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Midwest - One of the Best



by Bob Funkhouser and Michelle Krentz

"When we were down south (Asheville and Bonnie Blue) a couple of people asked me, ‘Is Midwest really as good as everyone makes it out to be?’ and I had to tell them, yes," said Andy Freseth of Hollow Haven Farm mid-way through the 69th Annual Midwest Charity Horse Show. "This really is an incredible show in every regard."

This writer and legions of others whole-heartedly agree with Freseth. There are other shows outside the borders of the Bluegrass State that are competitive and have their attributes, however, Midwest stands out as a complete horse show right up there with the best of them and when it’s all said and done, your girth better be tight because there are few, if any, places to win an easy blue. Even the Morgan division, which might only have two or three in a class, will feature world champions every time the gate opens.

The industry, namely the UPHA, has honored the Midwest Charity several times over the past decade and manager/president Judy Kjellander and her directors continue to excel, however, the roots to this show’s greatness lie in its history. The foundation for its great competitiveness began decades ago with the likes of Chat Nichols, Ben Segalla, the Parkinson brothers (Max and Rex), Tom and Donna Moore, Lloyd Teater, J.P. Wheeler, Ron and Don Hulse, R.S. Palmer, Dale and Glenda Pugh, John Shea, Pres Oder, Bill Matton, Eugene Kennedy, Dr. Alan Raun, Dick and Jeanette Durant, Gib Marcucci, Bonnie Byrne, Dick Obenauf, Jimmy Miller, Kim Crumpler, Bill Sutton, Sonny Sutton, Virgil Helm, Johnny Jones, Tom Stone and countless others. A few of those stars are still around sending champions to the prestigious Midwest winner’s circle, but the new guard has done quite well to uphold the great tradition established by the above Hall of Famers.

That tradition, continuous upgrades to an already outstanding facility and hospitality second to none are what have kept the top trainers and owners returning to Springfield, Illinois, and the Illinois State Fairgrounds every June for 69 years now. June 15-19 were this year’s dates and with typical Illinois summer weather, it ranged from hot to comfortable and then back to hot. That was the temperature, not the show ring conditions - they stayed HOT the entire time with explosive performance after explosive performance from the famed coliseum.

Outstanding young horses in every division, double digit juvenile and amateur classes five and six world’s champions deep, and open champions that gave you goose-bumps are what Sandy Lilly, Merrill Murray and John Whalen had to deal with as judges from start to finish. The parade of champions that passed in front of photographer Doug Shiflet was a Who’s Who of talent, many of which have already worn Louisville roses and many others, which will be contending for Louisville 2010 honors.

Midwest features two sessions a day - 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Announcer David "Tuffy" Owens was right there for it all starting with Corbin Smith and Coco Loco winning Class 1, Show Pleasure Driving 38 & Under, and ending with Class 207 the Five-Gaited Grand Championship which was a barn burner that went to the sensational six-year-old mare who was the Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Champion Of Champions last year, Callaway’s Annabel Allison.

"I have the best seat in the house, bar none," said Owens. "Plus, I get the advantage of going through the class sheets before the session, so I know where the really big moments are going to be throughout the night. To have that anticipation build up and then get to see the performances unfold is an absolute blast to be a part of for someone who has grown up in this business. You're talking about a horse show that was my favorite one as a kid, with some of the very best horses in the country, and I get to sit in the middle of it all and try to do what I can to highlight those outstanding performers. That's not a bad position to be in." 

If there was anything that resembled a "disappointment" it was the fact that numbers in the open divisions were small, but the caliber of those few entries was off the charts. In the Five-Gaited Championship for instance you had the 2008 World’s Champion Five-Gaited Gelding and the 2009 Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Champion Of Champions going head to head with a crowd-pleasing dark horse.

We have been waiting the return to the ring of World’s Champion Bravo Blue and his new trainer Bob Brison. They did not disappoint. It was nearly a year ago that Debbie Foley debuted Callaway’s Annabel Allison at Shelby County to launch her quick rise to stardom. These are the two that Mark Turner and his Glenn Werry-owned, unknown star, Heir Comes The Man, had to deal with and the Saturday night crowd loved every minute of it.

It was the explosive, six-year-old mare, Annabel Allison, emerging with the tricolor. This marks the second consecutive year Debbie Foley won Midwest’s Five-Gaited Championship and both were with Callaway Hills bred entries; last year’s (Callaway’s Karla) by Blue Norther, this year’s by CH Caramac.

"At this time last year she had been to one show in her whole life," Foley said of Annabel Allison. "I couldn’t show her in the open division because I had Karla competing there and this mare wasn’t ready to handle it. I put her in the ladies division, which was the right thing to do, but this year she is ready for the open division. I’m not saying this because she’s mine, but she is the real deal. She has the power and excitement that a stake horse needs. "Last year I rode her defensively, now I can ask things of her. She’s finally close to being broke. She’s the gamest sister I’ve ever ridden; she’d go through a wall if I asked her to."

Similar to the gaited stake, the talent in the Three-Gaited Championship was ridiculous. There was a Junior World’s Champion Of Champions, a Reserve National Champion and a many times regional champion who was third in the World’s Grand Championship last year. The Sir William Robert-sired 2009 Reserve National Champion was the star on this night with owner/rider Dena Lopez in the irons. This time last year Let’s Talk had just won the Denver Junior Five-Gaited class at Asheville. Sporting a haircut in November, he now represents his sire as a high class Three-Gaited Grand Champion.

Moving from the amateur division, 2009 Amateur Fine Harness World’s Champion Of Champions Lace’s Last Tango opted for the Open Fine Harness Championship making it a three-horse title bout like the other two open events. Parading as a harness horse should, this grand entertainer could not be turned back with owner Priscilla Marconi as elegant and determined as ever.

Midwest fans also witness a top of the line Morgan Park Saddle Champion. Jim Lowry, the trainer of the above mentioned Lace’s Last Tango, came through the gate on three-year-old Cedar Creek Flambeau (Astronomicallee x Cedar Creek Wind Chime) and never looked back. The 2009 Junior World Champion Stallion and Reserve World Champion Park Harness Two-Year-Old wowed spectators from all breeds with his athleticism and brilliance under saddle for owner/breeder Cedar Creek Farm.

A gifted, but sometimes erratic Reserve World’s Champion Four-Year-Old Road Pony in 2009, Twin Willow’s McDreamy had a great winter of training for Dr. Alan Raun and owner Deborah Jahn and has been hitting on all cylinders this year causing Dr. Raun to exclaim, "This might be the best one I’ve ever had."

In the bigger version for speedsters, Raymond Shively and five-time World’s Grand Champion Big Red continued a Midwest tradition of great road horses that began decades ago. This tradition has been fostered through the years with Shively carrying the torch the past several.

The Saddlebred and Hackney amateur, ladies and juvenile classes were absolutely as good as they will get until we’re sitting in the air conditioning of Freedom Hall this August. Gaited, park, cob-tail, long-tail, pleasure, walk-trot, pleasure driving, it didn’t matter, classes were filled with big shooters at every intersection and there stories are told in our divisional coverage of this issue.

