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Midwest At Its Best



by Bob Funkhouser and Christy Parsons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Many times, whether it be a horse show or a sporting event or any other entertainment venue, the pre-game hype far exceeds the actual level of the event. However, to the benefit of the Saddlebred, Hackney and Morgan communities the 62nd annual Midwest Charity Horse Show lived up to every accolade thrown its way in the month preceding the June 10-14 show.

All you heard was "Midwest is going to be awesome this year." "Lots of Kentucky barns are going." "There's going to be over 600 horses there."

Yes, yes and yes! It was awesome with some new Kentucky barns adding to an already all-star cast. The Morgan division picked up another top barn or two bringing that division's competition level up a notch as well. And you could actually get enthused about watching a long-tail or cob-tail pony class. Time after time spectators enjoyed more than the one and two entries that have been the norm across the country this year. It was horse show time at Midwest!

Of course, it's not like this was a total surprise. Midwest annually ranks among the top four shows in the country, however, this year featured even higher quality and there was electricity in the air throughout the week. Crowds were very vocal, especially on Friday night when they got into it time and time again. There were visions of Louisville when the audience would pick up on a certain combination and go wild. Mandy Martin and Eleanor Pederson were two such exhibitors on the receiving end of thunderous ovations. Then the Five-Gaited Grand Championship put the exclamation mark on the week with a midseason showdown among Louisville contenders.

Throw in an A-class of young horses and ponies in all three breeds along with the best facility in the country and a unique social calendar and this week there was a show in horse show. "We've had one bigger, but I don't think we've had a better show," said manager Paul Briney. "I hate it for some of the other shows, but we've got a facility that is pretty much weather proof, even with all of the rain we've been getting lately. Trainers know they can come here and work and show their horses in the best of conditions. We never stop trying to improve these fairgrounds."

The Illinois State Fairgrounds is one of a kind. There is great history here, yet the state and equine communities have pressed hard to upgrade and improve while still maintaining the look and feel that horsemen have loved for decades. With the streets and rows of brick barns it's more of an equine village than it is a fairgrounds.

The Midwest Charity Officers, which include Briney, Patrick Antonacci, Judy Kjellander, Carole Kennedy, Marjorie Strano and Susan Kerr, work tirelessly to cover every detail and they are backed by a group of directors, many of whom are part of the horse world famous cooking team, which never rests on its laurels. This group is also committed to raising funds for its charity, Camp Coco. Their last donation brought the total giving to this camp for children afflicted with leukemia and other cancers and blood disorders to over $100,000. So not only does Midwest provide a great venue for a horse show, they are doing some very worthwhile work with the proceeds.

To help attract exhibitors to support this cause, the committee has shown tremendous dedication to its social calendar. Following the last class every night except Saturday, everyone strolls down the lane socializing along the way to the Party Barn. Well decorated and well stocked with a different menu every night, the doors are open to one and all. One night a band played out in the street, that is until the rain moved them inside to the shoeing area. That didn't matter, people still stayed around and enjoyed hospitality at its finest. Most evenings people were still buzzing from the great classes they had just witnessed so this was a way to rehash the night's events with people from across the country.

Midwest was truly national in scope. Barns came from New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, and of course, all over the Midwest.

"It was our first time and I thought it was a great show with a great facility," said Kalarama trainer Larry Hodge. "Everyone treated us really nice and it's a nice place to work and show a horse. We will be back with a bigger string next year."

"We really enjoyed this show, " added Peeper Ranch trainer Phil Fountain. "It's a great facility, there are lots of parties and we don't have back to back classes with the different breeds showing. Having only two reasonable sessions a day is also nice for what we are used to."

Brought in to judge the many outstanding horses and ponies that passed through the famed coliseum were Dick Boettcher, Debbie Foley and Merrill Murray in the Saddlebred and pony divisions. Kathleen Peeples made the call in the Morgan section and she joined Murray and Foley on the equitation panel. Doug Shiflet was on hand for the second time to photograph the many stars and he was in awe of the week.

"Man, to see that many nice horses class after class this early in the year was something," said the Asheboro, N.C., photographer. "It was a privilege to stand out there and shoot these classes."

Many people had outstanding weeks. Kalarama came in for the first time and won the Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited and Ladies Five-Gaited Championships. Longtime Midwest regulars Andy and Lynda Freseth racked up championship after championship with their string of world class amateurs and juveniles. A Midwest returnee, John Conatser's entries won the Amateur Five-Gaited, Amateur Three-Gaited, and Three-Gaited Park Championships. Kurt Hufferd's Indian Creek Farm and Phil Fountain's Peeper Ranch dominated the Morgan ranks and both trainers also showed top Saddlebreds.

The Shivelys were back in town dominating the equitation scene (Senior, Junior and Pleasure Championships) and the roadster division (wagon and bike) as well as winning ribbons in between. It was also a week Carter Cox won't forget. His youngsters from Woodstock Farm were outstanding. World class pony entries were presented by Golden Creek Farms, Heartland Hackney and Gib Marcucci as well as other prominent Midwest breeders/exhibitors.

