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Midwest Crowd Makes One More Stop On The Road To Louisville



by Leeann Mione

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., - The Illinois State Fair Horse Show, always an important stop on the road to Louisville, provided a showcase for lots and lots of quality entries again this year. Many classes were very large and the judging panel of Jimmy Robertson, Armon Effinger and Frank McConnell had the tough job of marking the cards. Rodney Hicks joined them in center ring to judge the Hackney division and the panel faced nearly 140 classes by week's end.

Held August 5-9, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the show drew a large group of barns from the Midwest eager to compete in the large and always comfortable arena. Show manager Jody Van Nattan, in her second year as manager without her late husband Carter, made some changes this year to ensure that exhibitors would go away happy. One such change was to schedule Thursday evening's session an hour earlier than usual in hopes of ending the session before the traditional fireworks display that marks the start of the fair. In years past exhibitors, including juveniles at times, have been competing in the arena when the fireworks began. Classes would often have to stop in midstream so riders could dismount and wait it out. This year, with the schedule change, the show ended in plenty of time and everyone was safely on their way back to the barns before the impressive display took place.

Another change was that of the official photographer. Rick Osteen was invited to capture the competitors on film this year. Osteen, a popular and well-known horse show photographer on the West Coast, traveled from California. "I was really excited to be asked and I enjoyed the show. It was great to have the opportunity to be able to photograph so many great horses and ponies. It was really a treat."

One of the most special moments of Saturday evening's session was when announcer Bill Carrington recognized Eugene Kennedy, of Kennedy Pony Farm in Taylorville, Ill., for his 79th consecutive year of competing at the Illinois State Fair. Kennedy stood in the spotlight as the near-capacity crowd applauded him for his dedication to the show.

With the World's Championship Horse Show rapidly approaching, the Illinois State Fair is always an important stop for that final tune up. Competition was strong in almost every class and across each division and the list of barns that went home with good ribbons was a long one. Tuesday Morning

The morning sessions early in the week are reserved, for the most part, for the ASHB and Mid-West Hackney Futurity classes. Good looking Hackney and Saddlebred babies strutted their stuff in front of the judges. Many of the youngsters will go on to compete several more times before the end of the year and they were in top form in Illinois.

Jack Nicholson claimed the blue ribbon in the first class of the show, the ASHB Futurity Weanling Colt class. Thirteen weanlings came through the gate with top honors going to the Hickory Knoll Farm-owned entry handled by Joe Russell. Eight weanling mares competed for their top prize and it was an entry of A. E. Nelson that claimed the blue ribbon. Danette Musselman showed the Rifles & Roses-sired My American Sweetheart to victory from Alliance Stud.

A Phi Slama Jama-sired colt topped the ASHB Futurity Yearling Stallion or Gelding class. Phlags Phlying topped 10 other entries for the win with Jan and Jerry McGlaughlin showing for Dr. and Mrs. Alan Raun.

Doug Fritz took Schotzie to the winner's circle in the ASHB yearling mare class for owner Danette Musselman to give Alliance Stud their second win of the morning. The mare topped nine other entries for the victory.

A big class of Hackney babies competed in the Mid-West Hackney Futurity Weanling Stallion class. Jim Spurrier showed Extremely Fine for the blue ribbon for owners Karen and Ed Frickey of Frickey Farm. Spurrier then turned right around and showed the winner of the weanling mare class, Truly Charming, to victory. Spurrier and Ahrens co-own the weanling.

Dan and Leah Light of Light Farms had the winning entry in the yearling stallion class. Mastercraft's Namesake LF topped the nine-entry class with Scott Seils. Tuesday Afternoon

The session began with the Mid-West Hackney Jackpot Four or Five-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Pony class. Four entries competed, and Romeo's Poet LF, another homebred entry from Dan and Leah Light, went to the winner's circle. Lowell Light showed the pony to the winning title.

Buns Of Steel earned the Novice Three-Gaited title for Inverwood Stud in a dual entry class. The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 14-17 class was much larger and full of top young athletes. Brittany Cortina rode Callaway's Newscaster to the blue ribbon under the direction of Country Meadow Farm. The pair competed with 11 other entries.

One More Time and Anna Marie Knipp added another victory this season with their win in the Hackney Pleasure Driving class. The field was deep with 11 entries and helped uphold the long-standing tradition of top ponies competing every year at the Illinois State Fair.