One story that did emerge above all others from that part of the week was It’s Dan The Man. Last year Dr. Alan Raun showed the absolutely chiseled son of It’s Hammertime here for the first time under Anna Marie Knipp’s ownership. She had purchased the then junior harness colt following his win at Chapter 5 that May. His performance at Midwest 2009 had them all talking and of course he went on to be the Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion Of Champions with Dr. Raun and then finished the year under the direction of High Spirits Farm trainer Nikki Harrison to win the UPHA/American Royal Junior Fine Harness blue.

Just out of the junior division It’s Dan The Man is now Knipp’s amateur horse and warmed up with two nice wins at Chapter 5 before taking on the very best at Midwest. For the past three or four years the Amateur Fine Harness classes at Midwest have been as good as ANY amateur class in the country and this year was no different.

Among the likes of 2009 Amateur Fine Harness World’s Champion Of Champions Lace’s Last Tango, world’s champions Simbara’s Exclamation, CH Cary’s Moonraker, Arc’s I Can Teach You To Tango, CH Revolver and Callaway’s Preservation, It’s Dan The Man paraded down the straightaways with such brilliance and animation that he brought down the house both times with Knipp grinning like a young girl on Christmas morning.

The combination of It’s Dan The Man and Anna Marie Knipp also had the judges grinning as Dan was unanimously voted Best Of Show by the panel. A unique award that was started four or five years ago, Best Of Show is a horse or pony of any breed as determined by the judging panel. The judges, spectators and even the competitors agreed he was spectacular.

"It was a huge thrill to not only be in there against those horses whom I have greatly admired, but to know that we can compete with them as well," exclaimed Knipp. "I am just thrilled. Mother and I both said we’ve never had a horse or pony that so many people have said nice things about. We thought he was a nice horse when we bought him, but he has exceeded our expectations. Nikki [Harrison] was in a no win situation with him but she has done a tremendous job. I didn’t get to drive him between Chapter 5 and here and she had him perfect for me.

"As nice as this is, it is a very bittersweet thing. It’s very difficult because there is still a void without Jimmy [Miller]."

Besides being entertained by the incredibly competitive amateur, ladies and junior exhibitor riders and drivers, the Midwest audience is treated to a preview of the industry’s future each year as some of the greatest young horses in the country show here. There’s no fair way to talk about only one or two so read about all of the thrilling performances in the divisional coverage. I think it’s safe to say a high percentage of Midwest winners in the young horse divisions will have a good shot at wearing world’s titles at the end of August.

With the excitement emitted from the coliseum ring to the nightly parties, the 69th Annual Midwest Charity Horse Show sent people home excited to be in the show horse industry and really excited they were at Midwest. The 580 horses that occupied more than 900 stalls brought everyone together for one of the best equine appreciation weeks of the summer. Whether you have competitive regional entries or world-class stock, Morgans, Saddlebreds or Hackneys, Midwest is a must if you want to experience one of the best!

Five-Gaited

The stallion/gelding and mare qualifiers set the stage for a star-studded championship. In the mare class, Debbie Foley guided last year’s Ladies’ World’s Champion of Champions, Callaway’s Annabel Allison to the victory. Catalyst’s Work Of Art, made a strong comeback to win reserve with Andy Freseth up for Nancy Leigh Fisher. This team did not show back, but gained a lot of positive attention at the show after their crowd-pleasing performance.

In the stallion/gelding class, crowd support seemed to be split between Bravo Blue and the somewhat new kid on the block, Heir Comes The Man. Of course Bravo Blue was a stunning World’s Champion in 2008 with Virgil Helm up, and he looked stronger and more mature with Bob Brison riding for Theresa Vonderschmitt at Midwest. Heir Comes The Man was a sight in Asheville with Faye Wuesthofen, but after suffering a leg injury, she was not able to show him at Midwest, leaving Mark Turner to show him. After passes of racking and trotting up a storm, Faye might never get her horse back because Mark looked to be having so much fun! Bravo Blue won the blue, and Heir Comes The Man was reserve.

In the championship, it was clear that every person in the crowd had a favorite. Crowd support was equally divided among Annabel Allison, Bravo Blue, and Heir Comes The Man. Foley, Brison, and Turner each rode the hair off their horses riding for that tricolor. In the end, it was the ladies’ night to take the victory pass. Bravo Blue and Heir Comes The Man ended up second and third respectively. This was Foley’s second consecutive Midwest Five-Gaited Championship as she won with Callaway’s Karla last year.

After a tune-up at F.A.S.H. with Kenny Smith, where Our Sweet Addison was the Five-Gaited Jackpot Champion, the mare was all ready for Barbara Goodman Manilow to step up for the ladies’ showdown at Midwest. It was just last year at Midwest where the brilliant, chestnut mare made her debut for the Goodman-Manilow family to win the mare class with Kenny Smith and the support of many fans. Later in the year, at the Royal, the mare was the Five-Gaited Reserve National Champion. In her always-energetic and ears up way, Our Sweet Addison won both ladies classes with Barbara in high fashion. Always a crowd favorite, and last year’s Ladies National Champion, Callaway’s Born To Win and Gayle Lampe were reserve in both classes. Even at 17 years of age, it is clear that Born To Win loves his job, and Miss Lampe’s big smile shows that she loves riding him.

This year’s Amateur Ladies Five-Gaited Championship was the UPHA Pink Ribbon class. The crowd showed their full support by wearing pink, as did many of the exhibitors, some even braiding with pink ribbon. After a successful year of getting to know each other last year, which resulted in a Reserve World’s Championship, as well as a win at the Royal, Most Definitely Diamonds and Ellyn Dorsey are most definitely a pair to watch this season. The big powerful mare, paired with Ellyn’s quiet, yet effective riding, and Lisa Strickland’s skilled instruction, make them a match that is unmatched. They won both amateur ladies’ classes. Reserve in both classes went to CH Freaky Links and Angela Darrow. For most juvenile riders, their first year as adult amateurs is a sort of transitional year, where they get their feet wet, however "Freaky" and Angela are an exception. Although they were always a powerful match in the juvenile ranks, they seemed to have stepped it up this year, to earn reserve finishes in both of the extremely competitive Amateur Ladies’ classes.

After watching Gabe Deknatel ride a horse and play a guitar, it is a wonder if there is anything he cannot do. He does both with so much skill and enthusiasm, and the week of Midwest he was able to do both. After winning the Amateur Gentlemen’s class and the Amateur Five-Gaited tri-color on Friday evening with the equally talented, The Daily Lottery, Gabe was off to Louisville to headline a show with his band, 30 Spokes at a great venue, Headliner’s on Saturday evening. Reserve in the championship went to the amateur qualifier winner, I’m Something Wicked and proud owner, Theresa Vonderschmitt. This wickedly talented team came to Midwest with wins from Des Moines and Chapter 5. Kenny Smith also tuned up Red Flame Thrower at F.A.S.H. for Barbara Goodman Manilow to win the Open Five-Gaited Class there. The fiery gelding was ready to go to earn a great reserve finish in the amateur class. Continuing their already successful season, Bourbon Sky and William Marple were reserve in the gentlemen’s class.