It was also a week with which Betty Weldon should have been extremely proud. The mark her Callaway Hills breeding program is leaving on the industry is unsurpassed. Callaway Hills was responsible for the first and second place winners in the Five-Gaited Championship, first and second place winners in the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship, the Three-Gaited Grand Champion, the Fine Harness Grand Champion and the Juvenile Five-Gaited Grand Champion as well as many other top ribbon winners.

Most of all it was a week in which the entire show horse industry was a winner. People left Springfield feeling good about showing horses. They witnessed some superior performances, which can only inspire trainers and exhibitors to greater heights. It was certainly nice to get that feeling somewhere other than the boundaries of the Bluegrass State. SHR 6-23-03 Edit Midwest 15 pics in show coverage 1 montage page with 8 pics seperate 4 color lead in to come chp

FIVE - GAITED

By the time the gates opened for the Five-Gaited Championship there was great anticipation for one of the best early season showdowns in recent memory. Truly some of the top contenders for the roses in August were going head to head right here in Springfield, Ill. Three of the top four in the mare class returned to meet the top two from the stallion/gelding section.

The gates closed and bursting down the rail at the trot were Adelita, Callaway's Forecaster, Jewel's Teton, My Chanel and The Rose Lady. There was enough power among those five to light up the state of Illinois on this evening and it only got better. They reversed and again were grinding it out until action came to a halt as My Chanel lost a shoe that couldn't be replaced. As Lonnie Quarles led the mare from the ring the crowd gave them a great ovation for their performance.

When it picked back up the battle narrowed down to the great amateur rider, Nancy Leigh Fisher and her popular powerhouse Callaway's Forecaster and veteran trainer Larry Hodge with last year's reserve world's grand champion Adelita. The mare had matured over the winter and Hodge had her tuned for this one. Fisher and Forecaster got stronger as the class went on as they covered a lot of ground.

The results mattered most to the owners and trainers involved as the rest of the people in attendance enjoyed a flat out great class. After the horses had been stripped and judged for conformation, the cards were turned in and two of the three first place votes went to the Callaway's Blue Norther daughter, Five-Gaited Mare Champion Adelita. Owned by David Rudder, this mare exudes brilliance at every gait and Hogde gave the crowd his signature one handed victory pass with his hat held high in the air.

Reserve grand champion honors with one first place vote went to the Hollow Haven team of Fisher and Callaway's Forecaster, winners of the stallion/gelding qualifier. Also sired by Callaway's Blue Norther this beautiful gelding continues to thrill crowds with his desire and athletic ability. His first season in the aged division, 2002 Junior Five-Gaited Reserve World's Grand Champion Jewel's Teton gave it his all to mix it up with the veterans. He finished third in the championship after Tammy DeVore had given him a reserve ride in the stallion/gelding qualifier. At times Kris Price Knight and The Rose Lady looked like they were shot out of a cannon and finished fourth for Sam and Vicki Reed.

Earlier in the evening the 11-horse Ladies Five-Gaited Championship produced one of the most thrilling entries of the entire show. Title Bound and Elisabeth Goth have peeked the interest of horsemen at Louisville, but this year it appears to be all together as this big, handsome gelding put on two outstanding shows. When they would come out of a turn his head was high in the air looking for ground to cover and that he did. Representing Kalarama Farm, they swept both ladies classes in unanimous fashion.

Directed by Kris Price Knight, Vicki Reed and (SA) Olympic Fire were the closest to Goth and Title Bound in the championship. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the class had a severe case of crash and burn. Kelly Freeman and Right On Target had been reserve in the qualifier.

Sixteen high powered mounts were on hand for Friday night's Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and what a showdown it was. John Conatser and Gabe Deknatel have been together for a long time and Deknatel has learned a lot from the showman. Aboard the white tailed Callaway's Weatherman, Deknatel maneuvered through traffic and made each and every pass count to take the unanimous decision for High Hickory Farm. They qualified with a blue ribbon performance from the amateur gentlemen's class in which Kurt Antonacci and Got The Ticket finished reserve.

Coming off a crowd pleasing performance as winners of the amateur qualifier, CH Callaway's Arbitrator and Ashley Birdsong pressed Deknatel and Weatherman hard to take reserve grand champion honors under the direction of her longtime trainer John Wallen. This team had beaten 16 others in the qualifier including reserve winners Deborah Visser and Pocket Full Of Magic.

Like the gaited stake, Saturday night's Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Championship was some what of a Louisville preview. You had the new horse in the mix, last year's Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited World's Grand Champion Callaway's Regatta, against world title holders Chandler and Fox du Jour as well as four other teams that were worthy of contending. They all had their bright spots and then there were a few glitches as well. When it was all over the Patty Milligan trained team of Callaway's Regatta and Maguire Hall received two of the three top votes to make their way to the winner's circle for the second time this week. World's Champion Chandler and Lisa McClaren made the Country Meadow team proud with their two reserve performances, including a first place vote in the championship.

