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Monday Evening Lexington

The 68th edition of the Lexington Junior League Horse Show opened on a beautiful Monday evening with 19 juvenile walk trot horses occupying the Red Mile straightaway. When judges Bret Day, Tom Ferrebee and Ricky Harris sorted this group out it was Cheetah’s Admiral and Faye Wuesthofen earning the first blue of the week for the La Fleur/Van Ess stables of Wisconsin. Already having a great season, Brittany Baird and Crimson Blue earned a great reserve ribbon for MBA Equestrians. They were followed by the new team of Melissa Milligan and Callaway’s Buttons and Bows. Unfortunately in Lexington fashion it only took two classes before a shoe was thrown and that was in the Country Pleasure Driving class. The veteran team of Sultry Heiress and Joan Adler made the victory pass in that one while representing Sunrise Stables. James Rosburg and Kalarama’s High Roller were their closest competition. Like she has done many times before, Heartland Rain Song took over the Red Mile and made it her own to win the Amateur Hackney Pony class with Jackie Stred at the whip. The John Shea trained team was ahead of Romeo's Warrior LF and Marjorie Kenney who were showing under the direction of Rodney Hicks. Another shoe was lost in the 11-horse Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 15-17 class but the interruption didn’t slow up Tate Bennett and Callaway’s Inspiration. Bennett was catch riding for John Biggins and owners John and Sara McDonald. Pressing hard every step of the way Megan McClure and Breaking News were called out as the reserve champions. Over and over All Glory has proven himself to be one of the best roadsters showing in any division and it was another expressive performance for the Belle Reve champion in the Amateur Ladies Roadster To Bike class. Elizabeth Shatner looked like she was having a blast shooting down the grandstand straightaway on the way to the winner’s circle. No strangers to top prizes, Guess Who and Misdee Wrigley commanded reserve honors. The timeless wonder, Americana’s Jazz Man looked as fresh as ever to take an Amateur Three-Gaited Under 15.2 Stake which was filled with topnotch performers. Rob and Sarah Byers directed the winning performance of Jazz Man and Phillipa Sledge. Michelle Groomes and Royal Messenger had their spots as well to receive the red streamers in their first season together. Pound for pound it doesn’t get any better than Joan Jett and she proved it again in the Ladies Harness Pony class. Waving her legs on both ends she was crowned the winner with Mary Gaylord McClean driving for Golden Creek Farms. She had stiff competition from multi-titled world’s champion Heartland Heiress who was beautifully presented by Helen Rosburg. While there are plenty of talented young horsemen in the field today it still takes a lot to beat the veteran horsemanship and ringmanship of Don Harris. Like he has done many times before for Chris and Jean Nalley, Harris is on his way with another young star as It’s All About Me captured the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding class. Virgil Helm had the reserve ride with Alice Pippin's Radio Flyer. It’s easy to forget just how hard a Lexington blue can be sometimes and after many years of putting nice horses in the ring the Ladies Fine Harness class was the first blue for a Chuck Herbert trained entry. Harlem’s Santa Fe was that champion with owner Susan Bartlett at the whip. Susan Olcutt and Callaway’s Head Over Heels were right on the money with a reserve performance. It wasn’t a huge class but their couldn’t have been a combination with any more elegance or talent than that of Junior Three-Gaited Under 15.2 Champion Victoria Lynn and Ceil Wheeler. It was Wheeler’s debut performance with the Nelson Green trained champion. Neil Visser and Cabernet’s Will Command made it a good class with their reserve performance. The future of the road pony division looked bright as eight top entries competed for the money in the UPHA Road Pony Classic. Coming off a winning performance at Midwest Charity, Mastercraft’s Guess Who LF was flawless for owner/driver Larry Bacon. Reserve money went to Bill Wall and Lone Star, an entry owned by Kathy Nichols. Moving to the Ladies Five-Gaited Mare class Mary Gaylord McClean and Take Me Away led the way taking a blue which she had won many times before with Santana Lass. Always a Lexington favorite, CH Jaunty Janette was the second place finisher with Vickie Byrd again at the helm. One of the newest classes at Lexington, the Hackney Pony Gig class brings back an era of elegance. Karen Waldron and Spirit Of Success represented the division as the champions for Bent Tree Farm. They were followed in reserve by Mary Campbell and The Joker. When it comes to the Roadster To Wagon division it doesn’t get much better than the Mike Barlow trained and shown entry Ashland. They left no doubt they would return to Tennessee with the Lexington blue for Dr. and Mrs. Howard Six. Emerson Wallingford turned in the reserve drive with The Navigator. With a long list of world and national titles to their credit, Kelsey Price and CH Fox de Jour did it again to win the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14 & Under class for Pleasantview Farm. Reserve honors belonged to the Matt Shiflet trained Assets and Attitude who was ridden by Sarah Sessoms. The Ladies Three-Gaited class at Lexington has been good to Kim Cowart and she made a return visit to the winner’s circle, this time with Lindy Ware’s Lady Latte in the over 15.2 section. It was a text book ladies performance for the champions who placed ahead of Melinda Moore and Bayou Belle, an entry owned by Spencer Mains. Third in the deep class belonged to Melody Adler and City Lady. A large field of trainers on gaited stallions and geldings closed out the first evening and there were many big name performers taking a shot at the title. Besting the field, Asheville’s Five-Gaited Grand Champion and last year’s Junior Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion Walterway’s Remember Me made the victory pass with Nelson Green riding for Kenny and Ceil Wheeler. Don Harris was aboard the Kentucky Spring Premier Five-Gaited Grand Champion Lucrative to take reserve for Karla Kucera. Merrill Murray and Wing Admiral were right there for third, while Rob Byers and Boucheron got a good ovation for their fourth place finish.

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