The juvenile championship was a battle of last year’s World’s Champion of Champions. Stravinsky and Brittany McGinnis wore the flower blanket last year in the senior division, while CH Sprinkles and Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes wore it in the junior division. Both teams came into the championship with qualifier wins, and both rode for the tricolor in the stake class. After it was all said and done Stravinsky was the champion and CH Sprinkles was reserve, both under the DeLovely banner. Andrew Slater put out a fight to get into the mix aboard his talented Kalarama-trained entry, Fight Night. They rounded out the top three. Indigo Joe and Claire Talley put on an impressive show for a reserve finish in the 14-17 qualifier, while Happy Again and Jessica Cloud did a great job for the red ribbon in the 13 & Under class.

Every horse that Bob Brison showed or put into the ring at Midwest was a quality horse through and through. His Novice Five-Gaited Winner, Nutrageous was no exception. By Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of a CH Caramac mare, this elegant, yet powerful chestnut mare performed five distinct gaits in an impressive manner for owner, Theresa Vonderschmitt. By Buck’s Co-Star and out of the decorated mare, CH Take My Picture, Belle Reve’s So Photogenic took on the aged horses to gain the reserve finish at just four years of age. Bret Day skillfully guided the colt through his gaits for owners Elizabeth Shatner and Dorothy Anderson.

Just last year, Marc Of Charm made his under saddle debut at Midwest to a blue ribbon. He has not been beaten since. He went on to win the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stake at Junior League as well as a blue at Louisville, all with Lionel Ferreira aboard. In his debut this year he was crowned the Junior Five-Gaited Champion at Midwest again with Ferreira for Riverdreams LLC and again with great support from the gracious crowd. Reserve honors in the junior class went to Grand Master Flash and Virgil Helm. By I’m A New Yorker and out of a Fox Creek Mare, this stretchy chestnut gelding, owned by Roberta Rassieur is one to watch for.

Bob Brison has another talented filly in Eastside. The bay filly is as elegant and long-necked as they come, but has the power that all great gaited horses need. She won the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited class for Theresa Vonderschmitt in her under saddle debut. She is by A Superb Manhattan and out of a CF First Night Out mare. The Briney Family has a talented young star in HS Kiss My Grits who was reserve in the class with Paula Jo Briney aboard. By Callaway’s Northern Kiss and out of an Attaché mare, the classy chestnut gelding has a whole lot of talent.

Brison also won the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic, also aboard a Vonderschmitt entry. He’s Here For The Party was also the classic winner at Des Moines and Chapter Five in his debut year showing. By Designed To Win, whose first foal crop was born in 2006, and out of a Northern Blues mare, this gifted chestnut gelding has all the parts of a great gaited horse. Chuck Herbert showed Nuttin’ To Lose last year to the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness win at Midwest, and then onto the American Saddlebred Registry’s Kentucky Futurity Two Year-Old Fine Harness World’s Championship for Edward and Thomas Elliott. Still owned and trained by the same people, Nuttin’ To Lose was reserve in the Classic class proving that the Undulata’s Nutcracker/Supreme Heir mare cross is magical.

Three-Gaited

The Three-Gaited Championship culminated in much the same fashion as the Five-Gaited. Only three horses showed back, but each one was spectacular in its own right. Let’s Talk, another athletic Sir William Robert product, began last year as an impressive gaited horse but by the Royal he was trimmed and earned the Reserve National Championship title in the open division. That momentum has carried into this year where they have already won at River Ridge and Asheville. At Midwest, Dena Lopez rode her lovely liver chestnut to win two tough classes, the Three-Gaited Championship and the over two class. Reserve in both classes belonged to Soquili’s Georgia Kracker and Bob Brison. Last year’s Junior Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions, as well as the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic Grand Champion the year before, this fabulous horse needs little introduction. This horse is also part of Theresa Vonderschmitt’s decorated show string. The Road Less Traveled, another big name walk/trot horse won the under two class with Jim Lowry aboard for the Thomas R. Brock Family. The animated gelding rounded out the grand top three in the championship.

Five times a World’s Champion, CH New York’s Perfect Gift was in top form to win both Ladies’ classes with owner Betsy Thomas. Under the direction of John and Tammie Conatser’s Carriage Lane Farm, they also came home with both ladies’ wins from Bonnie Blue. The reserve title in the championship went to another decorated mare, CH Sue-She. The tall and stretchy bay mare, teamed with her tall and graceful owner, Ericka Nelson, rode hard and smart for their title under the direction of Hollow Haven. Reserve honors in the qualifier went to the elegant pair of Ro & Me’s Lady Godiva. Just a five-year-old Lady Godiva and Andrea Nicole Perry Block have already made quite the mark in the ladies’ division with wins and reserves from Kentucky Spring Premier and Asheville under the DeLovely banner.

Last year Hilheiry Duff and Lisa Strickland were absolute sensations to win junior walk-trot classes at Midwest, Lexington, Louisville, and the All-American. Now a well-known five-year-old, the stretchy Supreme Heir daughter is paired with her owner, Mimi Bachall. The team made their debut at Indy a blue one, and at Midwest they won both the Amateur Ladies’ Championship and the amateur under two class in perfect form. Mr. Center Stage and Theresa Vonderschmitt, last year’s amateur under two World’s Champions, were reserve in the under two class. Reserve in the stake class went to last year’s 13 & Under Three-Gaited World’s Champion of Champions, CH She’s My Desire BH. Paired this year Joellen Fisher Blount, they also won the amateur ladies qualifier under the direction of DeLovely. Kate Baumann put in a perfect ride aboard Callaway’s Campaign Manager to pick up the red ribbon in the amateur ladies class, also under the direction of Lisa Strickland.

Last year’s "Best In Show" CH Marching Orders, who at the age of nine is a 10-time World’s Champion, was this year’s Amateur Three-Gaited Grand Champion and over two champion with Barbara Goodman Manilow under the direction of Kenny Smith. Reserve to Marching Orders in both classes went to a horse who fits his name to a "t," CH Mega Star. Paired with proud owner, Coe London this team came into Midwest undefeated this season. Mega Star was destined to be a walk-trot star since his dam is the one and only World’s Grand Champion CH Hollywood Excellence (BHF).

Two very nice horses and two great riders showed up for the Amateur Gentlemen’s class. The King’s Lady Anne and Murphy McSemek rode away with the blue for Debra Hoffman under the direction of Ray Krussell. CH Highland Cavalier and Jason Gershman were reserve for BRK Equestrians under the Northern Tradition banner.

A three-time World’s Grand Champion, CH An Heir About Her, definitely still has that heir. Paired with the skilled young rider, Marjorie Townsend, the mare still has her famous elegant sparkle. Remaining undefeated this season, the grand pair won both 14-17 Three-Gaited classes under the direction of Missy Hughes. Winners from Bonnie Blue, the highly decorated CH Heathermoor’s Prince and Emily Druckman were reserve in both classes under the Carriage Lane banner.