Kalarama Farm made the most of their first trip to Midwest. Adding to their winning tally, Neil Visser rode My New Year's Eve to the blue prize in the 10-horse Novice Five-Gaited class for Elisabeth Goth. Tammy DeVore teamed New York Showtime to take reserve honors home to Betty Warren.

There was plenty of talent in the Junior Five-Gaited Stake which featured Virgil Helm aboard Walter Bush's Memories Paragon in the winner's circle. The stallion was ahead of reserve winner Out Of Reach with Todd Miles and the popular third place winner My Pepper Ann, ridden by Tom Thorpe.

Helm also had the winning ride in the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic. He debuted Shame On You with winning results at UPHA Chapter 5 and now at Midwest in front of a large audience, they made another blue ribbon performance owner Mike Bulleigh. Tre Lee rode Simply Enough to reserve honors for Fox Grape Farms, Inc.

John Wallen entertained on Saturday afternoon with the black and white stallion Prince's Black Tie Affair. Always looking through the bridle, Black Tie Affair handily took the blue ribbon for owners Tom and Donna Richards. Bill Knight had the reserve winner in It's All About Me.

THREE-GAITED

Not only did Kalarama take care of business in the Five-Gaited Championship, they also took the tricolor from the walk-trot finale. This time it was Neil Visser in the irons, riding Callaway's Merry Go Round for Garlington Saddlebreds. The grand champions started the week also on top in the over 15.2 qualifier. John Conatser and Sacre Bleu rode up to receive reserve grand champion honors for I-80 Auto Parts. Finishing third in the championship, Virgil Helm and Heir Popper made the victory pass in the under 15.2 qualifier ahead of Neil Visser and New York's Royal Flush. Carter Cox riding Man And Mystery was reserve in the over 15.2 qualifier.

The Ladies Three-Gaited Championship was also on Saturday night's schedule with nine of the 11 qualifying teams returning. Hollow Haven Farm had the lock on this division with CH Times Mirrored winning both the qualifier and championship, but it was a different picture as Carrie Warner was catch riding for Barbara Mielke. The talented duo turned back all challenges with a unanimous decision. Reserve grand champion honors belonged to Michelle Hartman and CH Supreme Inheritance, the reserve team from the qualifier. Susan Halverson and My Grande finished up third in both rounds.

There was world class competition from top to bottom in the 10-entry Amateur Three-Gaited Championship, however, the Carriage Lane team of Carol Hillenbrand and In My Heart would not be denied. They put on a fancy show in the amateur under 15.2 qualifier and then came back as the unanimous grand champions as well. Moving up a few notches, Sold Out Show and Deborah Jahn were right on the money to take reserve grand champion honors. Vicki Reed and Firecracker Jack were pushing hard and claimed third in the competitive championship.

The Amateur Three-Gaited Over 15.2 qualifier had Timothy McLane and Mr. Revere winning under the Jack Magill banner. Heidi Bowie made her first trip to Midwest a good experience riding CH Timeless Drifter to the reserve spot. Callaway's Mandate and Beth Werry had been reserve to In My Heart in the amateur under 15.2 section.

Junior exhibitors were broken into two age groups with the 14-17 championship taking place on Saturday night. From the eight entries Kerry Honkamp and Made Ya Look were outstanding to receive three first place votes. They had moved up four places from the qualifying round as did reserve grand champions CH New York Cheesecake and Jessica Harrison. It was a different story in the qualifier as Megan Archer and Undulata's Gypsy had the winner's circle to themselves. They were followed by Maguire Hall and Chaka Zulu.

Lisa Strickland must feel like Santa Claus as she selects riders for The Super Nova. This time Kelsey Price was the lucky recipient of two rides aboard the multi-titled campaigner. They won both the 13 & under qualifier and championship for Alex Piemonte. Sarah Wood and Callaway's Dubonnet rode out with the reserve streamers in both classes.

A new entry for Elisabeth Goth, Engraver made his impression on the Novice Three-Gaited class as the blue ribbon winner. John Conatser showed Devoted Miss to the red streamers for I-80 Auto Parts.

Carter Cox had a great week with his young stock and part of the success belonged to Simbara's Sweet Bess. Out of maybe the greatest broodmare ever next to Flirtation Walk, Denmark's Radiant Society, Simbara's Sweet Bess represented her family well with a trip down victory lane in the 10-horse Junior Three-Gaited Stake. Cox made the winning rider for owners/breeders Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks. On of the stars of Midwest 2002, Stonecutter came back stronger a year later and took a solid reserve ribbon home for trainer/rider Kurt Hufferd and owner Jennifer Black.

Cox was right back in the winner's circle. Aboard Stacey Kipper's Secret Admirer, he made a most impressive show to win the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic. Tre Lee stepped up to accept reserve aboard Omerta. In the Open Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class A.J. Bruwer rode hard to take the title aboard Supernatural Charm. Jennifer Karnes and Who's The Pheirest claimed the red streamers.

