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Midwest Has Long Been One Of The Best

A decade ago the Midwest Charity held its fifty-third annual show and the level of competition and hospitality is much like it is today, right up there with the best. Just like he is today, Paul Briney was the leader of the show which featured fabulous parties from Tuesday through Friday. “Exhibitors are our number one priority and we do our best to entertain them as well as take care of their needs,” said Briney in Saddle Horse Report’s coverage of the show. “We have a great facility for our show and it keeps getting better and better as more of the improvements (on the facility) are completed.” The list of judges for the 1994 event included Jane Bennett, Nancy Becker, Lewis Eckard, Jackie Johnson, and Skip Shenker. Tod Macklin took the winning picture as Dennis Porick called out CH Blue Chipper as the unanimous Five-Gaited Grand Champion just as he had been in the open stallion/gelding class. Jeanette Durant made the winning rides for Jane Mueller. Billy Greenwell finished a great week with the Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Championship aboard Shobhana. Also in the open division Rick Wallen guided Courageous Cactus to the mare stake blue. "He [Blue Chipper] was the gamest horse to ever take a breath of air," said Durant when recently asked about her winning ride at Midwest in 1994. "I would get off of him and say, 'I wish everyone I knew had the opportunity to ride a horse like this.' We won a lot of stake classes over a three year period." Jill Sando (Shiflet) and CH Gypsy Supreme went into Midwest undefeated for the season and they kept it that way with two convincing performances in the ladies gaited division. The blue and tricolor went back to the blue and green curtains of Biggins Stable. Many will remember the Ron Hulse trained team of Carolyn Moore and Champagne’s Miss Molly. In 1994 they swept Midwest’s Amateur Five-Gaited Championship and qualifier. Besides directing Champagne’s Miss Molly to the amateur title, Hulse also rode Fizzy’s April Symbol to the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stake. She would become famous as the dam of the multi-titled world’s champion CH My Korbel. Also among the young gaited stars of the week, Special Export Light put on a great show to defeat 13 other junior five-gaited contenders. Dick Obenauf made the winning ride for Sheila Healy. Billy Greenwell also had a good one as he won the UPHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Classic with Champagne’s Parading Lady for the famous partnership of Bales, Seifert and Scherer. "She [Champagne's Parading Lady] was a hot mare. Really game," recalled Greenwell. "She went on to show for quite a well and did real well for the Scherer family who eventually bought out the partnership." Kim and Fran Crumpler had a good week in Springfield and part of that success was with Callaway’s Crusader the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Grand Champion shown by Sarah White. Royal Scot’s Kristen Pettry had won the qualifier with Our Good Fortune. Crumpler was in the winner’s circle himself showing Three-Gaited Grand Champion Worthy’s Top Gun for Eleanora and Jack Vaughn. It was their second victory pass of the week as they won the over 15.2 qualifier as well. Marching to the blue in the under 15.2 stake was the multi-titled team of Mark Hulse and Jean Margaret for Mr. and Mrs. Louis Fernandez. “He [Worthy’s Top Gun] was a grand horse. I loved him,” responded Crumpler when asked about his former star. “I showed him 31 times in two years and won 26 classes including two world’s championships. I won the County Fair class the first year and the over 15.2 stake the next year. We were third back in the championship. “He was such a game horse that would rise to the occasion at the horse show. If he was giving you X at home he gave you X plus one at the show. He had been around before I got him, but we just got along really well.” Biggins Stables not only had the Ladies Grand Champion in the gaited division, they took the same title in the walk-trot ranks as well. Alyssa Mogul was teamed up with her newest star, the young and explosive Tango Rhythm. They too won their qualifier and would go on to win the Ladies Three-Gaited Under 15.2 World’s Championship that year. Nancy Leigh Fisher was conquering open classes in 1994 just the way she was in 2003. Riding the wild going Caraway, Fisher won the Junior Three-Gaited Stake at Midwest ‘94. Representing the Redwing Farm breeding program, Billy Greenwell piloted Fatal Charm to the reserve junior title. It was also the year Jane Doe became a recognizable name and winner of three-year-old walk-trot classes. Sharon Backer was in the irons for Reedannland as Jane Doe turned back all challengers for the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic. She was game enough for a second trip to the ring to also win the open three-year-old class. "If Sharon hadn't been here we would have never got her [Jane Doe] broke to ride," commented Dr. Alan Raun. "She was good in harness but I also had Reedann's Phinery that year and we decided to show her in harness and ride Jane Doe. Sharon spent a lot of time with her and went through a lot to get her to the ring. "She won at Midwest and won at Louisville. The next year as a four-year-old Kenny Smith showed her and won at Lexington where we sold her to George Knight for the Adlers. George won the junior stake at Louisville that year. I also had four embryos out of her. One by Phi Slama Jama was Reedann's Phorsythia who was a world's champion for Rick Wallen and the Donovan family. I had three fillies by Talk Of The Town and they were all too game to show but I do have some very nice colts out of those mares that look like they are going to make show horses." Terri Anne Ulman and CH Bi Mi Syncopation were right at the top of their game to take the Amateur Three-Gaited Championship and qualifier from the Dick Obenauf Stables. Later she of course turned professional and became an assistant to Obenauf before opening her own Winsome Farm in Wisconsin. The Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship had special meaning