The 13 & Under Three-Gaited division was a flip-flop from qualifier to championship. In the qualifier it was the DeLovely-trained entry of The Great Gaspar and Eleanor Rainbolt Forbes. Heired Up won the championship with Katilyn Creekmore aboard under the direction of Hollow Haven. Both combinations are absolutely adorable, and both horses are closely related. Heired Up boasts Simbara’s Special Someone as his first dam, while The Great Gaspar is out of Special Someone’s dam, the grand, Denmark’s Radiant Society (BHF).

Just a four-year-old, The Mighty Mouse took home the Novice Three-Gaited blue. Owned by Silver Brook Stables and by Sir William Robert and out of a CH Caramac mare, The Mighty Mouse was shown by George Schmid. Stock Up was reserve in the class with Tammie Conatser aboard. They came into Midwest with a win at Bonnie Blue.

The stands were buzzing before the Junior Three-Gaited class. It seemed everyone knew that Call Me Regal was about to come in, and when he did, he did not disappoint. Call Me Regal has never been defeated in performance and he has been a World’s Champion since he was a yearling, and every year since then. With a freaky headset and motion to boot, Call Me Regal took the victory pass in the junior class with Kenny Smith for Barbara Goodman Manilow. Last year’s UPHA Three-Gaited Classic National Champion, Re-Energized was reserve in the junior class with Virgil Helm aboard.

Two nice entries showed in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class. Winning the class was Double Charmed with Lana Gilpin. By the Gilpin Family’s nice stud Peri Rich, and out of a Sultan’s Starmaker mare, this fixy chestnut gelding has a bright future ahead of him. Desdomona’s Majesty made her show ring debut at Midwest in a brave and stylish fashion. With Robert Gardiner aboard, the Landmark owned and trained entry is by Jonelle Gardiner’s stud, Simply Majestic and out of a Farr’s Thunder Road mare. He is a full sibling to Majestic’s Jackie O and a half brother to CH Tommy James.

Tom Scott has done it again. Every year he seems to have an outstanding youngster, and this year it seems to be Just Surprize Me. The well-bred mare by Deep Blue, who boasts A Day Dream Believer (BHF) as her second dam, and a Prize Contender mare as her dam has a neck that hooks just right and a fluid, easy motion that makes her a perfect three-gaited horse. Just Surprize Me and Tom Scott were the UPHA Three-Gaited Classic champions. Gypsy’s Debonaire debuted to the red ribbon. Liz Kinney guided the attractive chestnut filly by Gypsy Santana and out of a Supreme Heir mare to the red ribbon for owner/breeder James Stewart.

Three-Gaited Park

A World’s Champion just last year in the pleasure driving division, it seems that Doctor Zhivago is being prepared for brand new owner Maguire Hall for one of the under saddle divisions. Before coming to Midwest, he was the Three-Gaited Park Jackpot Stake winner with Dena Lopez, and then the team won both of Midwest’s open park classes, with Randy Cates’ assistance on the victory passes. After making his show ring debut at Midwest last year, Designed For Blue went on to win at Blue Ridge and then earn the Reserve National Championship title at the Royal. After two wins at Chapter 5, Designed For Blue and Jim Lowry were reserve in the Park championship for Tri Color Ventures Inc. A World’s Champion in harness as a three-year-old, Callaway’s Local News continues to prove her quality by earning top ribbons in classes under saddle. She was reserve in the park qualifier with Zach Duffy for Kurz Equine Investments.

CH Perfect Vengeance has been a force to be reckoned with the Amateur Park division since 2006. Making his third tri-color victory pass of the year with Tara Grom, he won the Amateur Three-Gaited Park Championship as well as the qualifier under the direction of DeLovely. Sally Winquist could not have been happier with her reserve ride in the championship aboard the breath-taking bay and last year’s Amateur Three-Gaited Park Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion, CF Burn Out. CH Princess Ruby Begonia and Nancy Leigh Fisher put in a smart and solid ride for the reserve finish in the qualifier.

First Class Heir and Brianna Meyer have created quite the list of wins since, they first showed together last year. The decorated pair added another win to their list by winning the Junior Exhibitor Park championship under the direction of Andy and Lynda Freseth. In their first season together, Brookhill’s Passion Punch and Callie Smith have already had some success, and their success carried over to Midwest where they won the juvenile park qualifier under the DeLovely banner. Coming into Midwest with seven wins already, Ya-Ya and Ashley Bryce were ready to take on some of the top teams in the division. They put in two great rides for two reserves under Jack Magill’s watchful eye.

In his debut year showing, Soquili’s Cavalier has gone three for three in the Junior Three-Gaited Park ranks by winning at Midwest. By Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of a Sultan’s Starmaker mare, the fancy colt has a ton of potential and raw talent. My Sudden Surprise, who started off the year with a Junior Park win with Lance Williamson was reserve to Cavalier with Mark Turner for Michelle Hartman. My Sudden Surprise is by Kentucky’s Aristocratic Heir and out of the Supreme King R mare, CSF Twice Supreme, who is also the dam of CH Tax Man.

Fine Harness

Last year’s Amateur Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions, Lace’s Last Tango was in top form with his always-polished owner and driver, Priscilla Marconi, to win the Open Fine Harness Championship after a reserve finish in the amateur class. The product of two world’s champions was as athletic and expressive as ever. Booger and Bret Day put in a great drive for the reserve finish in the open championship for Catherine McNeese.

Adding to wins from Kentucky Spring Premier and Rock Creek, multi-titled world’s champion Cherished King and Mary Gaylord McClean took the Open Fine Harness qualifier blue, under the direction of Melissa Moore. Everyone was glad to see Jeaneette Durant in the show ring again, especially behind a horse as nice as Platinum’s Moon Over Pluto. They were reserve in the open qualifier for Susan and Mary Narko.

It’s Dan The Man. He certainly is. He was this year’s Best In Show after winning the Amateur Fine Harness Championship and amateur qualifier with lucky owner, Anna Marie Knipp, with help from trainer, Nicole Harrison. These wins, continued his undefeated career. Just last year, with Dr. Raun, he wowed the crowd with his extreme motion, perfect headset, and his overall charisma to win the Junior Fine Harness class at Midwest, then went onto win the Junior Fine Harness World’s Champions of Championship. A year later he’s all that and stronger. Dr. Scott Cairns drove his lovely, Simbara’s Exclamation to the reserve finish in the amateur championship under the direction of Belle View Acres.

CH Cary’s Moonraker looked picture perfect to take home the ASHA Foundation Youth Fine Harness blue with the lovely, Ashlev Baird driving the grand mare under the Knollwood banner. No stranger to top prizes, Callaway’s Viscount was reserve with Caroline Rainbolt Forbes, under the direction of DeLovely.

A World’s Champion last year, Arc’s I Can Teach You To Tango looks to be a top Louisville contender again this year. Paired with owner, Ann Simien Curl, the radiant chestnut gelding won the Junior Fine Harness class under the direction of Bob Brison. Coming into Midwest with two wins from the Springfield Charity, Coco Cool and Mike Roberts were reserve in the junior class for Mary Sally Aylward.