John Conatser could do no wrong on Friday night. He had already sent In My Heart to the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and right before he put Callaway's Weatherman in the ring for the Amateur Five-Gaited Championship, Conatser rode Justa Rascal to a crowd pleasing first place finish in the Three-Gaited Park Championship. Owned by Candace and Fritz Meili, Justa Rascal had two of the three first place votes. Open winner Handsome Heir was the reserve grand champion for Renae Van Zomeren. Delay and Lynda Freseth finished in third with one first place vote.

Vicki Reed had a great week with her stock including Harlem's Gracious Lad in the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship. Trained by A.J. Bruwer, the black gelding was a standout to be named grand champion. The oh-so-talented team of Lindsey Bade and Shady Creek's Genius rode out with reserve grand champion honors after winning the qualifier over Ashley Birdsong and My Flashy Flaxen.

The Junior Three-Gaited Park Stake was quite entertaining as Robert Gardiner rode Square Dance to victory among the 11 teams. This was a big time performance for the Catherine Klasek entry. Already a winner at Oklahoma this season, Time For Glory was the reserve champion with Todd Miles riding for Linda Roos.

FINE HARNESS

Kentucky barns swept the three open championships and in the harness division fans were treated to a tricolor performance from the defending two-time World's Grand Champion Callaway's Copyright. John T. Jones again gave a masterful drive to win the open and championship with the Supreme Heir son for Fox Grape Farms, Inc. Their unanimous performances were followed by former Junior Fine Harness World's Grand Champion Ah! What A Night who was driven by Mike Roberts for M.W. Sorenson.

The amateur division also featured a solid group of world's champion performers. It was as deep and competitive as any amateur harness class seen outside the walls of Freedom Hall in quite some time. Representing Hollow Haven Farm, Guy Smith and Kalarama's New Sensation led the way taking two of the three first place votes in the championship round after a unanimous decision in the qualifier. Reserve grand champions Metro Heirea and Eleanor Pedersen received a warm ovation and a first place vote for their Friday night performance. They were followed by Glenn Werry and Candle Dan, Margo Baird with Cary's Moonraker, Ellyn Dorsey behind Just About Perfect, and Mary Sally Aylward with Oscar Night. Again, what an impressive list of world class performers!

Nealia McCracken and her Northwind Stables represented the East Coast in winning style. She debuted Gone Platinum to win the Junior Fine Harness Stake for new owner Mary Sally Aylward. They had a strong group of challengers including reserve champions Tornaado's Tidal Wave and Mike Roberts as well as third place finishers Catastrophic and Lisa Antalek.

Carter Cox and Woodstock Farm struck again in the young horse ranks. Cox guided The Great Gaspar (Merchant Prince x Denmark's Radiant Society) to the winner's circle of the UPHA Fine Harness Classic for owners/breeders Dr. and Mrs. Simon Fredricks. Also with a string of impressive youngsters, Mike Roberts had the reserve drive with Middendorf Farms' Wee Pee Meadows.

In the Open Three-Year-Old Fine Harness class Great Daily March, a daughter of CH Great Day's Came The Son out of a full sister to CH Eleanor Rigby, led the way with a blue ribbon performance for Pat McConnell and owner Rigby's Green. Reserve honors were awarded to Rick Wallen and So Fortunate with third going to Mike Roberts and Definitely Diana.

Longtime owner/breeder Mary McLellan Williams gave Carter Cox yet another Midwest champion as her homebred Sugar Pine ( CF First Night Out x CH Button Bright) was the outstanding winner of the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class. Cox and Sugar Pine were the best of a very good class of two-year-olds including reserve champion Kiri, who was shown by Billy Greenwell for Tom Fiedler, and third place winner Simply Stated, who was shown by Scott Matton for Jonelle Chovanec.

Star Spangled Steel and Ashley Baird were the lone team for the ASHA Foundation Junior Exhibitor Fine Harness Challenge.

MORGAN

With a strong commitment from some of the board members, the Morgan participation at Midwest is beginning to grow. The addition of entries trained by Phil Fountain, coupled with repeat support from Indian Creek, Diane Conrady, Merriehill Farm, Cotton Hill Farm and Irish Acre Morgans, made for some competitive classes.

Four entries in the Park Saddle Stake are a good number at virtually any show. Phil Fountain directed Erotic Dancer to the tricolor for the Miller family. Eugene Mathes and his own Montbelle Endeavor earned reserve honors in the class. Montbelle Endeavor had also been the reserve winner in the amateur class bested by Stephanie Jones and NAS Simpatico, an entry owned by Dr. Robert Jones.

Amber Kaiser and Hylee’s Vanity made a nice solo presentation in the junior park saddle class for owner Susan Ellis.

Three nice entries vied for the Park Harness Championship. Diane Conrady and JLH Coming Up Roses earned the tricolor for Jack and Leslie Hill followed by Ashley Sheehan and Indian Creek Legendary in the reserve spot. Sheehan was also reserve in the amateur class, which was won by Tami Johnson driving Minion Mona Lisa to the winner’s circle.

Putting on an Oklahoma type show, Shana Gish presented MEM No Inhibitions to the UPHA Morgan Park Harness Classic win for owner George Schott. Billy Greenwell directed the royally bred Ruffles N Flourishes to the reserve honors for Kriskroft Farm.

