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Mid-America Signature Creates Heat Wave

Sara Fawk

CAMP LAKE, Wisc. -- Take one part breathtaking grounds, one part country lake setting and add top Midwestern barns with a dash of record breaking heat and a sprinkle of fun-loving exhibitors and you have the recipe for success at this year's Mid-America Signature horse show.

Held at Silverwood Farm in Camp Lake, Wisconsin, from July 22 - 24, 2005, Mid-America Signature was a wonderful way to spend one of the summer's hottest weekends. This was the fifth year for Mid-America Signature to be at Silverwood's vast, well-manicured grounds, which easily bring comparisons to the famed Kentucky Horse Park. It was impossible to not enjoy the show amidst such a beautiful setting. As for the weather, everyone took the sweltering heat in stride and enjoyed a quality, relaxing, and most important an all-fun-horse show.

Officials included Joy Meierhans of Elburn, Ill., who has been the invaluable manager of this show for many years and Cheryl Rangel of Wheeling, Ill., who repeated her role as entry secretary, keeping everything in the show office in top order. Brooke Jacobs was responsible for judging duties. OC Photos, a company that utilizes the quick turnaround time of digital photo technology, was a new addition this year.

In addition to the regular schedule, the show offered unique miscellaneous classes including a pattern class, family class, and egg and spoon competition. Young exhibitors took part in junior judging and the Saturday academy classes were quite full.

"We were delighted with the turnout for Signature," said Meierhans. "We again sold out of stalls and had more entries in the academy classes than even last year. In fact, we split three academy age groups (one three ways because it had so many riders) plus we split all four academy championships. The board of Mid-America Horse Show Association, sponsor of the show, recognizes that the academy division represents the future of the sport and is pleased to offer a full academy division in addition to the performance, pleasure and equitation classes at Signature."

Following the Saturday academy session a thunderstorm blew in and the rest of the classes were moved indoors. Luckily with the versatile grounds at Silverwood Farm, classes did not have to be canceled and the show could go on despite the weather.

Show manager Meierhans went on to say, "This was the first time in four years that we had rain at this site and it was great to be able to move the show into Silverwood's indoor arena. When the storm came on Saturday afternoon, I really expected mass exodus but we only had seven scratches and even had two adds in the 12 classes that were held indoors. The outdoor show ring's drainage and surface are so good there that we were able to use it again on Sunday morning, and didn't have to stay indoors."

Friday and Sunday were the days of scorching sun, but the covered bleachers right next to the ring offered perfect coverage from the rays. These white tented bleachers drew a nice sized crowd that was able to do some serious cheering. Various chairs under large trees and a large picnic area also offered solace from the heat along with the many drinks and food selections available at the food stand. The show committee also made a smart decision in making coats and hats optional on Sunday due to the heat index ranging from 114 to 124 degrees. Many exhibitors exercised this option and also accepted bottled water after their classes. The heat, however, did not deter many folks from showing on championship Sunday, which is a testimony to how much the riders, owners and trainers enjoyed their time at this year's Mid-America Signature horse show.

Closing out the show Sunday afternoon, the spunky A Little Imagination with Monty Wallen in the irons for Jill Bosshard racked their way down victory lane earning the Five-Gaited championship tricolor. They also earned the open blue.        


The combined amateur/junior exhibitor championship had two feisty entries vying for the win. Remember Me and Dan Waligora was the team called to the winner's circle with Rare Friends and Amanda Glasgow earning the red tricolor. Rare Friends and Glasgow won the qualifier on Friday with The Calendar Girl and Julie Hambrick earning reserve.

The Open Three-Gaited Champion was the talented Harlem Charm with John Willis riding for Natalie Vanderventer.

The Open Park Championship included a comeback performance from the light chestnut Clover Hills Coup D'etat and Dennis Verschelden. They were crowned champions for Lynn Wilson after finishing second in the qualifier. The reserve grand champion was Shady Creek's Genius and Lindsay Bade while Midnight Cappo'cino and Samara Lancia won the open qualifier and amateur class. Emily Doll and CRF Skyking were reserve amateur champions.

In the Park Fine Harness class Sly As A Fox and Dennis Verschelden at the whip paraded to the winner's circle with Matilda Smalls and Ray Krussell trotting in for second.

Fitz's Secret Passion and Mike Lancia won both the Hackney Road Pony Youth Medallion class and the Amateur Hackney Road Pony class. The Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Grand Champion and champion was Among The Stars and Janet DiVecchio while Romeo's Poet LF and Rita Weintraub earned both reserves.

Priceless Image and Megan Birkey made the victory pass in the Five-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship. Hey There Lady and Marie Nielsen came in for a close second and the results were reversed in the qualifier.

Barbara Vincent was thrilled with her Adult Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship win aboard Absolute Martini. Reserve championship honors went to Shady Creek's Spretta and Penny LeBlanc.

The 39 years and over winning team was Callaway's Maeve MacQuillen and Marylee Wilkinson who also won the novice horse class. Reserve in the age group went to the versatile Ridgefield’s Private Magic and Joyce Tasch Zurek who also showed in the driving classes. Wild Surmise with Lesley Kordecki in the saddle was reserve in the novice class.

The adult 18-38 show pleasure winner was Gettin' Fancy with Kara Waitek riding for Toni Nastali and the red ribbon went to Stock In Ritz and Melissa Thompson.