In addition to her gifted motion and headset, World Turning has a special appeal to her that draws your eye to her instantly. This appeal led her to the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness blue at Midwest with Bret Day for Caroll Robertson Ray. In his show ring debut, Rocket Design, by Designed and out of a CH Sky Watch mare, was reserve with Lisa Strickland at the lines for Libby Mathers.

Irresistible Design’s spectacular showing in Indy moved all the rest of the competition to the three-year-old class at Midwest. Irresistible Design matched her Indy performance by winning the UPHA Fine Harness Classic at Midwest with Lisa Strickland for Saddlewood Farm. By Designed and out of I’m Irresistible Too, whom Lisa showed as a three-year-old to a World’s Championship title in harness, this breathtaking bay mare goes as high as one can go and has all the makings of a good one for Dave Woods and Bonnie Lee.

For the third year in a row, Chuck Herbert, had an outstanding two-year-old harness horse to win the blue in the division at Midwest. This year it was I’m In Heaven, who is by Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of Nancy Leigh Fisher’s wonderful walk-trot mare, Heavenly Thunder. Two years ago, this extremely talented colt won the American Saddlebred Registry’s Kentucky Futurity Weanling World’s Championship. Edward W. Elliott Jr. currently owns this extremely talented colt.

Pleasure

A Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure winner here a year ago, Take A Guess was the Adult Five-Gaited Pleasure Champion and qualifier winner with Michelle Krentz up for Mary Krentz. Headed up by the Grey Ridge team of Bret Day and Kendall Blue in both victory passes, Take A Guess has now picked up wins at River Ridge, Asheville and Midwest, all in double-digit, deep classes. In their last four classes, they have picked up all 12 possible first place votes. Owned and trained by Janet Thompson, CH Quidditch made two magical performances, earning reserve in both classes. They were reserve champions here two years ago, after winning their qualifier that year.

In a large field of competitive juvenile gaited pleasure horses, there were two horses that really stood out, each one added a win to their record at Midwest. After a reserve in the qualifier, Cara Clara won the tri-color with Marjorie Townsend aboard. Missy Hughes trains this team that won both of their classes at Chapter 5. Indy’s double winners, Callaway’s Set The Bar and Courtney Greenbank, were reserve in the championship after their qualifier win under the direction of Chuck Herbert.

Virgil Helm and Threresa Vonderschmitt have another young star in In A Nutshell. By Undulata’s Nutcracker and out of the World’s Champion mare, CH Heir Style, this nice chestnut gelding won the Junior Park Pleasure. HS Fixation, who is by Sir William Robert and out of an Attache’s Born Believer mare repeated his Asheville reserve with Debbie Foley for Hagan Saddlebreds.

When Kalarama’s New Sensation hit the show ring, all eyes were glued to her. Her first foal, Three Point Shooter has the same effect. The stretchy, animated chestnut colt, floated around the ring and he never once dropped an ear. Andy Freseth showed the outstanding colt by Undulata’s Nutcracker to the UPHA Park Pleasure Classic win for Priscilla Gise. Story To Tell a nice chestnut colt by The Mystery Writer and out of a Telemark mare was reserve with Jim Lowry in the irons for Libby Mathers.

The King and Queen of the pleasure division, Andy and Lynda Freseth have another top adult pleasure contender in Be Advised. Owned and ridden by Susan Creekmore, the fixy Merchant Prince son, who was a reserve world’s champion in the amateur over two division last year, won the Adult Show Pleasure Championship and 39 and over class in impressive style. Reserve honors in the championship, after the 18-38 win, went to 2006’s Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions, Night Sight. Ivy Johnson did a great job navigating the big, handsome gelding in both classes for Cedarledge Farm, while Bret and Susi Day directed the fine duo. Grey Ridge also trains the 39 and over reserve champion, Callaway’s Blue Ginger, who was ridden by Linda Fischer for Candy Hyman’s Hy Horse Farm. This lovely pair rounded out the top three in the championship. Callaway’s Colate and Jill Gibson were reserve in the 18-38 class under the direction of Jimmy and Brandi Bushard.

Last year in her last season as a 13 and under rider, Jessie Wuesthofen was unstoppable with CH Brookhill’s King Of Kool to win the 13 and Under Show Pleasure World’s Champions of Champions title. Now in the senior age group, the grand team, seems to be headed in the same direction. They won both 14-17 show pleasure classes at Midwest to add to the two they picked up from Asheville. The Majestic and Maya Manilow, who are also in their first year in the senior division, and were reserve to Jessie and "King" in the championship last year at Louisville, were reserve in both classes.

After a reserve finish in the qualifier, Heir’s Halo and Kaitlyn Creekmore won the tri-color in the championship. Hollow Haven trains this adorably picture perfect team. After a successful trimmed season, the crew at Cascade Stables grew Vuarnet’s mane out over the winter. It turned out to be a very good decision as he was reserve in the championship with good-riding William Nalty. CH Tax Man, last year’s Adult Show Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions was the qualifier winner, with Jessica Cloud aboard under Jack Magill’s watchful eye.

Formerly known as the Land Of Lincoln division, the Illinois Resident Three-Gaited Show Pleasure class was well-filled once again. Teamed together since his junior season in 2008, Seaforth’s Heiristotle and Diane Nyhammer were double winners in this division. By CH The King Of Highpoint and out of a Supreme Heir mare, Heiristotle works high in the bridle under the direction of Lisa Strickland. They were also 36-and-Over winners at Lexington just last year. Reserve in the championship went to Debra Hoffman and First Night Vision. Directed by Krussell Stables, this week was one of their best weeks together as a team, with two consistent performances. First Night Vision is by CF First Night Out. Last year’s champion, Stonecroft Serengetti was reserve in the qualifier for Kristen Pettry. Directed by the Country Meadow team, this big, pretty gelding is consistently in the top ribbons all over the Midwest.

Margaux Walker expertly guided Man At The Helm to the Novice Rider Show Pleasure win under the direction of Country Meadow Farm. The adorable blondes, Moriah’s Catnip and Brynn Lunas were reserve in that class under the direction of Kris and Kara Martalock.

Adding another win to the five Itunes has already collected this year, he won the Junor Show Pleasure Championship with great jockey, Joan Cantrell aboard. After earning a qualifier win, the always-smiling Tracy Garcia was reserve in the championship aboard her lovely black mount, The Agateer. Kristen Gardiner’s newest horse, Callaway’s Law And Order was reserve in the qualifier under the Landmark banner.

The combination of Karrie Graham and A Cinderella Story is truly a real life fairy tale. When Karrie is driving her, the love for her horse and the sport is very clear. These two princesses won both the Show Pleasure Driving Championship and 39 and over classes under the direction of Jim and Fay Lowry. Madison winners, Coco Loco and Corbin Smith won the 38 and under class and came back with a strong reserve in the extremely competitive championship. This dynamic duo is trained by Mark and Toni Utoft. Double winners from Great River and Nebraska, CH Callaway’s Queen Of Crimson and Susan Aschenbrenner were reserve in the 39 and over class under the direction of Amanda Simpson. Under the direction of Krussell Stables, the elegant bay, Steeling Home was reserve in the 38 and under class with proud owner, Tiffani Banaszak.