Another Indian Creek win was posted by Cache in the English Pleasure Stake. Kurt Hufferd was in the irons of this high class entry for Indian Creek Farm. Phil Fountain and Que Sera earned reserve honors in the stake for Sharon and Glenn McCoy. These two entries finished in the same order in the open qualifier.

Seven top entries competed in the Amateur English Pleasure competition. Stephanie Jones directed FCF Immortal Affair to the top spot in both classes. Becky Sebastian and Got My Wish earned reserve honors in both classes for the Bonus Time Farm LLC.

The lovely Kathy Minder made the victory pass in the Ladies English Pleasure class aboard Montbelle Sovereign for Cotton Hill Farm. Becky Sebastian and Got My Wish earned yet another reserve title.

Five junior exhibitors went head to head with Christina Roethemeyer and Minion Mardi Gras coming out the Morgan Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Champions. Julia Jones and RWJ Hale Bopp earned the red ribbon.

Phil Fountain posted another blue ribbon on his tackroom with Junior English Pleasure Champion Cairnbrae Courage Forever, an entry of Cairnbrae Farm. Stan Bodnar and Merriehill Bonus Time picked up the red ribbon for the Bonus Time Farm LLC.

The Morgan Pleasure Driving Championship had four top entries with Lois McDermand making the winning drive with CHF Spirit of Excellence. Diane Conrady directed Harry Caray to the reserve honors for Walt and Jaye Alles. Conrady and Harry Caray had won the open qualifier earlier in the week followed by Andrew Sheehan and SMS Myorca.

CHF Spirit of Excellence also earned reserve honors in the amateur driving championship. He was bested by Oakcreek Chief of Staff in that championship. The Phil Fountain trained champion was owned and driven by William Wendell. These two teams finished in the same order in the amateur qualifier.

RWH Hale Bopp enjoys pleasure driving as well as saddle competition. Julia Jones took the lines to take the talented Morgan to the Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving title followed by Andrew Sheehan and SMS Myorca.

Six junior horses were bested by Phil Fountain and JAR Panache in the Junior Pleasure Driving class. Panache is owned by James Robinson. Stan Bodnar and BLFM Best Evidence earned reserve honors in the class for Beth Fancsali. Best Evidence also earned reserve honors in the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic, this time following Diane Conrady and LDF Forevermine, an entry owned by David James Walker.

Shana Gish was dressed all in blue to earn the blue ribbon in the Morgan Western Pleasure Stake. She directed Spiceolife Saratoga to the winner’s circle for the Springmill Morgans LLC in both the stake and the open qualifiers. Susan Ellis and her Alakazam earned reserve honors in the five-entry stake. Alakazam and Ellis had earlier topped the amateur qualifier. Ashley Hellemann and TE Bea Mi Thunder earned reserve honors in the open and amateur qualifiers.

Six hunter pleasure entries were on hand for the stake. Kristen Tromposh and Bold Jangles topped the stake class besting Marilyn Weber and Senator Sharcoal, an entry owned by the Rocking Horse Morgans. Michael Taft and Carlyle Tri Color earned reserve honors in the open qualifier also to winner Bold Jangles, an entry of Peeper Ranch. Jangles earned a third winning award in the amateur qualifier.

Senator Sharcoal and Marilyn Weber topped the Junior Hunter Pleasure class for Rocking Horse Morgans. Randall Collins and BRAC Devious Rocketeer earned reserve honors for owner Dr. Dennis Mong.

Julia Jones was back in the top ribbons with super horse Amabayus in the Classic Pleasure division. They turned in two winning rides. Shanda Burton and MLJ First Shot earned reserve in the stake, while Andrew Williamson and Royal M Kodi collected reserve honors in the qualifier.

Amabayus and Julia Jones proved they could drive just as well and racked up two more winning ribbons to sweep the Classic Pleasure Driving competition. Susan Ellis and her EBM Diamond Lady earned reserve honors in both classes.

Jennifer Barton topped the Morgan/Arabian Equitation class aboard My Sauvignon. Shanda Burton and her MLJ First Shot earned reserve honors in the class.

SHOW PLEASURE / COUNTRY PLEASURE

Competition at Midwest was deep with past and future Louisville winners all throughout the cards. Nowhere was this more evident than in the pleasure classes. Entries were in the mid-teens in most classes with five-gaited pleasure classes having to be split to accommodate all the entries.

The show pleasure driving classes featured Terri Dolan and the highly decorated Harlem Globetrotter daughter, Harlem's Strong Will, who are already on quite a roll this season. Coming off recent wins at Oklahoma and Asheville, the team was ready for the competition and walked away with two unanimous ties for their efforts. Last year's grand champions Sue Powers and Queensbury Coquette have proven to be stiff competitors themselves and they were at the top of their game to earn reserve honors in both the championship and the 39 & over qualifier.

Alice Unger and her proven champion Heir's Town topped the 38 & under qualifier followed by Melissa Donovan and Wild Harley.