Reedannland scored another blue ribbon when Dr. Alan Raun showed First For Victory in the ASHB Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class. The Chosen One was indeed chosen to take the victory pass in the Mid-West Hackney Jackpot Four or Five-Year-Old Harness Pony class. Vern Houston showed for Vern and Lynne Houston in the seven-entry class.

Kurt Antonacci was busy riding top entries all weekend and he took The King's Promise to the top of the cards in the eight-entry Country Pleasure Driving class for Dr. Gene Scott.

Regal's Magnate LF put another blue ribbon on the Light Farms tack room wall when Dan Light took the winning drive in the Land Of Lincoln Roadster Pony class.

CF Night So Rare claimed the win in the five-entry Novice Five-Gaited class with Rick Wallen in the irons for Ann MacMurray Cox.

The adult three-gaited pleasure division was large enough to be split by age group and a big class of 13 went before the panel in the 18-39 class. Kelly Oselka rode CH High Noon for the victory pass under the direction of Bell View Acres.

The three-year-old Hackney ponies were next to come through the gate in their Mid-West Hackney Futurity class and Kilbro's High Roller was the winner with Amber Kildow driving for Steve and Bill Kildow.

Ray Krussel drove Knight Of Steel to the win in the Land Of Lincoln Fine Harness class. Krussel was in the buggy for owner Wendy Carney in the three-entry class. Tuesday Night

Seven ponies paraded in front of the judges in the first event of the evening, the Mid-West Hackney Futurity Three-Year-Old Harness Pony class. Fitz's Elite took the top prize with Roger Lucas in the viceroy for Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Fitzpatrick.

The UPHA Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Classic hosted only three entries, but it was a trio of veteran trainers in the ring presenting their youngsters. I'm Irresistible Too was the blue ribbon winner for Bonnie Lee. Lisa Strickland drove for the win.

Owner and trainer Junior Schut drove Kingsley Acclaim for the win in the four-entry Mid-West Hackney Jackpot Four or Five-Year-Old Hackney Pony class.

The Amateur Three-Gaited qualifier featured five elegant entries and Rick Wallen Stables put another blue on the tack room wall after The Border Star was named the winner with Jane Schallock up for Mike and Jane Schallock.

Impress My Daddy was just one of Mr. and Mrs. Alan Robson's winning entries in Illinois. Gib Marcucci drove for the win in the Harness Pony Stallion or Gelding class.

The Illinois State Fair audience always loves the road horse classes and they love master road horse showman Pres Oder. They cheered him on as he drove Lucky Break to the win in the Land Of Lincoln Roadster To Bike class for Glenn Werry, Jr.

The Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure 40 and Over class featured 13 strong entries. Mary Adams piloted Radiant Touch through the big crowd on her way to the winner's circle.

The big adult class was followed by a big junior exhibitor group. Ten young drivers competed in the Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony class, but it was Hazard County taking the victory pass again this year with Glenn Werry under the direction of Gib Marcucci.

The UPHA Five-Gaited Classic put trainer John Willis in the winner's circle with his own Admiral Lee Memories.

The ladies took to the ring in their fine harness class. A top group of five competed, but the night belonged to Dances On Air. Danette Musselman had the winning drive for owner Misty Hills Farm.

The amateur ladies followed on the agenda with seven sporty harness ponies. Tabitha Ireland added another blue to the Gib Marcucci Stables win count when she drove Windstar's Eclipse for Mr. and Mrs. Alan R. Robson.

Who's The Fheirest won the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic under the direction of Reedannland for owner Jennifer Karnes.

The three-year-old roadster ponies followed the three-year-old gaited horses for their Mid-West Hackney Futurity. A big group of 12 competed and Junior Schut posted yet another winning title when Mastercraft's Captivator LF took the victory pass.

Harlem Trend topped a deep field of 10 in the Five-Gaited Pleasure qualifier. Becky Westberg had the winning ride for Dr. and Mrs. Alan Raun.

Stately Affair took the victory pass in the Amateur Gentlemen's Hackney Pony class with Rodney Root driving for owner Margaret Easton.

The final competition of the evening, the Amateur Five-Gaited class, featured five entries and the mother-daughter team of Gail and Katy Costello. Cassel County was named the winner and took the victory pass with Gail Wirtz-Costello for Blackhawk Stables. Costello showed under the direction of Bell View Acres.