Ashley Bair dominated the ASHA Junior Exhibitor Driving Challenges, by winning the fine harness with CH Cary’s Moonraker, as well as the pleasure driving with her chromed out chestnut mare, Alicia Silverstone. He’s Got It All and Tabitha Zimmerman were reserve.

Country Pleasure

In two giant adult country pleasure classes, two horses really stood out amongst the crowd. Those two horses being, League Of Nations and Jessie Cole. The World’s Champion of Champions from this division last year, League Of Nations and Carol Hillenbrand topped both classes with his always expressive attitude. They triumphed under the Carriage Lane Farm banner. Representing Hollow Haven, Jessie Cole and Amanda Dellinger were reserve in both classes and captured their share of audience support as well.

With his bold-moving trot and ears up attitude, it is hard to deny CH Teuschers. He won the Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure Championship with proud owner Rebecca Boorstein aboard, with the help of her trainers, Jim and Fay Lowry. Qualifier winner and Reserve World’s Champion of Champions from the 13 and under division last year, CH CF First Light Of Dawn and Maya Manilow were reserve in the championship under the direction of Skyline Stables. World’s champion Kabu and Ashley Baird put in a strong show for the reserve in the qualifier under the Knollwood banner.

The top two horses flip-flopped from the qualifier to the championship in the Illinois Resident Country Pleasure division. Teamed together since time immemorial, CH Bella Marietta and Claudia Gardner Sipp earned the tri-color in the championship. With wins already this year at Mid-America Spring, FASH, and Madison Classic, this Winsome Farm-trained team just continues to win everywhere they go. A world’s champion in the Country Pleasure division, Concrete Blonde was reserve in the championship after having won the qualifier. Trimmed in blonde with a big white blaze, Concrete Blonde was the champion of this class a year ago, once again with Kristen Pettry aboard under the direction of Country Meadow Farm.

For the ninth year in a row Callaway’s Pretty Penny and Nancy Anderson were the Country Pleasure Driving Grand Champions. They were also the qualifier champions and have spent all nine years under the direction of Hollow Haven. Callaway’s Cumulus and Susan Aschenbrenner looked fabulous for a reserve finish in the championship, while Carissimo and Donna Beck put in a great show for reserve in the qualifier.

CH Star Spangled Steel began his career as an undefeated three-year-old in the harness division. In his four-year-old year he was a reserve world’s champion in the junior harness division as well as the ASHAF Youth Fine Harness Driving Challenge winner, In 2006, he won one of the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure 13 and under splits to be crowned a World’s Champion. Now in 2010, he is finding success in a brand new division, Western. Coming into Midwest he already had seven Western blues under his belt buckle and this week he added a tri-color by winning the Western Pleasure Championship, as well as a red ribbon. His proud and loving owner, Ashley Baird rode "Ed" to these titles with the help of trainer, Mayo Moctezuma. Independent Asset and Claudia Gardner Sipp have also had a very successful year thus far. At Midwest they were reserve in the Western championship after winning the Shatner class. Worthy One’s Party Dude picked up his third win of the season by winning the Country Western pleasure class with owner, Megan Novak aboard. CH The Kings Man and Megan Dragich were reserve in the Shatner class.

Midwest Morgans

The Morgan division continued the theme of world titled entries showing off for the appreciative Midwest audience. Cedar Creek Flambeau had representatives from all breeds at the show turn their heads and go, "Who is that?!" The big-moving chestnut was last year’s World Champion Junior Stallion and Two-Year-Old Park Harness Reserve World Champion. In his saddle debut at Midwest, the Astronomicallee son captured the park saddle blue and tricolor with Jim Lowry in the irons for proud owner/breeders Larry Bolen and Robert Burger of Cedar Creek Farm. Stan Bodnar teamed up with Richard and Nan Cecchettini’s multi-titled performer The Real Deal for the reserve finish in both classes.

Last year’s Reserve World Champion in the Three-Year-Old Futurity Park Saddle class, Springmill Ring Of Fire returned to the harness division where he won a world title in 2008. He stepped up with two bold performances to win the Park Harness Stake and junior class. Kurt Hufferd guided the bold-performing Nostradamus son for Springmill Morgans.

Cosmo’s Gabriella was in a class of her own to win the UPHA Park Harness Classic with Rick Wallen at the lines for Susie Weiss.

A Reserve National Champion in the English Pleasure Ladies’ Amateur Mare class last year, MEM Twisted Sister won the English Pleasure Saddle Championship and ladies’ class with Lynn Begalla riding under the Peeper Ranch banner. WWW Virtual Reality was reserve in the championship after making the victory pass in the English Pleasure Saddle Open class earlier in the week with Stan Bodnar aboard for Equine Holdings and Careless Morgans.

Grand National Champions from the English Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 12 and 13 year-old class last year, RWF Walk In The Park and Jennifer Lorenz continued their undefeated season to win the Amateur English Pleasure Saddle Championship and juvenile class. Hello Kitty was reserve in the amateur championship after the amateur qualifier win with Kay Schroeder for Cadence Farm. Both entries compete under the direction of Phil Fountain and Kristen Tramposh of Peeper Ranch.

The Junior English Pleasure class featured a pair of last year’s world titled three-year-olds returning to battle for top honors. Last year’s World Champion Futurity English Pleasure Three-Year-Old, RWJ Commanding Topic, won the class with Phil Fountain aboard the handsome stallion for owner/breeder Robert Jones M.D. Indian Creek Bellagio who was the World Champion in the Open English Pleasure Three-Year-Olds class was reserve with Kurt Hufferd providing a top ride for Indian Creek Morgan Farm.

The theme of reigning World Champions continued as 2009 Pleasure Driving World Champion Fox Hollow Talk About Me impressed the Midwest audience with his presence and personality. Stan Bodnar guided the sporty chestnut to the Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor along with the crowd’s applause for Redwood Partners. The current Four-Year-Old Pleasure Driving World Champion, Indian Creek Warbird was reserve in both classes with Kurt Hufferd on the lines of the polished performer for Indian Creek Morgan Farm. MEM Bad Boy and owner William Shean turned in a pair of stellar drives to add the Amateur Pleasure Driving blue and tricolor to the Indian Creek Farm banner as well.

In just her second show ring appearance, The Fashionista won the junior class with Kurt Hufferd at the lines of the Mizrahi daughter for Kings Point. Unraveled, last year’s Grand National Champion Three-Year-Old Mare was reserve with Whitney Bodnar for Equine Holdings and Careless Morgans.

Whitney Bodnar was also at the lines with Cingate Starry Night to win the UPHA Morgan Pleasure Driving Classic for Cingate Morgans. Just last year this team was the Reserve World Champion in the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving class. JW Major Impression and Kurt Hufferd were reserve for Judy Whitney Harris. This nice horse was the Reserve Grand National Champion in the Pleasure Driving Two-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding class last year.

Ensbrook Chain Of Command continued his winning season by capturing both classic pleasure driving classes with Cristopher Hufferd enjoying his time in the winner’s circle for Champions Way.