Fresh off a win at Rock Creek, Rebecca Salley directed her Foxy's Delight to the winner’s circle with a unanimous victory in the ASHA Foundation Show Pleasure Driving Challenge. Meredithe Steinhauer and In Your Dreams earned the solid reserve finish.

Jan Myers and CH Mariachi have turned into a terrific team under the direction of Jack Magill. After splitting the qualifier, 17 entries returned for the championship. These horses worked and worked and worked. Then they lined up, the judges excused all but nine of the entries and worked them some more. Myers proved to have staying power and was rewarded for her efforts. Mandy Martin and Ridgefield's Excessive earned the reserve honors in the demanding class and an extremely warm round of applause for their efforts.

The qualifiers featured a whole different set of winners. Barbara Woods and her CH Discover earned the title in Section A under the Judd Stables banner. Corbin Smith and 2002 Juvenile Five-Gaited Pleasure World's Grand Champion Bongo were reserve in this 10-entry class under John Conatser's direction. The second section featured Inphallible in the winner’s circle with Debbie Owens in the irons. Mandy Martin and Ridgefield's Excessive earned reserve in this round.

The always incredible CH Blackberry Delight and Ericka Nelson were at their best to win the 13-entry Adult Show Pleasure Championship. The Hollow Haven trained team also won the 38 & under qualifier with a performance that made you say wow!

It was also a great week for Mary Jane Gralton and A Magic Spell. They worked their magic to earn the reserve ribbon in the championship after starting the week in the winner's circle of the Junior Show Pleasure class.

Becky Taggart and She Bop won the 39 & over qualifier under Jack Magill's guidance. Sally Jo Briney and Take Two earned reserve honors in the six-entry class. What Else Is New and Melina Lukas earned reserve honors in the 38 & under qualifier under Ray Krussell's instruction.

Jacob Grieme and his beautiful new mount May Issue took the blue ribbon in the Novice Show Pleasure class, while Sarah Werry and CH Magic Santana earned the reserve honors for Glenmoore Farm. Putting it all together this year, Debra Giampietro and Harlem's Town Princess topped the Illinois Resident Show Pleasure Championship under the guidance of Ray Krussell. Also having a tremendous week at Midwest, Vicki Reed and Callaway's Hail Liberty earned the reserve honors in the added class.

Fourteen entries were on hand for the Illinois Resident Show Pleasure qualifier. I'm Simply Radiant and Judy Werner made the victory pass for her Redwing Farm. This talented team is just coming off two wins at Asheville under the direction of Delovely. Debra Giampietro and Harlem's Town Princess were reserve in this one.

Molly Dennert and Outrigger topped the eight-entry Junior Exhibitor 14-17 Pleasure Stake. Brittany Cortina and Callaway's Newscaster put on a big time show and were rewarded with the reserve championship. In Your Dreams and Meredithe Steinhauer earned reserve honors in the qualifier, also to the Reedannland entry, Outrigger.

A competitive 13 & under division saw Kelly Ricker and twice world's champion CH Sweet Virginia make two victory passes under Patty Milligan's direction. Sarah Werry and Chief's Rage earned reserve honors in the championship. Jacob Grieme and May Issue were reserve in the 13 & under qualifier.

Eight top entries were vying for the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. A.J. Bruwer directed Jayne Tillman's Hard Day's Night TS to the winner’s circle followed by Carter Cox and Tres Tres Jolie, an entry owned by John Wrather.

The Walk and Trot Only Pleasure class was won by Katie Oldani and Callaway's Wheels in Motion. Amber Virnieri and Retitled claimed reserve honors.

Not about to let husband Bob have all the fun, Nancy Anderson enjoyed two trips to the winner's circle behind the oh-so-successful Callaway's Pretty Penny in country pleasure driving competition. Elizabeth James Lipscomb and CH John D. Smith earned the reserve honors in both classes behind the unanimous winner.

There were two more unanimous victories for another Hollow Haven champion. CH The Shadow Knows and Karen Smith were as close to perfect as it gets for the Adult Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier. Beth Bidon earned reserve honors in both large classes aboard Salt Heir, an entry owned by Bidon and mother Barb Hendrickson, who was happy to be on hand to offer her support.

Kendyl Tracy and CH Midtown Man continued their winning ways earning both junior exhibitor country pleasure titles. It was the second consecutive year for the Colorado team. Magdalene Marcyan and The Letter Sweater were reserve in the championship. Emily Doll and The Gun Moll were reserve winners in the qualifier for owner Martha Hoyt.

Pat Johnson and A Magic Surprise are no strangers to the winner’s circle. They topped three huge Country Western Pleasure classes under the direction of Nealia McCracken. Sharon Vuinovich and The Phinest earned reserve honors in the championship and the William Shatner Western Pleasure Class under Bob Griffin's direction. Barbara Brown posted a red ribbon to the Hollow Haven banner for her ride aboard The Midnight Express in the western pleasure qualifier.