Wednesday Morning

The morning session began with a big class of gorgeous babies competing for their ASHB Futurity Weanling Championship. The big field proved that the Saddlebred industry will be able to watch up-and-coming youngsters for years to come. When the cards were turned in it was My American Sweetheart taking the victory pass with Danette Musselman for A.E. Nelson. Lady Phi claimed the reserve title for Reedannland with Jan and Jerry McGlaughlin showing.

Extremely Classy lived up to her name to win the Mid-West Hackney Futurity Yearling Mare class. Jim Spurrier showed for Spurrier and Ahrens.

The tables were turned in the 10-entry ASHB Futurity Yearling Championship. This time the Reedannland entry Phlags Phlying came out on top with Jan and Jerry McGlaughlin. Shotzie was the reserve grand champion for Danette Musselman and Alliance Stud with Doug Fritz handling.

Four high-stepping two-year-old Hackney ponies competed for their Mid-West Futurity Stallion /Gelding title. Bill Kildow went to the winner's circle with Kilbro's Image for Steve and Bill Kildow.

The ASHB Futurity Amateur Weanling class was the largest of the division with 13 entries competing. Jack Nicholson, owned and shown by Joe Russell of Hickory Knoll Farm, took the blue ribbon in the big class.

Jim Spurrier returned to the winner's circle when Alice Fay was called out as the winner of the Mid-West Hackney Futurity Two-Year-Old Mare class for owner Pamela Abbott.

Hey U went to the top of the cards in the ASHB Futurity Amateur Yearling class. Jan McGlaughlin showed for Shale Hill Stables in the seven-entry class.

The junior exhibitors were up next with their young Hackney ponies. A trio of young people competed and Damon Smith went to the winner's circle with CLS Latest Thing for County Line Stables.

The ASHB Futurity Amateur Two-Year-Old class rounded out the morning session and Alliance Stud ended the morning with another blue for their tack room wall. Sherri Musselman showed Merchant Melody to the win.

Wednesday Afternoon

Denise Steinhauer posted one of her many wins for the weekend when Dun-Haven Grand Performance was named the winner of the Mid-West Hackney Jackpot Four or Five-Year-Old Roadster Pony class. Rick Wallen handled the drive for Steinhauer.

Chandler and Lisa McClaren turned in a winning performance in the seven-entry Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited class to take the blue ribbon back to the Country Meadow Farm tack room for Bruce and Elaine McClaren. The pair continued their already successful season and defended their title from last year.

Delores Lillge's entry, the Time Is Right, was right for the win in the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic. Ryan Rongers of Bell View Acres was in the irons for Lillge. With the UPHA Classics Grand Championships fast approaching, the Illinois State Fair Horse show is an important stop on the way to Kansas City.

Jane Mueller's ponies had a great weekend at the fair. Triumphant scored the top slot in the open Roadster Pony class with Gib Marcucci driving. Triumphant topped eight other ponies for the win.

Scott Pisarik, riding the multi-titled Desert's Indian Country, was in winning form to take the blue in the 11-13 equitation class.

Lightning Up has earned numerous ribbons at the fair and Meredithe Steinhauer drove to add another title to the pony's resume. Lightning Up was the AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion Champion for Denise Steinhauer.

The adult show pleasure driving division was competitive and CH Petra's Beyond Belief claimed the win with Irving Udell in the buggy. Team Durant directed the pair to their win from Bell View Acres.

Mastercraft's Elegance scored another blue ribbon by taking the Hackney Pony Mare class with Craig Hanna showing for Dan and Leah Light.

The Natural will no doubt go down in history as one of the great roadster to bike horses. With numerous titles in the amateur and open divisions he proved he was right on target again this year to add to his winning list. Kim Crumpler drove for the blue ribbon in the Open Roadster To Bike class for Crumpler Stables Ltd.

Beth Werry was up on Callaway's Mandate for the win in the Ladies Three-Gaited class. Showing under the direction of Tom Bombolis, Werry added another title to the Glenmore Farm count.

Lovely Anna won the eight-entry Mid-West Futurity Three-Year-Old Pleasure Driving class with owner Rodney Root driving. The pleasure driving division has exploded in recent years and the youngsters of the division promise a great future for the division.