Flintwood Cracker Jack added two more wins to his already successful season, by winning the Western Pleasure Championship and Western Pleasure Amateur class with Laine Thomas presenting under the direction of Lowry Stables for TVT Morgans. World Champion Bear’s Covergirl, who already had two wins under her belt this year was reserve in the championship after winning the open western pleasure class with Kristen Tramposh for Peeper Ranch. AMHF Bal Du Masque was reserve in the Open Western Pleasure class with Shanna Gish as well as the reserve in the amateur class with John Huse.

Remaining undefeated this year, last year’s World Champion Hunter Pleasure Ladies’ horse, Toast Of Broadway won the Hunter Pleasure Championship and ladies’ class with Jessica Butler. Already a winner in his first year showing, PJB Henri won the Hunter Pleasure Amateur class and was reserve in the championship with Jane Blackburn. Henri also won the open class with Kristen Tramposh. It was another tricolor sweep for Peeper Ranch.

Ponies

Last year, Dr. Raun showed Twin Willow’s McDreamy to the delight of the whole crowd. It seemed that the more the crowd cheered, the higher the pony waved its legs. Going six for six in wins this year, he was Midwest’s Road Pony Grand Champion and champion for Deborah Jahn. Passing Lane and Rick Wallen sped away with the reserve honors for Mike and Jane Schallock.

The amateur division featured a battle of explosive world’s champions. After a reserve in the qualifier, last year’s Amateur Pony World’s Champion of Champions, Regal’s Trademark LF won the Amateur Road Pony Championship for the second year in a row with owner, Mary Gaylord McClean representing Golden Creek Farms. Last year’s 50 Inches and Under World’s Champion, Romeo’s Kristy Lee LF was reserve in the championship after a qualifying win with Mary Gise taking the winning ribbons back to the Hollow Haven tack room.

Max Kaplan always seems to have top of the line ponies, and Late Nite’s Basic Impact is no exception. This team continued their undefeated season by winning the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony class. Also undefeated going into Midwest was Dun Haven Majestic Motion. This nice pony and Foster Roberts were reserve in the AHHS class, but won the junior exhibitor class for Denise Steinhauer. Madison Classic’s Road Pony Grand Champion with John Willis, Regal’s Lady Bess LF was reserve in the juvenile class with smart-driving, Hannah Klint.

Toni Nastali has added another star to her string in, Sugarland. Maureen Campbell drove the exciting pony to the Novice Road Pony win at Asheville, but it was Toni’s turn to turn it on at Midwest, where she won the limit class. Golden Creek’s Perfection’s Souvenir was reserve in the limit class with Tom Lowry at the lines.

Tom Lowry also drove Sis O’ Six to success at Midwest, where she was the Junior Road Pony Champion, as well as the UPHA Road Pony Classic Reserve Champion for Golden Creek. Already a winner in the classics from Pro-Am and Bonnie Blue, Heartland Resplendent, who is by the incredible Heartland High Tech, was reserve in the junior class with Holli Hayes driving for Gene and Ann Gallmeier. Heartland Dressed To Impress won the UPHA Road Pony Classic for the second year in row. Last year owner Darrel Kolkman was driving, but this year it was Holli Hayes.

Michigan’s Bellagio won the Harness Pony Grand Championship after a reserve in the qualifier with Gib Marcucci at the lines for Frank Boyd. The Amateur Gentlemens Harness Pony World’s Champion last year, Twin Willow’s Handsome Dan repeated his Rock Creek win to earn the blue in the Open Harness Pony class with Mary Gaylord McClean driving this leg-waving long-tail.

Just like in the Amateur Road Pony Championship, the results of the Amateur Harness Pony Championship switch the first and second place finishers. Also, just like in the road pony finale, the two drivers were Mary Gise and Mary McClean. Heartland Expectation, last year’s Amateur Harness Pony World’s Champion of Champions won the Amateur Harness Pony championship after a reserve in the ladies’ qualifier earlier in the week. Expectation was true to form with owner Mary Gise. The Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in Expectation’s same class, Last Call won the ladies’ qualifier and was reserve in the championship with Mary Gaylord McClean at the lines after also winning at Rock Creek the week before. Neal Loeb added another win to the two he earned from Madison Classic by winning the Amateur Gentlemen’s Harness Pony class with Lightning Up.

In the pony’s debut year showing, Heartland Sunshine Song is two for two, as it won the Open Harness Pony class at Pro-Am and the Limit Harness Pony class at Midwest with Holli Hayes for owners/breeders Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman. Private Eye LF was reserve in his show ring debut with Erik Kirsch driving for owner/breeder Dan and Leah Light.

Two for two this year in the UPHA Harness Pony Classic, Michigan’s Striking Image won with Maureen Campbell at the lines for Kay Marschel. Making Waves won this class last year, and put in a good reserve drive this year with Gib Marcucci for Larry Schultz.

For the second year in a row the high going Heartland Undeniable was the Hackney Pony Grand Champion. Kate Frieberg drove for Reedannland and the talented pony also won the qualifier, continuing their undefeated season. Lovie Smith was reserve in both classes in his debut show of the season with Gib Marcucci showing for Muffy Ernster.

For the second year in a row, Heartland Elise and Mary Gaylord McClean won the Amateur Hackney Pony Grand Championship after Jeff McClean won the Amateur Gentlemen’s Pony class. Last year the lovely mare went on to become the Hackney Pony Mare Reserve World’s Champion with Jeff McClean. The formidable team of Front Page News and Larry Schultz were reserve in both classes.

Last year’s Junior Hackney Pony World’s Champion of Champions and UPHA Hackney Pony Classic National Champion, Heartland Rough And Ready looks ready to take on Louisville again this year. This extremely talented pony won the Limit Hackney Pony class with Toni Nastali under the direction of Majestic Oaks. A Reserve World’s Champion as a three-year-old last year, Si Senor was reserve in the limit class with owner and trainer Gib Marcucci at the lines.

Undefeated in the pony’s first year of showing, Heartland News Leader won the UPHA Hackney Pony Classic with Maureen Campbell driving for Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Kolkman. It was a star-studded week for Rich and Maureen Campbell’s Majestic Oaks Hackney Farm stock. Regal’s Auctioneer LF was reserve with Erik Kirsch driving for Dan and Leah Light. The Kirsch/Light team also came to the ring several times with top, young ponies.

Mary Narko couldn’t have been more excited to win both the Pleasure Pony Grand Championship and Limit Pleasure Pony classes at Midwest with her beloved Extremely Extreme under the direction of Lynn Durant. There’s nothing like a Midwest victory pass and she enjoyed two. Mastercraft’s Sandman LF put in a great drive with owner Stacey Swalla to earn the reserve title in the championship. Wonmore Diamond Legacy won the pleasure pony qualifier with Marilou Wilschke under the direction of Palos Hills. One More Time and Anna Marie Knipp were reserve in that class after a lovely drive. Anna Marie Knipp was also reserve in the limit class with I’m In Heaven.