HACKNEY/HARNESS PONIES

Mrs. Alan R. Robson was sorely missed at the show. She would have loved to have been there to see Impress My Daddy top the harness pony division with two unanimous drives by Gib Marcucci. Kenny Guell and The Dutchman earned reserve honors in both open classes for Susan Ellis.

Marcucci also directed Mrs. Robson's newest standout, Truly Enchanted, to the winner's circle in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic followed by Kurt Hufferd and Cherry Royale, the promising new property of Judy Shellander.

Pound for pound one of the most talented entries on the grounds, Joan Jett dominated the amateur harness pony division. With eight entries in the championship, she earned the unanimous victory for Mary Gaylord McClean and Golden Creek Farms. The duo also earned a unanimous victory in the amateur qualifier. Cindy Ireland directed Windstar's Eclipse to the reserve honors in the amateur championship for Mrs. Robson after winning the ladies qualifier. Mary Ellen Golich and Conqueror's Colleen LF earned reserve honors in the amateur qualifier. Meredithe Stein hauer and Lightning Up were reserve champions in the ladies qualifier.

Another winning Golden Creek entry, Match Maker was in the winner's circle in the limit class, this time with John Shea in the viceroy. Ruth Sprenger and Marks Fine and Fancy earned reserve honors in the limit class. The top young pony also made a winning drive in the junior class followed by Mike Dumas and Bellagio, an entry owned by Larry Schultz.

Another pony division, another top pony presented by the team of Jeff and Mary McClean and Tom Lowry. Heartland Elise earned unanimous titles in both the Hackney Pony Championship and open qualifier. Ruth Sprenger and Final Contender earned reserve honors in the championship after finishing in third in the open qualifier behind Mary Campbell and Man On The Town.

Tabitha Ireland enjoyed showing Heartland's Triumphant King to the winner's circle in the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship. Stablemates Muffy Sweeny Ernster and Royal Canadian earned the reserve tricolor after making a sharp victory pass in the qualifier. Bob Richard and his pony Tommy Hilfiger were the reserve to Royal Canadian in the qualifier.

Jackie Stred and the many times world’s champion Heartland Rain Song were tuned to perfection to earn the Ladies Hackney Pony title under the direction of Rich Campbell and Heartland Hackney Farm. Cindy Ireland directed Heartland's Triumphant King to the reserve tie in the ladies class.

Ireland also made a nice solo presentation of Austin Powers in the junior class for Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Ireland and then finished reserve in the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic to Lambert Schut and his Kingsley Acclaim.

Dan Light presented Regal's Promise LF to the win in the limit class followed by Karen Wood and her Kilbro's Majestic Gem.

Seven top ponies were showing off in the Hackney Pony Pleasure Driving Championship. Reigning World's Grand Champion Pacifico's Standing Ovation was outstanding to earn two unanimous victories to add to his impressive resume with driver Bob Anderson. Susan Ellis and her CC Ryder earned reserve honors in both large classes.

Ed Frickey and his Heartland Flurry earned the junior pleasure driving title in a class of six ponies. Jan McGlaughlin and Wait & See's Postmaster stepped up for reserve honors for Reedannland.

Last year's Harness Pony World's Grand Champion as a three-year-old, Heartland Special Special continues to impress, this time earning unanimous honors in the UPHA Pleasure Driving Classic with owner Jackie Stred at the lines. McGlaughlin and Wait & See's Postmaster earned reserve honors in the UPHA Classic as well.

Gabriella Flynn and her Cowboy Magic continue their winning ways with another AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Driving title at Midwest. Max Kaplan made them earn their ribbon with a strong reserve performance with Seamair's Dear Sir under the direction of Mike Roberts.

ROADSTER

With Raymond Shively and Pres Oder in virtually every roadster class at Midwest, you knew the competition had to be outstanding. Shively and Power Ranger are well on their way to once again dominating the roadster to wagon field claiming both the open and championship titles at Midwest. Oder directed Bar None to the reserve title in both classes for the Glenn Werry family.

Judy McNeish and Shively make quite a team. Shively directed the McNeish owned Invincible Summer to the Roadster to Bike Open and Championship wins. McNeish herself directed Free Agent to the Roadster to Bike Amateur Class and Amateur Championship. McNeish even took Free Agent into the Roadster to Wagon with Appointments Class and came away with another unanimous blue. Phillip Bisch and his Top Flight JJ earned reserve honors in the Roadster to Wagon with Appointments Class.

"As far as we know, Judy [McNeish] is the first woman to ever win a Wagon class," said DeLovely trainer Todd Miles. "There's only been a few women to show a wagon period."

Reserve in the Roadster to Bike Championship went to Larry Hodge and his own Rums Last Shot. The two qualified with a winning drive in the novice class followed by Mike Roberts and Romeo Windswept, an entry owned by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center. Dr. Alan Raun made the reserve presentation of Speed Dial in the Roadster to Bike Open class for Country Meadow Farm. Tom Fiedler and his Hia Gal earned reserve honors in the Roadster to Bike Amateur class and Championship. Mary Lou Greenwell stepped into the irons of Hia Gal for the Roadster Under Saddle class and was rewarded with a unanimous blue ribbon for her efforts. Amy Huffman and The Main Star were reserve in the four-entry class.