Marilyn Swimmer rode Sue's Great Day to the blue ribbon in the western pleasure qualifier under the direction of Crumpler Stables.

Wednesday evening

Mastercraft's Julie raised the win count for Light Farms even higher when she was named the winner of the Mid-West Hackney Futurity Two-Year-Old Harness Pony class. Scott Seils showed for Dan and Leah Light.

Five harness horses came through the gate for their open class and Glenn Werry, Jr. drove to the win for Glenmore Farm. Candle Dan added the win to an already impressive resume with Werry.

Final Contender and Ruth Sprenger topped the Hackney Stallion or Gelding class under the direction of Gib Marcucci. The win was only their first for the weekend.

Crumpler Stables was again in the blue ribbons with Whitney Irwin's win in the 14-17 equitation class with Credit Worthy.

Ray Krussel piloted What Else Is New to the blue ribbon in the Open Three-Gaited Park class for owner Melina Lukas. Krussel topped 11 strong entries for the win.

Gib Marcucci drove Truly Enchanted to the title in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic for Mr. and Mrs. Alan Robson. The win added to the long list of wins by the Robson-owned ponies.

Beth Bidon and Salt Heir topped a big class of 10 in the Adult Country Pleasure class. Bidon rode for Bidon and Hendrickson under the direction of Reedannland.

My Party Manners and Jane Mueller won the eight-entry Amateur Roadster Pony class to make Mueller two for two with her ponies. Gib Marcucci coached the pair to victory.

Steel In Love continued the win count for entries sired by General Steel when Fran Crumpler took the victory pass in the Open Three-Gaited class for Richard and Kathe Cramer.

Nobody can get the Illinois State Fair crowd going like Pres Oder. From the minute he came through the gate the cheering started and followed him around the ring. When he was called out as the winner in the Roadster To Wagon class with Bar None, the applause was deafening. Oder drove Bar None for Glenn Werry, Jr. and Glenmore Farm.

Junior Schut added another blue ribbon to his total with Kingsley Acclaim in the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic. Schut's winning drive added to his long list of Illinois State Fair wins throughout the years.

Ashley Baird teamed CF Final Night to the win in the big 10-entry Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure 13 and Under class under the direction of Robert Gardiner.

Conqueror's Colleen added a blue ribbon to the Rick Wallen Stables tack room wall when Wallen drove for the win in the Harness Pony mare class for Mary Ellen Golich.

Six contenders racked and trotted in front of the panel in the Open Five-Gaited class. Show ring newcomer The Midnight Hero topped the field for the win with A.J. Bruwer in the irons. Bruwer rode for owner Diana Schaefer. Thursday Morning

Love That Water, out of a full sister to He Walks On Water Too, topped the Land Of Lincoln Saddlebred Weanling class with Todd Valentine handling for MBA Equestrians. Jan McGlaughlin continued his winning streak by showing Hey U to victory in the Land Of Lincoln Saddlebred Yearling class for Shale Hill Stable. Ten young equines competed in the class. Shale Hill turned right around and claimed another win with The Irish Thug's victory in the Land Of Lincoln Two-Year-Old class with Jan McGlaughlin. Thursday Afternoon

Eugene Kennedy showed City Glitter to the top of the cards in the Land Of Lincoln class to edge out six other top ponies. Kennedy, one of the true greats of the Hackney breed celebrated his 79th consecutive year competing at Illinois State Fair.

Bell View Acres returned to the win count when Jeanette Durant drove Catastrophic to the blue ribbon in the Junior Fine Harness class for owner Lisa Antalek. The novice roadster horses were next up and again Crumpler Stables went to the winner's circle. Kim Crumpler drove African Queen to the top prize for Avalon, Inc.

Mastercraft's Elegance LF was able to claim the win in the Land Of Lincoln Hackney Pony class for owners Dan and Leah Light. The pony was piloted to the win by Dan Light.

Sharon Worzalla rode Stolen Beauty to the win in the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation class. Worzalla competed with four other young ladies for the title and all of them most likely have thoughts of All American Classic and St. Louis on their minds.

Mrs. Ruth Sprenger had a winning weekend with her ponies under the direction of Gib Marcucci. Sprenger drove Unique's Fine & Fancy to the top prize in the Novice Harness Pony class.