In just his first year showing, Zach Meyer is having quite a successful start. Along with his grandfather’s grand pony, Pacifico’s Standing Ovation, he won both junior exhibitor pleasure pony classes with the expert help of Andy and Lynda Freseth. "Papa" Anderson was in the stands cheering them on along with the rest of the Anderson/Meyer family. Honest Impression and Garrett Weiler were reserve in both classes under the direction of Mayo Moctezuma, adding to their fine season.

Catch rider and driver extraordinaire, Linda Fischer drove Palisade’s Margarita to the Junior Pleasure Pony blue for proud owner Sandra Surber under the direction of Majestic Oaks. Another Majestic Oaks-trained pony, Heartland Accolade, won the UPHA Pleasure Driving Pony Classic with owner Kay Marschel. Romeo’s Aces High LF was reserve in the classic with Stacey Kipper driving for Dan and Leah Light.

Reserve National AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Pony Under Saddle National Champions last year, Reedann’s Special Delivery and Avis Van Zomeren won the AHHS Youth Medallion Pleasure Pony Under Saddle class at Midwest in high fashion. Reserve honors went to Queensbury Debutante and Zack Cutting for Sue Powers.

Gosford Soloist and Glenn A. Werry Jr. won the Hackney Horse Championship after the Amateur Single Hackney Horse win earlier in the week. Werry also won the pair class with Brickell Valentino and Brickell Pilot. Brickell Pilot and him were reserve to the Majestic Oaks-trained entry, Rudulph The Second in the Single Hackney Horse Open class. Stan Bodnar drove Rudulph to the win for Elisabeth Goth.

Road Horses

For the sixth year in a row, Big Red won the Roadster to Bike Championship and open qualifier. Each year, except for in 2004, when the late, great Pres Oder drove Big Red, Raymond Shively has driven him. Reserve honors in both classes belonged to Valparaiso, owned by Tom Fielder. His trainer, Jim Lowry qualified him, but Fielder took him back in the championship to push the champion and entertain the Midwest crowd.

Just her first year showing, Katy Kat won the Ladies Roaster to Bike Class with Melissa Moore and was reserve in the amateur class with Judy McNeish. Both lovely ladies showed the speedy mare for Sunrise Stables. The highly decorated speedster team of Meadow Demon and Lana Gilpin were reserve in the ladies’ class for Larry Gilpin.

The Roadster To Bike Grand Champion from Asheville, Raising The Bar added two more wins to his show record by speeding away with both amateur wins with Glenn A. Werry Jr. Werry looked to be having a great time behind last year’s Open Roadster to Wagon World’s Champion.

For a mind-boggling ninth year in a row, Invincible Summer was crowned the Roadster to Wagon Grand Champion. The leading lady of the roadster division, Judy McNeish drove her beloved speedster to the titles.

Equitation

Although the numbers were not great, Midwest featured an array of world’s and national titleholders from the Equitation division. Although only Brittany McGinnis and Nick Maupin showed back in the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, they conducted a clinic on equitation. Both performed flawless rail work and patterns and are clearly standouts in the division. When all was said and done, multi-titled Brittany Ann McGinnis was the champion aboard her Soli Deo Glori. This team also won their 14-17 age group. Aside from being reserve in the championship, Nick Maupin and Coco Mojo were the National Horse Shows Good Hands winners to add to their Challenge Cup qualification from Indy. Nick rides under Carol Matton’s expert guidance.

Brittany’s younger sister, Courtney also went two for two at Midwest to win the junior championship and her 13 and under age group aboard Kiss Of The Zodiac. Both McGinnis girls ride under the direction of DeLovely. Kaitlyn Creekmore was reserve in the 13 and under class with Imagination Station, while her sister Ashley won both walk and trot classes aboard Something Is In The Heir. Both the Creekmore sisters ride under the Hollow Haven banner. Zach White was reserve in both walk and trot classes aboard Hello Boys, he rides under Ray Krussell’s direction, as well as with the help of his multi-titled Arabian and National Show Horse trainer/instructor mom, Lisa Jo White.

In just her first year of 14-17 competition, Abby Mutrux has all the looks of the next era of top senior equitation riders. Paired with her bold-moving black gelding, Blackboard, she was the USEF Saddle Medal Champion and Senior Pleasure Equitation champion under DeLovely’s instruction. Kelsey Robinson was reserve in the medal.

Jessie Wuesthofen has made a giant leap into the senior division this year, by trying her hand at equitation. Her sister, Faye left her big shoes to fill, but her immaculate form and visible dedication will surely lead her into the winner’s circle. Aboard Callaway’s Mandate and under the direction of DeLovely, she won the senior challenge cup and was reserve in the good hands. Knollwood’s Emily Mayer was reserve in the senior challenge cup aboard Mocha’s Mudslide.

Aboard The Crowd Favorite, Brooke Boyer continued her already very successful season by winning the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup under the direction of Kent Swalla. Shelby Hader was reserve to Brooke in that class aboard her beloved Callaway’s Sportscaster. She also won the junior pleasure equitation age group under the direction of Scott and Carol Matton.

Cascade Stable’s Rachelle Drygalla won the Senior Pleasure Challenge Cup aboard CH Creditworthy. Rachelle went three for three at the Big D, winning the Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, challenge cup, and pleasure equitation medallion. Alice Rowland was reserve in the UPHA Pleasure Challenge Cup aboard Callaway’s Winning Number who was the World’s Champion of Champions in the 13 and Under Country Pleasure division. Missy Hughes trains this great team.

Dr. Morgan Wolin continued her undefeated season by winning the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup. She rides under the Cedarwood Farm banner. Meaghan MacQueen was reserve in that class under the direction of Knollwood.

For the eighth year in a row, Nicholas Sunder did a fantastic job to win the UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup.

Aboard her stretchy bay, Simbara’s Salutation, Mallory Hartigan rode beautifully to earn the reserve title in both the Senior Pleasure Equitation Championship and 14-17 age group. Prior to Midwest she was six for six, riding under the direction of Country Meadow. Upon winning the 14-17 Pleasure Equitation age group, Nadine Van Zomeren’s mom, Renae did a jump of joy as her talented daughter met her in the winner’s circle. Lexi Friedrich couldn’t have been happier with her rides aboard Tantara’s Magic Blessing to win the 13 and Under Pleasure Equitation Championship, as well as the Pleasure Equitation Medallion. She was also reserve in her age group under the direction of Knollwood. Lexi’s barnmate, Allison Schuh was reserve in the Pleasure Equitation Medallion aboard Commander In Motion.

Open To All Breeds

Lindsay Kellner shows with such skill that she can ride her Hawaiian Punch, who’s in his first year of showing, and make him look like a seasoned star. At Midwest they won both Open English Pleasure classes in fabulous fashion under the direction of Carol Matton. Silhouette Of Roses was reserve in the championship with Ashley Brand for Dr. Cheryl Tilghman, while Precious Prosperity and Sarah Phillips were reserve in the qualifier.

Continuing his undefeated first season, Vaelen won the Open Hunter Pleasure class with Jonelle Gardiner. They also won at River Ridge and Great River. Focus Chama and Kate Luthin were reserve.

In the Walk and Trot Pleasure 10 and Under class, it was Cabot Carte Blanche and Sydny Savage to earn the blue for Fay Lowry.

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