respectively in the adult equitation class which hosted four riders. They had previously finished in the same order in the adult UPHA challenge cup class.

Taylor Newton had a huge weekend under the direction of Shelly Fisher and she took the blue in the USEF Saddle Seat Medal class with her mount A Sweet Sensation. Angela Darrow’s successes at Mane Event just kept on coming and she finished reserve in the medal class with Heirilee.

Rebecca Martin, riding Alpha Priority from Northern Tradition, took the victory pass in the Adult USEF Saddle Seat Medal class.

Brittany Balagna and Angela Darrow were first and second respectively, in the UPHA Challenge Cup which was the largest saddle seat equitation class with eight entries.
Hali Steenhoek continued her great show with Open All Night by winning the six-entry Pleasure Equitation Championship. An elated Renae Van Zomeren met her in center ring for the tricolor presentation. Tess Holmes, rode Up North under the direction of Heather Linzmeier, for the reserve grand championship title after winning the 14-17 class earlier in the week. Nick Maupin, winner of the national championship at
Wisconsin just a few short weeks ago, took third and was followed in the ribbons by Cori O’Brien, Andra Trakalo and Zachary White.

Toria Heck claimed the win in the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Medallion after her reserve in the 14-17 class to continue her successful Mane Event show. She rode under the Werk Way Stables banner.

Caitlin Carmody rode Really Rosie to the blue in the 13 and under class to add to her success in the pleasure Olympics. Fellow pleasure Olympics competitor in the younger age group, Cori O’Brien took the red ribbon in the 13 and under class with A Champagne Toast. O’Brien rode from Knollwood Farm.

Alexa Trakalo was met by Bob Jensen in center ring when she was named the Walk and Trot Pleasure Equitation Grand Champion with Pixie’s Wonderland. Her triocolor victory followed the win in the walk and trot qualifier.

Nadine Van Zomeren was the walk and trot reserve grand champion and she also finished in the reserve slot in the qualifier with her mount CH Outrigger.

Caitlin Donohue rode Radiant Revival to the reserve in the medallion class and was instructed by Donna Smith of Royal Scot Stables.

Brianna Meyer won the eight-entry UPHA Walk and Trot Pleasure Challenge Cup class with her mount CH Attaché’s Irish Wine. Alex Trakalo took the reserve title.

This concludes the highlights of the competition at the Mid America Mane Event Horse Show.

Complete results can be seen and searched by clicking here.

Judges’ cards can also be seen and searched by clicking here.

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