Callaway's Calla Lily and Claire Mogren had a fantastic show earning both the championship tricolor and 13 and under blue. Royal Crest Stone Finesse and Amy Glasgow, who also showed in five-gaited, were the reserve grand champions.

Claire MacBride won the 14-17 age group aboard More Than I Dreamed with reserve honors going to Lightning Annie and Mandy Chmieleski. Shady Creek's Spretta and Amanda LeBlanc were 13 and under reserve champions.

John Lennon drove Ridgefield's Private Magic to the Show Pleasure Driving Championship win while Joyce Zurek was at the lines to earn reserve in the qualifier. Reserve world's champion I'm Dreaming with Brendan Heintz at the lines for Ted Klint and Teri Shaw won the nine-entry qualifier. Heintz not only had a winning drive but a winning ensemble for the heat that included hat, tie, jacket and shorts. The crowd loved it!

Royal Crest's Stone Passion and Stacey Wessel riding for Char and Ginger Schinktgen made two trips to the winner's circle in the Country Pleasure Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier.

The Adult Country Pleasure tricolor and 39 and over blue went to the striking team of Pheiress Wheel and Nancy Rothe. Carrie Westlund put in a great ride aboard Champagne's Supreme Heiress for the reserve grand championship and the pair also was reserve in the 18-38 age group. The 18-38 top award went to Three Diamonds and Sarah Bosshard. Farr Sighted and Jill Halper were reserve in the 39 and over class.

Emily Doll and The Best Part enjoyed the best part of two outstanding rides -- two victory passes! They were the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Grand Champions and 14-17 champions. Patriot's Dream and Kristin Johnson earned the reserve championship title.        


CH Heirreplaceable and Deborah Jacobson came in for the red ribbon in the 14-17 class. The 13 and under champion was Royal Crest Whispering Stone and Hilary Kleinert while reserve went to Crovenay's Springing Biscuit and Narin Avci who were also the limit horse champions. Patriot's Cream and Kristin Johnson took home the red ribbon from the limit horse class.

Sutton's Tantal-Eyes and Kitt Tovar were the novice horse champions as well as novice rider reserve champions. Southern Twist and Stephanie Klausen-Kubarth took reserve in the novice horse class while the novice rider winner was Terri Shaw and Vera Cook.

Callaway's Whole Shebang and Lorrie Sotiropoulos swept the country pleasure driving division winning the championship and the qualifier. Sweetest Day and Kay Richter came in second both times.

Centennial Denmark and Annie Roberts had the winning performance in the Classic Pleasure Championship. The Classic Pleasure Reserve Grand Champion and qualifier champion was Chairman's Recruit and Paige Guisfredi. Reserve in the qualifier was awarded to Royal Crest’s Rocketeer and Amanda Stephenson.

The large western division concluded with the Western Country Pleasure Championship, which was won by the pinto Lakota Medicine Man and Lynn Demiglio. The reserve championship went to the team of Blackhawk's Heart of Steel and April Cuthbertson who also won the country pleasure hunt seat class and was second in the Saddle and Bridle Hunt Seat classic.

In the 10-entry Western Country Pleasure class Royal Crest’s Whispering Stone and Hilary Kleinert jogged into the winner's circle. This pair also made the victory pass in the western novice/junior horse class. Twister's Streak and Heather Schmidt were reserve both classes as well as in the Open Western Pleasure class.        


The Saddle and Bridle Shatner Western Pleasure winner was Three Diamonds and Sarah Bosshard. Amy DiDominicus did very well in two of the biggest classes at the show winning the 10-entry Open Western Pleasure class and earning reserve in the 10-entry pattern class both while riding Madam Lazonga.

The country pleasure hunt seat red ribbon went to Slamtastic and Monique Swanson and the Saddle and Bridle Hunt Seat Classic Champion was the palomino horse Whispering Apache Gold with Samara Lancia in the saddle.

Open English Pleasure Champions Gettin' Fancy and Kara Waitek bested the eight competitors in their class. Last Word and Fonzie del Rio were reserve.

After completing the workout, Kristen Gardner's number was called as the winner of the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. She was reserve earlier in the pleasure medallion. Caitlin Carmody was reserve in the championship as well as in the 13 and under age group.        


Brittany Miller made the victory pass in the 14-17 age group and took home the red ribbon in the 17 and under challenge cup. Deborah Jacobson was reserve in the older age group and also won the Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Narin Avci won the 13 and under class with reserve awarded to Caitlin Carmody.

Ellen White added a blue ribbon to her resume from the 10 and under class and the UPHA Challenge Cup 17 and Under class put Alicia Sacotte in the running for the finals at the Royal. Lindsay Bade was in top form to win the Adult UPHA Challenge Cup; she also won the 10-entry pattern class. Austin Eversman earned second in the adult challenge cup.

The UPHA Challenge Cup Walk/Trot winner was Rebecca Eberly who also won the 10 and under Walk/Trot class. In the Maiden Equitation Rider 17 and Under, Jacobs had Alicia Sacotte as the top scorer and Amanda LeBlanc coming in for second.

Royal Crest Stone Finesse with Amy and Amanda Glasgow won the Family Fun Pleasure class. Reedann's Phleur de Lis with Treesha and Marie Nielsen took home the red ribbon in the popular class. The Egg and Spoon winner was Royal Crest’s Rocketeer and Amanda Stephenson with Chairman's Recruit and Paige Guisfredi finishing a close second.

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