Chris Hostetter and Roadkill Cafe made a nice solo presentation in the junior exhibitor roadster class to pick up the blue ribbon.

The roadster pony competition was excellent at the show with eight top ponies in the amateur qualifier. The open championship featured Mary McClean and World's Grand Champion Heartland Production earning the tricolor with a unanimous vote of the judges. The talented team also earned the unanimous win in the qualifier. Jessie Pettie and Fiendishly Clever earned reserve in the three-entry championship. Hazard County and Glenn T. Werry were reserve in the open qualifier and went on to win the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion title.

The amateur qualifier featured eight ponies, most with world's champion credentials, vying for the top prize. Josh Greer and his 2002 Junior Road Pony World's Grand Champion Seamair Strutter captured the win and returned to championship honors amid a class of six. Jeff McClean and Material Girl pushed them every step of the way with two reserve performances.

Meredithe Steinhauer and her Dun-Haven Majestic Motion were the first of four in the Roadster Pony Junior Exhibitor class. They also earned reserve honors in the medallion. Ashley Baird and Bluegrass 76 earned the reserve honors in the junior exhibitor class.

Mike Dumas had On The Verge in top form to top the limit class for owner Larry Schultz. Dan Light and Seamair Royale earned the reserve honors. Light was in the winner’s circle in the junior pony class with Regal’s Storm Cloud LF. Erik Kirsch and Awesome Times earned the reserve honors in the junior class for Frank Boyd and Todd Gordon.

Six young ponies vied for the judge's attention in the UPHA Roadster Pony Classic. Dr. Alan Raun directed the winning entry, Public Defender, an entry owned by Raun’s Reedannland. Mike Roberts earned the red ribbon with Seamair’s Nobility.

SADDLE SEAT EQUITATION

Saturday night's incredible performances began with the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. With Morgan judge Kathy Peeples joining Debbie Foley and Merrill Murray for the judging panel, workouts were demanding and tested the most talented equitation riders.

Betty Cox was perhaps the best example of this when she nailed the workout for Saturday night's Championship. Instructors Todd Miles and Lillian Shively couldn't hide their smiles as Cox executed each move with precision. From Country Meadow Farm, Lisa McClaren has enjoyed a successful season herself and she was proud to earn reserve honors in the championship. These two talented riders finished in the same order in the 14-17 qualifier.

Another Delovely rider, Alexandra Flynn rode the indomitable Callaway's Will Gillen to two more unanimous titles in junior equitation competition. Meaghan MacQueen rode her A Sweet Sensation to reserve honors in both 13 and under classes while representing Northern Tradition Farm.

Michelle Krentz won the UPHA 14-17 Challenge Cup class, the NHS Good Hands and the USAE Saddle Seat Medal under the direction of Knollwood. Jenny Grudis was the reserve champion in the UPHA class. Allison Rohloff and River of Dreams earned reserve honors in the NHS competition. Victoria McHenry earned the reserve tie in the Medal amid five entries.

Christina Sloan bested a field of six entries in the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup with help from coach Brenda Benner. Continuing her success from her junior exhibitor career, Sara Van Galder earned reserve honors in the adult class.

Delovely lovely Gabriella Flynn earned a unanimous victory in the UPHA 13 & Under Challenge Cup class aboard CF First Light of Dawn. Kristen Nielsen rode Powder & Smoke to the reserve honors.

Nicholas Sunder made a touching solo presentation to earn the UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup title. Sunder rode Raspberry, an entry owned by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Briney.

Lindsey Landrum teamed with her new horse Imagination Station for their debut at Midwest and two unanimous blue ribbons later, it seems as if great things are ahead for the bright young team. Another young world class rider, Callie Smith delivered a great performance to earn reserve honors in the UPHA 10 and under class aboard Americana's Wing under the direction of Cryst-A-Kell. Coached by his mom, Tammy DeVore, Tyler DeVore and his Right Wing were in top form to take the red prize in the Walk and Trot 10 and Under class.

Landrum's horse last year is now the property of Jessica Harrison and this team too appears to be a winning one. Jessica and Attache's Magic Asset bested a field of 13 entries with a unanimous victory to earn the Pleasure Equitation Championship. The talented new team also earned the 14-17 pleasure equitation title. Lauren McMichael and Mr. Bayleigh earned reserve honors in the championship. This well matched team won the UPHA Pleasure Equitation Challenge Cup earlier in the week. Adrian Bell and Jabez earned reserve honors in the pleasure equitation qualifier under the direction of Renae Van Zomeren. Tess Holmes earned reserve honors in the UPHA Challenge Cup.

Kristen Nielsen and her Powder & Smoke topped eight other entries to earn the 13 & Under Pleasure Equitation title. Ellen Medley Wright and CH Beguiled earned reserve honors in the class.

Abby Krempasky added another blue ribbon to the much decorated Hollow Haven tackroom, with a winning ride in the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion. Kristen Jurkynas and Hasta La Vista earned reserve honors in the six-entry class.

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