I'll Take The Stars and Jennifer Karnes put another blue ribbon in the Bell View count. They teamed up to win the Illinois Resident Amateur Three-Gaited class.

The UPHA Hackney Pleasure Pony Driving Classic featured six young ponies trying to get one step closer to Kansas City. When Rodney Hicks turned in his card it was Wait & See's Postmaster and Jan McGlaughlin named the winners from Reedannland Farm.

The 13 and Under Pleasure Equitation class had five poised young riders performing for the panel. Deborah Jacobson earned the win riding with CH Heirreplaceable.

The AHHS Medallion Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony class had six young drivers putting their ponies through their paces and when Hicks named a winner it was Rolls Royce and Renee Zubrod who took the victory lap. Zubrod drove the pony for owner Gary Dickherber.

The Amateur Five-Gaited class was the next class in front of Robertson, Effinger and McConnell. The panel had to pick a winner from the eight entries competing and they put Mountainview's Agape and Kurt Antonacci into the winner's circle for owner Patsy Loeb from Rick Wallen stables.

From ponies to gaited horses and back to the ponies again. The Novice Hackney Pony class completed the session. Mary Kirkton drove her Monte Carlo to the winning ribbon to take the last blue ribbon of the afternoon. Thursday Evening

Crimson Blue topped the Junior Three-Gaited class for owner Margo Baird with Robert Gardiner up for the win. The win continued the already successful partnership this season of Baird and Gardiner of MBA Equestrians.

Chris Gantley showed Calvin Hobbs to the title in the UPHA Roadster Pony Classic for owner Steve Golden. Gantley and the pony bested a field of eight for the win.

Amazed won the Land Of Lincoln Three-Gaited Pleasure class with eight talented teams competing. The Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure class also featured a strong group. Endless Summer topped nine other entries and added a blue to the Country Meadow Count when Jenni Benson rode to the winner's circle for Michael Arnston.

Royal Canadian and Muffy Ernster kept their season rolling when they won the Amateur Ladies Hackney Pony class under the direction of Gib Marcucci. Anne Skiba and Callaway's Potpourri were the Ladies Five-Gaited Champions from Reedannland. The team edged out four other gaited contenders for the blue.

The junior exhibitors and their crowd-pleasing ponies were once again in the spotlight for the nine-entry AHHS Roadster Pony Youth Medallion class. Glenn T. Werry was again in winning form. He drove Hawkwatch to the win under the direction of Gib Marcucci.

The Bill and Mildred Crumpler Memorial Two-Year-Old Fine Harness class showcased a trio of sporty two-year-olds. When the panel called out the winner it was Kiri and Billy Greenwell taking the victory pass for Tom Fiedler and Woodhaven Farm.

Whitney Irwin added another win to her total when Monster Man was named the winner of the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited class from Crumpler Stables. Monster Man competed with a strong field of seven entries.

Kelly Oselka and CH High Noon have compiled a long list of wins in their career together and they added another blue to their total by winning the 39 and Under Show Pleasure Driving class.

Kurt Antonacci drove The Dutchman for the victory pass in the Amateur Gentlemen's Harness Pony class. The pony, owned by Susan Ellis, went to the top of the card over four other entries.

Libby Mathers' youngster, Maui Jim, claimed the winning ribbon in the Junior Five-Gaited class with Don Bridges riding for Top Line Farm. Friday Afternoon

Cynthia Wright scored a win when Peter Archer rode her Mr. Wright Way to the top ribbon in the Land Of Lincoln Three-Gaited class.

Unique's Fine & Fancy made it two for two for Ruth Sprenger when they were chosen to take the victory pass in the four-entry Junior Harness Pony class under the Gib Marcucci Stables banner.

The Time Is Right and Ryan Rongers won the ASHB Futurity Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure class for Delores Lillge and posted their second win in as many trips in the ring.

The Country Pleasure Driving class had a strong group competing, but the night belonged to The Whole Shebang and owner Lorrie Sotiropoulos.

Mallory Hartigan won the UPHA Walk and Trot 10 and Under Challenge Cup and was all smiles on her victory pass in front of photographer Rick Osteen.

Vern and Lynne Houston had another reason to celebrate by weekend's end. Titan bested a field of six to claim the win in the Junior Roadster Pony class with Melanie Houston driving.