for Kristen Pettry. Besides being her second victory pass of the week with CH Fantastic Step, she received the Donald Fergusson Memorial Trophy which had been given in honor of her late grandfather. Midwest had a pretty impressive lineup of harness horses that year. John T. Jones and world’s grand champion CH Foxfire’s Prophet won the Fine Harness Championship for the Franklin Groves family. For Bellview Acres, Junior Ray was at the whip to take the reserve grand championship with Popeye. John Pappas and Sweetheart Of Sigma Phi gave a blue ribbon performance in the amateur class. There were some future all-stars among the young horse winners as well. Devoted To The Cause gave another of her electrifying performances with Andy Freseth to win the Junior Fine Harness Stake. Carl Irwin and Nordic Radiance took home the big money in the UPHA Classic for Kalmes-Kingsway Stable, while Rick Wallen and Tomorrow’s Mine scored the open three-year-old class for Sue Powers. The first of many victory passes at Midwest throughout his career, Albelarm Sorcerer entertained the crowd with Tom Ferrebee driving the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Champion for Mrs. Alan R. Robson. From Bill and Maria Knight’s Light Horse Stables, Becky Elaine was crowned the Three-Gaited Park Grand Champion and open class winner with Maria riding for Molly Hillenbrand. Midwest has long been known for its outstanding pleasure competition and in 1994 it was no different. Winners time after time, Dee Dee Marzocco represented Grant Herman as the Five-Gaited Pleasure Grand Champions and qualifying winners. Also two-time winners, Mrs. Alan R. Robson and Dance To Remember were the best of the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and 39 & over class. It was a banner week for Biggins Stable and Carol Hillenbrand and Utopian Melody added to the cause winning the 15-entry Adult Three-Gaited Pleasure Championship and the 16-entry 39 & over class. Hollow Haven Farm posted another Midwest grand champion as Courtney Wilcox and Maverick’s Top Gun led the parade in the junior exhibitor championship ahead of 16 other teams. They started with the 13 & under blue. Winners of the 14-17 qualifier, Emily Bett and Callaway’s Cassandra finished as reserve grand champions. The super horse of the country pleasure division in 1994, Havana Cabana won the Country Pleasure Driving class with Barb Hendrickson while also winning the Country Pleasure Championship and qualifier with daughter Beth Bidon in the irons. The absolutely stunning team of Desert Princess and Marcia Scott won every time out in the Western Pleasure division. Pres Oder and Catch Me were in overdrive earning yet another Roadster To Bike Championship in the famed Springfield coliseum. Oder would change divisions and win two Roadster To Wagon World's Grand Championships for the Glenn Werry family. Still early in his career, Hazard County won the Road Pony Championship with owner Rick Wallen in the silks. We sadly lost this umpteen time world's champion this past winter, however, he will long be remembered as one of the all-time greats. Rex Parkinson had Scott Newcom and Bold Spirit in peak order to sweep the amateur road pony section. Tom Bombolis was the winning trainer in the junior exhibitor road pony division with Governor Casey speeding to the blue for driver Anna Grissom. It was a good year for ponies at Midwest and some of the biggest names were present. Reedannland owned the cob-tail division starting with Dr. Alan Raun’s winning drive in the Hackney Pony Grand Championship and open class with the Kenneth Wheeler family’s Gotta Lotta Pzazz. Driving for Dr. Raun, Chris Gantley guided Ocean View to the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic title over nine other teams. Making a sweep of the division, Steve Golden drove Reedann’s Gifted Love to the Amateur Hackney Pony Championship under the direction of Dr. Raun and Gantley. Masterbilt gave a powerful show to take the Harness Pony Championship after qualifying with a blue ribbon in the open long-tail class. John Shea coached Mary Gaylord to the titles. Gib Marcucci did likewise with Mrs. Alan R. Robson and Dun-Haven Classic Contender in the Amateur Harness Pony Championship. Bold Lad and Marjorie Fergusson had won the amateur qualifier. When you talk about a line-up of Gaylord, Robson, and Fergusson you knew you had a grand pony division. Add to that Karen Frickey winning the Ladies Harness Pony class with the 1993 UPHA Harness Pony Classics Grand Champion Ballet, and this was one deep pony show with a prime time cast of drivers. Besides Ballet, Randy Harper also directed Frickey and Bristol Fashion down victory lane twice in the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony division. Coming off winning rides at Rock Creek the week before, the Pettry clan cleaned house in the equitation division at Midwest. Instructed by Kim and Fran Crumpler, Kristen Pettry rode CH High Expectations to win the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship and NHS Good Hands competition. Younger brother Tom Pettry was aboard CH Net Worth to win the 11-13 age group and the Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. From the Biggins Stable, Shawna Hattery topped the 14-17 age group and the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup. Stablemate Rebecca Myers 10 & Under Walk and Trot Champion and the UPHA Walk and Trot Challenge Cup winner to keep the Biggins banner filled with winning prizes. The 550 entries that made up Midwest ‘94 were world class in each and every division. Many of them went on to make victory passes in Freedom Hall that August and a good number of that year’s champions had long and illustrious careers with different owners. You think back and the memories of Blue Chipper, Gypsy Supreme, Worthy’s Top Gun, Tango Rhythm, Caraway, Fantastic Step, Foxfire’s Prophet, Devoted To The Cause, Utopian Melody, Havana Cabana, Hazard County, Bold Spirit, Bold Lad, and Ballet grow stronger with the years that have passed. Lexington and Louisville could not have a better cast of grand champions and these were just a handful of the stars from 1994.

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