Town Fizz won the Land Of Lincoln Five-Gaited class with Beth Hampel riding for owners Rick and Sue Radwill.

The junior horses followed on the schedule and nine four-year-olds came through the gate for the show pleasure class. My Point Of View and Hannah Love scored the nod from the panel and the right to take the victory pass.

Next on the agenda, the show pleasure driving horses returned for their stake class and seven big-going entries put on a show for the judges and the crowd. The judges had the difficult task of picking a winner from the crowd-pleasing group and their choice was CH Petra's Beyond Belief. Irving Udell was met by team Durant for the presentation of the tricolor. Jim Yonker and Ridgefield's Private Magic teamed up for the reserve grand championship title in the class.

Golden Earring and trainer Mike Dumas won the Junior Hackney Pony class for Steve and Julia Seils. Friday Evening

The evening started off with the seven-entry Roadster Pony Amateur Stake. A great group of top ponies turned it on for the crowd and had them cheering for their favorites. When the card was turned in it was My Party Manners taking the tricolor for a clean sweep of the division with Jane Mueller. Mary Campbell drove her Heartland Memory to the reserve finish to put Gib Marcucci Stables in the top two slots.

The Five-Gaited Pleasure Stake kept the crowd energized as well. Nine horses came through the gate to be judged by McConnell, Effinger and Robertson and made their job difficult. Announcer Bill Carrington called out She's A Rockefeller for the victory pass with Sarah White to add another win to the Crumpler Stables count. Natalie Udell and CH Harlem's Hot Ticket put it all together for the strong reserve finish from Bell View Acres.

Muffy Ernster and Royal Canadian turned in a strong performance for the win in the Amateur Hackney Pony Stake to keep their great week going.

Silver Certificate put together the blue ribbon performance for the win in the Amateur Fine Harness class with Kenny Guell driving for Valerie Larson Guell.

Roadrunner had the big crowd cheering as he took the victory pass in the Amateur Roadster To Bike class with show farrior Steve Zindars for Danette Musselman and Alliance Stud.

The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake was huge with 17 entries. The talented group of juveniles had to work hard to keep their horses out of the pack and in front of the judges and according to the panel none did it better than Molly Dennert and Outrigger. The pair brought the tricolor back to the Reedannland tack room under the direction of Kelly Freeman. Whitney Irwin was a close second with Clint Black owned by Katie Kuric.

The Don Fergusson Memorial Amateur Harness Pony Stake had a nice group of flashy longtail ponies in front of Rodney Hicks. He named Windstar's Eclipse as the grand champion with Tabitha Ireland. The victory for owners Mr. and Mrs. Alan R. Robson gave trainer Gib Marcucci his third grand championship of the night. Lightning Up and Meredithe Steinhauer claimed the reserve tricolor to put yet another top ribbon on the Rick Wallen Stables tack room wall.

Boxster topped three other entries for the tricolor in the nice Amateur Three-Gaited Stake. Owner Nancee Krause rode for the win under the direction of Don Bridges at Top Line Farm. Jennifer Karnes and I'll Take The Stars took the reserve grand championship tricolor to add to their ribbon count for the weekend under the direction of Bell View Acres.

DeLorenzo and Kim Crumpler took the victory pass in the Roadster to Wagon class followed by Pres Oder and Bar None. The crowd had cheered both men on as they battled it out in the exciting class.

Trainer John Willis was as excited as owner and rider Diane Nyhammer when the judges named My Matinee Idol the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion. I'm Radiating Too claimed the reserve tie with Mikki Nottke up for owner Bonnie Terese.

In the final class of the evening Ann MacMurray Cox and Night So Rare topped a talented group of six entries to be crowned the Amateur Five-Gaited Grand Champions from Rick Wallen Stables. Callaway's Potpourri and Anne Skiba turned in a performance worthy of the reserve grand championship title for Karen and Steve Skiba from Reedannland. Saturday Afternoon

Sue's Great Day earned her third Illinois State Fair Western Pleasure Grand Championship when Marilyn Swimmer rode to the winner's circle in the first class of the afternoon. Janet Thompson and Paint by Numbers scored the reserve grand championship in the five-entry class.

Mallory Hartigan and Callaway's Glory Glory were the team to beat in the 10 and Under Walk and Trot Equitation class.

Anna Marie Knipp was all smiles as she drove One More Time on the victory pass in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Stake for High Spirits Farm. The pony topped a strong field of eight contenders for the win under the direction of Jimmy Miller.

Undulata Gypsy and Megan Archer continued their successful season on the road to Louisville by winning the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Stake for owner Cynthia Wright. The proven combination of Monster Man and Whitney Irwin took the reserve tricolor in the good class.

Sharon Worzalla turned in her second winning ride in the pleasure equitation division when she was named the grand champion riding Stolen Beauty. Meredith Steinhauer was the reserve grand champion with Almighty High.

The junior exhibitors finished out the session with their gaited stake. A nice field of six came through the gate and put on a show for the crowd. Mr. Fizz took the victory pass with Colleen Sweeney from MBA Equestrians and Callaway's Informed Source was able to put it together for the reserve title from Gateway Manor under the direction of Rocky Brannon. Saturday Night

Just as she started the win count on Friday night, Jane Mueller did it again on Saturday night. Gib Marcucci drove her Triumphant for the win in the Roadster Pony Stake. Triumphant topped a very deep class including reserve grand champions Special Impression and Anna Marie Knipp.

Whitney Irwin was back in the tricolor count as the winner of the Country Pleasure Stake with Imaginary Lover for owner Kathy Blank. Irwin topped 13 other entries for the victory from Crumpler Stables. Kurt Antonacci and Titleist Baywatch brought back the reserve ribbon for owner Nancy Rothe in the deep class.

Ruth Sprenger and Final Contender were named the winners of the Carter Van Nattan Memorial Hackney Pony Stake and were joined in center ring by show manager Jody Van Nattan for the ribbon presentation. Carol Hall's cob tail, Dun-Haven Radiant Spirit finished with the reserve grand championship title with Mike Herron handling the drive.

Open winner Steel In Love took the top prize in the four-entry Three-Gaited Stake for Richard and Kathe Cramer. Rick Wallen was named, of the group of veteran trainers competing, to take the reserve title for Mr. and Mrs. Mike Schallock.

The Roadster To Bike Stake, with seven top entries, was an exciting class. Once again, Kim Crumpler and Pres Oder found themselves battling it out for the top two slots to the delight of the appreciative crowd. The judges named The Natural the grand champion with Oder and Lucky Break taking the reserve for Glenmore Farm. Kim Crumpler was in the bike for the winning drive for Crumpler Stables.

Dances On Air seemed to float on air as she took her victory pass in the Fine Harness Championship Stake with Danette Musselman driving for Misty Hills. Catastrophic and Lisa Antalek turned in a powerful performance for the reserve title from Bell View Acres.

Lisa McClaren had a tricolor ride in the Saddleseat Equitation Championship with Kalu's Can't Stop the Magic. Whitney Irwin and Credit Worthy took the reserve tie after both girls rode well for their rail work and work out.

The Three-Gaited Park Stake was full of quality entries with nine teams competing for the tricolor. Melina Lukas and What Else Is New earned the victory with a winning performance. They were followed in the ribbons by Tuff Hedeman and Robert Gardiner of MBA Equestrians.

Stolen Beauty had already been to the winner's circle when Sarah Worzalla took the victory pass in the Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Stake. The big class of 14 entries put on quite a show for the crowd and had the panel working hard to pick only one winner. Stop Watch and Jane Sturgeon added the reserve tricolor to their resume for Rick Wallen in the deep class.

Gib Marcucci was in the viceroy for the winning drive with Impress My Daddy for Mr. and Mrs. Robson. In one of the biggest and deepest pony classes of the weekend, Impress My Daddy topped 10 other quality ponies for the win. Anna Marie drove Tina Turner for second place to finish out with a great week at the Illinois State Fair.

The Five-Gaited Stake offered a hefty amount of prize money to be competed for by the three contenders. Chandler successfully defended his title from last year to earn the grand championship with Julie Anne Wroble in the irons for the McClarens. Paula Jo Briney was able to pilot Sixes and Sevens to the reserve grand championship for Paul and Sally Jo Briney of PratenseĀ“ Farm.

This highlights the 2003 Illinois State Fair Horse Show. Complete results follow and they can also be seen, searched and printed from our web site at www.saddlehorsereport.com.

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